When Things Don’t Go Your Way…

Photo from: http://media.tbo.com/photos/trib/2008/aug/081708cherry2.jpg

Last week had it’s challenges and I, like an olympic hurdler was leaping over them. I was so happy with my “in spite of” performance that I, mid-air, stopped to reflect on how well I’d behaved. I’d behaved like a believing Christian. I had behaved like somebody that believes with her whole heart that Jesus is Lord. I behaved real, real good…that is, until I read an email. (see, that’s why you shouldn’t do things mid-air! – stay focused- lesson one)
You see, I’d been waiting on said email with great joy. I just knew that email would deliver the news that I’d longed to hear. I just knew that email would be reason enough for me to break out my little happy dance – or, if you’re in my Spiritual Disciplines class, I’ll say it this way – it would be enough to break out my “dee dah day dance!” (thanks John Ortberg). So, when the email came in – sitting so pretty in my Inbox, even earlier than I’d expected to receive it, I couldn’t even wait to read it. I exclaimed with my highest joy, “OH YEAH”

Well, that didn’t last. 
Instead, it was more of an “OH NO!” 
Photo from: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/indepth/review2004/gfx/felicien_perdita_471_260.jpg
You see, this email did not deliver the news that I had longed for. This email did not deliver the news that would justify a “happy dance” nor a “dee dah day dance”. No, this email crushed me…grounded me…dropped me…take your pick.  
I was upset. I couldn’t think. My world swam around me. My “joy” river turned into an overwhelming “bad news” flood. And, then, all that happy “in spite of”, hurdle leaping atmosphere turned into me hitting a wall. Emotions took over. Have you ever been there? Please tell me it’s not just me! 
Emotions are slippery – but we can talk more about that later. 
Anyway, as a result of getting said email, I had to make a decision. My first decision was whether or not I would melt down. Well, I told you I hit the wall, so, unfortunately, I melted down.  But because of His grace and mercy, God gave me another chance to redeem myself. I had another chance to turn everything around and prove Whom I trusted to work everything out. 
And I did, with the strength of God on my side. I had to “turn loose” of that I thought I wanted to hear and embrace that which I thought I didn’t want to hear. And, once I’d done that, I was good to go. I could do that, with my wall-smacking-self, because I really do believe that Jesus is Lord. I could get up from the brunt of that email because I know that what God has for me is for me. I could go on with everything because I know that His best is always what’s best for me. So, I got myself out of the way, made up my mind that I would be in agreement with the email as best I could, with full trust in the Lord, and I made the drive.
Oh, I forgot to tell you what this whole thing was about right!?! Well, come back tomorrow, and I’ll clue you in! But regardless of my personal situation, know that you too should always trust God first. Don’t let the meltdown be the first thing you do. Okay?! See you tomorrow!

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

It’s been a minute…

Hey Blogger Buddies,

Just wanted to check back in. I know it’s been a week since my last post. Sorry about that. Life happens. Plus, even more so, I haven’t had that much to say. Amazing – I know. But I’m learning that when I don’t have much to say via this post, just to not say anything.

Some would say that’s wisdom. Some others could adopt this methodoloy and it certainly wouldn’t hurt things!

Have you been paying attention to the news lately? I have. Sometimes they say the wrong things – proven wrong things. If you don’t know the facts, it’s just better to say nothing.

The spoken word … the typed word…. are all very important. With the words of our mouth (through the keyboard at this moment) we have the uncensored ability to communicate. What we communicate to each other and how we do so is very important. Essential really, if we want to build relationships that honor Christ and esteem one another. Yet, with this very same method, we can tear each other down and thereby dishonor Christ. Danger things these words. Some we have to be careful.

As this blog moves forward, I will endeavor to make sure that I chose my words wisely. I have always strived to be non-reactionary. Sometimes in the past I have won and other times, I have struggled a bit. So, I renew my pledge to myself. When I have something edifying, exciting or exhorting to post, I will. And, if I don’t – well then, I will either not post or be very cautious with what I do post.

I hope you will enjoy this direction. I’ll write more soon – I’m feeling my chatty side coming back.

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

He is, We are Not

The plain vanilla, simple honest truth of the matter is this: we all make mistakes. We all fall short. We all fail to measure to up expectations. No one is exempt. No one is perfect.

After speaking with one of my dearest friends this morning, I thought that it would be worthwhile to post some verses that we can soak in when we are feeling a little down on ourselves. May it serve to remind us that God is perfect, we are not.

  • As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10) 
    •  I like this because to make sure we understand, Paul goes back and says “no, not one” (KJV) or here in the NIV, “not even one.” So simmer down. We all have issues that we have to work out, with the help of the Lord.
  • As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. (2Samuel 22:31)
    • God is perfect, we are not.
    • God’s word is flawless
    • We can run to Him for protection – will you? Will you run to the safety of the Father?
  • 2Samuel 22:33 says It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
    • If God did it, that means you didn’t. Keep the right perspective.
  • Psalm 19:7 says The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
    • God’s law has the power to revive our very souls
    • We should trust the Lord
    • It’s in trusting Him that we become wise
  • Isaiah 26:3 says You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
    • Notice the theme here? We have to trust the Lord.
    • When we trust Him, He keeps us in perfect peace! I don’t know about you, but that sounds real good to me.
    • Keep a steadfast mind on God (steadfast in this context means firm direction, unwavering)
  • 2Corinthians 12:9 says But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
    • Yes it is. God’s grace is sufficient for you – and for me.
    • God’s power is made perfect when we step out of the way and can’t do anything but rely on Him.
    • We give God glory when we admit that we need Him.
  • Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
    • I bet you started saying that one when you read Hebrews 11:1. Everybody seems to be able to recite, but not everybody is able to fully believe it. Be one of the believers.

I hope that you will take the time to soak in these verses and always remember that it’s not really about what we can do – it’s all about what God can accomplish through us. Not our will but God’s will. He’s in perfect control. Rest in the peace that comes with the acknowledgement that God IS.

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Hurt Folks

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “hurt folks hurt other folks.” I was at church the first time I heard the phrase. It was more than a few years ago and the preacher was talking about how we treat other people. His summation was that hurt folks damage other folks. Further, our goal, as Christians, is to allow God to heal us when we’ve been hurt to lessen the chance that in our own hurt, we hurt others. 
It was a profound statement to me that explained much about some of the events of my life. And, maybe it’s profound, or at least important for you too? Let’s have a look at it. 
First, let’s look at the initial victim, if you will. Hurt folks. People are hurting. Now, yesterday in Sunday School, we talked about having compassion. This is an area where compassion has to be applied. We all see when someone is “acting out” but often times we don’t know why. If we take the time to peel back a layer, we may see that the reason that person is the way that they are, is because at some point along their journey they have been hurt. 
And usually, this hurt is deep. It’s not a knick or a scratch or something that easily heals. Instead, it’s a deep wound that has not been treated. And, well, we know what happens when deep wounds aren’t treated. Nothing good. 
Untreated, uncared for and/or unmanaged wounds infect other parts of the body. The infection spreads instead of being contained. We can imagine what this does to the physical body, but have we ever thought what this may do to the spirit-man? The manifestation is a repeat offense. Hurt is repeated and spread to those who come in contact with the one that has been hurt, in the area where they have been hurt.
I have a friend who has been really hurt by what feels to me like a lifetime of tragic events. And, before this person knew the Lord, what they knew to do was to make sure that they always won – they wanted to make sure that now that they are older and better able to control their circumstances, that nobody else ever hurt them again. They made sure that they were the winner in arguments, decisions or whatever… and it did not matter to them if someone else could or would get hurt in the process. Their main goal was to do whatever it took to ensure that they came out ahead so that they wouldn’t be hurt, no matter the situation.
My friend’s BC (before Christ) condition was focused on self-protection, at the expense of others. Hurt folks, hurt other folks.  And this wasn’t healthy for them, as you might imagine.
So, how does this apply to you? Well, be on the lookout for hurt folks and show compasssion towards them. You never know when a kind word is the right salve for the situation. You never know when a warm smile will be balm and medicine that will promote healing. Don’t help the hurt person pick the scab of their wound. Instead, be the holy ointment that will help and not hurt. 
May we all learn to help each other and not hurt each other and thereby stop the cycle of hurt folks, hurting other folks.
Will you pray with me?
Father God, we come to You now trusting that You see all and know all. You know all about our hurts and pains. Those wounds that we don’t speak of any longer, You know they are still there; some lingering, some cancerous. But now, we want to clean it up and out of us so that we can reflect Your glory completely. Father, we ask for Your healing. Make us complete in You. Help us to demonstrate and manifest Your kindness towards others. Help us conduct our lives in a way that pleases You. Help us treat everyone we come into contact with as Your special creations. We thank you now for the change in us, for it’s in the name of Your Son Jesus, that we do ask and pray, Amen. 

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Wrong Target

Let me just say that what I’m about to blog is completely random, but it’s funny! 

So, I was pulling out of the driveway and I saw this gray cat. He was sauntering across my neighbors uncut grass, like he knew he was the cat’s meow. When all of a sudden, I saw a gray bird with white feathers, swoop down and peck the cat in the booty! WHAT? 

I’m just saying – I have never seen anything like this. Have you? And what makes it all so funny is that when the bird hit the cat, he bounced off and fell back. 

Hilarious! Talk about aiming for the wrong target! 
Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

The Right Focus When Dealing with Struggles

The economy is looking up but struggle is still on the mind of many. Some are concerned about where the money will come from for the mortgage, or light bill. Some are concerned about where the next meal will come from or even if there will be a next meal. Some have had to struggle through their first Mother’s Day without their mother. Some are struggling through finance, relationships, and life in general. The struggle is everywhere.
In the midst of struggle, it can be tempting to keep our heads down and focus on what’s in front of us. We focus on the struggle so much trying our very best to find a path to release and relief. But in so doing, we miss out on the fact that we are not in the struggle alone. 
Now, I know you may be thinking about your friends and family when I say this. But, really, I’m thinking about Jesus. He says He will never leave you nor forsake you. You don’t have to do the struggle all by yourself. But you do have to remove your focus off of your struggle and onto Jesus. Look up to Him and He will lead you through it. Look up to Him and He will show you the very best path out of the situation. And, when He gets you out, you can then give Him all the credit and glory.
Struggles will come and go. That’s just life. But how we respond to them makes all the difference. It is my prayer that you will fix your eyes on Jesus today, even in the midst of any struggles that you experience. 
Blessings to you! 

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

When You Put Your Foot in Your Mouth

We’ve all done it. We’ve all said something that we wished we could take back. But for most of us, when we say these things, it’s with friends over coffee or over the telephone. A small circle with whom we can share our thoughts – where we feel comfortable to say what’s on our minds. 

Unfortunately, those things on our minds, that make their way out of our mouths, can be hurtful to others once birthed into the atmosphere. 

The View’s Elizabeth Hasselbeck (pictured above – photo from Google search) is living this circumstance now – only her small group of friends, with which she discusses topics, is taped in front of a large audience and televised nationally. So, a slip of the tongue there goes much further than a slip between friends at the park. It becomes a big deal – television stations carry the taped footage and play it over and over again. 

While I am no fan of Elizabeth’s views – and while I find her comments misguided and hurtful – I am compelled to stop and think about when I’ve put my foot in my mouth. There have been times – whew! And oh how I thank God that my misguided attempts at jokes or even my commentary were not taped and televised. 

Words reveal what is in our hearts. And some times, our hearts are U.G.L.Y. There’s no other way to put it. Just plain ugly. And when we have a case of the ugly hearts, then careless, hurtful words slip out. 

I don’t know why Elizabeth thought it okay to think about Erin Andrews like that. For of course, she had to have put some thought into what she felt about Erin to speak that way about her on the show. But, maybe next time, she’ll put a bit more thought into what she says. We can only hope. Likewise, we can only hope that we also do the same. Let’s be careful about what we say. Let’s regard each other with more respect. That way we’ll keep our feet out of our mouth! 

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Recognize the spirit

I called on a student in class one day and that student, who did not have their hand up, but who was not paying attention, said to me, “if I had something to say, I would have raised my hand.” 

Y’all, I’m just saying, I would never, ever say something like that. I mean never. But, that’s what this student said to me. So, of course, I still required that the student answer the question. I told the student that as the teacher, I had the right to call on anyone. 

What’s going on? I’ll tell you – spiritual warfare. 

Sometimes we run into obstacles right when we least expect them. Sometimes that adversary of ours will use anybody just to try to throw you off balance. So remember that! Don’t attack the person. Recognize the spirit. Just remember that person is being used by the adversary to get to you, and when you remember that, you can silence the adversary – and he needs silencing. He’s getting far too much air-time! 

How can we be prepared? Spend more time in the Bible. It’ll prepare you every single time!

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.