How Do We Triumph When We Have A Thorn In the Flesh

1.    We stand firm. We do not move to the left, nor to the right. We keep our faith. We know what is right and therefore we must stand for what is right. When we are pressed down and shaken out let’s be sure that what is left is pure gold worthy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
2.    We rejoice. Satan will only spend extra time on you if you are a threat to him. This is a good thing, not the suffering, but the fact that you are a threat to him, this means that you are walking right and producing fruit for the harvest of souls for Christ.
3.    Let God use this time to create in you a clean heart. Sometimes God allows trials and sufferings in our lives because we need to change something within ourselves. For some of us change can only come when we are pressed down and shaken out. For some of us (like Paul) we need to be kept humble and the only way for that to happen is by having a thorn in the flesh to remind us that it is God at work in us, around us, and through us.
When you are facing troubles I want you to do four things;
STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! GO!
•    Stop: Try to see the will of God in every situation. Is He trying to use this time to grow you? Is He allowing this situation to occur so that you will change? Is He allowing this situation so that you will be humbled?
•    Look: At your life and what is going on. Are you innocent for the present trouble, or do you need to seek forgiveness and repentance? Look with a true and honest heart and spirit at the circumstances and test and try yourself to be sure that there is nothing that you have done. God is holy and just to forgive.
•    Listen: To the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God will use every situation, every circumstance, every trial, and every suffering to help us grow. He will use all of the negative that Satan throws our way to His glory if we are willing to stand in a godly manner (see my blog on; God does not promise to give us more than we can handle…), He promises to give us this escape to be able to endure.
      Now go forth, prepare your heart; your worship; your thanksgiving; your testimony; your mind; prepare yourself for change; for learning; for growing; prepare yourself to be honest.
     

 

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Prepare yourself to be torn and put back together with a renewed spirit and a clean heart. Be teachable, moldable, and mendable. Because if you cannot be taught than you cannot change, if you cannot be molded than God cannot help you become what He wants you to be, if you cannot be mended than God cannot fix what is broken and you will never be whole in Him. So prepare yourself for change during times of trouble and suffering. You don’t know what God has in store for you when you come out the other side.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

 

 

 

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Creativity: Nurture or Nature?

Let’s all participate in this discussion, this is how we “sharpen” one another!

Uwana

Creativity—are you born with it, can it be learned, or is it a combination of both?

For the longest time I opted out of calling myself creative.

I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and spent most of my 20s as a science geek, in the lab, conducting research, chasing after my PhD. As far as I was concerned, creative minds belonged to artists, writers, musicians … ie, “fun and spontaneous” people. Nerds like me were labelled analytical, procedural, practical, plus any other “–al” you care to attach.

At the time, I didn’t fully understand or appreciate that success in graduate school required immense creativity. Publishing original work is all about generating new ideas and discovering unique systems. It requires great storytelling and building a body of work that makes you an expert in your chosen field. Now tell me that isn’t creative!

Today, I find myself in the workplace…

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Simon Cory: A True Christian

This is a beautiful story.

Thoughts from the Periphery

Unlike other years, the end of this school year calmly came to a halt. I did not find myself scrambling to finish grading a set of essays nor running copies of my final exams at 10 pm. I had posted my final grades days before they were due as opposed to, my usual, minutes.

On one of the last days of school, the principal held a little ceremony for retiring teachers. The ceremony was understated. It was held in the cafeteria, which still vaguely smelled of fried food and ketchup—a smell caked into the walls of cafeterias across the country. Spring colored plastic tablecloths and little flowers set the event apart from the mundane.

As we finished eating, the principal came up to address the faculty. She thanked everyone for another great year and then began talking about the people leaving. After cycling through a few pretty accomplished people, the…

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How To Triumph Over Problems If You Have Walked Outside Of The Will Of God

 

1.    Repent. This is easier said than done, I know. If your sin has caused others to stumble ask for forgiveness. But also be ready to accept God’s forgiveness for yourself when you repent and ask Him to forgive you. Remember, God always forgives a truly repentant person, humans may not. This is not your battle to win, accept that if you have done the right thing and asked another for forgiveness you cannot make them forgive you.
2.    Rend your HEART and NOT your GARMENT (Joel 2:13). This is true repentance. To rend your garment (tear) is a public display of your sorrow, grief, etc.; but to rend your heart is a private matter that is done before God. He alone knows when a person is truly repentant (rending their heart) or just putting on a show (rending their garment). Be sure that when you ask God for forgiveness, when you ask another for forgiveness, that you are doing it from a changed heart. True repentance leads to changed behavior.
3.    Confess your sins. Confess them to God, confess them to yourselves and confess them to a godly person that will hold you accountable. Confession is hard because it calls to light those parts of us that we want to keep in the darkness. But when we confess our sins we own them, rather than them owing us. Confession is God’s plan for our freedom from the flesh. Without confession of sin we are slaves to our own flesh. This happens because we want to protect the sin; because if people know then we may be judged, and no one likes to be judged. After a time we condition ourselves to justifying the sin. Now the sin owns us, and it is our master. Confession brings about the freedom that we long for as believers. It allows us to conquer the flesh and its demands.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

 

How The Human Mind Is Conditioned…

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

How The Human Mind Is Conditioned…

 

    We touched a little on how the human mind is conditioned over time yesterday; today I want to go a little deeper into the subject.
    We talked yesterday about how our minds can be conditioned to see prayer as a negative thing, or how our minds can be conditioned into thinking that prayer is like a genie in a bottle. (Please see How Do You Triumph…posted 5/20/13) Today I would like to talk about how we allow our minds to be conditioned in our marriages, our relationships and with our children.
I try to tell people that it is never a good idea to have heavy conversations with your spouse in your bedroom; and most importantly NEVER in your bed! You see, when we have heavy conversations our minds will link places with feelings. Your mind will condition itself to thinking that the room or the bed is the source of the negative feelings. Now I understand (living in a house with 7 other people) that you may not have a place that you can go to have a private conversation, if that is the case for you than maybe you could set up a couple chairs in the corner of your room. Or maybe you could go for a walk (exercise will allow your brain to release endorphins, serotonins and norepinephrine which will hopefully lessen the negative effects on the brain.); in any case, please try to avoid this as much as possible.
    Why do you think that it is bad for us to tell our children, “do as I say not as I do?” The obvious answer to this is, “because we are to lead by example.” Well I say this; we are conditioning our children to be hypocrites and to distrust people in authority. So if my relationship with my earthly Father (or Mother) is one that is built on hypocrisy and distrust than what will my relationship with my Heavenly Father be as an adult? Probably the same; have you ever wondered why some people struggle with obedience to God? I would venture to guess if you sat down with them probably more than half would not have a very functional relationship with their parents.
    Why as a single person do we put our best foot forward when meeting the opposite sex, but after marriage our spouses are supposed to accept us for who we are, not what we appeared to be? Because we want the other person to see the best parts of us; this conditions our minds into thinking that giving our best is a tool for us to receive things, rather than a blessing to give others.
    Let us “be still and know that He is God”.  Quiet your mind, even as I write this my mind wanders and I have to keep refocusing. The Bible tells us repeatedly to meditate on the word, the way, the will of God. Quiet your mind, focus on God, see if the areas that you are struggling with are not areas that you have conditioned your mind. If they are then recondition them in the correct way! This is simply done by focusing on the Will of God, anything contrary to it should be cut out and thrown away.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

Prayer for Oklahoma

Father God I come to You in the name of Jesus. Lord the destruction is devastating in OK, Father the hurt, the dieing the lost, the wounded. Lord You see them all. You know what the needs are. Father I ask in the name of Jesus that Your hand would be upon each and every victim that is still trapped in the rubble. Father that You would comfort them and hold them, Lord show Your mercy and grace to them. Father that You would protect the rescue workers as they lay their lives on the line for the victims. Father that they would not become victims themselves. Father I pray in the name of Jesus that You would supply all the needs of everyone effected by this tragedy. Father that You would comfort the families that have lost loved ones, Father that You give them the strength that they need to carry on. Father this is such a tragic time for all that are involved, please Lord give wisdom and speed and grace and mercy and comfort. Father these things I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

I encourage all of you if you would, to please leave a prayer in the comment section of this posting. Let’s start a prayer chain that will go on and on. We may not all be able to hop on a plane and participate in the rescue efforts, or contribute money, but we can ALL afford to pray. Thank you…..In Christ, Cindy