What Are You Saying?
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous stir up anger."
Words are powerful; they have the ability to impact and influence in positive or negative ways--especially in the lives of children.
"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting."--Psalm 107:1(NASB)
Grief and the Holidays
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."--Matthew 5:7(NIV)
In September 2013, I lost a dear uncle to an aggressive form of liver cancer. His condition rapidly deteriorated and within a few months, he was gone. It was hard to watch my larger than life uncle slip away before our eyes. The reality that “Uncle June” was gone was almost too much to fathom. He was the quintessential uncle, if you will. He was the life of the party. He loved to sing, dance, eat, and have fun. He was a gifted athlete and avid gardener. But, above all, he was a family man--a faithful husband to his wife and a loving, devoted father and grandfather. Uncle June was decent and honorable. So, needless to say the 2013 holiday season was difficult, especially since many holiday dinners were held at his home. The fact that he would not be joining us for the holiday meal that evening or ever again in this lifetime was overwhelming. That is the harsh reality of death, its finality.
Since we can never bring our loved one back, we are left to work through the grieving process and ultimately come to a level of acceptance. And, God in his infinite goodness, gives us the capacity to do this. If this holiday season is being met with feelings of trepidation, that is natural and to be expected. Grieving is a process. Period. There is no formula or timeline or steps to follow. Some of the stages of grief that we think we have passed, we may revisit. That is okay. Grieving is most personal and individual. However, God is with us through it no matter how long it takes or how heartbroken we are. He is Emmanuel, “God with us”.
Click the button below for more information on Grief support.
An Intentional God
"And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose."--Romans 8:28(AMP)
A Prayer for Inner Peace
We all face difficulties in life that are unsettling. Yet, God in his infinite love, insight, and foreknowledge equips us with tools and weapons for success; one of which is peace. If you are a child of God, you have been endowed with the gift of peace that surpasses human understanding.
Don't allow chaos, worry, and anxiety to be behind the wheel of your heart. Use every weapon in your spiritual arsenal! Even in the midst of the storms of life, we can experience inner peace and sanctum.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for your gift of peace. I thank you that your peace guards my mind and my heart. Your peace settles and comforts. I receive your peace. I decree and declare that it is at work in my life. I speak peace over my present realities--over predicaments, circumstances, and challenges. I disallow chaos, confusion, worry, stress, or anxiety to rule and govern my thoughts, decisions, actions, and choices. I speak peace and order in my heart, my home, my relationships, my environment. Thank you for an atmosphere of peace surrounding me in Jesus' name, Amen.
Pray for Paris
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me
To bring good news to the humble and afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives
And freedom to prisoners."--Isaiah 61:1(AMP)
Emotional Avoidance is defined as a maladaptive, self-protective coping mechanism. It is generally characterized by the effort to avoid dealing with a stressor. This style of coping is a breeding ground for anxiety, stress, and depression. It torments the soul and plagues the mind. Even the most intricate efforts to avoid will boomerang back because what we are trying desperately to avoid simply does not go away. It wants to stay! We can ignore it, hide it, disguise it, or even attempt to run from it--but it will run alongside us. It is a distance runner, in it for the long haul and poised to bring perpetual distress and bondage.
I once spoke with someone who had a very elaborate fantasy that she was romantically involved with a famous athlete. Although she was fully cognizant that she had created this fantasy life, it was easier and safer than facing some painful realities--some of which included early childhood struggles with parental rejection and abandonment.
When our souls have been deeply wounded, as in the case above, the struggle to cope with the pain of our hearts is real. We must grapple with making a critical decision, Do we want to live a life of avoidance? Thereby conceding to perpetual emotional exhaustion and inner turmoil. Or, Are we willing to do the hard work by getting to the root cause of the pain; the source of avoidance?
Leaning heavily on the Scriptures and trusting in the promises of God enables us to do the hard work and ultimately uproots the source of our emotional avoidance.
"Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”--Joshua 1:9(AMP)
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]."--John 10:10(AMP)
Points to Consider
* If you desire freedom from emotional avoidance, confess this to God in prayer.
*Meditate on Isaiah 61:1, Joshua 1:9, and John 10:10
* Consider seeking out godly counsel from your pastor or a Christian counselor.
If you would like Christian counseling in this area via A Broken Heart's GPS Christian Counseling and Resource Center, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1(866)460-8976.
A Prayer for Our Veterans
Father, in the name of Jesus, we come before you acknowledging that you are almighty, all-powerful. You are Elohim, the Most High God. There is none like you. You are majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, and you work wonders (Exodus 15:11).
We come before you as intercessors, standing in the gap, on behalf of our courageous brothers and sisters who embraced the call to serve and protect our country. We thank you for their bravery, tenacity, and loyalty. We remember them today.
We pray for those who have previously served. We pray that you would bless them and reward them openly. We pray that there would be no lack in their lives. We decree abundance--abundant peace, abundant rest, abundant resources, abundant health, abundant relationships, abundant love, and a legacy of generational transfer of abundance.
We pray for those who are serving now. We pray a hedge of safety and protection. Guard their minds and their hearts. Supply every need. Fill every void, every longing as they are away from their families. We thank you for the assurance of your word--that you are their refuge and their strength; a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). We decree Psalm 91:1, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]" over our military personnel.
And God, we pray for our wounded warriors. We pray for our homeless veterans. We pray for those who have been abandoned, discarded, and dishonored. We pray that you would restore our wounded warriors. Heal their hearts, bind up their emotional wounds (Psalm 147:3) We remember those who are tormented with PTSD, depression, insomnia, nightmares, and anxiety. We remember those who are struggling with addictions. We remember those who are maimed and disabled.
Father, forgive us where we may have fallen short of greatly esteeming our warriors. We pray that our society would come to heightened awareness and remembrance of those who served and are serving with honor and integrity. God, raise of "Generals of Care"! Raise up those who would come along side our service men and women offering care, support, encouragement, and resources. In Jesus' name, Amen.
The Power of Meditation
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night."--Psalm 1:2(AMP)
meditate: "hagah" (Hebrew)--to study, muse, imagine, speak, utter, ponder
Amazon's best selling products are none other than adult coloring books! Why you may ask? Research studies show that coloring has the same effects as meditation. And, once again, science is catching up with the Bible. New studies in neuroscience have confirmed that meditation has the following benefits:
* Decreases blood pressure
* Decreases inflammation in the body
* Boosts immunity
* Increases concentration
* Reduces stress and anxiety
God, our Creator, knows how intended our brains to function, as well as what the brain (and body) needs to function at an optimal level. One of the key ingredients is meditation. Science proves this. If we follow God's formula-- which is set, established, and unchanging-- for meditation, we will experience what research is supporting; peace, mental clarity, inner harmony and well-being because we are practicing His presence.
* Find a quiet place, where there are no distractions
* Practice God's presence--be mindful of who He is--Creator, Healer, Redeemer, Protector. Be mindful of His power, might, love, and care. Receive his peace, acceptance, and warmth
* Contemplative prayer
* Read and reflect upon God's word
* Speak scriptures aloud
"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be successful."
"When I remember You on my bed, I meditate and thoughtfully focus on You in the night watches..."--Psalm 63:6(AMP)
"I will meditate on all Your works And thoughtfully consider all Your [great and wondrous] deeds."--Psalm 77:12
"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done; I ponder the work of Your hands."--Psalm 143:5(AMP)
For more information on the benefits of meditation, visit: www.forbes.com/7ways-meditation-can-actually-change-the-brain
Are You Convinced?
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."--Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV)
Persuaded: "peitho" Greek meaning, "to trust, to be convinced, to have faith, have confidence, to be confident"
Separate: "chorizo" Greek meaning, "to depart, divide, put asunder, to go away or place room between"
I often hear people verbalize feelings of woe, sadness, and remorse over past sin--the ruminating guilt of poor decisions and poor choices. There is a debilitating belief that God would not and could not ever forgive them. Some also feel that there is a great chasm between them and the Lord. Yet, this is not what the Bible teaches us. We learn in Romans 8:38-39, that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We must be persuaded--convinced of this truth. When we bring our hearts before the Lord in humility and repentance, He forgives us. It does not matter what we have done in our lives, although we may feel great angst, nothing can separate us from the loving arms of our heavenly Father. There is no condemnation in Him (Romans 8:1). And, when Christ makes us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36)!
Are you convinced of this?
I am a wife, mother, and Christian counselor who believes that God can heal and restore our broken hearts and put us on the road to wholeness, purpose, and productivity in our lives when we follow and trust his "GPS".