If We Only Knew…

Do we really know who we are? If we really understood deep down, I am convinced we would behave differently.

Blessings Overflow

Love and Blessings Overflow

God created every human on the planet in His image. We all carry the DNA of the Creator. The Bible tells us we are His children.We have the option to live and breathe in the power of His love for us….but we miss it, at least I do, all too often.

Much of my journey of faith has been to begin to understand who I am as chosen daughter of The King of all creation. I am still very much on this journey. As I have progressed, I find myself slowly becoming less concerned about myself and better able to meet others where they are, to love them. I can do that because I am allowing God to love me and fill me with His perfect never-ending love. By taping in to the eternal source of love we can become more like the waterfall in the picture, wide and continually overflowing.

This week I am sharing a blessing written by Sylvia Gunter. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will highlight something for every reader. Whatever each person needs, I pray that everyone receives God’s loving touch. The following is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of the blessings offered us by our loving heavenly Father.

Please read it out loud if possible:

Blessing Of Identity*

Be Blessed to know your identity as your Father’s beloved son or daughter. “Those who are lead by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Rom 8:14) Be blessed with fully realizing the life changing truth of the Spirit living in you, so that you can know you are the beloved of your Father, and He is yours. Be blessed with His exquisite fathering and receive it as His special child. Be blessed to know His Spirit speaking to you that you are a delight to him.

Jesus grew in wisdom and stature in favor with God and man. Your Father wants to bless you with growth that is mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational. Receive from your Father the love and acceptance you have been seeking. Your Father’s heart is passionate for your full identity as His child, based purely on relationship, not performance. Be blessed as He calls you to fully live as the son or daughter you are. You do not have to work for it. You can’t earn that relationship. Be blessed with perfect love that casts out fear that you aren’t enough or you don’t have what it takes.

Be blessed to know without doubt that your Father is extending His favor toward you. This is the time of your Father’s favor, a time to receive His gift to you of security in His house. Be blessed with knowing this new grace place with your heavenly Father. He wants you to receive it. Be blessed as He calls you to life, nurture, and enlargement. Be blessed with a rich gold mine of identity and legitimacy from which to live confidently and purposefully in God’s design of you and His purposes for you. Be blessed to be released into the full rights of your true identity and legitimacy in your Father.*

What spoke to your heart? I encourage you to reread this as many times as possible to let these truths sink in. Be blessed to receive.

Father God, Help me to receive your love so I may be full to overflowing. Show me what I need to let go of to make more room for your love to flow through me. Thank you for NEVER giving up on me and for ALWAYS loving me and blessing me.  Amen

 

*Safe In The Father’s Heart by Sylvia Gunter with Elizabeth Gunter, Page 40.[Available through thefathersbusiness.com]

How To Handle Resentment

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela

Tangled in our own resentment we are the prisoners.

Tangled in our own resentment we are the prisoners.

Resentment is bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. We all have been there more than a couple of times!

Every time we face mistreatment, we have choices to make. If we don’t follow these steps or something close to them, we end up like the dragonfly in the photo: trapped, having the life sucked out of us!

Each of these steps builds on the next.

1) Forgive: Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

This is a matter of life and death. Forgiveness is choosing to let God handle the matter. I can not control the other person, but I can control myself. I can give the person and situation over to my loving God to over see in His wisdom and sovereignty. Often, I find it does not resolve the way I originally thought it should, but God knows how to work life & love into me. We choose to allow that to happen. As we do, our emotions will follow in time.

Forgiveness is both a one time choice and a process. Every time we are reminded of the offense, we choose what to do with it. This leads to the next step.

2) Release: Once we choose to give the trigger of my resentment to God to take care of, then we need to let go! It is one thing to say “I forgive” and another to let go and walk away. It requires a 180 degree turn from the offense and offenders. This does not mean we have to break from them completely nor does it mean we trust them again or necessarily even be friends. It does mean we have to give it all to Abba then ask God to give us His love for them.

3) Receive: After we forgive and release, we replace the resentment, anger, fear, bitterness and all the negative emotions with their opposites! We ask God to give us His love, grace, peace, self-control, kindness and more. We receive His resources to walk out His command to forgive, because we rarely have the resources in us, apart from God. If we do not fill those places with the good, we are leaving the space open for the resentment and all its “angry cousins” to return.

4) Bless: After we choose to forgive and then release our resentment, we need to bless the offender. “You’re NUTS!” You say? and I say until we can genuinely bless them, we have not fully forgiven or released. This, like all the other steps are supernatural. We depend on God to fulfill His promise to give us what He wants us to have.

5) “Stand”: I was praying with someone recently about forgiving. I suggested she lay all those offenses at the foot of the cross. We went through all the steps, but a few minutes later she was bothered again with the same resentments. I confirmed with her the genuineness of her forgiveness then explained the old negative emotions are habits and may still act like they belong.

The answer is to reaffirm the decision to forgive and release, then, with an attitude of trust in Jesus, say “Jesus.” He knows our hearts and affirms the positive emotions we received and decision we made.

6) Thanksgiving: This is thanking God for what he has done. Yes he as commanded us to forgive, but He has also given us the resources to walk it out. Thank Him for dying on the cross to pay for our resentments and other sins. Thank God for the wisdom He gives us to navigate tricky situations, or how He helped us find a job or met any and all of our needs. I thank Him for every breath I am given to breathe.

7) Praise: When we praise we are Thanking God for who He is. We praise Him for characteristics like goodness, being ever-present, all-knowing, His loving kindness, faithfulness and ability and willingness  to carry us through every thing we face in this life.

Praise and thanksgiving help us keep a more humble perspective.

When we disarm resentment we are like this fella, free to fly!

When we disarm resentment we are like this fella, free to fly!

Which photo do you want to represent your life? Before I understood these steps I was like the dragonfly in the web. But by faithfully applying the steps over time, I am a lot more like the second. A work in progress, but well on the way, by the work and grace of God!

Pray and ask God if he has a place in your life he might want you to apply these steps. Then get ready to FLY!=}

Certain, Yet Uncertain, Endings

After 90 minutes in most movies, you know they have to bring it to and end in the next 30 minutes or so, Right? Bottom line, I like a resolution to the story before me.Cairo and snow Jan-Feb 09 084Well, with the current story I am living I feel like I’m on a dead-end street. I know there is no outlet to any other endings but the end of this street, but by my calculations, I should have reached the end before now.

I’m not lost. I know I am where I belong. And I know, at least in general, how this story will end. But the road is longer than I anticipated and it turns at times I least expect it. It also has hills and valleys. The views along the way draw on every one of my varied emotions. Sometimes they come one or two at a time. Sometimes it feels like a train wreck of emotions all jumbled in a huge messy even bloody heap.

My mom is in hospice care at her home, thousands of miles from my home. Her home has become my home for this season.

This street I am on with my mom ends at her transition to heaven. She knows and loves Jesus and has for most of her eight decades of life. The Bible promises eternal life to those who know and follow Jesus. So that makes the end of this street a great place.

But it’s this journey to the dead-end that counts now.

The earthly goal for me is to keep her comfortable, as much as it depends on me. My brother & I have hired wonderful people to care for her. But they are not family.

The other thing I have hoped to do is to love mom unconditionally. Physical care is part of that, but emotional and spiritual care are also part of the journey.

This is where my resources as a (sometimes professional) organizer have no influence. This is where my relationship with God is crucial.

I do not have the resources to love anyone unconditionally. God does. When I allow myself to stop planning and organizing, then I am able to listen to Holy Spirit tell me what she needs. Mom & I have had several priceless conversations about forgiveness, freedom, God’s love and complete acceptance.

One time I was trying to explain God’s love flowing through us to others. In her medicated state I was having difficulty getting her to grasp the concept. Then God gave me an illustration she understood clearly. We used to summer on property that had an artesian well. This is a natural spring that needs no pump. It gushes continuously all year round from deep below with pure clean water.

As soon as I told her “if we yield to God’s love it becomes like and artesian well flowing through us.” She instantly understood. We both had the same artesian well in our minds eye. I could not even use that explanation with you with out first explaining it. But the Holy Spirit knew and she understood it instantly.

Other times a hug is what she needs or a haircut or perhaps my new favorite is sitting silently (praying silently) holding her had as she fitfully falls asleep. It is the least I can do for the one who changed my diapers!

Forget the 90 minutes to resolution! This is not fiction. This is real life and it is death that leads to eternal life. We have been on this dead-end street for six weeks and counting. I know the good guys win, I just don’t know the details.

I have put my plans on hold until we reach this dead-end. At first I struggled, but I am learning to cherish this dead-end street…every twist and turn….

Maybe you are on this same street or on a very different journey with other uncertainties. How can you yield a fresh to allow Gods’ love to gush through you?

Lord, I am unworthy and unable to walk this path you have called me to. I choose to follow you where ever you lead because you promise to be with me every step of the way. I give up doing it my way. I ask you to flow though me to give me strength and to bring your love to everyone around me. I trust you to bring your good resolution to my circumstances…because you are good and faithful! Amen