Forgiveness, Time, Distance

Forgiveness should be given to everyone…time with you, to people who are truly repentant…and distance should be made between you and those people who are not.

I believe in forgiveness. Yes, I believe we’re called to forgive one another, but there has to be a balance. Jesus wants us to be a strong people, with good common sense, a healthy people who love themselves enough to protect their souls and teach others right from wrong, not enable them to sin against others.

So, when somebody, especially someone who calls themselves a Christian, does not love you and continues to hurt you…sure…you can forgive them, but then you can also sever all ties…and remove them from your life.

It’s ok to get as far away from them as you can…and protect yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad Christian it makes you wise. We don’t have to be martyrs in our personal relationships, that’s not healthy…

Jesus didn’t hang out with the devil…because he was his enemy…

David hid from Saul because Saul was trying to kill him. Sure, David still loved Saul, and he forgave him, but he also had wisdom…and protected himself.

There is such a thing as a martyr complex…or a victim mentality, and it causes people to stay in unhealthy abusive relationships and churches. It is not God, and it does not glorify Him. A lot of times it is done to avoid taking responsibility for your own life, or to glorify yourself, to prove how spiritual you are…but trust me, it does not, it is actually codependent, masochist and sick…and makes you look like a fool.

You can lay down your life as a missionary, because God told you to…and preach to people that will kill you, beat you, mock you or imprison you…that is not what I am talking about. You can choose to be around unbelievers that do not love you and reject you for the sake of the gospel…in order to win them to the Lord…again…not what I am referring to.

I am talking about people in the church staying in unhealthy situations with other believers, who are abusing them…and saying it is God. It is NOT God. Sometimes love must be tough, and you will have to take responsibility, and change so that the other people will learn and change.

Boundaries are of God. Expecting those you are in a personal relationship with to treat you in a way that is good and healthy, loving and honoring, respectful and courteous…is RIGHT…and it WILL glorify God!

Be nice, until it is time to NOT be nice.

Love confronts, and changes things, fear runs away and enables.

Boundaries are healthy and they are godly. Running and hiding from conflict, will get you no where, but running full speed, head first into it will set you free.

Conflict happens. People will push you, and yes…take a mile when you intended to just give them an inch…but…only…if you let them.

You need to figure out how far is too far, because it’s important to know exactly where your boundaries are and at what point is someone is making you uncomfortable or stepping over the line. There is a thin line between being nice and letting someone take advantage of you, so you need to get to know exactly where this line is, so you can know when you need to deal with it.

By always being nice, we actually do others a disservice. When we fail to establish the necessary boundaries in our life that are essential to happiness and success, and if we always turn the other cheek, we actually enable the abusive. Trust me, someone will always be willing to hit you, if you are always willing to let them, some people just prey on people like that.  The most healthy way to handle things, is to establish that it’s not ok for anyone to hit you in the first place…because they know you have self worth, and will not tolerate it.

There are big consequences for not establishing boundaries in life. Letting people take advantage of you costs you; it erodes away your sense of worth and identity. When someone does something to you that you aren’t okay with, but you are still nice to them and don’t deal with the problem, it will eat away at your self esteem and confidence. When you learn to put your foot down and become vocal about your limits, it can be invigorating. You will gain a sense of self worth that is only achieved by standing up for yourself.

When someone crosses one of my boundaries, I have no obligation to be nice anymore, I actually have an obligation to take action. I need to do what needs to be done to preserve my peace and personal identity. This does not make me mean, it makes me healthy.

But remember NOT “being nice” doesn’t mean you HAVE to be mean. Often times a strong tone of voice, or a simple “no” will accomplish your goal of establishing a boundary with someone. Very rarely will you have to be rude to get your point across that you won’t tolerate someone’s abusive behavior, or a lack of regard for your wishes. Learn the power of “no;” it is often the simplest way to establish a healthy boundary in any given situation.

A great example is an effective parent disciplining their child; they are not mean, but they are stern in establishing limits, and this helps the child become a better person. Disciplined children are a joy to be around, and it creates a peaceful environment for the whole family. Limits are extremely important to living a happy life for all parties involved in any situation.

Yes, it’s possible to be nice and still not let anyone take advantage of you; this is the balance you want to achieve. Know your self worth, that you have rights too, and don’t let anyone take them away from you.

People often mistake kindness for weakness, let’s show them just how wrong they are. Meekness is actually strength under control.

Love confronts, and changes things, fear runs away and enables.

New Wine Skin

Image

God really wants to do a new thing…if we would just let Him. New wine, needs new skins. You can’t FIX an old skin…it has to be discarded. Lord, have YOUR way, and help us to be okay with it. Help us to find our way and place…rest in it…and not try to force anything…or hold onto the old. Just because you are not “who” you used to be in ministry does not mean you are no longer useful. You just need to accept the new place He has you and be content in it. There is a season for everything. A butterfly can never be a caterpillar again…it has died to that old place. If God has a new purpose or a place for you, He will put you there. No amount of performing, striving or trying will help. It is works, and it is sin…repent, trust and rest.

So many want to BE someone that God never ever called them to be. Or they WERE something in the past but that season is over. I am talking about a complete DYING type thing and trusting God to resurrect. Dying is dying, it is not more DOING….
It is not striving…It is just a BEING thing. Dead things don’t do anything.

If God has not opened a door for you then stop trying to open doors for yourself. Stop trying to be good enough, or copy other people. People see others with favor and they try to mimic them…it is NOT GOD. David refused Saul’s armor…because WAS not HIM. So many are tempted to try and BE like another because they want what they have. David never did that. He said, I have my slingshot, that is all I need. David was authentic, and he HONORED God by WAITING on HIM to make him King. He was anointed LONG before he took the throne.

Pushing The Trash Back!

trash-can-knocked-over
Last night I had the weirdest dream…but it was kind of funny.  In the dream I went over to my neighbor’s yard and pushed their trashcan back into their yard.  They like to keep it on my property for some reason…and it irks me…but I would never do anything about it.  I am bad for turning the other cheek…when I should probably stand up for myself.  So I woke up from the dream thinking…ok that was really strange…but oh…I would love to do that!

So today a woman that bought a print from me called, we were having a nice phone conversation, and I heard someone blowing their leaves.  It kept getting closer and closer until I could hardly hear the person on the phone, so I got up to shut the door and see where the blowing was coming from, and it was the neighbor I had dreamed about…and he was right on the walkway to my front door.  I opened the door and screamed at him to “get out of my yard!!!”  I NEVER do stuff like that…it was very UNLIKE me…but honestly it felt good!

I have lived here for 20 yrs…and this neighbor has horrible boundaries with all the neighbors.  He comes on my property to do my yard work, even though I have asked him over and over to stop.  He has killed plants because he mowed over them or trimmed them wrong.  I have told him that I would prefer for him not to do that, unless he has my permission.  I dread going outside because I know he will come out and try to talk to me.  When I go outside I wear big headphones and play music so I cannot hear him or just point to the headset and shake my head when he tries to start a conversation with me.  I have told him that I do not want to have a friendship with him.  I believe he is very unhealthy…so I do not feel safe around him.

So, I did not remember the dream until after I calmed down from getting so upset with my neighbor…it seems to make sense now…but I have questions…

Why did I have the dream?

Since I had the dream, before it happened, then was it prophetic?

Was God warning me or giving me permission to stand up for myself?

What could I, or should I…have done differently?

Update:  A couple of days later I went to minister, and when I got home, “someone” had come and blown the leaves up into my porch.  I don’t know if it was because I was exhausted from ministering, or what, but that was it for me.  I marched right over and confronted my neighbor again.  This time his wife came to the door, because I heard him tell her to, and he denied blowing my leaves.  She did say he was worried I would slip and fall on the leaves in my driveway, but he did not blow them?  Anyway, I called the police and they are taking note of it.   I recorded the whole conversation, and told them that if they come on my property the police will get involved.  I put up a no trespassing sign too, and I IF he comes over, I am calling the police and they have told me they will serve him with trespassing charges.

I am tired of taking people’s trash.  I do not think being a Christian means you somehow can be abused by people.  I think Jesus was pretty direct with those that tried to entrap him.  He confronted Peter, and told “satan” to get behind him.  I just know my time of being a doormat is over.  Boundaries are of God…and you need to be concerned with yourself…and that plank in your eye.

Oh yeah, and keep your trash in your own yard!  🙂

Lost, Then Found

Been thinking about the prodigal son, his father and brother…

Why wasn’t the older brother happy that his younger brother came back?
When the Father was so overjoyed, and filled with compassion…he ran to meet his son, hugged and kissed him? He put a ring on his finger, and killed the fattened goat for him?

But the older brother would not even go out to see him? He focused on the mistakes his brother had made…and he was mad at the Father for celebrating. What was going on with the brother? Was he jealous? Did he have control issues? Did he feel threatened…even though as the oldest,
he still had 2/3rds of the inheritance coming to him…?

Maybe, it was an indication,
that he was just like the pharisees…
the judgmental rule-based spiritual leaders,
the keepers, teachers and experts of the law…
the ones Jesus was talking to…
that had just said about Jesus…
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Could it be that the brother was like them…and truly did NOT love his Brother…OR understand the heart of a Father?

There is enough love in God for all His children…
if someone sins and comes to repentance,
and then God promotes them…
even though you have been faithful the whole time…

Don’t have a bad attitude.
Don’t get mad at God.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
Be happy, joyful, full of compassion, love and forgiveness…
because what was once lost…has been found,
what was once dead has been made ALIVE!

That is the heart of the Father…
Yes…
that is the Kingdom of God!!!

When did Church Turn into a 3-Ring Circus?

The church has become a place of entertainment.
Not a house of prayer, nor a source of salvation.

I had a dream recently, and in it, there was a party, to honor a special guest that had come back from the dead. To get to the guest, to pay your respects, and sit at His feet, you had to go down a narrow path. It was a long path, plain and simple. But, everyone wanted to stay where the entertainment stage was, with all the flashy lights and amazing music. They all sat there with their eyes wide open, watching and eating food. So sensually satisfying, but yet, so very empty.  When I began down the path, I called for others to come with me.  They could hardly hear me above the music, they looked like zombies, but when they did hear, they just waved me away.

I realized that the church is becoming more and more like that. Sometimes I go to churches and I just shake my head. Seems people are more into the music, or their experiences, than they are really into just sitting at Jesus’ feet. I hear story after story of encounters, but rarely hear the Word anymore, or hardly ever see someone get saved. Dare I say, that I believe, the love is growing cold too?

People want to see gold dust or teeth appear. Oil dripping from hands, portals, angels, healings, manifestations…etc.
They want to hear good, entertaining, speakers, and amazing music.  The cry of their heart is, GIVE US GOOSEBUMPS!!!

People are also striving to be seen, like the “super-stars” that come in and do all the amazing miracles…they are willing to step on others to get to that stage.
But, don’t they know, that it is Jesus Who promotes?   And He promotes those that usually do not want it…because they know it is a position that requires much responsibility, yes, they know they will become servants of all…and that requires much love and death to self.  Do they not know that the Word says, seek first the Kingdom of Heaven?

Yes…these people, want all these things…
BUT, do they,
or have they,
even humbly sought Him that week?

I am not a bible scholar, but it seems to me that signs and wonders were mostly to confirm the Word…so that people would get saved. I don’t think Jesus wanted it to be entertainment for the church or something we seek over Him. Worship is supposed to be for God…not for our pleasure, to distract us from seeking Him.

When did church turn into a 3 ring circus?

I believe Jesus wants His church back.

Stop Stinking Thinking

ImageThe bible says we have been given the mind of Christ and we are His temple. Shouldn’t we take good care of them? Keep them both clean and holy?

God tells us to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ…because we can…and it is good for us to do that!

He also tells us to think, dwell and wrap our minds around whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, anything of excellence and anything worthy of praise…because again…we can and we should.

Sure, the mind is a battlefield…this is true…Satan attacks us here…because just like Jesus is the head of the church…our mind is the head of our temples. But, we have the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead living inside of us, so surely we can take authority over our own thoughts and teach them who is in control!!!!

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he…

A thought leads to an action
An action leads to a habit
A habit leads to a character
A character leads to a destiny!!!

 

Puffed up? Proud?

The_Puffer_Fish (1)-001Remember…while knowledge makes us feel important, act arrogant, be prideful and puffed up, it is love or charity that strengthens, edifies and builds up the church.
1 Cor 8:1b

That means sometimes you can be right but completely wrong…all at the same time! God KNOWS everything, yet He humbled Himself and came here, and CHOSE to die for us!

Being puffed up is just insecurity manifested. Jesus did not have to prove Who He was…He was so secure…He was willing to be weak that we might be strong. To be judged wrong that we might be made right in Him! To die that we might live!

And remember…we are a family, there is no need to compete for God’s approval. He loves all of us the same, even the puffer fishes!

pictures-of-Peacock-001Love is not proud, it is secure enough to be humble.
Love is not arrogant, thinking more highly of herself and less of others that they think are weaker.
Love is not conceited, unwilling to associate with certain people because they are just not where “they” are.
Love is not puffed up, full of knowledge, a knowledge that has to correct everyone and prove how right they are.
Love is not vain, proud of his abilities, anointing, looks, eloquence, or wisdom, but gives God all the glory, knowing apart from Him, they are nothing.

 

You cannot be a whiner and a winner!!!!

God hates complaining. It releases negativity and doubt, robbing us of walking into a new day because we lose faith. The Israelites spent 40 YEARS in the desert because they were ungrateful, unfaithful and untrusting! I believe God wanted them to get to the promised land, but it was their murmuring that kept them in the wilderness. They thought they deserved more. They were focused on themselves. How can you hear from God when you are always complaining? Thankfulness is humility. God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud.

Christmas time breeds this in people, as well as the superstar celebrity mentality in church! And dare I say…Facebook too!

You know, I think God has shown me that dissatisfaction is rooted in worshiping self. We think we deserve more and when we don’t get it, that opens the door to self pity. The spirit of self pity is an insidious one. I see it strongest on people that have become addicted to sins that are all about gratifying themselves. They play the victim, blaming God, so they will have an excuse to go and sin more. Living in rebellion to God, and trying to meet our own needs never works. Flesh never satisfies.

We have to die to live. We have to walk by faith and not sight. We have to speak life, and believe God! We have to worship HIM…and not ourselves!

…[they] murmured in their tents, [and] hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD. (Psalms 106:25)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Do not fret – it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8)

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3)

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
(Philippians 2:12-16)

Contentment: gratified, happy, pleased, satisfied

12/08/2011

 

Picture

Contentment: It has been in my heart this week, the scripture that says, “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1Tim 6). Maybe because ’tis the holiday season to be greedy and lustful for things we do not have and in this scripture, God is warning us against that very thing.

But it isn’t just money, it can be anything we are lacking and desire.  Recently I have come across people that are discontent because they are married but NOT happily, and others because they are NOT married but want to be.   But the truth is, when we are content with where we are, then we will be content no matter where we are.  Sometimes I wonder if God is waiting on us to get there, to learn to delight ourselves in HIM, before He will bless us with the desires of our heart.


Picture

Discontentment, bottom line, is sin, it reveals our lack of trust in God that He loves us and is able to give us what we need.   He is our Father and our Bridegroom, how heart breaking to have a child that is never satisfied with you as a parent, in how you have provided for them, or to have a mate that is always looking for another to satisfy the desires of their heart.

When we are discontent, we will be manipulated in all our emotions, the soulful instability will be a torment and will allow satan to steal our peace.  Without peace, we cannot be led by God.  Our joy can also be stolen, and the word says it is our strength.


Picture

It also opens the door for the tormentor to lie to us just like with Eve when he implied that she could not trust God, planting the seeds of doubt that eventually led to her being deceived…and separated from God. I encourage you repent, and to choose to be content, to rest and trust.

Jer 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Philippians 4:12 (MSG)
Content Whatever the Circumstances

10-14I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

‎”3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:3-5).