Archives For Resentment

Feelings1

I’m empty today. There is nothing inside of me that is happy. I’m my own worse nightmare. I break promises to God all the time, and I feel there is no way He can love me knowing the thoughts of my heart.

Bitterness haunts me and broken dreams seem to be the only thing in front of me. I keep going and yet deep inside I long for another direction for my life. I question if God knows what He is doing in my life. I fail so often I’ve almost started to expect nothing less.

I wonder constantly how to be a better Father, and yet I seem to never follow through on things and time is slipping away. I desperately want to be a better husband and yet I fall short time and time again. I want to be a better pastor, but I’m confused to what all that means and I wonder if I’m just setting myself up for more disappointment.

I write these things today to show you the voices I encounter on a daily basis, but I also write to tell you more.

I’m actually not empty because He said He would always be with me. That is a promise I can count on regardless of feelings. I don’t have to always be happy because He has promised me joy by the power of His Holy Spirit. I don’t have to worry about being my own worse nightmare because He is for me. I may break promises, but He is the God of mercy and even though He sees the thoughts of my heart, He knows I’m but clay and loves me anyway.

The Bitterness that comes from broken dreams only proves He has a better plan and a better way. The longing for another direction is only a thought of momentary escape, and God knows I’m committed until the end. He is not afraid of my questioning Him because in doing so, I’m drawn closer to His heart. I might fail more often than succeed, but He is there to pick me up when everyone else has run away.

He whispers to me that being a Father is not about being perfect but about loving them and pointing them toward Him, the perfect Father of all. He encourages me to love my wife as Christ loved the church and yet knows I will fail from time to time. Again He shows me His mercy and Grace. He calls to me to remain steadfast in being a pastor and promises me that when the chief Shepherd appears, I will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Oh the beauty of following Christ! Maybe you have similar feelings about your life today? If you do have similar feelings, then welcome to the human story. If you do have similar feelings, then He knows all about them. If you do have similar feelings, then you need to know they will one day pass away forever. Until then, keep walking, keep believing for He is with you.

cuttingpic

My Daughter knows a young lady who cuts herself often. The depth of pain and emotional turmoil for her friend is at times unbearable in her heart and mind. These feelings lead to the cutting of her arms. The following poem is by my daughter in order to bring awareness to a very sad and dark reality for many among us

 

Blacker Than White

They carve their sins into my bones with their cold tongues. I helplessly crumble as their emotionless eyes lap up my weakness.

I cling to my last bit of sanity as their voices control me.

 Their sickening laughter, which rings through my ears, reminds me of a haunting death. Their nails, so sharp, slide down my arms and wrists.

 My skin falls off like dead rose petals.

 Hot tears start to gather under my chin as I go numb.

 They are destroying me… No.

 I’m destroying myself.

 Who are they?

 The whispers at night that compel me to stain my pale arm a scarlet red.

 They are my memories, my living nightmares.

 Someone help me, I’m choking on madness.

Drowning… I’m drowning.

By~Madison Blake Wright

 

“Experts estimate that about 4 percent of the population practice self-injury, almost equally divided between male and female. According to researchers, “recent studies of high school and college students put the number at approximately one in five,”and nearly 50 percent report physical and/or sexual abuse during his or her childhood. Inadequate parental nurturing or a suppression of emotions, like anger or sadness, may also contribute.”`Conterio, Karen and Wendy Lader. (2007, November 26) About Self-Injury. S.A.F.E. (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives.

 

 

cutting

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Resource : Inside a Cutter’s Mind

Recommended Link For More Insight- Understanding Cutting by Dena Yohe

 

 

 

 

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.

jesus-betrayed-by-a-friend

Psalm 55:12-15 (ESV)
12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. 14 We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. 15 Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart

When a person helps heal a wound in your life you are thankful, and rightfully so.  They were there for you in your moment of greatest need. However, what happens when that same person reopens the wound by partnering with the very one that caused the wound in the first place?

When that happens it’s called, talking out of both sides of their mouth. It simply means to say different things to different people about the same subject. Betrayal hurts no matter what you call it.

Many things in life hurt and can be difficult to handle, but when a friend throws you under the bus, it’s a pain of a special category. Betrayal brings many negative emotions to the surface of your heart, and it hurts tremendously.

In our text, the psalmist uses some strong language in verse 15 that I’m not sure how to fully process, nor interrupt in a way that makes perfect senses to me. However, it’s real language and shows the depth of the pain he was feeling.

Getting rid of negative emotions can be a battle all by it’s self, and the last thing you need to do is add another battle to the battle that is already raging in your heart. I suggest you take a cue from Jesus himself and walk in the power of extreme forgiveness. I once heard it said that forgiveness means to “let go.” Letting go can be done in spite of your emotions.

Forgiveness is the only way to move beyond betrayal. When a friend betrays you, you can seek revenge and feed your negative emotions if you choose, but it’s only a prison you are building for yourself.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let me say it again. Forgiveness is the only way to move beyond betrayal.

Matthew 18:21-22(ESV)
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

 

red kite in the sky

Adversity seems  to have a key to the front door of our lives. Adversity shows up completely unwelcomed and always unexpected. If it can’t get through the front door, then it will find a window to break. Adversity is a strong wind that blows into our life from time to time.

Adversity is the intruder that loves to show up about the time everything is going right. However, don’t get over worried because I’ve heard it said, and I believe it to be true, ““Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.”

Let’s face it. If everything ran smooth all the time, you might just miss the turn God wants you to make. Adversity has a way of waking you up and making you look again at your direction in life.

Adversity has a way of taking an over organized direction and bringing just enough disorganization to move you to the place you may have missed otherwise. Maybe there is another skill God wants to develop in you. Adversity is allowed into your life to build you up and not necessarily tear you down.

There is an old proverb that says, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” I would add my own twist for the Christian by saying; smooth paths and no wind do not make a well-equipped Christ follower.

Adversity can’t be avoided. Adversity is just part of living life. However, when adversity shows up, give it over to God quickly. Adversity in His hands gives Him the opportunity to show His power in your life.

One pastor once said it this way, “Adversity becomes the means through which His supernatural power is demonstrated.”

When I was a little boy I use to love to fly kites at the beach. There is one thing that is true of a kite. A kite doesn’t blow along with the wind. A kite rises against the wind. Your life can do the same the next time the winds of adversity arise in your life.

Allow adversity to take you higher and higher. Remember what the book of James teaches.

James 1:2-4

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

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; …

 

doubt

If you have ever had a friend, or a family member doubt the faith, you know how disheartening that can be. It cuts your very soul. In some cases, your friend or family member simply doubts something in the bible, but in other cases, they may even depart from the faith altogether. It hurts to see this happen, and it give rise to many emotions inside of you. In fact, many of those emotions, if not submitted to the Lord, can damage the one doubting, if unleashed on them improperly by you.

Here, are some things to do when doubt has captured your friend or family member.

1. Keep your emotions on the altar

Take all your angry feelings, and leave them on the altar of God. He can handle your pain better than you can. Worship Him until the feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal slip away.

2. Trust that God is still asking questions through them

Even John the Baptist doubted at one point in his life, and sent word asking if Jesus was really the one. Once He heard the right answer, he was unchained from doubt, and moved on in His faith. All great men and women of God have doubted at some point in their walk with Christ.

3. When they become unfaithful, God doesn’t

2 Timothy 2:13 tells us, “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” God is faithful and will continue to work in their lives, even when they have stopped moving forward with God. You must remember, God loves your friend or family member more than you ever can.

4. God can move mountains

What is impossible for man is never impossible for God. He can move doubt over the cliff in their life in a moment of time. Mighty to Save by Hillsong says this,
Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever
Author of Salvation
He rose & conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

5. Finally, my favorite verse that many forget about.

MERCY! Jude 1:22 tells us, “22 And have mercy on those who doubt;” You must never forget that mercy wins over judgment. When you want to give judgement to the one you love…GIVE MERCY

God bless you
Pastor Steve

JealousyThe most unsightly stage to live life on is Jealousy. Jealousy is even more menacing than anger or fury. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Proverbs 27:4, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?”(NIV)

Jealousy divides people, which is the opposite of what Christ followers should be doing. We are reconcilers in Christ. We have been called to walk in the ministry of reconciliation. Jealousy is an enemy and will destroy your testimony of Christ likeness.

Jealousy is not something new to the human experience. In fact, it’s been around since the very beginning. Satan used it to inspire Adam and Eve to disobey God. Cain and Abel is another excellent example. I could go on and on, but you get the point. Jealousy is nothing new and neither is its danger.

What’s in the soil of jealousy?

1. Unsuccessful outlook on your life

We want what we want now. That seems to be the default thinking of the fallen heart within us. Life has a way many times of not delivering things we want fast enough. Therefore, when someone else gets what you wanted before you get it, it gives rise to jealousy.

2. Privilege is a right

Our fallen DNA speaks an untruth constantly. In the echoes of our fallen human heart, we hear the whisper, “You have the right to anything you want.” We truly do have a predisposition toward entitlement that is extraordinarily damaging to our witness for Christ, if we let it gain control of our lives.

3. The more monster

Many live life always wanting more because they are convinced that more of this, or more of that, will make them happy. More will never complete you. Only God can complete you. It easy to look at other people and wish you had all they had. What is difficult, yet healing is to look at God and know assuredly that He is all you will ever need.

How to get a handle on jealousy

1. First, you must submit your thoughts to God.

The mind is a powerful gift, but when allowed to grow negative thoughts, and thoughts of jealousy, it can create chaos into your life. The moment this begins to take place, you can win against it, by stopping, and praying for someone to be blessed other than yourself. In fact, try praying for the person you are jealous of. (Oh Yeah!)

2. Believe God’s plan for your life again

God has a plan for you life. He is building your life. He takes away what needs to be taken away, and he allows into your life those things that you actually need. His timing is correct in your life. There is no need to compare yourself to others.

3. Blessing others will keep you free

This one is a no-brainer. Blessing others will take the focus off of you. When you bless others, you are blessing God. When you bless God, marvelous things happen inside of you soul. Test it and you will see.

4. Take an inventory

Count up all the good things in your life. You just might be surprised at all the good you actually have. The garage of your life is not that empty. You simply have more blessings than you know you do. We often lose sight of them all because we are always looking for more.

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grassgreener
Is Sex Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence?

The fastest way to destroy your marriage is to allow yourself to fall into an emotional attachment to someone other than your spouse. Nothing can steal intimacy faster than this first step away from the covenant God has placed you in when you took your vows before God and the world. Now, let me say at this point; if you want to comment adultery, it’s your choice…but know this-it’s going to cost you. It will destroy your home and the lives of many around you. There is simply no way around the fact that it will cause pain forever.

Adultery promises fulfillment and excitement that you feel you are not getting at home. The problem is, it always fails to live up to that promise sooner or later. You must remember, love is not a feeling; love is an action that you continually do and feelings are secondary. The green grass on the other side of the fence has the same sun shining on it as the grass you are thinking about leaving.

Please remember, that the decision to cross the fence comes with consequences that are enormous and last for a lifetime. It has been said before, and I agree, “No sex outside of marriage is that good.” That new adventure also has it’s own disappoints of life waiting to show itself soon enough. Those feelings of loneliness, emptiness and boredom that is diving you to pursue someone else…they will soon surface in the next relationship also. The reason why is that those feelings are inside you. In other words, everywhere you go, there you are.

It’s a fact that most people don’t set out to commit adultery. They let down their guard, and they generally drift out to sea until land seems to far to return to. It’s like the frog place in warm water: you turn up the temperature little by little until the frog is cooked. The frog just thinks it’s having a warm bath but the truth is he is being killed.

Allow me to give you three things that will help you to remain faithful and keep you from wreaking you life and others.

1. Keep the marriage bed on fire and purse each other

Take the time to talk with your spouse about your needs, wants and desires. Share with each other what you are looking for in the bedroom. Come to an agreement for the sake of the marriage, your kids and God. Submit to each other the bible teaches us. Cultivate romance in your relationship again. I would encourage you to pursue your spouse the way you did when you first started dating. If you are not still dating your spouse, you need to restart that as fast as you can. Get a baby sitter and leave the kids at home. Go to a movie and a meal. Hold hands and look into each other’s eyes. Talk about the beauty of the past and dream with each other about the beauty of the future.

2. Close the door on your heart to any other except your spouse

Make yourself accountable to a friend that will ask you about your flirting with others. Be open and honest with them and ask them to pray and ask you regularly about it. The bible teaches us that faithful are the wounds of a friend. Trust me, you need someone in your life that will speak truth without watering it down. You eyes are the gateway to the heart. Give your eyes back to your spouse and that feeling of him or her no longer having your heart will return like a flood.

3. Don’t deny you are being tempted

You and your spouse need to make a decision that you can freely and opening talk about your temptations. Temptation is not wrong. Temptation is not a sin. However, once you act on temptation sin is birthed. If you were at the office and someone was flirting with you or you were flirting with them…when you get home sit down and talk about it. You and your spouse need to decide in advance that these kinds of talk can and should take place without judgment. Confession can be risky, but the truth is, they can also save your marriage before it is too late.

Finally, if you are on the other side of adultery and have divorced and maybe even married again, and then grace and mercy from God is there when you repent of your sin. My advice would be this…go to the top of the post and read it again. Don’t commit the same SIN again.

Armpit Verses And Lights

October 2, 2012 — 2 Comments

light house
Luke 6:27-38
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

I’m a dedicated hunter. I get up early during hunting season, and head out the door long before the sun comes up. I love it. One of the places I hunt is way out in the country and just getting there in the dark of the night is quite difficult. There is one area of road that is about 5 miles long near the land I hunt and has more curves in it than a Monte Carlo racetrack. I drive slow and careful as the headlights light the way. Nothing is odd about that because that is what you do on a country curvy road in the dark.

Now let me share a situation and then submit a question. Suppose I was driving that same road in the dark of the night and decided to turn my lights off and navigate the road in the dark. What would you think about that decision?

You would think I’ve lost my ever-loving mind. You would think I was mad because the natural thing that is going to happen sooner or later is…I’m going to run off the road and wreck. Just like turning my light off on a curvy road in the country would be crazy, so is turning your light out on an enemy.

Jesus said in Matthew 5 “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father which is in heaven.”

When you and I turn our light out on our enemies, it’s only a matter of time until we run off the road and bring dishonor to God’s love.

It’s our call and duty as Christians to shine our light on the just and the unjust because it’s the God thing to do. We know deep down these verses are the right way to live, the kingdom way to live, but knowing and doing are two different things. So what does God have to say about loving our enemies?

Some verses in the bible I call armpit verses. We prefer to put deodorant on them and move on. Luke 6 is a great example of some of these armpit verses. However, Don’t look at that passage as a list of moral rules to put a check beside of when you achieve them from time to time. Instead, look at it, as it truly is- the true character of God and the character that should be in his children.

N.T. Wright once said this, “Think of the best thing you can do for the worst person, and go ahead and do it. Think of what you’d really like someone to do for you, and do it for them. Think of the people to whom you are tempted to be nasty, and lavish generosity on them instead. These instructions have a fresh, springlike quality. They are all about new life bursting out energetically, like flowers growing through concrete and startling everyone with their colour and vigour.”