December 12, 2017

We Have Already Won

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So the people shouted, and the trumpets sounded.
When they heard the blast of the trumpet,
the people gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed.
The people advanced into the city, each man straight ahead,
and they captured the city.
Joshua 6:20

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I am in awe of our God and His never-ending blessings.  He loves His children so much and He wants to bless each one of us…and He does.  As children, we are taught to tell the truth at all costs.  And if you have been around little children, you know that this is true. They tell the truth—even if it hurts!  But as we get older, we somehow lose bits and pieces of our honesty. One white lie leads to another and then we get used to our new way of telling the ‘truth.’  But God—He always tells the truth and He always keeps His promises.

Some of His promises are conditional, like “If you will ______ … then I will_____.”  This was the case in the Battle of Jericho (read the account here).  The Lord said, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, and its king and its fighting men.”  Can you imagine what Joshua thought? Maybe something like…”It doesn’t look like mine to me!” as he looked at the wall that he couldn’t get through!  But the Lord’s message was that the victory was already his but He wanted him to do a few things first.

Even today, God directs us in ways like this.  In the battles we face day to day, victory is already ours because of our position in Him.  But it may not be in our possession if He doesn’t get our full cooperation. See, God has already defeated the enemy by sending Jesus to die in our place…in sin’s place.  But some of the victories that we have are ours only if we take them.  We have to take that first step sometimes to show that we want it!  Here’s how:

Stay armed for battle — Joshua 6:3-9
God’s Word is a Sword. Our victories will never happen without it!

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Ephesians 6:17

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Always stay on course — Joshua 6:3,14
Never get tired of doing the right thing. Pray every day that God will give you direction and lead you on the right path and that you will never grow tired of trying.

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses
surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight
and the sin that so easily ensnares us.
Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us….
Hebrews 12:1

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Always stay together with your army — Joshua 6:13
Surround yourselves with Jesus followers that will help you be the best you. The people that will lift you up out of the trenches and speak truth loudly over the enemy’s lies. Stay in the Church and serve with the body of believers so that the enemy cannot even get a toehold!

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Always stay awake and alert — Joshua 6:18
Always avoid the temptations that the enemy sends your way and keep your eyes on Him.  It is so easy to let your guard down and let our foot slip.  We start looking at our problems and we take the focus off of the Problem Solver. We lose hope.  Stay in the Word!  It’s the only way to keep your eyes always on the prize.

The things of this world look and smell and taste so good that sometimes we may slip into the enemies trap.  But God is bigger and He is mighty to save!  Psalm 13:8 says “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”

I am praying for each one of you to stay victorious!  We need to step out as His children and tell all who will listen that He is The Way!  And remember… you have already won!

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Let us pray: Dear God, thank You for loving us so much that You give us a endless supply of grace.  We confess that we don’t always stay close and we do take our eyes off of You and we need forgiveness.  Help us to stay in Your Word and really press into You so that the enemy cannot get through to us at all.  We love You and we praise You.  In Jesus; name, amen.

 

Refiner’s Fire

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Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner’s fire
My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy

Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within

Brian Doerksen
singer/songwriter

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

There are numerous uses for fire.  Fire on a torch will light the way in a cavern.  A bonfire can provide warmth and a place to prepare food for campers.  A fire can also destroy property and lives, as we have seen this summer in the Western states.

There is a fire that I definitely want in my life.  This fire destroys the impurities in my life. It is the Refiner’s Fire.

“Behold, I send my messenger, and He will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple;
and the Messenger of the covenant in Whom you delight,
behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,
and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver,
and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord
as in the days of old and as in former years.
Malachi 3:1-4

Silver doesn’t come right out of the ground pure.  It is found in dirt, surrounded by other minerals such as copper, lead, and zinc.  To get the pure silver that has value, it must be refined.  There are several different refining methods, but the one that intrigues me most is the refining fire.  Silver melts at very high temperatures.  It is lightweight compared to other minerals, so it will float to the top; and the dross (the other minerals and impurities) will separate from the silver so it can be extracted in its pure form.  A similar process is done to purify gold, as well.

Do you see a comparison with our lives?  Each of us is precious in God’s sight since He created us in His image.  But each of us in our carnal nature comes to Jesus imperfect, impure.  We have sin (dirt) in our lives. We have bad habits (copper), bad attitudes (zinc), and even fears (lead) that cling to us and weigh us down. To stay in His presence we must become perfect, pure even as God is pure.

Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.
Proverbs 30:5 KJV
[The Douay-Rheims Bible says, “Every word of God is fire tried:”]

The LORD’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.
Psalm 12:6 NLT

As for God, His way is blameless (pure); the word of the LORD is tested;
2 Samuel 22:13NAS

I want to stay in the presence of my/our pure and holy God.  I can’t do that without allowing Him to refine me.  I sing this song with the sincere desire to be purified, cleansed of all impurities that cling to my life.  The refining fire may hurt because there are things in my carnal nature that I don’t want to let go.  But when I submit to God’s purifying, I find that I’m very glad to get rid of those impurities and their weight.

…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us….
Hebrews 12:1 ESV

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So I pray today and I hope you will join me:
Lord, purify my heart.  Please cleanse me from deep within.  I choose to allow You to use Your refining fire to cleanse the dross of my life away.  Please forgive me, Lord, for holding onto those things which tarnish the precious creation that You made me to be.  My one desire, Lord, is to be set apart for You—pure and holy—so I am ready to do Your Will.  In Jesus’ pure and holy Name, I pray.  Amen.

Utterly Unselfish

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<If I>…have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.
Love endures long and is patient and kind;
love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy,
is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way,
for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness,
but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,
and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
1 Corinthians 13:3b-8

Does reading this passage make anyone else uncomfortable?  It is like reading a list of my most glaring faults.  I strive to live and love this way, but, mostly, I fall exceedingly short.

My Life Application Study Bible has this note for the above passage:

“God’s kind of love is directed outward towards others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is impossible to have this love unless God helps us set aside our own natural desires so that we can love and not expect anything in return.”

Look at it like this…

{Love} is patient/long-suffering  {Love} is NOT envious
{Love} is kind                                       {Love} is NOT jealous
{Love} bears all things                      {Love} is NOT proud
{Love} believes the best                   {Love} is NOT rude
{Love} does not celebrate evil     {Love} is NOT self-seeking
{Love} rejoices when truth wins   {Love} is NOT irritable
{Love} never gives up
{Love} does not keep score
{Love} is always hopeful
{Love} is enduring
{Love} never fails

Utterly unselfish love, possible only with God’s help

Whew!!!  That’s a tall order.  Try reading that passage with your name in place of {Love}.  (Did anyone besides me just say OUCH?!?) I am not all those things yet…but I can continue to work towards them. What I need to remember is that is not important how many times I fail, but how many times I get back up. Perseverance is key. Hebrews 12:1b (NIV) encourages us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us….” James 1:4 tells us we must “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God will always be there to help if I am willing to persevere and ask Him for help. The neat thing—God has already provided us with everything we need. Paul reminds us of this in Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP):

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).

We have been given the Holy Spirit Who can strengthen these characteristics in us and bring them to light in our lives!

By this all people will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.
John 13:35 HCSB

The measure of Christian maturity is how we display love. We are nothing if we don’t have love. I want to be more than that. What I desire most is to display love as Christ did.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Father, help me persevere. I want to love as You love. Let my natural desires fade away as I seek to show love outwardly toward others…not considering myself. It is only possible with Your guidance and the Holy Spirit working in me. In Jesus’ name I ask this – Amen, So Be It!

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Manipulation

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Coach Megan,

What makes someone forget EVERYTHING you have ever done for them in their life when you are not able to do the one thing they are asking for now? Thanks for any guidance you can give. ~CW

Dear CW,

Manipulators tend to be very skillful strategists. They map out their art subtly steering and controlling people or circumstances by using indirect, unfair, or deceptive tactics. People-pleasing is at the root of being manipulated. Those who are manipulated allow others the control God alone should have. Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other Gods before me.”

Manipulators control others by aggressive manipulation or passive-aggressive manipulation. What I hear in your question is that you are wondering why someone would manipulate someone else. This is not a complete list, by any means, but I believe this will give us a place to start…

Manipulators tend to:

  • Make others feel guilty
  • Get others to believe what they want them to believe
  • Keep others “hooked” into a relationship…even when the relationship is unhealthy and one-sided
  • Avoid meeting their obligations and responsibilities
  • Appear positive when they feel negative toward others
  • Set up “fixers,” “caretakers,” and “rescuers” to take care of them
  • Intentionally confuse others
  • Get others to do for them what they would not normally choose to do
  • Get others to feel responsible for them or for their welfare
  • Control the emotions and reasoning of others
  • Use religious words for personal gain, causing harm to another’s walk with God
  • Win the battle for control

Proverbs 26:24 describes the manipulator:

A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit.

At the root of people allowing themselves to be manipulated is the belief that they must have the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves. What God calls us to is to NOT live for the approval of others, but to realize that God will meet all of our inner needs because he accepts us totally and loves us unconditionally!

Jeremiah 17:5

 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,  who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”

CW…It looks like you have done a lot of work within to stop yourself from being manipulated. For the benefit of our readers (and for your benefit if someone tries to manipulate you again), here are some steps to help stop being a victim of manipulation:

Decide not to be dependent on the manipulator {Philippians 4:19}

  • You must decide that you have an unhealthy, dependent relationship and confess that to God. Decide that you only want  healthy relationships that glorify God. Decide that you will be dependent on the Lord to satisfy your deepest needs. 

Expect Exasperation {Psalm 31:3-4}

  •  Do not expect your manipulator to understand or agree with your decisions, acknowledge being manipulative, or be willing to give up control to set you free.

Prepare yourself for pain {Job 3:26}

  • Accept change as being painful… however in time, you WILL have peace.  Also, accept the fact that if you don’t change, you will stay in pain and peace will elude you.

Examine the methods of the manipulator {Proverbs 22:3}

  • Ask God to open your eyes to ways that you have been manipulated. Also, ask yourself, “How am I being manipulated?” and then write out your tactics for change. You can also ask a trusted friend to help you see blind spots and develop a plan of action.

Notify the manipulator of the necessity for change {Hebrews 12:1}

  • Admit that you have been wrong. It can sound like this: “I’ve come to realize that I am wrong in the way that I relate to you. At times, I don’t speak up because I am afraid. This is not healthy for either of us.”
  • You need to also give your commitment to them which can sound like this: “I really do care about you. I want you to know that I am committed to change and I believe that we can ultimately have a much better relationship.”
  • State your resolve to them if it is not appropriate to continue the relationship: “We cannot continue in a relationship as it is and still be the people we need to be before God.”

Don’t defend yourself {Ecclesiastes 3:7}

  • Even if you are accused of being unkind and unloving, you can choose to:
  1. Be silent, but do not use silence as a weapon.
  2. State the truth only once or twice: “I’m sorry you feel that way.” ” What you’ve said is not true.” “It does not reflect my heart.”
  3. You can say “I understand that you think I am being heartless, but my intent is to become healthy.”

Expect the manipulator to try new strategies {Proverbs 14:24}

  • They may resort to using other methods to regain control
  • They need to know you are aware of these new methods
  • They need to see that the new methods will not succeed

Nullify your need to meet all of the manipulator’s needs {Psalm 37:4-5}

  • Realize that God didn’t design anyone to meet all the needs of another person
  • If you meet all of the manipulator’s needs, then the manipulator will not need the Lord
  • You need to redirect the manipulator’s focus to the Lord as the only true need-meeter

Commit Galatians 1:10 to memory

  • Realize that you are “transformed by the renewing of your mind”
  • Recognize that you are given the mind of Christ to direct your thoughts

Yield to pleasing the Lord first {Psalm 27:1}

  • You must not be a peace-at-any-price person
  • Jesus was not a peace-at-any-price person
  • Keep your trust in God and fear no one

We need to give people the space to be upset and grow through their disappointment.  When we don’t, the danger is in people looking to another person to be God and be everything to them when that is the exact opposite of God’s design. We need to give God the space He needs to move and that is possible when we create and keep boundaries firm and stand on God’s Word.

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂 

Girls With Swords: Chapter 6 Weekly Review – “Becoming a Warrior”

Click Here for Next Week’s Reading Schedule

Welcome to Campground USA

Log Cabins, Nature Trails, Canoes,

Paddle Boats, Bikes, Fishing

Here we are again – -continuing our study in Girlfriends With Swords, by Lisa Bevere. Tonight, we will try to grab hold of what Becoming a Warrior means.  But, first let’s play a game with Chapters 1-5.

You might say these chapters took us through Basic Training, preparing us to be a warrior in God’s army.  In an effort to make sure their groups are spiritually fit for the front line of duty, Amy, Christi, Laurie, and Kim devised a Girls With Swords Trivia Game.

Here’s how it works:  Christi made cards with words or scriptures taught in Basic Training. A contest is going on between Group 1 and Group 2 to see who can be the first to answer all the questions on the cards.

If you missed the games, take a minute and play.  On your mark!  Get Set!  Go!

 

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Wasn’t that fun?  I need to review several of those scriptures.  I think I’ve been grazing and not feasting on the Word.  (Ugh)  Time to head over to the bonfire. I’m anxious to hear Teresa, Jennifer, Tonya, and Diane speak on Becoming a Warrior.

Teresa

Lisa gives us words a WARRIOR would understand:  strategy, intuition, vision, wisdom, patience, persistence, tenacity, a unified voice, and concerted effort. This requires us to develop Maturity as a Spiritual Warrior.

The Apostle Paul spoke to people in Hebrews 6 about becoming mature Christ followers. 

“So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.  You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.  And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.”  (NLT)

The basic teachings are very important.  Once a new believer understands the basic lessons, it is time to practice what was learned and “move forward” toward maturity. 

We have a CHOICE to believe, a CHOICE to mature,
and a CHOICE to live in a way that brings Honor and Glory to God the Father.

Jennifer

Girlfriends, warriors are not hired; they are called. David had an elite group of men fighting with him. They were not soldiers, hired to do a particular job. They were called to the task.

As Lisa said:  ”You are at once a daughter and a warrior.”  There is no separation between the two. If you are a part of God’s family—a part of His army—then you are one of His warriors.

I think many of us are scared to be warriors.  We want to just “get by.” But, I am challenging you today to rise up!

Face Your Fear Today and
Put Your Trust in God!

Tonya  

All soldiers are trained, but in addition to being trained, a warrior will be tempered.  For example:

  • A warrior isn’t quick to teach a lesson; they aren’t quick to avenge a wrong done.
  • They are compelled to offer grace and compassion, and to show God’s love.
  • They are led by God to do what is needed when it is needed, whether it is to offer grace, or to stand up and fight.
  • Warriors seize the opportunity to make a difference in an area where they can bless others and where God’s love can shine through them.

Lisa said: “the processing of tempering may not be pleasant or quick,”  but the outcome is this:  “the warrior woman, not only sees what our enemy is doing, but can follow God’s lead into battles with His promises in our hearts.’”

Are you ready to sign on to be
more than a soldier?

Diane

Have you opened your ears and heard the Lord call your name?  Are you covering your ears with fear of the unknown after you hear Our Mighty King whisper His warrior-princess’s name? 

  • Fear will always be a part of our lives, but it does not have to be the driving force behind our actions or lack thereof. 
  •  Fear, when placed in the right manner, will only drive us closer to God Himself.
  • We must fear God and keep His commandments.  We do this by coming to a revelation of Who God truly is and what He has truly done for us.  This revelation drives us to be obedient because of the deep love we possess for our One and Only King. 

All of us have a perfect will for our lives, and also a perfect love that drives out any fear that tries to prevent us from living out God’s perfect will for us. 1 John 4:18 says:  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.

As warrior-princesses-in-training,
we all possess God’s perfect love in our hearts.
Where God’s love is, fear doesn’t stand a chance.

**********

After Diane spoke, praise and worship lasted into the midnight hour under the glow of the heavenly lights. 

Something else very exciting has been taking place at our meetings.  Word has gotten around the campground about “those women” who gather nightly at the bonfire.  First there were one or two outsiders who visited the meetings, and now a big crowd has joined us.  Lisa said:  “Warriors will lead and irresistibly compel others to join the cause.” 

You go, girlfriends!  MIGHTY WARRIORS YOU ARE!

Let’s pray:  Father God, I thank You that You have called us to be warriors.  May we not take Your calling carelessly, but serve You with honor, and free of fear.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

*****

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Girls with Swords: Chapter 1 – “Old Tactics” (pgs 12-15)

As I re-read this section of the book over again, I am reminded of Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

When first learning this verse I wondered who this great cloud of witnesses was exactly.  As I asked God to show me, he taught me that this great cloud is the faithful followers of God whom we learn about throughout the Bible.  Yes, Moses is included in the cloud!  We see countless examples of people just like you and me throughout the Bible who have run their race and won!  The more I read the stories of these faithful ones, the more I stand in awe of our inspiring heritage.  Each one of these people has one thing in common—they lived by faith and not by fear.  They let God control their lives, and not fear.

Satan will never be able to live for God.  He has no choice but to live by fear.  His fear drives Him to attempt to destroy God’s chosen ones.  He knows the power God’s chosen ones possess.  You and me, we are included as God’s chosen ones.  1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  Let us bask for a moment in the glorious truth that we belong to God, not Satan!  We are living in God’s wonderful light not the darkness of our past.  No matter what way Satan attempts to win our soul, if we belong to God and choose daily to live for God alone, Satan will never win.  His attack will never produce victory.  Our victory is with God.

RightPath_MeyersAs much as I truly hate when Satan attacks me, without His attacks, I would not be certain that I am on the path God has called me to.  Satan will make war on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17).  I know I am on God’s side in this war.  I was not always though.  Even at my weakest points, Satan never had me, but neither did God.  It was like my soul was caught in the middle of the war at one point in my life.  Satan knew that ultimately God would win and get me back for good, but I had to figure that out for myself.  The moment I chose to take the path of a hero was the same moment I realized the power of the Armor of God.

We cannot fight this battle alone.  We have the power to win but we must prepare.  We must read the Bible to learn Satan’s ways.  The Bible tells us what we need to know about Satan:

  • He is limited by God (Genesis 3:1)
  • He is defeated by Jesus’ death and resurrection (Revelation 12:11)
  • He rules the evil, spiritual world (Ephesians 2:2)
  • He will meet his doom in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)

Satan knows us very well; the more understanding we have of our enemy, the more we can prepare for his attacks against us.  The best way to withstand his attacks is to put on the full Armor of God daily.  There will not be a day that goes by that Satan will not attempt to destroy us.  We must follow the examples of the faithful followers of our heritage, and put on the full Armor of God and be strong in His mighty power.  We must trust that God has a plan for our lives, one in which we are a Hero for God.

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited to be on this journey with you.  I am ready to learn from God’s Word.  I desire to be armed for God, growing in His strength, and giving Satan something to really be fearful of—becoming the hero God created me to be.

*****

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the examples You have given us in Your Word of not only how to withstand the evil one, but how others have found victory in You alone.  Help us and guide us through this journey to find victory in our lives with You.  Lord, enable us to embrace the life that You created us for.  Let us get rid of any hindrances and run the race You have marked out for us!  Thank You for giving us what we need always.  Thank You for loving us.  Thank You for choosing us to be a hero for You!  I pray that each and every one of us also chooses to be that hero for You, every day!  In Your Precious Name, Amen.

 *****

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Life’s Healing Choices: Chapter 7 – Maintaining the Momentum (pp 220-239)

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PRAY
John Baker provides so much amazing information in this week’s Make the Choice section. He begins by giving examples on how we can pray using Scriptures, and how a prayer familiar to most of us (The Lord’s Prayer) relates to the choices we’ve been learning. I will be using portions of Baker’s examples for you today.

Scripture: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name…
Choice 1: Realize I am not God
Choice 2: Earnestly believe that God exists

Scripture: Your Kingdom come…
Choice 8: Yield myself to God to be used

Scripture: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…
Choice 5: Voluntarily submit to God’s changes

Scripture: Give us our daily bread…
Choice 3: Consciously choose to commit…to Christ’s care

Scripture: Forgive us our debts…
Choice 4: Openly examine and confess my faults

Scripture: As we have also forgiven our debtors…
Choice 6: Evaluate all my relationships

Scripture: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…
Choice 7: Reserve a daily time with God

WRITE –
Through the week’s study we have looked at ways to prevent relapse of our bad habits by creating a new habit of evaluation. This week’s “Write” choice is about evaluating four areas: physical, emotional, relational and spiritual.

Physical: What is your body telling you?

Emotional: What are you feeling? Use HEART to help you express what you are feeling.

H – am I hurting?
E – am I exhausted?
A – am I angry?
R – do I resent anyone?
T – am I tense?

Relational: Am I at peace with everyone?

Spiritual: Am I relying on God?

SHARE –
Share what you’ve written with your accountability partner. Work to develop a plan to recognize and resolve problems more quickly, to be aware of them sooner and take appropriate action.

Over the years, I’ve become more aware of how I tend to react emotionally, based on the feelings that a situation brings rather than the facts before me. Instead of looking rationally at a situation, I have the knee-jerk reaction and most often spout out something I later regret. And, when I’m tired, it’s even worse. On good days, I can recognize this before I open my mouth and I pause to consider the other person and what might be prompting them to act as they are. I try to remember that those around me are not “out to get me” and may just be having a bad day. It’s the basic lesson—it’s not about me!
But on my bad days , I am feeling unappreciated or taken for granted in an area of my life, and anything someone says that may bump against my views for the day will result in a conflict. How dare they say that to me…act that way towards me…assume that about me, and so on. In a flash, I resort to the negative thoughts, the relational strongholds that I’ve been working to rid myself of. And, it’s during those moments that turning to a trusted friend helps keep me grounded in the here and now. When you have the right person alongside you, they will point you back to God through Scriptural reminders and truths. They will help you focus on your identity as a child of God. They will call you out when you’re stuck in negativity and hold you to a higher standard. Sure, it can be uncomfortable because we want to feel what we feel just because we want to! But life has so much more to offer us. God wants so much more for us than to be ruled by our emotions.

Take time to reflect on the pattern of relapse with your partner: complacency, confusion, compromise, and catastrophe. Where do you get trapped most often?

For me, it is complacency; and Baker couldn’t have explained it any better, “We get comfortable. We’ve confessed our problem, we’ve started dealing with it, and we’ve made some progress. Then we get comfortable, and one day we stop praying about it and then we stop working at it” (page 207).

When the immediate need to fix something has been addressed, the urgency to continue working on it dissipates. It’s no longer urgent, and slowly the comfort settles in. But Jesus reminded us, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38 NLT).

Even Paul tells us, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT). So it’s not a situation that wasn’t expected to happen, but it is a situation that can be prevented.


Let’s Pray
Lord, we thank You for loving us so much that You gave the greatest example of forgiveness through Your Son, Jesus. As we focus on creating dedicated time alone with You, let us remember to be still and know You. Timothy tells us that Your Word is “useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” Allow us to keep this focus and to develop a desire to know You even more. This journey to recovery from our habits, hang-ups, and hurts has not been easy, but we feel Your grace, love, and gentleness more each day. Amen.

Power Verses for Chapter 7:
1 Corinthians 10:12
Matthew 22:37-40
James 1:22
Colossians 3:16
Psalm 46:10
Psalm 107:15
2 Timothy 3:16
Hebrews 12:1



If you would like to send Amy a private email in regards to this blog, please email her at: Amy@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Love Letters from God: I Surrender

 

My story is made up of many love letters written from my heart to God’s heart and from His to mine.  I open up to Him with a pen in my hand and a journal in my lap.  The Lord speaks to me through my writings and I am beyond excited to share with you bits and pieces of different letters I have from God.  I share parts of my story so that God’s love, power, grace, forgiveness, and perfectness may be showcased.  As you read I pray the Lord grabs a hold of your heart and fills you with hope!

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

There is this one sin that I cannot seem to get rid of in my life.  I do not like it.  I know every time I fall back into this sin trap it takes me further and further away from You.  I feel silly for asking for forgiveness for the same sin over and over again.  I fear You will get tired of me falling backwards into disobedience.  On top of that I have asked so many times for help getting rid of this, but my poor choices are getting in the way of Your help.  I do not know what to do.  I want to overcome and live in victory.  I have done this before with several other things in my life, but this area just seems impossible to overcome.  Lord, I know I need You please show me what my eyes are clearly missing.

 

Love Letters from God

 

 

Dear Precious Daughter of Mine,

It is true that I will not let anything happen to you that will cause you to break completely.  You may fall back from time to time, but every time you do My grace will catch you.  It is impossible to live a sin free life in a fallen world, but it is not impossible to live with Me in victory!  Once you conquer one area of your life, there will be another and another and another that will creep up on you and try to steal OUR victory again.  It is your choice to choose obedience or disobedience, joy or sorrow, freedom from sin or dependence on sin.   I am waiting to give you My strength moment-by-moment so that you can boldly choose ME over everything in your life that hinders you.  Please do not be afraid to confess your sin to Me.  I already know what it is.  When you come to Me with your sin and ask Me to forgive you, I take it one step further by forgetting it all.  Do not get discouraged when you have to ask again for the same sin, to Me it is like the first time.  You do not know the life that I have planned for you.  All you know is that it is better than your wildest imagination.  The choice of living My life for you is up to you.  You must choose to follow Me and get rid of your hindrances.  I cannot help you until you let Me into that sin that feels so impossible to have victory over.  How badly you want victory will reflect how badly you depend on Me instead of depending on yourself for victory.  I am the only One that gives you victory.  Stop trying to fight this sin that entangles you and start giving it all over to Me to help you.  I promise when you let Me in, I will be there fighting for you.

Love,

Your Dependable God

__________

 

Dear Lord,

Thank You for opening my eyes to see that I will never be able to live a perfect life free from sin; all I can do is live through YOUR perfect life!  I can live through YOUR strength, YOUR love, YOUR victory!  Thank You for sharing with me.  Thank You for forgiving me.  Thank You for covering me in Your grace.  I know You hate sin more than I hate sin.  I surely do want to keep my eyes focused on You so that I may get rid of all that hinders me.  I desire to live out the life You have planned for me.  I am throwing off everything that hinders me.  I am living a life dependent on YOU.

Love,

Diane

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Questions for Reflection:

  1. What is the one area in your life that seems impossible to overcome?  Do you believe all things are possible with God?  What is stopping you from letting God into that area of your life?
  2. When temptations come, I started repeating Stay True to God over in my head.  God has never nor will He ever let me down, I must stay true to Him.  I do not want sin in my life to replace God in my life.  We must remember who we are held accountable to, God not our sin.
  3. If there is an area of your life that you are struggling with and you are simply tired of fighting, why don’t you try surrendering it to God?  Why don’t you stop and let His grace be sufficient for you.  Choose to let Him in and follow Him today.
  4. Meditate on Hebrews 12:1- Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  I suggest memorizing this verse and truly applying it to your life!

God Bless you!

©Diane Meyers 2013

Winning Him Without Words: Know the Essentials

 “Then why do you treat him any differently now?

Treat him as if he were a Christian.”  

OUCH!  I wonder how many of us have ever had this epiphany!?!  Men need respect … while women need love.  We women know that we need love.  It makes us feel secure in our relationship.  But have we really truly thought of what respect means to our husband?  As Dineen said, “some even equate respect with love.”

Having respect for our husband means treating him with the utmost kindness. Treat him as you want to be treated.  Do you treat your husband with the utmost kindness; or the way you want to be treated?  Do you let your husband take the lead in the household?  Do you belittle your husband in front of others?  Do you laugh at him in front of others?  Do you add to the stress that he already has? Do you nag him?

God calls us to respect our husbands.  He doesn’t tell us to respect our husband only IF he does this or that; only if he is a good father; only if he is a good provider; only if he shows you love, and so on.  He simply tells us to respect him….period!

Respecting your husband simply put, means that you have chosen to obey God.  When you obey God by respecting your husband, you are showing honor to God!  God never called you to nag your husband.  In fact, in Proverbs 21:9 tells us that it’s better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.  Proverbs 21:19 tells us that it’s better to live in a wilderness than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife.

From there, we move into the section of the book that talks about our needs.  We have such a way of putting such high demands on our spouse to meet our needs that it’s impossible for him to meet them all!  Then we get frustrated, disappointed, or angry, that he isn’t able to meet these needs. First off, your spouse was never made to meet your every need!  Only God can do that!  Once you figure this out, it takes the pressure off of you both!  You are no longer disappointed in him for not meeting your needs; and he is no longer working so hard trying to figure out how to please you!!  Win-Win Situation for you both!  Praise God!

The one thing that really stood out to me in this chapter though, is the section that talked about his salvation and praying for your husband.  I know how important his salvation is to you.  But I want to ask you something.  I want you to really think about this, too.

“Would you rather your husband have a ‘forced’ relationship with God because you forced him into this with your nagging? Or would you rather he have the kind of relationship that allows him to love the Lord with his whole heart, soul, mind, and strength?” 

I really want you to think about this question today.  The rest of this chapter goes into a lot more things for us to think about, and I don’t want to take away from our awesome ladies who will be blogging the rest of the week.  So with that, I’m going to end my blog here today.  I hope I have given you some food for thought today.

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Here is Your Reading Assignment this Week:

Oct 22 –

Know the Essentials / Our Deepest Needs – Beverly

 Oct 23 –

It’s Not About Us – Jennifer

 Oct 24 –

To Know & Be Known – Donna

 Oct 25 –

God Is the Wild Hope Maker – Sarah

 Oct 26 –

Glue to Hope, Joy, & Peace / Discovery / Prayer – Martha

Don’t Forget! Saturdays with Shandy!

Shandy is taking us through a 6-week journey to prepare our homes for the Holidays!

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Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You so much Lord for loving us the way You do.  Thank You Lord for the spouse you have given each of us.  Lord, allow us to see him through Your eyes.  Allow our hearts to love him the way You do.  Put a guard over our tongue this week Lord, and help us to watch the words that come out of our mouth.  Lord, help us to truly be the kind of wife that You designed us to be for the spouse You have given us. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

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 God bless you,

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.

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For the “Winning Him Without Words” Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the “sign-up here” button at the top of our webpage; which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!

Please email Christi@girlfriendscoffeehour.com if you have any questions, or if you have a private comment that you would like to forward to one of our bloggers in regards to their post that day.