Enriching Our Life

In this life we can always find someone who has suffered as we have, or who have experienced far worse trauma than ours. These facts do not negate the pain that we are experiencing, but it sometimes brings us comfort to know that we are not alone.

The deeper issues we face is when these traumatic experiences disrupt our current feelings of peace and safety. These memories block our intimacy with God, our self and others.

We cannot deny these events, or dismiss them as unimportant or make excuses for the perpetrator of these crimes toward us. We must take them seriously in order to heal and face the future with more optimism and less anxiety.

Praying together with our spouse, best friend or counselor will expose these issues, bring healing and save our current relationships from the negative effect of our past experiences. We put our guard down and allow our self to be more vulnerable in our current relationships.

God will also use His Word to instruct us and heal us from the inside out. The Bible is a two-edged sword that divides our soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12), and gives our spirit a chance to mature without the hindrances of our wounded soul.

As we learn to trust the Lord, we can open up our self to others; knowing we may be mistreated or misunderstood, but being willing to be vulnerable in order to enrich our life.

Opening up the dialogue of honest communication with our ego states within us as well as between us and our significant others will do much to improve our marriage, our parental commitments and our fellowship with those in our church family and community.

Prayer:

Father God, we know that You allowed the wounds of our past to make us more compassionate with others who experience similar issues. You comfort us through these events, so that we can comfort others with the same liberation You give to us (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Open our eyes, ears and heart so that we will be in tune with the people you bring our way each day. Some of them may resent what they consider our interference or nosiness when we show that we care, and when we tell them Your Gospel story; but many will appreciate our concern and care for their well-being and some of them will trust their life to You like we did.

Thought for the Day:

When we fail to honestly and humbly communicate our thoughts, feelings and needs with one another, we hinder our intimacy, and our trust is weakened; however, when we do share our true heart with one another, our relationships are much more open, fulfilling and deeper.

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Quality Relationships

Quality and quantity relationship time is the most beneficial activity in which any two people can participate. Spontaneous or scheduled time together are both nice. Just making time to allow our soul and spirit to connect with other people is relaxing and therapeutic.

 

The closer we grow to one another and the more we expose our true inner self to those we love most, the more satisfied and fulfilled we feel. We openly share about our day with all of its joys, anxiety and challenges.

 

We make time to chat about our activities during the times we went our separate ways: our interactions with other people, our feelings and longings, the impressions we gained, the plans and goals in which we feel God’s Spirit directing us to participate, surprises and revelations that we observed – keeping no secrets in open and honest communication.

 

As God’s scriptural values, ways and moral absolutes become our guiding star for our life, we each learn to trust one another more implicitly and we encourage each other in a job well done.

 

Building a mission and ministry for our life in which we can participate together is another way to improve relationships. The irritations and trials of everyday interactions with one another will diminish as we spend this time together, serving our Living Lord and the people He brings into our life.

 

When we pay attention to the little blessings, which God spreads out on our road before us, our heart thrills at His lovingkindness. Sharing these blessings with one another on a continual basis enhances our individual lives.

 

Prayer:

Father God, getting along with our self and with other people is a task of paramount proportion. I used to think that You played a trick on human beings by causing opposites to attract to one another. Over the years, I realized that You put opposites together in order for us to fill in the gaps for our weaknesses and to mutually benefit from our separate strengths. Remind us that we end up complementing each other in the long run, as we humble our self and learn from one another.

 

Use us as vessels for Your honor, to further Your Kingdom in the earth and to minister to those whom You are drawing to Your heart. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and keep us on the path of Your everlasting way during each moment of our day (Ephesians 5:18; Psalm 139:24). We turn Your blessings to us back to You in praise and glory for who You are and what You do for us each day.

 

Thought for the Day:

Making new friends opens up a whole new door of possibilities and blessings for our life; however, enhancing our relationship with current friends gives us the chance to relax in the midst of people who already accept us just the way we are.

Appreciating Those Who Love Us

Even the worst of parents deserve affirmation and commendation. We all make mistakes; we do not receive an owner’s manual when our children are born.

 

There are no recommendations for proper care or a trouble shooting guide if something goes wrong. We often read a plethora of books on how to appropriately care and nurture, but each child is an exception because of their differing personality, needs and expectations.

 

As parents, we have deeply ingrained wounds from our childhood, made by our parents, neighbors, extended family members, teachers, ministers and even strangers who are also wounded souls. Yet, we “soldier on” and do our best as adults.

 

Most parents sit on the side of the bathtub while our child empties his/her stomach in the toilet, we apply cool cloths for fevers, we rock them or read them a story before they fall asleep, and we buy every over the counter remedy available in order to treat our child’s illnesses.

 

If these are not effective, we rush our beloved child to the doctor. Their care is our priority, regardless of the expense or resources that their healing requires. We love them more than we love our self, and we sacrifice our needs and desires to help them feel cherished and fulfilled.

 

We take an interest in their school work; attend extra-curricular sport games, art shows, plays and recitals; go to all of their parent-teacher meetings, enroll them in Scout troops and encourage them in all of their activities and interests.

 

Parents continue to support us to the best of their ability, even when we insist on making our own mistakes instead of heeding their advice. We are never too old to run to our parents to chat, seek their counsel or cherish their company.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are the best example to us of a loving, nurturing parent. You bear with our excuses, accept our apologies, help us in our deficiencies and heal us of our infirmities. You care about us more than anyone else in our life, even though they do their best.

 

Help us to be more accepting of our parents’ shortcomings and to take an interest in their woundedness. Show us how to nurture them in ways that they missed during their childhood. Help us to shower them with the love that they never received; and Father God, allow us to put a smile on their face more often than we break their heart.

 

Thought for the Day:

Take care of your mom and dad by showing love and concern for them, being interested in their thoughts, prayers and emotions and helping them in their time of need; after all, they are the only parents you will ever have.

 

Godliness and Contentment

Irritations, disappointment and hurt feelings are the little foxes that destroy relationships (Song of Solomon 2:15). Satisfaction is the anchor in a nurturing bond, and helps to minimize our reaction to one another in negative ways.

 

We cannot change our friend’s/child’s/spouse’s behavior, but we can adjust our focus and accept their idiosyncrasies as part of who they are. We can find things to love about one another that far outweighs the frustrations.

 

When we are content with our life and strong in our spiritual walk with the Lord, it is much easier to ignore the devil’s lies that blow up an issue out of proportion (1 Timothy 6:6). We learn to ask questions to ascertain the facts, rather than reacting on assumptions, which we make.

 

If we call each other names – even in jest – we set up a negative downward spiral that Satan can use to influence our feelings. These derogatory labels will also wound the soul of the one we tag with them. This applies to our children, grandchildren and adult relationships as well.

 

God calls us to lift up, encourage and compliment each other. We use positive words, feelings and body language to deepen rather than to tear down our relationships. Showing gratitude is another way to grow positive feelings and attitudes toward one another.

 

Praying together and openly sharing our honest feelings with each other – in a non-condemning, informative manner – will increase our love for one another (Romans 8:37).

 

When we humble our self under His mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6) and lift up to Him our thoughts, feelings and choices God provides all of our needs – physical, emotional, relational, financial, mental, spiritual.

 

As we understand that we are all products of our nurture and relationships – or the lack of either of these – from the family of our childhood, we can have more compassion on what we consider our friend’s, child’s or mate’s shortcomings, which will increase our feelings of intimacy with one another.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to see that our security in this life comes from You alone. Human relationships are fickle at best, and are influenced by hurts, unforgiveness and bitterness, which grow over time. We trust only in You with our current and future provision in every area of our life – body, soul and spirit. Remind us that this life is but a vapor, and we will soon enter eternity with You (James 4:14).

 

Help us to realize that as we love You above all else and obey Your precepts, our life will line up with Your will as You shower us with blessings, even in the midst of our trials. An intimate relationship with our Savior and Lord will also improve our relationship with one another (Acts 4:12). Help us to forgive those who hurt us and despitefully use us, and to share with these wounded people Your Agape love and acceptance.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can prevent our heart from succumbing to discontentment and irritations by trusting in God’s love and provision for us. He delights in us and includes us in His glorious Kingdom.

– Matthew 6:26-30; Luke 12:32; John 14:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Than an Overcomer

Have you ever felt like a failure? Like you lost the war because of your mistakes; and the future looms like a deep hopeless hole before you? You feel no anticipation for any possibility of resolution or productivity for the rest of your life.

 

In our human understanding we honestly believe that it is our responsibility to control our life, to pick up the pieces and to solve all of our own problems. We hardly realize that God has a plan for our life.

 

Many of our failings are actually due to our pride and rebellion against God. We stubbornly insist on following our own plans, goals and dreams.

 

We have no idea that in reality, God’s will for us is better than anything we could ever imagine. His grace and mercy are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and He wants to use us for His Kingdom and glory.

 

Once we surrender our will to God’s, His blessings flow into our life.  We make fewer mistakes as we listen to the guidance of His Holy Spirit. His peace and joy accompany the overwhelming love His presence brings into our life.

 

We are more than overcomers because Jesus abides within our spirit (Romans 8:37). Falling into His loving arms prevents negative emotions from taking over our life. We trust Him more and have less anxiety.

 

We forgive our self and those who hurt us and find freedom that lifts us up. We call out to Him and He answers us and shows us great and mighty things which we would never discover on our own (Jeremiah 33:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You often give us hugs by using the people in our life, numbers on the clock, verses from Your Word, a phrase in a sermon, a line in our favorite song, or a whisper from You right to our spirit. We can count on You every moment of the day, because You never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

 

Thank You for creating the universe and giving us a place in it to serve You with our life. Your peace, joy and love are more valuable to us than silver and gold. We thank You for Your abundant provision for every need we have, and we give You the praise and glory for all that we accomplish through You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Failings are not failures, they are doorways to new successes in other areas of our life.

 

Security and Stability

Certain aspects of our life monopolize our thoughts and emotions, and influence our choices and decisions. Some of these matters on which we focus destabilize our life and create an insecure atmosphere all around us.

 

Keeping our focus on Christ in us is the only way to remain content and fulfilled, because He is the only point of constancy in our life (Hebrews 13:8).

 

As authentic Believers we reap the benefits of a life hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3-4), such as peace, joy, righteousness, mercy, grace, redemption, patience, gentleness, humility, self-control, faith, wisdom and strength.

 

God became man to give us His resurrection life now and throughout eternity. He paid the penalty of our sins for us, which gives us the ability to live as examples of His mercy and affection.

 

Although we are a prisoner of His love, He gives us His glorious freedom as His Sons (John 8:36; Romans 8:21). He makes us worthy of His calling on our life and exchanges our carnality for His fruit (Colossians 1:10).

 

We learn humility, gentleness, patience, and to love one another in the unity of His Spirit and of our faith in Him. He binds us together as His Saints with His peace and goodness for eternity (Ephesians 4:1-16).

 

This enables us to do more works together as His Body, than He accomplished with His twelve disciples during His short lifetime on this earth (John 14:12).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we trust in You alone to manage the painful affairs in our life for our good (Romans 8:28). You love us even in our sinful state and You have glorious plans to use us as Your children, Your Saints, Your Body and Your Bride now and for eternity.

 

Help us to keep our focus on You in order to reap the benefits of Your blessings. Teach us and perfect us through our times of persecution and trials; and help us to have faith in Your faithfulness through the good times as well as the trying times in our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we spend time in God’s presence, we grow in our intimacy with His life within us, and in our knowledge of God’s ways and will for our life; we daily live as a testimony of His power and grace, and we rejoice over His desire to see everyone come into His glorious salvation.

– 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23

 

Our Redemption by Christ’s Sacrifice

Jesus is the physical manifestation of God – Emmanuel who came to dwell among us. He died a horrendous crucifixion to free us from the bondage to Satan and sin. Once we believe in Him and invite His presence into our life, we experience amazing opportunities.

 

This redemption by His blood includes our sins from the past, present and future (Ephesians 1:7). The riches of His grace provides us with a faith and membership into His family and His Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Romans 7:15-17). We worship Him with reverence and awe for all He has done, is doing and will do for us in the future (Hebrews 12:28).

 

Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy our life; but we have no reason to fear Him, because Jesus in us is greater than Satan, our flesh and the world (John 10:10). If we pray about everything, we have no need to suffer from anxiety or any other negative emotion (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

God never leaves or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). If we go through a “dry” spell, or God seems silent, He did not leave us; we left Him. Our focus wandered from our first love and is centered more on our self, our goals, or some sin that easily sidetracked us (Hebrews 12:1).

 

God created the universe with certain indisputable laws that keep everything flowing in a smooth pattern and standard. It is only when human beings break His laws that we suffer the consequences.

 

If we live in total surrender to Him, God guards our thoughts and emotions and gives us His wisdom for our decisions (Philippians 4:6-7). He provides for all of our needs and blesses us and our posterity, as we continually walk in His will and ways (Psalm 37:5).

 

God gives us eternal life in His Son; and when we focus on Jesus, we have abundant life now and for eternity (1 John 5:11-13). If Jesus is the center of our universe our life follows His structured orbit, and we are aligned with the Son in perfect harmony.

 

He leads us in ways that often make no sense to us until we see the final outcome.  These unfamiliar paths call for faith as He guides us out of the darkest night into His light. He makes the rough places smooth and never, ever forsakes us (Isaiah 42:16; Psalm 37:5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your people listen to Your voice, because You intimately know us. You prove Your faithfulness to us, so that we can follow You by faith. You give us Your eternal life that starts the moment of our salvation. We shall never perish, because no one can ever snatch us out of Your hand (John 10:27-29).

 

You crucify our fleshly nature; and it is no longer us who are living our life, but Christ lives His life in and through us. We are Your bond servants and the temple of Your Holy Spirit. Use us to advance Your Kingdom on this earth as we mature spiritually by Your mercy and grace. We live by faith in Your Son who loves us and died for our eternal salvation (Galatians 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:

God is not a genie in a bottle here to grant our wishes; instead, He wants us to honor Him as the Lord of our life, and to completely surrender our life to Him so that He can work out His will for our life as we trust in His goodness and love. – Romans 8:28