GOD IS THE GIVER AND SUSTAINER OF LIFE!
GOD is LOVE! GOD is the GIVER of LIFE! We are SANCTIFIED by HIS PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT! HE has a PURPOSE and PLAN for each of HIS children! I implore and entreat you to seek HIS WORD and allow HIM to define what LIFE is ALL about for you! It is only in Him you will find the TRUE meaning of LIFE! He is “THE REASON FOR EVERY SEASON!” LIFE, begins in heaven our earthly transition commences in the womb! Conception is defined as the “process of becoming pregnant or beginning! An unborn baby has “The RIGHT to LIFE!” I BELIEVE ALL HIS WORD! What and who do you believe!
THE LORD’S WORD is so POWERFUL! If one would only seriously listen and accept HIS definitions to LOVE, LIFE, SANCTIFICATION and HIS PURPOSE! We would be in such a better place worldwide! If you ever wondered where you were before being here on earth, or who you belong to listen to the Prophet Jeremiah. “Before I FORMED you in the womb I KNEW you; Before you were BORN I SANCTIFIED you; I ORDAINED you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1
In the wonderful Book of Jeremiah the LORD confirms where life begins! Take a moment and ponder and camp on this thought! Before you were in your Mother’s womb the LORD knew you! Long before you were ever conceived! From the very beginning the enemy has tried to redefine and discount the validity of God and His WORD!
When you think on love what comes to mind? Quite often many think about what makes them feel good. What you do or do not do for them, many have an erroneous idea of what love truly means. Love often means in this case supporting wrong. Letting me do and say to you whatever I want to do. For many often that erroneous love turns to verbal, physical and emotional abuse!
God instills His Love within us. When a baby is born it readily needs to be nurtured and loved! Remember “GOD is LOVE,” GOD is eternal HIS LOVE LASTS FOREVER! In HIS WORD you will see the manifestation of His Love all throughout His WORD! GOD IS THE ULTIMATE FATHER! Whenever you think on terms of loving someone think about what God has to say and what He does! He never supports them in ANYTHING that goes against HIS WORD. No different from NOW in Corinth the people had become mixed up about LOVE! Many were confused spiritually blind and very carnal… What does GOD say about LOVE ?
In I Corinthians Paul describes true LOVE!
“LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE DOES NOT delight in evil but REJOICES IN TRUTH. It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS preserves. LOVE NEVER FAILS!
GOD is the GIVER and Sustainer of Life! In the very beginning God said “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.” He gave them HIS breath of life! It is through this union of man and woman coming together that He designed more life to come forth! We were created for GOD’S GLORY!
Sanctification is the process of when one who grows in the DIVINE Grace and Knowledge of the LORD, due to accepting Jesus Christ as LORD! You are set apart for GOD! As a believer, a Christian, a child of God we should embrace the sanctity of life! It is a fundamental principle of God’s WORD! There is an incredible story in the Bible, when Mary was pregnant with Jesus. John the Baptist leaped in the womb of his mother Elizabeth just being in the presence of JESUS who was still in the womb of His mother Mary. Listen to what the Word says :
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb I PRAISE YOU because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes SAW my unformed body. ALL the days ordained for me were written in YOUR BOOK before one of them came to be…” Psalms 139
Abortion is not of God!! It is the way of the world! Abortion is not only about death it is about LIFE! GOD is the GIVER and SUSTAINER of LIFE! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may HAVE LIFE, and have it more abundantly…” John 10 JESUS is the GOOD SHEPHERD ! He came and laid down HIS life so we could have a rich full balanced life!
What has been done cannot be undone! But you can start wherever you are going forth in the LORD! Know HIS WORD for yourself! Women who have had abortions are in need of inner healing. God is a loving forgiving God! Great is HIS LOVE for us! Repentance opens the door for restoration! Open your heart to the Lord. When you really give your heart to Him! He will fill that void. Don’t continue to use sex, manipulation or anything else to get your way. Begin to seek Him above all else and learn His WAY! I assure you In Him you will find the “security and significance” that is only found in Him! In Him you will find your purpose! Great is GOD’S FAITHFULNESS!
Abortion goes against the WORD of the Lord! It is easier to think of a precious baby, an unborn infant as a mere fetus in order to justify abortion. Remember, the baby feels and what you eat and drink they do too!“The TRUTH sets you FREE!” Remember GOD knows the TRUTH! So let’s be TRUTHFUL ABORTION is murder! If you believe it or not it’s so! What we say, think or do, does not change or alter what GOD has said is so. We are finite and GOD is OMNISICIENT meaning ALL KNOWING. If only we would listen to Him? Man continues as from the very beginning to be deceived by the devil. GOD IS A GOD OF LIGHT!!! Many discount, pervert and attempt to redefine what GOD has said in order to justify and manipulate getting their own way! The scriptures tells you that in the long run it never works! We are accountable to God for what we do or do not do!
God has a plan for each of His children from the very beginning and life is about discovering Him and living out that PURPOSE. Purpose is what gives life meaning! We on the other hand have to accept JESUS CHRIST as our personal SAVIOR to SAVE us from being overcome by the wickedness and the darkness that wants to dim and extinguish the LIGHT that the LORD wants to shine through us! God not only creates life, HE Blesses it! JESUS went through many things for us! HIS PROMISES ARE ALL TRUE! It ALL continues to work out for our GOOD when HE is in control of our LIVES!!!
Here is a story about an unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas who is 21 weeks old still in his mother’s womb: Baby Samuel’s Mom, Julie Armas is an obstetrics nurse who was told that her child has Spina Bifida! Spina Bifida is a very serious debilitating birth defect that causes a split spine. It causes the spinal cord to stick out; if not repaired it can cause a plethora of problems… His Doctor, Dr. Bruner is the operating surgeon. Keep in mind Samuel’s mom Julie had already suffered through two previous miscarriages!
It is during a C-section a small incision is made in order to do the surgery! As the surgery was completing baby Samuel reaches his little hand out and grasps the finger of the amazing Dr. Bruner! Dr. Bruner says that this was the most emotional moment of his life! He was stunned and immobilized! This is what is going on in this photograph above! Samuel’s mother Julie cried tears of Joy for days! Samuel was born completely healthy and the surgery was 100% successful! The picture speaks for itself! God is AWESOME!!!
The statistics for marriages ending in divorce continue to rise! Why is that? It is simply because the spouses listen to everyone else except one another. Their marriage is no longer the top priority it was! They desire to please their friends, relatives and coworkers rather than one another or God!
No you do not have to live on an island! But you must continue to improve and refine your marriage!
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having good friends! Just don’t try to be like your friends! Especially if they are not married! Be original! If you notice you look different because you are different! Your temperaments are different and you like different things! So why is it when it comes to your spouse you listen to them rather than to one another! When you decided to get married you became a team! Or rather you should learn to commit to be partners in life. Build a great marriage and encourage those who are married to do the same. Encourage those who are single to cleave to the Lord as they seek to be married….
Hopefully you did not get married to make each other’s life difficult. Or to get someone to take care of you! You can do badly all by yourself! Or because you felt you were getting older and the clock was winding down or simply because everyone else was married? Or just because! Hopefully you got married because you want to give and share of yourself within the sanctity of a committed monogamous growing relationship! To experience the greatest partnership between one man and one woman!
Think about it for a moment! Why did you get married? Was there a goal to accomplish something? You have two eyes, two ears, two lips, two hands, two arms, two legs and two feet. They actually work together in pairs better! If one can’t do something the other one will… Well when it comes to marriage you should work together with your spouse as well! Two working together can accomplish much and often much more! If you do not desire to work together then don’t get married! Or perhaps that is why you no longer want to be unmarried? You want to try something else or someone else? You want to give of yourself in a relationship were you both have the same basic principles and morrals; here you are on one accord….
Many change partners like they are changing a pair of shoes! Fearful of being transparent and taking the time to really get to know your spouse you flee. Or you simply don’t open up to them and you two just coexist as strangers! Or listen to unwise, ungodly counsel or advice… Quite often everyone else knows what is going on before either of you! Your friends have become your confidants and you wouldn’t dare share TRUTH with your spouse! Well! That’s part of the problem!
Marriage is not about keeping secrets from your spouse! It’s about sharing who you are and growing and improving yourself as well as encouraging your spouse… To remain committed when there is turbulence and then together learn to soar above it! In a good marriage when you truly like one another you become friends as well as partners! It is better to be open and honest up front rather than waste time year after year dodging the Truth!
If you have been married before please take some time in between marriages and get rid of the extra baggage. If you don’t it will soon become part of your current marriage and you will recycle the same ole junk! You can’t change what has happened but you can go forward and do some things differently…
What is so interesting marriage was really designed by God to be the ultimate relationship between one man and one woman! Two become one! Being together is a desired choice and you vow and commit to grow together and become partners for life. Or did you? Or until… Well nowadays people stay married as long or as short as they can tolerate one another and something better comes along? So they think? The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence! It must be tended, fertilized and cared for to stay green and healthy!
Love becomes optional to some in marriage and is no longer the key adhesive that keeps the marriage together. Respect and commitment are secondary as well! “Intoxicating affections” mimic marriage. They don’t last!
Laughter is such a wonderful bravura expression! When it comes from deep within it can help to release inner tensions. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is activated by laughter and produces endorphins in the brain after responding to a rewarding activity according to modern neurophysiology! Laughter can be medicine for the soul!
Life can get quite serious. There are times when you may not be able to see far down the road. When that is the case take it day by day! Think about something simple you could do in the moment, now, today, to bring a ray of sunshine your way and share it with someone else! Don’t let a moment or season in time define your entire life! Find something in all of it to make you laugh!
Did you know that when someone is going through, or grieving that one of the best things that you can do is allow them to freely express themselves. Let them have a good cry and then wait for an appropriate moment to make them laugh! Tell them a simple funny story or bring to mind an amusing event they experienced in memory of their love one. If you don’t know one, simply encourage them to share one! Humor lets them release inner tension as well as emotional pain and stress! It can also serve to put them at ease and help them relax!
JOY is a part of the Fruit of the Spirit! There is an overwhelming inner cheerfulness that brings contentment from knowing the Lord! How interesting Nehemiah tells us “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the Joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8
Some people are super ticklish and just the thought of being tickled can make them laugh hysterically! This type of laughter can be contagious uncontrollably infectious! Joy and humor cause laughter! Laughter is a universal language!
Gelotology is the study of laughter! There is much documented research going on to study and analyze the validity of laughter! How does it impact one’s mental state?
There is humor therapy, laughter therapy as well as laughter meditation! The ability to laugh naturally can lift one from depression. Focusing on a pleasant situation and allowing yourself the freedom to respond. Telling a joke or watching comedy. Notice how children roar during a good cartoon as well as adults!
According to the American Cancer Society, laughter has been use throughout history to bring about healing! “Humor has been used in medicine throughout recorded history. One of the earliest mentions of the health benefits of humor is in the book of Proverbs in the Bible. As early as the thirteenth century, some surgeons used humor to distract patients from the pain of surgery. Humor was also widely used and studied by the medical community in the early twentieth century. In more modern times, the most famous story of humor therapy involved Norman Cousins, then editor of the Saturday Review . According to the story, Mr. Cousins cured himself of an unknown illness with a self-invented regimen of laughter and vitamins.”
Sometimes you can laugh so hard that it can bring tears to your eyes! Norman Cousins suffered from arthritis! Through love, using mega doses of vitamin C, faith, hope and humor he improved his condition! He actually watched the Marx Brother old classic films. He actually said, “I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep,” he reported. “When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval.”
Like crying over spilled milk! You can’t put it back in the glass. Well let me see you could try… But it really is better if you just pour another one! Well what if it was your last glass. WELL! Hurry GO get a paper towel and wipe it up, now squeeze the milk back into your glass! Ha! Ha! Ha! We can not undo what has been done! But we can always TRY AGAIN!
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say again: REJOICE! Let your gentleness be evident to ALL. The LORD is near. DO NOT be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your request to GOD. And the PEACE of GOD, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in CHRIST JESUS…” Philippians 4.
How much would laughter cost if we really could bottle it up and then pour it in a glass? It really is priceless!
Whenever you or a love one experiences a significant loss, serious illness or death it is normal to experience grief. There are many other types of losses that occur in life that can result in grief as well. Recovery issues, divorce, financial, relocation, career change, natural disasters as well as a miscarriage or abortion can all trigger one to experience a degree of grief. The initial reaction to any of the above is usually shock accompanied by a feeling of numbness. Grief can often result in one feeling a deep sense of hopelessness and or abandonment. It is also possible to ask “why me?” Anger and resentment may result in feelings of ambivalence. Initially the above symptoms are natural. The passing of time is a partial salve that can and will eventually anesthetize your deep pain.
If you are a Christian, finding solace in God’s Word during grief is a great resource to help you maneuver through a plethora of emotions. It is during grief you can actually learn to embrace God’s spiritual comfort. The deep void that one experiences during grief is often unexplainable. So if you don’t feel like talking try spending some time with God. As you truly and earnestly seek God who is the ultimate “Comforter” you can experience His abiding presence. If you are a believer you should know that God’s Word is true . Not some of it but all of it. His promise to “never leave us nor forsake us” must be faithfully embraced in your hour of need.
Grieving is an emotionally painful process. Allowing the one that is grieving to talk freely about how they are feeling is healthy and consoling. Many become depressed and can have a deep sense of guilt. There are two types of guilt; normal and neurotic guilt. Neurotic guilt is based on unrealistic expectations or situations. Helping the one that is grieving to face the reality of loss is helpful. It is healthy to allow them the freedom to talk about their love one. Enabling is never healthy. Allowing them to work through their emotions by being active is a good thing. Taking a walk, run or jogging may even be relaxing and release some inner tension. During an opportune moment try telling them a humorous story or a funny joke can help lift their spirit momentarily. Encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Helping them to freely express their feelings and concerns are healthy. Remember everyone is different. Just because you do not see them crying does not mean they are not grieving. Some people elect to privately grieve. Some time just doing nothing is good. A good friend will be patient, sensitive, caring and compassionate and understanding at this time. Just knowing you are there for them can be a great sense of comfort.
During the holidays when there are many festive celebrations this can also be a reminder to many of their time of loss. After the holidays pass and all the seasonal excitement has dissipated there may be a resurgence of grief. This too is a natural response. Again try to allow yourself to think of some of the happier times you shared together. Depression and sickness can be spawned in the midst of grief. Emotional pain when not dealt with properly can trigger physical illness. Where, what and whom you focus on will make a world of difference. In spite of all the painful things that can happen or has happened in life, there is always something good to think about. God still has you here for a purpose. Some days you might have to take it a moment at a time. Again, please allow yourself to think about some of the cheerful experiences you shared with your love ones. God tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything.Suffering is a part of life. Just think if we did not know sorrow how would we know joy?
Your love one is really in a much better place. They have actually transcended suffering. When you focus on God you can have joy in the midst of your grieving. This is why it is so important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. God does not take pleasure in seeing us suffer. Grief and sorrow are a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. When they disobeyed they chose sin and grief as a way of life for mankind. This is why it is important to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Because of His death and resurrection we now have direct access to the Father. God’s joy is not contingent on the approval of others or on our situation. Joy runs deep when you know that God is your source of strength. Joy is a by product of focusing on God which will give you a peaceful sense of well-being. When you spend time daily in prayer, praising and studying God’s Word I guarantee you, you will experience great joy! It will give you a different perspective in your time of need.
The Apostle Paul endured many adversities. Yet he chose to use those adversities to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. God’s grace was fully sufficient for Paul. Paul grasped something that few people ever really understand or attain. Paul delighted and found joy in the Lord regardless of what was going on about him. From an outward appearance this was not always apparent to his onlookers. Paul and Silas together sang and prayed so fervently that even the doors to prison were opened for them. This is one of the many examples of the difference God makes in our life. God’s presence and comfort is available. Believing, knowing and applying God’s Word will transform your mind to think spiritually when faced with grief or any trial or situation that comes into your life. Now this does not mean being in denial, quite the contrary. Knowing the Truth is so very powerful. Man looks on the outside. God looks at the heart. According to God’s Word spiritual things can not be understood by the natural or carnal man. Seeking the Truth brings Light into our lives. Allow God’s Light to shine in your heart, mind and soul in the midst of grief. Let Him direct and comfort you. God’s Word will be a Light unto your path.
God’s Word says; “Now this I say, brethren that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has out on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory…” Revelation 15: 50-55. When a believer dies he/she goes to heaven. As a believer death is not to be feared. Romans tell us there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of God, not even death. God is awesome!
We will never fully understand many things. There are many world wide tragedies about us. God said that before the end of time many will be deceived and believe a lie. That many would take pleasure in unrighteousness. The Scriptures are being fulfilled. Many are grieving the loss of love ones daily due to death, suicide, violence, crime, war, hurricanes, floods and the latest furious Tsunami. Thousands have died. Just imagine what the original flood was like. God is speaking. Keep in mind we know through God’s Word that the end of time as we know it will not be via water. God sets the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His promise. We also know that God is fully aware of everything that happens. God has promised that He would always be with us. Knowing and focusing on God during your grief or any other difficult situation you may be going through will result favorably. This does not mean you will not be hurt, saddened or feel abandoned. It is how you feel that let’s you know you are alive. God already knows our hearts. Begin to partake in His spiritual fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit are accessible. Self control will help you not to be controlled by your thinking, despair or feelings. God’s Word tells us we can even be angry yet not sin. We must yearn to yield to God’s way of reacting and responding. Every Word of God is true . One must only learn how to use and properly apply it wisely. Wisdom comes from God. We have the victory even in death. How is that? Jesus has overcome. Begin thinking and looking from a spiritual perspective. God’s children are the “apple of His eye.” God loved us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to die for us. God is so much more than our little finite minds can imagine. God wants to walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death.
Nothing happens in any of our lives and in the world that gets by God. God our Father and Creator always has everything under His control. Carefully read the story of Job. This is why it is so very important to accept “Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!” Jesus is the only door to heaven. God’s Word tells us that there is no other name by which you can be saved. You must accept Jesus into your heart if you plan to spend eternity with God. Living out His Word daily will give you the strength to go through this valley of the shadow of death. It is the duty of man to “fear God and keep His commandments.” Life here on earth is just a mere passage way to our soul’s eternal resting place. When your heart is heavy try singing, praying, praising and or giving thanks to God. This will also help you to focus on Him instead of your grief or situation at hand. Your security and significance must rely in God. We never know what each day may bring. Living for God is not just a Sunday thing. It is a lifestyle. Salvation is truly God’s wonderful plan for us. It secures our heavenly residence and can give us hope in the midst of grief, persecution and longsuffering. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, but beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Thessalonians 2: 13-14. This is why His Word says in everything give thanks!
I recently attended a “Marvelous” poetry reading! The Library in Lincoln sponsored a “VOICES OF LINCOLN POETRY CONTEST!” It is an annual affair! There was a very good mixture of poems from a plethora of categories. There were poems about mysteries, to make you laugh, about people in the news, about relationships and poems to make you think? There were poets of all ages from (10) ten to (90) ninety. There is something special when all ages, cultures and colors are able to come together and share…
It was a beautiful afternoon and truly a delightful treat!
I want to share with you one poem in particular! Sharing this means a lot to me because;This poem was written by my grandson; Julian M. Ogans II. Writing is becoming a growing passion for him. I/we are so very proud of him and believe that he is on the right road to discovering his life purpose(s)… He is an editor for his school newspaper! Here he writes an ongoing column as well… This poem was selected for the “DREAMS & FANTASIES” category! He was quite encouraged and well received by all ages. Presenting…
The Journey Of Life By Julian M. Ogans II
I hike my way up the mountain of self-confidence
Fighting through the bitter cold blizzards of brutal honesty
Wondering what awaits at the top
But very quickly do I lose sight of the trail and fall down into the river of disappointment
The water reflecting nothing more than my past sins
I slowly drift into a cavern of darkness
The pitch black enveloping me in a dark cloth
Suffocating me with the toxic smell of failure
Whispers from my past slowly invade my mind
Growing louder and louder echoing inside my head
A ray of hope cut through the darkness
But it didn’t reach me
For a dark hand pulled me under the water
And drowned me in self pity
I open my mouth to scream, but the black water rushed down my throat
Choking me with all my fears
I gave into my self pity and allowed it to pull me into its deep dark depths where all my broken dreams lie
Each one shattered into a thousand pieces
The gravity of my self-doubt pushed me further down towards the bottom
While carnivorous nightmares ate away at my body and feasted on all emotions
They tore away my eyes, preventing me from seeing any sign of hope
Ripped away my ears, stopping me from hearing words of encouragement
And cut out my tongue so that I couldn’t scream for help
Little did I realize that not all of my forgotten dreams were broken
Blind, deaf, and muted to the world I grab on to one fragile dream
And use the one weapon that no man, monster, or rushing water can’t take away
My hands began to grow warm as the dream came to life and sent confidence shooting through my veins
I felt the water rise and part as it shot up in the air
Breaking a hole in the ceiling of the depressing cave
I felt a brilliant ray of hope come down from the sky
Restoring my vision, hearing and my voice!
I rose up from the ground and entered a valley of happiness
Where dreams grow on colossal trees of endless imagination
However, my days here are numbered in this land of prosperity
For I am just one soul, embarking on the journey of life!!
*His poem won first place in the Young Poets division!
Keeping The Lines of Communication Open
Do you have TEENS?
Living in this audacious, adventurous 21st century with all its technological advances has its advantages. You can keep the lines of communication open or stay in constant contact with anyone at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. You can call, talk, track or text message when you have the right, GPS system, computer, cell phone, I pod, television, blue tooth ear piece, Nintendo DSI, mobile devices or some other…
How often do you get a text?
On the other hand it is hard for some to just “be” in the moment, because they are always texting and calling someone else while in your presence. Their attention is divided between you and somewhere or some else? The quality of time spent is usually minimized. They have a hard time just being in the moment or giving their undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”. Having the capability to be accessible is great. But I believe it is really getting out of hand. Perhaps there should be some “rules of etiquette ” honored and accountability exercised when alone or while in public or in the presence of others? And what about the teens?
Reina Hardesty is a 13 year young teen, from Southern California, who is an amazing, creative, prolific texter. How she ever managed to get anything else done? She actually sent approximately 500 texts daily that totaled 14,528 text in one month. It is a good thing that her father had unlimited texting plan. Otherwise, at 20 cents per text his bill would have been somewhere around a whopping $2,905 !!! After this her parents set some boundaries “no texting after dinner”.
I wonder what this does as far as their overall health is concerned? How much healthy sleep can one get? How much time for homework or anything else for that matter? Is texting addicting? At what point is it considered so…
Wait there’s more! Emilee Cox, another witty, vivacious, energetic, teen texter who is 14 years young, has smashed Reina’s record. At 74 text per each hour she was awake, she texted over 35,000 text in one month. She also manages to get good grades.
Miley Cyrus who is a popular teen idol, favorite hobby is going shopping. She really likes Chinese Food and watching “High School Musical with her sisters. But apparently the famous Miiley Cyrus and her older boyfriend were caught texting during Church service. They thought they were being discreet “They were not only busted but…”
It is important that we keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers. Peer pressure is real. There is always something lurking to pull them off track. For emergencies it is fantastic! We should be concerned. They need guidance. The ability to stay in contact is a plus. But here too we also need some “rules of etiquette. ” These 21st century teens have taken texting to a whole new level.
Here are a few more stats,
*Texting of this nature is nothing new. According to a 2008 Nielsen study, teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 “ to an average of 1,742 texts a month.
Sextexting is also becoming a growing trend among teens. Sextexting is when revealing photos or messages are sent across a cell phone. It is actuallly flirting with danger. You do not always know how large or who your audience really is. Teens that are caught could possibly be prosecuted as sex offenders. Unknowingly they send pictures or messages with improper content that once they have been published they cannot be retrieved. it is just not a good idea to get so personal anyway. On many occasions they have sent messages to a friend, who sent it to a friend and that friend sent it to … Right now this is even being pursued by some prosecutors to possibly be considered as “child pornography”. So it is important to have a serious chat with them about being careful in this area. Nothing more than “G” rated texting allowed!
Oprah Winfrey recently dedicated a whole television show to the perils of America’s newest “OBSESSION” = texting while driving! Did you know that when you text or use a cell phone while driving you significantly increase the chances of having an accident? It is the equivalent of having 4 drinks while driving! You are driving with a decreased attention span. It is called “Distracted Driving! “ You are not only putting your life in jeopardy but the lives of many others as well! The show is inclusive of many who have experienced the consequences of someone using a cell phone while driving. The statistics of the many casualties are mesmerizing and alarming!
Ms Winfrey asks that everyone designate their car as a ‘”NO PHONE ZONE!” She goes so far to have a campaign asking you to sign a contract agreeing to do so. The contract is available on her website! During the show one mother is interviewed. Her story; As she approaches her home after a Dr.’s appointment she sees a little girl lying in the streets surrounded by a crowd! She sees a mangled bike… Much to her dismay the distraught mother realizes it is her little girl and the emergency crew are attempting to pull her clothes off ……. The little girl was “15 PEDALS “ FROM HER FRONT DOOR! The driver was on her cell phone! After intensive care in the hospital two days later her beautiful little girl dies…
This is one of many. This show is a must see!!
Texting while driving is also hazardous. No sneaking a text in because no one’s watching. Watch the road! Another big, No! No! We need to be in contact but we also need to give them guidelines. I think that a simple contract might possibly be a viable solution. If they are old enough to have a cell phone they should be responsible enough to make a contract that is reviewed often and renegotiated when or if necessary. Hmmmm possibly limiting their calling by giving them a restricted calling plan? Knowing that you are going to randomly review their messages, Hmmm…This really is to let them know that you care enough to take the time to show that you are concerned and they matter. Of course they won’t see it this way…
In this high tech society it may be hard. But, keeping the lines of communication open is important! Let them know you are there for them and they matter! Give them kudos whenever the opportunity arises. It is crucial and beneficial to make sure that you take the time to spend quality time with them without a television, computer, cell phone, I pod, CD player, blue tooth ear piece or some other distraction… Just maybe they won’t feel the need to take up sextexting?
M = To keep your MIND on Jesus! “The Lord will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on HIM!” Isaiah 26
O = To be OBEDIENT and committed to God and His WORD. “We ought to obey God rather than man” Acts 5
T = To be TRUTHFUL & trustworthy. “God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship HIM in Spirit and Truth.” John 5
H = To be HONEST and honorable and honor God in your heart, life and home. “Strength and Honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Psalm 31
E = To exercise Godliness! “But to refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto Godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little… I Timothy 4
R = To know you have been declared RIGHTEOUS and are a member of the royal priesthood of God! “But ye are a chosen generation a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into the marvelous LIGHT!” 1 Peter 2
To GOD Be The GLORY!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, life coach and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do,” and “Holy Matrimony: Now That You’re Married”.
DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches “Beyond The Walls”. There are times when we all need some encouragement in our walk with the Lord. The Counseling Ministry was designed to encourage, motivate and uplift you in your journey. The Music Ministry produces and records music for every musical taste: Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Praise & Worship, Instrumental Gospel/Jazz, and Easy Listening.
Now that I am over fifty I can really look at things through my Mother’s eyes. My compassion has grown. It is such a gorgeous day. I know Mom would have loved the brilliant sunshine and stunning blue skies. Today we took her some beautiful flowers. My Mom always loved fresh flowers, she will always be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. She will always and forever be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. I can look back and be thankful of the times I spent with her.
In her later years my Mom gradually began to say what I now call a “slow goodbye”.
My Mother was a very strong willed woman. I was her only daughter among my many brothers. I will always remember how she reminded me that she prayed that the Lord would give her a daughter. It was actually just abreast a few months of her forth decade in life that I was born.
I believe that by this time she had a pretty good handle on being a parent since I was her ninth child and as I said before her first and only daughter.
My Father labored many hours away from home providing for our family. My Mother adorned me with all the girly trimmings for as long as I can remember. Frilly Priscilla curtains festooned my bedroom windows along with my white high standing white wrought iron bed. I think I wore pink nylon and organza dresses with embroidered flowers with matching bloomers and pink satin ribbons to adorn my hair seems like forever to Church. Let’s not forget to mention how I had to stay up while she pinned curled my hair with bobby pins on Saturdays for curls on Sunday. This was almost until I was thirteen years old. I eventually was able to turn in my white socks for cinnamon colored stockings.
My Mother was born in the early 1900’s and that was the thing to do way back then for a girl child. I was especially elated that she spent many hours laboring at her much ravished Singer Sewing machine fabricating me a plethora of uniquely designed everyday dresses. When school started there was one for each day of the week. She even made me a red plaid Dr. Kildare dress. I can remember her up and about sewing more nights than I remember her sleeping and resting. I now realize the many sacrifices she made for me. Coming from such humble beginnings makes you really appreciate the preciousness of time.
I have learned that time in fact, is really a precious priceless gift.
Years later on another occasion I can remember the day my husband asked her if he could marry me. Since we were so young I was a bit queasy as to how she would respond. He had graduated early from high school at sixteen. So I had chosen not to be present. My Mother was in her late 20’s when she married. Here I was a mere 17. I could only wonder what she would say. She had planned that I go on a college tour and………. But whatever my then, husband to be said to her, he won her over, from that moment on. It was at that time that they bonded. He became another son to her. We were engaged for one year. When our very own daughter was born she adorned her with the same delicately made pink embroidered dresses.
Each time one of my children were born (we had four more sons) she came to our home for an extended visit. We spent many nights just enjoying the company of one another. I always appreciated the way she respected and loved our children and my husband. I knew somewhat, but it was not really until her “Home going” celebration that I realized just how special her relationship was with my husband. My husband paid a tribute to her by playing one of her favorite hymns “His Eye Is On The Sparrow>” . It was at that moment he shared with the many guests that were present, that in over thirty years there had never been a cross word between them. I don’t know many son-in–laws that can say that! These are just a few of the many memories that I cherish to this day. There are so many many more.
Little did I know until much later on in life how those memories would get me through the changes, challenges and transitions that her life encountered. Age has a way of creeping up on you. It gradually robbed her of all her much adored independence, gifts, talents and strength that she profusely exuded. My Mom was always a strong figure in my life. I always felt as a child that she was so stern. This of course is understandable since I was her one and only daughter. She was a very intelligent an educated woman. She was well respected by her academic colleagues. It was when I was in Jr. High that she entered into teaching. She wore many hats as a wife, Mother, teacher and actively took on many roles and a list of responsibilities at her place of worship. She was an advisor and confidant to many pastors. Let’s not forget her excellence as a seamstress, gourmet cooking skills and passion for gardening!
I said all of this to give you a poignant illustration of what was. … I can remember her telling me how she was beginning to feel strange in this body of hers. That that person looking back at her in the mirror was beginning to be quite interesting. How her body just would not do the simple tasks as she wanted. After she retired and well into my adult years she continued to sew, cook and garden. But slowly and surely her strong physical stature begins to slightly so ever bow. I would drive up and spend the day with her often. I can remember her equilibrium suddenly changing and her many falls. Osteoporosis gradually began to take its toll on her ever shrinking frame. Her once tall and grand stance resembling a much shorter humbled bowing position. The many bruises on her arms and head. But thank God no fractures or broken bones! She would jokingly say her hard head now came in handy. But she remained determined. I can remember the garage door falling on her. I asked her “What were you thinking of? You don’t’ even drive!” Here our roles begin to reverse.
My Mom loved to write and faithfully would journal her daily thoughts and dissipating activities. Her memory filled cherished journals and her Elementary Primers are my most treasured remnants. It was in her journals I have her recorded memories of her much expressed LOVE for me, her long gone sister, brothers and parents. Who all went before her, of her many friends and acquaintances, my brothers and especially her loving relationship with me, my husband and our children.
My Mom as I said was articulate and had no problem expressing herself. in anyway. She could even discuss the sports statistics with my husband; as well as discuss God’s Word or any current or past News topic. Her home cluttered with memorabilia and a library of books along with an assortment of various nursery foliage inside and out. As time began to take its toll she asked me in a very cognizant moment to promise to allow her to stay in her own home until the Lord called her home. She did not want to loose that part of her independence. Her home was a place for any and all to come to and enjoy her wonderful cooking and company. I lived an hour away so she would come for weeks and stay and visit with my family. But no matter how much she enjoyed herself “there was no place like home“. My mother never learned to drive therefore she had to be chauffeured and transported. I spent many hours up and down the freeway taking her to the Dr, shopping and to run errands. I had a brother who lived right around the corner from her and one that actually lived with her. But since I was her only daughter that would not do. At times it was okay. I did not mind because that was time I looked forward to spending with her.
As time passed her health began to decline. Her physical condition began to deteriorate to the place that she sometimes lost control of her bodily liquids. Rendering the necessity of subscribing to adult disposable undergarments. This is what happens often when one reaches their later silver years, especially so after having bore eleven children. My adult son who lived fifteen minutes away would frequently drop off a supply for me from Costco and visit with her. He would also give me an update on her condition.
Gradually Mom had succumb to cocooning and not venturing outdoors much. Her many falls finally made her yield to a cane. I can remember taking her to the Dr. for therapy so they could assist and teach her how to use a much dreaded walker. They stressed how she should try to walk uprightly as much as posssible. I can still remember the day when I was taking her to the car and she suddenly began to fall. I immediately lowered myself under her to brace her impact with the driveway. It was then I knew that there would have to be more changes. Her eyesight began to dim and arthritis began to painfully embrace her hands. Then there was her eye surgery, and……. Sewing and needle work gradually had to be set aside. I can see in her journals the gradual shift in her once brilliant almost flawless penmanship. I can see etched on the pages fragments of broken words painfully scribed and thoughts left arrested in mid air.
After her series of mini strokes her posture changed again along with her hymn singing and speaking. Her voice used for the many altar prayers now quieted, and her singing voice now only emitting a brittle scratchy throaty noise. The walker now obsolete and the need for a much needed yet regretted wheelchair. Along with a shower and bath chair and all the other paraphernalia that are needed when one cannot easily attend to all of the personal hygiene necessities. I purchased a padded desk lap pad to try encouraging arts and simple crafts, along with a mini water fall to solicit a tranquil environment, with soft soothing music in the background. Her living room now begins to shift from her antique furniture to a padded sofa for her to look out the window at her once lovingly attended garden. Her bed room now housed a hospital bed that she just could not get used to, her physical position gradually shifting from flowered bed linen. Life and her many once enjoyed pastimes became a thing of the past. Her once strong frame. Only a mere silhouette and her limbs delicately extended on her now almost immobile body. Although often a somewhat slight questioning frown.
She would light up whenever I saw her. No longer was she able to call or I call and talk to her on the telephone. This is when her slow good bye became a reality.
Must my Mother come live with me? The doctors are now giving up on her she is now in her upper eighties. I can remember how impressed they were with her intelligence she could sail through all of their mental tests. She would tell them her name the date and current news. How many children she had and where she was; then names all the presidents of the United States. But now gradually the signs of Alzheimer’s had begun to replace her many cherished memories. The Drs. now recommended that she be placed in a home. My live in brother now getting more and more frustrated. Which was really his warranted fears seeing our Mom gradually disappearing. The visits now fewer by her many friends. She can no longer attend her much loved worship services. She no longer enjoyed the walks around the block as I pushed her in her wheel chair. So she was kept inside gradually becoming a prisoner in her much loved abode. All besides her family who knew her were able to remember her as she was. Although there were a few who could see that this once articulate poised woman was beginning to wear like a fine fabric. Her appetite had begun to diminish significantly as well. I got her a nifty bed table to straddle her lap. We would prop her up with pillows on each side. There were times when she just wouldn’t eat without assistance. How ironic after all those years of serving others. So it became a challenge to see what would suit her palette. Well we will just have to feed her. Yes again the Dr.’s have now given up hope.
But yet Mom is still holding on. She has really begun to say her slow goodbye.
I, along with much anxiety and ambivalence begin to go and look for a care home for Mom at my many brothers insistence. One closer to me so I could see her daily. I now know that some care homes are just dreadful. Some are seemingly peaceful on the surface. But I knew within moving her would only hasten her good bye. Her once strong voice was echoing in the corridors of my mind “There is no place like home.” I reluctantly wrote the much dreaded family letter to inform all of my brothers that this is where we are. What do we do? They have wanted me to put her in a home for sometime. A few had ideas but none came to fruition of course. My live in brother now hesitantly took care of her household finances. Since he never married or had children he opted to vacate his varied career. Therefore Mom was his occupation. He could do as he pleased and Mom had a family member there in the evenings. Whatever else she needed I would try to accommodate. He would always call me and let me know her status when I was away. Sometime it worked and sometime it didn’t. So what do you do? I just wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.
Now again it is time to make more changes? My brother does not one someone in the house full time. What do I do? I am not able to care for her in our home. The Dr. says her care could run into the thousands and and …………… So what do I do? Mom must have known that that was one decision that I just could not make or did not want to make for her. That was one decision that I know she made with the Lord. So it was in her sleep, in her home late that night in January when my brother called and said; “Mom is gone.” I’m like, “gone where?” I suddenly remembered one day when she wanted to go back home.
She pointed out her window and told me she wanted to go home. “Mom you are home.” She wanted to see her “Papa.”
I took out a huge atlas I had purchased for her and showed her she was in California at home and Arkansas was very far away. She just looked away. Then it dawned on me. “Mom’s gone” my brother said again. I knew that Mom had starting leaving a little bit at a time. She was just trying to give everyone a chance to adjust. I knew now that she had made the transition. She had gone on to be with the Lord and all of her other relatives that she had been missing. She had slept away at home peacefully; just like she wanted. Now she was at rest with the Lord.
My Mom had finally said Good bye……..
There are many issues around taking care of an elderly parent or parents. Who does what and when? Just enjoy them as much as you can while they are here. Try and let them make their own decisions for as long as they can responsibly do so. Treat them with respect and dignity although they become childlike. In the last days of course you will have some regrets? If you patiently treat them the way you would want to be treated you will have peace knowing that you did all you could do to make them comfortable. Remember you never know how your latter days will be? But they will and can be overshadowed by the many many cherished memories! And yes of course you will always miss them. So shower them with LOVE while they are still on this side of HEAVEN!
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. God has promised to direct our paths when we put our trust in Him. We must learn to responsibly take responsibility.
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. The sincere efforts of a Christian therapist although well meaning may be often misconstrue d 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. The truth really will set you free!