April 24, 2017

In Christ Alone

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In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my Light, my Strength, my Song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my all in all—here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on that Cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—this is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand;
‘Til He returns or calls me home—here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

Keith and Krystin Getty and Band
written by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

The words of a song can be so stirring!  For myself, I have found hymns to have this effect on me.  A choir director once told me that hymns are songs that “are soaked in doctrinal truth.”  One definition of hymns says that they are “… songs that help teach faith.”  What we sing through this type of song can profoundly affect how we think and feel.  And each of us have our own favorite hymns and choruses…they come to mean so much to our hearts!  This song, In Christ Alone, is considered a modern-day hymn. It contains such foundational truth.

Take for example, the very first three words of this song, “In Christ alone…” You could say them in other ways, too—‘only Jesus…’ ‘Jesus is everything to me…’ ‘You, Lord, JUST You…’

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
And He is the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
so that in everything He might have the supremacy.
Colossians 1:15-18

In and through Jesus we have been given so very much!  He truly is our ‘Light… (John 8:12), our Strength… (Psalms 28:7 and 8), our Cornerstone (1 Peter 2:5 and 6)!’

I just love to sing these next lines of this song; they are so beautiful!

What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.

Through Jesus, also, we have love (Romans 8:38 and 39), peace (Philippians 4:7), comfort (Psalm 46:10)!  He IS our ‘All in All.’

And when all things shall be subdued unto him,
then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him
that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:28

In Jesus our hope, our trust, our constant assurance is in the right place—on the solid foundation of who we are in Christ.  In my own life I seem to need continual reminding  to not let my feelings get in the way or my circumstances be allowed to dictate my actions.  But, as we (I!) stand firmly on the unchangeable truths of the gospel of Christ, our (my!) faith is being continuously built.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us….
Hebrews 6:19 and 20

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

How about you?  Do the words of this beautiful hymn evoke a response in your heart when you hear them?  (I would so LOVE to ‘hear’ your answer in the comments below.)

More Than You Think I Am

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You always think I’m somewhere on a mountaintop
But never think behind bars
You’d be amazed the places that I go
To be with you, where you are

So forget what you’ve heard
What you think that you know
There’s a lot about Me
That’s never been told

I’m more than you dream
More than you understand
Your days and your times
Were destined for our dance
I catch all your tears
Burn your name on My heart
Be still and trust My plan
I’m more than you think I am
More than you think I am

Rumor has it there’s a gavel in My hand
I’m only here to condemn
But let Me tell you secrets you have never known
I think of you as My best friend

So much has been said
Even done in My name
But I’m showing you now
Who I really am

Let me open your eyes to see
The heart of Me, differently 
Come closer than you’ve ever been
Let Me in like never before
Bring Me every broken part
The wounds and scars of who you are
Hide in Me and you will see

More than you think I am
More than you think I am
I’m more than you think I am

Singer/Songwriter: Danny Gokey along with Bernie Herms, Tim Nichols

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

My God is loving and forgiving and full of grace and mercy.  He is thrilled when I succeed and cheers me on…even when I slip.  There is no condemnation from Him.  When I think of Him, I don’t see a gavel.  I see a Father Who was willing to send His one and only Son to die so that we might live. Every day was planned before we were born and all He wants for us is a life full of abundance.

God is with you.  Everywhere you go, He goes before you and walks beside You.  He is not somewhere that He cannot be reached (though it may feel that way when we have moved a little far away from Him).  And He will go to any lengths to be with you.  Wherever you go, He will go.  He is in prisons everywhere and in detention centers.  He is in hospitals here and overseas.  He is with those little children digging through trash piles.  He wraps His arms around the homeless sleeping on the cold streets.  He is everywhere.

He is waiting for you to let Him in.  And He wants all parts of your life. Oh, how much He can do in your life…if you just let Him.  He can take away pain and sorrow and give you grace and love and comfort . Don’t you see that the Creator of this world dances over you with singing and dancing.  He is the Lover of your soul and the Guardian of your heart.

I pray as you listen to this song, that you will let Him speak to you and tell you all that He is.  Just be still…know that He truly is God and He is able to do everything you need. And if you need to rededicate your life to Him today, all you have to do is tell Him.

What is He to you? I leave you with His own words:

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in His love He will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

He says, “Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Dear God, You are Holy and awesome and full of wonder.  Your Presence is everywhere and there is no where we can go that You will not follow.  Oh Lord, thank You for loving instead of condemning. Thank You for grace instead of a gavel.  And thank You for loving us enough to pay the ultimate sacrifice.  You are God and there is no other like You.  For those today that are far away, keep them wrapped in Your arms until they come back to You.  Help us to continue to spread Your hope to all who are hurting.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Peace: Be Still

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Be still, and know that I am God!
Psalm 46:10a

Work.  Children.  Family.  Friends.  Hobbies.  Commitments.  Life!

Peace can seem especially evasive during the holiday season.  Peace can also be evasive during the rest of the year.  And not because it just doesn’t want to be with us but because sometimes we can forget that we are supposed to be at peace.

Sometimes, I feel far more accomplished when I’m busy—running around trying to figure out the next thing to do.  Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by so much stuff. Other times I enjoy doing nothing, but also feel as if I’m not getting anywhere in life.

When I think of being at peace in God’s peace, I think of this verse.  Be still.  This verse is not talking about physical stillness, although, sometimes physical stillness is very necessary.  No, this verse is talking about being still on the inside.  I personally feel this verse could say, “Be at peace (on the inside), and know that I am God…” I say this because, it’s almost impossible to be still when you are not at peace.

So, why do I so often find myself running around trying to figure everything out, totally out of sorts, and frustrated?  Because I forget to rely on the Maker.  God is always there to help us.  He provided us with peace and the ability to abide in that peace. Jesus said,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

  • Take a step back from the busyness of life.
  • Take a step back from those looming important decisions.
  • Take a step back and just be still.

Rest.
Be at peace.
Then ask the Lord what’s next so that you can tackle all you need to
…but at peace.

Help Me Find It

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I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own

I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting, I’m finally letting go

I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will trust in You

If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can You help me find it?
Can You help me find it?

I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving You doubt, You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone

Even when it hurts You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath You’ve never let me go

I will wait for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You

I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again)
Have Your way my King (I give my all to You)
I lift my eyes again (was blind but now I see)
‘Cause You are all I need

Sidewalk Prophets – David Frey / Ben McDonald / Jason Ingram

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This is my ‘go to’ song—every time I find myself struggling with a decision, or wondering which path to take.  It is a reminder that God is in control (are you humming “God is in Control” by Twila Paris now?) and I need to seek His will instead of trying to solve the problem on my own.  Ephesians 1:17 (NLT) encourages us to ask “God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give <us> spiritual wisdom and insight so that <we> might grow in our knowledge of God.”  James 1:5 (NASB) states if we lack wisdom we are to “…ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given….”  God will help us find His will.

Often that requires patience.  I joke that I am not a very virtuous person because patience is not my strongsuit.  Pain, doubt and hurt make us want to rush ahead. We don’t like being in that valley.  But, many times, that is where we grow the most in our relationship with Christ.  He gives us faith and grace in those valleys. He never lets us go, He is always with us, as Deuteronomy 31:6 and 8 HCSB remind us:

Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them.
For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.
The Lord is the One who will go before you.
He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not be afraid or discouraged.

Sidewalk Prophets used the following Scriptures as a basis for this song:

  • Be still, and know that I am God; (the NASB version says “Cease striving”)

 Psalm 46:10a NIV

  • Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105 HCSB

  • Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.  In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP

I love the Amplified version of Proverbs 3:6— “HE will direct and make straight and PLAIN your paths.”  If only we are willing to wait.

This quote from Bishop T.D. Jakes is a good reminder of what can happen if we don’t wait:

“People who don’t understand God’s timing, don’t get His rhythm.  They birth things prematurely, threatening the very lives of their God-given dreams.”

Waiting can be scary.  But I am more terrified of making the wrong decision.  So I gladly sing:

“I will wait for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You
If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can You help me find it?
Can You help me find it?”

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Thank You, Lord, that Your ways are not our own, that Your ways are higher, beyond our comprehension.  Thank You for directing our paths.  Teach us to wait for You…to seek Your wisdom and guidance instead of striving to resolve our issues on our own.  Your timing is perfect and You have such great plans for us.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen – it IS so!

In Christ Alone

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

 ~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my Light, my Strength, my Song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my all in all—here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on that Cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—this is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand;
‘Til He returns or calls me home—here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

 

~  In Christ Alone; words and music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend  ~

 *   *   *   *   *

The words of a song can be so stirring!  Particularly, I have found hymns to have this effect on me.  A choir director once told me that hymns are songs that “are soaked in doctrinal truth.”  One definition of hymns says that they are “… songs that help teach faith.”  What we sing through this type of song can profoundly affect how we think and feel.  And each of us have our own favorite hymns and choruses…they come to mean so much to our hearts!  This song, In Christ Alone, is considered a modern-day hymn. It contains such foundational truth.

For example, the very first three words of this song, “In Christ alone…” You could say them in other ways, too—‘only Jesus…’ ‘Jesus is everything to me…’ ‘You, Lord, JUST You…’

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
And He is the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
so that in everything He might have the supremacy.
Colossians 1:15-18

In and through Jesus we have been given so very much! He truly is our ‘Light… (John 8:12), our Strength… (Psalms 28:7 and 8), our Cornerstone (1 Peter 2:5 and 6)!’

I just love to sing these next lines of this song; they are so beautiful!

What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.

Through Jesus, also, we have love (Romans 8:38 and 39), peace (Philippians 4:7), comfort (Psalm 46:10), and joy (John 15:11)! He IS our ‘all in all.’

And when all things shall be subdued unto him,
then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him
that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:28

In Jesus our hope, our trust, our constant assurance is in the right place—on the solid foundation of who we are in Christ.  In my own life I must need continual reminding  to not let my feelings get in the way or my circumstances be allowed to dictate my actions. But, as we (I!) stand firmly on the unchangeable truths of the gospel of Christ, our (my!)faith is being continuously built.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us….
Hebrews 6:19 and 20

How about you? Do the words of this beautiful hymn evoke a response in your heart when you hear them?  (I would so LOVE to ‘hear’ your answer in the comments below.)

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Interested in joining us for our next Online Bible Study that starts on January 13, 2014?   Click HERE for more details!

16 Day Love Challenge: Chapter 1 – Patience

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To Walk or Stay

I have a friend who is struggling with a situation in her life. The enemy is trying his best to steal, kill, and destroy all that she has. In the midst of this, God is reaching out to her and asking if she will walk in patience with Him. Will she give Him the time needed to turn this around?

We understand patience when the context is to be patient with our loved ones or others. But to be patient with God for the purpose of giving Him time to turn our situation around—this is asking a lot of a person, especially when they are looking back as a witness on the destruction of something that was once so promising.

I wonder if this post has found you in a place where God is asking you the same question: “Do you have the strength (patience) to turn to Me and let Me walk you through this?”

One of the most powerful things I have learned in my walk with God is that my trials tend to unmask my weaknesses. Once my weaknesses are revealed, I am left with a decision to make.

Will I walk away from the person and the situation or can I stand still and let God work to save my relationship?

In my pain and anger, I feel walking away would be the easy decision. After all, I have been hurt by this person and have a right to walk away. Entangled in my thoughts of leaving, I hear God’s voice softly speak to my heart.

The thing I LOVE about God is the fact that He is not demanding. He understands the hurt we have been through. He gets that our hearts can only take so much. So He gently asks us, “Will you walk away or can you stand still and wait for Me to turn your situation around?” James tells us why we should consider God’s request:

This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear,
slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man
does not achieve the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20

Our anger (though understandable) will not achieve the righteousness God is looking for. He wants to develop Righteousness in our character and will use our trial as the vehicle to use when we are willing. Standing still means we are willing to not only be patient with Him, it says we are willing to recognize our weaknesses and walk through them -one by one.

Facing our unrighteousness can be tough. Sometimes this reveals where we are wrong in the situation. Facing ourselves means we are putting a Holy mirror in front of us. God’s Holiness reveals the areas we need to change. But God gives strength to those who are willing to be patient with Him…

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

God’s Word tells us that if we will wait on the Lord, He will renew our strength. We will mount up with wings like eagles. God spoke to my heart once again as I read this verse. Mounting up with wings is a promise to those of us who choose to walk in patience with Him to the end. The wings represent flight, or an easy flow of things. Once we overcome one of our weaknesses, the road ahead will be so much easier to navigate. Our character is strengthened and our relationship has the chance to turn around, as God is now able to use us as His vessels.

To the one who is reading this post and facing a trial of your own, I ask you the question: Will you walk or will you stand?  I pray you will choose to stand and let God turn your situation around.

* * * * * * *

Here are a few more verses to further encourage you:

And let us not lose heart in doing good,
for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.
Galatians 6:9

And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly,
encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.
1 Thessalonians 5:14

Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.
For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
Psalms 37:7-9

Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk
in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
showing forbearance to one another in love,
Ephesians 4:1-2

Enter To Rest

SeekingHimLogoThe children in my class are laid down to rest for two hours each day.  Everyone does well laying quietly, except one.  This boy loves to talk, shout, and walk around during naptime. I constantly tell him to be quiet, lay down, and don’t talk so loud!  And he constantly does what he wants, while glancing at me to see if I’m watching.

I’m like this with God.  He gives me days of work and He gives me days of rest. Rest, to me, has always referred to sleeping or doing absolutely nothing.

However when I read Psalm 91:1, it gives me the impression that neither sleep or not doing anything is not what is being referred to in this verse.

Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

No, the type of rest that is being referred to is the type of rest that has always baffled me. It is the  kind of rest spoken of in Matthew 11:28-30.

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

When I take a day off to rest, I don’t clean, won’t go anywhere, and I used to “take the day off” from spending time with God.

…For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his,”
Hebrews 4:10

Resting, God’s rest, requires my heart to be quiet, and that’s no small feat.  And it definitely is not possible without God’s word.  To me, resting is the equivalent of  “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  Know that You are God? Check!  Be still? Excuse me, what does that mean?  My body may not be in motion, but you better believe my heart is still doing laps around the concepts of “rest” and “be still.”

The best way to combat a restless heart is to dwell in the shelter of the Most High—

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 that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

In Hebrews 4:11 it says, “Make every effort to enter [God’s] rest.”  Every effort.  This rest doesn’t come naturally to our hearts, though our hearts were made for this rest, we have to be intentional!  When was the last time you wrote “rest” into your daily planner?  Schedule a heart rest…we all need it.

* * * * *

Thank You, Abba, for being so gracious to us that You saw our need for rest and created a way for us to enter into it.  Thank You for peace.  May we intentionally latch onto Your rest.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Stress Management

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Dear Megan,

I have been feeling really overloaded and burned out lately and I’m not sure what to do to make it stop. I was on your GCH call last week and I completed the exercise you gave us and talked about in your blog last Friday…. but I just feel stuck with what to do next. I know I need to delegate more and God showed me some tasks He does not intend for me to do, but I feel like I could be handling it all (especially the stress) better. I’m hoping you can give me some advice on this!

~M.

Sweet sister,

Thank you for taking the first step by doing that exercise from last week ! I pray it was a blessing for you to be able to see in black and white how you are spending your precious resource of time. Our world makes it easy for us to feel overloaded, over burdened and over worked! What I heard through your cry for help is that you are looking for some practical stress-management tools to help you now that you are beginning to spend your time more wisely (as God intends you to).

Adopting healthy stress management skills will enable you to slow down, stop, yield and reduce speed at appropriate intervals on your path of life. In turn, your pace will be regulated and you will be lifted out of the ditch of overload and burnout. As you work through this exercise, you will see how you can begin to walk the road to transformation in the peaceful assurance that God will never call you to do more than He gives you time and ability to do (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

SLOW

{Slow down and make the necessary changes for good physical health}

  • Do you eat a balanced and healthy diet?
  • Do you exercise at least three times a week?
  • Do you take at least one day of rest per week?
  • Do you get adequate restful sleep most nights?

Psalm 127:2

 In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

{Slow down and evaluate your priorities}

  • Do the exercise from last week if you have not done so (Link up above)
  • Consider other priorities that should be on the list
  • Choose your commitments with careful prayer
  • Eliminate unnecessary stressful obligations
  • Don’t accept impossible deadlines
  • Don’t give in to the pressure of urgency
  • Tackle only one problem at a time

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Better one handful with tranquility
    than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

{Slow down and nourish your spiritual life}

  • Remind yourself daily to “be still, and know that (He is) God” {Psalm 46:10}
  • Open lines of honest communication with God about your concerns, needs, and fears
  • Set aside time daily for personal prayer and Scripture meditation
  • Memorize Scripture that builds assurance of God’s love {Psalm 36:7; Jeremiah 31:3; John 14:21; Romans 8:39}

Psalm 119:71

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees

STOP

{Stop and look at the real reason you are experiencing stress}

  • Do you try to meet your own needs instead of waiting on the Lord?
  • Do you think God cannot accomplish His purposes without your over-achieving?
  • Do you seek self-worth through proving your adequacy and effectiveness?
  • Are you Spirit-led or people-pressured?

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

{Stop, confess and turn away from any known sin in your life}

  • Do you manipulate or control others?
  • Do you feel envious or jealous of others?
  • Do you express your feelings inappropriately?
  • Do you overreact to criticism?
  • Do you have impure motives?

Proverbs 28:13

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

YIELD

{Yield to God’s sovereign control over your circumstances}

  • What is God doing in your circumstances?
  • In what way does God want you to change?
  • How does God want you to respond?
  • Do you have impure motives?

Proverbs 21:1

A king’s heart is like streams of water in the Lord’s hand:
He directs it wherever He chooses.

{Yield to God your rights and expectations}

Dear God,

  • “I yield my right to control my circumstances.”
  • “I yield my right to be accepted by others.”
  • “I yield my right to be successful.”
  • “I yield my right to be heard and understood.”
  • “I yield my right to be right.”

Proverbs 3:5

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding

RESUME SPEED

{Resume speed, living in the presence of God}

Dear God,

  • “I choose to let Christ live His life through me.”
  • “I choose to live in the present, not worrying about tomorrow.”
  • “I choose to refocus my thoughts away from my pressures to Your purposes for allowing these pressures.”
  • “I choose to have a thankful heart regardless of the pressure I feel.”
  • “I choose to call on You, Lord, for wisdom and peace.”
  • “I choose to commit to talking less and listening more.”

Psalm 62:1

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Life’s Healing Choices: Chapter 7 Review (pp 205-223)

■Realize I am not God

■Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, that He has the power to help me recover

■Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control

■Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust

■Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character

■Evaluate all my relationships.  Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others

■RESERVE A DAILY TIME WITH GOD FOR SELF-EXAMINATION, BIBLE READING AND PRAYER IN ORDER TO KNOW GOD AND HIS WILL FOR MY LIFE AND TO GAIN THE POWER TO FOLLOW HIS WILL

■Y

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GCH_Colossians 3_16

 

This week we have discussed how to stay on the path, finish the race, and maintain momentum in order to grow in our relationship with Christ and leave our past behind.  When I was just walking away from my past, I remember waiting and wanting God to really show Himself—not just show Himself, but REALLY show Himself to me.  I can only imagine the things He tried to show me or places He wanted me to go to that, because I was waiting for the BIG show, I missed out on blessings.  Then I got discouraged and that’s when the enemy wanted to swoop down and distract me.  The little whispers of “You’re not worthy enough,” or “See, you really didn’t recover from that.”  Recovery is not always seeing the BIG shows but listening, spending time with God, and beginning to know who He really is.  The following Scriptures are just a few that show God’s power through the smallest of things—or what we see as small things:

Be still and know that I am God. 

Psalm 46:10

Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.

Job 37:14

And if you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a Voice behind you say, ‘No this is the way: walk here.’

Isaiah 30:21

And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voice. 

1Kings 19:12

If you go back to read those Scriptures, look at the words used for us to see God’s power:  be still, stand, hear, walk, and the still small voice of God.  We need to seek Him through our prayer time, Bible reading, and begin knowing who He really is and be thankful for all that He has brought us through.  Each one of us has come through a different fire and been refined at different places, but God’s miracles and promises are Yes and Amen!!  Believing that is truly how we can avoid relapse!!

Monday: We discussed the four patterns of relapse – Complacency; Confusion; Compromise and Catastrophe.  If we become too comfortable and start believing we are ok, or that we don’t need to stay the course, then the enemy can quickly get a foothold and start the doubt, confusion, and compromise.  Then we start heading directly for CATASTROPHE!!  God has such a bigger plan for each one of you.  Stay the course.

Tuesday: Leslie talked with us about the causes of relapse—we revert to our own willpower; we ignore the choices; we try to recover without support; and we become prideful.  We cannot stress enough how important it is to have support through this process.  Even when you come to the end of the study, it is important to remember to keep your support person who will stay with you to the end.  Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in trouble (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10).   Then Leslie made an excellent statement: ‘Our greatest weakness is often unguarded strength.’  If we get to the point we think we have it, be careful – don’t let your guard down, don’t take your armor off – guard yourself with His strength and power.

Wednesday: Kim started us off midweek with: “We must plant ourselves at His feet daily. It’s like water for us, friends. He is our Stronghold now and what an awesome Stronghold!” Can you imagine going without anything to drink for more than a day? Or a week? Or a month?  So why try to go without our Living Water for a day?!?  He is just waiting to transform and renew your mind.  He longs to restore all we have lost from our past.  Sound good?  So what do we have to do?  Rely on Him; He will restore your soul.

Thursday: Amy brought it back to us with pray about it, write about it and share about it.  The method of praying scripture will be such a refreshment to your daily prayer life.  Talking to God about His word and using it personally in your life can bring so much more freedom and gives you more insight into who He is.  When you are praying, stop and listen for that still small voice to speak—don’t be in such a hurry or routine, you pray through and move on. Take time to write about the four areas we discussed: physical, emotional, relational and spiritual.  Are you hurting? Tired? Angry?  Listen to how you are reacting to others and are you relying on God?  Once you have taken the time to write about it then share with your accountability partner if you are having any difficult areas; also remember what is very important:  CELEBRATE THE VICTORIES no matter how small you may think them to be.

As we take time to reflect this weekend and begin to prepare for the last week, take time to look back in your journals and see how far God has brought you in this healing.  Begin to thank Him for bringing you through your past and into the present with hope for the future.  Thank Him for being the awesome God He is, thank Him for others He has placed in your life, thank Him for your recovery, and thank Him for your church.  Remain in this ‘attitude of gratitude’ through this next week as we embark on how He wants us to use our recovery.

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Let’s Pray:

Most gracious Father, we come to You with humble and grateful hearts as we end this week.  Father, I thank You for each one of these amazing women in this study.  Keep them safe, guard their hearts, and help them to rejoice in their healing.  Lord, help us to set aside the distractions of this world to focus and listen to Your voice, whether it is the BIG show or the still small voice.  Help us to understand what You have planned for each one of us and prepare us for this.  Let others see You through our words and actions.  We thank You for Your perfect grace and forgiveness.  Father, as we continue on this race help us to keep humble giving all the glory and honor to You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!

Your Assignment:
We have talked about celebrating the victories, no matter how small.  We would love to celebrate with you.  After reading this, if you are comfortable, share what victories you have had through this study.

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If you would like to send a private message to Laurie in regards to this blog, please email her at Laurie@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

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

Choice7_LHC


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