Do Feelings Control Us?

We often experience feelings which we cannot express. We can communicate our basic mood such as happy, sad, mad, glad, frustrated, etc. However, we cannot distinctly and clearly share how we really feel unless we develop a more detailed vocabulary

( http://wire.wisc.edu/quizzesnmore/emotionwords.aspx ).

 

What type of happy do we feel? Glad or elated? Are we simply sad or actually depressed or devastated? Are we mad or annoyed or fuming? Expressing in more detail how we feel helps us to better understand our self, and allows others to better understand us.

 

Our feelings can totally overwhelm our soul. We believe that we must act on them or explode. Sometimes we do explode and end up wounding other people that we really care about.

 

Feelings are red flags to enable us to see how our environment is effecting us. We do not have to act on them, but we can use them to change our environment for the better.

 

We cannot control other people, but we can control our choices. If someone makes a choice that is intolerable to us, we can make our own choice to temporarily remove our self from that situation until it is resolved.

 

Our feelings do not define us, but they do express how our environment is affecting us. As we are aware of and describe what we are feeling, we can make changes to turn our negative feelings into positive ones.

 

We may change our focus, or we can change the situation, or we can pray for God’s deliverance from an unhealthy or unholy or unsuitable situation or environment, which we cannot change.

 

Journaling helps us to sort out our feelings; then if want to keep our feelings private, we can rip the page to shreds or burn it in the campfire or a coffee can!

 

The important point is to acknowledge and provide for our desires, which are using our feelings to indicate what we really need. When we validate our self, we affirm that we are special and deserve tender loving care.

 

God gave us feelings for our good, and we should pay attention to our soul and how life is impacting us. This gives us a feeling of being cared for, if by no one other than our Daddy God and our self. Sometimes, that is all we really need.

 

Prayer:
Father God, as we trust in and rely on You to know what is best for us, You always hear us from Your holy hill and You turn even the worse situation into blessings for our eventual good. We come to a breaking point in our life where we let go of control and dive into the current of life. Instead of fighting the circumstances, we go with Your flow as You use us for Your Kingdom work.

 

At times we cling to our feelings as a defense or as a reason to hide from reality or truth. We use them as a weapon and slay with our words what we perceive as the opposition. Your Word encourages us that a soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). Teach us to respond with a soft answer, no matter how upset we feel, and remind us that we are Your special children and that You love us beyond words.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can acknowledge our emotions and allow them to explain how our situation is affecting us, but then we can let them go and pray for God’s wisdom to see more clearly what action is needed to rectify the situation.

 

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God’s Plan for Us

God designed us with His perfect will in mind for our life. It always starts with salvation through Christ, by which we receive eternal life (John 6:40). Then, He calls us to a life of holiness to exhibit His glory in the earth (1 Peter 1:15).

 

He teaches us patience through the events which we traverse (James 1:4). We gain contentment as He fills us with His joy and teaches us to pray without ceasing and full of gratitude for all of His provision (John 14:27).

 

Slowly, but consistently, He conforms us to Jesus’ image, and we join Him as the family of God (Romans 8:29). We grow closer in our union with Him through every difficulty and blessing which He allows along our way.

 

Entering into His will through our faith in Christ Jesus, we continue living His plan for our life through each decision we make (Proverbs 3:5-6). We hear His Spirit direct us in the minutest details of our day; telling us to turn to our right or to our left (Isaiah 30:21).

 

The key in this walk is to make time to listen to God’s Spirit within us, to repent of any sin He reveals, and not to ignore or argue with His direction for our day. Our Heavenly Father knows best.

 

This requires that we slow down the busyness, simplify our life and to listen to His peaceful, quiet voice within us (Isaiah 30:15). Fulfillment is our reward when we seek the prize of the high calling of God, and purpose to do His will with our life rather than our own (Philippians 3:14).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your Holy Spirit beckons us to follow Your will and to accomplish Your works with our life in this world. We often stray from Your perfect plan – drawn away by enticing situations and emergencies which compete for our attention.

 

Remind us to follow Your peace in every situation, regardless of the analytical, human thoughts in our mind. Help us to establish a daily quiet time, and to give attention to Your direction all day long. When we follow Your advice on which way to turn, we never take the wrong road.

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s guiding voice calls to us each moment of our day, but we can only hear it as we quiet the voices within us and of the world around us that would attempt to drown it out.

 

 

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Too often we “play” church and treat it like a cruise ship rather than a battleship. We like to socialize with our friends and make new friends who will treat us nicely and care about us.

 

Yet, we waste our time on the flesh and the world, which makes us too busy to serve in church ministries, to care for the sick and infirmed in our church family, or to reach out into our community to make a friend and lead them to Christ.

 

When the offering plate comes around, we give God a tip from the change in our pocket rather than to give a tithe of our income, and we feel no remorse when we fail to give in the benevolence offering to help the needy in our church family and community.

 

We will not even bring canned goods to donate to the food bank in our area, or to join service organizations in our community who help to serve those less fortunate than we are.

 

We ignore those who are aliens in our community, who move here to find work to support their family; not knowing that if we did care for the needy, God could bless us in all the works which we find for our hands to do (Deuteronomy 14:29).

 

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is to take care of orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep our self from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).

 

We can help the poor by meeting their need for food, shelter and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8); aid the widows by meeting their medical bills and doing chores that overwhelm them; and we can visit the imprisoned (Job 31:16; Matthew 25:36).

 

We can give Christmas presents to children at local group homes, take some of them to our home for monthly visits or out on a picnic, or we can take them to the pizza parlor for supper once a month (Job 31:17).

 

The possibilities for ministry in our church family and out in our community are endless, and ignoring these needs is unconscionable and despicable in the sight of the Lord (Matthew 7:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to learn to do good, to seek justice, to defend the orphan and to plead the case for our widows (Isaiah 1:17). Teach us to reprove the ruthless who take bribes or look for a reward for their service (Isaiah 1:23). Remind us that when we clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the imprisoned, we do it as our ministry to You (Matthew 25:36).

 

We do not want to live as hearers of Your Word only, but we want to put feet to our faith and to earn our righteous rewards by keeping Your law and serving our church family and community (James 1:22; Romans 2:13). Let us prove our faith in You by our works for You (James 2:14).

 

Thought for the Day:

The Lord protects strangers, supports single mom’s and their children, and cares for the needs of widows; but He resists the wicked and thwarts those who “play” church rather than minister to the needy in their community. Let us join Him in His Kingdom work. – Psalm 146:9

 

The Healing Journey – Part 2 – Identity of Our Own

I was 45 at the time my first marriage dissolved right before my eyes. I chose to face this new abandonment issue with the courage of an unsinkable Molly Brown, who heroically survived the sinking of the Titanic.

 

My boss at that time, a healing codependent, taught me that I am a person too, and I may minister to myself just as diligently as I minister to other people. That came as a revelation to me.

 

From this point on, I started to care for my own needs rather than to expect my mate or children or friends to care for them. I realized that Jesus encourages us to love others as we love our self.

 

To ignore our needs and to expect others to meet them is a classic codependent behavior, which needs healing. I got in touch with my body, soul and spirit and started to pay attention to and to meet my needs.

 

My joy increased as I realized that God continued to provide for me, and that He cared about me on every level of life. He died to save me from myself and to help me to enter into His ultimate rest (Hebrews 4:10).

 

I spent the next two years learning that God is our true husband (Isaiah 54:5). He provides for our every need as we trust in Him and rely on His benevolence and grace.

 

There is nothing too difficult for Him (Luke 18:27). He can work miraculous wonders on our behalf, even when we least expect it. He provided me with a job, a home and new friends who nurtured me.

 

They too were recovering divorcees and many were codependent, just like me. We learned from each other, had fun times together and met each week to learn how to begin life again as single people.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us teachers with wisdom on how to get free from our past, to heal from our current situation and to look forward to the future with faith in You. We learned to depend on Your love rather than a person’s love and to trust You even when we cannot trust people.

 

You bring us out of moments of depression, provide for our every need, put a new song on our lips and give us an identity of our own that has its source in You rather than in our accomplishments or in other people. You are our all in all both now and throughout eternity, and we delight in living in Your courts and finding refuge under Your wings.

 

Thought for the Day:

We come to the breaking point in our life where we invite Christ to be more and more at home in our heart, so that we can be filled with the fullest measure of His presence.

– Ephesians 3:16-19 (Amplified Bible)

 

Over the Years and Miles

When God puts someone on my heart to encourage, I pray for them, shoot them an email, make a phone call or send them a card. I got a blessing back today that I never expected.

 

I received a photo of several of my cards which I sent to one sister-in-Christ over the years. Rather than reading and discarding my handcrafted cards, she kept every one of them. The photo she sent is of a little pile of my cards, which I sent to her.

 

This wonderful Saint had to relocate multiple times over the years and suffered painful devastation repeatedly during that time. Yet, in all of that confusion and the heart-rending circumstances, she carried those little cards with her.

 

She told me that whenever she needs encouragement or support or to know that she is loved, she takes out all the cards I sent to her and reads them all over again.

 

What a huge blessing to know that this simple act on my part is continuing to show God’s love over the miles and the years. My own mother has several of my cards placed around her home and she says they bring her comfort and joy when she glances at them or rereads them.
Please always respond to God’s directive if He tells you to send someone a card or email. Like me, you may be humbled and encouraged someday to learn that the person kept them and continues to be fortified in their spirit because of them.

 

Never underestimate the importance of a simple act of obedience to the Lord. The amazing love from Christ in us to His Body can reap benefits for that person for many years and across thousands of miles and end up blessing us in return.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You so much for teaching us to obey the leading of Your Spirit each moment of every day. Help us to simplify our life; so that we are never too busy to obey You even in the simple, seemingly insignificant ways You call us to minister to one another. Remind us that birthdays are special and we should acknowledge the day for those we love.

 

We give You all of the honor and praise when You use us as Your hands and feet. Teach us that You also give us Your heart to show Your love to the Body of Christ and the unsaved people in our life. Help us to be even more mindful of You throughout our day – even in the most mundane or routine experiences.

 

Thought for the Day:

A simple act of kindness and obedience to God’s Spirit will send repercussions of encouragement and love across the years and miles.

The Problem with Happiness

Happiness is a fleeting emotion, easily interrupted by negative thoughts, words and actions. Humans can experience the switch between the heights of euphoria and the depths of depression in a matter of seconds.

When we seek happiness in circumstance, people, events, pets, career, home, gardens, hobbies, church, etc. we are continually elated and then disappointed.

In disappointment, we even give in to fear, anxiety and feel apprehensive when we consider more than the one moment of time which we are experiencing.

Fear will dispel happiness quicker and put us into a deeper depression than any other emotion, especially if we suppress the anger, which we feel along with it.

We have the right to pursue happiness, but we cannot maintain it. There is good news in the midst of this negative prognosis, however.

We can continually dwell in an emotion much deeper than happiness. This emotion is not contingent on circumstance and is spiritual and depends solely on the presence of God in our life.

This deep seated emotion is also our strength to traverse the negative path in life, which we occasionally experience. There is no earthly issue, which can ever shake us from this positive outlook on life. It is called JOY.

If we choose to focus on the negative circumstances, or if we adopt a negative attitude, our joy will hover just outside of our soul, waiting in our spirit for us to change our focus to the joy, which is always set before us (Hebrews 12:2).

The world-wide Body of Christ, both in times present and past, is an example of a people who love and joyfully trust our amazing God for His constant provision, even during dire circumstances.

Prayer:
Father God, You reach down Your arms and hold us until our grief and fears are gone (Psalm 68:5). You walk within us and guide us through the depths of grief, distress and insecurity. Regardless of the negative circumstances, Your peace and joy are our constant companions.

You love each of us the same amount and in the same way, regardless of our sinful past. We are confident of Your continual, unconditional love for us (John 3:16-17). We can never thank You enough for continually filling us with Your presence and Spirit, and for helping us to maintain a heavenly mindset rather than a carnal, earthly one.

Thought for the Day:
Our constant joy depends on our focus on the eternal Christ and our attitude of total dependence on His perfect will for our life.

Practical Faith

How can faith be practical as well as spiritual? When we get into our car and turn on the ignition, we have faith that the motor will start and take us to our desired location.

If we previously had trouble with our car starting, we still attempt to start the car, hoping beyond hope that the engine will turn over and the car will transport us to our destination.

This is how faith works in the spiritual realm as well. We hear the gospel story, and we realize the potential we could have in life if our spirit was actually Born Again rather than dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:10).

We put our faith in God to fill us by His Spirit, to regenerate our spirit and to save us from the penalty of our sins. It is more than blind faith, because we see the results of our belief in changes in our desires, thoughts, words and deeds.

This change is not affected by sheer will power or human determination. It is a spiritual change that has nothing to do with our body or soul (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

It is something, which God does for us. It is a walk of faith, which does not depend on our human understanding or effort (Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We cannot be good enough, wise enough, rich enough or powerful enough to earn our way to heaven. It is a gift from God just for us (Romans 6:23).

God’s Spirit empowers us in the same way that the engine empowers the car. The power in the car energizes a dead hunk of steel into immediate life; and the Holy Spirit revives our dead spirit to live, move and have our being in Christ both now and for eternity (Acts 17:28).

Our life bears fruit for the Kingdom of God and our attitude and thoughts change from carnal to spiritual ones. The peace and joy of God flood our life.

We leave the world of dark, destruction, influenced by sin and Satan’s lies; and we enter the brilliant light of Christ, our ultimate Truth.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for planting our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ, so that neither temptation from the devil nor the storms of life can shake the bedrock of our foundation on Your Word and Your Spirit.

You removed the weight of sin from our shoulders by the righteousness of Christ, which You freely provide for us. Thank You for revealing to us by Your Spirit what Christ actually did for us on the cross, and how this revolutionizes how we view life and the activities we enjoy both now and in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Faith in Christ impacts our daily life now, as well as determines our eternal destination; it is practical and influences the peace and joy in which we live our life.