Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Trapped vs. Trust

"The fear of man brings a snare (trap), But whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe." Proverbs 29:25

Two things I want to point out:
1. I'm not sure we can honestly admit when we are "fearful" of something
2. We "trust" the Lord when the present circumstance or outcome is to our satisfaction

I write these words with deep conviction, ashamed to admit that my spiritual mindset has been the likeness of those words. Am I there at the moment? no, but have I mastered it either? no.  Am I at a stronger place than I was five years ago? very much so. 

Today I want you to see this verse in a way that you've never thought about before.  That the fear our enemy plants inside of us (whether great or small) is a TRAP and a trap is crippling.  The Lord doesn't want one single area of your spirit man to be crippled.  Let me remind you that YOU are created in the likeness of Him.  God has nothing but goodness for you.  The problem is that the enemy lies to your mind.  He manipulates our mind that if we aren't worrying about the circumstance.....we must not care.  Lies....Lies....Lies!

What are some fears that could trap us?
1. our children's present or future spiritual state
2. the choices of our children
3. our finances
4. our relationships
4. what people say about us
5. the people that don't like us
6. your marriage
7. the "what if's".....
8. the lack of a job
9. the misery of a job
10. your health
11. your imperfections
12. being put in challenging or uncomfortable situations
13. being alone
14. disappointing others

We've all seen or done a trust fall.  Not an easy task at all!  But the first step is admitting that your spirit man really isn't trusting God.....OUCH!  We just don't want to say that out loud.  That makes us feel like "less" of a Christian.  No my friend!  That is the first step in kicking your enemy in the face.  Trust is a word, like the trust fall.....easy to watch someone else do it but difficult to complete the task yourself. 

How do we train ourselves to really Trust the Lord?  It may sound simple....but isn't that how God works?  Salvation, though not simple for Him, made it simple for us. Just believe.  That's it? Believe?  But I'm looking at a situation....I'm feeling the pain....I'm hurting badly....and you expect me to trust?   Yes!  As you really draw closer to God, convinced of who He is and what He can and will do, you begin to have incredible peace.  I love the verses that follow in the next chapter

Proverbs 30:4,5
"Who has ascended into heaven or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and His sons name, if you know? Every word of God is pure, He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him."

If I was preaching right now, I would drop the mike.....LOL!  

How do you do it? draw close to Him. everyday read who He is, what He has done.  Write down daily what He has done for you and when you are hurting I want you to think of this example;

when Lauren was a baby she would pull her arms out of socket.  she would not be able to move her arms at all (hard to watch when she was an infant and couldn't speak but even more when she could speak and would cry out to me for help)  Each time we would have to take her to the doctor to get it put back in place (staying away from the emergency room because they could never get it right). This happened for six years. Was it painful? VERY. Did she cry her brains out? YES! Did she look to me for help? yes. Could I fix it? no.  Lauren had to just look into my eyes and trust the love I had for her and that even though painful, she would be ok!

Don't let the enemy trap you.  Read His word every day and become more convinced of who He is and His love for you.

Falling in His arms,
The Mrs. Pastor

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Environment

Two important and rather fragile gifts that God has given us is the ability to feel and control ( both physically and emotionally).  It really is a massive responsibility but we get to decide how we will handle that role.

You are either functioning as a thermostat or a thermometer.  A thermostat sets the tone of the environment where as a thermometer is reflecting what state the environment is in. 

Problems are real. Conflicts are real. Change is real. Offended spirits are real. Challenges are real.  Life is happening at this very moment and all of these elements are a part of the puzzle.  However,  we decide how that looks for us and the people around us. 

This is not a new concept (really nothing is).  If we will look back at the beginning of time, we will see these same challenges.  We serve a God that is that thoughtful to allow us to learn so many life lessons from those recorded in His word:

When Moses went up to receive and hear from the Lord in creating the Ten commandments, the environment below became toxic.  It represented that of a thermometer gauging the spiritual level and hearts of the people.  Can we find one that changed that tone in the environment? No.

At another time, we see that Moses sent 12 men to do a job.  They were to go to the promised land and report the conditions of the land.  Ten men came back with a report that showed no promise ( and added a little extra opinions) while two of the men saw something very differently.  The Thermostat trumped the thermometer in this case.

God has given us the tools and knowledge to set the tone in an environment.  He recognizes the environmental state is to our daily routine as oxygen is to our body.  We can not separate ourselves from environment.....at home, at work, at church, in relationships.  Wherever you are, environment is right there with you. 

Three signals that will be the deciding factor in the role you play in your environment:

1. Refreshed or Tired ? (both physically and spiritually)
2. Nourished or Hungry ? (both physically and spiritually)
3. Strength/Stamina or weak/limited ? (both physically and spiritually)

Set the tone,
The Mrs. Pastor

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What is Missing?

When a meal is prepared, one of the important ingredients is salt (or seasoning).  We know what it tastes like without it....bland....no flavor....really taking away the "enjoyment" and pleasure of eating.  I know that we were created to enjoy food because our tongue is separated into sections of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.  God is creative like that. 

We also understand what it feels like to walk into a room with no light.  The room feels cold and dead but add light to a room (even a small dim light) and it changes the atmosphere. 

Matthew 5:6 says,
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can not be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven."

The world is lost and hurting and God has given the believers an awesome privilege and responsibility to spread the Gospel.  Everyone has the right to hear and accept Jesus and live with Him for eternity.  BUT ALSO to live this short time on earth with abundance, joy, laughter, and fulfillment. 

The problem is that we can not give away what we do not have.  So many Christians are walking in their day to day duties with no joy, no fulfillment, no light, and no salt. 

One of my heroes said it best:
"Where a real Christian goes, he brings joy."  - Mother Teressa

We are good people, that do good things.  We work hard, we have good days and bad days.  We experience seasons in our lives.  All of which describe believers AND non believers alike. We have the knowledge that happiness is based on circumstance and Joy is based on what we know to be true but sometimes we need reminding to let that understanding be evident in our own lives.   

Are you contagious?  Do you bring flavor to a conversation?  Are you living to the full potential that God created for you or are you "no longer good for anything and being trampled by men"? This means are you worthless to what you are supposed to be doing, which is connecting and affecting the world around you. 

 Do you light up a room, whether energetically as a bright light or a sweet dim light that brings peace, or do you cover it up with a bowl making little connection with anyone?  We hide our lights in many ways: by being quiet when we should speak, by living, acting, and reacting just like the world, by letting sin snuff out the brightness, and not serving others or sharing yourself. 

If not you, who will tell them?

Salt and Light,
The Mrs. Pastor