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Posts tagged ‘Relationships’

RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES 24 SHATTERED BUT NOT BEYOND REPAIR

RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES 24 SHATTERED BUT NOT BEYOND REPAIR

SHATTERED BUT NOT BEYOND REPAIR (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

SHATTERED BUT NOT BEYOND REPAIR (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES   

How often do you find your-self moving from place to place, person to person looking for love; love that always seem to be just beyond your reach?  Sometimes we allow our hearts and spirit to become “play toys” in the hands of those who take pleasure in wounding and maiming others, we then find ourselves Shattered but not beyond repair. When we find ourselves hurting, disappointed and even lost, we must not allow despair to become a controlling factor in our lives. The One we need is there to catch and cushion the fall; we are gently loved and cared for.   Maybe the very circumstance you’ve just came from is a lesson learned to get you to where He has purposed you to be; you may be shattered, but not beyond repair.

If you are looking for someone else to carry your burdens in a relationship, and things don’t exactly work out as planned, you may find yourself Shattered but not beyond Repair. Remember that whatever you are going through; Jesus has said, he would never leave nor forsake you. What you must decide to do is look beyond your present circumstance, focus on where God wants to take you, lift your head high and with determination follow the path he has designed for your life, hold him close to your heart, for you are never alone.

When we awake each day with great anticipation of what the day will bring; it is not a time to allow dread and feelings of defeat to become the major player in the process. We are in a position to take our shattered lives, and place them in the hands of the Master Potter. He carefully planned our existence; therefore, when we find ourselves in a state of confusion and chaos, shattered but not beyond Repair; remember, He is able to mend the broken pieces.

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble (Psalm 20:1 KJV), may he grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose (4); may he fulfill all your petitions (5). When you find yourself is a state of “shattered but not beyond repair” may you find safety within the arms of the Lord, where all your needs will be administered in LOVE.  

Now click on this video clip and experience why Everything Happens for a Reason!

We pray that this lesson has been a blessing to your soul and that you will you it and bless someone else this day as it is purposed.  Click on the link below and visit our home page for some additional studies.  You can also click on our Categories Section and stroll down to Relationships and read all our Relationship Strategies.

VABWM HOME PAGE:  http://wp.me/Pf75v-Uu

VABWM VIDEO TEACHING CHANNEL:  http://www.youtube.com/davistheteacher/

MY email address:  pastordavismasterteacher@gmail.com

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MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THE LESSON OF FORGIVENESS

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THE LESSON OF FORGIVENESS

A Mother’s Arms (Photo by Pastor Davis)

MY MOTHER was truly an inspiration to my soul.  Whenever I felt someone had hurt me, she would simply say, “Son, don’t hold a grudge against them, you must find in your heart the words to forgive them.”  I would say, “but Mom, it hurts, how can I forgive them, they hurt me.”  Son, if you truly want to stop the pain, you must release it and let it go, forgiveness is the only way to your personal peace.

MY MOTHER was a godly woman, she loved and feared the Lord, and she made sure that I understood what she meant when she said I must forgive those who would seek to do harm to me. Now let me share with you the lesson MY MOTHER taught me on FORGIVENESS.  She begin by saying, “Son if the LORD can forgive us of our sins, why do we have such a difficult time of forgiving others when we perceive them to have done us wrong?  Getting rid of our heart aches and pains begins with us.  We must learn to free ourselves of all the negative baggage we carry around each and every day with our unforgiving spirit.

FORGIVENESS works the miracle of change.  When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies, he replied:  “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”  When you forgive you change others and you change yourself.  You change discord to harmony.

FORGIVENESS should span the years.  You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made.  Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.  Thus you release others and you release yourself.  You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you.  You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

FORGIVENESS works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  “He who cannot forgive others,” wrote Edward Herbert, “breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.”

FORGIVENESS should become a habit.  When THE MASTER was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: “Until SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

FORGIVENESS should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

FORGIVENESS is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in yourself, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.

Then with her big beautiful brown eyes, looking and penetrating deep into my soul, the softness of her voice changing, she said, “you may not understand all that I am telling you at this moment, but when the time is right it will all come to you and you will get it and use it to help your own children and others to understand that we all must learn the art of forgiveness.

So on this Mother’s Day weekend, I salute My Beloved Mother for teaching me the art of forgiveness.

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES PART 23

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES PART 23

BUILDING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS ON FAITH UPON A SOLID FOUNDATIO N

BY SHIRLEY RHODES

The relationships that you begin is your first step in building a life; the only way to

get a life, is to build one of your own by building it on Faith upon a Solid Foundation, one that will never fail or forsake you.  Remember, Jesus is that Solid Foundation.  He is the beginning and the end.  When you choose to build your Relationship upon this foundation, you would have chosen wisely.

CLOSENESS KEEPS THE FIRE BURNING

Technology offers us many ways to connect instantly all over the world, but when you begin building a new relationship, it is something you have to learn and recognize the need to add to or subtract from. One may ask them-selves, “How do I build a life, from where do I start?” To answer that important question, how does day by day, moment by moment sound? One must make decisions and choices to decide what really makes their life complete. When planting  a garden, the very first step is to make sure the soil is prepared, healthy and then carefully select what is  to be planted; once planted,  wait, as what’s planted begin to appear, nourish and cultivate each seedling to maturity and watch them grow into something really beautiful and beneficial.

 

The same is with relationships that you begin building, making healthy choices in friends; cultivate them just

Cultivating the Garden

as you would your garden.   Give time and attention to those you’ve chosen or those whom have chosen you, soon the relationship start to bloom, continue to feed and nurture it and the rewards can be beautiful. When building that solid foundation remember to add, faith, clear thinking, love and respect, vital for growth.

 Faith works in every aspect of life, how it’s activated is instilled in each of us, it is a gift from GodJesus is the descent of God in our lives; he is alive among us and is for us, not against us, he lives in each of us, our source to draw from. Now imagine this for a moment:

 

When your heart beats its vibrations forces blood through the highways within the body that sustain vital nutrients for life in this earthly realm. When Building Your Own Foundation allow indwelling of the Holy Spirit to be your guide, the Holy Spirit lifts us to another level or dimension with ability to explore and release such an energy force that leaves it’s effect within every person we come in contact with, that is if they are open and ready to receive the energy as it flows.

In order to avoid any interruption of flow, avoid negative thinking and attitudes, when encountered replace that flow of thoughts with positive feedback such as love and encouragement.

Understanding the principles of faith enables one to seek those ideas and thoughts worth holding on to. Troubles and tribulations that come may seem overwhelming because they are viewed from a negative point. Now close your eyes and focus, imagine that there is a long corridor ahead and you can only see so far, beyond that point just might be the biggest blessing of all, one unseen, that block you’ve added while Building Your Own Foundation.

Faith means reliance, scripture reminds us that, “All things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life, the person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirst no more, (John 6:35), “I am the World’s Light, no one who followers me

God’s Marvelous Light

stumbles around in the dark. I provide plenty of light to live in” (John 8:12) a reminder to remain diligent while Building Your Own Foundation.

Finally, Building Your Own Foundation on love and respect offers stability that what has been constructed is tangible and deserving of attention and honor from which the foundation was started in order to continue to grow and produce. When plants are not nurtured and feed they soon wilt and die, the same applies to those you’ve chosen to share in life with. With the birth of Jesus, it was the beginning of a new era, his life here connected each of us to the pattern, a process we strive to carry on; through his death, burial and resurrection we are blessed with an opportunity to grow in grace and choose wisely. Keep in perspective that Jesus is the Corner-Stone; that true and solid foundations therefore, build Your Relationships on Faith upon the Solid Foundation of Jesus Teachings of Faith and Love, putting those words of love into action and allowing them to lift you to higher grounds.

 

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THE LESSON OF FORGIVENESS

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THE LESSON OF FORGIVENESS

A Mother’s Arms (Photo by Pastor Davis)

MY MOTHER was truly an inspiration to my soul.  Whenever I felt someone had hurt me, she would simply say, “Son, don’t hold a grudge against them, you must find in your heart the words to forgive them.”  I would say, “but Mom, it hurts, how can I forgive them, they hurt me.”  Son, if you truly want to stop the pain, you must release it and let it go, forgiveness is the only way to your personal peace.

MY MOTHER was a godly woman, she loved and feared the Lord, and she made sure that I understood what she meant when she said I must forgive those who would seek to do harm to me. Now let me share with you the lesson MY MOTHER taught me on FORGIVENESS.  She begin by saying, “Son if the LORD can forgive us of our sins, why do we have such a difficult time of forgiving others when we perceive them to have done us wrong?  Getting rid of our heart aches and pains begins with us.  We must learn to free ourselves of all the negative baggage we carry around each and every day with our unforgiving spirit.

FORGIVENESS works the miracle of change.  When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies, he replied:  “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”  When you forgive you change others and you change yourself.  You change discord to harmony.

FORGIVENESS should span the years.  You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made.  Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.  Thus you release others and you release yourself.  You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you.  You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

FORGIVENESS works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  “He who cannot forgive others,” wrote Edward Herbert, “breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.”

FORGIVENESS should become a habit.  When THE MASTER was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: “Until SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

FORGIVENESS should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

FORGIVENESS is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in yourself, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.

Then with her big beautiful brown eyes, looking and penetrating deep into my soul, the softness of her voice changing, she said, “you may not understand all that I am telling you at this moment, but when the time is right it will all come to you and you will get it and use it to help your own children and others to understand that we all must learn the art of forgiveness.

So on this Mother’s Day weekend, I salute My Beloved Mother for teaching me the art of forgiveness.

THE PRESIDENT SLOW JAMS THE NEWS

President Barack Obama appeared on the Jimmy Fallon late night T.V show and Slow Jams the News.  This involved a discussion about Congress passing the bill not to increase the college student loans. Watch and enjoy the laughs.

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES PART 21

ARE YOU LIVING OUT YOUR LIFE IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP?

CLOSENESS KEEPS THE FIRE BURNING

 We’re all either in a relationship, getting out of one are looking for one.  No matter what the situation may or may not be, everyone is seeking love.  Some of us are seeking it in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.  No matter, we want love.  We want to be loved and we want to experience it in ways that will define who we are.  Weather we are young or old, rich or poor, we are trying to reach a place in life that will define our happiness, our joy, our place in history, as a man or woman, a family or whatever.  We seek love; we seek to be loved, not knowing that; Love is the foundation and the apex of the pyramid of our existence.

Now listen to what God’s word teaches us about love, it says, “If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith, which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.

This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience—it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. (1Corinthians 13:1-7 Phillips)  

Love suffers for a long time.  Our modern “throw-away” society encourages us to get rid of people in our lives who are difficult to get along with whether they are friends, family, or acquaintances.  Yet this attitude runs in complete contrast to the love described in God’s word.  True love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on.

Love does not envy.  If our love is directed toward others, we will rejoice in the blessings they receive rather than desiring those blessings for ourselves.  Fundamentally, the selfless love that God calls us to does not involve pride or glory.  It does not parade itself and is not puffed up.  In fact, true love does not seek its own.  If we truly love others, we will set aside our own plans, agendas, and entitlements for the good of another.

Love is not provoked.  That is, love is not easily angered or over-sensitive.  When we truly love others, we are careful not to be touchy concerning other people’s words or actions towards us.

Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.  The godly love described in this lesson has nothing to do with evil, but has everything to do with what is right and true.  It believes all things and hopes all things.  This does not mean that love is blind or naïve.  When we love, we may recognize problems and failures in people, but we do not lose faith in the possibilities of what people might become.  Love never gives up, knowing that God can change lives for the better.

Finally, love endures all things.  Love accepts any hardship or rejection, and continues unabated to build up and encourage.  When your relationship has been built on this solid foundation of Godly love, no weapon that the enemy may form against it shall ever prosper.  Love is the glue that bounds all hearts that are filled with Godly love together.  After you have carefully studied this word, prayed on it, meditated on it, I leave you with the question that we begin this word with, “ARE YOU LIVING OUT YOUR LIFE IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP?”

We leave you with this final video clip on forgiveness.

May God bless your Relationship this day, give you the strength to endure the trials and tribulation, give you the sweet spirit of forgiveness, and open your eyes that you will always see the beauty in the one that stands before, the desire to always say those three loving and caring words, “I LOVE YOU.”    I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES PART 20

HOW YOUR BODY LANGUAGE SIGNALS YOUR EMOTIONS TO YOUR PARTNER

What does your body language signal to your Partner?

Sometimes the message signaled by our posture or expression can be at odds with that
suggested by our tone of voice or the actual words we are saying.  This is because we often try to regulate or hide our real emotions.  Is it any wonder, then, that reading each other’s feelings correctly can seem such a complicated undertaking, when you try and determine just, “HOW YOUR BODY LANGUAGE SIGNALS YOUR EMOTIONS TO YOUR PARTNER?”

Sometimes you may find that your partner reacts to you in a way you find perplexing.  What might seem to you a calm discussion can slide swiftly into tension.  It may be that some aspect of your body language of which you are unaware has started this opposition.  A frown, however
fleeting, might be perceived as an expression of hostility or reluctance; a shrug of the shoulders might be taken to mean that you don’t care.  By understanding better how other people are
likely to interpret your facial expressions and bodily postures, you have a better chance of avoiding misunderstandings in the future.

Avoid the trap of trying to limit your body language because you feel it gives away too many of your secrets - this is merely a recipe for becoming less expressive.  Use your hands freely, as people often do – the hands are eloquent, with a language of their own.  Try also to encourage the mobility of your face.  Usually, these approaches have more to do with loosening a habitual rigidity than with acquiring an entirely new means of communication.  Body language already lies latent within you – it is a matter not of putting on an unfamiliar act but of shedding
unnecessary inhibitions.  You will find, as you use your hands and face more in support of spoken language, that you are more accurately expressing and more deeply feeling whatever it is you have to convey.

We encourage you to read all of our relationship strategies and share them with your family, friends, co-workers and all others as a way of Blessing someone this day.  Just go to the side bar on this page and click on RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES listed under PAGES and CATAGORIES.  There you will find a wealth of info we hope that will help you in your daily walk.

Now click on the two video clip below and allow it to bathe your emotions, as you do this, know that your emotion is the key to experiencing new territory and discovering what you can become.

As human beings, you need emotion to connect you with your Spiritual self.

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES (PART 13)

THREE THINGS EVERY MAN WANTS FROM HIS WIFE

 (BY AUTHOR LINDA LEON)

Sometimes keeping a marriage healthy boils down to just a few basic ingredients, I know how we can complicate things in life, but putting some elements into perspective just makes it much easier to keep a marriage healthy, intact, spontaneous and thriving. So here is my perspective:

1.  Give your husband enough sex to make him want you as much as the air he breathes.

2.  Feed him great meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner so that he will not want to go out and eat unless it is with you on a date.

3.  Learn how to listen twice as much as you speak. Men hate a nag. The Bible says it is better for a man to live in the corner of a rooftop than with a nagging wife.

Trust me, to do these few simple things well, will take a lifetime of effort. I believe you will be blessed more than you can imagine.

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Linda Leon loves to be an inspiration to others. She has spent years in the media as a television host, published author, and shortwave radio producer. She is also a certified nutritionist, happily married with children, and ordained minister. Her husband is an ordained minister also. Feel free to visit the Life Inspired website at www.mvpmedia1.com/lifeinspired

 

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY PART 12

Couple 01

Image via Wikipedia

FORGIVENESS IS YOUR WAY TO PERSONAL PEACE

We all have experienced love and hate relationships at some point in our lives.  However, the most important thing for us is that we at some point are able to find ourselves, come to an understanding that in order for us to ever really be happy in our relationship, we must learn how to forgive.  Sometimes this can be the hardest part of a loving relationship.  Because when we don’t forgive, we lose the joy of that great romantic sexual experience that so excited us in the beginning of the relationship.

Remember this, “the art of a lover is to make the romance last as long as possible.”  How can we make the romance last when we want allow ourselves to forgive the other person for whatever they have done.  We say this time they have really done it and this is too big for me to ever consider forgiving them for what they have done to me.  When we don’t forgive others we are only hurting ourselves more.  The pain of hurt and angry, that we keep bottle up inside of us, only acts to destroy us from the inside.  It breaks down our immune system and makes us susceptible to all sorts of germs and diseases.  If we want peace, happiness, joy and love to really rule and command a present in our lives, we must consider forgiveness as a way to changing us from the inside out.

Forgiveness works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  For every person has the need to be forgiven.

Forgiveness should become a habit.  When Peter ask Jesus how often should I forgive a person for the crimes that they have committed again me, Jesus answered and said, “Until seventy times seven.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

Forgiveness should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

Forgiveness is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in you, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.

When you discover deep within your soul that you were created as a lover and you have the power to love and be loved, then the spirit of forgiveness is awaken and it becomes just a part of your daily score and love for you will never walk out the door.  You will become a mirror of peace, love, joy and happiness.  This will define who you are.

Now enjoy your new found freedom.  It was meant for you to have.  For what God has given to you, is for you and can’t anyone take it away from you.

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES (PART 2)

A WAY TO SAY I AM SORRY

LEARNING TO RESPECT YOUR PARTNER

No matter how much love there is in your relationship, treating each other with disrespect is inevitably a road to unhappiness. On the other hand, an underpinning of respect allows love to grow and flourish. Respect is an acknowledgment of positive qualities, a well-intentioned wish to allow those qualities their rightful significance in the way we regard each other and behave toward each other.

A necessary basis for respect is the way in which you treat your own self. If you have low self-esteem, true respect for another is difficult to muster, because you are always going to be making an inner comparison between yourself and the other person, possibly with a tinge of envy. You might even find yourself reacting against the positive qualities your partner shows by belittling them in some way – either openly or just in your own mind. A healthy sense of self-worth, however, gives you a clear perspective in which to appreciate your partner’s merits without being affected by any emotional backwash. You simply admire this person, and your admiration becomes an inextricable part of your love.

One common form of behavior that runs counter to respect is the put-down, by which one partner tries to make the other feel smaller. Put-downs are difficult to deal with because they often come unexpectedly in the presence of other people, who then witness an embarrassing skirmish if you should choose to counterattack. Furthermore, they often take the form of a joke, which gives them a defensive shield: if you get angry or upset, you will sometimes hear, “Oh, can’t you even take a joke?” – Thereby, adding a further level of injury against you. It is worth stating unambiguously that put-downs are not an acceptable part of dialogue between people who love each other: indeed, the put-down is not a dialogue at all, and reflects badly on the perpetrator. Such aberrations are best dealt with firmly. You might try saying, in a reasonable tone of voice, “That put-down hurts. Please excuse me now,” then leave from, wherever you are. It is not unreasonable to do this even when friends are there to witness the scene, as the message that this is intolerable will then be driven home.

Nevertheless, in this or other situations, you might choose instead to save your comments until you and your partner are alone together. Be clear, that the boundary of acceptable behavior has been crossed, and that you will not tolerate this again. Teasing, though related, is usually distinguished easily from a put-down, and if you do not enjoy being teased (many people do), you can make your point in a milder fashion.

Developing respect for a partner means focusing on what is good in their character or achievements. It is possible to spend time deploring this or that habit or aspect of personality: nobody is so perfect that he or she is immune from this kind of criticism. True it is much healthier to concentrate on the positive. You might feel that the ideals you attributed to your partner in the first flush of love are starting to peel off. On the other hand, perhaps you find that one of the characteristics, that originally attracted you, has become irritating in some way: to take an extreme case, people who fall for geniuses often find out very soon that the great person is maddeningly self-absorbed. To gain a fresh perspective, ask yourself what are the gifts that your partner’s difference from yourself brings into your life. This question is especially interesting and important when you apply it to the character traits you find most difficult to handle.

LEARNING THE ART OF FORGIVENESS

Learning the art of forgiveness

Today we are going to talk about how to make a change within yourself, by learning to have a spirit of forgiveness. So many of physical problems stems from what we call, a condition known as uneasiness from our spirit.

When we hold grudges against another person that we feel has done us wrong, those feelings blocks the sunlight that the cells in our bodies need to keep us whole. Forgiveness for some of us is a very hard thing to do when we feel very strongly, that another person has done something against us.

Now please allow me the opportunity to discuss with you the art of forgiveness. The art of forgiveness, begins when you forgive someone for the wrongs you feel they have done to you. It is having a humble spirit and being done with pride and self-pity. It is taking a step towards the practice of forgiveness. Hate is death, forgiveness is life, and learning to live in the presence is a joy that will outlast anything that you can ever imagine.

Forgiveness works some miracle of change. When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies he replied: if I make my enemies my friends, do not I then destroy them? When you forgive you change others and you change yourself. You change discord to harmony.

Forgiveness should span the years. You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you have made. Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime. Thus you release others and you release yourself. You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you. You free your mind from the burdens of the pass so you may walk victoriously into the future.

Forgiveness works two ways. You must forgive to be forgiven. He who cannot forgive others, wrote Edward Herbert, ‘breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.’

Forgiveness should become a habit. When the master was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: until seventy times. He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

Forgiveness should start now. Putting off forgiving only deepens the womb. Clinging to bitterness postpone happiness. Life is short, time is fleeting. Today is the day to forgive.

Forgiveness is the way to personal peace. It is performing mental surgery in yourself, probing deep within to remove the hurts, grudges and resentments. It is forgetting the wrongs as though they had never been. It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heels. It is discovering a serenity you have never known before.

HOW YOU CAN BUILD HEALTHY ALLIANCES AND SUCCEED

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic S...

Image via Wikipedia

HOW YOU CAN BUILD HEALTHY ALLIANCES AND SUCCEED

Let me begin by relating a story that I read which will help to put this into its proper context.  The story is told about a boy who valiantly, but unsuccessfully, attempted to move a heavy log to clear a pathway to his favorite hideout.  His dad stood quietly nearby, watching his son straining against the load.  Finally, he said, “Son, why aren’t you using all of your strength?”

Confused and a little angry, the boy responded, “Dad, I’m using every last little bit of strength I have!”  “No, son, you’re not,” his dad quietly responded.  “You haven’t asked me to help.”

Effective leaders use all of their strength by recognizing, developing and utilizing the people, around them.  They know how to develop healthy alliances, both with those on their own team and those on other teams.

In addition, effective leaders possess the unique ability to build alliances with people who can help to advance their causes.  What alliances do you now have that are mutually beneficial?  What do you do to foster them and to encourage their growth?  Can you think of any alliances, professional or personal that are having a negative impact on you or on others?

Now think again about the short story at the beginning.  Are there people who are standing quietly by, watching you strain away with your tasks?  Part of your task as leader is to form healthy alliances and to encourage others to step forward and help you.  By doing so, you will accomplish two goals: lightening your own load and helping to develop leadership qualities in others.

As the perfect and eternal community of being, God is the ultimate embodiment of a healthy alliance.  The perfect love that flows between the Father and the Son is manifested as a third eternal Person, the Holy Spirit.  The amazing truth is that God wants us to enter into the depths of this unity.

We as people were created for community.  Even hermits frequently live in colonies!  But alliances with others can be either healthy or toxic, and it is essential that we take this into account when we engage in personal and business partnerships.  We all need allies on whom we can rely and whom we can trust in the tough times.

Perhaps no other American leader is as admired as Abraham Lincoln.  And one of this great leader’s greatest assets was his ability to build healthy alliances-even with difficult people.  In his excellent book, Lincoln on Leadership, Donald T. Phillips points out how Lincoln built such strong alliances.

This is what Donald T. Phillips observed, “Abraham Lincoln gained the trust and strong alliances on both a personal and professional levels.”  Lincoln knew what every skilled leader knows:  Healthy alliances are crucial to making a leader’s vision become a reality.

Solomon’s words encapsulate both the benefits and the dangers of forming alliances, and while those words reflect wisdom, putting them into practice requires skill.  Lincoln was so skilled at and committed to forging strong alliances that, upon occasion, he overcame others negative feelings toward him.  William H. Seward, Lincoln’s secretary of state, initially considered the president unqualified and incompetent to run the administration and lead the country.  Seward’s feelings were so negative that he submitted his resignation before the inauguration.

Because Lincoln considered Seward a strategic leader, he met with him immediately after taking oath and persuaded him to stay by appealing to his patriotism and sense of self-worth.  In the months that followed, their relationship hit a few bumps:  Seward discovered that he could not control the president.

Yet in spite of their differences, Lincoln won Seward’s support and loyalty by reaching out on a personal level.  The president would stop by the secretary’s home for lengthy visits.  The two would take carriage rides together in and around Washington.  Because they shared a deep commitment to the country and a common set of values and ethics, they eventually forged a strong friendship.

While no leader will win every potential ally into his or her camp, following Lincoln’s example might prove helpful.  Phillips summarized Lincoln’s strategy when he wrote, “Simply spending time together and getting to know one’s subordinates can overcome mountains of personal differences and hard feelings.  If followers learn that their leader is firm, resolute, and committed in the daily performance of his duty, respect can be gained and trust will soon follow.  Lincoln’s approach will not work for everyone.  Some employees will not come around.  However, the vast majority the most competent and honest ones will.

TODAY’S MESSAGE

LIVING IN THE LIGHT AS LIGHT (GENESIS 1:1-5, 1John 1:5-6)

As we begin this study of Living in the light as light, we begin with two precepts.  First we begin with light as the substance that illuminates the world.  Second we come into the knowledge and understanding as to whom and what the substance that illuminates the world is.

Let me give you a working definition of the word light; it is something that makes things visible are affords illuminations.  In Physics it is also called, luminous energy, radiant energy. electromagnetic radiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 700 nm and propagated at a speed of 186,282 mi./sec (299,972 km/sec), considered variously as a wave, corpuscular, or quantum phenomenon.

The state of being visible, exposed to view, or revealed to public notice or knowledge; limelight: Stardom has placed her in the light. A person who is an outstanding leader, celebrity, or example; luminary: He became one of the leading lights of Restoration drama. A gleam or sparkle, as in the eyes.  A measure or supply of light; illumination:  The wall cuts off our light, Spiritual illumination or awareness; enlightenment.

Now let us look at just how this light came into its existence.  In order to do so let’s begin with Genesis 1:1-5 (Amplified Bible) 1IN THE beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth.(A)

    2The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.

    3And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.  This had to be one of the most profound moments in the history of the universe.  God spoke the word, “LET” and let went into action.  It did not waste any time.  It obeys the master’s command.  Did just what it was told to do and lit up the entire universe. 

This was the very moment in time that any form of light existed upon the earth.  Do not allow your mind to become confused with the establishment of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day.  You see it was not until the fourth day that the Lord set the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens as light bearers and as means for establishing a calendar.

    4And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness.(B)

    5And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Now the entire universe has experienced the awesome power and beauty of this light that shines forever to provide us with the light of a loving God who allows His marvelous light to light up the entire universe.

Now we can stand and tell the world that we are living in that light and that same light is reflecting from us to all that see us.  We are truly that marvelous light and in us that believe, there exist no darkness. 

In our second precept, we stated that we would come into the knowledge and full understanding as to whom and what the substance that illuminates the world is.  In order for us to do that, let us take a compelling look at the life of Jesus, the son of God who became the living light.

5And this is the message [the message of [a]promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [[b]no, not in any way].

    6[So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents]. (1 John 1:5-6) (AMP)

When Jesus was on earth, his divine life illuminated the inner lives of his followers.  Everywhere he was present, he gave light.  This light penetrated people, exposing their sin and revealing divine truth.  No one could come into contact with Jesus without being enlightened. 

God is light; He is the light of the world.  For so many of us, we have taken this light for granted.  When we awaken each day, we believe that this light will always be there without ever giving it a second thought of how it got there and how it remains there for our lives to exist from.

Let us reflect upon this thought for a moment; Light enables people to do their work.  It produces growth in crops; it reveals beauty and provides safety.  Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable.  Light reveals; light shines.  God is so completely “light” that there is no darkness in him at all.  “Darkness” represents what is sinful and evil.  God is untainted by any evil or sin.  Thus “God is light” means that God is perfectly holy and true and that he alone can guide people out of the darkness of sin. 

While “light” have many connotations, this reference points specifically to God’s purity.  Therefore, those who claim to have fellowship with God are living in God’s light, trying to live holy and pure lives for him.  To claim to belong to God but then to go on living in spiritual darkness is hypocritical.  Christ will expose and judge such deceit. 

Now let’s for a moment take a close look at how John confronted the first of three claims of the false teachers.  When you open your bibles to (1 John 1:8 then to 1 John 1:10), you will see that John was exposing the false teachers who said that people can have fellowship with God and still walk in sin.  False teachers who thought that the physical body was evil or worthless taught one of two approaches to behavior; either they insisted on denying bodily desires through rigid discipline, or they approved of gratifying every physical lust because the body was going to be destroyed anyway.  Here John was stating that no one can claim to be a Christian and still live in evil and immorality. 

Those who claim to follow the Son must be living in the light of God’s presence.  They must be illumined by the truth of God’s character.  To “live in the light” requires constant contact with God and no tolerance for dishonesty, hypocrisy, or sin.  Living in the light comes from continuous effort to take on Christ’s qualities.  This involves complete transformation from within.

Living in the light leads to fellowship with each other.  This fellowship among believers results from each believer’s having fellowship with God.  True spirituality manifests itself in community fellowship.  One cannot say that he or she communes with God and then refuse to commune with God’s people.  Such was the case with some of the false teachers of John’s day, and this situation exists among false cults today.  Often their followers and leaders claim to have special relationships with God, but they don’t affiliate with other believers.  They stay isolated and withdraw from everyone else.  John’s point is that the natural result of living in the light (in fellowship with God) should be joyful relationships with other Christians.

Another result of living in the light is that the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.  John emphasized that the death of Christ saves people, not the false teachers’ knowledge.  The verb cleanses also means “purifies.”  Sin is not only forgiven, it is completely erased.  

Now as we conclude this message, let us turn to (1 John 2:5-6) (AMP) and here we will close with a final thought on the word “Obedience.” 

5But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him:

    6Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as [a]a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.

When we talk about Obedience it is linked not merely with knowing God but with loving him.  Those who obey God’s word really do love him.  By this obedience and love, believers can know that they live in him.  They are living in the light.  Jesus portrayed in human terms absolute obedience to the Father.  Anyone who wonders how to obey God can look at Jesus.  Those who truly desire to live in God should live their lives as Christ did.  To “live as Christ did” doesn’t mean choosing twelve disciples, performing great miracles, and being crucified.  People cannot merely copy Christ’s life.  Much of what Jesus did had to do with his identity as God’s Son and his special role in dying for sin.  Anyone’s claim to live in Christ must be backed up by following his example of complete obedience to God and loving service to people.  Then you can truly say that you are living in the light and your life is reflecting that light.  Therefore, in you there is no darkness, no evil exist nowhere in your life.  You are a walking, talking living example of Christ.  In the name of Jesus, let me here you shout it out, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, OH HOW I LOVE TO CALL YOUR SWEET NAME.  TODAY I AM THE LIGHT THAT REFLECTS YOUR BEAUTY AND LOVE.  THANK YOU JESUS.  AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.

TODAY’S BIBLE NOTE

MAKING CHRIST THE CENTER AND FOCUS OF OUR LIVES

Because Christ is central to everything we do, he must be central in us, our highest value and the focus of our lives.  In our high-tech, materialistic, relationship-driven, and sex-oriented society, many idols and values compete for our devotion.  It becomes easy to be enticed and drawn away or to have our lives cluttered by trivial pursuits.  But Christ must be at the center, receiving our total devotion and ordering our priorities.  Keep your focus on him and place all your interest, relationships, desires, possessions, and goals under his control.  What competes with Christ for your attention?  What can you do to keep him at the center of your life?

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY (PART 11)

PUT A ZIPPER ON YOUR MOUTH AND LEARN TO LISTEN

Learning to listen to others requires much discipline, and discipline requires patience.  We have gotten so use to babbling that we forgot how to listen and understand what others are saying.  Now if you understood anything about those first two sentences, and are ready to listen to the words that are being spoken to you today, you might be able to walk in the newest of life and find much more joy, peace, contentment and happiness in your relationships.

Our mouth and that little thing called our tongue gets us into a world of trouble at times.  If we would put a zipper on our mouth and be swift to listen and slow to speak, we can transform our lives in ways unimaginable at other times.  For believers, this is a lesson you must practice daily.  For non-believers, you must seek the Lord for guidance and salvation in order to begin the process, because God‘s perfect law must be put into practice in our speech.  Why? Because God’s law is truth, and the law sets people free.  It is only in obeying God that true freedom can be found.  As Christians, we are saved by God’s grace, and salvation frees us from sin ‘s control, speaking and not listen.  As believers we are free to live as God created us to live.  Of course, this does not mean that we are free to do as we please.

Now let us clearly understand this one truth, and that is, we must be swift to listen and slow to speak.  The expression be quick to listen is a beautiful way of capturing the idea of active listening as it is taught in (James 1:19).  James explains to us that we are not simply to refrain from speaking, we are to be ready and willing to listen.  This “quick” listening is obviously to be done with discernment.  We are to check what we hear with God’s word.  If we don’t listen both carefully and quickly, we are liable to be led into all kinds of false teaching and error.

Quick to listen and slow to speak should be taken togeter as sides of the same coin.  Slowness in speaking means speaking with humility and patience, not with hasty words or nonstop gabbing.  Constrant talking keeps a person from being able to hear.  Wisdom is not always having something to say, it involves listening carefully, considering prayerfully, and speaking quietly.  When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs.  James wisely advises us to reverse this process.  We need to put a mental stopwatch on our conversations and keep track of how much we talk and how much we listen.  When people talk to us, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value?

Putting a zipper on one’s mouth and learning to listen requires the same set of skills as an athlete.  In order for an athlete to achieve greatest he must persevere in training in order to improve their abilities and endurance for competition, so do we persevere in spiritual training our senses to be swift to listen and slow to speak as we patiently endure testing that will bring maturity and completeness.

We must come to a point in our lives where we know that God’s long term goal for us is maturity and completeness, but his eternal goal for us is the crown of life, a rich expression of hope.  We can only arrive at this point we learn to be obedient to the word of God.  Know the truth and the truth will set you free.  Be swift to listen and slow to speak.

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES (PART 8)

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove above the H...

THE HOLY SPIRIT SHOWN AS A DOVE

THE KEY TO A UNIFIED RELATIONSHIP

In a unified relationship you are required to walk both in the light and in the truth.  The two are parts of the same concept.  Christ is our light.  He promised that those who follow Him will not walk in darkness (John 8:12).  In His light, we see truth, live the truth, and speak the truth.  The Holy Spirit is the inner light who helps us see what that means for each relationship and circumstance.  Walking in His light and truth is the only possible basis for true unity.  John puts it clearly, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7).  Nothing debilitates a deep relationship more than pretense—dishonesty with the light of His Word and counsel.  Too easily we project a “pretend person” to others.  To attempt to pretend that we are other than we are brings stiffness and strain into relationships.  Others are either put off, or, in response, pretend as well. Walking in truth of light shows us who we really are; yes, our weaknesses, but also our security in Christ.  The key to having great relationships is vulnerability, allowing people to know us as growing, though sometimes failing, yet always as Spirit-motivated people.  Unity—true, practical love—happens when we walk in the light and in the truth.

Having a Spirit of forgiveness

Luke 7:47-50

Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.  But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.  “Then He said to her, your sins are forgiven.”  And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace.”

The art of forgiveness begins when you forgive someone.

It is having a humble spirit and being done with pride and self-pity.  It is taking a step toward the practice of forgiveness.  Hate is death, forgiveness is life.

If the Lord can forgive us of our sins, why do we have such a difficult time of forgiving others when we perceive them to have done us wrong?  Getting rid of our heart aches and pains begins with us.  We must learn to free ourselves of all the negative baggage we carry around each and every day with our unforgiving spirit.

Forgiveness works the miracle of change.  When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies, he replied:  “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”  When you forgive you change others and you change yourself.  You change discord to harmony.

Forgiveness should span the years.  You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made.  Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.  Thus you release others and you release yourself.  You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you.  You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

Forgiveness works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  “He who cannot forgive others,” wrote Edward Herbert, “breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.”

Forgiveness should become a habit.  When the Master was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: “Until seventy times seven.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

Forgiveness should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

Forgiveness is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in yourself, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.


 


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