Time to Refocus

13 Nov

(Matthew 14:30 ESV) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

My favorite disciple is Peter. I can really identify with Peter. Throughout the gospels, Peter was always getting himself into a mess; which is what I do pretty often myself.

I’m sure most of us know this story (Matthew 14:22-33). The disciples were out on the water in their fishing boat. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea. I’m sure they were amazed and astonished at such a feat. I know my mouth would have been wide open.

Anyway, the disciples thought that Jesus was a ghost. They were frightened about the figure that was fast approaching them. Jesus tells them, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Well, Peter decides that he was go out and walk on the water with Jesus. I’m not sure I would have passed up that opportunity either; to walk beside Jesus on the water. WOW!!

Jesus tells Peter to come out on to the water. Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water and goes to Jesus. The wind started blowing, and Peter realized the wind was blowing. Once Peter took his focus off of Jesus, he began to sink.

Like Peter, I recently took my focus off of Jesus. I started looking at all that was going on around me. There have been a lot of things that have transpired the last few months. It seems it has been one thing after the other. I spiritually and emotionally shut down.

I do take up my responsibility for taking my eyes off of Jesus. My relationship with Jesus is just like the relationship with my husband. It has to be cultivated on a daily basis. I have to do what it takes to keep the intimacy in the relationship.

I quit being intimate with Jesus. First, I quit reading my Bible. Eventually, I quit praying. I got depressed. I lost my joy. Everything about my relationship with Jesus was zapped. I know it was Jesus that moved; it was me. There was no one to blame but myself.

Now, I am trying to refocus on my relationship with Jesus. I am doing everything I can to produce the intimacy I had a few months ago. I am reading my Bible. I am praying.

Here recently, in Celebrate Recovery, we are being encouraged to keep a journal. The purpose of the journal is to a daily inventory. It is to helped me to see what I did wrong, where I went wrong, and if I need to make any amends. I am also using this journal for my prayer time, also. The people in the Bible wrote their prayers. That’s one reason why we have the Bible. Psalm is one of the books that has the most prayers. Like always, God loves nothing more than to hear his word prayed back to him.

Are you like Peter? Are you looking at the wind of your circumstances? Have you taken your eyes off of Jesus? Take time to refocus. Get away with Jesus. Have a date with Jesus every day. Set some time aside to talk to him and to listen to him. Love on Him and He will love on you. It has to be a priority. There’s no set amount of time to do it. Just take the time to do it. If you don’t, you’ll be like me, not having that personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. It takes a lot of time and effort to get that intimacy back. Refocus on Jesus.

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True Beauty

28 Aug

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:3-4‬ ‭ESV

We need to remember not to compare ourselves to Hollywood’s or the world’s version of “beauty.” God sets us apart. We are foreigners in this strange land. We need to remember Who our creator is. We don’t have to look like a Kardashian to be beautiful. Are they really that beautiful?! Something is missing. They are constantly seeking attention. That’s just one example. They are seeking what we have…JESUS.

Dear Lord,

I pray that each of us remember that our beauty isn’t only on the outside but on the inside too. May we desire to be more like You and not the world. Set us apart, Jesus. Help our inward beauty of you shine through our outward beauty to lead others to You. For Your glory

In Jesus’ name, amen.
Listen to this song by Mandisa

A Way of Escape

22 Aug

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬
When it comes to temptation, there is always a way out. First of all, I have to listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling me. That’s why it’s important to have intimate time with Jesus on a daily basis. 

I believe the next step is asking myself some questions. “How do I feel about the situation? Do I feel guilty, ashamed, dirty? What are the consequences if I give into the temptation?”

As always, pray and seek God’s word. I can guarantee if I want to do something that is outside of God’s character, He will remind me in prayer and His word. God’s word will tell me what will cause me to be disobedient. 

The rest is left up to me. It is my choice what I do next. God will NOT force me to make the right decision. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OF ESCAPE. I have to be willing to take that way of escape.

Dear Jesus,

I pray that You will help me take my way of escape when temptation comes my way. God, I want to be obedient and follow You and Your ways. Help me to be aware of Satan and his weapons. Keep my eyes on You.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Royal Diadem

20 Aug


A diadem is a jewelled ornament in the shape of half of a crown. It is worn by women. A diadem is considered to be very valuable. It is sown with pearls and gems surrounded by gold. It symbolizes royalty and prestige.

God, I pray that we all remember that we are distinct and priceless. You hold each of us tightly, yet gently in the palm of your hand. You will not let go because we are all priceless gems. Remind us of who we are in the coming days.

In Jesus name, amen.

Stay Connected to the Vine

9 Aug

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬
There has been a lot that has went on the last couple of weeks. In the midst of it all, I have lost the connection to the vine. No wonder my emotions have been out of control.

A spiritual relationship has to be cultivated just as much; if not more, than a physical relationship. We must have that one on one time with Jesus. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. We need that intimacy with Jesus. 

Last night, I realized that it’s been almost 2 weeks since I’ve had some intimate time with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It has taken a toll on our relationship.

 Can you imagine going 2 weeks without speaking to your husband?! What does that do for your relationship?! It surely doesn’t help it. Every relationship needs communication. One on one intimate uninterrupted communication.

No wonder the Bible tells us to go into a room and shut the door (Matthew 6:6). I have to get away from the world pressing in on me so I can have that intimacy with Jesus. My time needs to be uninterrupted from every day life. No TV, no cell phone, no computer, etc. Just Jesus & my Bible.

With me not having that daily connection with Jesus, it has affected other areas in my life. My emotions have gotten out of control a few times. So, that disconnection isn’t a good thing. 

I’m not going to “beat” myself up about it. I know how to connect to the vine. I have to get to myself and cry out to Jesus. He’s still with me. 

Are you connecting to the vine on a daily basis? Have you lost your connection? You must connect to the vine to produce fruit; good spiritual fruit. You need a daily connection to the vine. 

We can make time for TV, Facebook, games, etc. Yet, we don’t make time to connect with Jesus. I’m talking about myself, too. Jesus is the most important person in our lives. We must keep that connection!!!! Make time to connect to the vine today. 

Peter Pan

7 Aug

Peter PanKelsea Ballerini

Lyrics

The smile, the charm, the words, the spark

Everything, you had it

I guess I had a naive heart, cause boy

I let you have it

You said I was your only

I never thought you’d leave me lonely

You’re just a lost boy, with your head up in the clouds

You’re just a lost boy, never keep your feet on the ground

You’re always gonna fly away, just because you know you can

You’re never gonna learn there’s no such place as Neverland

You don’t understand

You’ll never grow up

You’re never gonna be a man

Peter Pan

Deep down, I knew that you were too good to be true

But every piece and part of me wanted to believe in you

But now it’s happily ever never

I guess now I know better
Ladies, I want to warn you that there are a lot of “Peter Pans” in the world. There are men who are still little boys on the inside. The thing of it is…they don’t even know it. More than likely, you won’t know it until he breaks your heart.

“Peter Pan” will seem sweet and innocent. He will say everything that you want to hear. He will give you just enough to make you keep coming back for more. 

He knows exactly what to say and how to say it. He knows how to get your attention. Before you know it, you’ve fallen for him. Now, your “Peter Pan” will just string you along. 

You may ask yourself, “Why would a man purposely do that to a woman?” He actually doesn’t know that he’s still a little boy on the inside; mentally and emotionally. Somewhere along the way, he was neglected. 

Men are just like women. They can  look for love in the wrong things, too. They have missed out on something growing up. So, he’s a little boy trapped in a grown man’s body. 

When you come across a “Peter Pan,” I’m going to tell you to run. Run for your life. Take it from someone who has learned the hard way. 

I came across a few of my own “Peter Pan’s” in my life. I didn’t learn my lesson the easy way. It took more than once. It took me a few bad relationships to finally realize that I wanted more than what “Peter Pan” could give me.

Peter Pan

Is not the right man.

He will break your heart

And tear your world apart.

He will make you believe 

Even though you are being deceived.

He will say all of the right words

And make you think you are his only girl.

Eventually, you see the truth

That he really is no good. 

Don’t waste your time on Peter Pan,

He’s not the right man.
Be sure to watch the video:


Don’t settle for Peter Pan. You deserve so much more!!!!

Arrested Psychological Development

3 Aug

 

From childhoodtraumarecovery.com

Traumatic life events can cause the child to become ‘stuck’ at a particular level of psychological development for an extended period of time – s/he may, therefore, often seem immature as development was frozen at an earlier stage.

For example, an eleven year old child who was abandoned by his/her primary carer at age four may throw tantrums similar to those one might expect of a four year old when left with an unfamiliar baby-sitter. In other words, s/he may regress behaviourally to the developmental stage at which s/he became frozen. Such regressive behaviour is a temporary reaction to real or perceived trauma.

Severe trauma can result in commensurately severe developmental delays. For example, a ten year old child who has experienced severe trauma may not yet have developed a conscience (even though a conscience usually develops around the of ages six to eight). This does NOT mean that the child is ‘bad’, it is just that s/he has not yet reached the relevant developmental stage. This can be rectified by the child identifying with a parent or carer and internalizing that identification.

It is vital to point out that if a child has never had the opportunity to identify with a safe and rational adult and has not, therefore, been able to internalize adult values, we cannot expect that child to have developed a conscience.

Indeed, if there has been little or no justice or predictability in the child’s life, and s/he is ill-treated for no discernible reason by adults in a position of trust, developing a conscience may not even have been in the child’s best interests. In extreme circumstances, for example, it may have been necessary for the child to lie, steal and cheat purely in order to survive; once s/he has learned such behaviours are necessary to his/her very survival, these same behaviours become extremely difficult to unlearn.

Below I list some of the main factors that may lead to arrested development.

EXAMPLES OF TRAUMAS WHICH CAN INTERRUPT PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT :

– separation from the primary care-giver

– all forms of abuse

– foster care

– adoption

– neglect

– parental alcohol/drug misuse

 

I had never heard about this until I started going to an abuse support group…OAGW (Overcoming Abuse God’s Way). I didn’t know there was a psychological term for what I was experiencing. Even though, I am an adult by physical age, I still acted like a child. I did anything to get attention. I used to have temper tantrums, throw things, abused myself, etc. In fact, my husband would tell me I acted like a child. Sometimes, he’d even tell me I was acting like a baby.

You may not understand the psychological definition. So, I’m going to try to explain it in plain terms. Hopefully, you’ll be able to understand arrested physchological development once I’m done.

I was first sexually abused at the age of 7. The sexual abuse is a trauma. So, I was arrested or “stuck” at 7 years of age…mentally and emotionally. I would stay 7 years old until this year. From 7 years old until now; which I’m 42, I had a lot of childish ways.

I had to “grow up” the little 7 year old girl inside of me. My life coach suggested I get a baby picture and talk to that baby girl. I never liked looking at my baby pictures. So, this would be a big step for me.

It took me 3 weeks to finally do it. I found a picture of me and momma. I decided to write to that baby girl.I started from the beginning. I slowly grew that baby up to my current age. I had to grow up mentally and emotionally.

Now, I don’t act childish. I’ve been set free from all of that. Thank God. Now, I do have a bad day every now and then. That’s to be expected. I’m learning a new way of doing things at 42 years old.

I had a bad day last Friday. I acted very childish. That was the first time I’ve acted like that in the last couple of months. My life coach reminded me of a verse in the Bible. Proverbs 24:16 ESV “a righteous man falls 7 times and rises again.” No matter how many times I fall, I have the option to get back up again. I just have to choose to get back up again.

You don’t have to be abused to be in arrested psychological development. It can be due to a death, parents divorcing, sickness, losing your home due to natural disaster, etc. I used abuse because that’s what I know.

You have to be willing to step back and observe your actions. You have to ask yourself, “Am I acting childish?” “What are my childish ways?” If you realize that you are in arrested development, I’d suggest you see a counselor or life coach.

You can overcome the affects of trauma. It doesn’t matter why the trauma is there. Healing is possible. Listen to “Heal the Wound Leave the Scar” by Point of Grace.