Tuesday, October 17, 2017

16 Things Teens Need to Remember About Their Moms and Dads

I have talked to several moms {and teens as well!} lately...and I just want to encourage any of you - sweet teens as well as parents of the sweet ones -

Teenage "rebellion" isn't a given for the teen years!  That is a "lie" that the world system has created to justify its attempts to influence you away from your parents' sound teaching...

Yes, teens, you need to grow into responsibility and independence and sometimes parents don't 'let go' when they could/should, but try to remember that they are the same people who:
  1. have loved you since you were tiny
  2. guided you through all the bumps and scrapes of the elementary years,
  3. stayed with you when you were afraid at night,
  4. held you and comforted you when you were sick,
  5. answered all the questions about fairies and why that person was being mean today and that big one "what is sex, REALLY?"
  6. drilled spelling words and math facts
  7. worried when you went in a car with another friend's family
  8. prayed for your pet goldfish to come back to life
  9. stayed up till 3 a.m. to finish a costume {or even just last year to put the finishing touches on that perfect dress for your formal}
  10. hates 'butting heads' with you, but loves you enough to be firm with you
  11. prays for you to become the person God created you to be
  12. loves you through each mistake you have made and will make
  13. has loved you every moment of your life and will continue to love you into eternity...
  14. is fiercely protective over you every moment of every day...
  15. in the middle of their own flaws, desperately do their best to give you the character, skills, and opportunities needed to succeed
  16. would give their lives for you a thousand times over.

Teens, the world system WILL NOT give you this kind of love and relationship, and when your parents resist 'the world's' lies that pull on your soul and spirit, it is because they have seen that side of the world, and know it will hurt you and destroy you - if not soon, eventually...

Know I am praying for you, moms, and you, teens, for the fullness of God's hope, love and life to be poured out upon you tonight!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Healing is the Very Heart of God!

I was already in college, pursuing my counseling degree, when Joyce Meyers talked about "Inner Healing" on her radio show. "He [God] wants to heal you," she said. "After all, He is living in your heart where all this is." She shared three scriptures that to her were foundational to her understanding. I took notes in my journal.

Today, I cannot find that page (or even that journal!), but I do remember these two passages that she used:
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
 Isaiah 42:3

In this 2nd verse, the author is using metaphors to convey the idea is that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is very gentle, knowledgeable, and kind when it comes to our brokenness or mess ups.

“A bruised reed” is a reference to the reeds that were used to make musical instruments…a kind of flute or pipe. If a reed was bruised, it wasn’t chosen, or if it was bruised during the holes being drilled, it was worthless and only good to be thrown away…often being broken in two and tossed away because it was now useless for anything. 

 The "smoldering wick" is sort of self-explanatory – if a light – candle or lamp – is flickering and in danger of going out, He doesn’t just go ahead and help it go out…He helps fan the spark into a full flame.

So often, a person may feel that places that are already bruised, broken or smoldering are being crushed further…

The image of God that you carry within determines if you believe He will help you or destroy you.

The Bible is clear - God loves us:
And Paul, the writer of Romans, further explains:
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns?No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-39 (NIV)

 There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God!

Healing is at the very heart of God. "I am the lord, who heals you" (Ex. 15:26). The healing theme runs throughout the meta narrative of the Bible: Creation to Fall to redemption to consummation. Every stage involves healing, restoration, reconciliation, and transformation of God's people in spirit, soul (mind, will, emotion), and body through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Christianity Today)

It is my hope that you know, without a shadow of doubt, that God's will is to heal you, to bring you to wholeness, to show you tenderness and love while you are on this journey, and that confidence and trust in His care for you will grow and flourish in your heart.

Till next time...

Friday, June 30, 2017

20 Types of Thoughts That Indicate a Need for Inner Healing

Are any of these thoughts showing up in your mind lately?

1. Why am I still experiencing panic attacks and anxiety? I have committed myself to God...

2. Why is it that the promises of Scripture don’t seem to apply to me?

3. Why does my life hurt, and why can’t I seem to hear God in the midst of it?

4. Why does it feel like my prayers are just hitting the ceiling?

5. Do I not have enough faith because I have a mental health diagnosis?

6. Is God is disappointed in me, even though He loves me?

7. Why don’t I feel the peace God promises when I love Him so passionately?

8. How come I still seem to have trouble in my relationships even though I have put my difficult past behind me?

9. My abuse was so severe, and I am told to “forgive and forget”.  How can I do that?  And, if the truth be told, I don’t want to do that!

10. What does it really mean, to forgive?

11. I am angry, does that mean I haven’t forgiven?

12. What does it mean to be created in God’s image?

13. If God is the source of unconditional love, why can I not read the Bible with anything but judgment and condemnation?

14. I can't get rid of these "Negative" feelings! (anger, sadness, feeling rejected, low self-worth, depression, anxiety, worry, suicidal thinking, etc.)

15.  Where are these strange intrusive thoughts coming from?

16.  God must be mad at me; no matter how much I pray or get prayed for, I still cannot _______.   (you fill in the blank)

17. Why do I have the same recurring dreams/nightmares?

18.  Prayer just doesn't work for me; I never feel like anything changes.

19.  Is my depression really just a lack of faith?

20.  If I'm not perfect, or my family isn't perfect, people (and God) will be disappointed in me.

Some people call these types of thoughts dysfunctional, some call them the lies we believe, some call them, somewhat hopelessly, 'This is just the way I am'.  No matter what you call them, know that you are NOT alone!  Everyone has had these thoughts - if you know they are causing you inner turmoil, this is the time to do some probing into where they are coming from...

These thoughts are common among God's people, whether they are still struggling within the church, or have given up seeking answers within the context of a spiritual community.  Perhaps there is trauma or abuse in their past.  Perhaps they grew up in a family that was in the throes of addiction.  Perhaps they simple had a sensitive heart, a child's perception of life, and no one noticed a heart receding and cloaking itself to avoid emotional pain.  

These thoughts reflect places in the soul that don't fully comprehend the truth of God, His all encompassing, unconditional love, His embracing of us in the midst of flaws as well as so called strengths.  There is nothing hidden before His eyes, and He desires to lead us into a complete understanding of His ways.  

These thoughts can be changed!  The foundational premise of all inner healing is that "God desires truth in the inward parts:
 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
 And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
                 Psalm 51:6
What a beautiful promise!  He will make me know His wisdom in my hidden parts - those parts/thoughts that don't know His ways yet, where these thoughts flow from!  He is already at work, but He waits for us to join Him in order that we can learn and apply the wisdom He is imparting...

And learning how to join with Him, to discern His wisdom and truth as well as the faulty beliefs driving those troubling thoughts, is what this blog is all about. 

And if you want to check out some "next steps" you can find some helpful prompts at my "Paths of Healing" tab in the navigation bar!  Or just click here...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Prayer for the Night Watches {#1}


I love how Your day begins in the evening, as we slow and enter our time of rest. It is in these moments that You wait for us, speak tenderly to us and guide us towards Your heart...our cares, our wounds, our strivings and our dreams all come forward in our hearts and minds, and we can lay them down at Your feet, let them go...release them into Your open hands.

I lay my cares and concerns, dreams and goals, weaknesses and strengths at Your feet. Refine them, purify me. Heal, sift and mold my heart, and let all that You desire infuse me...

Let these Night Watches pass in peaceful contentment as I release myself into Your embrace...


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Pass the Peace With the Serenity Prayer

Our social media feeds can be places of encouragement or places of protest, divisiveness, and stress. Several of my friends have "signed off" of their social media accounts as a result of comment wars and fiery posts - yes, mostly over politics!

Then at Bible Study Thursday night, "The Serenity Prayer" was mentioned...and I thought it was a good reminder for all of us right now...please share and fill your social media with a beautiful and positive note...

If you would like a print, you can head over to my shop - here is a direct link

Let the simple petition of the “Serenity Prayer” be a gentle encouragement in your home – a reminder to focus on the attributes of serenity, courage, and wisdom no matter what is happening in your life or in the world!

11 x 14 print for $15.00!