You are NOT being beat up by the Devil, nor is God withholding from you to teach you a lesson.

Are you listening? You are NOT being beaten up by the Devil, nor is God withholding from you to teach you a lesson!

However, you may be dabbling in things that might make that happen … but most often that just isn’t the case.

Now, before you get your feathers all ruffled, stop long enough to ask yourself a few questions. Questions I started asking myself after one of our congregational members came to visit me and poured out her heart regarding the challenges and woes that her life was facing.
 
Because her visit had interrupted me in the middle of a task, I asked her to walk with me while I finished so that I could hear her better. Perhaps it was because I was not looking at her directly, or perhaps the Lord just wanted me to hear something I’d never really paid attention to before, but while I talked, I noticed certain phrases that she was using, that I’ve heard in church often. In fact, I believe I’ve used all of them myself!

MOVIE: The Secret – What makes it such a powerful – or dangerous movie?

The truth it illustrates gives the movie its power. The misapplication makes it dangerous.

A few years back a movie became highly popular that spoke of a ”secret”. The assumption was that if you knew the secret, you’d be rich and have no lack of anything. “New Age” people touted the movie like a Bible. Christians (without watching the movie) declared that it was demonic and to be avoided.

After spending my entire life in church and hearing such things, but never checking things out for myself (as Christians are to do because we will stand accountable to God for what we have believed and acted upon.) I decided to see for myself.

Protect Your Dreams and Inspired Ideas by Acting on Them!

As a Creative Life Coach, I’ve been amazed at how, through the years, Christians I’ve met have shared their inspired ideas and solutions for problems of every size, sort, and need, yet a high percentage never acted on any of them.

As a natural encourager and as a creative service provider, I’d share tools and techniques for acting on their dreams.  As a pastor, and now a professional Life Coach, I saw most of them drop their dreams and live out nightmares of hopelessness and anxiety instead!  Why?

I’ve come to call the beliefs that sabotage these inspired ideas and abundant living as “sacred cows”. Sacred cows are beliefs that appear to be holy, but in fact are law based thinking that has no real substance or proof, but because of the assumed punishments for not following these beliefs, people embrace them as true. One such sacred cow is “don’t question authority”.  (I think that one protects all the others.) It sounds like the obedient thing to do is to not even question this directive, yet, a better question is most certainly due … such as; “Who’s authority?”  There are many who are in a position of authority but do not respect nor carry true authority. 

The Shaping of a Shepherd

As a child, the young shepherd is given simple duties of caring for his Father’s sheep. 

In the small things, the child quickly learns the differences in personalities of the sheep and learns from experience which sheep to keep a wide berth on, and which ones he can approach. 

Becoming a wise shepherd takes time, cannot be rushed and is not learned from a book, but through experience.

A true ShepherdA person cannot just walk into the position of a shepherd without having lived with sheep.  Nor can the wisdom and knowledge of a shepherd be imparted to a paid employee who does not care for the sheep the way a shepherd cares.  Only a shepherd who has been trained from birth to care for the sheep will ever give his life for the sheep and care for them the way the Master cares for them.

Why People Fail at Living Their Dreams

Years ago, when I was employed as a church secretary, and before I became co-pastor, I had the brilliant idea of adding a special feature to our church directory. Mind you, I had ulterior motives because I needed to solve a recurring problem. Hardly a day went by that someone didn’t call our offices and ask if I knew of a Christian service provider for one thing or another. Everything from babysitters to car mechanics, to doctors and tutors, was needed. Surely there was someone in the church that knew how to fulfill their needs!

Oh Those Holiday Emotions!

The joy and excitement of holidays!

Laughter, joy, beautiful memories and words of love, wisdom and grace … but what if your experience is more of a season filled with complaining, bitterness, anger, frustration and hurt? 

imageThis post first appeared on 12/15/2015)
Painful events have a way of stacking on top of each other squashing out the ‘wonder-years’, and the warm fuzzy feelings along with them. Throughout the years, events and emotions are sprinkled in our lives that can bring a great deal of joy and wonder … as well as pain and sorrow. The holidays have an almost magical way of bringing every one of them to surface! The music … the smells of delicious food … blinking lights and festivities at every turn ignite feelings of warmth and love, or grief, sorrow and anger. No doubt about it – emotions are all over the place during the holiday seasons!
 
Does the thought of seeing relatives over the holidays set your teeth on edge or fill your heart full of dread? Unresolved issues, assumptions about others, and unresolved childhood memories and beliefs easily undermine many family gatherings. Have you asked yourself “Where are the magic moments of love filled with precious memories and loving words?” First of all … they aren’t magic … they are a choice to be given, and to be received.  
 
Resist the toxic “white elephant” party that is played at too many households; where the pale pachyderm sits in the center of the room, watching … glaring … waiting … and silent. 
 
Give Thanks! Emotions are a sign of life! They are also signals to pay attention to the condition of your heart and our mind.
 
To fix anything, it first has to be noticed. Your thoughts are conscious, unconscious, intentional, and automatic. Reactions to emotions become habitual and unquestioned when not noticed. So, the first step is to ask yourself a few questions when you experience an emotional flush. Here’s a few questions to get you started:
 
  1. Was it anger, shame, frustration or embarrassment that just rose up and made your face flush red?