faith


Started my Christmasing today. Dropped off my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes at a drop off location. Doing my part to light up a broken world.

We sang this song in church this morning (How He Loves Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps) and I felt moved to remind you if you’ve forgotten, or inform you if you didn’t know, that He loves us.

Jesus did not have to stay hanging on the cross. He chose to stay hanging there. Nails did not hold him to the cross, love held him there, love for each and every one of us, past, present and future. What Jesus did that day at Calvary was the epitome of selfless love, i.e. choosing to do something for someone else regardless of the cost to self. Jesus did something for us that we could not do for ourselves – he created the way for us to get to heaven. He explained this to his disciple Nathaneal in the first chapter of the gospel of John, verse 51: “Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.’”

Jesus’s action of staying nailed to that cross until he died was a gift of love for all people throughout time, including the people who crucified him and those who mocked and abused him as he hung on the cross. “The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders mocked Jesus. ‘He saved others,’ they scoffed, ‘but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from that cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, I am the Son of God’ (Matthew 27:41-43).

What the leading priests, teachers of religious law, and elders didn’t understand was that Jesus stayed on that cross for them. If Jesus had come down from that cross, which he was more than capable of doing, he would have saved himself. He would not, however, have saved them and he would not have saved us.

Excerpt from When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

“When an individual gives his or her life to God, that individual becomes part of God’s family. The Holy Spirit then comes to live inside that believer and endows him or her with spiritual gifts… Individuals are given spiritual gifts to equip them for the purpose God chose for them and designed them to fulfill…” Paul discussed spiritual gifts in his letter to the church in Rome (Romans 12), his letter to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 4), and his letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 12). Important Point: There is no reference in any of Paul’s letters to gifts being distributed according to gender.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

I have written extensively about emotional and spiritual healing. This past week, however, I have been immersed in a physical healing process.

I had an oral surgery procedure last week which left me with a swollen, discolored cheek and painful mouth. As it has been healing, I have been reminded that God created a natural healing process for physical injuries and illnesses. I have also been reminded that healing is a choice. It’s God’s choice. It’s always God’s choice. Though we may go to doctors when we’re physically sick or injured and the doctors then give us medicine or perform procedures to heal us, the healing is not in the hands of the doctor. It’s in God’s hands. He is the one who has the power to heal us, not human beings.

Now I realize that physical healing doesn’t always happen. Sometimes God chooses not to heal the physical injury or illness, and these individuals die or live broken lives. Or, rather than healing the physical injuries or illnesses, God may give individuals the emotional and spiritual strength to cope with them. I don’t understand how and why God makes these choices. I do know though, that healing is a choice, it’s God’s choice, it’s always God’s choice.

Joy Gardner – Healer In The House (Live)

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

Due to the dysfunction in the family I grew up in, I entered adulthood with many emotional and spiritual wounds, destructive habits and crippling hang-ups, most of which were outside my awareness. I began a healing process in my early adulthood even though I did not have a clear idea of what needed to be healed.

… the first step in my healing process was engaging in psychotherapy…Psychotherapy helped me to change on the outside; my inside, however, remained untouched for a very long time. Without consciously realizing it, I accepted this as normal, assuming I had reached the end of the healing process.

While still in therapy I added secular recovery (ACOA ALANON) to my healing process. Secular recovery taught me that I was not alone. I learned firsthand that other people had life experiences similar to mine and had similar feelings to mine.

In 2003 I stumbled upon Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-Step recovery program, and that has made all the difference for me. Through working a program that continually pointed me toward Jesus, I learned how to access his healing power. My childhood wounds were finally healed—not coped with but healed. My habits are being broken one by one, and my crippling hang-ups have evaporated. They have been replaced with faith and trust in my Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

Excerpt from When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

“God anoints. Human beings ordain. When God anoints someone to do something it is very different than someone deciding to go into professional ministry and being given the seal of approval, i.e. ordained, by human beings to do that work…It is important to understand that someone can be ordained by human beings to do something and not be anointed by God to do that same thing. It is also possible that someone can be anointed by God to do something and not have the approval or blessing of human beings to do that.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

I was watching The Today Show this morning when the court of public opinion was referenced. I immediately felt grateful and relieved that I have learned to live my life for an audience of One, and not be swayed by the opinions of human beings.

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

My spiritual wounds healed during my time of spiritual re-education … I learned that my worth and value come solely from being a child of God … I don’t have to please others or gain others’ approval in order for God to love me. He loves me no matter what, and he knew me and loved me before he placed me in my mother’s womb. There is nothing I can do to make him love me more, and there is nothing I can do to make him not love me. His love for me is not based on what I do or who I am. It is based on who he is. Feeling secure in his love, I now gratefully live my life for him. I am no longer bound by a sick need to please human beings and obtain their approval. I am living my life for an audience of One.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

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