February 19, 2018

Life’s Healing Choices – Chapter 3: Stepping Across the Line

I’m going to start today’s blog post with a little poem that my pastor quoted Sunday.  It goes like this…

 

I went for a walk today down a winding road and fell in a hole,

it’s not my fault.

I went for a walk today down the same road and fell in a hole,

why did I do that?

I went for a walk today down the same road, fell in the same hole,

it’s my fault.

I went for a walk today down the same winding road, I barely made it around the hole.

I took a different road today.

I cannot handle that winding road I’ve been on. I won’t go down it again.

 

Does that sound familiar to you? Are you having a hard time stepping off the same path? Today we will step across the line together into Jesus’ arms and allow Him to care and control ALL of us. Ready? OK! (The cheerleader in me came out.)

S-urrendering

T-o

E-verlasting

P-eace

 

Step 1: We must accept Jesus as our Savior, Lord of our life. He must live in our heart and be the center of our being. Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”  You will be saved, not might be, but will be. Commit as much of yourself as you can at this moment and He can do great things. This is so exciting! Shall we go on?

Step 2: We must accept God’s word as our standard. It must be our life manual. God gave us His word to guide us in every aspect of our lives. What a gift from our Creator! The Bible contains love letters from our Heavenly Father, and instructions by which to live our lives so that we will have the peace and joy He promised us. As we commit more and more of ourselves to Jesus, we will want to live our lives according to His will for us and the only way to know His will is to read and study His words. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for resetting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living”(2 Timothy 3:16).

Step 3: We must accept His will as our purpose. We have to let go of the plans we have for ourselves and totally surrender them. His ways must become our ways. We must die to ourselves and become a new person in Him—the person He wants us to be. I love how John Baker puts it: how we must wake up every day and say “Lord, You woke me up this morning. You obviously have another day planned for me!  What is that plan?” I usually start my day out on my knees and end it there also. I pray for the willingness to be teachable and the strength to do whatever He wants me to do that day.

Step 4: We must accept His power as our strength. 2 Samuel 22:40 says,  “You armed me with strength for the battle–You humbled my adversaries.” When we commit ourselves to Him, His strength is ours, and His power is ours. He has given us His Spirit and with that comes the benefit of having His resources at hand at all times. We are armed for whatever trial comes our way.

So, are you ready to step across the line together? He’s waiting with open arms. If you have not yet asked Him to be Lord of your life, my friend, this is the most important decision  you will ever make. It is your life choice. Look. Here  I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal as friends (Revelation 3:20).

He wants to come into your life and help you live this life He gave you. He wants to come in so badly but He will not come in if you don’t ask. Oh dear friend, you don’t have to go this alone. You don’t have to white knuckle it! His power is yours. Your willpower isn’t enough. I know mine isn’t. If it was, I would never have gone down this road of addiction. I wouldn’t have left a trail of destruction and hurt for all I love. But we serve an awesome Savior Who can redeem all we have done and make us a new creation in Him.

 

If you are truly ready to commit your life to Him then answer these questions:

Do you believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and proved He was God by coming back? 1 Corinthians 15:2-4

Do you accept God’s free forgiveness for your sins? Romans 3:22

Do you want to switch to His plan for your life? Romans 12:2

Are you ready to express your desire for Jesus to be the director of your life? Romans 10:9

If you answered yes to all these questions then make this a reality and make the choice to step across the line today holding your Savior’s hand. He’s so ready and willing. Just say yes.

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Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for coming into my life and redeeming me and dwelling in me. Thank You for all these women who dedicated their lives to You today, some for the first time and for others a rededication. Lord, we believe You sent Your Son Jesus to die for our sins, so we can be forgiven. We are sorry for all our wrongdoings and as we continue this journey with You, Lord, we ask for the willingness to be teachable and the strength to carry on with this beautiful life You have given us. Thank You that we do not have to go this alone. Lord, some of us are so tired and we need You more than we know. Give us rest and take our burdens as You have so promised. We love You and Praise You for Who You are. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Your Assignment:

Let us know if you prayed that prayer, so we can continue to encourage you in this amazing journey. Look up scriptures and enter them in to your journal. Remember, all comments are public on this blog. You have the option of signing in anonymously.

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If you are interested in joining us for the Life’s Healing Choices online Bible study, click HERE. Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

If you would like to send a private message to Kim in regards to this post, please email her at Kim@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

 

Life’s Healing Choices: HOPE, Make the Choice

Choice 2: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.  It is in this step that we find our HOPE.  The changes you desire are only steps away.  But, as many of you have shared over the past week, the steps are not always easy ones.

I struggle with control.  There I said it!  I don’t like many roller coasters because of the feeling of being so out-of-control.  Same goes for motorcycles!  I want my kids to behave a certain way, my husband to respond to me in a certain way, my workday to follow a set pattern, etc.  One huge reason I’ve never taken the path of drug or alcohol use is the buzz or high that others crave makes me anxious because I’m not in control of things.  Sometimes being in control is a good thing; but when you try to make sure that every part of your world lines up “just so” … it only brings disruption, anxiety, and depression.

We have hope and promise in the Scriptures that we are not on this journey alone. “I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” (Philippians 1:6)

Blessings,

Amy



PRAY –

Dear Lord, my life is a precious treasure from You.  I experience things as a result of my choices, both good and bad.  Help me not ignore the pain that comes from my choices, as it is there to turn me back to You.  I admit that I’ve refused Your help.  I pray for Your power to be real and evident.  I know that it is only through You that I will have the strength and power to break the habits that are holding me back from experiencing fully the life You have given to me.  I want to experience true love and solid relationships, learning how to trust and respect others and myself.  I want to experience self-control to walk away from temptation, and my tendency to turn back to comfortable patterns that continue to hold me back.  Help me to continue making healing choices.  Amen.

WRITE –

God promises to always be with you.  He will never leave you.  He will never forsake you.  He will never turn His back on you.  Do you believe this to be true? Deep down in your heart of hearts, do you really believe this to be true?

If you’ve been hurt and disappointed by other people, it’s hard to believe that someone as great, loving and powerful as God would stand by you…no matter what!  No sin is too great to turn Him from His children.  We may feel too ugly, too damaged, too tarnished, too sinful for God, and we make the choice to turn away.  But that’s OUR choice, not God’s.

“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you”  Isaiah 43:2.

Using prompts from our book, take time to write in your journal the questions and answers that speak to you most.  I would encourage you to answer all of the questions in the book – don’t skip the hard ones, dear friends.

SHARE –

Sharing can be the most frightening step.  How will the other person react to our story?  Will they judge or condemn my thoughts and/or actions?  Can I trust them to protect my information? Whatever your apprehensions, remember in Proverbs we’re told, “As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.” (Prov 27:17)

Baker gives a very clear and comforting instruction, “This journey is not one to be traveled alone.  You need someone of the same sex, a trusted friend with whom you can share what God is doing in your life.” (p. 54).  Do you have someone in your life you can talk to about this journey? 

After you have taken the time to reflect and write your answers to these questions, we welcome your comments below, or visit our Facebook Group for additional discussion. Please remember that all comments shared on this page are open to the public.  You do have the option of signing anonymously to post your comment.


Power Verses:
“Remember that in the past you were without Christ.  You were not citizens of Israel, and you had no part in the agreements with the promise that God made to His people. You had no hope, and you did not know God.  But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ’s death.”  Ephesians 2:12–13

“But this precious treasure –this light and power that now shine within us –is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies.  Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our won.  We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken.  We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t’ give up and quit.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-8

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think.  Then you will learn from your own experience how His ways will really satisfy you.”  Romans 12:2

“And this is the secret: that Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.”  Colossians 1:27

 Lord, I have tried to fix & control my life’s hurts by myself.  Often, I make situations worse by refusing to let go and let You handle a situation.  I admit I am powerless, and change will only come when I turn it all over to You.  You loved me enough to send Your Son to die on the cross for my sins.  Thank You for standing by me, believing in me, and wanting more for my life.  Help me to continue making healthy, healing choices in my life, and to loosen my grip on things that need to be in Your hands.  Amen.



If you are interested in joining us for this online Bible study, please click HERE to sign up.

Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

If you are interested in sending Amy a private message in regards to this blog, please email her at: Amy@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

GCH:decaf – A Special Prayer

GCH_decaf

I wanted to take a moment today to say how thrilled I have been to meet some of the GCH:decaf girls that have been introduced this month, here on our blog!  God is doing some amazing things in the lives of these awesome women!

I pray over all of the girls in GCH:decaf, each day, and ask the Lord to bless them.  I also pray that He will guide them, and give them wisdom.  That He will protect them from the schemes of the enemy.  That He will keep them from temptation.  These young lives are so very important to Him, and to us.

We’ve been introduced to some amazing young women over these last couple of weeks, and I just want to reach out today and pray over each one of them.

Robin with her Soccer career.  Mary Ruth and her education.  Carlia and Trinicia and the love they have for each other as sisters.  Channa and her desire to make a difference in the lives of others.  Michaela and her continued walk with the Lord.  Diamond and her desire to hear God’s voice.  Amber and her continued relationship with Christ.  Zinni and her move to the USA soon!  Rebekkah and the continued wisdom God is giving her about dating.  Tristan and the ability to just be herself.  Miss Vicky and the amazing family God has given her!

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Lord, I lift up each one of these young ladies and I ask that You guide them, and direct their paths.  Protect them Lord, from the worldly temptations that could lead them astray.  Give them wisdom Lord, when dealing with life issues, and continue to keep them strong in their walk with You.  I ask Lord that You protect these girls, and lead them in the direction You want them to go.  Your Words in Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that You have plans for them, to give them hope and a future.  I pray for these plans to come to fruition in their lives, Lord.  Lord, Your way is perfect, and I pray that You will keep these girls on the path that You have designed for them.

I pray Lord that You will give them strength to deny temptations of this world.  Help them to be strong when faced with peer pressure.  Help them to say no to things that You do not want for them, Lord.  Help them to recognize Satan’s tricks before it’s too late.

Give them peace and comfort when they need it, Lord.  Give them endurance and persistence, and help them remember Lord that they can do all things through YOU who strengthens them.

Lord, we love these girls so very much, and we pray for nothing more than Your perfect will to be done in their lives.  In Your precious Name, AMEN.

Girls, may God bless you and keep you; make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.  May He lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.  We love you!  Thank you for sharing your lives with us!

Blessings,

Christi Wilson, Founder of Girlfriends Coffee Hour

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Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Proverbs 9:9 Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.

Isaiah 43:4a Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee.

1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD sees] not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Psalm 139:14-16 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knows right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Lady in Waiting: Lady of Conviction – Standard Bearer

Now that we have talked about having convictions, and sticking to them, the question many of you may have is: What should my standards be?  How do I figure this all out?  So let’s try to figure this out together.  First of all, what IS a conviction?  According to the authors a conviction is a standard that serves as a springboard for your choices.  OK, it’s a standard, but where do your standards come from?

If we were to believe the media, movies, TV, etc., our set of standards may include rushing into situations that are not meant for Jesus girls.  Skimpy clothes, risky behavior and premarital sex are the norm.  Everyone is happy, and when they eventually stop being happy, they just move on to the next situation that they think will make everything better.  We need to separate ourselves from these lies and turn to God’s Word to find our truth.

In Romans 12:2 we are told, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” When we renew our minds, switching from society’s standards to God’s standards, we will receive His best.

This is not easy by any means.  We will be called things like unrealistic, stubborn, judgmental, and that isn’t easy.  I may have shared this story before, but it sticks in my head and rears up every time I struggle, but a “friend” has told me I that I will never get married because I won’t have pre-marital sex.  That isn’t easy to hear.  It haunts me.  But I have committed to having loftier goals for myself.  I know by living in God’s strength I will be given the grace needed to resist the temptations before me.  Does that mean I live a perfect single life?  I can’t claim that.  But I can say that I continually strive to live by a higher standard than what is present in today’s society.  Despite what friends may think, I know that not having premarital sex will not prevent me from finding the man of my dreams.  On the contrary, it will bring me the godly man I have been waiting for.

This of course is not the only standard involved in dating and meeting men in the Christian world.  It may be what you wear, things you say, places you go.  Whenever you aren’t sure if your actions are aligned with God’s will, all you need to do is turn to your Bible.  As it says in the scripture above, we can use His Word to “test” and “approve” our actions to see if it is what is right and good.

I will leave you today with a reminder from the end of this section of the book.  Carry this truth with you whenever you feel like it is so hard to keep up your standards, or when it seems so hard not to give into the temptations of this world:

 There are men breathing on this planet today who can handle such scrutiny and be found “worth waiting for.”

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LET’S PRAY

Lord I ask you to come along side of us this week.  We know you have high standards.  With these standards comes a life more amazing than we can ever imagine.  Give us the grace needed to turn to your word when we are unsure or feel as if we are faltering.  We want to live confidently and fearlessly under your guardianship.  Thank you for always being by our side.  In your holy name we pray.  Amen

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

What are some scriptures you turn to when looking for guidance in your dating life?  Share any struggles or successes associated with the scriptures.

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For the “Lady in Waiting” 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!

Winning Him Without Words: A Transformed Life

Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then  you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2, NLT)

We all have certain ways of acting and reacting to situations and events in our lives. This is especially true with our husbands. A simple forgotten errand or a refusal to help with household chores could start World War III in our homes. Maybe you have experienced this – the hurt, the pain, the resentment, the bitterness, the anger. It eats away at you. And when these emotions take root inside, instead of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness, the Lord cannot do His work in you. He cannot transform you.

Jesus is a gentleman. He is not going to force His way into any part your life. If you want to live with the negative emotions, you can. But, He does not want you to live there. He wants you to live an abundant life in your marriage. He wants you to have a beautiful, loving marriage, just as He intended back in the Garden. He wants that for you so very much.

But, my dear sweet friends, He cannot help you if you do not let Him.

Transform, Transformed (v) – to change the outward appearance of; to change in character or condition.

Letting Jesus in to begin transforming your marriage means that He is going to start by transforming YOU, not your husband. That is not an easy thing to swallow. There are not too many of us that enjoy change. It is difficult and scary. And this type of change is made more challenging because it will cause us to look at how we are acting and reacting to the situations and events in our lives and in our marriages. It will shape us and refine us and strip us of what we are desperately holding onto (remember those negative emotions?). This change will cause us to look at our daily battles in a new light.

And this change means loving our husbands with the unconditional love that Jesus pours out on us.

I know some of you may be reading this and thinking that you cannot get past the hurt, anger, or resentment that have been building up for years. I just want to tell you, and this goes for whether your husband is a believer or unbeliever, God can change your marriage. HE CAN. But it starts with YOU. It starts with you laying down all of the hurt at the feet of Jesus and asking Him to take over. Ask Him to show you what you can do. He will convict your heart through the Holy Spirit. He will teach you and mold you and shape you into the woman He designed you to be.

The question is: Are you ready to let Him do it?

Let the transformed life (and marriage) begin!

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Let’s Pray:

Father, today, right now I (insert your name) give my marriage over to you. I believe that You can transform me and my marriage into something amazing Lord and I trust you with all of it. Please give me a sense of peace and security as I begin this journey with you, Lord. Burn away anything that is not of You and fill me up completely with your Holy Spirit. Convict me of anything that is not pleasing in your sight. Show me how love my husband the way You love him, Lord, with an unconditional love. Provide me with strength and courage in Jesus name, Amen!

Your Assignment:

Taking the step to begin living a transformed life is not easy. It means doing everything differently. Did you pray that prayer and invite Jesus in to transform your marriage? How do you feel? Do you feel a change can happen? Comment below and tell me your thoughts. Then come over to the Secret Facebook group and let’s dig a little deeper into how we can transform our lives in a practical way.

Many Blessings on your day,

Jennifer

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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!