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Archive for the ‘How You Are To Win.’ Category

Two Cans and a String.


And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.
1 Samuel 1:10

Recommended Reading
1 Samuel 1:8-18 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%201:8-18&version=NKJV )

Remember playing with two cans and a string? The science behind that children’s toy really works. When you take two cans or paper cups, punch holes in the bottom of them, and stretch a string between them, you’ve recreated a primitive phone. The sound of your voice vibrates the bottom of the cup at 1,000 times a second, and the vibrations run along the string, making the bottom of the second cup vibrate with sound waves. The early telephones worked the same way, except the wires were electric.

Listen To Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

Whenever we pray, God is on the other end of the line with His ear to the cup, hearing every word and listening to every vibration of our voices. He hears even the faintest sigh. The prophet Daniel prayed regularly all his life and history was changed. The apostle Paul prayed, and cities were opened to the Gospel. Hannah prayed and God lifted her burden.

If you’re in anguish or distress, you don’t need two cans and a string. Two bent knees and a broken heart will do just fine.

Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.
R. A. Torrey

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Job 31-34

By David Jeremiah.

Apologizing When You’ve Done Nothing Wrong.


Laura Polk

“Apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”—Positive Outlooks

It’s not about me. It’s not about me. It’s not about me.

I repeated the mantra in my head over and over again. I set it to a tune. I hummed it in my mind. But it still wasn’t sinking in. It felt like it was about me. In fact, it felt like I was under attack. Being falsely accused of something I didn’t do.

But, it didn’t matter.

It’s not about me. It’s not about me. It’s not about me.

It wasn’t about me. There was a larger story at play. The one of my family, especially my children, suffering the consequences of an argument that I didn’t start, and couldn’t seem to end. It had gone on for years, and my attempts to get anyone to even acknowledge my viewpoint, were futile.

David struggled with this as well. In Psalm 69, he calls out to God in the midst of his accusers:

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.”

He was forced to restore what he did not steal. Accused of things he did not do.

Relationships are messy. And Jesus clearly understood. In fact, he specifically instructed us on what to do should we find ourselves in a disagreement with others. In Matthew 5:23-24, He said:

“This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.”

I love how this doesn’t specify who is at fault. To God, who is at fault is not the question. It is about making things right, regardless of who is at fault. It doesn’t mean that we are taking the blame, but instead, taking the initiative to live in peace with that person. I know—it seems impossible. But, as believers, we are called to a higher standard. Called to love others as we would like to be loved—not as we are loved. A much different thing.

The truth is, there is an art to disagreeing. And, like most art, it’s not always easy to understand at first glance. The meaning, and the methods used, may not be clear in the beginning.

When it’s time to apologize:

  • The relationship with the other person is one that has lifelong potential, such as a family member, spouse, or long-time friend, and you value the relationship in spite of the disagreement.
  • You have approached them in love, and been refused.
  • You have tried to find a common ground, willing to give in, and been refused.
  • When you approach the person who has offended you, there is a rehashing of what happened—as if it just happened—instead of a willingness to find resolution.
  • The matter is affecting other people who were not part of the original disagreement.
  • You avoid gatherings where the person might be.
  • You have prayed about the situation and don’t feel the need to create a permanent boundary (you should not compromise in situations that involve physical or mental abuse of any kind).
  • You feel certain that if you apologize, the matter will end.

How to get your mind around apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong:

  • You can show regret for the feelings the other person has incurred as a result of the situation without taking blame for the situation itself. This assumes that you did not intend to hurt feelings, or that the original action was intended for good and had unforeseen consequences for which you were not responsible. When doing this, make sure that you apologize with no caveats. Instead of “I’m sorry if you were offended by something I said” (putting the reaction back on them), say something like “I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you” (putting the responsibility on you).
  • Decide what you are apologizing for, and state it plainly. An open-ended apology that makes you feel exposed to accepting something you did not do, will not end the disagreement. More than likely, it will cause bitterness that may escalate it. Instead, you can show grace to the person who offended you, and apologize for the part you played in the situation that followed the offense (such as: isolation from that person, bad feelings towards that person, etc.)
  • Don’t dwell on the truth. In many cases, the truth will lie between you, the offender, and God alone. In long standing disputes, the truth doesn’t matter as much as the separation it has caused.
  • Don’t make excuses for the person who caused the offense. Instead, offer mercy, knowing that you are freeing yourself as much as you are freeing them. They don’t have to answer to you for their actions, but you do have to answer to God.
  • Agree not to discuss it again. When both parties have been hurt, and an agreement of wrongdoing cannot be settled, it is best to let the situation go. In order to move forward, both parties need to agree that it is forgiven, and that it is best not to discuss it for the sake of the relationship.

In long standing disagreements, it’s not really about who is right or wrong, but who is willing to listen to the other person, and show understanding toward them. Most people don’t want conflict between themselves and others, but pride keeps them from admitting wrongdoing. Often, the person who suffered the mistreatment will be the one who is forced to end the argument with no apology from the other side. Showing grace and mercy to another who has offended you is not only an incredible gift to that person, but a living testimony of how your Savior would treat you. And, that alone, sisters, is enough to break the silence.

Article taken from LauraPolk.org. Used with permission.

Laura Polk is a freelance writer and textile designer residing in North Carolina with her husband and three children. Her passion for storytelling that speaks truth inspires her to create fiction that is both compelling and thought provoking. Laura is the Women’s Ministry Co-leader at her church and a host at Moms Together on facebook (a social media ministry). She blogs at www.laurapolk.com. Follow her writing journey on facebook, or get a glimpse into her quirky thoughts and inspirations for design and writing on pinterest.

Publication date: May 23, 2013

How To Not Please the Devil.


“But without faith it is impossible to please God” Hebrews 11:6a NKJ

It’s impossible to please God without faith. In the same way, we cannot please the devil without fear.

When we let fear operate in our lives, we are choosing to please the devil. Fear is the ‘faith’ Satan uses to cause what he wants to happen in our lives. Without faith, God cannot bring the manifestations of our reward in our lives. And if we refuse to let fear have it’s way in our lives, Satan will not have access into our lives to bring manifestations of evil.

Fear is a spirit and when we let faith work and not fear, we paralyze that spirit. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Faith operates through love (Galatians 5:6) and as we let the perfect love of God work in and through us, fear will be driven out of our lives.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18)

Let us choose not to please the devil.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Wishing you a Blessed Week!


I have told you this, that His joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full! (John 15:11)

By Anita Antwi.

How to Use Your Pain to Fulfill Your Potential.


Editor’s Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Kary Oberbrunner‘s book, The Deeper Path: Five Steps that Let Your Hurts Lead to Your Healing(Baker Books, 2013).

In this fallen world, pain enters everyone’s life, so it’s inevitable that you’ll have to deal with pain. But if you respond to pain the way God hopes you will, pain will serve good purposes in your life.

You can get stuck in your pain if you deny it, numb yourself to it, or try to cope with it by settling for less than the abundant life God wants for you. There’s a better option, however: Feeling your pain and exploring it. Even though doing so will hurt, you can heal from your pain that way – and, in the process, discover and fulfill your God-given potential in life.

Here’s how you can use your pain to fulfill your potential:

  • Choose to feel your pain so you can understand what it means. Pain is actually a valuable signal alerting you to something that’s wrong in your life. But you’ll miss out on the information God wants to give you through the pain that He allows into your life if you avoid dealing with your pain directly. Pray for the courage you need to face your pain head-on and feel it fully; that’s the only way you can truly heal and grow from it. Decide that you’ll no longer just suffer chronic, purposeless pain that doesn’t lead to transformation in your life and only hurts you. Instead, choose to turn whatever pain enters your life into productive action that leads to healing and spiritual growth.
  • Find your melody line. In music, a melody line is the part of a song that listeners most remember, because it communicates the essence of the song and connects emotionally with listeners. In your life, you can discover your own melody line – a big idea that taps into your deepest values and aspirations. Turn down the noise level in your life by spending time in silence and solitude regularly to think and pray. Sort through all the many ideas you encounter in daily life, seeking to discover what’re uniquely meant to focus on and pursue. Actively listen to whatever messages God may want to communicate to you, which will point you toward the melody line emerging from your soul.
  • Question your condition. Take an honest look at every part of your life and consider how you’re feeling discontent and what unfulfilled longings are rattling around inside your soul. What more do you want to be, do, have, and give in life? Let your longings awaken you to the fact that the potential for a better life exists. Decide to do your best from now on to create a life that truly reflects what you believe is possible.
  • Unmask your painkillers. Stop trying to kill your pain through whatever means you may be using for that purpose: romance novels, extreme sports, video games, substances, busyness, shopping, success, church, money, work, sex, TV, or something else. Realize that God speaks through your pain, and by using painkillers, you’re interfering with the communication process between God and yourself. With painkillers in your life, you can only have a transactional relationship with God – not the transformational relationship that He intends for you to have with Him. Shift your focus away from amusement (which will only distract or divert you from your potential) and toward prayerful reflection. Allow yourself to feel the full weight of your pain – as uncomfortable as that may make you – so that you can start to understand what it means in your life. Freely pour out your painful thoughts and feelings to God in writing, since doing so will help you clarify what you’re thinking and feeling. Don’t be afraid of judgment, since God loves you unconditionally.
  • Explore your wounds. Ask God to show you how you’re sabotaging His dreams for you and limiting your potential in life because of how you’re reacting to the pain in your life. Stop blaming God and other people for your problems and realize that you do have the power to make choices that will change your life for the better. Rather than being a victim who believes that the world happens to you, decide to be a victor who believes that you happen to the world – which is exactly what you can be, when you invite God to work through you every day.
  • Overcome your excuses. Identify and eliminate the self-limiting beliefs that are preventing you from making progress with healing and reaching your God-given potential in life. Ask God to give you the courage you need to take whatever risks He calls you to take, so you can keep moving forward.
  • Embody your healing. Since your energy flows wherever you focus your thoughts, choose to think about faith much more often than you do about fear. Pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind every day, and whenever a fearful thought enters your mind, replace it with a thought that reflects biblical truth, such as scriptures that describe God’s promises to you.
  • Discover your passion. Cooperate with God to create your new life by discovering what you’re passionate about, and how you can best pursue that passion to contribute to the world. Don’t delay; make full use of the gift of each day that God gives you.
  • Author your opus. Your opus is a written statement that helps you clarify who you are and what you should do in life to best fulfill God’s purposes for you. Your opus should include: your big dream for your work, the purpose of your work, the strategies necessary for you to achieve your goals, and the ways you intend to measure your progress to determine whether or not you’re hitting your target. While writing it, keep in mind: your worldview (what you believe), your identity (who you are), your principles (what you value), your passion (what you love), your purpose (why you live and work), and your process (how you will do so).

Adapted from The Deeper Path: Five Steps that Let Your Hurts Lead to Your Healingcopyright 2013 by Kary Oberbrunner. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerbooks.com

Kary Oberbrunner has a burning passion — igniting souls. Through his writing, speaking, and coaching, he helps individuals and organizations clarify who they are, why they are here, and where they should invest their time and energy. Kary struggled finding his own distinct voice and passion. As a young man, he suffered from severe stuttering, depression, and self-injury. Today a transformed man, Kary invests his time helping others achieve their true potential. He is the founder of Redeem the Day, which serves the business community, and Igniting Souls, which serves the non-profit community. The author of several books, Kary also serves as a founding partner on the John Maxwell Team. He and his wife Kelly are blessed with three amazing children. Connect at www.KaryOberbrunner.com.

By Whitney Hopler

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles, at:http://angels.about.com/. Contact Whitney at: angels@aboutguide.comto send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.

*This article First Published 3/8/2013

Never Been Kissed: Will I Ever Find True Love?.


Today, I’d like to share a post to encourage those who have the gift of encouragement, who may be wondering if God can bring love back in your life, if you’d ever find the one.

Just like Ruth never expected she would find a Boaz while gathering leftover in the fields for Naomi, you are not forgotten. Your needs are not overlooked. The dream you dare to whisper in private — God hears.

Like Ruth, you are focusing on the gathering — the work that’s right in front of you. You get up and lie down, faithful to encourage those around you, being thankful for the spiritual provision you find everyday.

Among my purpose-filled days as a single, there were sometimes deep, long nights, when the ache in my heart tore down into my gut.

In those moments, I wondered if I would run into someone, the way Ruth stumbled onto Boaz’ fields…

Never Been Kissed

I don’t know if dogs and cats dream of getting their first kisses, but one thing’s for sure, humans are different.

I remember wanting my first kiss so badly, I thought I was going to die waiting. I did not want to get to college and be the only girl on campus whose only kiss was her bathroom mirror.

Luckily, despite my mother’s best efforts and my propensity to like books and play in the orchestra (the cool kids were in band and track-and-field), I did get my first kiss before donning cap and gown.

The kiss was just as magical and dizzying as it appears in the movies.

But, it wasn’t true love.

Not for him, anyways. It was a bummer.

The box for My First Kiss was checked off the same year as Dumped For The First Time.

Missing The Boat

Some people talk about not kissing anyone until they’re engaged, to end up marrying the first person they kissed.  Real fairy-tale like.

Too bad, I always thought. Why didn’t God have the first guy I fall in love with be my husband?

It was the first of many why-questions I’d start filing secretly away. Many years passed. I could never find the magic of that first kiss again.

After some time, I grew up and got smart. I stopped believing there was “The One”.

If I missed the boat with “The One”, then I’d rather just be by myself and God.

It’s just you and me, God.

I liked it just fine.

There was enough to keep me kingdom forward and connected with people. Eight years fly by when you can serve with abandon, lots of friends to make and enjoy.

Then, one day, I met him.

He Was Different

Unlike other Christians guys who always stayed behind the lines of just being “friends”, he was different.

He wrote me digital letters every day for a month. Then, he asked me out on a date. Not to grab a bite to eat. A date.

In line for a flick, we found out our #1 favorite food was pizza and we both loved coffee. We couldn’t stop talking and we were laughing even though there were no jokes being told.

I decided to put out the “No Kissing” edict.

My last kiss was many annual moons ago. I didn’t want to kiss any more frogs.

Three months. That’s how long we’d have to date exclusively before we could kiss.

He was smart. He smiled and nodded.

I didn’t make it past six weeks.

The kiss I received that day under a willow tree was the best kiss ever.

It felt like my first kiss.

It didn’t bring me back to my kiss at seventeen.

It felt as if I had never been kissed.

… Until that moment with him.

Turn Back Time

If you’ve ever stopped believing that anything could be new again, God’s perfect timing can turn everything back to the first time. The impossible happened that day we first kissed. God became a lot more powerful than I imagined.

~ He works in mysterious ways we can’t explain.

~ He stirs and rearranges our hearts, when we’re not looking. When we don’t think anyone else is home, except us, He makes a space for love.

~ He is more capable than cupid, more magical than the most beautiful of fairy tales.

A Kiss To Your Soul

I’m old enough to understand that nothing lasts forever.

But, there are some things that happen only once, that remind us that there is eternity in our hearts.

The one I call my husband was him. He was brought into my life, even though I gave up looking for love.

God knows what you may have given up on.

The One who knows you can bring a kiss to your soul, like the one you’ve always longed for and forgotten about.

Mine came through a person, but remember, God is not limited by our ways.

Why didn’t God have the first guy I fall in love with be my husband?

… So that I could believe in miracles again.

 

~~~~~

“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.”~ Isaiah 62:5

~~~~~

Where are your thoughts today on finding true love?

Do you need to believe in miracles again?

Pull up a chair. I’d love to hear your thoughts and I’m so glad you’re here.

Click to comment and read each other’s thoughts here.

By Bonnie Gray

~~~~~

Join Bonnie on her blog at http://www.FaithBarista.com, on Facebook or Twitter.

Bonnie Gray is an inspiring Christian writer and blogger, offering encouragement to keep faith fresh in the daily grind. Her writing springs from the belief that the beauty of faith often takes place when life goes off script. Bonnie is the Founder ofFaithBarista.com and featured writer for Hallmark subsidiary DaySpring’s (in)Courage. Bonnie is currently working on her debut book, to be published by Revell Books. Bonnie is a native Californian living in the heart of Silicon Valley with her best friend Hubby, wrangling their two heaven-sent boys on the homestead.

** Don’t miss! ** If you are new to Faith Barista, I’d like welcome you here.Click to subscribe by email and get each post in this series served up hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.

Photo Credit:  Photobucket.com

Make No Provision For Envy.


A while ago, a friend came to tell me how she had found a new job in a big company. While talking about this breakthrough, I jokingly said ‘I’m happy for you but I think I envy you a little, I’ve always wanted to work there!’ And we laughed about that. But the Holy Spirit in me wasn’t laughing.
Envy opens the door to the devil and makes us prey to demonic devices such as hatred and pride. Proverbs 14:30 shows that envy destroys from the inside. It makes us miserable, unable to enjoy the life God has given us.
Envy can leads to the most cruel of acts if not dealt with at the source. “Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4) Abel was murdered by his elder brother Cain because Cain was jealous of his better offering to God. Genesis 4:3-8. It was because of envy that King Saul chased after David throughout the country for years. Our Lord Jesus was crucified because of the envy of the Pharisees. “For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.” (Mark 15:10)
Envy and strife go hand in hand. We will never be totally at peace with someone we envy. We can never have the best of relationships God wants us to have if we retain envy and jealousy in our hearts. Envy blocks us from our own blessings as it did to Cain and to King Saul.
How do we overcome envy? We have to learn to appreciate our uniqueness in Christ and find such security in God’s love that someone else’s happiness doesn’t threaten us. We also need to learn to be happy for others especially when they get something we wanted to have.
The key word here is ‘learn’. It takes a conscious act to make no provision for the flesh, for envy. Let us be quick to recognize envious thoughts that creep in and resist them. We have to crucify our flesh, die to our own desires. And the Bible tells us in Romans 8:13 that the Holy Spirit will help us do that.
“Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:13-14)
Wishing you a Blessed Week!



I have told you this, that His joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full! (John 15:11)
Anita

By “Anita Antwi”

Facing Your Giants.


We all will face giants at one time or another in our lives. By giants, I am speaking of what seem to be insurmountable problems and issues. We try to fell these giants, but often they seem to only grow stronger with the passing of time.

It could be a giant of fear. Or it might be a giant of some type of personal sin that you fall into again and again. It might be the sin of pride or envy or gluttony or lust or something else.

In a related way, your giant might be one of addiction, something that has a grip on your life. Then again, it could be a giant of threat that is taunting you today. Someone has slandered you. A lawsuit has been filed against you. Maybe there is even a threat against your very life.

Or it might be a different kind of giant altogether, like an unbelieving spouse or a prodigal child. You have prayed for them. You have asked the Lord to reach them, yet they seem to become more hardened by sin as the years pass by. You find yourself wondering how you will ever overcome this.

So how do we deal with giants? We find the answer in the Old Testament account of David and Goliath. Most of us are familiar with the story.

What a victory it was as David boldly defeated the giant Goliath, armed only with a slingshot and five smooth stones. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites were reinvigorated. And it was all because a little shepherd boy answered the call of God and cut down the giant.

So what can we learn from this story about facing off with our own giants in life?

One – recognize that we all have giants. We all face severe hardships, seemingly insurmountable obstacles and temptations. We all have problems. We all have temptations.

We read in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (nlt).

While it is true we all have giants, it is also true that every giant can be defeated. After all, giants rarely start out that way.

Goliath was not always a giant. He was not always 9-feet-6-inches tall. He was once a baby. And with the passing of time and the nurture of others, the baby became a child. And the child became a teenager. And the teenager became a man. And the man turned into a giant.

In the same way, giants often begin quite small. When we have a big sin in our lives, it started as a little sin that was allowed, nurtured, fed, and even encouraged, and then became a giant that taunts us. It started with a so-called Christian liberty that we proclaimed and is now getting the best of us.

In time, little things become big things.

Two – realize that the battle belongs to the Lord. David told Goliath, “This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:47 nlt). That is why giants defeat us again and again—because we face them in our own strength and we lose. We need to realize this is the Lord’s battle.

Three – attack your giant. Goliath had come into the actual territory of the Israelites. He had crossed their line. He was taunting them. And if you tolerate a Goliath, he will take over your territory. He will come right up on your doorstep.

That is why you don’t run from giants. You don’t negotiate with them. You attack them. The Bible tells us, “As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him” (verse 48 nlt). As the enemy drew closer, David ran right at him.

Whatever your giant may be, force it into the light of day. Stop rationalizing it. Stop excusing it. Realize you can’t defeat it in your own strength.

Call on God and pray for His power, and then attack it. Draw lines and be accountable to others. Stay away from people or situations where you would be easily tempted. And don’t let that giant back into your life again.

Finally, trust in the Lord. Don’t look at God in the light of your giant. Instead, look at your giant in the light of God.

[Content provided by OnePlace.com.]

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