Thursday, 30 June 2022

Healing Of The Memories

Proverbs 10:7 We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.
     
      Quote, Carl Jung: "I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become."
      She said, "I don't like talking about that, it brings up painful memories, but I want to be healed of my anxiety."  I said, "You can't fix what you will not admit needs fixing." There it is saints, a battle that so many people are fighting and getting nowhere because of their strategy - I don't want to think about it!
     If the memories of your past are not affecting your ability to function, and you feel things are copacetic, then move on and give life the best you can. However, if your memories are haunting you and causing anxious apprehension, which hinders your ability to move forward, then you have to confront that ever-present issue. How are we going to get healed of our past anguishing sore spots that keep showing up if we do not confront them and bring an end to their painful effects?
      When a traumatic memory continually finds its way into our thoughts, then it is time to deal with and forgive the root reason that causes the reoccurring pain. In most cases, we will have to forgive those who did hurt us regardless of how awful the atrocity was, and we might have to also forgive ourselves as much as the others who were involved in causing the hurts that keep resurfacing. Forgiving ourselves is a hard row to hoe. We can be merciless with ourselves and more judgmental than Satan. The problem with this kind of self-punishment is that we end up giving the enemy of our soul ammunition to beat us up with while crying out to God for help. How neurotic is that?
      Once the Holy Spirit prompts a person to acknowledge the hurts of their past, they would be wise to allow God to heal the emotional wounds that person carries. I remember the process I went through when God started nudging me toward forgiving my father for all the evil that he lashed out on my mother, siblings, and myself. It took a few years from the first promptings of the Holy Spirit until I was clear in my intentions to fully forgive my father. Through Christ, the Lord, and by faith, I finally received the healing that was given to me at the cross, and broke the shackles that bound my heart because of the anger and unforgiveness that was living there. The liberation and feelings of peace that filled all areas of my life, could not be adequately expressed or explained. All I can say is that when I forgave my father, I received my healing. Prov. 10:7a We have happy memories of the godly. Was it easy? No, but for me, it was necessary.
      We have to realize that when the Lord is prompting our hearts to reason with Him and become healed from our painful memories, there is no better time to do it. God is leading the healing process and He will guide us through all that is needed to be done in the right way, even if it seems difficult to us. The Lord can be trusted not to betray our exposed souls and raw emotions because His intentions for our lives are always from His heart of affectionate love. Sng. 2:4b And his banner over me was love. God wants us healed and living in His peace.
      There is an epidemic of mental pain and hurts throughout the world and it is just as prevalent in the church. The latest statistics of people who are looking for help because of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and mental disorders of every kind have exploded, and the services available to the public cannot tackle the backlog of people screaming for help. Is it any wonder the number of psychopathic eruptions throughout all aspects of life and locations is manifesting in such irrational behaviour? People who are at the end of their rope, are lashing out with whatever weapon is in arm's reach and destroying anything and anyone in front of them. This is madness gone to seed, because of the raging pain within.
      It is easy to dispense advice and say one should be healed but how does a person go about it? I have counselled people in this area, and I have found a few methods that have worked and helped people take the step of faith toward their healing. For me, my step of faith in becoming healed was to write the whole story down on paper, leaving none of the gory details out. The words written came out in fits of anger and spewed expletives, and that was the way it was. The act of describing the events that caused my deep wounds were a tumultuous and teary experience, but still an act of faith.
      I noticed that once all the horrific events were written down on paper, it seemed easier to voice my words of forgiveness toward my father. Once fully written, I tossed the stack of papers containing the vile story on the table, and as the collated papers slid along the tabletop, so did all the pain that was once in my heart. The old hurting memories were now in the pages that lay on the table and I could see that all the mess described was over there on the tabletop and no longer within me. Hallelujah, there is power in the name of Jesus, who heals all wounds when we call upon His name by faith for our healing.      
      I shared this method with someone who did the same as I did, but he took the process a step further. Not only did he write the whole sordid mess out with snot and tears staining the pages, (I didn't say this was going to be pretty) he then burned the pages as a symbol that his past life was now in ashes and he could rise out of the ashes whole and healed. I have also found that using a confessor who is a trusted friend, minister, or counsellor to spill your guts out and describe the whole pustulent mess in the full vernacular of expression, is also a step of faith forward toward confronting all the structures, devils, and people who were responsible for the past pains and traumas a person may be living with.    
      It is a strange dichotomy that some people can live through the most horrific events and move on without letting anything bother them. Then, there are so many who cannot move forward without voicing a roaring scream that can be heard in a distant galaxy because they are containers of torment. The enemy of our soul is working hard to make sure people remember their past pains while also impressing upon people's hearts to become unreceptive to the idea of forgiving the past that hurts so much. Satan puts in overtime, influencing people to focus on the agonies of the past and the fears of the future so that they do not live a victorious life in the present. The devil maneuvers people into a place where they are torn apart by two opposites of past and future, keeping them unstable in their thoughts and feelings. Their lives become a wasteland and their ability to live stagnates.
      We cannot be slothful in this area of our lives when it is time to confront the burdens of past hurts. Otherwise, our lives will be a mess of thorns. weeds, and broken walls forever in need of repair. Prov. 24:30 I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. Why would anyone want to live that way if they do not have to? The healing of the memories is possible, but you have to want to do it. May God's healing hand be on us all, in Jesus name.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

I Remember When

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
      
      In 1969, I remember when a gallon of gasoline rose in price from forty-five cents to fifty cents per gallon. A lot of people were fearful that they were not going to make it financially. An eleven percent increase in cost at that time was unheard of. The feeling that the sky was falling - because so many people were saying that very thing, made the times seem uncertain concerning the future and everyone's well-being. Of course, looking back, the sky did not fall, and a lot of worrying and unnecessary suffering of the mind, that took place - was for naught. Matt. 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
      The above scripture admonishes us not to worry or stress when times get hard or are perceived to be overwhelming. This is still a good lesson to take to heart. Lately, many people are expressing their fears concerning the future, and they are making general statements like, "I remember when things use to be much better than today. "Maybe it is the age group that I am in, but I hear that statement voiced a lot. The words "I remember when" seem to come out as an expression of surrendering to life's difficult changes which give rise to a person's feeling of helplessness to do anything about their circumstances. So, they just sigh and say, "I remember when life seemed to be much easier to handle." Eccl. 7:10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. I'm not sure if life was ever easier or if we are choosing a false memory that we find comfort in because we have survived life to this point. But now, because we do not know the future or the challenges that are coming, we are faced with a fresh new set of anxieties. Therefore, we stew in the thoughts of "I remember when."
      What I do know, is that wringing our hands and fretting about all the problems coming upon the earth is not good for our inner peace or our ability to be positive toward our future. Thinking constantly and fearing what we cannot control will affect a person's emotional well-being and the health of their body. The stress will eventually cause sickness and disease throughout their whole body. Job 21:6 When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. This is not a healthy way to live or plan life's goals. Therefore, we have to commit our ways to the Lord so that we get real answers for planning our life in the peace and health God has for us. Prov. 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. 
      God's salvation is for our whole lives, which includes our spirit, soul, and body. The Lord is always ready to provide what we need when we ask of Him. But, there seems to be an indication from God's word that worry and pining for the past interferes with the flow of the blessings coming our way. Worry and stress will weaken our faith in believing that God is for us. Faith is courageous and it humbly steps forward to receive from God what we need to live victoriously. Stress and worry are born in fear, and God has not given us the spirit of fear. Authentic faith believes the love that God has for us, and in the light of God's love, there is no darkness or fear. 1John 4:18a There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.      
      Our Heavenly Father is not against us remembering events from the old days that bring fond recollections and expressions of gratefulness toward God. The Lord wants us to remember who He is. He is the mighty creator who is here for us and He wants us to remember the wonderful miracles He has given us throughout our life. Habitually remembering the Lord throughout our time on earth will help us remember Him when the days are hard. Eccl. 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.” Isn't that what people are saying when they say, "I remember when life was better than it is now." They are saying, "I have no pleasure in the days God has given me." No Saints. We need to be grateful for the life God gave us and to use our lives to bring gracious pleasantness to a hopeless world full of woes. Lam. 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
      We can sit back and bemoan the fact that things are not as they were. But I would rather remember that when my life was a mess, God, pulled me out of that ugly nightmare to live for Him today. I remember when I was an alcoholic and God delivered me from that addiction so that I could face the challenges of today in His strength. I could sit around remembering a lot of things that are probably worth forgetting, but I would rather remember the blessings and opportunities I have had throughout my life since Jesus became my Lord and Saviour. I remember when I was lost, but now I am found in Christ. That is something to remember. Amen!

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Perspective

Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
      
      Within two days, I heard odd statements describing beauty in opposite terms. A friend was visiting from Louisiana and had noticed some very tall tulips in full bloom. She said, “Those flowers are so beautiful they look fake.” She had to touch them to make sure they were real flowers. The next day, I was at a business establishment servicing a piece of equipment when I heard a customer say to the proprietor, “Those fake flowers look so real I can’t tell the difference.” She had to touch them to be assured they were artificial flowers. It struck me that things are not as they seem. We tend to take things at face value, and once we believe something is real or not, It can be difficult to change our perspective on that belief. 
      The strange thing about perspective is how some people can end up with a point of view that just seems ludicrous. The world is flat theory, has a worldwide following, and they have explanations galore to explain away the ability of ships on the sea and planes in the air that circumnavigate around the world. Big pharma and governments are making sure that all Chemtrails in our skies are filled with toxic chemicals to control the shopping habits of society. Alien Lizard people live among us and are plotting a takeover by introducing climate change to suit their climatized needs to live here and take over the planet. I'm sure you have heard some of your friends and family come up with some of the most unbelievable ideas and perspectives out there. 2Tim. 4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
      Our understanding and beliefs can be adjusted by the Holy Spirit if we let God sow His truth within us. Saul of Tarsus was on his way to condemn the new Christians for stating, "Jesus Christ is the Lord." His perspective changed when God knocked Saul off his horse and revealed Himself to Saul as Christ the Lord of the church and the universe. Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!" Not only did the Lord help Saul change his perspective of who Jesus is, but the understanding of Jesus as our saviour was so profound that it changed Saul's perspective of his own life and he became known as Paul the Apostle.
      As ambient light hinders us from seeing the stars at night, so do the ambient attractions of worldliness hinder us and may change our perspective from seeing the glorious light of the Lord that He asks us to walk in. If you believe God is out to get you, then no matter how much you try to satisfy God, your outlook on life will be arduous and bleak. If you believe that Jesus is Lord and you have been set free through Christ's sacrifice, then your standpoint of faith will give you peace and freedom throughout your life. Only after the Lord has revealed His goodness to us can we take on a new view of who Jesus is and discard what the enemy of our soul has been lying to us about all our lives. Prov. 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. God's perspective of us is a wonder to behold.
      I have been asked many times why I read the bible regularly and why I promote the idea of staying current by reading God's word. My explanation is simple. Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, who reveals His word to me, I get to see how God sees me and the perspective I need to have about myself. We can get a glimpse through God's eyes of what He sees in us. Even though it is through a glass darkly or a mirrored reflection as the word explains it, we can get a perspective of God's love that He has for us. 1Cor. 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. How good is that?  To have a sense of peace that we are loved and can call on God's name at any time, and to know that He hears us because our perspective of Him is based on His love for us and not what we do. I like that. Blessings upon us all.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Stumbling Blocks

Proverbs 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
      
      Hebrews 12:1b 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. The statement of caution we are to take notice of - is, "Let us throw off the sin that so easily entangles us." We all have that sin or those transgressions that so easily cause us to stumble. I know someone who fights jealousy to the point of crying about it. I know of a person who cannot stop visiting gambling facilities and is repenting regularly for wasting so much money that he knows God has blessed him with. A few sipping-saints have reported that they are having difficulty stopping their use of alcohol. All these activities are not a problem until they are! Yes, I have my nemesis too. We all seem to have something that just beats us up and reminds us of our constant need for our saviour.
      Someone might say, "The temptations mentioned above, are not a problem to me at all." I could agree with that, but at the same time, we need to realize that what becomes a demonic dragged-out war for one person is not a big deal for another to withstand the temptation. Meanwhile, the sins you fall for might seem so lame to others as they roll their eyes wondering why you just can't get it together. There is always something we are trying to overcome and we cannot do it alone. We need Jesus at all times in all sinful situations to help keep us in the light of His grace. Eph. 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 
      Even when winning our battle over sin, it is God's grace at work within us. Defeating sin is not accomplished through our willpower alone. Sin, iniquity, and transgressions are overcome through the blood and sacrifice of the Lord working within our free will so we can walk in Christ's righteousness. It is all God's redemptive grace and finished work at the cross that gives us the power to overcome any stronghold. The Lord even dresses us up in His righteous armour so we can fight the battles the enemy throws at us. Eph. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
    Cain's stumbling block of jealousy toward his brother Abel, got the better of him because he would not listen to what God was saying. The Lord's warning that sin was crouching at the door of Cain's heart and the sin of jealous anger was waiting to destroy him. Cain rejected God's loving admonition, and the result was that jealousy won the battle. Gen. 4:10 But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! God's warnings are for us to hear and work out with His guidance so we can defeat the sin that so easily entangles us. It is not a one-time fight and that trespass is destroyed forever. No, it is spiritual warfare that we engage in every time the temptation shows up to tempt our souls again. The good news is through Christ we can win the battles. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 
      King Saul's insecurity and inferiority caused him to become jealous of David because of a few song lyrics exalting the battle David won over the Philistines. 1Sam. 18:8 Then Saul became very angry, for this lyric displeased him; and he said, “They have given David credit for ten thousands, but to me they have given credit for only thousands! Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul was inventing a kingdom takeover by David that did not exist. It was all in Saul's mind causing his imagination to create problems where there were none. His insecurities were an entrance for the devil to create jealousies and anger to manifest. The sin of jealousy then created the sin of hatred and murderous rage in Saul's heart. Sin begets sin, and if we do not deal with the sin that so easily entangles us, it leads to uglier transgressions.
      Another stumbling block the enemy of our soul uses - is when we sin, Satan tries to cause us to hate ourselves. This is such a successful tactic. If Satan can get us into self-loathing, it can be a long way back to redemption because we cannot shake the ugly image we have created of ourselves. Meanwhile, God is in love with us, wanting us to come to Him with a repentant heart so we can defeat the works of the devil. While tangled in sin, we tend to forget that Jesus defeated Satan, death, and hell with His perfect sacrifice of Himself on the cross. Rev. 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. This battle has already been won by God. We need to use our faith and act within the Lord's master plan that overcomes any iniquity that becomes a battleground for our souls. 
      If anyone has fallen into sin, then get up, and repent. God has won our eternal souls, and our names are written in the Lord's scarred hands and the book of eternal life. Don't let the failures we have experienced sour the multiple blessings that we live in and that await us through Christ our Lord. We are more than conquerors in Him. Yes, there are stumbling blocks in life, but there are far more victories that await us in Jesus name. Amen!

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Mortals In Need

Proverbs 23:29 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
      
      We desecrate, we flatulate, we perspirate, we defecate, we urinate, and we vomit upon this earth. I know I sound like a potty-mouth Dr. Seuss, but without God, in our lives and at work in this world, we are no more than cannibalistic Morlocks eating each other alive. The world without God is a fecal crater run by the deranged and the inhabitants spend their lives trying to rise above the stench of humanity. As we rotate on this cesspool of a planet, we cannot but notice that our planet has become the Calcutta of the universe. Please forgive me Calcutta, for using you as a reference of a paradise lost. What was God thinking when He created this place? Surely He was not envisioning this mess we insist on maintaining and calling it home.
      I am not blaming God for this mess, but the sad thing is, that God will get blamed for it, even though it is the human condition spoiling everything humanity touches. I had to turn off the news yesterday as the retelling of another mass shooting of children was reported over and over again. Real-time footage was shown with air-raid sirens screaming in the background as cities in the Ukraine were being destroyed, plus the fear of monkeypox overtaking the world. I know, it sounds like a whole lot of monkeyshines, but there it is. Then there are all the run-of-the-mill robberies, drug overdoses, people and property washed away in floods, and on and on the reporting went, and oh yeah, the economy wah-wah-wah. What will it take for people to call upon God's name and bring the needed healing to the citizens of this earth? Hab. 1:3 Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.     
      We are mortals in need of deliverance from the results of the sins we keep struggling with and repeating. We need holy restoration in the biggest way. Prov. 23:29 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? The hurt, anguish, and sorrow we are living in will not give us the peace we need to live a wholesome life on this earth and with one another. There are all kinds of opinions as to why these horrific atrocities caused by humanity keep reoccurring. Statements like - no prayer in schools, no discipline for the young, no punishable deterrents, and no respect for anyone are the common whipping posts used to explain all the woes of society. The list is endless, as are the excuses for not doing what we know we should do, resulting in a life lived in a darkness that can be felt.
      This darkness that is palpable throughout our world will take more than a few moral adjustments to fix. When God told Moses to stretch out his hand over Egypt to bring about the curse of darkness that could be felt, it was to confront the darkness within the heart of man and the god of darkness they worshipped. Ex. 10:21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses reached out with his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. Someone might say, "I don't get down on my knees and worship darkness!" No, but you are allowing all kinds of darkness to take place in your life by rejecting the gift of God which is Jesus our Lord and saviour.
      Obeying God starts at home, within our own lives. Joshua asked the people of Israel how long were they going to mess around and not get on with what they knew they had to do. Josh. 18:3 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you? How long are we going to put off what we know God has asked us to do in His kingdom and with His salvation that is at work within our souls? When are we going to possess the blessings He has given us to acquire victory over all the mayhem in this world?
      Let me close with a thought from Dr. Suess. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Yes, we mortals need the fullness of God, and for me, the buck stops here at my soul. I have to care a whole awful lot and stay focused on God's agenda and not what I see in the world right now. It may feel like everything stinks and is out of control, but God will deliver His people amid the world's insanity. Col. 1:17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Amen!

Thursday, 2 June 2022

The Dark Side

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day.
      
      Historians have recorded volumes depicting paintings, books, movies, plays, essays and every other form of recording man's journey, that describes the dark side of the human condition. Why is that? Because we know darkness intimately. Adam and Eve did not do us any favours by allowing us to know and become intimately fettered to darkness and the resulting death through sin. Overcoming dark thoughts requires a massive amount of work because we know how bad sin can get, and how awful it is. History has proven that we cannot fix the dreadful shortcomings that reside within us. Jer. 17:9 The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Being focused on darkness and evil will keep us living feverishly with unimaginative minds, resulting in repetitive acting out of sinfulness, and living within iniquity's control.
      I was reading an article that said it takes five to seven positive thoughts to overcome one negative thought that has taken root in our soul or psyche. That amount of positiveness is a lot of mental work that has to be done to have a positive outcome on a particular event in one's life. No wonder the Word of the Lord admonishes us to think about the good things worthy of thought. Phil. 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Staying focused on God's integral goodness will give us life and help us stay out of gloomy places.
      In the book of Ruth, we read how after Naomi's husband and two sons died, Naomi gave credence to the idea that this tragedy was a judgment from God upon herself. Her wounded spirit interpreted those calamitous events as a form of punishment. Ruth 1:13b For it grieves me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me. When darkness sets in, the battle for the mind is a battle in earnest. Even after the length of time, it took to travel back to her country with Ruth, Naomi had not shaken the dark spirit of self-blame. Ruth 1:20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. Naomi could only see her misery and needed a holy wind of righteous thoughts to help her navigate the grief that had become a weight of hurt that hung around her soul.
      While this tragic family event was taking place in Naomi's life, a miracle of grace was happening at the same time. Naomi could not see it, but Ruth, a Moabite woman had risen in faith by declaring that Jehovah would be her God until death. Ruth 1:16b Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you. Ruth had not only made a covenant with her mother-in-law to take care of her but also declared God to be her LORD.
     Ruth's use of the name, LORD, (Jehovah) demonstrated that God was real to Ruth at this difficult time. Grief and loss made it hard for Naomi to see the blessings right in front of her. I believe that Ruth had gleaned Godly insights into the power of the name Jehovah while married and living with her inlaws. Out of the darkness of life's harsh events, Ruth followed the only light she knew at the time, and He was the covenant God of Israel. Naomi needed a reawakening of the illumination that Ruth had believed for herself. Prov. 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day.      
      We are in desperate need of a kinsman redeemer to deliver us from our prison of unsanctified existence, which can easily bring us into a dark place. Thank God for the saving blood of Jesus, which sets us free from eternal death and our ever-increasing dysfunctions. If it does take five to seven positive thoughts to overcome negative influences in our life, then let us focus on the pure positive love of God that He has for every one of us. Let us dive into the Word of God, so we can be washed in the Shekinah glory of our Lord God. We can dispel the darkness that prowls at our doorsteps because we have the Lord within our hearts, making us through Christ, the light of the world. Let us walk in that light. Matt. 5:14a You are the light of the world. Amen!