Watch out for the icky, sneaky stuff

In the midst of my despair, Jesus was right there. 

This past week, I was stricken with some cold and/or flu virus. The doctor was not able to isolate which one – I had symptoms of both. Needless to say, I have spent the better part of five days, out of commission; laying around; semi-conscious. 
It’s amazing how something unseen can impact your entire life. This unseen life-draining ooze that infected my body has caused me to miss events that I planned to attend, miss teaching a lesson I’d planned, miss working on projects that have deadlines, missed my weekend activities and has caused me to spend money. I’ve spent money to get well at the grocery store, pharmacy and doctor’s office. All because of this unseen thing. 
Isn’t sin like that too? Kinda sneaky – just lurking around. It doesn’t really flash “sin” in neon lights but is a bit more subtle. It’s not really seen for what it is but it always is in a good-looking disguise so that you’ll be tempted. But once you’re hooked, the revealed thing isn’t so good looking. It’s amazing how something that didn’t look bad for you because of it’s packaging can absolutely be one of the worst things that ever happened to you. This good-looking-but-not-good-for-you thing (or person) can really become a drain on your life. Causing you to miss out on the things that you worked hard for – things that you planned for etc. Sin can cost you. 
Hence,  we really need to be aware of our surroundings. Now, with the cold/flu thing, there are some practical things we can do such as: washing our hands frequently and not touching our hands to our face around our nostrils so that we don’t transfer the virus. And also, when you feel sick, staying home so that your sickness doesn’t end up costing someone else time, money, plans, energy etc. Remember – do unto others…don’t think only about what you have to do but think about what it will cost someone else if your illness makes them sick as well. As for the sin items, we must be even more vigilant. We can know if something is sin by listening to the Holy Spirit that dwells within us; we need to study the Word of God to be informed about what God calls sin and we need to be connected to a church body so that we can be taught about sin. 
Sin is tricky. And, left up to our flesh, we will indulge in it. Then we’ll face the repercussions – being out of commission (out of fellowship with God), laying around (instead of working in the Kingdom) and semi-conscious (not really connected to the reality of our situation). So, take care of yourself in this cold/flu/sin season. And no matter what, always remember to put God and His principles first. 

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.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday

Today is a national holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. So many good and educational activities are taking place today around the country. I am grateful to Martin Luther King Jr and the legacy that he has left behind. I pray that you are too. 

I jumped over to YouTube and pulled one of his famous speeches given during the March on Washington. While in many areas, this nation has prospered and done well, race relations still bears many challenges. The election of our first mixed race (White and Black) President has shown just how deep our feelings about race are buried. 
It’s a praying time. For when we get to Heaven, there will not be a white section nor black. We will worship God together. We are all God’s children. And one day, we will all come to that realization. We are all created beings made by the Hands of the Master Creator. 
Will you take the 17 minutes to watch this video and then seriously consider what you will do to better help your neighbor, regardless of race. It’s time to unite, not continue in division. 


See you next week!  

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.

Building a Platform of Belief

Before I begin my official post today, I wanted to let you know about some great things happening with the ministry of Lysa Terkeurst. You know her, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I’ ve linked to her site in the past and she has featured me for a book review that I wrote on her last book, Becoming More Than Just a Good Bible Study Girl. All positive stuff. Well, I read her latest book, Made to Crave and it’s good reading too. It’s a quick read and I like that a lot. You should check out the book as well as the website where there are oodles of information available including a treat for your computer at 8 tonight.
Now, on to the post. 
Believing what you say you believe. 
I had the opportunity to talk with some teenagers about the pressures of being Christian in their school environments. They are challenged to assert their beliefs into their constantly changing world while they also struggle with hormones, adrenaline and social status just to name a few things. Think back to the days when all you wanted to do was to be “cool” … or just plain be accepted in a group … to belong. Now, toss into that an abiding faith in Christ in an environment that many times does not reflect Christ at all. It can be a mighty struggle. 
Thus, I tried to encourage these teenagers to build their platform now. Let people know what you will an will not stand for. Let them know your beliefs. It doesn’t really seem to be an issue for other religions with blatant outward distinguishing features (like head attire) but for Christianity, there always seems to be some wavering and ability to hid behind this or that…like I’m just a good person. 
I do not want them to do that. No hiding. Don’t deny Christ. There are implications for doing so. Instead, I want them to be confident in their relationship with Christ. I want them to say in Whom they have believed without wavering – without second guessing. And, I want them to even be the bright light that shines on the hill for Christ in their classroom and school environment. They need to build their platform of belief now. Why? Because if they get the underpinning now, it will be second nature to them when they hit the workplace and other areas where their paths will take them.
Too many of us – adults – are afraid to say something positive for Christ. Too many of us are timid and afraid that if we speak up for Christ then we will not have the answers to the questions that some people will ask when they are questioning our belief. I say, let them ask. If you know the answer, give it. If you do not know the answer – no big deal. They probably don’t know it either. It’s a perfect opportunity for the two of you to open the Word of God together and study to find the answer. 
I am no Bible Scholar, but I do know how to read. And every time I make an honest attempt to read and understand the Bible, more of its truth is revealed to me. I believe what I have read. I believe the truths of the Bible. I believe what I say I believe! Jesus is Christ. The Son of the Living God. That is my platform. 
If you have any teenagers roaming around your living quarters, would you encourage them today to believe what they say they believe…to stand firm in Christ alone …to continue to build (or start) their platform? They operate in a challenging social environment and they need the coaching and nurturing to help them stand for Christ.
And even if you do not have children, perhaps you see them from time to time. Would you extend a word of encouragement their way? You never know what difference it will make. 
Blessings to you all and see you next week! 

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.

Focus on the Present

I hope this year has started off well for you. I brought in the new year at church during a service called“Watch Night.” I generally bring in the year that way no matter where I am.  I like starting my new year in the house of God. 
What did you do? Watch Night or something else? 
No matter what you did, I am glad that you took a minute to stop by the blog today. I know that I have been missing in action – especially toward the end of the year. I would tell you about the absolute crazy whirlwind that was my life in December but that was last year – ancient history now. Let us just focus on the present. 
The Right Now Moments Matter
Focusing on the present – the hear and now – is my goal this year. You see, sometimes, I get stuck in my head while I relive past hurts and offenses. And when I “come back” to the real world, I am sad, hurt or depressed – which leads me to my refrigerator or cupboard for some comfort food. I recognize now more than ever that I cannot go back in time and right the wrongs that I have committed and neither can I go back and escape from the pain that was inflicted against me. Instead, I have a choice to make. I can either pull myself together or I can fall apart. I can accept that some people will, out of their own brokenness and issues, attack me and or my character. But in that acceptance, I can know that their opinions of me do not define me. Their opinions of me should never send me running to food for comfort but instead I should run directly into the waiting arms of my heavenly Father. 
I can run to him because He is my strong tower – my safe haven – my place of comfort. Food can never comfort me like He can. For when God comforts me, I am made whole. Not temporarily satisfied like I would be if I had that piece of chocolate cake. See what I mean? 

I have to live in the right now – and I can do that with God. His opinions are the only ones that really matter. Whatever I need, He is faithful to supply. 
The Past is the Past
The time has come for absolute forgiveness. I heard an interesting line that stays with me, so I will share it with you. It goes “forgiveness with condition is not forgiveness at all.” Hmmmm…. I gotta say that one really pinched me. I am big on apologies. I apologize for what I do and I expect an apology too. But some people will not apologize for nothing! That used to agitate me. I do not like it when people inflict hurt to you and then act like nothing has happened. I call them the “rug sweepers”. I do not sweep a thing under the rug. It just gets exposed later, so why bother?  Anyway, I am learning to let that go – to let that mindset stay in the past. They do not have to answer to me, but they will answer to God for their actions – same as everyone else, myself especially included. It simply takes up too much energy to wait for a deserved apology that will never come for whatever reason.  
Positive in the Present
So, to this new year, I say hello to the future and so long to the past. I have spend enough time dwelling on the good and the bad times. My time is better spent thinking of and dwelling on the future. No matter what happens, good or bad, I know how to deal with it. With God, not food. 
I have a friend who is big into being positive. I like that. And even though my friend’s view of positive is slightly different from my own, I know that there is so much benefit in being positively connected to Jesus Christ. To do things in a way that will have a positive outcome for the Kingdom for the present and the future. Ah…that is my path and direction. Positive choices with life. Positive choices with food. 
I know that this blog entry has a lot of food references in it. Sorry about that. But I am losing weight now so that I can be healthier, so food, and my past issues with it, are at the forefront of my mind. And for some of you readers, food is hanging around your frontal lobes too. 
I told another friend last year that this year, 2011, would be the year that we both achieved the goals we set for healthier lifestyles. And ever since that day, we both have been working towards it. 
So, I plan to stay committed by staying focused on the present in a positive way. Maybe you will join me by leaving the past in the past and moving forward into the future that God has for you. 
See you next week!

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.