Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Grace of Uncertainty

Last week I was so low: despairing of my present, questioning of my past, and uncertain about my future. So I did the usual: I cried, I prayed, and I isolated- essentially giving in.And after 24 hours of that foolishness, I gave up the pity party and went to the Throne as one who is called to it.

“Yes, Lord”? There my Father led me to consider Abraham and the grace of uncertainty that his story reveals. Yes. Uncertainty, on God’s end, is a function of grace. There’s a level of uncertainty that comes with life in this world, and I’m used to that, and like Abraham I’m still able to worship God and be ok (see Genesis 12:1-9).

But God, in His grace, sometimes increases that level of uncertainty. He showed me that He did that to help me (and Abraham…and you…) to rise that much more above my carnal, natural way of living (I’m born again, you see). The increased uncertainty forced me to choose between sinking into the flesh (depression) or reaching out to God in faith. I obviously did the first for a while, but thank God I answered when He called me to His Throne. And it was there that He reminded me of Abraham and then Israel at the Red Sea.

This is what I received from my Father: When we are going ‘through’, we must look back and recall God’s last words to us and our last experience with Him. We must also recall His promises regarding the future. Doing this puts the “valley of the shadow of death” into perspective, for it lies between the green pastures and the table. It is the Shepherd that leads.

So I recalled the past- when God called me to be His ministering servant- and the multiple confirmations of His call. Then I recalled the future. I LITERALLY went to the back of the book: Revelation 21-22. I reread the end of the story…my story and I worshipped my God who will use my present to bring about that future.

I look back on last week tenderly and with watery eyes. I learned that uncertainty is a function of grace, and spiritual development is a result of uncertainty (our rising above it). This revelation has changed my prayers, to say the least. Ask me how.

The other part of this tale is that God used the TeleBible Studies broadcast of last week to trigger my thoughts regarding Abraham. I hope to see you at our next study. If you’d like a downloadable copy of the audio of lesson 10, let me know. I will send it to you.

Your feedback is always appreciated. LIKES, SHARES, forwards, emails, etc.  all speak volumes. Thank you.

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Hurting People Hurt

by V. Leacock- CA (guest contributor)

Proverbs 22:24
“Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go”

 Have you ever heard the expression, “Hurting People Hurt?”    I have.    A few years ago I sat spellbound as the keynote speaker spoke during a women’s ministry program.  Suddenly, and to everyone’s surprise, a woman sitting nearby spoke those words.  What was probably meant to be a whisper was quite audible. 

Over the years, similar to a “catchy” television commercial jingle, those words would replay in my mind again and again.  The question was, “What do those words really mean?” With time and experiencing unhealthy relationships I finally understood the meaning:  Individuals who have been emotionally damaged tend to inflict their hurt and pain on other people.     

“Hurting People Hurt,”   can be verbally abusive, accusatory, and irrational.  They can be a sibling, a spouse, a child, a friend, and even our parents.  Their choice of weapon is most often words.  They delight in using language that cuts to the core of your being.  You are left feeling disrespected and broken. “Hurting People Hurt,”   are also at their best when it comes to playing the “Blame Game.”  Their goal is to win at any cost with each unkind word that is spoken.  They are unwilling to recognize and take ownership that at the core of their hurt and pain is unresolved anger.

As a recipient of “Hurting People Hurt,”   while being verbally attacked I struggle for a comeback.  It is difficult to sit and not retaliate while having hurtful words hurled at me.  Who wants to look like a “Wimp?”   Praise be to Jesus Christ, there are no “Wimps” in the family of God.    Immediately the Holy Spirit reminds me, “Be still and be quiet; I will handle this.” There is a powerful sting in a moment of silence.  

“Hurting People Hurt,”   prefers working behind closed doors.  Consequently, you rarely see their true nature in public.  The truth of the matter is that they are ashamed and disturbed by their behavior.  In spite of that fact, their ego gives them a false sense of importance so they wear their badge of cruelty with honor.     

Conversely and ashamedly, I have been a perpetrator of hurting others.  Once I knelt in prayer and poured out my heart to God, He enabled me to identify the root of my anger.  I asked for His forgiveness and in time the negative thoughts I once held onto lessened and eventually stopped. 

Today I am no longer in bondage or blinded by what someone has said or done that could impact my well being as I travel this Christian journey.  I wear a different badge now…..The Cross of Jesus Christ.  For I have been sanctified and reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for me and even Hurting People Hurt” on Calvary.  

V. Leacock’s honesty is appreciated. We all know this person, but the sad thing is…often WE ARE this person. This article ministered to me in a major way. It’s being shared with you with the prayer that it ministers to you and those you know. SHARE and LIKE this article. Email the link above and send it to everyone in your inbox. Let the healing begin.

We hope to see you Monday at 9 for the Bible studies conference call. Visit the homepage for other details and download the latest lesson. God bless you.


Seasons

by Natalie Cupid- NC (Guest Contributor)

For those who don’t know when to let go…and/or find it hard to do so...

1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecc 3:1

Recently I have been reminded about the many seasons that we encounter as we go throughout our lives. Most of the time we don’t even realize that we are in a particular season until we are either passing out of it or it is causing us some kind of chaos.

A good friend of mine reminded me as I went through a particularly trying season that when we try and hold on to things that are only there in our lives for a season then it will cause nothing but mess in our lives until we let it go. The letting go part is always the part that is hardest for us because we feel that we will be missing out on something if we do let it go.

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot, Ecc 3: 2

I am very bad at letting things or people go because I so hate to let people down or to hurt their feelings but the longer I hold on to that person it  seems the more they hurt me or hurt what I am trying to accomplish at that time. I find myself compromising who I am and doing things that I don’t normally do. Every step I keep taking towards this one person or persons is a step that I take away from God.

Deep down inside I know this but I am so mesmerized by what the friend is offering me or is doing to “help” me that I keep going towards them and saying God will be there tomorrow or He wouldn’t have bought this thing or person into my life it wasn’t for my good.

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecc 3: 3-4.

So God gently tapped me on my shoulder one day and reminded me of who I am and more importantly whose I am. It was not a gentle reminder, but it was a necessary reminder and there & then was the time to kill the old and have my hurts healed. There & then was the time for me to be torn down so that He could rebuild me. There & then was plenty of time for me to weep over what I thought I had lost but time to laugh as I slowly found me again.

I did mourn the loss of the former life but only for a split second because now I can dance freely in His presence again. I am so glad that He still loves me enough that He has not given up on me even when I head down the wrong path. And even now, as the storms in my life are still blowing at hurricane force I stand there in the eye of the storm at peace in His presence.

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace. Ecc 3: 7-8

My prayer is that I will always listen to that still small voice in order to walk into my God given season. Won’t you try Him today also and give Him control of all your seasons?

You may connect with Natalie Cupid via Facebook. Mention her article and its impact on your heart. Your feedback is important to us. Comment, LIKE, AND SHARE so this article can bless your friends and followers.

We hope to ‘see’ you Monday on the Bible Study conference call. Click the homepage  for details.


After the Storm

by V. Leacock, CA (guest contributor)

 The question is, after the storm, what action will I take”…

Earlier this month we experienced the aftermath of Hurricane Lee.  While brewing in the Atlantic Ocean it was named as Hurricane T. S. Lee.  It seems with each upcoming hurricane comes a more interesting name. 

I live in Northeast Georgia and fortunately we experienced no severe flooding, power outages, trees falling onto homes resulting in major damages and most unfortunately loss of life.  Like me, I am sure your prayers are with those who were not as fortunate. 

Fortunately “after the storm,” there is always a calm.  Today the weather is much nicer.  The grass is greener.  The shrubbery in our yard is upright instead of leaning to the side or in some cases drooping.  The colors of our three crepe myrtles trees are vibrant again.   Even the plants in our little vegetable garden that had all but dried up appear to be thriving again.  We could possibly harvest a few more vegetables before the season ends this year.  What was once dying is now alive again.

 Atmospheric storms are very similar to the storms we experience in our lives.  Both can be catastrophic, occurring with or without little warning causing immeasurable spiritual, personal, professional, and financial ruin. One day, things are going quite well and the next day or even within a matter of minutes we feel as though our whole world has fallen apart.  We find ourselves yet again in the midst of another storm.  

 The question is, after the storm,” what action will I take”?  Will I stand tall like the blades of grass and shrubbery in my yard?  Will I finally learn to be still, quiet, and patient until God gives me direction?   The answer is yes.  Moreover, I must keep my focus upon him by recalling what He has done for me in the past and knowing what He will do for me in the future. 

 Having gone through an atmospheric storm one time helps us to be better prepared for the next one.   So it is when we experience personal storms in our lives.  We may not understand or know the outcome, but we are better prepared with the peace and assurance in knowing that our anchor is in Christ Jesus.  

 Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”

Mark 4:39- Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”

Have you found peace after your storm?  Is your anchor in Jesus?
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MEN: Why They Shouldn’t Be Worshipped

by…anonymous
In the summer of 2009,
people around the world, mourned for the “King of Pop”. Even though his personal struggles were evident in his physical appearance and through well-publicized controversies, fans still idolized the performer.

Humans are not meant to be worshiped. We are made to worship God.  I grew up with a father who was emotionally unavailable.  As all little girls do, I looked to him as my all and all.  I admired him and took his word for truth.  I idolized him.  And, as much as I hate to admit it, I use to idolize any male who paid attention to me.  This created much heartache, tears, and loneliness.

As much as we like to admire certain people for their good looks and talent, when we elevate them to a place where they don’t belong, they often can’t handle it.  Looking back, I idolized my ex-husband.  I put him on a level he was never created to be on.  He could not handle it, so he left.

There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. (Psalm 81:9 KJV) and Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. (Psalm 97:7 KJV) These verses remind us that we are also lost if we don’t follow God and elevate Him to the position that belongs only to Him. When we create idols, we lose. They will always make mistakes, always disappoint us, and eventually die.

Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy. (Psalm 99:9 KJV)  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (Psalm 29:2 KJV)

Jesus Christ is the only one worthy of our praise. He can handle not only our praise but also carry every sin we’ve ever committed or will ever commit. Now that’s someone truly worth worshiping! Praise His Holy Name!  Thank you Jesus!

Love recognizes no barriers; it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it’s destination, full of hope!

EGBSS challenges you to do a worship self-test. Is your worship divided or rightly centered? Who would be the best judge of that, anyway? Your feedback is important. Comment as you desire, but please SHARE this post so your friends and followers can be blessed by it on YOUR wall. If you haven’t already, LIKE our ministry as well.
A man’s godly response to this is truly desired. Submit via our Contact page.

Bible studies is Monday. Please call in and join us.


I’ve Been Scammed!

by Ronald Wheeler– NC

I recently took out a loan with an online service for a short period. About a week before the loan was due, I received a call from someone claiming to be a representative of the company claiming I had defaulted on my agreement and was to pay twice the amount agreed to as a means of preventing legal actions against me.

I asked for evidence of the breach believing I may have overlooked something, but the response I received was, “Pay now, or suffer!” I worried for a while until I contacted the originator of the loan who assured me this was not their agent. I felt relieved and concluded my business with this company at the agreed time.

This is similar to how Satan tries to destroy our relationship with Christ. He has “loaned” us bodies in which we dwell until He returns to “fulfill” the contract with new everlasting bodies. Satan uses deceit to try to convince us that we have “defaulted” on our agreement when we haven’t followed God’s instructions (in my case, owe no man anything but love), and wants to close the deal and steal whatever he may.

Just like the scam artists, Satan has no evidence for his claims- just his request that you pay! Pay with the feeling that you are less of a person because you fell into a trap of your making. Pay with thoughts of condemnation that dilute your praise. Pay by letting your feelings overrule your knowledge of God.

Christ, the Originator told me that my debt was already paid. There is no condemnation in Christ, so I got past those feelings. It was evident that Jesus is for me so who can be against me?

I’m still not where I want to be in the “finance” department but in Christ is where I need to be.

Brother Ronald Wheeler is a contributing author from NC. You may connect with him via Facebook. We invite you to SHARE, LIKE or email this article so others may be encouraged (especially if they feel they are in ‘default’).

Join us Monday for our weekly Bible studies via Conference call. Click the homepage for details.


I’m Not Done with You!

I sinned yesterday. No. I did more than sin…I SINNED!! My eyes were wide open, I dismissed that ‘still small voice’, and I did what I wanted to. I sinned. I felt so stupid later and low-down. I actually looked in the mirror and scolded myself. Thankfully, I was able to talk to God about things before I went to bed. I had to.

This morning, I talked to God some more. But guess what, I sinned today- different acts, but still…I sinned.  I spent a good portion of the day disgusted and frustrated with myself. I’ve had enough of me and my antics. I could barely face God this afternoon, but I knew I had to. AND I’M SO GLAD I DID.

I looked at God today through the lens of the Flood story (our topic for TeleBible Studies) and I saw something ELSE about Him to love! In Genesis 6:3 God said He will not always STRIVE with man. STRIVE… That word hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, God has His limits, but how far is He willing to STRIVE with me?

 God destroyed the Earth with a Flood and He sometimes destroyed populations of people. Yes. And He will destroy this Earth (and the wicked with it) when Jesus comes. But today I actually took the time to consider how loooonnnngggg it takes for Him to do such a strange act. The Bible says this is something He is UNWILLING to do.

God STRIVES! My God is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, good, and forgiving. Instead of destroying me and giving me the justice I deserve, He took it out on Himself on Calvary. In the meantime, He invites me to come to Him, pulls me on His lap, shares His take of things with me, counsels me to ‘go and sin no more’, and then gives me the tools needed so I can obey. GOD STRIVES!

God knows my helplessness and has not only covered for it, but He has taken it upon Himself to give me a total “image” makeover. Why? God is love and He knows that one day He will settle the score with Satan and his wicked followers. But He STRIVES with me because He doesn’t want me to be caught in the crossfire.

How dare I…HOW DARE I do any less concerning my fellow man? How dare I be exacting, critical, and demeaning to those around me who frustrate and disappoint me with their foolishness? How dare I CUT SOMEONE OFF because they get on my nerves?

If God is not through with me yet, then I’m not through with you either. So don’t you be through with me, your spouse, kids, employer, employees, family, friends, etc…  STRIVE.  STRIVE with them with the same energy God uses to strive with you. LOVE MERCY.

God got angry with Israel for two reasons: they profaned His Sabbaths (and Him) AND they didn’t love mercy.

 SHARE this with all you know. I’m sure we’re not the only ones who need it. LOL. LIKE this ministry (if you haven’t already) and feel free to connect with me via Facebook.

Join me next Monday for Bible Studies. If you haven’t called the conference line, you should. I look forward to seeing you.


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