Thursday, November 25, 2010

4 Giving Secrets

I shared this today in group, after being told I was too cheerful for Thanksgiving where I was. Needless to say, when it was over, the people with me had a better mood too! These are four secrets to the happiness in my life.

4 Giving Secrets:

1)Giving your problems to God – He is in control anyway and is just waiting for us to let go. It is not denying that you have a problem or refusing to deal with it - just turn it over to God.

2)Forgiving – Let get of past hurts, offer forgiveness, remember God forgives us only as we forgive others. Forgiving is for us, not the person that wronged us. It does not mean that you have to be reconciled to the person, it means that you allow the past hurt to stop having control over you.

3)Thanks giving – In all things, give thanks. Regardless of what is going on around you, there is always something to be thankful for. Even the poorest of poor in America are richer than most third world countries. Very few people can say they have ever starved - we may go hungry, but starvation is the result of a severe or total lack of nutrients needed for the maintenance of life - very few of us can say whe have been there - that is something to be thankful for!

4) Giving to others – We are called to be servants – servants give of themselves with nothing in return. Giving to others lifts your spirits and theirs too. Give a smile, a compliment, encouragement, compassion or love. These cost nothing. Give your time – whether to a worthy cause or just really be in the moment with the people around you – focus on the here and now. Give of your resources – they all belong to God anyway. We all have something we can give to others!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lessons from Narnia

Tonight I was watching Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and saw a few things in a new light. I know much has been written about this series of books, but since I haven't read those works these are new revelations to me. Maybe their fresh, maybe someone else has seen these things too, but my blog, my revelations and its new to me!

I do know CS Lewis wrote these stories as a fiction example of Christ's relationship. I know that Aslan is suppose to represent God.

First I noticed that the youngest child, Lucy was the one who felt Aslan's presence. We are told to come to God as children, and here that rang out to me. She doesn't just look for him, she chases after him. She is looking for him when no one else is. She is receiving from Him when others question his presence and her. As Christians we need to be sensitive to his Spirit. We need to not only seek Him, we need to recklessly pursue Him. When everyone else is looking other places for solution, we should be looking to Him for the answer. We always need to be ready to receive from Him regardless what others think.

Second, there is a scene where the young rulers are in this cave discussing the upcoming battle. Some want to stand their ground and just be defensive. Others want to storm the enemy gates and gain the element of surprise. As Christan's, in general we have decided to be defensive against the attacks of the enemy. We wait for attack, then fight. As Christians we are suppose to be advancing God's kingdom, not just trying to hold onto what we have. We need to be bold and storm the gates of hell, because God will prevail against Satan when we do.

Third, was a scene of war. The four young rulers are standing their ground as this giant army advances against them. I don't remember this scene from the times before - but I noticed they stood confidently despite what was coming at them. That's what God wants us to do. When we have done all we can do, we are called to stand. We must stand in faith knowing that greater is He who is within us, than he that's in the world.

Fourth, was a scene were Lucy actually goes to Aslan. He asks her why she didn't come before. They converse. She asks him if things would have been different if she had. God should be the first solution we seek, not one of desperation. So many situations get worse, more damage gets done, more people get hurt when we fail to just surrender to God immediately.

Fifth, at the end Lucy stands with her little dagger drawn against the mighty army,but Aslan is at her side. With there is one mighty roar of Aslan and the battle is complete. All of nature is summoned to his command. Trees stand up and fight, the water rises in battle and consumes the enemy. God has an all consuming power, that since the time of the flood the world has not seen. He overcame evil in the world then. He did it again at the cross. And He wants to do it through His church. We allow doubt to set in. We back down in the presence of evil, instead of drawing our swords and allowing God to come beside us and win the battle.

I enjoyed the movie last night, even though it didn't have my full attention. However I enjoy more the revelations given to me. I pray that they take root and grow in my life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Today Pastor Cass talked about Contending for the Faith, part two in his lesson. He made the comment that we go from victory to victory in our Christian life, but that we have to contend for it.

The word Victory stood out to me. In every instance, the only way to have a victory is for there to be a battle. Jesus won the war on the cross, but we have to engage in battles in our life to gain the victory.

So many times, I just want to pray for Christ to deliver me from a situation. If I press hard enough, God usually does deliver me, but I end up later facing the same type of battle again. He may allow me to retreat for the moment, but the enemy is still there if he is not completely defeated. I can never gain victory over the enemy in that area if I don't engage in the battle.

I think of how many situations that I complain that I have to go through. I think of the client's I work with and the self defeating patterns that many engage in. Their faces flashed before me, the scenarios flashed before me, as Pastor Cass preached.

We have grown in a society that expects instant results. When we do not get them, we shrink back and decide it must be bigger than we are because we can't gain the victory with one little attempt. We see our immediate failure as proof that we can't overcome. But I get the message - we have to engage in the battle - to the very end - in order to gain victory.

I have overcome a lot in my life, when I was in the situation i didn't see the way out - but I kept pressing on. I knew that God was there with me, even when I didn't see or feel Him. When I thought I couldn't go on, His strength would come or He would send others to come along side me and encourage me. In the end, the victory came - not easily, but completely.

I haven't had to spend my whole life in battle. I have though been able to see battles come to an end and have obtained victory in a lot of areas in my life. What I realize is that I need to allow God to take me through the battlefields of those areas that I still haven't seen victory in. I have to trust that if I stand and fight, past where I want to give in, He will bring me to victory. (Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?)

(Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.) We are more than conquerors in Christ - but all conquerors have to stay in the fight to complete the battle!


Wednesday night Pastor Brian taught about Trust. It was a really powerful message that makes one think. As I left church, and into the following day this issue of trust continued to run through my mind. I ended up talking about it in group I lead on Thursday. I was touched how God used that message to not only challenge me, but to speak with the patients, who could take the message and apply it to their own lives too.

The message was from Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. 

Here is what I took from that message and shared. I work with so many people with "trust issues". People who have been hurt and in their mind don't trust anyone or anything. The fact is though, we all put our trust in things every day.

I trust my employers to pay me, I trust the chair I sit in to hold me up, I trust my car to get me where I need to go. I don't question all week long if there is going to be a check. I just trust there will be. Despite having been burnt once with a previous employer that wrote checks without funds, I still trust. I don't fret daily about my vehicle, despite past times when I have had vehicles break down. I trust if I maintain regular maintenance and put gas in it, I can get where I need to go. I don't question every chair I sit in if it will hold me, despite being a big girl. I just sit down and trust it to hold me.

If I can put 100% trust in material things - why should I not trust God 100%? And although there are times I say I trust Him, why then do I question His ways and timing? Either I trust Him or I don't.

In addition, trust increases with relationship. The more I get to know someone the more I should trust them. If I have problems trusting God, it is because I have not put time into our relationship.

I work in a hospital, and we have patients come in "trusting" us to provide quality care for them. So many times they will only trust the medicine they want. They get upset that the doc won't give them what they want. Either they trust the doc to make doctorly calls, or they don't.

Patients expect the hospital staff to trust the information they give us about the symptoms they are experiencing. With the number or people who are drug seeking in this world, sometimes that relationship takes a while to build, especially for those who do not have a regular doctor and are in pain. As they spend time with us, they learn what they can expect. As we get to know them, we learn more about them and what they need.

The third thing I shared is that I think sometimes it is easier for us to trust what we know, than to take a chance on something new. People trust the things they are addicted to, or a bad relationship more than they trust themselves to be able to survive without it. They trust those things to meet the problems they face, more than they trust God's willingness to help them overcome their addictions.

Sometimes it is the process that holds the answer for us, not the solution itself. Sometimes we have to learn total dependence to solve the problems we face - that doesn't including complaining and questioning every step of the way. So put your trust in God, He beats anything else we put our trust in!!!!