PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community

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PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community

 

Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.

 

The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.

 

Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?

Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?

Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?

Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?

Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?

Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?

Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?

Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?

Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?

Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?

Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?

Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?

 

Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.

 

There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.

 

Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.

 

If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!

 

Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!

 

God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…

 

God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.

 

God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.

 

Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.

 

I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!


SPIRITUAL Eating Disorders

Wooded PathSPIRITUAL Eating Disorders

Anorexia and Bulimia are very serious eating disorders that occur when one does not properly relate to food. Eating disorders are serious. They can and do result in physical and emotional turmoil. There are a lot of control issues related to eating disorders. An unbalanced spiritual diet will result in a spiritual eating disorder. If you go without spiritual food; you will lack the proper skills to navigate through the spiritual maze of life. Jesus came to this world to redeem us from the penalty of sin. He overcame sin in the flesh for us. He came so that the world would not be condemned but saved. It is through His love we have obtained grace.

To find out more about your purpose and the plan God has for your life it is important that you explore God’s Word. The Word of God is food for the soul. Have you ever thought about the side effects of a Spiritual eating disorder? When you do not have a consistent healthy spiritual diet it is difficult to comprehend spiritual things. Did you know that you can actually forever be in a learning mode and still not comprehend the spiritual things of God? In fact you will have a tendency to be misled. It is vitally important that you regularly read, study, digest and apply God’s Word in your daily life. You do not want to develop a spiritual eating disorder. It will result in serious spiritual consequences.

In order to grow properly one must consume a nutritious balanced daily diet. It is often said “we are what we eat.” Eating is a natural normal everyday occurrence. Without a proper daily diet one can become malnourished. It is a well known fact that in many third world countries thousands literally starve to death daily due to a lack of a proper balanced diet. It is difficult to reach your full potential when your body does not have its proper nutrients. Food for your body is what gas is to a car. Think about it? How far will your car go without gas? How can you make the journey? Food is fuel for the body.

God created a marvelous thing when He created man. We are created in His image. We are body, mind and soul. God has also provided the necessary resources for us to live healthy lives. In order to grow physically we need food. In order to grow intellectually we need to study and stimulate our brain cells. When we study we assist the building of dendrites. Okay what are dendrites? They are nerve cells that send impulses to the body. Intellectual growth without spiritual development is futile. You will never fully understand life and its true meaning without knowing God. Remember He created us with a soul. Our soul also has needs. We need to spiritually feed our mind and soul with the Word of God. The Word of God is spiritual “bread from heaven”. It is essential to our spiritual growth and development.Did you know that the Scriptures are considered “The bread of life?” They are essential for the proper growth and spiritual development for the believer. Just as food is necessary for the body; so is God’s Word for our soul. A proper spiritual diet is required if you truly desire to grow spiritually. A constant diet of religious junk food is unhealthy. Yes, it is possible to grow without God’s Word. But, you will not grow spiritually. You will grow carnally. It is even possible to grow religiously. This will cause you to be misled as well. You will be tossed to and fro by the various doctrines of man. Please know growing religiously is not the same thing as growing spiritually. Many people talk right and walk left. Remember Jim Jones and his followers? If one does not regularly participate in studying and applying the principles of God’s Word to life’s circumstances it is also possible to become stagnated. The Bible clearly tells us that God is a Spirit of Truth. When you know the Truth the Truth will set you free. This type of freedom leads you to be free to become who God wants you to be. It will give you a new lease on life.

Tasting the indescribable fruits of God’s Word is like putting on 3 D glasses. Meaning you will see things on a deeper level. God really is awesome! Spiritual warfare is at hand. Despite everything that goes on there is nothing that happens He is not aware of. Just think about that for a moment. That is really deep. Look around you and see all the things that are going on. The further we move away from God’s principles the worst things get. Many choose to live a life of misery and despair. Life presents many challenges.

God intended for His Church to carry on His Son’s mission. He Loved, trained, developed, nurtured and became a living example to His disciples. He even died and rose from the grave so they would see the scriptures being fulfilled. This was the ultimate demonstration of love. Did you know that He and His disciples were persecuted, misunderstood, lied on and mistreated by those He came to help? They even plotted secretly to discredit Jesus in spite of all the good He had done. The Bible tells us there were places He went that due to unbelief His power was not manifested. These are a few of the important facts you will discover when you study the scriptures.

Today we have the Word of God in Book form. His Word is our source ol food. Did you know that there is nothing written in the Bible that is less than 1800 years old? That fact is awesome in itself. The Bible’s Truth will forever be alive. It will and has stood the test of time. In Jesus’ time they did not have the Bible like we do. It had not been compiled into the Biblia 66 books as we have today. God really does supply all our needs. He did not leave us Comfortless. He left us His precious Holy Spirit as our internal Guide that we receive on the profession of our faith. We must daily ask for His infilling presence. We need His Holy Spirit to help us understand His Word. God does not want us to be spiritual anorexics. He wants you to know Him through His Word. How is your spiritual diet? How much time do you spend acknowledging God in your daily life? Do you ask Him to give you your daily bread?

This column is for you if you are reading this. Just take a personal inventory and see if you are really ingesting a balanced spiritual diet. You know and God knows. You should feed yourself spiritually in addition to being fed physically. When you attend a worship service it is the time for you to become spiritually nourished and energized as well. To praise God from whom all blessing flow!

God has given many gifts to HIS Church. The gifts were given to spiritually mature the body of Christ. (See Ephesians.) When junk food is served in lieu of the Word of God; many become spiritually codependent. This often makes it difficult for them to deal with life’s everyday challenges. When you attend service the pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, minister or appointee, are all charged to deliver a message from the Word of God. When one truly lays aside their own agenda this is possible. It is also very good when the messenger let’s the listeners know when they are using illustrations to make a point. This is helpful for those who are not as familiar with scriptures. This time should be consecrated; instead of used to personally say something to someone you do not have enough courage to confront. Only after praying and sincerely meditating on God’s Word this is possible. Some even see this as an opportunity to get someone else to say, what they can not say themselves to someone. What happens when you eat junk food? The proper delivery of a spiritual message will feed your soul. It will enlighten, convict as well as encourage you to grow spiritually. The Word is like a two edged sword it cuts both ways. There is something for the messenger or deliverer as well as the recipient. God has left no stone unturned to see that His children receive proper spiritual nourishment.

It is an arduous task to deliver God’s Word. But how will you know if something is from God? Good question. This is why you need to study. You need to be like the Bereans in the book of Acts, they knew the Word of God for themselves. This is why it is important that we too develop our personal relationship with Him. A healthy Spiritual diet is one of the most important assets you can acquire. As a Christian it should be a necessary priority. How important did I say spiritual food was? Life can be difficult. A proper balanced spiritual diet will help you weather the tempestuous storms of life. It will give you keen insight. When everyone is saying it’s alright when you know its all wrong, let His Word guide you. God never tells us to support something that is not right. A proper spiritual diet will help you to stand for what’s right when the majority falls for what’s wrong. A proper spiritual diet will allow the Fruit of God’s Spirit to flourish in your life when spiritual warfare is about you.

GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!

He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. I can bear witness to this He won’t! He said He will supply all of our needs? He will! (This does not mean just getting or having what you want) He said He will be peace in the midst of a storm. He will! His Word tells us that “God is Love” He truly is! Love is a wonderful thing. Having someone to love and knowing others truly love you is a wonderful thing. Many really do not know what Love really is. Love really is a beautiful ever unfolding gift from God. In the midst of trials, tests and wickedness God’s love will be an anchor. But you must always remember that spiritual nourishment is essential. His Word tells us that, “God is Love.”

When you read, study, deliver or share God’s Word please be prayerful. There are so many that have gone shipwrecked. So many casualties due to an unbalanced spiritual diet. Much too much junk food and not enough substance. If I tell you to come to my house for dinner you are expecting a balanced nutritious meal, right? What if I give you a plate of raw carrots? That’s okay if you are a rabbit. You might even think its funny, but, when you get home how do you think you would feel? My point is. As human beings we need more that just carrots. Some foods are a little hard to digest. We need both balanced spiritual and rich nutritious diets for our spiritual and physical growth. God wants us to continuously grow spiritually. “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” What does that mean? We must learn to embrace the Truth of God’s Word. God wants to be in every area of our everyday lives. He wants us to have a rich full spiritual diet, healthy marriages and sincere loving families.

I want to encourage you to make it a priority to spend some time with God. Really digest His Word. I assure you whatever is going on in your life He already knows. God wants you to live out the promises of His Word. God can and will make a way out of no way. He heals and He delivers according to His Will. Did you know Jesus also used very unconventional methods? The religious establishment was quite often opposed to His methods.

What are you saying? God will supply the road, direction, vehicle, people and resources when and if necessary for you to accomplish whatever He wants you to do. All you must do is step out on faith! Do not be surprised when someone does not understand you. Always keep in mind that what matters is that God knows and sees everything. Nothing can come our way unless He allows it. This is why He tells us to do whatever we do as you do it for Him. Remember His Church is supposed to be the pillar of Truth. The enemy is the father of lies. God is awesome. God is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” He is truly worthy of our praise. Remember it is more important what God knows rather than what others think. Why do you think Jesus spent so much time getting away and spending time with His Father? Jesus remained constantly spiritual nourished. Did you ever think about the fact Jesus could have just said everyone be healed. He could have completely done away with poverty and famines. He had the power to do so. But that was not the plan. He was faithfully obedient. It is important to know that Jesus was terribly misunderstood, called evil and blacklisted too.

God also has a remedy for any case. God tells us to be happy when persecuted for righteousness. God really does have everything under His control. Knowing His Word is vitally important for your well being. Jesus really is coming back for His true Church. Some things will just not be understood on this side of Heaven. God will never lead you to do anything that goes against His principles. Really get to know God for yourself. You do intend to spend eternity with Him? This will prevent you from developing a spiritual eating disorder. Allow His Word to be “bread from heaven.” Let Him truly be your Shepherd. His Word has a bountiful table of blessings prepared for our spiritual nourishment. God will move or take you over any mountains or through the rough terrains of life when and if necessary. Begin to feast on the delicacies of His Blessed Word. This will result in you experiencing the fruit of His Spirit. Just remember you need a balanced spiritual diet to make the journey!

Be BLESSED & ENCOURAGED knowing that our LORD is ALWAYS near, HE is just a prayer away!

FAITH is NOW

Faith Is NowBlue Skies

“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Faith is so important that it is mentioned over three hundred times in the BIBLE. Faith means to have a firm persuasion. Having Faith means much more than just to say you believe. It goes much deeper! Faith is developed through Prayer, Devotion, and Bible Study and the actual application of God’s Word to your daily life. Faith is also part of the Lord’s spiritual armor. It is “By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:3. Faith is NOW not after the fact has materialized! “For we walk by Faith not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7

 

When you truly trust God your Faith will see you through any and all circumstances or situations. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,Joseph, Moses and Rahab, are just a few examples of the many that trusted and had Faith in God. Deborah, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets beheld many miracles, faced jeers, were stoned, saw walls fall, led many in victories, were persecuted, misunderstood, and mistreated. Yet they all accomplished their life purpose by trusting the Lord. Notice how they all sincerely aspired to live in the presence of the Lord. They had a personal and deep intimate personal relationship with Him. Hebrews commends them all for their Faith; “yet none of them received what had been promised.” It is by Faith we are strengthened inwardly! Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through Faith.
 

FAITH is NOW!

Hebrew defines Faith as something you cannot see. “Faith without works is dead.” When your Faith is truly in GOD you trust that in His time He will fulfill whatever it is that He has said or promised. Take a moment to take an open and honest personal inventory of everything that is happening in your life. Guess what God already knows as well! Despite your circumstances; good, bad, or indifferent you can rest assured that your Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you will now proceed. In order to successfully run the race of life we must keep our focus on the Lord. Laying aside any weight or sin helps us to run with endurance. When life hurdles appear God will impart to you His patience and direction. You can not change anything that has happened “it is what it is” As you fix your eyes on “Jesus, the Author and perfector of our Faith” He will help you arise to the challenges as well as the celebrations of life. Your daily trust and reliance on God is where your true security and significance should reside. This will give you sure footing and strong solid rock foundational spiritual roots to help you withstand the storms of life. Your Joy in the Lord is where you will find strength when you keep your eyes on Him. The joy of the Lord is not contingent on your circumstance. FAITH is NOW!

 

The key to being a Christian is the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know the importance of His sacrificial death on the cross that atoned for our sins? It was so we could live life to please Him! Did you know our lives, our homes, our marriages, families and our worship should reflect we are His children? How do we do this? Titus tells us that “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in Faith, love and in endurance. To teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good…” The natural man or woman does not accept, value, nor understand the things of God. This is why the Word says to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to understand the things of God it is crucial that you lay aside your way and your will and let His Word be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light to your path.

 

Having the proper perspective will teach you how very important it is to live life to its fullest and study His Word for His approval and not the approval of man. This is why we are told to “Trust in the Lord will all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.” Proverbs 3: 5&6. Too often God is an after thought or optional choice when dealing with life. This compromise often has favorable results with man; yet results in moving you away from God. Learn to wait on God and patiently seek His way.

 

God’s way will give you peace and contentment that surpasses the understanding of man! God wants to be the Primary Force in your life. Being a Christian is really a chosen lifestyle. God does not force His way upon you. Faith produces commitment and faithfulness. It means to sincerely and earnestly attempt to live life to please God. Commence to truly Live, Sing, Worship and Praise Him. It really makes all the difference in the world! “LET the WORD of Christ dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3: 16&17.

 

God always has a better way. According to Ephesians He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. As His child we have been sealed and promised the gift of His Holy Spirit. God truly is faithful you can always count on Him! Now you must trust Him and step out on Faith. Remember Faith is not something that you can see. Always remember, you must exercise patience and your Faith and trust must rely in Him. He tells us if our Faith is “as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17: 20. The key to this is you must desire His will to be done. It is with God we can do the impossible. This way He receives the credit. To GOD be the GLORY! God keeps His promises. You can fully trust God to work everything out for your good.

 

Always keep in mind that absolutely nothing gets by God. He knows all that is past, current and will be. Be encouraged knowing “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” It is by Faith and patience we inherit His promises. We can patiently endure whatever is necessary because we know that God in His time will work everything out for our good. It is by Faith we accept His precious gift of eternal life. One of the most important elements in life is having Faith in GOD. “Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he, who comes to GOD, must believe, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Romans 1:16& 17.

 

FAITH Keep Looking UP!

FAITH Keep Looking UP!

GOD IS FAITHFUL in His time you will reap the promises and He will give back, restore, refuel and replenish you in His time. God knows when you are sincere. We are living in interesting times. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Author and finisher of your Faith. God is able to “keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great Joy!” You can say Hallelujah anyhow! God is awesome! As I mentioned before Hebrews records in its “Hall of Faith” many Old Testament heroes who trusted in God and displayed their Faith in unique ways. Lay aside every weight and anything that hinders you from going forth in the Lord! Many seek the approval and acceptance of others. God’s approval is what matters most! When you truly believe; it will be a priority to daily live your life to please GOD! Faith results in faithfulness. Who or what are you faithful to? “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” FAITH IS NOW!


Co-DEPENDENCY

Bridge

For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide.

 

What is happening to our Christian families? Codependency has become a major dysfunction. Families are experiencing a famine in the area of healthy nurturing. Let’s begin to break generational cycles of codependency. Why is this necessary? A person who is co-dependent is trapped in a compulsive cycle of control. They are usually over achievers who are virtually motivated by their desire to be loved. They often have been subject to major rejection in their early childhood. In order to feel a sense of security they will over extend themselves in many activities in order to gain the approval of others. It is very difficult for a co-dependent to deal with someone who they can not control. They will often even appear submissive in order to gain control of someone. This behavior is really manipulation in order to dominate.

 

The boundaries of a co-dependent are usually blurred. The hurts of childhood abandonment and rejection fuel their need to control. They have a great need as well to be the center of attention. Unable to let go of the past they really feel empty and unloved. They are usually high maintenance people. Their constant need of approval is countered by resentment when not satisfied since they suffer from low self-esteem. As I have said before and will say again and again “your true security and significance can only be found in God”.

 

For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide. Contrary to popular belief you are not required by God to participate in most man ordained auxiliaries especially at the expense of neglecting your family. Pastors as well as Christian workers who suffer from co-dependency must be careful not to be pre-occupied at the expense of not having some time for their own families. Your works should display your faith not someone else’s. Creating healthy boundaries are necessary. Spend some time developing your personal intimate relationship with God. Begin to implement His principles in your life. Grace and peace is multiplied when you increase your knowledge of GOD!

 

Consciously allow what God desires and requires of you to override your need to control and/ or gain the approval of others. Don’t be a people pleaser! God is not impressed by manipulation. Always examine your motives in the light of His WORD. Take charge by letting go, which is the opposite of controlling. Remember scripture says it is “the meek that will inherit the earth.” Meekness is not weakness it is power under control. Cycles are hard to break but with God even the impossible is possible.

 

The family system of a co-dependent usually has a powerful effect on their behavior dynamics. Often there is a scapegoat, a martyr and a hero in the co-dependent family. The scapegoat gives everyone something to focus on rather than deal with the real problem. The martyr sacrifices for everyone and feels sorry for themselves. The hero makes the family look good to outsiders. A multigenerational pattern of faulty unhealthy dynamics can appear as normal. Do you notice any generational patterns? Unconsciously the family will fight to keep these dynamics operating.

 

All families have an element of dysfunction. Destructive family dynamics have been in operation since the beginning of time. The story of Joseph tells how his Dad favored him over his brothers. Joseph’s father gave him a beautiful coat. This caused so much jealously between them that they designed a plan to destroy Joseph. His brothers called him a dreamer. Little did they know that the Lord had His hand on Joseph. God being in control worked this to good although their plans were evil. In the final analysis Joseph became the chief provider for his family as well as country. Eli was a priest. Although a servant of the Lord he had two sons who were outwardly rebellious. They disrespected not only the offerings but the people of God as well. I wonder how much time Eli spent nurturing his own sons?

 

Family secrets such as mental illness, incest, abuse and alcohol or drug addictions often go unaddressed in the co-dependent family. Denial becomes a survival dynamic for the family. This fosters an unhealthy physical as well as spiritual environment. Family secrets are often described as though one has a white elephant in the living room. Everyone just walks around it as though it doesn’t exist. Or they just avoid it altogether. Thinking it will just go away. It won’t! Christians need to take a stand and move to a higher level of functioning. We must learn to address the sin issues in our families and not continue to make excuses. Sin is anything that separates us from the Lord. God has promised to direct our paths when we put our trust in Him. We must learn to responsibly take responsibility.
Couple on the Beach
 

God in His Omniscience is well aware of the shortcomings of all of us. We must look at the unhealthy dynamics in our family of origin and consciously find ways to abandon the generational cycles. Don’t continue to sweep things under the rug. Learn to confront issues as they arise. It’s never to late! Start by not supporting or reinforcing any unfavorable behavior. The truth must be faced to break free and enjoy the present.

 

Sometimes it is necessary to pursue professional assistance to resolve family conflict. A conscientious therapist should be well informed about inappropriate behavior. They objectively are able to recognize that the faulty behavior presented is really a mask for an underlying unmet need. The co-dependent needs to find a positive channel to release inner tensions. A family intervention is useful in most situations. Then proceeding to establishing a way in which their unmet needs can be satisfied is recommended.

 

In a Therapy environment a healthy atmosphere is crucial. The equal safety of the client and the safety of the therapist should always be a priority. A committed Christian therapist knows the importance of establishing healthy boundaries. A congruent environment implies that the therapist is trustworthy, genuine, integrated, and openly honest. There are many cultural differences that can inhibit a fluent understanding of the client. Stereotype thinking must be abandoned. Each client must be viewed as an individual. Labeling often changes peoples perceptions of others. There is a substantial diversity among any given group of people.

 

Christian therapy although not new is often unwelcomed from anyone other than the pastor in some instances. Many pastors who may be well-versed in scripture may not be equipped in some areas of counseling. Many on the other hand or overwhelmed by their ministerial duties. There are some pastors who should not counsel, especailly if there is a history of infidelity… The sincere efforts of a Christian therapist although well meaning may be often misconstrued as out of line and unwelcomed.

 

The use of small cell groups can often be quite therapeutic and beneficial for the co-dependent as well as for managing other interpersonal problems. A conscientious facilitator will maintain order and model control. Confidentiality and free expression should be encouraged. Conflict arises when individuals become resistant to someone’s insight or opinions that have been communicated. Uncontrolled anger is not welcomed in a cell group. Establish boundaries. Keep the group spiritually based. Making use of regular Bible study and prayer are key elements for success.

 

Emerging from codependency is painful. The compulsion to rescue dependent people is really a form of bondage. God never intended for any of us to be slaves to sin. Self-control is a fruit of His Spirit. His resources are unlimited. The co-dependent person first must acknowledge their compulsion to control. They must work towards redirecting their inclination towards other control to self-control. To seek healthy ways to have their unmet needs fulfilled. To process dispelling dysfunctional cycles this is a must. Don’t allow pride to hinder your progress. It is an obstacle to your well-being. God also hates pride it is an abomination to Him. Confess any known sin and press forward. It takes courage and a lot of hard work. It is in our weakness that we can become strong through God’s awesome power. God has left the Comforter which is His Holy Spirit to lead teach and direct you. Never forget God loves you! Take control by taking control of yourself. Learn the benefits of meekness. Know that your body is the Temple where God’s Holy Spirit resides. It is so very important to learn how to trust God, daily embrace HIS principles and know that everywhere you are GOD is always a prayer away. The truth really will set you FREE!!!

Rising Above EATING DISORDERS

Cliffs

EATING DISORDERS

Unhealthy View of Self

Unhealthy View of Self

What’s eating You?

Anorexia and Bulimia are serious compulsive eating disorders that are life threatening. These compulsive behaviors if not properly attended can result in death. This is not to scare you but to inform you that eating disorders are quite serious. I would like to shed some light on a serious subject that many do not like to discuss. In order to reach spiritual wholeness we must be willing to look at all human behavior. Everyone has areas in which they need to grow. Some have a harder time harnessing harmful behaviors. Behavior displayed does not actually display a true indication of how someone really is. Personality is often a veneer that has developed in order to protect the real person. Personalities vastly differ on a multiplicity of levels. Behavior can actually be a plea for help. Compulsive behaviors need immediate attention.

 

Anorexia and Bulimia is not something that is usually openly discussed. Anorexia nervosa is a self induced starvation that results in a dramatic weight loss. Bulimia is when one binges on large amounts of food that is followed with self induced vomiting or laxative abuse. This can or may not result in weight loss. Both are extremely dangerous and harmful both mentally and physically. Food for many can bring to mind memories of pain, abuse, anger, failure, rejection and or conflict. Although women primarily develop eating disorders, there are approximately 10% of men who are also anorexic or bulimic and the numbers are growing. Eating disorders usually have their onset during adolescent or teens. They can also develop later on in life.

 

Anorexia and Bulimia origins are nested most frequently in dysfunctional families of varying social economical status. There are currently programs designed for children as well. This should inform you of the seriousness of eating disorders Denial is often an accompanying dynamic. Anorexics usually deny their feelings. They have been taught to suppress their feelings.

 

Let’s look at some of the symptoms. One of the first symptoms of Anorexia is when a person is focused on how they are too fat; when it is quite obvious that is not the case. They continually shift their desirable weight down. It is not unusual for an anorexic’s hands, feet, and head to appear far too big. They continually restrict food to lose dramatic amounts of weight. They often wear bulky clothes or sweaters to mask their actual body size. It is also accompanied by the over use of laxatives; and or diet pills. Low self esteem and being over perfectionistic. Maintaining rigid control and excessive exercise. Depression, deceitfulness, guilt and irritability are often present as well. Anorexics are proud of their ability to restrict and control the amount of food they do or do not consume. Voluntary starvation can lead to emaciation and sometimes death.   YOU NEED HELP!!!

 

Let’s look at some of the symptoms for bulimia. The person is caught up in a binge-purge pattern of eating. They can consume vast amounts of food and relieve themselves by self induced vomiting, They often observe food rituals. Low self esteem and being overly perfectionistic are apparent. The person looses control once they start eating. Food actually becomes a calming agent and somewhat of a companion. One common bond in anorexia and bulimia is the person really wants relationship and the approval of others. It is highly likely that there has also been sexual abuse. It is important that you lovingly confront someone with an eating disorder. It is important that you are honest about the way they look. You must be willing to take the risk at them being upset. You should also be willing to take part in their healing. It is important that they receive the professional help they need. You too will need support during their recovery process. It is most helpful to learn more about eating disorders.

 

There are cases when a person is a combination of the two. This is known as bulimarexic. They vacillate between the two disorders. It can be confusing because the individual does not acknowledge there is a problem. Denial is present since they do not actually fall into either category. Weight gain or loss, digestive problems, heart problems. anemia, forgetfulness, erosion of tooth enamel, glandular functioning, hypoglycemia, and impulse control order are some of the many side effects.

 

How does one BEGIN TO  HEAL? In severe cases an inpatient treatment program is best. A person’s weight must be closely monitored. In some cases initially treating them for depression is necessary. One thing that is necessary for healing is that they come to terms with the “Truth” of how they are feeling. One must make a conscious effort to look at their life, their family system and how they have been affected. In order to become whole they must learn to look at themselves, and others differently. Eating disorders are a family affair. Restructuring of the family interactions and dynamics are crucial. Obsessive compulsive issues to food and unrelated to food need to be addressed. Anorexia can affect major organ system functioning.  Love, diligent prayer, intmacy, transparency  and consistent accountability by all  involved with the HEALING PROCESS is very important!

 

The family system must be changed.  Creating a healthy environment of honesty, love and support will facilitate healing. Build a support buddy system. Become accountable and responsible for a proper diet. Replacing your void with healthy and fun activities and making a point to eat regularly with family. Just know that you also gain control by deciding to eat properly. Believe what the scale says when you can’t believe the mirror! Healing takes time. But putting forth the effort is worth the time. You are worth it! Dysfunctional dynamics have often become the norm for many. The unhealthy use of defense mechanisms, the lack of the ability to be who they are, the need to please others and the rageaholic and /or controlling family issues must be dealt with.

 

God wants us to be whole. Being whole does not mean being free of conflict or problems. Life will continually present challenges. Challenges brings about spiritual growth and development. God also wants us to be perfect. Godly perfection does not mean being free of flaws. Godly perfection companions are an inward peace of mind and accepting the fact that God has uniquely created you. It means learning how to embrace who you are. Who God intended you to be. Realize that “NO ONE CAN BE A BETTER YOU THAN YOU!” It means learning how to be content in the light of His Word. Then cautiously moving forward in life discovering who you are? To be perfect in Biblical terms simply means to be complete in Him. No it does not mean you have all the answers. But it does mean having a healthy relationship with God who does!

 

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder. Pray for or with them and care for them sincerely! I truly believe that as long or short as the Lord has us here it is to learn. When we learn all there is to learn, if you are His child He calls you home. Learning to relate to food, people, things, problems and situations is a lifetime learning experience. But you can start today if you have not already; living life differently. You can live life preparing for eternity. This will also relieve you of much unwarranted anxiety. God knows ever single solitary thing that has happened in your life and everyone else lives as well.   GOD LOVES YOU! God really does know your heart. God can and will teach you how to guard your heart properly. God wants you to have that abundant life His precious  Son, Jesus Christ died for. He wants you to enjoy and learn how to properly nourish your body both spiritually and physically. He wants you to live a balanced life. He wants you to be emotionally whole.

 

Yes you will continue to have sorrow, grief and disappointments. Yes, the world is getting worse. Yes, our country is in a recession! Yes, life is and will be difficult at times. Drugs, alcohol, sex, money, food and yes even hard work can be all used in an attempt to fill emptiness in your life. There must be a balance. We must learn to properly relate to life in a manner that pleases God.   God has a purpose for your life only you can fill! In the midst of this world you we are given the opportunity to have a Comforter! You see Jesus purpose was that we have life and have it more abundantly. This does not just mean materialistically. It means in every way. It is the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy……. You do not have to focus on the enemy when you know that your life is truly in the hands of the Lord. Yes, it is important that you know how he operates. You do not have to focus on what others think when you know that God’s knows the depth of your heart.  He knows why you do or do not do whatever! God can free you. He only can give you the PEACE  that surpasses the understanding of man.

 

Start anew today! God wants to fill the void in your life that only He can fill. Most important He loves us enough that He allows us the opportunity to choose. Allow His Holy Spirit, His Comforter to comfort and abide with you 24/7. I truly believe that there is absolutely positively nothing that is too big for God to handle. Begin today and everyday by allowing the Lord His place in your life, heart and home. He can help you and teach you how to properly physically, emotionally and spiritually nourish your body, mind and soul. God is your Maker and Creator. God has promised to work “all things” not some things which means even the bad things. God has said “all things work together for good. For those who love Him. For those who are called according to His purpose” When you are walking in the Spirit there is no condemnation. You can always trust, lean, depend, stand and count on God.

YOU CAN  rise ABOVE your EATING DISORDER?


Learning The Art Of “Being Still” Part 1

dreamstimefree_1144122[1]Whenever you are amidst spiritual warfare or when a crisis arises, it is important that  you  seek and learn to “BE STILL.” Being still does not mean that you are unconcerned or oblivious to what is happening. You  are not  simply just doing nothing.  Nor is it a delusional state of  unconsciousness  rendering being in denial.  You are not having   erroneous illusions of  grandeur. You are not being self-centered.  Quite the contrary.  You are God centered!  Your spiritual awareness is  actually  heightened.  It is a non combative state.

 

During spiritual warfare or a crisis, usually there is much stress.  People often respond in ways that are counterproductive.  One will tend to make hasty decisions and  become easily angered.  Over indulgence in drugs, alcohol, or  some other substance  or unfavorable activity is not advised.  You may even become passive since there is a  lack of  coping skills.  Instead it really is very important  to be responsible.  Instead strive  to  be  more attentive. Be alert  to your surroundings as well as  those about you.  Learn to become flexible and resilient,   so you will not get towed along.  Being still is a state of mind that helps you remain focused. Staying in a cognizant preferred  chosen calm state of  tranquility.  Not walking  in  weakness,  but  making a sincere attempt to submit to a disciplined practice of walking  in “meekness.”   Here your faith and trust is rooted and grounded in the Lord.

 

You seek to be led by the Spirit!

 

 

It helps sometimes to also keep a  sense  of  humor about it all.  Just know, a bit of  appropriate  laughter is a good antidote for the soul.  Laughter helps to keep things within a healthy responsive balance.  Readily enlist earnestly the opportunity to “pray unceasingly.”  To be aware that the often orchestrated  situation at hand, really wants you to “act out”  or respond in an unseemly, improper or inappropriate  carnal manner.  Which  really only  wants to cast you in an unfavorable light to simply mar your testimony.

 

Take a few moments of  personal Worship and Praise!

 

 

Having the Lord within your life truly does make all the difference in the world!   It is  quite splendid! As we grow in His grace we learn to respond or not respond by embracing the Fruit of His Spirit! You care more,  but react less impulsively. Your desire is to please Him as well as your commitment to Him increases as well. You learn to incorporate “Praying without ceasing” into all areas of your life.  This conscious state of being  keeps you connected to the Lord. You choose to focus on the Lord rather than get pulled away from your center.

 

Know that there is always  spiritual warfare all about us even in the midst of corporate worship!

 

One must learn to depend and call upon the Lord wherever we may be. This is often in an inaudible way, momentarily and meekly  inwardly bowing, knowing that your heart becomes an immediate altar.  Since we cannot avoid crisis learn to invite God into the messiness about you. It is possible as the Word says; to be angry and sin not.”  Trusting and knowing that God knows your heart and  always hears your cries. Remember Psalm 27; “The Lord is my Light  and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid…”  In His time He can and will deliver you from any and all evil!  Ephesians clearly tells us to  “Finally be strong in  the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on your spiritual armor of God so when the evil day comes, you may be able to stand your ground…….” Ephesians 6

 

The Greek word for crisis is krinein, which means “to decide.”   Crisis and spiritual warfare can come at unexpected moments. Usually the decisions that you have to make are life changing.  decide  to  take some time and “BE STILL.”  Know that God is always near.   See this as an opportunity to put in  practice what it means to exercise “patience.”   His  Blessed Assurance can truly be experienced, once born of  His Spirit! Always  keeping  in mind that God knows and has everything  under His complete control  really helps.

 

Once you become a child of God   it is important to get to know Him. Draw close to Him.   Your ongoing  up close,  personal and intimate relationship with the Lord is more important than anything or anyone!  Absolutely nothing  can take God’s place in your life     He has embedded deep within  each of us a place that only He can fill. One must  avidly  commence to daily   seek to grow in the grace and  knowledge  of  our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Without Him we are merely  walking breathing shaped dust.

 

God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. We are  to read, ponder, digest,  and dwell upon His Word and implement the principles therein.  Our  desire  should be to respond in a way that pleases Him. To know the difference between the  “works of the flesh”  and the “Fruit of His Spirit” that is discussed in Galatians 5.   We need not make excuses for sin but readily repent.  Sin separates us from the Lord. His Word truly is meant to be our Life  Manual!  It is essentially, imperative to keep in mind that the people, situations and scenarios presented really did happen.  He has given us fabulous examples.  There is a plethora of wisdom in the Scriptures.  So much so to a degree, that it can boggle your mind.  This is why it is important that we ask for His promised Comforter  to fill us, to illuminate our understanding while journeying through its tasty, appetizing, palatable pages.

 

See Part 2

 

 

 

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