Archives For Defeated

Stage

 

You can only think about one thing at a time. Don’t believe me?

Try spelling aloud, “I love Jesus with all my heart” at the same time as you write down your address on paper. (Go ahead and try it; I’ll wait.)

I’m convinced this is a blessing and a gift of God.  There are times in our lives we need to fully immerse ourselves in Him and nothing else. We need to get our minds and hearts refocused on life giving thoughts and directions.

For instance, let’s say someone has broken your heart or wronged you in a particularly profound way. All you seem to be able to do is fixate on them and it’s driving you crazy. It steals your joy, your smile, your happiness, your forward motion and a host of other good emotions that belong to you.

When you have been wronged it brings pain. Pain is a part of life and often the hammer that drives the nail of suffering into your heart. When suffering takes over my emotions I have a choice to make. I can continue to think about it or think about the things Jesus told me to think about.

1 Peter 5:7, instructs us, “7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

You can take your pain and emotional distress and cast them on Him. You can cast them into the sea of His mercy and love and watch them sink away.

Often, we turn to God for help, but we don’t take Him the problem. We manage the problem under lock and key. We open it over and over again and complain about it. Instead, you must take it to Him and cast it upon Him. After all, that’s what He said to do. You want to be obedient, correct? I thought so.

It’s been said, “The human mind is like a stage. Only one performance can play at a time.” Now, let Jesus have the stage by thinking on the things He said to think on. He has given you the power to choose who will play on your stage. It can be the thought of a person that hurt you, or  Jesus who can heal you. It’s your move. God bless you.

Philippians 4:8-9
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Dealing With Adversity

November 7, 2012 — 2 Comments

adversity

Life has a way of blowing adverse winds across your journey. There will be days that the winds are in your favor, and there will be days the winds are against you. Your forward advancement in life will always have much to contend with.

In times of adversity, you must prepare yourself with a purpose that is steadfast. In fact, adversity is not a terrible thing when navigated properly. When you encounter a loss, or you have suffered a massive defeat, or a serious setback, look deep inside your heart, where God lives, and prompt yourself of His presence in the storm.

When I think back on the trouble I’ve had in my life, I’m reminded how adversity ended up making me stronger. In fact, pain in my life has taught me much about myself. Adversity has shown me my weaknesses and taught me to give them over to God.

The goal of life is not to avoid adversity. Life is discovered more deeply to those who have suffered and then went on to endure their hurts and pain. The strong winds of adversity will blow away what needs to be blown away, and that which should remain, will remain.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 tells us, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; …

 

encouragement
I always try to throw more reasons why I can do something into the mix than I do the reasons I can’t. You should also. Let’s face it, life can be tough, but you can always be tougher. If you look hard enough, and deep enough, you will find more reasons why you can do what you need to do than reasons why you can’t.

Anne Frank once said, “Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” I love that quote. God has placed greatness inside of you because as a Christ follower, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. It just can’t get greater than that.

The impossible that stands in front of you is confronted with the power of the Holy Spirit. You must remember that nothing is impossible with God. What He has called you to, He will get you through. God inside of you knows no impossible situations. He is the God of all things possible. What is impossible for you is just another opportunity for Him to show off for His glory.

The Holy Spirit living on the inside of you makes you a champion, and a champion gets up, even when his or her world is falling apart, and uses the word CAN’T as a steppingstone. When you stand up in the power of the Holy Spirit, that is the moment the tide begins to turn. The tide of the ocean changes on a timetable. The tide is faithful to do so, because God who is in control is faithful.

It has been said, “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Now get out there and try again! You won’t regret it. In every crisis, there is an opportunity to let God show off through you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

4 Tips For Frustration

October 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

Anger
Are you frustrated and feeling stuck? Each of us has been there. You feel like at every turn there is another dead-end waiting to greet you. You are stuck, and trying really hard only seems to make it worse. Sound familiar?

I’ve been frustrated and stuck many times in my life. I just wanted to throw in the towel and walk away. I have no way of knowing what you might be facing at this moment in your life, or what you are frustrated about, but I know this-God is able to get you through it.

Allow me to give you a few scriptures to meditate on.

Isaiah 41:10 tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalms 34:18 tells us, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Galatians 6:9 tells us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. “

Now, before you give up and just quit, let me give you a few tips to help your walk.

1. Look again

Many times we stop looking for an answer right before the answer is reveled. Frustration can cause you to not see many times what is right in front of you. Therefore, look again. I once was trying to fix something at my house and was frustrated that I couldn’t make it work. I had tried everything and was ready to give up. At that moment a friend walked up, who was not frustrated, and gave me the solution to the problem. I just started laughing because it was so simple. I couldn’t see it because I was frustrated. LOOK AGAIN.

2. Back up and take the big look again

Many times we get so caught up in a small problem that we cant’ solve, that we miss the big picture of what we are really trying to accomplish. You may find out, by backing up, and looking at the big picture again, there is a different small step to take that will get you there. Trying a different small step might just be the key to getting unstuck. You could just be missing multiple solutions to the same problem.

3. Never stop the action

Don’t allow frustration to stop your work. You are closer to success than you think. When you are not getting anywhere, don’t procrastinate. (See Point 1 Again)

4. Stamp a positive outlook on your eyeballs

Don’t allow fear to speak a bad outcome to you. Imagine a positive out come and let that be the target you aim at and hit. See yourself achieving your goal with God’s power and blessings. When you think positive, it will put the wind at your back.

One last scripture for you to think about

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Screen Shot 2012-07-19 at 12.49.15 PM

Sometimes you don’t need to know what to DO. Sometimes you simply need to know what to BE. When life is not adding up and everything that can go wrong is going wrong…we desperately look for answers to why and what to DO next. Let me ask you two questions that I want you to think about today.

What if God doesn’t want to give you an answer to what to DO next?

What if God wants you to just BE instead of giving you something to DO?

I contend that sometimes God simply wants us to BE, instead of showing us what to DO.

You see, DOING makes us feel like something is happening…that’s why we like it. On the other hand, BEING feels like nothing is happening and that’s why we hate it some much.

Here’s the truth. God is in both of them and at this time in your life he might just be calling you to simply trust and just BE. Never forget, our BEING is found in HIm and our DOING is commissioned by HIM. Maybe, just maybe…this is a time in your life to just BE , while you wait for the DOING to arrive.

What are your thought? Share with us by leaving a comment.

 

prison-bars

Can you pray and sing praises to God when there is nothing to pray and sing about? I can…but it hurts getting started. It doesn’t feel right but I know it is right.

Psalm 145:3 speaks to us and says, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”

1. Great is the Lord (no matter how bad something truly is in your life…He is Great)
2. He is Greatly to be praised (no matter how sad you are, He is to be praised greatly anyway)
3. His greatness is unsearchable (His greatness brings healing and that healing is deep and endless…unsearchable)

God Inhabits The Praises of His People (Psalm 22:3 tells us)

Acts 16:23-26 “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: (24) Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. (25) And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. (26) And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Their Condition Was Bad (but God was good)

1. Had many stripes upon them (the sting of persecution was present)
2. They were cast into prison (hidden away from everyone)
3. Their feet were in stocks (helpless to do anything)

But They Were Not Altogether Helpless

1. At midnight they prayed and sang ( their tongue couldn’t be shackled and neither can your tongue)

God Steps Forward

1. Suddenly (Nuff said! I just love that)
2. All doors opened (That is the product of God and the result of prayer and singing)
3. Every One’s bands were loosed (Others in prison were blessed and freed by Paul and Silas praying and singing through their pain)

What About you? Can you pray and sing through your prison time? Share thoughts with us.

mend-broken-heart

 

If God’s timing is perfect why does it often hurt so much?

I would love to hear Martha, the sister of Lazarus answer that one. What an interesting conversation that would be.

Back Story

Martha and her sister Mary, along with their brother Lazarus loved Jesus and were friends with him.

They took care of Jesus when he was in their neck of the woods. (e.g. feed him meals, allowed him to stay at their house, Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with oil and wiped them with her hair)

There was a solid relationship of trust and care between their family and Jesus

Lazarus becomes very sick. He becomes sick enough that the family sends for the help of Jesus.

Their life is not adding up so they send for the one that can set it right.

One problem: HE DOESN’T” SHOW UP!!!!

Facts to remember and remind yourself of

Jesus loved them (in pain we often forget the love of God because it doesn’t feel like he is there)

This pain was for the glory of God (our life is not our own. We are his and we are bought with a price)

Story Continued

By the time Jesus gets there Lazarus is dead

Martha hears Jesus is coming and goes to meet him on the road

Then we read this in John 11:21-2

21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.Whoever believes in me,though he die,yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord;I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

 

Martha had her facts straight. If Jesus had healed immediately, Lazarus would have not died. He would have been okay and pain in their lives wouldn’t have been an issue. However, there is something I don’t want you to miss.

If Jesus had acted in the way Martha thought He should, her relationship would have never had the same depth as it did when with her eyes she saw Jesus command death to let go of her brother.

Jesus cried out, “Lazarus, come out.”

 

Jesus took the power of the resurrection out of the shadows of the Old Testament. Jesus took the power of the resurrection out of the future also. He proved to her and us that HE IS THE RESURRECTION IN THE NOW.

If God’s timing is perfect why does it often hurt so much?

The answer is simple-so He alone will receives all the glory and that you and I  would come to know Him at the deepest level possible.  To know Him deep demands a path of pain.God’s timing is perfect but that doesn’t mean it won’t sometimes hurt.

 

What are your thoughts? Share them with us.

I love the word Piehole. I picked it up many years ago back in the 1980’s when my cousin graduated from Marine Boot Camp. He said that the drill instructor used it on them all the time…however, I deter. Allow me to get back on subject.

Let’s face it…complaining feels good. It feels good because it’s a short term fix to our frustration. Most of us complain all the time. We complain in big ways and in small ways. In fact, statistics show that most people complain at least 15 to 30 times per day. Complaining just simply seems to be born into us but that doesn’t mean we have to be held hostage by it.

Complaining falls into two categories.
1. Things we can’t change
2. Things we can change

So, how can you navigate these two categories?

First, you need to deal with things you can’t change.

1. What you can’t change get it off your brain. (e.g. take it to God in prayer and LEAVE it there)

2. If it can’t be changed then don’t let it become a drain on you. (e.g. Look at open doors in your life and not the closed doors)

Second, you need to work on the things you can change

1. Don’t complain about what you have the power to change. (e.g. Change it with actions…you must act on it or it will act on you)

2. Don’t allow complaining to be the solution for your frustration. (e.g. If there is an answer…step through that door)

LEAVE A COMMENT
What are some things you find yourself complaining about most often? How have you dealt with complaining successfully?

Have you ever felt like God has left you hanging? That He just seems to continue to bless others and answer others, while overlooking you? If you have, then you’re not alone. I’ve been there many times. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be there again. It seems to be part of God’s plan.

Take a look at what King David said…

    Psalm 13:1 “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”

    Psalm 69:1-3 “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.

Wow! Even King David had times He felt forgotten, overwhelmed and left hanging. David knew what a Hold Down felt like. I wonder…did King David ever surf? LOL

I remember first learning to surf when I use to live in California. When the waves would take me down I would get overwhelmed and would fight them trying to find my way back to the top. Fighting always caused me to lose air and my hope way to fast. I was confused at how all the other surfers could stay for hours and never become as worn out as me. They could stay for hours and I would have to leave after only a few waves.

Finally, a local surf who had been watching me for a few days came over and taught me a great lesson. He taught me that everyone in the water gets caught under big waves but the secret to survival is not found in fighting them. He went on to teach me that I just needed to allow the wave to take me wherever it wanted. The wave was in control and fighting was futile. He taught me to put my arms around my head in order to protect myself from injuries and said to just relax until the wave was finished holding me down.

He said to me that relaxing was how you reserve both your air and strength for the long haul. He assured me that once the wave was finished it would release me to freely swim to the top without much resistance at all.The very next time I was caught in a hold down, I did what he said and it worked perfectly.

Getting caught under waves is just part of surfing. Feeling like you have been left hanging by God is just part of following Him. There is a way to survive and once again thrive.

1. Tell yourself it happens to everyone. (You’re not the only one)
2. Allow God to work even when it feels like He isn’t. (He promised to never leave or forsake you)
3. Relax and protect your head (relax with prayer and hands lifted in praise)
4. You will float to the top again (Once the wave is finished, God is in control)

Surfing is not easy. Serving Him is not easy. However, they are both things of beauty.

How do you deal with the feel of being overwhelmed and seemly forgotten? Share your thoughts by posting a comment.