Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Former Lives...

OK, I have to admit there are times I watch Oprah. If I am home early enough in the day the television might come on. Oprah happens to be aired on the same network I watch the evening news. Yesterday's program was one of those programs that just, well get under my skin. BIG TIME! The topic: Overcoming Lifelong Fears in 30 Minutes: Doe Past-Life Regression Work? Hmmmm... regressing to a past life, overcoming fears in 30 minutes (or less -hee hee) We were introduced to an expert in this field.

The expert showed us how he uses hypnosis to take a patient back in time to their earliest memories. Then, he takes them even further back to what he says are their previous lives. WOW - is he ever talented! From that point, the Dr. says he and the patient are able to examine the experiences that seemed to have formed the roots of their current fears and phobias. The show's expert said if you can connect your current fears to a past life, those fears will often disappear. OK, this man has DR. in front of his name so what he says has to be true! Ugggh! Americans are so hungry for answers that they will look to anything to find an answer - and Satan knows that fact! He will dangle all kinds of "answers", "solutions to our problems" out in front of us to take the focus off of the true answer... the Truth period! A death preserver fashioned to look like a life preserver. There are a lot of "experts" out there claiming to have the answers... test them friends. Do they stand up against the Word?

As Christians our past life is our Old Adam. Our new life is in Christ.

Romans 6: 1-1o

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,[
a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

My "old life" was the life I led before I turned it all over to Christ. It wasn't that I lived in 1541, 1776, or 1865. My "new life" is the life I lead as a child of God - one redeemed... freed from sin so I too can share in the ultimate glory - ressurection and eternal life in Christ.

Dealing with the root of our fears:

Do we get hypnotized to find out what in our "past life" is causing fear? I am no expert there, but how do I deal w/ my past failures, fears and sin. I pray, I steep myself in God's Word and at different times in my life have sought out Godly counselling from both a Pastor and a trained Christian Counselor/Therapist. If you are in the stronghold of sin, being held captive by a fear. Pray, seek God's Word for help, talk to a Pastor or a Godly, Christian, trained Counselor/Therapist. Surround yourself with an network of Christian friends. Remember, the root of all fear is sin and Satan. Period. And the way we combat Satan is with God!

Freedom from Fear

Our new life in Christ is how we are freed from fear, phobias, sin and death. Our new life, our freedom doesn't come from some new wave mumbo jumbo. Turning all our problems over to the Lord, so He can handle them, surrendering all to Christ - that's how we conquer fear and death! Trust Him, Believe Him!

Matthew 11:28-30
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Psalm 23: 4
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

In this world we will have troubles. We will be confronted with sin, sinners and fear. Overcoming fear and phobias won't come from finding out what happened in a former life from which we are reincarnated, but overcoming sin in our current life. The only way to overcome sin is through Jesus Christ.... freedom from our lifelong fears will come when we turn them over to Christ and walk assuredly knowing He is handling them. It might not happen in 30 minutes (it can, God can do anything) but God is reaching down His Holy Hand... to take hold, take an old life and make it new! Grab hold! Feel the shackles fall away!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Morning...

Good Morning. It's a gorgeous day here in Indy - very mild for the end of June. Probably more true to what temps should be like, however it seems as if in the year's past it's already hot, humid and sticky! I am thankful for these temps that are conducive to the windows being thrown open so I can hear the birds singing... ah the sounds of morning.

I just finished reading the book Mistaken Identity. It's the story of Whitney Cerak and Laura Van Ryn, two Taylor University students involved in a horrible accident. One family was mourning the death of their daughter, while another was sitting by their daughter's bedside as she recovered from tremendous injuries sustained during the collision on I-69 in Indiana. After about 5 weeks it was revealed that in fact the girl who they thought had died was actually the girl recovering in the hospital. It's a wonderful story of faith, family and love... love that transcends family.... love that comes from the Lord. I highly recommend you read the book. But be prepared... have a box of tissues close at hand.

The Epilogue - written by Whitney Cerak herself, tells of how Whitney and her father always watch the movie Saving Private Ryan each Memorial Day Weekend. I hope I don't ruin the end of the the movie (SPR) if you have not seen it, (so don't read on if you want to watch the movie first - hee hee) however Tom Hanks character tells a young Private Ryan to "Earn It" Telling Private Ryan that he must do something incredible with his life to earn the deaths of the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for him. I started to think about the movie and how I felt when I first saw it. I remember feeling pride as my Grandfather was at Normandy. I remember feeling sadness for the many, many lives lost. I remember when an aging Private Ryan is standing in a cemetary (I believe it was Arlington National Cemetary). He looked so broken. As he stood before a grave stone he states that everyday he thought of what was done for him he states "I hope it was enough... I earned what you have done." The look of doubt on the old man's face... searching his wife's face, asking her "tell me I have lived a good life" I remember thinking could you imagine if we had to earn what Christ did for us? Would it ever be enough? No, we would always come up short. Everyday I think of what Christ did for me. I do not have to "earn it" just accept it. Because of what Christ did for us I want to glorify him by doing good. Living a life that is pleasing to the Lord. I know that no amount of good deeds will "earn it" but the good I do, I pray will be instrumental in furthering His kingdom. I don't want to wonder "did I live a good life". I want to live a good life, the best I can w/ God's help to be a disciple. I want to live a good life all the way home to heaven. It won't be a perfect life. It will be full of ups and downs, successes and failures. God said I love you, you don't have to "earn it" I will give it to you, just accept it! One earns a wage, one accepts a gift. God's grace through His son is a gift - it's not a wage we must earn. The wages of sin is death - Jesus is the gift of eternal life!

So today I pray you are not under the stronghold of feeling you must earn the grace the Lord wants to lavish on you. Accept it freely, knowing that the sacrifice Christ made was out of love for you and for me. For all of us. It's for all of us. We could never earn it, no matter how hard we labor... focus that energy on serving Him, worshipping Him, sharing Him and loving Him!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WFW - Genesis 2:23-24


Yes, it's Word Filled Wednesday! It's been a few weeks since my last WFW post!

The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman,
for she was taken out of man."

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

~ Genesis 2:23-24

On September 22 of this year I will celebrate 18 years of marriage with Jim. Richer, poorer, better, worse, sickness, health... God has been there through it all. I am so blessed that this man has stood by me, that we have stuck together - knowing that it takes more than a wedding, but a marriage built on the foundation of the Triune God... Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

For more WFW visit:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

When is it time to split?

No, not from my husband... but when is a good time for a small group to divide into 2separate groups? This is a dilema as a Small Group Leader that I am facing at this time. I really would appreciate any words of wisdom you gals can give me as how to handle this.

Our group has been meeting for about 5 years now. We have a wonderful rapport, trust and each individual has been growing at his/her pace, but there is definite growth and God is truly glorified. We have developed deep bond with one another and it has truly been amazing. However, the time (I believe) is approaching that the group will need to divide in order to reach new people. I have to admit this is going to be painful, as I truly love each person in our group. We are all so very different, but I cannot begin to tell you much we all have in common as well. And of course the biggest commonality is our love for Jesus Christ and our desire to learn.

The reason I am being led to believe that it's time to divide (that word sounds so negative) is for a few reasons, as this year several things have begun to happen. Allow me to digress a bit. Obviously in the beginning we set up guidelines and expectations such as start time, ending time etc. I believe that a small group is different than a Sunday morning Bible study, larger group Bible study together. A small group is just that - small. Earlier in the year a member of our group invited another couple to our study w/ out first talking about it with the group. In the past if someone wanted to join for a particular study or during a 40 day renewal program it was always discussed w/ the group. (hope I don't sound like I am whining here) One individual who was new was very disruptive, disrespectful etc. We love her in Christ, but I can tell you it tested every ounce of my restraint during the 7 week study she joined us. When we started our next study I was surprised that this couple came back as I was under the understanding they would only be joining us for this one particulare study during our church's yearly 40 Day Renewal Program. If you could have seen my jaw hit the ground you would have laughed at me. It was brought to the attention of the invitee of how disruptive this individual had become to the group. With that said, I can tell you, sadly, that each Wednesday I dread going to study. I facilitate the study and I am struggling with the fact that I am not glorifying God with the feelings of dread I have as I drive to lead the group. I had to miss last week due to a family function and my co-leader phoned me and informed me that the host home has now invited another couple (neighbor's of their's) who are desiring a small group study. Our group at this point has now grown to 14. 10 was comfortable - 14 is getting a bit large and it's difficult to form the bonds, gain the trust and etc.

I truly feel that the time has come that the group split in order to reach more people. I have discussed this with my co-leader and I know she is reluctant because we love our original 10 and had just gotten to the point where every person was comfortable sharing sadness, praises, very personal issues etc. So what is a leader to do? Does it sound selfish (yes girls, tell me if it does) that I want to move on as I am finding it more and more difficult to lead with this individual in the group? (fortunately our summer study has been a 7 week Beth Moore study so the combative individual doesn't have as much time to be so outspoken) I have really prayed on this, and I feel the Lord is leading me to move on... so others can be reached and the groups can grow. Or, maybe I just need to move on... it's been tough. I have found it difficult to lead, when I used to love to lead.

It's intersting - some posts are about sharing our faith with our Siestas. This one is needing prayer and advice from my Siestas!

I am reminded of Hebrews 10:25
~ Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I need encouragement dear friends. To continue meeting, but how? Pray for me. I need discerment as I contemplate where I need to be and also prayers for discernment as my co-leader will be bringing the issue of separating into 2 small groups up w/ the group tomorrow evening.

Lord in Heaven, my Father God. Only You, by the power of Your Spirit
can provide me with the answsers to my questions, and the strength I need while facing a difficult task and decision. I thank You now for also giving me a group of women, whom I have never met, that will pray for me and give me Godly advice on how to proceed. May whatever the outcome be pleasing to You. Whatever the outcome be Your desire, not my own. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen

PS: I have missed being in blogland as of late. Summer is a busy time for my husband an me from a business perspective as well as our cycling and our leading Bible study. I haven't had the time to post much as well as visit my favorite blogs. I have truly missed each one of you and look forward to an afternoon that I can catch up!
God Bless!