How Important Is Discipline In Your Daily Life ?

December 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Archives

Webster defines discipline as a training that corrects. It molds and perfects the mental faculties and moral character. A control gained by enforcing obedience or order. Orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. To discipline means to train or develop by instruction and exercise; especially in the area of self control.The development of discipline is essential to our overall personal growth and spiritual maturity. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control.

Due to Adam’s sin mankind has inherited a sin-based nature. The appetite to fulfill the desires of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh is quite often first and foremost. The appetite of each individual varies. Your desire could be overeating or under-eating, alcohol, drugs, immoral sexual behavior, lying, envy, idolatry, covetousness, etc. In order to overcome this proclivity towards sin one must continually learn to surrender their yearnings toward self-gratification.

How can we accomplish this? To the believer deliverance from an undisciplined lifestyle is quite attainable. Paul tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:19. The key factor in that verse is the strength has to come from the LORD.

God is quite aware of our shortcomings. Our shortcomings are what alerts us to the fact we need something other than ourselves to overcome our human frailties. God has created us for the purpose of fellowship. We must continuously develop a life in accordance with the instructions He has left in His WORD. The first step to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth and the life: NO man cometh unto the FATHER but by me.” John 14:6. There is no other way to GOD.

Our perspective on life greatly affects how we deal with certain situations. Envision with me if you please a house. Everyday you would pass by this house. After a while you become very familiar with it’s exterior. You then begin to even make assumptions about the house. You eventually come to admire it for it’s surface beauty, but only from an exterior point of view. You’ve seen the front door day after day but you have never stopped and taken the time to knock at the door. You are aware of where the house is; you even think you have a general idea of what it’s like inside. But do you really?

Quite often we develop the same type of relationship with God. We know where His instructions for daily life are found. We have access to the Bible. But how often do we really devote time to actually seek His spiritual direction for our day to day living? We must go beyond the exterior and delve into the WORD and embrace His principles and apply them to our lives consistently. When we embrace His principles we embark upon a life of freedom. This freedom will free you from the appetites of the flesh and the clutches of the world. When you develop an intimate relationship with Him He begins to fill that deep endless void THAT ONLY HE CAN FILL.The Christian life is not an unattainable idealistic lifestyle. When we begin to walk in the Spirit we can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh.

Christians are to live lives that are dependent on God. It is through this spiritual dependency the strongholds that satan has on your life will begin to dissipate. This spiritual walk includes a life of discipline. Remember it is through discipline we are able to harness and control the lusts of the flesh I mentioned earlier. Christ lived, suffered, died and arose from the dead for a reason. He sacrificed His life to redeem us from the curse and endowment of Adam’s sin. It is by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we can overcome and partake in the victorious life he has prepared for those that truly love Him. “Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world.” The scripture is not just for memorization to impress others. It is an edible delicacy that will nourish your spirituality and quench your unquenchable thirst as you truly embrace and live out it’s intended principles.

We must seek and learn to discipline our life to His standards. We must begin to relinquish the desire for man’s approval and conditional acceptance. We can never please man. I must warn you! The closer you draw to GOD the less man will understand you. You will be persecuted and greatly misunderstood. Guess what ? So was Jesus! He was maligned and accused of many things by those who should have known better. It was those who were thought to be spiritual that treated Him exceedingly wrong.

Man looks from the outside in; this is the opposite of God’s perspective. He looks from the inside out. He knows all about you. Your innermost thoughts and desires are fully known by Him. The key to a peaceful and contented life filled with true JOY is available. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness (appetites of the flesh) we lie, and do not tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.” How important is discipline? It is very important!

The Journey of Life – A Promising Writer and Poet

February 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Home & Family, Teen Culture

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 faith
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!

BRAVO!!!

How To Overcome Bitterness – WHAT’s EATING YOU?

Apple tree

WHAT’S EATING YOU?

Is there something that is bothering you? Something that you can’t talk about? Has someone hurt you that you can’t forgive? Have someone said something to you that you can’t shake loose? Has someone taken something away from you; or wronged you in some way? Do you crave acceptance? Do you feel rejected? Are you, impatient, frustrated, fed up, and just plain angry? Does the slightest little thing set you off? What’s eating you? Whatever the case don’t let it continue to hold you a prisoner. If you don’t do something about it, you will only allow the seed of bitterness to become rooted and develop deep within. Slowly but surely it will cultivate and grow! Think for a moment the chances are great that whoever has wronged you has probably moved on and not even given the matter a second thought. However you are stuck.

Each time you dwell on whatever it is without letting go, it grows. The longer you hold on to it, it will slowly but surely begin to eat you from the inside out. Unattended it will cause you to become depressed, physically ill, have much anxiety, panic attacks or migraine headaches! The end of possibilities goes on… When you allow whatever it is that is bothering you to grow, fester and internally aggravate you, it will eventually make you bitter. It will continue to impact you, your marriage, your friendships as well as your working relationships. What’s eating you? Although you have tucked it away for no one to see. Pushed it to the back of your mind only to silently gnaw away at your joy. As each year passes it is still there. The bitterness surfacing from time to time like a virus. The slightest little thing will trigger it. Someone will be able to push your button like pushing a remote control and set you off! You in turn loose control and react.

 Did you know how the worm gets into the apple? Did you think it gets in from the outside in? Well it doesn’t! It has scientifically been proven. What happens is an insect actually lays an egg on the apple’s blossom. At some point the egg then hatches within the apple. As it grows, it eat eats away the apple and burrows its way to the outside! When you allow bitterness to nest, it like the worm begins to grow and erode the fiber of your being; it will eat away your happiness and inside it will grow and tunnel its way out and manifest itself as sin!

TRULY GOD IS GOOD!

How do you stop what’s eating you from eating away at the core of your being? Periodically take a personal inventory. First keep in mind you cannot undo what has been done! Allow whatever has been sitting in the warehouse of your mind, to come to the forefront. As anything resurfaces hold it up to the Light of God’s Word! Meditate on the Word of God it is a Library of Wisdom. By the way you can read all day long but if you don’t implement it, then its just mere words. Ask the Lord to help you and open up your understanding. Begin to acknowledge any ill will or bad feelings you are having. Move towards letting go of the pain by; forgiving the offense, the offender, and forgiving the deed. By the way forgiving does not mean forgetting unless you have amnesia. It does mean that you give up the resentment. Resentment means to feel the pain of the action over and over again. When you hold on to the resentment it too turns to bitterness, that only continues to further hurt you. You must surrender your right to get even. Allowing any anger to slowly come to the surface helps you gain self control, you can then rise above it.

GOD REALLY WANTS YOU TO BE HAPPY!

By letting go of what’s eating you, you begin to strengthen and discipline yourself from continuing to let it hurt you, now you are beginning to move towards healing. Confess and admit it. Your feelings need to be validated. Accept responsibility for whatever it is by acknowledging it for whatever it is. Check yourself. Police yourself. When you find yourself going in the wrong direction or acting out in a way that is not right, don’t allow pride keep you in bondage. God does have a purpose and a path for your life. Now allow yourself to be put on the potter’s wheel to mold you and shape you into a usable “vessel of honor” for His Glory. God really does have a better way. The Word of God is so powerful! You can be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

YOU REALLY CAN BE HAPPY IT’S YOUR CHOICE!

 

Once you admit that life is difficult it becomes easier. Sin is pervasive and has taken root in this world we live. So many things have become greatly impacted. This only further nurtures any bitterness you are harboring. Don’t be deceived! Yes! Anything goes. Acceptance often becoming an Enabler; Tolerance often has been labeled Unconditional Love. TRUTH more and more has been pushed to the background. The LOVE of GOD misconstrued. Lord Help Us! Sin is anything that separates you from God. Like the worm in the apple sin begins to grow and works its way out.

All too often only part of the truth is told to receive sympathy or to be accepted. Some will literally help you to death. It is sad that many do not seek to really want to resolve inner or outer conflict. But seek a support to justify irresponsibility. It is important to know that this will not to lead to freedom. These last days the Word talks about is now. This is why we have some of everything happening inside and outside of God’s Church.

Jesus said that this would happen. But don’t be alarmed. Praise God, this only further proves His Word is TRUE. You can not really transform your mind apart from the Lord. Remember if you give credit where it is due. Then you know He made the mind. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God’s Word can renew and wash your mind when you sincerely embrace His principles and hold them dear to your heart.

What’s eating You? Do you want to experience the transforming power of His Word? Believing, knowing and implementing His Word is key. Bitterness, will not be able to stay rooted or if it has it will have to go. Ask the Lord to “Create in you a clean heart and renew the right Spirit within you.” As the Holy Spirit within you is activated it will cleanse you from the inside out. Each day as you invite His infilling PRESENCE within you to fill you, you can become transformed from the inside out!

This is not a manufactured peace that is displayed just for others. It is a genuine inner contentment that is from the Lord. The reassurance of His omnipresence brings much comfort. You are inwardly provoked to be inwardly transformed rather than to outwardly conform.

The Fruit of His Spirit then begins to take root instead. “But the Fruit of HIS SPIRIT is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control!” Your actions, words, thoughts and emotions can be transformed.

It is important that you regularly spend time with the Lord in His Word. Attending Bible Study is a good idea, especially if you don’t regularly spend time on your own in the Word. It is important to know that the Word of God is necessary Spiritual Food for your soul and you need to eat often. It is just or more so important than your regular meals. You should really make a point to daily spend time with the Lord in His Word. His Word is Alive and it imparts life. Don’t just read for quantity but to actually yield a greater spiritual understanding of who the Lord is. You should strive to learn how to embrace and implement what you are learning within your daily life. You will become spiritually strengthened and better able to release any bitterness as you actually digest His Word. God wants to be a part of every area of your life. It is true; “He will never leave nor forsake You!”

Life becomes a marvelous journey when you allow the Lord to lead you. You really can overcome anything with the Lord when you make happiness your choice. “GREATER IS HE that is in you than he that is in the world.” Believe God and His Word! Make happiness your goal. This transformation process is lifelong. But with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior & Lord you have all the time you need. God is everywhere that we are. He has given us His comforter to lead you to ALL TRUTH. He wants you to have a joyful, fulfilling, happy contented God centered life in every way. Always remember; You can call upon the Lord anywhere at anytime, in any and every situation. Worry, less and PRAY more release any bitterness and embrace your happiness!

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!

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