A Homeless Man and The Bottle of Tea

Reflections of Grace Blog

homelessman1The first thing that hit me was the overwhelming stench of body odor.  Every part of me resisted allowing this dirty, wretched, man into my home.   Men were filing into my husband’s Thursday night bible study, Band of Brothers.   But then here was THIS man.   One of the regulars brought him in hopes of reaching the man with the gospel of grace and hope.  

Good intentions.

Yikes, I hate when that happens.   My good deed of opening our home as a refuge to those seeking more of Jesus just was hit with a curve ball.

“Well, Lord, I really meant for it to be to the normal people.

The clean people. 

I mean, really, how much is this to ask of me.  I already give up my comfort for all these men.”

The ones who don’t make me uncomfortable or smell up my house. 

Oops, really feeling not so…

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Jesus Always Picks the Wrong Guy

Reflections of Grace Blog

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Following Jesus can be a treacherous path of trying to change the world, as we see it,  and running straight into the truth that we are, indeed, the one with the problem.  We need deliverance from:

… our belief that it is up to us to change people.

… our judgmental and legalistic ways.

Think about this:

In the beginning of Luke 19 – the story of the tax-collector Zacchaeus.

(Raise your hand if you just started to sing “Zaccheaus was a wee little man, a wee little man, a wee little man was he!”)

005-zacchaeus  Jesus is in Jericho and a crowd has gathered. The crooked tax collector Zaccheaus was there. He can’t see over the crowd so he climbs up a tree to see Jesus. In the middle of that crowd – which likely would have included more than a fair share of holy or influential or important…

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The Merry-Go-Round of Codependent Relationships

Reflections of Grace Blog

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“In the park we step on this bright shiny red merry-go-round. Everyone is happy and ready for a lot of love, fun and a great future.”     

 But then something happens.  A pattern has emerged.  There seems to be something very binding about your relationship.  You feel like you are in prison and you can’t get out.

 Codependency is living the myth that you can make yourself happy by trying to control people and events outside yourself.  A sense of control or lack of control is central to everything you do and think.

 Psalms 139:14 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are unique.  You have dignity and worth.  As you grow in this knowledge you will no longer need to use your codependent behavior to make you feel alive and worthwhile.  You WILL recover………

 There has been a lot of confusion on what real…

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Sugar Coated Anger….15 Ways to Recognize Passive Aggressive Behavior!

Reflections of Grace Blog

7699943_f260My belief has always been, when the dark and hidden areas of our minds are exposed to light and truth, the darkness has to go.  Light and darkness simply cannot dwell in the same place. 

So, as a Life Coach, I endeavor to ask the right questions that will uncover areas in ourselves that will ultimately answer our questions and set us free from bondage.  Or to help us see the truth within relationships that perplex us, that also sets us free from the actions of others.

Sometimes our communication and conflict management patterns can be out of whack.  

This can be for a variety of reasons based on our background and learned behavior.  Those patterns can change with some insights, skills and relationship help.

And if you want it to change. 

You have to want it to change. 

It is always about a choice, isn’t it?

So, if this…

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Surrendering the Picture….

Reflections of Grace Blog

 

thinking

Never would have even guessed

the day would come

when it seems like every picture created in my mind

from my youth

would disintegrate

every security I held onto…

gone

and His plan would take on whole new meaning

where did everyone go

is this what it feels like to grow older

disillusionment

…means there was an illusion

did I think I could keep everyone around me

at least the respect of connection

what is the plan now

came into the world feeling empty

what am I missing, Lord

what will the end be

will restoration come before death

or will restoration be there after

I know it will be so

now I will wait

for the joy to be complete

in this new life

without the old pictures of my youth…………

person-thinking-with-thought-bubble-Thought-bubblesEvery one of us grow up with pictures in our minds of how our life will be. …

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Surrendering the Picture….

 

thinking

Never would have even guessed

the day would come

when it seems like every picture created in my mind

from my youth

would disintegrate

every security I held onto…

gone

and His plan would take on whole new meaning

where did everyone go

is this what it feels like to grow older

disillusionment

…means there was an illusion

did I think I could keep everyone around me

at least the respect of connection

what is the plan now

came into the world feeling empty

what am I missing, Lord

what will the end be

will restoration come before death

or will restoration be there after

I know it will be so

now I will wait

for the joy to be complete

in this new life

without the old pictures of my youth…………

 

person-thinking-with-thought-bubble-Thought-bubblesEvery one of us grow up with pictures in our minds of how our life will be.  We have children and create more joyful pictures of how our babies will certainly  act with us when they are grown.  We see them and believe for them and live for them and would die for them. 

But I have found in not only my own life but in so many I coach out of tough emotional places, the toughest part is learning to let go of those pictures embedded in our minds,  and accept what is–what we can’t change….with faith, of course,  in Gods unique plan for them to carry them through their own tough places……and to our shock it most never fits the way WE thought it was going to. 

Thinking business woman looking up on speech empty bubble isolat

We get stuck there in that place, and disillusioned with life and feel as if all we believed for will never come to pass.  Our perceptions are totally different from everyone else’s perceptions.  So we must find that place in Him that we keep believing for His plan to develop in our loved ones lives, even when it seems totally opposite from the way we think it should be.  And yes, even though it is hard, a loss, and painful.  

We are not God and have very limited knowledge of the hearts of those we love more than our life.  But He does.  And sometimes He answers our prayers with much higher priorities in mind for their lives.  We must keep believing. 

We must learn to not make it about us and our inability to control everyone around us. 

screen_shot_2012-09-10_at_10.18.10_am   We can’t get in the way.  Surrender to Him who knows how to heal, and restore, and make all things new. 

 

If you need help in this tough place, please contact me for Life Coaching.  You don’t have to stay in pain.  There is a place of peace and acceptance with faith!!

Don’t Let Go! Joy Will Come in the Morning!

 

Letting-go21      “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Are you maneuvering through a season that you feel will never end;

In fact you wonder if this will be your life from now on?

The kind of anguish that finds you praying for the fruit of long-suffering and self control, to dig in and persevere like never before;

Searching desperately with  blind faith for feelings that life will improve and what you have lost will be restored, only even better…..only that reassurance doesn’t come.

The above word out of Jeremiah is for ‘those’ times….when we’re not sure we can endure our season of suffering for one more second.

He has a plan!   It’s a good plan?  Can you wait for it?

Praying

Praying

He reminds us of what to do while we wait…

“they await the fulfillment of His promise”.

We need to call on Him. We need to intentionally and wholeheartedly seek Him.

When we seek God, we will see Him…

We begin to see Him at work and can start to see more of what He sees, from His perspective. 

Trust grows.

If we are willing to trust Him, even blindly, we can begin to see Him in our circumstances…


jesus-woman       If we find ourselves in an incredibly devastating place — a place you never imagined yourself to be — it’s easy to start feeling that some of His good plans don’t apply to us. We can even start believing that for some reason He WANTS us to suffer and will just leave us there until He takes us home…and then maybe He will explain what this unending journey has been all about. 

In His mercy.

Got to watch our fickle minds.   That is where the enemy has access to your life….through your mind.  Why do you think the bible tells us to bring all of our thoughts into captivity and to cast down every vain imagination. 

This is work.

But if you are determined to FIGHT that good fight of faith, you can do it.  

treasures-in-heaven      You can even train your mind to recognize when the enemy is coming with a thought that will bring you fear and doubt,  and actually STOP that thought before it even takes hold.  

I know because I practice this.   Oh, don’t  get me wrong.   I have to battle and sometimes I give in and wallow.   But a determination always rises up within me to win the battle and I dig in and tell the enemy where to go. 

I use my tools of the Kingdom to do it too….these are my tools. 

the_hand_of_god_by_beefcakepantyhose-d67qahr

♥  The Name of Jesus (the most powerful and mountain moving name in the Universe that will break every chain!)

♥  A word from the Bible that I can pray over my situation, over and over, until it gets into my spirit and I begin to believe it. (there is also power in His word to accomplish what He wants in our lives.)  And faith comes by hearing His word!

♥  Praise and worship.   (In my own secret place with Him I pour out my heart, and let him know every thought, every pain, every failure.  In other words, be intimately acquainted with Him on a daily basis!)

♥  Get Godly counsel from mature believers I keep in my life.  (So important!  He gave us to each other in the body of Christ for exhortation, reproof, confirmation that we are on the right path.  We MUST have accountability to someone mature in Jesus.)  

(I have to interject at this point, if you don’t have a mentor/coach to run things by and seek help in your suffering, I am available as your Life Purpose coach.  It will change your life I can confidently say.  Just contact me by the phone number on the http://www.reflectionsofgracehome.com  site or by email on same page. … and read some of the success stories of past clients as well.)

God is closer than we often realize. reflections-of-grace-slider-550x200-e1395616393867

He sees things we don’t see, and He knows things we have no idea about.

He sees the past, the present and the future — from before we were conceived to the day we breathe our last breath, and  beyond that into our forever homes.

He declares He is our rescuer.

He is the One who will sustain us.

And He is more than able to bring His plans to pass. (Isaiah 46:3-11)

Lets ask Him to allow us to see our circumstances through His eyes.   Let’s begin to reach out and cling to His strong arms of comfort and trust and love.

Let choose to let go of our disillusionment and pain and by faith grab hold of Him and not let go.

DON’T LET GO!

426__550x413_jesus-and-peter-walking_on_water   We are not forgotten or forsaken.

And God’s perspective is to use our suffering for good. 

Ouch, we don’t want to hear that, do we.  

We want our suffering gone and life to return to normal, according to OUR perspective, right?

Dare to believe for deliverance from this season of pain, confusion, or suffering.  But in the meantime hold on to Him with every ounce of your faith. 

He will not disappoint.

Joy does comes in the morning. 

joy1

Jesus Has Night Vision

jesus vision    This blog post is for anyone with a broken heart right now…anyone with a broken spirit…anyone with broken wings….anyone who is trying to figure out how to put their life back together after extreme darkness.

This is for you……

Your word is a lamp to my feet….And a light to my path. Ps. 119

Do you know when this word means the most?

When you are in the valley of loss, confusion, grief, and profound darkness.  

This is when, to survive, we MUST lean into He who has the answers— for as long as it takes. Think of this:

lantern_forest_by_retrolex   He is a lamp to your feet, when you can ONLY see your feet. He seems far away but He isn’t..

you can see your feet, right?

And one day you will look up and see your path. It will be lit up…finally. And you will gain some understanding why you had to walk in darkness for a while…

Jesus has night vision.

 

A client lamented,

“The depth of my sorrow reaches no walls…it swallows me in a moment’s notice. I have had so many losses of the foundation of my family connections…there is no way to describe the depth and darkness of the cloud that descends on my new reality.   I am not a woman prone to depression or sadness, yet, the onslaught of the losses I am experiencing has shocked me to the core….the very ones who I thought would love me no matter what have left me and I long for their return….I have tried every way imaginable to fix, reason, forgive, restore, and yes, even cling….to no avail.  How could this happen?  I have never felt more alone in this world, and other than Jesus, I have lost most everything I felt love and comfort in.  Confusion abounds as to whether I did anything to cause this, can I change it if I did,   and how come this all makes no sense in my natural mind.   I have loved unconditionally, to the depth of my core…yet, never considered that others journeys may not be the same as mine when it came to loyalty, and deep deep connections.   I do not understand.  I have asked the Lord to show me the escape from this nightmare and darkness.  I have asked him to give me a new outlook and purpose in my life.  I have asked him to help me let go of that which I would cling to til my dying day.     I have asked him to take me home if there will be no restoration here on this earth.  For I know in the world to come there is complete restoration of all that I have lost here.  I don’t like it here anymore. “

 

misty-forest   Fog

Everywhere there is fog.

This lament sound familiar?

 

David said,

“For it is not an enemy who taunts me—Then I could bear it;
Nor is it one who has hated me who insolently exalts himself against me—Then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man my equal and my counsel, My companion and my familiar friend; We who had sweet fellowship together, Who walked to the house of God in company.” Ps. 55

Yes, my friends, God is right there in the midst of your anguish…David laments the loss of his beloved friend, who was closer than family.  He is in despair.  I believe God put that passage in His word, so that we may understand that He, the God of the universe, gets it.

David also says,

My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me; Horror has overwhelmed me. And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would wander far away, I would lodge in the [peace of the] wilderness. Selah. I would hurry to my refuge [my tranquil shelter far away] From the stormy wind and from the tempest.”

heart-of-stone    Oh yes, we want to escape but can find no way out. We want to fly away and be at rest.

But….what do you do when your wings are broken?wings

…. it doesn’t matter why you feel like you lost your wings or that your soul is broken past repair….whether it’s because your husband cheated on you or your business partner betrayed you or your cancer test came back positive or your house went into foreclosure or you lost the baby that you waited so long for or the parent that you need now more than ever…or that one of your children has gone astray or your husband is chronically ill or you are chronically ill or your business failed or your prayers weren’t answered the way you wanted them to be….

…it all hurts ….and lots of times it leaves you to crash to the ground in a fetal position.

There’s one truth that ties it all together, though…….that we have a healer and One who promises to never leave us or forsake us, even in the darkness.

He has night vision. He can see right where you are….just stop, and cry, or rest…and wait.  He is faithful. 

If He wasn’t then I would not be doing what I do.

I know it’s hard to find hope and it’s hard to find faith when we feel like the whole world just got swept out from under us…..when we feel like we are too full of holes to be anything but empty. But, I promise…you can fly again, and you will. I know that…….because

I’ve been there.

What do you do?

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200   Hold on to Him in the dark.   Even when you can’t speak anything but sorrow.  He can see what’s happening.

A friend today told me she was so stuck she literally could not move. She saw a huge boulder blocking her path and nothing would remove it.  Then God spoke to her through another friend who said, “Why don’t you just lean back on the boulder and rest.”   It was revelation to her!   She did just that and for the first time in a long time she found peace. 

We don’t have to be ‘doing’ all the time!!

This is the time to trust. Wait. Be good to you…your wing is broken.

He can see into the night. Dark-theme-night-

And He expects nothing from you even if you can only whisper His name in the failing light of pain.

He teaches us to accept those things we cannot change and somehow even in our painful and devastating losses helps us to rest and be at peace once again with HOPE!!

He can see into your night just as plain as day.  

And more than that, He always has a plan and its a good plan for your life. Even in our blind and dark seasons, He is unchangeable.  

Your endurance will come from Him.

And one day soon He will open your vision to see not just your feet, but the trail ahead.   And you will fly again.

He will heal your broken wings.

The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. Is. 9:2

HOPE

gods glory

If you need a mentor or coach to help you get to the other side, please contact me from this site to sign up for a life changing experience.

 

What in the World Are We Looking For?

world1

Our souls are relentless in their pursuits.

 It seems we are always searching, seeking, and running after something. We seek relationships to satisfy our longing for intimacy. We pursue careers to make it in this world. We search for significance or purpose through various means.

 sad

We must keep a close eye on the direction of our souls (mind, will, emotions). They often have a mind of their own.

Misguided pursuits that have one goal in mind, to satisfy misguided desires that were never meant to be fulfilled. Many feel the only way to satisfy these desires is to yield. They foolishly believe to give in, is the end of the struggle.

But even then, they quickly discover that the surrender leaves them and they succomb to something they quickly regret.

I have a client I’ll call Maddy.   She was constantly searching for meaning to her life.  But she doesn’t understand why nothing she tries ever brings satisfaction.  In and out of relationships, jobs, marriages, and so many other things, she finally reached out for help.  She was so lost and confused.  She had struggled for years, but when she finally reached the bottom of herself she sought help.   Today, she is finding so much purpose to her life and has been set free from that nagging dissatisfaction she lived with for years.  How?  She realized that Jesus can fill her empty self.

The answer is, simple, really.  

And I always feel the simpler we make understanding spiritual growth in our lives, the easier it is to apply it to our lives.

gods-will

I’ll be honest, I once had an addiction to ministry….yes, you read that right. I would spend all of my time developing and teaching bible studies and ministering to people every time the church doors opened and had my own outreach outside the church building.   The problem, though,  was that my personal life had so many serious marital  issues that I was frustrated with and needed to confront, but just couldn’t find the energy to do anything, so I searched for something else to take up brain space.   I convinced myself that as long as I was in service to the Lord  He would take care of my life.   I was so spiritual I ignored my marriage, and ultimately lost it.

 Unhappy-Person

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, friends.

 I got my accolades and validity from people and not the Lord.

 and I became addicted to it….

 It was a back and forth struggle. One part of me loved indulging in it, but the other part knew it was not a wise use of my time. I repented several times in my failings, but finally lost most of everything I was ignoring.

 You see I wasn’t using faith….I dismissed my dislocated busy-ness by saying it was for the Lord,

 As if He could only use me and no one else.

 Burnout

I think any human has the capability to become hooked on anything. We generally assume addictions are limited to those who abuse narcotics, drink alcohol to cope, gamble their money away, or view sexual content on the internet regularly.

Addictions can come from any angle. They wrap tightly around us until we are enslaved to them. Why are they so powerful? Because they give us a sense of fulfillment or pleasure−although short lived. They start off seeming innocent, but the more we come back for more, the more we become imprisoned.

Romans 6:16 reads, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey…..

 Slaves is a strong word. A word that we don’t like to identify with our own lives.

 Have you noticed how easy it is to identify the problems of others? We thumb_colourbox1908348      may see an area of weakness in their personality and we inwardly identify the changes they need to work on, especially if it is not a problem in our own lives.

 As a person who does not usually get easily angered, I can quickly identity the wrong in someone who is angered or irritated easily. It’s so easy for me to judge them because it’s not a weakness for me. It takes brokenness and humility to turn inwardly and admit my own enslavements, and then turn to God for help.

Broken-Chains 

Are there areas of enslavement in your life that you want to be free from?

 The answer is simple.   We were created with a vacancy,  an empty place, within our hearts that was only…ONLY meant to be filled with God.  

 That’s it!   Not complicated!

 We try to fill that emptiness with everything we can find to satisfy us temporarily.   It will NEVER work.   You will ALWAYS come to the end of yourself and realize you still aren’t happy or joyful or fulfilled….and you move on to something else.

 Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200   Our most lonely place is when we are missing our loving creator, our King, our Jesus and we need to sit with Him and talk to Him about our hearts and what we need.

 Service to Him will follow that relationship of intimacy that will so fill you to satisfaction you can’t help but want to share it with others.  

 Service follows relationship.   No amount of service, if you don’t have the relationship of intimacy with God,  will ever satisfy you.   You will wonder why you feel burned out and disillusioned.  

 Because you were walking in an illusion of thinking “things”  “people”  “service”  (fill in your own word) will satisfy.

 Maybe you like all the things that fill your life right now, and you see no need to examine their place in your life.

 The thing is, we will never come to a place where there is no need for change and growth.

 There is always room for cutting off, turning away from, getting to the root of things. Our pride, selfishness, jealousies, evil motives, and the like require a daily examination…I have many such talks myself.

 You will only get as much of God as you want.

 jesus6    It’s up to us how close we draw near to God. The less we want, the less we will seek. The more we want, the more we will seek.

 Our actions will reveal our pursuit.

 

 

I Assigned Him Three Angels Two Weeks Ago….

FLGIMGS1000000101_-00_America-the-Beautiful-Graphic-plain-Downloadable-Image_3

For 5 years I gathered up my 3 grandchildren and taught them about Jesus –every week.   They were 4 and 6 years old when we began.  Christopher was 6.   He was such a sponge… soaking up all he could about Jesus, heaven, and living in the Kingdom here on earth.    The  letter is his proclamation to get baptized.   IMG_2564

So, their Papa, me and their dads, baptized them in a Jacuzzi. They sang, “Let’s Go Down to the River”…..IMG_2571

As Chris grew physically, he grew spiritually as well. He was very deep and spent a lot of time studying and talking to God.    I was privileged to live close by and got to be a part of all my grandchildren’s lives.  

Chris and I have a bond.  I was there when he, my first born grandson, was born.   I remember driving to San Diego in the wee hours of the morning to get to the hospital to watch his birth…..the sun was rising and I looked up and God spoke to me.  He said this child would be blessed and do great things, just as sunlight beamed down on my car, and I felt His presence and his peace.   7373750-sunrise-in-the-summer-at-small-overcast

Chris faced a life of trials that no young man should have to face, but he always kept his composure and his faith and had a perseverance to move forward….even when he was stuck in life he always found the courage to find a way out.

Then came the day he announced to his family that he had sought God for a long time on the course his life was to take, and he knew he was being called into joining the Marines.     I wanted him to join anything BUT the Marines.   His Mom and I cried.    I knew he was going to be entering a time of endurance like never before.  But he was adamant that was where he was to go.     Fear and pride were mixed together  watching him pursue this career.   marines-symbol-eagle-anchor-earth-97748951

So, I prayed…and prayed…and still praying.   But not in fear.   The Lord spoke to me as I was praying Psalm 91 over him.   He said,

“You have been praying over my son since he was born, Dixie. Those prayers are still in effect, and I assigned more angels to Christopher 2 weeks ago. “

Stunned I said, “Wow, Lord, thank you!   How many?”

81aa11c0a2c58d757d107cfd4c302d81    He said, “Three for now. They are with him every minute.  At night they are standing on either side of his bed, and one at his feet.”

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” Is. 65:24

So, he left for boot camp 2 weeks ago with those angels.   Of course, I am tempted to worry, and to fret, and to doubt.   It’s hard to let the ones you love go and trust God is faithful to cover them, encourage them, and protect him.

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Heb. 1:14

But, you know what?   That is what living in the Kingdom is all about.   You have to be diligent.  You have to stay close to Jesus, and you have to persevere.

And you learn how to let go.

Faith is NOT feelings. Think about that.

Your feelings may betray you, but never allow them to rob you of what is more real than your feelings….your faith.

I wrote Chris a letter before he left reminding him that the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in him. And that power is there to call on when he has reached the end of his own strength.   He smiled when he read it and said,

“I know, Nana.”  

Are you praying and believing for someone you love very much.   Remember,  we worry about things that we can’t control.   To walk free of anxiety and fear, we have to lean into Him. 

Listen!!

0006948_abide-with-me_1000For He is speaking all the time.   He promises to NEVER,  EVER leave you no matter what.

And when there are trials and hardships, He is still there, in our suffering, making Himself known.

He says angels are there for us…”for those that are heirs of salvation”…

So, do you use them. Or, at least have an awareness, that they are assigned to you.   Believing what you cannot see?

As my children and grands grew, Psalm 91 was my go to whenever I feared for them or worried about them.   As soon as I prayed that Psalm, I felt his peace and reassurance that His word does not return to him without accomplishing what He wants and offers us. 

Now, my daughter, Christopher’s mom, will not close her eyes at night without praying that word over herself and her loved ones. 

He is our peace.

When my father, on his death bed, told me he couldn’t forgive ME for exposing him for molesting me and my daughter, I was stunned. This didn’t fit my picture of him repenting before his death and telling me he loved me and was sorry for what he did to us.   No, instead, he blamed me for telling ‘our’ secret and exposing him for who he really was.   I was alone in the room with him, speechless.  At that moment I felt the overwhelming presence of Jesus, sitting in the chair with me.    I, seriously, felt him lean over and whisper in my ear, (I actually felt his breath on my ear),  and he said,

Dixie, you are not alone, I am right here. I will never leave you.”   

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200And I had such a sense of peace.   As shocked as I was at my father’s sense of entitlement, narcissism, and unrepentant heart,  on his death bed, to actually still be blaming me for his crime that changed me and Heather forever… I felt removed emotionally…. and the presence of Jesus was so tangent that I walked out of the hospital room that day with a smile on my face.  Those were the last words with my father before he died.  But the presence of Jesus enabled me to totally let him go.

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” Ps. 34:5  

In all of our turbulent lives He promises to be there and there is no limit to His presence…you can be mindful of it every day and press in and live in the supernatural…or you can choose to ignore it.   But if you ignore it you will be missing out on  the abundant life He offers….

 akiane-kramarik-jesus-painting  Psalms 91…..Lord,

I thank you that because I dwell in the shelter of You, Most High God  I will find rest in the shadow of You, my Almighty.  This I declare about You Lord: You alone are my refuge, my place of safety; You are my God, and I trust You alone,   For You will rescue me from every trap  and protect me from deadly disease. You will cover me with Your feathers.  You will shelter me with Your wings.   Your faithful promises are my armor and protection. I will not be afraid of the terrors of the night,  nor the arrow that flies in the day. I will not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,  nor the disaster that strikes at midday.  Though a thousand fall at my side, though ten thousand may be dying around me,   these evils will not touch me. I will open my eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

 Lord, I will make You my refuge, and I will  make You,  Most High,  my shelter,   no evil will conquer me; no plague will come near my home. Thank you for ordering Your angels to protect me wherever I go.  They will hold me up with their hands  so I won’t even hurt my foot on a stone. I will trample upon lions and cobras;  I will crush fierce lions and serpents under my feet!

 Lord You have said You will rescue those who love You and You will protect those who trust in Your name.  When I call on You, You will answer;  You will be with me in trouble. You will rescue and honor me  and You will reward me with a long life and give me Your salvation.”  Amen!  

dixie1

Life Coaching is open now for the Summer….If you need help in this season of your life please contact me through the web site or this blog!!

 

 

How to Walk on Water

peterwalking

“So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus”(Matthew 14:29).

 I am changed.

 I have been through some stuff lately that I can’t even bear to talk about, but yes, it has changed me.

 I have had to let go of things that have hurt me deeply.   The kind of hurt that centers in your core and takes your breath away.

 And I won’t ever be the same.  

 Oh, yes, I believe in restoration and healing, but some things that happen to us, change us forever.  

 But maybe that isn’t a bad thing.   Nothing, and I mean nothing, the enemy tries to take away from us, will be lost forever.  

 Restoration is coming….deliverance is coming…..healing is coming.

 jesus walking  See Jesus walking on the water to your storm tossed boat.

 My very foundation has been shaken to the core but I surrender it all to Him.  

 He is there in the darkness,

in the sad and lonely,

and in pictures of our lives changing to a sad distortion of what we once knew.

 How would we even survive this world without Him. If you haven’t chosen Him as your Savior, whatever do you do with your fear and pain? How do you find peace?

 We all can get distracted, especially when the storms of life rage around us. 

 It’s not easy to keep your eyes on Jesus in the middle of the night, when fear threatens to overwhelm you.

 Very often our purest vision of Jesus comes when the storms of life threaten to capsize the tiny boat of our faith.

 shack  I love the scene in the movie Shack, where Mac is in the little boat out on the lake and his fears take over. The boat is capsizing to a ravaging black monster of fear that seems very real to Mac and water is pouring in……but then through the raging noise around him He hears Jesus yelling at him, “Mac, Mac, look at Me, look at Me!!!   It took a while for Mac to look up and see Jesus…but, oh, when he did, the deception of fear disappeared….and he reached out and took the hand of Jesus and stepped out of the boat with Him on the water.

 I hear quite often, “Dixie, look at Me!!!   Dixie, look at me, look at me!! Take my hand.”

 The wind always blows around us. The mighty storms come sooner or later. We have no choice or control over when the storm comes.

 Today the sun may be shining;

tomorrow we may find ourselves toiling against the wind and rain, tossed about by adversity. Life can turn on a dime. We all know that.

 What happened to Peter can happen to any of us. And most likely will.

jesus-and-peter-walking-on-water-600

 For a brief moment, Peter forgets about Jesus and remembers who he is and where he is. He is Peter, a Galilean fisherman who belongs back in the boat. In that instant he looks down at his feet and sees nothing but water underneath. His mind comes to a quick conclusion:

I’m not supposed to be walking on this water; this is impossible.”

 When he lost his concentration on Jesus, he began to sink.

 The lesson is clear for all of us.

Pray for “concentrating faith.” 

For eyes that see beyond the present.

Lean into Him with all your focus and might.

You can survive any storm if you keep your eyes on Jesus.

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 Lord Jesus, help me to walk on the waters of faith because you can calm every storm.

 

4 Thoughts on Staying Focused on Jesus in the Madness of This World

sharks

I remind myself today that Satan uses smoke screens to divert our attention onto him and his fear, rather than God.  

The world is a crazy place.  Romans says:  “For we know that all of creation is groaning with birth pains right up to the present time.”    

So, in reality, the Lord has told us these thing would be happening more and more until He actually comes back for us, right?   

california-mudslide-montecito-damage-pictures-1192586

So, how do we maintain our peace in the midst of the madness…the wars and hate, the crazy weather patterns, the sheer unrest in our leaders, the lies, the uncertainities?

I will say it again.  We have an enemy. 

He is not happy when we are involved in changing lives for the Kingdom of God.   He is hoping we will forget and succumb to him, but we know that:

 “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.”   

Lion-feel-free-32308434-500-548  Satan roams around like a lion “seeking whom he may devour”…..notice it says “seeking”……..not all of us have our heads in the sand.  We have to be on our guard and walking in the presence of Jesus and not allow ourselves to be distracted by the noise of the enemy, and believe me he will make a lot of noise.  But Jesus is the actual Lion of Judah!!

I have realized it is going to take a supernatural life to be able to withstand evil attacks in these coming days.    

It is time folks, to determine that whatever else our goals and hopes are for this year we need to be seeking the strengthening of our souls.    Remember,

we are a spirit, (the part that is born again with the receiving of Jesus as Lord of our life),

we have a soul, (which is our mind, will, and emotions,)

and we live in a body.  

The bible talks about the renewing of our soul daily.  Not our spirits.  They are already born again and saved for eternity. 

Our SOULS…..our minds!!  

Thinking business woman looking up on speech empty bubble isolat

They have to be renewed daily to what God says about us and so that we can recognize what the enemy says about us.  This is why the bible teaches us that we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities and darkness and everything that exalts itself over and against our God.

So, how do I fight my wars?  

Yesterday, I went for a walk with Jesus, by the ocean, that included a path through the mountains. 005

It was a glorious day of sunshine and I was totally focusing on Jesus and seeking His strength in the trials I am facing right now. 

There is some things that seem impossible in the natural; things happening in my life right now, and I could feel the struggle within my soul of good over evil. 

Fear was hovering off to my side just waiting to grab hold of my thought life.  I could feel its insidious force trying to penetrate.  I kept my course.  I started praying every scripture I could think of.  When I ran out of things to say I repeated the name of Jesus over and over. 

5s_impressive_rocks-sharpen-reduced-SD-ND-Wy-5_500-987x749  I looked up and there on the mountainside was this hideous rock formation that resembled the face of a demon with a fish body.  

It seemed to be mocking me.  For a moment my environment seemed dark.  I looked through the forest off to my side and it was dark.  And then I looked again and there were all these streams of bright light penetrating the darkness.  Out of my mouth I began to sing, out of 86f7deccc7eee45635db64b68d60e133--beautiful-pictures-beautiful-places

Psalms 25,

“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul

Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul

O my God, I trust in thee:

Let me not be ashamed,

Let not mine enemies triumph over me.”

I sang it over and over until I felt the temptation to fear leave me.  Throughout the rest of the day I continued to hear evil reports but I maintained my thoughts on the possibilities of Jesus and what He so wants to accomplish in my life.

There are so many tools he gives us to fight this good fight of faith and to keep our shields up to ward off the fiery darts that satan aims at us.

  1. Pray the word.  Put your name right in there as you pray.  Or pray the word over your family or others you may be called to pray for until you see God’s intervention.  Faith comes by hearing yourself speak truth!!  An example:  Psalms 91:1&2 Amp:

 

screen_shot_2012-09-10_at_10.18.10_am Lord, I thank you that because I dwell in the secret place of You, oh most high, I shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of You, my Almighty God, whose power NO foe can withstand…………..”

  1. Sing the word of God.  I love singing my prayers.  It slows down my mind.  And many times, in the Spirit, I have heard Him singing back to me in my own voice in answer to my song.  It is really beautiful.

  2. Let the Holy Spirit pray through you.  Just go with it and His leading in however He shows you to pray.

  3.         The Name of Jesus…..When the heat is turned up and I just can’t seem to pray anything, I just say the name of Jesus over and over.  In Acts it says that there is no other name as powerful as the name of Jesus, and at the mention of that name every knee has to bow in both heaven and earth.   So the way I see it, even if you can’t do anything else when you just say His name He is right there fighting for you.

The real secret to really dwelling in His presence is pretty simple. 

Be intimate with Him. 

Sit with Him. Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200

Journal to Him. 

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04Have coffee with Him. 

Get to know Him.  Let Him speak to you and step out in faith and believe that it is Him.   In that way, you learn to recognize His voice over the voice of satan.  

0006948_abide-with-me_1000Remember it is His sheep that hear His voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.

Stay vigilant my friends!!  We win!!

 

Interested in Life Coaching with me for more?   Email me from this web site!!  We’ll talk!!

   Me

 

Beware…5 Ways to Discern a Wolf

Wolves2   Wolves come in all manner of disguises…in our relationships, as well as in our places of worship.   Sometimes truth gets blurred and manipulated and  lines get crossed in our relationships in all walks of life, but, in my opinion, even more so in the body of Christ.   

Because we are dangerous to the enemy.  

normalThings once seen as black and white, may start to appear more gray. It may seem harder to recognize what’s true or what’s false. What’s light and what’s dark. 

As a Life Coach I see this same thing happening in personal relationships.  We can get so needy we ignore the warning signs of a true wolf, and yield to the deceptive manipulations and convince ourselves that what we see right in front of us won’t apply to our lives.  So we let them in.   And it doesn’t take long for the teeth to come out. 

 wolf4  Friends, there is a real enemy who prowls around seeking someone to devour.    He’ll stop at nothing to gain new ground. He and his forces have quoted God’s words since the beginning of time, twisting it, trying their best to manipulate truth, and their main goal is to deceive and lead astray. 

He knows how to spy out needy women or men who have not learned to let Jesus be their everything and they long to fill those empty places with another person, rather than the One who was met to fill those needs. 

titi  There is an invisible V (for victim) on their foreheads that turns into a neon sign when a wolf is near.  He sees it and comes in for the kill.

 The wolves know who God is and they “shudder” in fear at His name.  They know that God alone will be victorious and no matter what traps are used today to try to distract us away from Him, in the end, they will not win.  But for us, if we don’t obey those warnings, we will find ourselves in the pit of pain and confusion.

 Many times the wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing knows God’s Word better than we thought, crafting and twisting it so much, we might even find ourselves feeling confused over what real truth is anymore.  You can always identify this type of wolf as a religious spirit.

 So how can we protect ourselves–and discern what is happening when we meet a wolf? 

 

Alone_in_the_Crowd_by_Cunny1988-600x450   Know the real and you’ll know what is false.

How do you do that?

wolf  1.Watch

 

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matt. 7:15

God reminds us in His Word to “watch out,” “beware,” to stay awake. He knows and understands how difficult it can be to fight this spiritual battle. Some days we get weary, or we get so busy and distracted, we’re not watching anymore for ways we might get tripped up.  But he tells us, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Cor. 16:13 

He desires the best for us and knows how important it is for us to live aware. He freely gives us his strength and protection to stand strong each day, he will never leave us defenseless on our own. 

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OWN WEAKNESSES AND NEEDINESS. 

 wolf5 2.   Know What is Real

…and you’ll know the fake too.

 God’s Word is clear, it says they’ll be known by their fruits. Not by how charming they are.  Not by how much money they have. Not by how many followers they have. Not by how many books they have written or the great things they have done.

They’ll be known by what fruit exists in their lives. Is there love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control? What do they say about who Jesus is? We may have to look more closely than what is on the outside. What is in their heart?  How do you discern it?  I have learned if something is too good to be true, it usually is.  See what I did there?  (it usually is deceptive. )

 Eventually, the truth of who they are will be brought into the light. 

 “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.” 1 Cor. 4:5 

 0006948_abide-with-me_1000 3.  Know Jesus Intimately

 “For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Cor. 11:14-15

 Sometimes deception may be hidden well, but if you have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus and His words you will know when something isn’t right.  

 

Obey that feeling!!

 

Press in close to God. Spend time in His presence. Pray, talk with Him, listen to His voice through His word. Staying close to His side, living under the protection of His armor and covering, helps us to know when we’re staring straight into falsehood.

 Pentecost_by_purple_whirlpool 4. Trust Your Counselor, Holy Spirit

 God gives us His Spirit to guide us in discernment and wisdom. 

 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…”John 16

 

He tells us “I have told you ahead of time,” so that we will be prepared and watching.

Walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

We don’t have to wander through life blindly, unsure of what’s true and what’s not.   

 

When feeling unsettled or sensing something is just not “quite right,” we can press in close to Him, knowing He’s faithful to guide us.

 wolf3  5.  Choose Friends You Can Trust 

Use caution in who you listen to and choose to take guidance from. Sometimes when we’re in a place where it’s hard to see clearly we need trusted friends to bounce things off of.      Learning to listen to one another and take into consideration what the other might be sensing or discerning can often have great power in saving us from a lot of pain and trouble up ahead.  

 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Prov. 11:14

Standing strong together, on Christ the Solid Rock.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

4 Myths You May Believe About Your Calling

Thinking business woman looking up on speech empty bubble isolat

As a Life Purpose Coach I believe that we are all called, have gifts and talents, and are incredibly loved by our Creator.  Everything that we encounter in life prepares us for the next season in our calling.

 I also believe that everyone of our gifts are as important as the next persons.   We are all working towards the same goals and each and every one of us are highly loved and valued by Jesus!

 Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200 What I’ve discovered over the years is that many women have an incredibly difficult time discerning what that calling is. The trials of life and the many mixed or misunderstood messages they have heard from various teachers have left them feeling like they never measure up to what God has for them to do.  For these struggling women, certain myths about calling are getting in the way of discovering what God truly has for them.

 If you’re feeling lost trying to discern God’s calling for your life, consider these myths that may be tripping you up.

Myth #1: It’s About You  sb_passiveagressive2

The process of discovering your calling may necessitate some serious self-reflection, but make no mistake: It’s not really about you. Calling is not about self-fulfillment. It is a discovery of your preciousness, your beauty, and your gifting…..a plan set up for you from before you were born to fulfill….and the revealing of it is directly related to what you have experienced in your life through every trial and every experience, both positive and negative, to prepare and train you to be able to see others come to know who He is through your life.

Calling is a revealing and fulfillment of God’s will for your life.

Many people experience a special sense of satisfaction that comes from exercising their God-given gifts, talents, and passions, but that sense of fulfillment is a byproduct of being in God’s will, not the goal.

womanatthewellbylizlemonswindle    To discern what God’s will may be, you do need to look inward. You must seek to “know yourself” in order to discover God’s unique creation in you.   Sometimes we can’t see outside of ourselves and being in community with other’s who know you can help to get a better picture.  This is why we need each other.

 And sometimes we miss the obvious– thinking it couldn’t possibly be important enough to be a calling.  I have had women come to me in their season of child rearing, crying because they just don’t feel important to God because He has not revealed to them a calling.   And there beside them stood their children.  

 hannah2  Do you know raising children is one of the highest callings there is?   To raise a child to love and honor God with their own lives is the calling of a Mother.   Yes, one  day those babies will be on their own and you will be free to pursue other gifts and callings, as each season of your life reveals more and prepares us for the next season.

 

 fear   

Myth #2: If It’s Uncomfortable, It Can’t Be Your Calling

Nope, not even close.   Figuring out your calling isn’t an instant ticket to a smooth life and career.  As a matter of fact sometimes we get so stuck in our comfort zones of dysfunction, we would choose to stay there, because at least it is familiar, right?

 Knowing what you are meant to be doing is really just the beginning of what may be a long and arduous journey of hardship and defeat. Some of the most successful, inspired people throughout history have  pursuit of their paths that has included feeling like a failure….but rest assured,

 Not one of your failures is wasted…it is all a part of the plan, and what makes the difference is that you

 DON’T GIVE UP!!

 

sad  For most of my life I struggled with what I was doing, even when I was very busy doing “the work of the Lord”, the way I saw it…,

God is never finished with us and even while I was so busy, make no mistake, He continued to reveal to me those places I kept hidden that needed to be healed.  I fell flat on my face many times.

I faced plenty of hardships and failures at work and in my personal life. These challenges helped me grow and learn more about God and more about how God created me to serve him, eventually leading me into Life Coaching much to my surprise.   Now that I am a Life Coach and have been for many years, I continue to enter into places of so much pain I sometimes question where He is taking me now.

Your calling is most of the time a stretch assignment. Moses is a great biblical example:

Pentecost_by_purple_whirlpool  He had no doubt about what God wanted him to do.  God spoke to Moses through the burning bush, giving him clear marching orders about his next steps.

 Isn’t this what we all kind of wish for when we’re searching for our calling?

But Moses’ calling didn’t sound all that great to him:

 “But who am I that I should go?”

 004-moses-burning-bush  Moses questioned God, voicing the fear, 

 

“I’m not important enough.”

 But God answered, “I will be with you.” Then, Moses continued pressing back, asking, “What if they do not believe me?” 

 “I’m not impressive enough!” 

 In response, God provided him with miraculous signs. But it still wasn’t enough for Moses, who came back with the worry, “But I am slow of speech and tongue.” 

“I don’t know what to say.”

 God assured Moses that he would speak through him.

 Moses was called to a task God designed for him, but it clearly didn’t feel good.  He tried every way he could think of to convince God that he was the wrong man for the job, and then finally, when that didn’t work, he came right out and asked God to “please send someone else.”

 Alone_in_the_Crowd_by_Cunny1988-600x450     Your discomfort doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on the wrong path.

 

Myth #3: Choosing Wrong Can Thwart God’s Will

 gods-will   I know women (and men too) who seem to agonize endlessly over every major choice in their lives, calling included, because they’re afraid of choosing wrongly. It’s good to want to make the best choice you can, but at some point you just need to make a choice and go from there. If you find yourself worrying excessively about your calling, ask yourself whether this is really about discerning God’s will or whether you may be trying to control God’s will.

 Your choices are important, but, when you are seeking Him with your whole heart,  no choice you can make is outside of God’s sovereignty.  Seriously…it is NOT that easy to miss God.  Do you think He is not able to transcend your humanness, and lead you right into His perfect will…even when you think you are the one making the decisions?

If you had asked me 20 or 30 years ago where I would end up, I never would have foreseen the course my life would take.    I now look back and am just amazed by God’s providence over all of it.

jesus-and-me 

Myth #4: Your Calling Is Settled

 Discovering your calling isn’t something you do once, or even twice. It’s not something you get to check off of a list and move on from.

The life of a Christian entails a constant process of discovering your calling. Just because God has called you to a particular purpose at a particular time doesn’t mean his plans for you are the same in every season….each season of our lives has a new calling that builds on the last one….nothing stays the same forever.

Looking back at my own life, I can see God shaping and shifting my calling over the years.

 Each chapter of my life God continued to call and lead me through one season to the next.   Some of the things that happened to me to bring me to this place today is astounding, painful, challenging, and sometimes unbelievable.   In every phase my calling has looked and felt different, but God has been a consistent foundation throughout.  And even when I was in total denial about my own issues that needed work, His will was accomplished in other’s lives through my calling.   Astounding to me.

 Who knows what the next chapter of life will bring?

0006948_abide-with-me_1000Everyone’s calling is going to look different—and each season will bring a new process of discernment. Just remember, God is in control. He loves you and me, and his will for us will always bring us closer to him.

May you begin your discernment journey with courage and humility.

 

Me    Of course you know that I am a Life Purpose Coach.  So, I would be remiss to not invite you to contact me if you need help in this season of your life to discern where God is taking you.  You may feel stuck in this chapter and need a mentor to challenge you and help you to move forward.   Just call or email me from my web page and we will chat!!   

Boundaries! 7 Ways to Stop Fixing People and Empower Yourself.

922705_559351900752675_116486065_n  Having no boundaries in your personal life will strain personal relationships and the accumulation of frustration and miscommunication as a result of no boundaries will  ultimately create resentment that will lead you into very toxic relationships.

Person-under-doormat    No boundaries can also keep you in that victim mentality.

Here’s the truth – if you don’t create clear boundaries for yourself in all of your relationships, you can’t expect the people in your life to know what you want or don’t want.  Healthy boundaries allow for an equal partnership where both the power and responsibilities are shared.  Especially in marriages, but this mindset will affect everything you do, from friends, to work, to church, to children.

Boundaries help us define who we are and provides us with a definite sense of self. People who learn how to set personal boundaries thrive because they have created a level of personal control within their life, whereas people who do not set personal boundaries tend to be stressed and overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time to do the things they want.

sb_passiveagressive2Most people have a hard time saying the word NO.

Inevitably, until we set personal boundaries and learn to say no, the quality of our lives  will suffer in so many ways.

freedomWhen we learn to say “No” more often, or just learn to say “Yes” on our terms, we free ourselves from the burden of pleasing others therefore allowing ourselves more time and freedom to do what we feel matters most .

Examples:  

  • Your adult children ask you for money and you go ahead and give it them against your better judgment even though they don’t take responsibility for their own budgeting.

  • Your coworkers delegate tasks to you that they should be doing, but you do the extra work because you want to please them and be liked.

  • Your husband tells you that it’s your fault he lost his temper and was abusive and you take on the guilt for his choices and actions.  

  • Someone from your church asks you to volunteer for a new project, and out of guilt you say “yes” when you really should say “no” because your schedule is already overloaded and you are exhausted.

 

Sound familiar?

 

All of these scenarios reflect a lack of boundaries – limits that can help you avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy the peace God wants you to experience.

 

relationship difficulties You may tend to respond to other people’s needs at the expense of your own and then suffer from the chaos that comes from a life without proper boundaries.   I see it often in coaching. 

 

Do you want some ideas on how to  start setting boundaries in your life and start enjoying peace?

 

  1. Shift your focus from your circumstances to how you respond to those circumstances. 

 

God will empower you to change your life for the better if you change the way you respond to your circumstances. While you often can’t control your circumstances, you can always control how you respond to those circumstances as you surrender them to God and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance to set the appropriate boundaries. Doing so will honor both God and you, because it will please God to see you living with the respect He intends for you.

 

  1. Keep in mind that taking control isn’t the same as being controlling.

Setting boundaries isn’t about trying to control other people; instead, it’s about being clear about what you will and will not accept in your life in order to claim your God-given spiritual authority and guard your heart from harm. You never need to feel guilty about setting boundaries with the people in your life.  Jesus did it all the time.  He had very strong boundaries.  No one deterred Him from His mission.  People will actually have more respect for you when you are strong and firm in your boundaries.

 

  1. Distinguish between helping and enabling others.

Consider whether or not you’re actually helping the people you’re trying to help. Helping is doing things for people that they are not capable of doing for themselves.

 

doormat     But Enabling leads people to depend on you in unhealthy ways – AND is doing things for people that they could and should be doing themselves.

 

Recognize that when you’re enabling people rather than helping them, you’re creating an atmosphere in which others can comfortably continue their unacceptable behavior. Even though you intend to help, if you’re enabling you’re actually hurting other people, and yourself, in the process.  You enable them to not take responsibility for their own lives.  Thus draining yourself.

 

Recognize that setting boundaries is vital in order to fulfill God’s purposes for your life. Instead of letting other people distract you from living the life God intends for you, claim the spiritual authority God has given you by setting the boundaries He leads you to set in your life.

 

254865_440342676028286_2145415378_n   Pray for the confidence you need to overcome whatever fears have been holding you back from setting proper boundaries in your life.

 

The more you learn how to apply biblical wisdom to your life, the better you’ll be able to set boundaries that will help you accomplish God’s will.

 

  1. Stop your own negative behavior.

Ask God to help you identify specific negative attitudes and behaviors in your life that are contributing to a lack of boundaries and the resulting stress. Then decide to stop your destructive patterns and pray for power from the Holy Spirit each day to replace your unhealthy attitudes and behaviors with healthy ones.

533101_323586567703898_2131335984_n Don’t waste time or energy anymore on trying to get the other people in your life to change; that will never work. Instead, focus on simply changing yourself, with God’s help.  You will never get someone else to change their behavior.   You have to change.

 

YOU are NOT the savior of anyone.  Jesus is!!  womanatthewellbylizlemonswindle

 

Seek the support and encouragement of some caring Christians whom you can trust to help you on your journey to set proper boundaries in your life.  Or get yourself a Life Coach to walk the journey with you a while to show you how.  (Contact me if interested!)   dixie1

 

  1. Nip excuses in the bud.

Don’t tolerate any more excuses from either yourself (about why you’re not setting boundaries in your life) or other people (about why they want to step over boundaries that you’ve set for them).

 

Ask God to help you stand firm so you can make real and lasting changes in your life. Say “no” clearly and without guilt whenever you sense that you should say “no.” Doing so will give you the freedom to say “yes” to activities that the Holy Spirit convicts you to pursue.

 

You will feel so empowered!!  birdcage

 

 

  1. Trust the voice of the Spirit.Pay attention to how the Holy Spirit speaks to you about boundaries. Listen for the Spirit’s guidance about boundaries every day in prayer, and be sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings in every situation you encounter. In some situations, the Spirit will restrain you from taking action, and in others, the Spirit will urge you to take action move forward.

 

Yield everything to God. Live to please God alone, and don’t worry about pleasing other people. Let go of everything that holds you back from fulfilling God’s purposes for you, including: unrealistic expectations, negative emotions, and Satan’s lies. Trust God to give you peace and guidance to change your life forever!!

 

Contact me at dixie@reflectionsofgracehome.com to set up a coaching call!

 

 

9 Attributes to Look For if You Suspect You are Being Spiritually Abused

th  “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” Jeremiah 5:30-31 

 We see the Lord’s displeasure being expressed against those who operate an effort to control the people. Consumed with their own ambition, these leaders have convinced the people that their power is divine. Yet in reality, these false prophets are merely wielding their self-imposed influence for personal gain, claiming they speak for God.

Pharisee“From the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. And they have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (NAS). Jeremiah 6:13-14 

A common characteristic of an abusive religious system is that the real needs of the people are lost in the never-ending quest by the leaders for personal fulfillment and happiness.  

And this has been my story.  Part of it anyway.  You will find my whole story in detail in my first book, ”Climbing Out of the Box, My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing” 

climbing-out-of-the-box-by-dixie-r_-diamanti-300x300-e1397103388170https://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Out-Box-Journey-Spiritual-ebook/dp/B00AZ9JKG6

 

spiritualabuse-blue 

Some of my spiritual abuse experiences include:

  1. When I needed to go to work to help support my family I was told by the authorities of the church I attended that I needed to forfeit working and stay in the ministry because if I didn’t I would lose all my gifting to ever do ministry again. For years I thought my gifts would not be used again and that I was disobedient because I didn’t obey them. (Until I was shocked when I began to see my same gifts used out there in the market place..aha moment.)

  2. A church that repeatedly told us they basically had the corner on the market of Jesus and they had the fullness of God and His gifts, where other churches did not, and that if we ever had to go elsewhere, we would miss God’s highest.

  3. A pastor who found ministry to be a vehicle for his great gain, lying and manipulating donors to give more and more money. He actually took the offering in decorated trash cans…(not lying).  The wealthy had the high positions in the church.  There was the pastor who had the men of the church build his home for free labor, stating, that as Solomon had to have the temple built before he could help the people, he, too, needed to have his temple before he was free to really be a pastor.

  4. A leader who cornered me in a room alone, threatened me, and yelled because he said I was too “perfect” to minister to women. He said I needed to dress down and quit painting my nails if I wanted women to identify with me.  He also said I needed to project being poor.  I was devastated.

  5. Openly ostracized and lied about to a congregation of people to manipulate me to quit my women’s ministry outside his organization that was reaching hundreds of women. ( I didn’t quit.  I left his church organization that very night.)

  6. Innocently called into a pastor’s office alone and watching him lose his temper at me, yelling with spittle flying, finger pointed in my face, falsely accusing me of talking about him behind his back because I told a sound man I was removed from the worship team and had no idea why.  I sobbed so loudly I couldn’t gain control while he stared me down with contempt until I finally got up and left.

These are all true stories, and I could go on and on but,

…now, many years later I coach so many who relate their own stories of pain and abuse at the mercy of “godly men and women”.  My heart aches for them because I know this is not Jesus.  This is man or woman who wants to control and the power goes to their heads. 

But, this was just the beginning of my story.  Upon leaving these controlling ministries after 25 years of having a church building as home and family,  I went through a 5 year sabbatical where I had an encounter with Jesus such as I never had, after being in church and busy with ministry all those years.  

freedom  It took me many years to be set free from the damage that was done to my spirit and to be able to enter a church building without anxiety and tears. 

 So don’t lose hope in the pain of loss when you know you have to make a change.  Jesus promises to NEVER leave you or forsake you.  Even when you are brave enough to leave and everyone is saying to just overlook the sin.  

When all the control and crutches are gone guess Who is left standing? 

jesus6    Jesus!!  

And oh what a Man He is…never to leave us or forsake us.  He will reveal Himself to you in all truth and lead you to safe places to experience the true love of God in motion, and connect with believers who really care and walk in His love in confidence.

Things to look out for in your place of church community if you suspect spiritual abuse:

  1. Do they say you have to blindly respect and obey them, without having earned it, just because they said so and they are your leader?

  2. Do they demand your allegiance to them as ‘proof’ that you are a follower of Jesus?

  3. Do they use exclusive language: “We are the only church in town really following Jesus.”  “Our theology is the only sound doctrine.”  Everyone else is missing the “deeper” walk.

  4. Do they shame people, without grace, if they fail to live up to the church’s expectations?

  5. Do they quote scriptures about “not touching God’s anointed” when referring to themselves? Yet they often confront sin in others, particularly ones who bring up legitimate biblical issues. Or they have their circle of influence take on this task, silencing their critics.

  6. Do they cultivate a dependence on one leader or leaders for spiritual insights? Personal discipleship isn’t encouraged. Often the Bible gets pushed away to the fringes unless the main leader is teaching it. And if you have an insight from God they have to approve it before you can share.

  7. Do they demand blind service from their followers, but live prestigious, privileged lives.They live aloof from their followers and justify their material extravagance as God’s favor and approval on their ministry. Unlike Jesus’ instructions to take the last seat, they often take the first seat at events and court others to grant them privileges. They typically chase after wealth–at any cost, and often at the expense of the very people they shepherd.

  8. Do they hold to outward performance but reject authentic spirituality. And place burdens on followers to act a certain way, dress an acceptable way, and have an acceptable lifestyle, but they often demonstrate licentiousness, greed, and uncontrolled addictions behind closed doors.

  9. Use exclusivity for your blind allegiance to them. Followers close to the leader or leaders feel like lucky insiders. And, of course, this meant they are more spiritual than the rest of the congregation.  Did you ever feel like you are exempt from the “click” of popular people in the community of believers?  Everyone else is on the outside, though they long to be in that inner circle.

We are all one body in His church. 

hands  You are the church!  

We need safe places to gather together and grow together and share Him together.  Don’t settle for less, and be brave enough to change if the Holy Spirit is showing you that something is just not right.  In fact, run!!  

The longer I stayed out of my ‘loyalty’, the move abused I was in the end.  You cannot fix it!!   Run!

  There is healing and restoration from this horrible sin for both the ones who have abused and the victims of their abuse.    Remember we are all an important part of His body.  We ALL have gifts, callings and talents He wants to use.  We were never meant to sit in a pew looking at the backs of heads while listening to one man  teach, without using our own gifts too!!  No one is more important than the other.

Be set free today!!   

Call me if you need help with this issue and you find yourself sunk deep into spiritual abuse and feel like you can’t get out.  Go to the home page from this blog and send me a message.  Or please comment below.

When You Have One Foot in the Grave….Lori’s Story

Just to be transparent with you, I am in a different season right now fraught with change and uncertainty and letting go.   That’s why I haven’t written in a while.  

In this life our journeys take a turn that sometimes come out of nowhere, it seems, and knocks us out for a while.   I am starting to very slowly see through the veil that this is another lesson, another level, a gateway into a deeper level with Jesus.  Though I feel the breath has been knocked out of me and I am very tired I know from my spirit that Jesus walks this valley with me. 

And, yes, I will write more about my story soon. 

Which brings me to Lori’s story.  I have known Lori for about 30 years.   I have watched her and admired her devotion to family and motherhood and God.    I knew her Dad, a mighty man of God,  and loved him very much.   I have been following Lori’s journey through breast cancer and praying along with countless others.  

Then yesterday I read this on Facebook and instantly knew her story is a wake up call for me and all of us.   Not that we will get cancer, but through her valley of trial, and what she learned there, brings us a message to look at our lives and evaluate what is most important.   For our walk on this earth is very short compared to where we are going.

carnival-masks   We get so caught up in our ‘masks’ of who we think we are, or we only show what we want people to see; not the real us.   Vanity takes over and we live this kind of pseudo life of insincerity.   I so admired Lori’s bravery to reveal it all in this trial so that others could see into her world and maybe find hope.

The church was meant for family, for realness, for loving support and transparencies….so that we can grow and heal and know we are not alone.   

Peter 5:8-9 says “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

What is the Holy Spirit assuming about your life? That you are under spiritual attack. This is not a passage about nonbelievers; he’s talking about “your brothers and sisters.” Peter takes it for granted that every believer is under some sort of unseen assault. And what does he insist you do? Resist the devil. Fight back, take a stand.

Lori took a stand and has won her victory.   But the lessons were many.

Thank you sweet Lori, for allowing me to share your story.

lori with hair  “Twenty-nine radiation treatments ago I was overwhelmed thinking that I would never be standing with one foot hovering over the finish line. On Monday, I will get my last radiation treatment. On Thursday I am having my port removed. I have spent half a year tearing up my body to rid it of cancer and the next half will be spent rebuilding it.

 I still have a long road of recovery ahead, but I face it knowing that I am cancer free.

 I know it sounds odd, but I am grateful for everything that I have gone through.

Grateful for the pain?

Grateful for the worry?

Grateful for a disease that ravaged my body and tried to kill me?

lori3  Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. I am grateful because it has changed me in more ways than taking away (just trying to be real here) half of one of my most magnificent physical features. 

 The fact that I feel grateful is in itself due to the lessons that fighting cancer has taught me.

 When you are diagnosed with cancer, everything stops while you concentrate on beating it. You don’t have the energy to participate in all of your normal activities and your treatments take precedence over everything else in your life…a job, family activities, church, or any other pursuit that normally occupies your time. You try to keep things as normal as possible, but basically your schedule is at the mercy of your disease.

 

At first, I thought that the world was going to crumble if I had to step down from all of the things I was in charge of. Amazingly, the world did just fine during my sabbatical. My husband and kids survived. My house didn’t burn down. The church, the PTA, the cub scouts and all those other things soldiered on. I learned that I don’t have to control every…single…thing.  1209389_575103479218871_301732771_n

I don’t have to stress myself out to make everything my version of perfect. One day it hit me that the same God who I was trusting to heal me was also capable of taking care of the everyday worries in my life. As I began to hand those worries over to Him, I also realized that if I were to leave this earth, He would be there to take care of all those that I left behind.

 lori Cancer certainly causes you to face your immortality. We all know we are going to die…someday. When you are diagnosed with cancer, that far off someday is suddenly smacking you in the face. Death itself, doesn’t scare me. I know where I will spend eternity. I am not afraid of what is to come. For me, facing death was more about worrying over what I was leaving behind.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a peace that God would watch over my family, but I was still sad because I had so many more things that I wanted to do with my kids. There were life lessons I wanted to have the time to teach, memories I wanted to make with them, and my own life experiences that I still hadn’t shared. I was angry at myself for all the time in life I had wasted on things that just don’t matter in the bigger picture.

Cancer forced me sift through all the unimportant things in life, causing me to recognize the things that truly mattered…. Ironically “things” didn’t even make the list. I was actually able to clean out my closets and get rid of those clothes I have been holding onto for 15 years because one day the stars might align and they will once more fit me and come back in style all in the same week.

 As I begin to purge the stuff in my house, I also took stock of the stuff in my character. I realized that I had held on to grudges, bitterness, anger, hurts, and worries, much the way I had held onto my Members Only jacket from Jr. High.  mind-clutter

It was time to let it all go.

When you have one foot in the grave, what this one said about you or that one did to you really doesn’t matter so much.

 With the sweeping away of emotional cobwebs comes clarity. Suddenly it occurred to me how much energy I had wasted being worried about what other people think.

How many times had I not embraced life because I was afraid that someone would say I was too old or too fat or too anything to be participating in something I really wanted to do?

 Losing my hair was a wakeup call for me. I thought everyone would stare, but the truth is, most people don’t take the time to look beyond themselves and really see those around them. It only took a few times of walking through the grocery store bald, to figure out that no one was looking at me.   

bald lori

Mind blowing!

Never again will I forgo an opportunity to swim with my kids or enjoy a gorgeous day at the beach because I am afraid of what people will think of my body. Never again will I allow myself to be shy because I am worried someone won’t like me based on my outward appearance. I also vow to stop avoiding cameras.

I have a ten-year gap in the photo album, where there are no pictures of me. I always made the excuse that I am the one who takes the pictures, so I am never in them.   lori2

 

The truth is that I didn’t want to be in them. We haven’t posed for a family portrait since 2008, because I don’t like the way I look. When I faced my darkest days of cancer, it hit me that if I were to die, my kids wouldn’t have any pictures of me. As they grew older, their memories might grow foggy. They might even be unable to remember their own mother’s face.

 lori donna    I have a picture of my mom and me that she hated because she thought she looked old. When I look at it, I don’t see wrinkles, I just see love. I could continue to be the phony girl with a profile picture on Facebook that was taken in 2004, or I could just say, “Screw it, this is me, love it or hate it I don’t care, I choose to be real.”

 As I look back on this journey, I see that the healing I received wasn’t limited to the physical. I like to think that in my battle with breast cancer, a tumor was removed from more than my body.

 I feel like a cancerous growth has also been removed from my spirit and for that I am grateful for everything that I have gone through. So thank you, cancer. You invaded my body with sights set on my destruction, but you lost!  Broken-Chains

 

Not only were you defeated, but what you meant for bad, in the end made me a happier person. I am not the woman I was a year ago and that suits me just fine.”

gi-letting-go-butterfly11

Will You Go Deeper With God?

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200

If you look for Him, you’ll find Him.

 If you keep looking for Him, you will find him even more…..

 If you don’t stop looking, he’ll invite you in deeper and deeper, fuller and fuller and farther and farther.  There is no end  to the depth of relationship you can have with Him…

 He invites you.

 0006948_abide-with-me_1000Do you notice the welcome sound of His voice?

It sounds like a whisper at first….

 It is a walk through the forest in the dark…all you can see is your feet, but not the path…but knowing He is there.

 We don’t have to know where we’re going, just that Jesus is taking us.

 lantern_forest_by_retrolex

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

Can we go on this wild and crazy adventure with an invisible, yet so very real God?   Do you want to?

 There He is

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_n He stands in front of you
arms open,
ready to hug you,
ready to feel your complete innocence, purity and beauty.

 Will you believe He sees you this way?

Will you by faith receive His deep love?

 jesus-and-me By keeping an eye on the One above our trial, we remember how all things work out under His authority.  How He will never leave us. 

He promises and it is so….

He calls.  
Will you open your heart?  love

It’s another invitation.

Abba waits…

He doesn’t need strong; he loves weary, tired, broken; he can handle it.

Do you see him waiting to rescue and love you every minute? 

309148_275390375904036_1522969089_nIn every weary and heart-wrecking task, God waits to rescue you time and time again. 

Will we accept his invitation?

 He knocks,
in a way where it nags your soul to answer the knock, the calling….

You know you should, but can you? Can you open up?

Surely, it is an invitation, but will you permit it to be so?

Can you trust Him?

 Still, Holy Spirit of our  heart, He is pushing you just a little to step out.

Will you listen or ignore?

Will you forgive or forget and pretend it never happened  this time?

 He wants to finally unclutter your heart of it’s hurt, bitterness, fear, anxiety, the list goes on,  to make room for his fullness.

Will you pretend busy-ness this time, again?

or be free?   It is a choice.  Broken-Chains

 The invitations– they never end for those with eyes to see and those with ears to hear.

 It is a symphony of the most desired harmony of humanity.  Love!

 Yet, if you are busy, you’ll walk right past it.
If you are worried, your mind will not have space to receive it.

For we worry about the things we can’t control. 

If you are distracted, you find anything to do rather than hear his whisper.

It is an invitation for those who want more.  Those who:

 Who call out more.
Who long more.
Who ask more.
Who need more.
Who desire more.  530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n

 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13

 

dixie1  It is a never ending quest to know this wonderful God of ours.   It is not about religion or performance.  It is about you seeking and finding, more than you could ever dream possible.  He will be all that you will ever need.  Everything thing else He brings into your life will be the outflow of His extreme love for you.  If you want to know more contact me through this web page and sign up for coaching.   You will not be sorry.  ♥

Jesus Always Picks the Wrong Guy

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Following Jesus can be a treacherous path of trying to change the world, as we see it,  and running straight into the truth that we are, indeed, the one with the problem.  We need deliverance from:

… our belief that it is up to us to change people.

… our judgmental and legalistic ways.

Think about this:

In the beginning of Luke 19 – the story of the tax-collector Zacchaeus.

(Raise your hand if you just started to sing “Zaccheaus was a wee little man, a wee little man, a wee little man was he!”)

005-zacchaeus  Jesus is in Jericho and a crowd has gathered. The crooked tax collector Zaccheaus was there. He can’t see over the crowd so he climbs up a tree to see Jesus. In the middle of that crowd – which likely would have included more than a fair share of holy or influential or important or preferred or religious people – Jesus heads right for that tree and calls out to that guy – the one who is a social and religious outcast, ridiculously perched up in the branches –  to come on down because Jesus wants to go to that guy’s house for supper.

Huh?   How do I explain that to my religious friends?

I mean, honestly.

Jesus always picks the wrong guy.

Pharisee  Of course, everyone in the crowd gets quite indignant, muttering among themselves about how Jesus is now the guest of a sinner. Not only did the guy betray his religion, Zacchaeus has betrayed his people, his nation, colluding with the powers that be for his own gain and oppressing the very people who were supposed to be his people. 

Or how about the story of the town harlot of Samaria?   The infamous, Woman at the Well”?  (John 4:1-42)  The longest conversation recorded of Jesus and one person was with this woman who had 5 husbands, and was with a guy she wasn’t married too when Jesus approached her. 

womanatthewellbylizlemonswindle  There is our Jesus, sitting by a well…in forbidden Samaria.

Does anyone else see the humor in this story?

The town slut, (or Ho, Hussy, Loose, Sinner, etc. (as she would be called today) approaches Him.

What?

Isn’t she hopeless and an embarrassment? And openly living in sin, (deep breath)!

 Plus, Jesus, as a Jew, was not even supposed to be in Samaria, let alone talk to a woman, for heaven’s sake!!

That woman!!

309148_275390375904036_1522969089_nWe hate that woman!  Don’t we?  We can’t be seen talking to her.

Isn’t that breaking the rules?

Imagine if Jesus was in our world right now in the flesh,  and he heads right over to someone who cooperated with and benefitted from oppression of innocent people, someone who had traded integrity for political power, someone we distrust, someone who we feel is dangerous, someone who stole from people in a socially acceptable and governmentally blessed way, someone who took the very religious or national identity that we cherished and basically stomped all over it for his own gain.    

I can think of a few already, but I won’t mention names.

Ugh. We hate that guy.

   Don’t we?   I mean aren’t we supposed to keep ourselves clean by dissing those who are not living up to our standards as we interpret them?

Would we be murmuring and complaining and wondering about this Teacher who apparently had missed the important parts of the very Law he claims to teach.

Never mind He really came to fulfill the law Himself.

We don’t hang around with people like that, Jesus.  (Insert whine)

Don’t you know? Good people wouldn’t be caught dead with a man like that.

10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_n

Just like we don’t hang around with women who are caught in the act of adultery, or fornication, and….

  • we don’t hang around with Samaritans,

  • we don’t hang around with powerless children,

  • we don’t hang around with women who have a bad reputation,

  • we don’t hang around with beggars or the poor or the oppressed or the criminal or the possessed or the socially marginalized or the ones who aren’t allowed to come to church with the good religious people, never!  homelessman1

Get it together, Jesus.

And, hey, news flash, we certainly don’t go to the personal home of a corrupt politician for a bite to eat or the apartment of the town prostitute for a cup of tea.

But Jesus does it anyway.

Jesus seems not to care about our who-is-in and who-is-out line in the sand. He doesn’t seem to care about what we think about all the wrong folks hanging around with him. 

Jesus came to fulfill the Law but while also revealing the Love behind the Law, and the inadequacy of it, he came to replace the real love of a real God for their people. 

Jesus came because God so loved the world.  After all, as Jesus tells Nicodemus in the book of John, it was because God so loved the world that Jesus came to us.

Jesus came, not to condemn the world but to save the world. 

heart-of-stone…including the guy we would rather see condemned, to be honest.

How can we miss this?

Now take note of this fact:  because of an encounter with Jesus, Zaccheaus turns around gives half of everything away. He is so moved by Jesus, he vows to pay back anyone he has cheated four times the amount he stole.

The Samaritan woman? 

Oh, she just became the first woman evangelist telling the whole town about Jesus.

Extravagant repentance.  

Praying

Wild, reckless love for a man who was like no one they ever met.

They both were not just fulfilling the letter of the Law, they were repenting into the heart of Love Himself.

Looks like the presence of Jesus transforms everyone…even those of us who think we have it all together.

The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. 

Zaccheaus was lost, Jesus sought him out, and in this moment of repentance – which was so much more than just money or position – he’s reoriented to the Kingdom of God.   The woman at the well discovered that her bucket could only be filled with Jesus, not a multitude of lost men. 

Now that is something to get excited about!

Think of the word “today” in that passage. Jesus says “Today I must stay at your house” and then later “Today salvation has come to this house.”

The time is now.

We’d rather another day, another house, another time, another kind of sinner.  Don’t bother us with the now. 

But today is the day for the wrong guy…or the wrong woman.

It’s perhaps telling,  where we see ourselves in that story.

talkingwithjesus Are we the crowd, resentful and muttering because we think THAT PERSON shouldn’t be included because they aren’t righteous enough or holy enough or good enough or acceptable enough or just enough?

Do we have a long list of people we’d probably be pretty mad to see Jesus hanging out with in our world? Do we begrudge seeing Jesus head right to a certain house with a certain person? 

Horror of horrors.

We have our sort of people we want to keep out.

Sure, we’re okay with this kind of sinner being included –but not that kind.

jesus6  But over and over, Jesus picks the wrong person in our eyes.

He even picks you, and me!

Or perhaps we see ourselves more in the one who everyone else wants to keep out.

 “Today, today, today, I’m coming to your house.

And all we can do is receive Jesus with such joy and relief.

And our own sin – everything that damages us and damages our relationship with God and damages our relationships with one another – is over!

We stop putting God into a box of our own self righteous rules and let Him do what He came to do..

…love on all of us and see lives transformed.

dixie1    So we turn everything in our lives upside down and inside out to be with Jesus, to be Him extended to everyone…not just those we think won’t contaminate us.

…to cooperate in making all things right, today.

If you would like to find deeper meaning for your life and God’s perfect plan, Life Purpose Coaching is the way to go.  Hop on over to my web site by clicking on Life Coaching at the top of the page to check out the testimonies of countless others who have experienced life changing freedom through this awesome experience.  Contact me for a free short consult to make a decision today.  This is your day of change.   Find out how to break out of old patterns!!!  

 

Lost Something? 5 Sure Ways to Find It, Using Your Faith!

angels     Many years ago I heard a message about how the angels of God are there to do our bidding.  God didn’t leave us powerless.  

  • Are they not all ministering spirits send forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? (Heirs of Salvation)…Hebrews 11:14

 So, I started to put some things together in my head.  If the angels are there to serve us, God’s own people, through salvation in Jesus, then what is stopping me from calling on their services when I need them?

 

Thinking business woman looking up on speech empty bubble isolat

Can you answer that question?

I began to formulate scriptures to encourage my faith to activate this benefit to those of us who are heirs to the Kingdom of God.   We are all heirs, but not everyone believes that or accepts it.   But if you are an heir to eternity with God then you are a candidate!!

  •  God has revealed to us through the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 2:10
  •  And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27
  • For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest, nor is anything secret except to come to light. Mark 4:22

 screen_shot_2012-09-10_at_10.18.10_am   When you pray the word of God, you activate your faith, for you know you are praying according to His perfect will and you are hearing yourself say it…it is a release of your faith.  His word will always accomplish what He wants to accomplish and will never return to Him without  performing what your faith is releasing.

 So, what prevents us from using this knowledge when we have lost something we need to find.   Even if it’s just our keys?   He cares about every tiny detail of our life.   He WANTS to be involved and to be asked.   We have not because we ask not He tells us in His word. 

8-Examples-of-passive-aggressive-behaviour  These scriptures can also be used to reveal hidden things in a relationship or a person’s life that needs to be uncovered.  

And it works!  As a matter of fact it works so well that I would recommend you NOT pray these scriptures unless you are prepared for what you might find out.   I have shared this truth with some who just thought they wanted to see truth, but when it was revealed to them, they ignored it because they wanted their way and not Gods way. 

 The choice is yours.

 My husband and I use this prayer all the time…even to find our keys that we just had with us.   I can even reveal that at times I KNOW I looked in a certain place a dozen times…then I stopped and prayed, felt this nudge to look again, and there the thing would be that I was looking for.

 I have witnessed rings found in snow drifts, that would have been impossible,  toxic relationships stopped when hidden things came out that were not seen before,  contact lens that were dropped suddenly start sparkling and clearly seen, and lost money reappear.

 My purse was stolen in Wal-Mart one day, right out of the cart when I turned my back.   We raced through the store and locked the doors and the employees checked every bag leaving the store, to no avail.  The Police were summoned and came to me to take a report.  While I waited I prayed this prayer of finding things.   While talking to the Officer he told me that I might as well forget about finding it and cancel all my cards…I did cancel the cards, but believed it would come back to me. 

 

sb_passiveagressive2I asked the officer if he believed in angels.  He said that he did, as a matter of  fact.  I then told him that I believed the angels would bring the purse back to me.    He smiled and said, would you promise me you will call me at the station, (here’s my name), and let me know if this happens.   I said I most certainly would.

I kept praying the prayer to keep my faith out there. 

One week later I got a call from the store.  They had found my purse hanging in the purse section as if for sale.  It had everything in it with nothing missing.  

 Coincidence?   I think not!

 I called the officer that day.  When I told him my purse was found inside the store, hanging out in plain sight, with nothing missing, he started laughing and called out to all his buddies to tell them the story. 

 This prayer is so effective I have shared it with everyone I know and have had wonderful stories returned to me of finding priceless treasures long ago lost.   It is so fun to rejoice with them.

 And to see their faith elevated.

 And the angels smile.1510622_841945859154537_781370328_n

 So, here is the prayer I put together.  Now, this is not a formula, or a religion.  It is simply a Word prayer I put together of the above scriptures I shared with you.   It is a help to get you started in exercising your faith in this area.  You can use it anyway you wish or write your own to pray or just use your memory of the scriptures.  

 I personally have used this prayer for years.   Here it is:

 Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200

Father, I know there is nothing hidden, except to be revealed and there is nothing kept secret except it be make known.   So, I ask you now, in the name of Jesus, that Your Holy Spirit would search diligently, explore and examine every area, and bring every hidden thing into the light (insert here the name of the person or thing).  I ask that You would release the ministering spirits (angels) who are there to do the bidding of the heirs of salvation, of which I am one, to go forth, find, and bring that hidden ____________back to me. (or bring every hidden thing to light with this person).   I trust that wherever it is you will cause me to either remember, or have it materialize to my sight.  I trust You to bring it to me today.  Amen!!

The Miraculous Healing of a Doomed Marriage

relationship difficultiesIn this Episode on “From the Heart of Dixie”,  Jason and Cherie share how God miraculously healed their broken Marriage. You won’t be the same after watching this.
After we stopped filming Jason had something he wanted to add…. here is his statement – ” I wanted to say that prayer is powerful and to pray for your spouse. Even though at the time, no matter what anyone told me, I wouldn’t acknowledge that what I was doing was wrong and the enemy actually, had me believe what I was doing was right. I know for a fact that Cherie’s prayers were heard by God. Cherie’s faithfulness to God was key to our marriage being saved. Cherie did not give up on me and that was because of God’s strength and comfort. So just remember when we have given up on ourselves or given up on our spouses, God never gives up on us.” Jason –
Thank you both Cherie and Jason for sharing your amazing testimony.

 

Pray Like a Drunken Woman!

hannah“Hannah kept wailing even when Eli the priest mistook her for a drunk and questioned her sincerity. She simply set the record straight by telling him, ‘I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief'” (1Samuel 1: 15-16).  

She didn’t care how she looked as she prayed.   God knew her heart…

We know Hannah  for her sorrow… She longed for a son, but couldn’t have children. We know her for her faithfulness. She never gave up hope that God would hear her prayer. We also know her for her sacrifice. She dedicated her baby Samuel to the Lord and left him at the temple to serve God “all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11).

 Hannah is one of the most recognizable women in Scripture for all these reasons. Many of us remember her story for her deep anguish over not being a mother. We all most likely recall her time at the temple, taking her request to God in powerful prayer. And what mom wouldn’t be impacted by Hannah’s bold move – leaving her little blessing at the temple to be raised by Eli the priest?

 hannah2And did you know after God answered her prayer for a child to deliver her from her barrenness, God continued to answer the prayers for Hannah?   She had two more sons and three daughters– while Samuel “grew up in the presence of the Lord” (>1 Samuel 2:21).

Hannah trusted God without doubt or concern. Her reverent fear of the Lord was just one more quality of her godly character.

We have to get serious in our prayer lives. 

We have to determine that we will hang on and not stop believing until we see an answer.

That’s what Hannah did year after year.

She “showed up.”

Praying

Praying

She entered her conversations with God broken, resentful, bitter, unhappy, defeated and moaned like a drunken woman.  She was herself without pretense.

Do you not think God knows our humaness?

But one year Hannah decided to focus on God and His provision instead of dwelling on her unchanging circumstances. Hannah did something that brought her into the inner courtyard of God’s presence: she prayed with determination.

And her relationship with God went from the possible to the personal, from inactive to active, from nominal to phenomenal.

I heard a teaching today about prayer…but not the way we ususally think of prayer…the point was being made that God already knows what we have need of before we even ask.  Ever think of that…and have you ever questioned why, if He already knows, do we need to pray about it?

 I have.  

Because my long journey with the Lord has been a constant pondering about prayer and how to do it.   There are so many types of prayer and where do we start?

 screen_shot_2012-09-10_at_10.18.10_amWhat has really set me free is the fact that I have pressed into a very personal relationship with a very real God through His Son Jesus and the freedom has come in my “just talking to Him”.

Every day…

All day…

About everything.

So, I prefer to call prayer, “talking to Jesus”…It just makes it more personal to me.

 That teacher this morning said we pray to Him to release our own FAITH….

woman-praying-clipart-LcKdoepEiMY FAITH ACTIVATES MY PRAYERS IN HIS PRESENCE.

That is why we ask!

It is acknowledging the fact that you are believing Him for His absolute involvement in your life and your desires, your healings, your journey….

There are many types of ways to pray, or talk to God.

Right now I am studying about Warfare.

warrior angel 2We know we don’t fight flesh and blood, but principalities and wickedness in high places.   We are seated in the heavenly realm in the spirit to adequately combat the enemy and all his forces of hell that want to defeat us on every level.   But we have the power that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelling on the inside of us.   We have the power to fight off those wicked spirits and be victorious.

Having been beaten down and disappointed, do you find it hard to boldly and specifically ask God for something in prayer?

I know I do.

But here Hannah was, at the lowest point in her life, offering up a request that she had probably thought a thousand times. The Bible says we don’t receive because we don’t ask. Don’t give up on asking for what you most desire. And do it believing that God gives good gifts to those who ask because He does, and He is a rewarder of all who seek Him.

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n (1)Let’s not linger at the gate of God’s presence, going through the motions of worshipping God and yet holding sadness and bitterness in our hearts.

Let’s count ourselves as ones who have been brushed by His greatness and honored to have the profound privilege of talking to God on every level and make our requests known.  

Let’s rejoice that He gave His power to us to combat the evil one dwelling on this earth.  And we can do that well.   It just takes determination! 

jesus6He did NOT leave us here powerless and defeated.  But as His children, we are equipped to walk within His Kingdom in the here and now.

2 Steps to Ponder When Our “Picture” Cuts Us Off From Reality

Thinking business woman looking up on speech empty bubble isolated on white background

I have always created pictures in my mind of the outcomes I want to see that weren’t what was really happening.   I created pictures of my situations in life in my mind that were not reality and I lived that way off and on until only just recently.    I thought I had a handle on it, but still found residue of this ability I had so carefully constructed in so many areas.  

The mind is a powerful thing, and is the source of all our battles with the enemy.

How many of you know that God heals us and corrects us in layers?  

Like pealing an onion…one layer at a time.  We can’t handle it all at once.

 

1 Corinthians 13: in the message says:

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

  I wrote about my ability to create my own reality in my first book,

51u5NRnNcGL “Climbing Out of the Box.”   (Which you can find on Amazon)  

It started when I was a victim of incest as a child and I learned to remove myself from what was happening and would create a happy and safe environment to dwell in that wasn’t reality.   I was forever being disappointed when my picture didn’t line up with what was really happening.   It was a way to cope.   As an adult it is an easy and tempting thing to slip back into and I have to be on my guard most of the time.   But I am a grown up now, not the child victim.  

 The problem comes when we convince ourselves that we need a certain outcome — and that it has to happen on our  timeline, in the way we’ve pictured it.

 sb_passiveagressive2When we try to control outcomes, and make them fit our pictures, we cut ourselves off from the loving protection of God  and let fear begin to rule our thoughts.

Fortunately, in any given moment you have a choice to change.

 

You can choose to reconnect with the reality of overcoming our circumstances instead of living in a false reality,  thus enabling the enemy to continue to cause us pain in lives.

 mind-clutterHere are some  steps to follow to remind yourself of your  powerful connection with Jesus so that you may begin to walk in the power to overcome that He has provided for you.

Step 1:

Be determined to see your circumstances with God’s eyes.  Ask Him for His eyes to see clearly…not what you have created for yourself to see. eye

What are you saying, out loud or to yourself, that’s disconnecting you from your power?  

thumb_colourbox1908348Identify your story. 

Once you’ve identified your real story, take a moment to get real about how it makes you feel. Recognize the way your words and beliefs block the manifestation of what you are praying about to begin to occur in your life..

What is the number one negative story that you have on repeat in your brain, and how does it make you feel?

Your honesty is what will open  the door for you to remember and accept the power of God to change your circumstances or enable you to accept the place you are at in this part of your season.

Once you’ve identified your story, immediately say out loud: “I am more than an conqueror in all of my circumstances”    You, my friend are a child of the King of Kings.

You have to let go of your fear.  1209389_575103479218871_301732771_n

 Step 2:

Turn it over to the Lord of your heart, Jesus,  and be patient.

Talk to Him with certainty and thank Him for giving you a clear picture of your life and a clear picture of what He wants to accomplish in you.  Be patient within His fruit of patience.

 Try not to control your picture, but let Him create a new picture for you.   Your sign from Him will be crystal clear if you’re going in the right direction.  He will show you His will for you right now.   And remember that if it’s not clear, it is time to trust Him and be patient and learn what waiting on Him really means.

 There may be some personal fears you need to clear up, or perhaps faith you need to strengthen, before you can get it.

 When you try to control an outcome or even a time frame, you cut off your ability to be patient for the outcomes and disconnect from all the infinite possibilities that could occur.

 potter-pottery-art-handicraft-indiaSurrender to the Lord  and remember that nothing can take away your true power that is yours in Christ and His love and peace within you.  Let Him mold you into who He has created you to become.

 What would happen if you chose to be thankful and content in the place you are in right now?   

 Or if you are in a really trying, and grief filled place right now, asking Him to strengthen and hold you up while you navigate the waters of pain?    He promises to surround you with Himself every minute of the day.   And nothing ever stays the same.   You can endure until change comes within His strength.

 But you have to invite this to happen..

 or you could ignore it….

or forget that it is yours….and walk in defeat and fear.

 

brokenchainsIt is all a choice on your part. 

 

We Have to Put the Basket With the Baby in the Water

copy-of-a-mothers-sacrifice-johebed-mirium-and-mosesI used to agonize over how my children and grandchildren would turn out.  When I saw them making poor choices I would try to ‘fix it’ for them so they wouldn’t experience the pain I knew was sure to come. 

When they were little it was easier to do this and be in complete control of what their choices were…but as they got older and became their own person I began to realize I was losing that control, and fear would grip me.  

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300As a parent you learn with each new year in the upbringing of your children that each year you have to let go a little more if you want them to learn how to grow up and make good choices.  From the time that baby takes his first step he is always moving away from you.  Oh, at first they toddle into your arms, but soon they start toddling off to explore on their own.

And the years accumulate…and one day you have grandchildren.   As a grandparent you feel a whole new set of worries and even more the lack of control as  your offspring grows and develops. 

The cycle goes on and one.

All throughout my children’s lives I prayed Psalm 91 over them and it brought me great peace for His constant intervention in their lives. 

That because “ they  dwell in the secret place of the Most High they shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty Whose power no foe can withstand.” 

And I would pray the whole 91st Psalm through with their names right in there.

I also prayed Isaiah 54:13

jesus and boyAnd all my children shall be disciples, taught by the Lord and obedient to His will, and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of my children.”

Now, my adult children have learned the value of praying the words of God’s own protection over their own families.

One day as I was praying for my grand kids and trying to not worry about their lives that I had less control over, Jesus spoke to me.

This is what He said:

“Dixie, did you not pray my word over your children all the years they were growing up?”

“Yes, Lord, you know I did.”

Do you think my word returns to me void?  That it just fades away,  or does it accomplish the very thing you have prayed in the lives of your children ?”

“I believed and have witnessed your word at work in them always, and I know they love you and are protected by you..so the answer is YES!”

“Do you believe your grandchildren are your children too?  And are They a part of you?”

Starting to get it now, I said, “Why, yes they are!”   Then He said,

That same word that you prayed for so many years for your babies, now covers your grand babies as well…my word never stops and always accomplishes what I sent it out to do.  Your faithfulness to pray will cover your generation and generations to come will know me because of your prayers.”

Light Dawning!!   Wow!

So, here is what He showed me.

 

Baby-Moses-EBack in the time of Moses, Pharaoh felt threatened by the Israelites and ordered all the midwives to kill any baby boys born to the Israelite people by drowning them in the Nile River. 

But Moses’ mother wouldn’t have it.  She hid him as long as she could, and when she could no longer hide him, she put him in a basket and put the basket in the water among the reeds of the Nile. 

The very river that could have drowned him was now his refuge. 

She had no idea what would happen to her baby, but she trusted the plan of God for her and her baby. 

As we know, baby Moses was drawn out of the water and would one day grow to become one of the greatest heroes of the Bible – the one who would rescue God’s people from slavery and lead them to the Promised Land.

There comes a time – many times, actually – in the lives of our children where we have to put the basket in the water.  Being a Mom, and a Nana I have had to do this many times and not without much pain. 

Gosh, it is so hard to let go of them, isn’t it?

We have to let go and trust the plan of the Father.  The world is a scary place – a place where we fear our children could drown.  But we must remember that we have to let go so that God can draw them from the waters for His great purpose.  He has called us to be their parents, but they were His first. 

My friend, “whatever water you may be getting ready to put your basket into – whether your days as a stay-at-home-mom are ending as your child starts preschool soon or if your baby has grown into a high school graduate and is getting ready to leave your home, or if your children are grown and have babies of their own – remember that you have to put them in the water for God to draw them out and place them into His perfect plan.”

father-and-son-4-300x200
Though you might not be physically present with your child as much during the next phase of life, you can always call for  the heart of the Father on their behalf.  And when you do this, that same Spirit that Jesus left with His disciples – that same Helper – intercedes for you, and in that you can find peace. And it doesn’t stop when they are grown.   He will continue to cover them and intercede for them and their children as life goes on.  

You are doing great.  Find His peace in the fact that He will sustain you and your offspring for always.   Your prayers are NEVER wasted!!

angel

Job well done, friend.

Italics drawn from: https://bridgechristian.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/putting-the-basket-in-the-water-trusting-god-in-the-next-phase-of-your-childs-life/   for more on the subject

 

“God Told Me You Had a Gun”…..Lisa’s Story

praying-womanRecently, my ladies bible study group has been discussing the many aspects and types of prayer available for us to pray.  I really prefer the words, “talking to Jesus”, over prayer.  It becomes so much more personal to me when I think of prayers being a continuous conversation with Jesus every day.  It enhances my intimacy with Him and my awareness of just how interested He is in every part of my life.  And it isn’t just me speaking all the time…..He gets to talk too!  And most of the time, I write down what He says, and go back and read His words from time to time as a reminder.

We are never more anxious to receive from God than He is willing to provide.  Let’s quit acting like we are bothering God!  Beth Moore said, “Prayer is accepting a royal summons to the throne room of the king for breakfast with your dad.  He says, Come here child, I’ve got something to give you today.   And it’s just what you needed and sought and you are so relieved.”    gods glory

We don’t know what the direction will be but we know our father will give it.

When you have this kind of prayer intimacy with God, you will learn to recognize when He is wanting your attention and wants to teach you new avenues of prayer, such as warfare against a very real enemy.

So, I am going to tell you of my experience with “Lisa” a number of years back that I find amazing still, even today.   I have written of this experience before in my blogging, but I have even more revelation to it now and am still just as amazed.

 This is the story:

For weeks every time I grew contemplative or was talking to Jesus,  a picture of a hand gun would materialize in my mind.  If I was walking by a television and a program was on where a gun was being shot, I would jump as if I was the one being shot at.  A picture of a gun on a billboard would seem to be pointed right at me.  gun shop

 

The eerie feeling just wouldn’t go away.  

 At first I thought my imagination was working overtime but somehow I knew this was a puzzle I obviously was missing a piece to. I began to live every day in expectancy of finding out what this gun consciousness was about.

At the time I was leading a weekly women’s bible study and doing some lay Christian counseling as a result of reaching out to the community with my bible study. 

His gentle Spirit was teaching me how to totally rely on Him during these times for I felt so insignificant in the enormity of so many problems that women and men face.  I never wanted to do anything without His help and in my own reasoning’s as I felt inadequate within myself.  I felt it was imperative that I set “me” aside and listen to what the Holy Spirit would say in how to handle each one. 

Sometimes, I would be perplexed at what He would have me say to a woman and even more amazed when I would see her set free in areas of her life to move forward.

One particular woman, whom I will call Lisa, was a real challenge.  I learned many things as I counseled with Lisa on a weekly basis.  This middle-aged-woman had many problems and desired the Lord’s healing and direction for her life.  I would just listen to her many issues and offer support and pray for her.  Sometimes I would simply counsel her in the many challenges she faced in her sad life.

The counseling went on for many months with Lisa.  Then the visions of the gun began.  As I prayed and asked God about it I started feeling that the gun issue was somehow connected to Lisa.   

I couldn’t help but start to get nervous when she would come to our meetings carrying a backpack, wondering if the gun was in her backpack and she was going to go crazy and shoot me.   I listened to her intently in our private meetings to see if there would be a mention of guns but there never was. gun

I thought about the gun almost continuously for at least 3 months while I spent time with this woman. The feeling really began to shake my faith and I wondered if I was being warned by God to stay away from Lisa.   I noticed every gun shop in any place, in any town, and it seemed like they were on every corner, though that wasn’t the case.    

I continued to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what this meant.

One night I had a dream that someone was in my front yard with a gun and it was night.  Lisa pulled up in a car and got out and this unknown person shot her and she fell dead on the lawn.  I was horrified but went to her and began to pray earnestly. 

To my amazement she was raised from the dead.  Needless to say, I prayed all the more for Lisa after this dream and wondered where all this would lead. Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200

Counseling her became a strain on me and I had to fight fear as this revelation became more pronounced.  I has this sense of  awareness and just “knew” that Lisa owned a gun and as I saw her growing more despondent I gave way to much prayer on her behalf (and, truth be told, mine too!)

Then one evening the most astounding revelation happened.  I was teaching at my bible study and was quite tired as the staff took over with passing an offering basket to pay for overhead costs of the study.    I sat on the stairs in front of the group of ladies preparing myself to pray for those who would come after the meeting was dismissed. 

As the offering basket was being passed I looked up just as I saw Lisa drop something into the basket that wasn’t money but something else, but I could not tell what it was.  After the meeting was all over and most of the other women had left Lisa walked over and sat beside me on the steps.

“Did you see what I dropped into the offering basket?” she asked.  I told her I had seen her drop something but didn’t know what it was.  She got up and went over to the offering and took the mysterious object out, walked over to me, took my hand in hers, and dropped a bullet into it. man-holding-bullets-hand-two-30433144

I just sat and stared at it with my mouth hanging open.

“This is your bullet isn’t it?” I whispered.

“Yes, it is for my gun,” she replied.

“God told me you had a gun,” I told her.

“I know” she said with resignation.

Lisa then began to tell me her story.  The reason she brought the bullet and gave it as an offering was because of something that had happened the previous Thursday night.

She had felt totally despondent.  She had taken her revolver, and the one bullet she kept for it,  into the closet with plans of taking her life. standing-bullet-1138905_960_720

She said as she sat on the floor of the closet she lifted the gun to her head and pulled the trigger.

It would not go off.  She tried for half an hour to get the gun to discharge the bullet, but, mysteriously, it would not. 

She then broke down and cried and Jesus spoke to her heart, revealing that the ladies of the bible study were praying and the prayers had broken the bonds of death that had a deep grip on her.  

She literally could not kill herself because of the power of God and the power of obedient women to pray.  God’s overwhelming love then flooded her as she sat in the closet and broke and wept before the Lord for hours. 

She declared her life was totally turned around at that moment.

women prayingAs I thought back to that  same Thursday night, I remembered that was the night I had met with our staff to pray for the ladies of the study and I was again overwhelmed with the image of Lisa and a gun.  We all then began to pray in earnest for Lisa, especially, and someone even mentioned a spirit of death over her.   

I remembered feeling a relief as we prayed that night and believed that whatever it was with the gun and Lisa, it was taken care of in the spirit that very night.  The gun awareness seemed to vanish.

I realized when I spoke with Lisa that while we were praying for her, it was the same night and at the same time that she was in the closet trying to pull the trigger. 

I have often wondered if we had not prayed what would have happened to Lisa.

I think back to this time often and use it in teaching obedience when we feel the urgings of God to seek His face on another’s behalf. 

And how to wait and trust when He is revealing something we need to see as we are praying.

I have been talking to Jesus for 45 years now, and I am still learning so much more about the many facets of communicating and obedience in the spirit realm of communication with God!

Do we ever stop learning?  I think not.

As His children He wants to teach us true Kingdom living.  He wants us to know how much He wants to use us, move through us, love through us, and reach others through our obedience and transparencies. 

woman-571715_640In our obedience to live in Him and obey when He impresses us to move on what He shows us, we can witness mighty things happen in the here and now.

When the Chains Fall Off…Then What?

Broken-ChainsJennifer, (not her real name), came to me for coaching… a broken person, chained to a very unhealthy relationship, unable to break free; trying to make peace with her abusive childhood and years of abuse to follow–in a place she thought she would never be free of, and miserable inside.   

I discerned right away her servant’s heart and her desire to reach out to others that were hurting or needing to know that someone cares.  

You see, God used her past to equip Jennifer to have a heart of not only empathy, but true compassion towards a very broken world, and He led her to seek deliverance from her past.   Her loyalty, dedication, and obedience were so evident for all to see.

378095_526317080764178_826390852_n-3After a few months of coaching,  Jennifer found the courage to walk out of her pain, break all ties with a very controlling and consuming relationship that was toxic to her, and begin her process of healing.  She saw her value in the Kingdom of God and became eager to get on with it.  It was amazing to watch!

Her potential was evident from the beginning and to get to witness her freedom break forth first hand is a privilege I never grow tired of. 

What a joy to watch this woman of such faith and heart truly share the real essence of Jesus wherever she goes.   This week I received the following message from her that I share with her permission.  When asked if she minded if I shared her journey with thousands,  this was her response: 

Well,  to me it is important to keep you posted since YOU had such a big part in my healing process. I wouldn’t  be where I am at this point if it wasn’t for all those sessions. And yes, I’m proud of what I’m able to work on at this point and am happy to let you share with others.  It’s those stories that help the lost ones to see there is a light if they just open their hearts and mind to it!”

 

So here is her report.  For the record this was written while she was recovering from a knee replacement and eager to get on with her business in the “ministry.”

jesus and me“Good morning, thought about you when I was making my weekly to do list.

I wanted to share all the serving opportunities that came my way the last couple of months!

I’m waiting on my first assignment from Hospice and Mary and I are involved in a couple of special events at the church. We’ll be part of an Easter egg hunt at our church as well, and we are helping to feed the homeless at a shelter in the city. This is a great time for the two of us to spend some time together! 

I’m also helping at the food basket and hope we get a chance to feed the homeless here with a hot meal if I can get enough interest. As soon as I can I’m going to check with the Chamber to see what is available and find out if there are others in the community who want help.

I had a lot of time to pray for guidance and different opportunities just presented themselves, all in His timing I’m sure!

Thank you again for helping me out of my hurt and confusion, I’m happy to be part of the world around me!   I forgot the most exciting part cause the dog started digging out of the yard while I was E-mailing you… A few days ago one of my friends from the old church put a request on her Face book page. She started a ministry to go visit and pray with women in jail at the prison nearby.   Well I guess they also write them and I signed up to be a pen pal for a young lady who just accepted Jesus as her savior! The girls got me some stationary a while back and now I can put it to good use!”

Jennifer is finding her completeness in just stepping out and praying for Jesus to allow her to see the opportunities and she grabs them up.  

praying-womanThe opportunities are endless, friends!   The more the world seems to be going crazy the more the church needs to get free of the strongholds that bind them and start looking for those opportunities to be His arms extended!!

What a privilege to  help others  know the love of the Father.  Someone said people who are loved well, love well. And you can help those around you right now in whatever life you’re already in.

 Most true ministry is performed person-to-person in our spare time among friends, family, work contacts or people we know. I believe it is best if we don’t try to make it vocational and try to create the opportunity for ourselves…true ministry is not where you have to quit your day job or leave your kids and husband to go out to a mission field…(though some may be called there). But most true ministry is right where you have been planted.

254865_440342676028286_2145415378_n I’ve known many people who grow unsettled in their jobs or their motherhood and think that it is God leading them into “full time” ministry.  Away from the ministry field of their family standing right in front of them.  This, though, is often laced with a personal need to find fulfillment and feel significant in his kingdom.  And they sometimes DO quit their job and jump into a ministry and then struggle financially trying to figure out a way to do it and pay the bills.

Some people will try to raise support from their friends, or create some kind of product to sell to others, hoping it will finance their dreams. It rarely does. Instead of serving others, they will spend significant time getting others to serve their vision.

A friend once said, “Sharing the life of his kingdom is a way of living first, not a vocation.”

When the opportunity is there, so will the resources be.

What is on your heart today to do for the Kingdom?   Pray for the Lord to open doors for you and then pray you will be alert and willing when He does.   Don’t think He won’t answer.  He is looking for those  he can use in a lost and dying world.  If YOU are broken then find the ministry from someone you trust to help you heal first.  Start your journey today!

If my friend Jennifer can do the work it takes to find her healing and be so thrilled to serve when she has spent so many years suffering and holding her head above water, then you and I can do it too.   He is not a respecter of persons!!

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n (1)Be encouraged, my friend.  Jesus is not done with you yet!

The Empty Jelly Jar and the Little Girl

empty-jar-jam-like-blood-spoon-45563171

The following story was sent to me recently by a client I am coaching.   I use it with her permission…it was too good not to share!

 

”I felt like having toast.  I love toast.

I don’t eat it often- ok I don’t eat it as often as I would like. 

As a middle aged woman, toast is not my friend; however I find comfort in a warm crunchy slice of bread.  This morning is no exception and my desire for toast is magnified by the cold, dark, rainy day today.  Seriously,  it is pouring out. 

I love rainy days,  especially if I can stay inside with my thoughts and of course my toast.

jelly-toastAs my toast is cooking and my mind is all over the place; Fridays tend to put me in a hopeful, dreadful mood. Hopeful that Steve and I will have quality time together even amongst the household chores;  

and dreadful because one day of every weekend “HAS” to be spent with her, you know,  the egg donor person.

I don’t think my brain has got over the Friday thing yet,  but in time I pray the dread will leave and only hope will float (sorry I had to do it).

I went to the fridge to get my favorite Jelly.   I don’t use butter anymore.  I have learned that my beloved toast tastes just as good with just jelly.

The jar I selected was almost empty, I really had to work to get enough for two slices of toast and the funny thing is,  as I was scraping my jar a thought so strong and powerful hit me and made me want to tell you this story.

weeds n jelly jar
Have your children ever picked you wild flowers (I am sure they have) sometimes,  and  it is really just weeds… but they run in to give them to you –so full of love that those little weed flowers appear to be the highest quality florists flowers. 

Usually the stems are short with roots and dirt attached from being yanked out of the ground.

As good Moms we want to display the flowers for all to see and for ourselves as the sweetest reminder we are loved and worthy moms. 

Finding a container for such a short stem can be difficult,  hence the Jelly Jar.  As I was cleaning out the magical fruit inside my jar this morning it hit me so hard; 

I never gave my Mother flowers for a jelly jar.  She wasn’t a Mommy and would have seen them as nothing but weeds and most likely would have had me throw them out.

 It hurt.

picking-flowers-391610_960_720It made me sad, and honestly I saw myself visually like a movie– as a little girl standing in a field with my hand full of wild flowers, roots, dirt and all- lost because I had no one to give my flowers to. 

As I write this I am feeling so sad for that little girl I want to run,  not walk,  out to the field to grab her, hug her and put her flowers in my empty jelly jar.

Is this part of healing? 

These glimpses of what I did not have?  I know we are supposed to look at what we do have and be grateful and,  trust me,  I am grateful.  I was 18  with a baby,  followed by rent,  a car payment,  a job, and a husband  and I had to struggle… and still do, and I am grateful for so much.

Yet,  I feel as if I need to see what I didn’t have with clarity, real clarity…

Not the excuses that have been made… or excuses I have made to cover so much dysfunction and loss.

I don’t think I see not having (money or things) as a very big deal as long as we can have a roof and toast.  I am cool,  haha- seriously I am not a big thing person. 

I am far too emotional and I need relationships… especially ones I can click with in my empathic way,  (gift? still struggling with that).

 I just want someone to give my flowers to for their Jelly Jar. For me it really is as simple as that.  I don’t know why at my age these losses have been more active in my heart and mind.   I look forward to your help in figuring this out.

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200I do think I need to mourn a whole bunch and not for the loss of a Mother,  but for the loss of the little girl, if that makes sense?

I really feel when I can say good bye to the little girl and let her be free,  the mother will dissolve.  My gosh that sounds crazy!

…but I am writing it because it is exactly what I am thinking.  I think I might have been mourning the wrong person all along.  I have always thought if I felt sorry for the little girl I was selfish,  but right this second I don’t feel that at all.  

I think I will go wash out my Jelly Jar and as soon as the rain stops go find some wild flowers for it from the little girl.

Gosh…I am crying and as usual it feels so sad.

But I have had some weird break through this morning.

It’s not my loss of a mother it’s the loss of ME,

217842_397562620306292_898119185_n… a me who was never allowed to be.”

 

Is there anyone out there that relates to this story like my client has?  This is what I felt Jesus saying after I read this.

This is soul wearying.

Because you may have been hurt,— by words that wound you still — that made you regret that you ever opened up.

Words that made you feel even smaller than how you’re already feeling…words that never felt important to those you loved.

Words that make you feel pressured to get over what you can’t get over.

Words that make you feel more alone, standing on the outside of where you want to be: belonging, loved and understood.

It’s then, in that realization, at that moment, you and I chance upon a glimpse into our soul.

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300To the little girl inside us who is broken, feeling cast off and lonely.

Jesus has a way of slipping in his love notes, to reach that wounded child within us….even in empty jelly jars.

Do you feel the  still, quiet whisper of Jesus speaking to the child in you?

There is a place here and now that Jesus has been preparing for us that has  been wounded.

That place is your soul, where Jesus has been doing deep, healing work — because you are valuable.

There is a place in this world for you and, in fact, a wonderful plan, just for you… and there always was…it was just so covered up by pain.

Because Jesus understands us.

Because He loves us as we are.

So go pick those flowers today and allow that inner child to blossom forth in healing and restoration.  Realize that He is always more than enough to fill every vacant and aching place within you with the wonderful essence of Himself.

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:36-39

What is an Illusion? And My Chirping Bird….

bird 2The chirping came from directly above my head.  I was in the dining room working on a bible study and there he was, loudly chirping happily from my attic.   I thought it odd that he was in my attic and figured he would find his way out eventually.  He stayed in that one place for a while but eventually he moved to different places in the attic…over my bedroom, the living room, and then kind of landed in my office.  He was so loud that my granddaughter and I spent some time looking for him thinking that he had somehow gotten into the house.  

Then we realized his chirping was coming from the heater vent in my office.  He knew where I was.  I started considering him my pet.   I would worry how he would find his way out and how he was finding food .  

My husband even decided one day to get a ladder and go into the attic and find him to shoo him out, but I wouldn’t let him.  Because I kind of liked hearing his chirping.  It made me happy.  I figured he was eating bugs in the attic.

stock-illustration-18468144-bird-singingOver the time of a few months he became a familiar friend that made me smile when he let his presence known.  

Then we discovered we had termites.   We had to have the house tented and fumigated.   I was so sad that my pet bird may die.   I expressed my dismay to close friends and family and they all sympathized with me.  

And I prayed.

I prayed that Jesus would somehow help my friend survive the onslaught of poison that was about to transcend his home in the attic. 

We had to leave the house for a couple of days and when we returned I waited to see if I would hear his poor little feeble chirping once again, as I knew he would be at least sick from the poison. 

And then I heard him!   He made it through and there he was again, in my office, chirping away. 

And I thanked God.

Such a small thing.

One night as I was showing the ladies of my bible study a You Tube video on a used computer book that had been gifted to us from a friend, the bird chirped.

BirdI was so excited and I said to the ladies,  “Hear my little bird?   He has been living in my attic and even survived the tenting.”

They were looking at me with that “deer in the head lights look”.   I said, “What?”….they said, “you are kidding right?”   I said, “No, he really is up there…listen!”

At that point they literally fell out of their chairs laughing.  Especially when I told them about praying for him.   They then gently told me my little chirping bird was coming from the computer that had been given to us…someone had programmed it to chirp when there were updates.

Stunned!

I was in shock and embarrassed,

and somehow sad…

like I had lost a friend…

sadand when my husband took it out of the computer, I had to say good bye to my friend.  

I was disillusioned.

The moral of this true story?

When you are disillusioned with life it is because you have been living in an illusion.   You created your own scenario and wanted to believe it, even though many times you already know in your spirit it is not real. 

Oswald Chambers said in his book, “My Utmost for His Highest”, 

” Disillusionment means having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions. However, though no longer deceived, our experience of disillusionment may actually leave us cynical and overly critical in our judgment of others. But the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts, seeing each other as we really are; we are only true to our misconceived ideas of one another. According to our thinking, everything is either delightful and good, or it is evil, malicious, and cowardly.”

“Illusions are a false way of looking  at whatever  mindset we are in.”

Disillusionment means a loss of false belief.

sb_passiveagressive2To be disillusioned is to be disappointed by destroyed illusions.

Illusions are untrue ideas and beliefs that we acquire along the way. 

My bird was an illusion.  

But on a more serious note, my unreal expectations, or illusion,  that people will never fail me will undoubtedly lead to my disillusionment.

The more illusions we can be rid of along the way  the better.  It is sometimes so hard to have our illusions challenged, that we prefer not to grow any further, and to keep our illusions intact.

We don’t want to accept that people are not perfect.  We don’t want to believe that the world is so opposed to God.   We think we will never know doubt, sadness, or any kind of lack.   If that were so how would we ever  have the fruit of His spirit developed in us and strength of character?

These  illusions can rob us of the fruit which the Holy Spirit wishes to produce in our lives.

Illusions are a false way of seeing things.  Revelation is the true way to allow God to reveal truth to us.

Unhappy-PersonChoosing to live in an illusion is the same as choosing to live in denial. 

If you are DIS-illusioned right now it is because you were living in an illusion over something in your life.

Denial will lead you around Mt. Sinai a few times, until you accept truth.mt sinai

When He Whispers My Name

jesus-womanGod longs for you to know that He is more than enough in your troubled times.   He desires you to rest and fully embrace that where you are is exactly where God plans for you to be. 

Even in situations like you have never faced before.

It  has taken me so long to be able to write again.   I was frozen in time it seemed–for the last  3 months of 2015.   But the last 2 weeks I could feel it rising up within me again and now I think I can verbalize somewhat of what I have learned in the very hard and trying year of 2015.

I have learned that when I feel like my faith has been shaken to the core that I become~

~stunned and “shell shocked”…

sharksThat it’s a tumultuous venture, this walking by faith. At one time or another, you encounter the completely unexpected followed by the unthinkable.

 

And when it happens, the impact of it brings you to your knees, able to utter only one desperate word – “Why?”

It’s an intense battle when you’re that overwhelmed. First there’s shock and anger, then comes denial, 

 “This can’t be what my loving Jesus has planned for me – not me, not His beloved child.”

 thumb_COLOURBOX1908348You wonder why God doesn’t see that you need a different outcome. Perhaps if you just go slow and lay out the alternatives for Him – each and every one of them – you’ll help Him figure out how to reverse what’s been put in motion… 

But…..

 He whispers my name~~and I feel His presence~~and it is more than enough.

  • When I finally realized that our steady income from investigations was gone for good due to California laws, and if we were to survive in life it would be a miracle…..

He whispered my name…akiane-kramarik-jesus-painting

…and said that I was to take no thought for tomorrow for He would sustain us as a mother sustains her babies life by giving it sustenance from her own body.   He would be our life giving force.  From that day forward we watch daily as He brings in the finances we need from various sources.   He never fails and I have found I can just rest in it and not have to be hyper-vigilant and afraid that maybe today it won’t happen. 

Philippians 4:13 Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

  • When my precious daughter had a ruptured appendix and I stood over her bed, helpless, watching her in agony as a result of poor medical care, and fear wanted to grip my heart and squeeze the life out of it;

fear

He whispered my name…

..as I stood there over her bed I felt His hand on my shoulder and his voice in my ear saying, “Dixie, I have this, she will be okay.”

I John 3:22 We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.

  • When the horror and shock and fear came when my ‘adopted’ son was in a freak accident, while intoxicated, that took someone’s life ….the father of my grand kids…and I had to tell my babies that their daddy was going to prison. 

  • As I sit in the court room weeks on end gripped by anxiety, unable to breathe– and watched the judge, moved with compassion for a lone veteran gripped with PTSD, miraculously lessen his sentence…  I felt Jesus in the fire with me and with him…and I knew God had a plan.


mary-w-jesus-2He whispered my name….

His plan has unfolded, in the midst of the pain,  in opening huge doors of prison ministry for my adopted son and has brought healing to him in areas that was never able to be reached…but in the midst of the deep valley He has found a very real Jesus.

426__550x413_jesus-and-peter-walking_on_waterI Corinthians 9:8 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.

  • When my father, (who molested me for years) on his death bed, told me he could not forgive ME for exposing  “our” secret to my mother and that I ruined HIS life…and Mom’s life, before she died.   Realizing there would be no closure with my abuser before he left this earth– when my picture was always of his saying how sorry he was for his crime against me and my little girl.  There I was, sitting in his hospital room, with, strangely, no one around, next to his bed, while he told me he could not forgive ME


Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200Jesus whispered my name
~~ I felt Him in the chair beside me and felt His breath tickle my ear as He whispered, “Dixie, I’m right here and I am not going anywhere.  Just lean into me.”    I knew I could endure the pain and shock of it all.  It was the last conversation I had with Dad. Jesus’ presence got me through the funeral of confusion and distress at being so removed from all feeling,  just numbness,  as my husband performed the ceremony.  

Matthew 21:22,23  But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.

  • When I read my parents trust sent to me after my dad’s death, and realized that in 2006, my mother and my father stated that they, in full disclosure, and with full knowledge did NOT want their daughter, Dixie, to have one thing that belonged to them; I felt the ultimate abandonment and full force of their anger towards me for stopping my father from molesting again after he molested my daughter.   I was the black sheep of their family and was pretty much hit with it on their deaths.   I had to admit to myself, finally, that I didn’t want their “things” but what I had wanted was their love, and would never find it here on earth.

487580_424694517593102_1292768395_n (1)He whispered my name~~ “Dixie, you have a new name that I have given you.  I will be both mother and father to you. I take the sting away of their earthly rejection. This is the end of years of torment for you and though you didn’t hear what you needed to hear from them, you will hear it from me and I am more than enough for you.”

Ephesians 3:20,21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

And you know what, HE IS more than enough.  Better.  No comparison.

God wants you to know that He is so much bigger than all the desperate and tragic situations in this life. He wants you to know He is always with you and for you.

His blessing isn’t found in what He gives or takes away. You find it as you abide in Him. 

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n (1)Ask Him to align your heart with His. Believe His Word. Trust Him. 

Count it all joy.

In my journal to Him, He speaks to me too…in one recent one Jesus said to me,

“Don’t count on what you feel but continue to allow me to fill you where you are lacking and believe Me when I say, I know what you lack, and I am more than enough for you…..I am doing a work you cannot see!”

 

Embrace Him as your absolute EVERYTHING.

 

He is, indeed, all you’ll ever need.

 

He whispers your name~~

“Come Away With Me, My Beloved”

jesus-and-me

“I know everything about you, Dixie.  I know what you have need of.  Sometimes there is a battle going on over you that you sense but cannot see.  You are a danger to your enemy.  You are strong in me and he doesn’t like it.  My warriors are very busy on your behalf.  Always remember, I Am never too late.  My timing is always perfect, even if you can’t see why you had to wait.  I love you.”  ♥ Jesus

It’s really hot on the central coast of California right now.  I really don’t like the heat and I don’t do well in it.   Contemplating keeping cool, I am reminded about the day my husband and I decided to go walking on a well known, beautiful beach path that we often frequent.    It was warm when we decided to go but since it was by a beach we figured it would be bearable.  About 3 miles into the hike we were walking in a stretch of sun that was beating on us unrelentlessly, and the temperature was climbing to almost 100.  We both were so hot and could find no shade or relief.  

I said we needed to pray that God would send angels to rescue us somehow.   I really think Greg was just pacifying me but he agreed to pray with me to ask the Lord to send an angel to rescue us.    After all, the bible does say His angels are there for us who are heirs of salvation.

Isn’t that us…aren’t we the heirs?  

Do we think to ask for their bidding?

So, there we were, sweating and trudging, thanking God for an angel to fly us out of there.

Man_Driving_a_Golf_Cart_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_090521-024124-050042And then it happened!  We heard a sound behind us and turned around and there was a golf cart with a guy driving.  He pulled up beside us and said, “You two look like you could use a ride.  Hop in.”   We jumped on back with much relief and he then drove us right up to our car a few miles away.  

Now we could have said, “No thank you, we are waiting for an angel!”    But no, we both knew this guy was the angel sent by God and we told him so.  He chuckled and drove off. angels

There is always refreshing at the end of our suffering.  No matter how long or what kind of suffering there is…. that refreshing comes from Him alone, in whatever form He wants to use.  We cannot box God in.

At times the presence  of the resurrected Jesus penetrates the usual walls, and the One whom “no one has seen or can see.” is, for a moment,  felt, in the most unexpected ways. (1Tim 6:16)  The conditions can dramatically differ.  No location or mood assures it.  No worship center, event, group or speaker always has it.  There is no formula.  God’s tangible presence can be sought but it can’t be planned or harnessed into our preconceived notions…because it is not of man.

We can’t poke the Holy Spirit into a box, either…the word tells us that;  Pentecost_by_purple_whirlpool

  Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it will go next, so it is with the Spirit. We do not know on whom he will next bestow this life from heaven.” John 3:8 NLT

Did you ever read how He fell on all those folks on the day of Pentecost? 

“As the believers met together that day,  suddenly there was a sound like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them and it filled the house where they were meeting.  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on their heads. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in languages they didn’t know, for the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Acts 2 Amp

 

Well, they were pretty swept away weren’t they?  Why can’t we be?  Because we don’t expect it.  Start expecting!!

Wild, isn’t it?   Something God is doing around us– is happening to us.   This is not something mystical.  This is something spiritual. 

Let’s not get so paranoid of the mystical that we shut ourselves off from biblical spirituality.  God can do what He wants.  He never works contrary to His word, but He can never be boxed in either.   We think we have Him figured out.

We don’t.

jesus1He is exciting, extravagant, humorous, and oozing love.

Because love is who He is.

My point is that God is ready to show Himself mighty on our behalf at any given moment.  But we must live in a sense of expectancy that He will show up supernaturally when He wills it….and even in those times where everything seems mundane and we haven’t heard from Him for a while, He will honor your faith in continuing to keep on expecting.  

You will not be disappointed.

One day, I was feeling Him pulling me away to Himself.  It was the most delicious feeling ever.    We had an appointment to meet and I couldn’t wait.  I don’t feel like that all the time.  I wish I did.  But I don’t.  But this day I did.  My husband was leaving on a hunting trip, it was raining, and I couldn’t wait to head to my special place by the window to just talk to Jesus. 

Me: ” I feel the call to come away with you my Beloved Savior.  As my thankful spirit begins to rest in You, I can feel your pull, the relentless pull to sneak away with You….to reunite with You in this way; to draw close to Your bosom; like the Lover you are–my blessed Redeemer, Lover, Friend, Confidant, Comforter, Encourager, and Guide.  Lord, I can’t imagine what you have for me now.”

 545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1When I finally got there–where He was waiting–I was immersed immediately in a love and presence I can’t describe.  I couldn’t talk.  I could only sit there in the soaking presence of Jesus.  When I finally could talk all I could do was praise Him and worship Him in all of His perfectness.  I wish I could describe this supernatural experience better.  It is like the highest high ever…nothing can compare to Him immersing you into Himself.

Jesus says:  “Oh Dixie, I have plans for you.  Hold on to my presence, for I am here.  Don’t trust your emotions–let go of what you think you want and let me give you what I know you want… what I want.  Let me show you what it is.  Let me love you and give you a different perspective and outlook.  I have so much more for you.   You see into my Kingdom much of the time–You feel my heart and you love like I do, (most of the time, smile).  Until I bring you into my arms for our first dance, in person, face to face, I shall dance this faith dance with you on earth and you shall see the remnants of my presence that far exceeds anything you ever thought of.  Enjoy Me.  I am here.  I hold you and I perform on your behalf because you know how to call on Me.  I love you, Dixie.

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nMe:  “I respond to the call of my Groom today.  I dance with you Lord in the spirit…..and I find peace in Your presence.”

Remember, Jesus is not a respecter of persons….but He does respond delightfully and extravagantly to those who are willing to press into this kind of relationship with Him. 

I urge you to take that step of faith today!

Feeling Undone in His Presence

loveHave you ever been so overcome with the intimate love of Jesus that you feel totally undone?  

Over the past many months, through some great emotional trials, I have leaned into Him… like in a wine press.  

And you know what?   He actually became my strength.   The hardest  times in our lives are the very  times He most reveals Himself. 

 Have you noticed that?  wine-29741_640

Well, I guess we do know it is because when all is going well we really don’t lean into Him quite as much as when we are desperate for relief.

I am just talking to you today from my heart.  

Every issue you may deal with in life, if you would only allow Him into it, you will find extreme comfort, growth, and an intimacy with Him that will stay with you forever…why?  Because once you experience it you won’t want to lose it. 

Nothing compares to it..nothing!

Recently, I was very anxious about something that I had to do and the outcome for someone I love.   I fervently sought Jesus for His peace to flood me.   I was relentless to find His presence in the midst of my fear.   I pressed into Him and would not stop.  I figure if he says His strength is found in my weakness then I needed to believe it and literally not stop until I felt it.

Because I was sure weak!

jesus-womanAnd right when I needed calm most, it happened.   It felt so foreign in the face of what was happening.  I slept like a baby in His arms.   I had no doubt He was right there.

Then, He started talking because I was so in the realm of listening to Him.   He speaks to us all the time, by the way, but we aren’t listening; or we explain away what we hear, not believing that God is actually speaking to us.

Every night I pray before sleep taking authority over the enemy bringing in evil or fear into my mind and dreams…I, with the authority He gives us, post sentries (angels) over my unconscious mind while sleeping, to not allow anything in that isn’t from God.  It works every night.  

mary-w-jesus-2While in this trial, however, as I went to pray, before the words were out,  I clearly heard Him say to me;

“Yes, Dixie, I have already posted My sentries over your mind tonight and no evil or fear shall overtake you.”

Well, now that was different….He knew my prayer and already answered it before I asked and spoke it back to me!   How awesome is that?

“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!”  Isaiah 65:24 NLT

This was one time I wasn’t doing all the talking…I shut up and listened. 

He then began speaking to me about the present situation and told me that He was actively involved in the outcome and that , “He had this.”  Every single time I started to fear and take the anxiety back, I clearly heard Him say to me,

I have this, Dixie”……or  “Take a breath, Dixie”  “Lean into me Dixie.”…..  all day that day, His words were constant in my spirit.

It took everything in my will power to stay focused on Him alone when everything around me looked like it was crashing and I knew, that once again my faith was being tested with emotional pain like I seldom experience, and I found that He was more than enough.

Going back several years ago when my life came crashing down around me and it seemed all was lost and I thought my life was over….I even thought my relationship with Jesus took a hit that might never come back…even in that darkness and agony, I found Him there. 

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300Or I should say– He found me there.

And He said, “Nothing will separate me from you, Dixie.  My love for you and my faithfulness to you will become the most important thing in your life, even when all else fails.”

And there He was, ready to lead me into a world unknown to me then, but I found it was just the beginning of a new season of my life with Him….before I taught about Him…now I really know Him–intimately.

When our hearts long for Him alone,

When our souls thirst for Him,

When the yearning inside of you moves you towards Him,

…and you know that He knows the secrets of your heart and nothing is hidden from Him,

and He sees deep inside of you and every part is revealed,

And still He chooses to cherish you,

His love will dissolve you…

and you will feel undone in His presence.545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1

Do you desire this kind of relationship?   Believe me, if I can find Him in these places, then so can you.   Would love to hear from you about your walk into His secret place……….

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38 NLT

The Merry-Go-Round of Codependent Relationships

 

11_06_13_web
“In the park we step on this bright shiny red merry-go-round. Everyone is happy and ready for a lot of love, fun and a great future.”     

 But then something happens.  A pattern has emerged.  There seems to be something very binding about your relationship.  You feel like you are in prison and you can’t get out.

 Codependency is living the myth that you can make yourself happy by trying to control people and events outside yourself.  A sense of control or lack of control is central to everything you do and think.

 Psalms 139:14 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are unique.  You have dignity and worth.  As you grow in this knowledge you will no longer need to use your codependent behavior to make you feel alive and worthwhile.  You WILL recover………

 There has been a lot of confusion on what real love is.  On the surface, codependency sounds like “Christian teaching.”

  • Codependents always put each other first before taking care of themselves. (Aren’t Christians to put others first?)

  • Codependents give themselves away. (Shouldn’t Christians do the same?)

  • Codependents martyr themselves. (Christianity honors its martyrs.)

But true codependents aren’t really healthy,  giving people.   They learn to get their validity from other people rather than from Jesus!  And they hinder those people they try to “fix” in their lives and their walk with God. 

 It is actually the opposite of God’s love!

 Broken-ChainsIn its broadest sense, codependency can be defined as an addiction to people, behaviors, or things. Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control inner feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside. To the codependent, control or the lack of it is central to every aspect of life.  

Then Denial, Delusion, Justification, Rationalizations,

Reverse Projection… emerge…these are all signs and symptoms of a co-dependent and addicted personality…”

 Jesus taught the value of the individual.

 He said we are to love others equal to ourselves, not more than ourselves. In fact, it is the 2nd commandment after loving God with all your heart, mind, and body.

  The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”Mark 12:31

love

The love of self forms the basis for loving others in the truest sense of the word.

 The differences between a life of service to others and codependency take several forms. Motivation differs.

  • Do you give your service freely or because you consider yourself to be of no value?

  • Do you seek to “please people?”

  • Do you act out of guilt or fear?

  • Do you act out a need to be needed (which means you actually use the other person to meet your own needs)?

 In their book, “Love is a Choice”, Drs. Hemfelt, Minirth & Meir” state that “Codependency can be defined as an addiction to people, behaviors, or things. Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside. To the codependent, control, or the lack of it, is central to every aspect of life. When it comes to people, the codependent has become so elaborately enmeshed in the other person that the sense of self— personal identity — is severely restricted, crowded out by that other person’s identity and problems.”

 I see signs of codependency in many clients who come to me with relationship problems…they are worn out and exhausted and feel trapped in a relationship that makes them feel totally controlled.

The Lord has shown me that when we can’t put up our personal boundaries and we continue to rescue people by rushing in when they have a need and become their Savior, we are actually not only deceiving ourselves, but we allow the other person to make YOU their Jesus instead of them learning to turn to God to meet their needs.   

talkingwithjesus That’s a big order to fill.   Can you do what Jesus can do for them?

  In fact, we enable them to continue on with their neediness in our lives and drain us of our energy-while we take the place of Jesus….and they never get their needs met.

 There will always be another episode of control if someone doesn’t get off of the Merry Go Round and say “enough of this.”

Merry_go_round When no one gets off,  the Merry Go Round spins faster and faster until it is out of control.  When the  crisis is over then everyone is remorseful and say their sorry until the next ride.  And it begins again.

 When the addicted person continues the same behavior over and over again expecting a different ending, and we make threats or promises that we don’t keep… it is insanity.

 Someone has to keep their promise and follow through in order to stop the Merry Go Round.  

 This is not about confrontation, this is about stopping the cycle.

 You are aware that you do this but you have gotten away with it for so long that you have developed a false power.  In the midst of your pain.

 Do you see these tendencies in yourself?  Or in someone who is reaching out to you?

 Have you asked  God to bring this into the light so you can deal with it or help someone else?

 You know as well as I that it is never easy to expose darkness.

But if you want freedom again, you have to get off the Merry-Go-Round once and for all.

 So, from a believer’s standpoint here are some truths that might help you.  freedom

 If you will take this issue to Jesus, you will find that:

  • We have worth simply because we were created by God.

  • Our self-worth is not based on the work we do or the service we perform–but on what Jesus so freely gives us.

  • Our service is to be an active choice. You can learn to “act” rather than “react.”

  • Our faith shows how to live a balanced living and how to take care of ourselves.

  • As you seek His wisdom you will learn to choose balanced behavior rather than addictive behavior and to allow others to be in charge of their own lives

  • You can learn how to set and hold healthy boundaries and to set limits for yourself, not allowing others to compromise those boundaries.

  • You can actually learn to help others in appropriate ways, by allowing others to act independently, rather than making others dependent on you.

  • You can  learn to be God-directed and free from compulsiveness, knowing that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, brings the ultimate results.

 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Gal 5:1

 (If this blog has left you feeling like you need help with codependency tendencies  in your life, you might want to consider Life Coaching!  Contact me through my home page.)

 

Can You Consider It Pure Joy?

your plan When I posted this picture on face  book a few days ago it so resonated  with my soul–my life has been so like  this illustration and I know yours has  too….the more I thought about it  however, the more I kept asking  myself if I, indeed, can consider my  life pure joy.   Or have I been caught up in looking at the depth of pain and the depth of trials and sometimes pure craziness in my life, and thought, “Why the heck me, Lord.”  Have I not sown into your Kingdom?   When is my time coming? 

Yes, I am really being transparent here. 

“Haven’t I served you all my life?  Why so much suffering.  Starting from my childhood of abuse and ending up here, years later….still struggling for a reprieve.”

Woe is me. 

Don’t we just get so wrapped up in ourselves sometimes?

de-windstoot-the-gustI like what Michelle Perry says:   “Storms are invitations to dance  with Jesus. When you get high  enough above the squall, even the  most turbulent storm has beauty.  And every storm has lessons.”  Michelle Perry!

 The scripture is actually in James  1:2-4:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The answer is yes, I have, at times,  been caught up in feeling sorry for myself at times and even justifying my right to do so.

We have these preconceived notions in our heads as to how our lives will be, and when it doesn’t fit our pictures we feel frustrated and defeated.  Have we ever considered that the Lord has a different plan for us than what we thought?

freedom Maybe the very trials we are in now  are what is training us for the  journey right into His plan for us in  the next season……

“And let us not lose heart and grow  weary and faint in acting  nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Galatians 6:9

Jesus tells us over and over in this life we will face many adversities and trials and temptations.

We cannot get through this life without Jesus, friends.  I don’t know how people who have no trust in Him do it.  Do they just give way to fear?  

Yes, I think so.

Without our faith in Jesus to guide, protect, and rescue us…without Him to rush to in times of pain and grief….without knowing His extreme love for us, who do we turn to?

And what about this scenario?  When it looks like everyone around you is being blessed and seeing the fulfillment of God’s blessings in their lives and yet, you are still struggling and nothing is happening.  What do you do with that.  Well, in Psalm 37: 1-11 it says:

Do not trouble yourself because of sinful men. Do not want to be like those who do wrong. For they will soon dry up like the grass. Like the green plant they will soon die. Trust in the Lord, and do good. So you will live in the land and will be fed. Be happy in the Lord. And He will give you the desires of your heart. Give your way over to the Lord. Trust in Him also. And He will do it. He will make your being right and good show as the light, and your wise actions as the noon day.

woman-praying-clipart-LcKdoepEiSo, we hold on and bear up under the pressures of life and make a choice to put on perseverance…which is a fruit of the Spirit that He freely gives us when we ask for it.

We WILL reap what we have sown if we don’t give up!

And look at this as Psalm 37 continues:

Rest in the Lord and be willing to wait for Him. Do not trouble yourself when all goes well with the one who carries out his sinful plans. Stop being angry. Turn away from fighting. Do not trouble yourself. It leads only to wrong-doing. For those who do wrong will be cut off. But those who wait for the Lord will be given the earth. 10 A little while, and the sinful man will be no more. You will look for his place, and he will not be there. 11 But those who have no pride will be given the earth. And they will be happy and have much more than they need.”

 Do we believe this?  This is why we have to be diligent in His word and in talking to Him. 

It boils down to a choice.  Not a feeling!

I choose to believe that in due season I will reap if I faint not…

I can feel it in my very bones.  How about you? 

Are you ready to give up? 

 Hebrews 12:2 in the Message says it this way: “ Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!10997005_10206299093105369_4155483824397253812_n

Confronting the Elephant in the Room

elephant in the room Because I am an advocate that  stands up for those who have  been victims of childhood  abuse and….

 Because I am a healed  survivor of my own past of  childhood abuse….

I once again feel the need to speak up on behalf of that group of people that even the church tries to shush up…because the disclosure is so uncomfortable for them…so it is easier to sweep it under the rug and pretend we don’t know these things are happening every day.

When are we going to start confronting the elephant in the room that most will ignore and pretend it is not there?

Silencing victims by saying that this shouldn’t be talked about, or should remain within families, says to a victim that this is something to be ashamed of.

 That they are in fact damaged goods.

woman-praying-clipart-LcKdoepEi When these crimes are called out and discussed in a public forum, the offender alone should bear both the responsibility and the shame. These matters need to be discussed not only for prevention, but also for healing.

 Victims need to be heard. They need to be believed. They need to know that what happened was not their fault. We bear witness to their suffering when we give them a voice.

 The only way we can ever hope to stop abuse is if we are willing to talk about it and admit that it happens.  We need to allow them to speak out!  To be transparent without fear of reprisal or shame or embarrassment. We also need to acknowledge that the Christian community is not exempt from this horror.   But it is not something that is often spoke about or expose within the church gatherings.

 I believe this will change.

 As Ann Voscamp so adequately puts it, “Because People of the Church are to be those who stand up so safe places open up, who lead by always going lower, who expose and confront abuse everywhere they find it, so the hope of the Gospel can be of use anywhere it goes.

Because People of the Cross are to be witnesses for the suffering, and responders to the victims, and testifiers of Truth, no matter the cost, no matter the risk, because Christ is The Truth — and where there isn’t Truth, there isn’t Christ. Why ever hide or cover-up the Truth?”

And to those still walking in their victimhood:

10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_n Our wounds from childhood  abuse bring messages with  them…they have a common  theme of “your worthless, you  have no value, you are a  flawed person, no one will  love you, you are ugly” ….

 And when those wounds were delivered to you with such pain, they felt true. 

They pierced your heart. 

So, you accepted the message as fact.  You embraced the worthless verdict on yourself. 

The vows of silence we made as children act like a deep seated agreement with the messages of our wounds.  Because it was all about survival.   There was nothing else that could penetrate that agreement with our pain.  The vows we made acted like a kind of covenant with the messages that came with our deep wounds. 

light and darkness And it is a deep hole of darkness.

 We know that the word tells us where 2 or 3  agree on a matter it shall be done.  This can  work in the negative as well.  When we, as  victims of our past, set ourselves in agreement  with the enemy that there is something wrong  with us, we begin to live in exactly that place.

Those childhood vows are very dangerous things.  They change the course of our life.  

We have to renounce the messages as lies ….it is the way to unlock the door to Jesus.  Agreements lock the door from the inside.  Renouncing the agreements unlocks the door to Him….

birdcage to Jesus…

 He will move into those  heavily veiled places within  our soul and be there with us  in that place of pain and  abuse…..and deliver us and  heal us from the past.  I don’t know how He does it.  But I can attest to the fact that He does.

Because he did for me!  

(If you want to read my story of being a child victim of incest, you can find my memoir “Climbing Out of the Box.” on Amazon.) 

To you precious abuse survivors reading this:

Never forget that there is hope for healing. Although life after trauma is messy and working through the pain is difficult, it is absolutely worth the fight.

May you rest in the hope of a God who cradles his wounded children in his arms as his own body is wracked with tears for the suffering you have endured.

And He will heal you to the point that the past will not affect your future.

38477_137112636323023_6691527_n He will feed His flock like a shepherd:  He will gather the lambs in His arms,  He will carry them in His bosom and  will gently lead those that have their  young. Is. 40:11

 Jesus I give myself to you.  I give my  life to you.  I surrender me…totally  and completely.   Forgive all my  hurtful ways.  Forgive my self-  protecting ways and all of my chasing after other comforters.  Come and be my savior, healer, my love……

(If you are a survivor of childhood abuse and haven’t worked through the steps to healing please contact me for coaching on my home page above or leave a comment here.)

Burn-Out…How to Let Go of What’s Not Coming Back

Burnout

 Have you ever suffered from  burn out?    I have and when I  was in the middle of it I didn’t  know what was going  on…until I talked with a friend,  who happens to be a  therapist, and she said it sounded like I was suffering burn-out.  

 I felt like everything was the same as always, but, in actuality I had been experiencing major blows of loss, emotionally, in my personal life….family, and disappointments and lack…that just kept happening with no end in sight. 

 And still is, actually.

 And when this happens we know that we don’t fight flesh and blood but evil wickedness in high places.  But knowing is not enough.  We still feel exhausted and weak.    One after another I felt like my walls of strength were being beat upon by an enemy who is trying to beat me down to the point of just not caring anymore.  

thumb_colourbox1908348 It seemed like everyone else was  experiencing  changes, good  changes, in their lives.  To me,  watching them, I felt as if life was  moving for them  and for me it  stands still. 

 And will it ever change?

 Your head says one thing and your  heart knows better, but you just feel
tired and kind of don’t care anymore.  Even though I know we are on a journey and being at this place is only preparing me for good things ahead it still “feels” tiring.

So, have you been there?  Or are you there right now?

 You just want to go to bed.   Or just zone out in a book.  (which can be good depending on what you are reading.)images (1)

 Here are the 4 things I have found that  is really helping me with this struggle  and I think they may help you too:

  1.  We can’t always control what happens  to us, but we can always control how  we choose to respond. It really goes  back to the choice doesn’t it?

 In those moments when I choose to stop complaining and instead give thanks to God for the good in my life, the parts that seem bad start to seem much less significant. Choose to keep a positive attitude and thankful heart regardless of what you’re going through.   Just keep standing and waiting.

2

 “Rejoice always, pray  continually,  give thanks in all  circumstances;  for this is  God’s will for you in  Christ  Jesus.” 

 

 

Remember that your struggles always lead to strength and faith.  Every difficulty in your life, whether big or small, is something God will use to produce more strength, faith and perseverance in you if you let Him! All your pain has a purpose.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

  1. Remember that God’s timing is always perfect.

 God’s plans are almost always different from our plans, but His plans are always perfect! Have the patience to wait on His timing instead of forcing your own.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

  1. Remember that God will never leave your side.

 You may feel like you’re going through this struggle all alone, but from the moment you invite Jesus into your day and your particular situation, He will be by your side to the end so never lose hope!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave  you nor forsake you.”Deuteronomy 31:6 545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1

 I  have had some hard things to let go of  over the last several years. Of course,  embedded within us when the enemy  tries to destroy us, where thorns and  thistles prosper, we earthlings will always  have those things nearby to remind us  that this place in no permanent home. We  long for a better country.

 I believe in God’s faithfulness in raising to life what is dead.   I have seen it and I have experienced it.   Then I remembered the life giving force of Jesus, alive and well in the lives of all those I reach out to in coaching….

…and I thought how sometimes we have to accept what has died or refused to come to life or produce a whit of fruit… 

…and we have to let it go. burned-tree-iran

 Instead of staring at it for months on end as a  monument to our loss, we sometimes need to cut  it down, pile it up, move it out or let it burn.

 Because often God chooses to resurrect something that has died.

 But other times He wants us to call it what it is – dead – and let it go, knowing that He is good. He cannot fail to be good.

 That’s what Jesus said He does with what, over the proof of time, does not remain. It is “thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up.” (John 15:6)

 He “takes away every branch that does not bear fruit” and He “prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit.” (John 15:2)

He’s all about the fruit.

 That doesn’t mean you forget. Some things are too big to forget.   But I’m learning to quit begging him to bring back to life those things He wants me to let go of.

 Trying to resuscitate what’s not coming back to life just leaves you out of breath.

 God will not leave us comfortless. He will not leave us alone. He will not leave us fruitless. He will either resurrect the dead or grow something brand new.  tree

 I say this to you with deep compassion and empathy if you have experienced burn out from so many things changing or are just plain  gone….

..if it is gone, let it go.

 And I know with all my heart and all my faith that something new is coming. Both for you and for me.  Nothing stays the same forever. 

We are on a journey and sometimes we have to descend into the valley before we get to the mountain.

I need to give myself space to feel what I feel. And you will surely – as surely as God is faithful and Jesus is the fleshing out of life itself – live to see something you couldn’t have expected. Something hanging on could never have given you.

We’re here too brief a time on earth to spend days on end grieving what could have been. We’ll talk to Jesus about that when we get Home. We’ll have forever then. For now…

Let it go.

So something new can grow.

Water it with your tears if you must but release your fears that nothing but nothingness is ahead for you. Is God your God? As sure as He is, new life is coming.

All the deadness did not manage to kill you.

You are stronger than you thought. Stretch out your arms like mighty branches even if, for now, they’re little twigs.

tree2 It is to your Father’s glory that you  bear much fruit.

When All Hell Breaks Loose Against You

warrior angel 2  The room was very dark as the movie played on a huge screen right in front of my face.  I had never watched the Lord of the Rings series, and since my ankle hurt that day,  I decided to ride the bike in the gym’s movie room instead of the treadmill in another area of the gym.   

I fumbled in the dark and felt my way to just the right bike for me and because I couldn’t see, just coming out of the bright light, finally was able to punch in the right speed and time for my ride.

I had come in right in the middle of the movie but thought it would give me a good idea of whether I would like it or not and serve to hold my attention while I pumped out the miles.

Unfortunately for me I came in right when these humongous, ravenous demon wolf-type things, with what could only be demons themselves on their backs, were attacking the good army and demolishing them with their ravenous, canine teeth that were bloody and black. 

77805_304318676348257_2011093051_o1-1-  The scene went on and on until I thought that I just wasn’t listening to God by picking this room for my exercise routine that day. 

I was dodging and ducking as these demons jumped into the camera with bloody drool dripping.  As I sat there peddling, I couldn’t help but be thinking I had to get out of there.

I needed peace–not whatever this was.

But in the midst of this horror and my attempt to leave the room, God spoke to me.

Ever have that happen?   In the most unlikely place that you would expect, He speaks.

One time he spoke to me in a bar bathroom (I was there for a talent show my friend took me too, in case you’re wondering if I hang out at bars),  and I was shocked at the time….but that is another story.

Dixie, look!”

“I am looking, Lord.  I don’t like it.”

“Look at the warriors in the good army.”

81aa11c0a2c58d757d107cfd4c302d81   So, I watched like He told me to do.

The warriors fought with everything in them.  Every time one good guy was attacked by a demon wolf, (I am sure this dark army had a name but it escaped me), he fought back and with great warfare and managed to kill a great number of them.   But more would come and render some of the slower guys to pieces.  It seems though, that the more the good guys fought the more they were attacked by the demons of hell itself. 

In the end the good guys won and the demons were dead…to only return at a later time in the movie.  I knew Jesus wanted me to see something about my own life in this illustration He was showing me.

Dixie, isn’t this what you have been experiencing in your life recently?”

I began to see what He was showing me.  First of all, He was reassuring me that He knew exactly what I was experiencing and was with me on the journey, but was teaching me more about extreme spiritual warfare.

  Starting about 6 months ago, all hell has broke loose within my personal life and those I love.  Just as one thing was fought through and seemingly won, another thing would happen that would literally shock and sweep me off my spiritual feet.   

I have literally felt each time like giving up on all that I do.  And it seems those wolves are still coming, and the more I battle in the spirit the more they come. 

They want to steal my life. 

They want to make me feel like a failure. 

They want to render me helpless and defeated. 

Just as those good guys in the movie used their weapons of warfare I am more determined to use mine.  I don’t fight by my own power or I would surely die.    The weapons of my warfare are not carnal but are mighty before God for the pulling down of the enemies  strongholds that would seek to envelope me and tear me to pieces.

spiritual-warfare  For the weapons of our warfare    are not physical [weapons of flesh  and blood], but they are mighty  before God for the  overthrow and destruction of  strongholds 2 Cor. 10:4 

 At some point those wolves will get it…they will see they cannot defeat me because I may look “defeatable” but behind me stand mighty warriors of the most high God and they have to get through them first.

In myself I am weak and no different than any of you.   But it is in my weakness HE is made strong. 

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”  2 Cor. 12:9-11

So, I watched the scene in the Lord of the Rings until the battle played out…and the good guys were plum worn out but were able to ride off, alive, and the enemy was defeated, with carcasses of demons strewn over the mountainside.

jesus and me   “You will win this battle, Dixie, because you have learned your strength lies in me.”

Boy, I wish He would tell me how long it’s going to last and when I can see His total deliverance from this time of attack..but isn’t  that what it is all about?

 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Eph 6:10-18

 It is learning to always be on our guard and decked out in our armor so that we find our true joy and deliverance in Him for always?

I will stand strong in Him!Jesus

An Intimate Encounter with Jesus…The Most Transforming Experience of Human Existence.

mary-w-jesus-2   I was driving along a country road one day with a heavy spirit.  It seemed hard for me to articulate to the Lord what I was feeling.  You know those days when you just want to say to Him,

“Lord just hear my heart.”

I began to sing to Him what I was feeling and I kept singing this chorus over and over….

 “Lord, do You see me? Do you hear my heart?”

From the depths of my pain.

After about 30 minutes of singing to the Lord I felt the urge to sing new words.  So, I just yielded myself to it.

 To my amazement I began to sing His words back to my own spirit, right there in the car. 

Yes, that is correct.  He began to sing to me through my own voice. Yet, to me it was directly from Him.  It is hard to explain but definitely a supernatural experience. 

He sang back to me,

“My child,  I see you. Dixie, my child I love you.  I will never leave you. I will perform and deliver.  You will see.”   

I can’t even describe how penetrating His love became to me as His words were delivered to my spirit.

I felt buoyed up and exhilarated, full of joy and hope, and overcome with a love that saturated my very being from the inside to out.

 screen_shot_2012-09-10_at_10.18.10_am  He is our Bridegroom with desire for us and who pursues us relentlessly.

He is our King with power, and He gives us the power to love as He loves.  Imagine it!  We cannot love the unlovely without His anointing to see them through His eyes.  He sees the heart.  In our own power, we cannot.

Did you know He pursues us far more than we pursue Him.   Yet we still struggle with making the time to meet Him.   I don’t know how many times I have known He is sitting at my place of pondering, prayer, and meditation, waiting for me, and yet, I find a hundred other things I must do first.   The whole day passes and I have put Him off again.  

I pray my days of walking past Him grow less and less as I continue to realize that my strength to walk with Him and to fight the battles of my warfare only come from Him and Him alone.

No area of Jesus’ supremacy and power and authority is expressed or experienced more than when His love is manifest in us.   It fills us to capacity and changes us from the inside out!

woman-571715_640  Jesus Himself announced that God loves us in the way that God the Father loves God the Son. The Father feels the same intensity of love for us that He feels for Jesus.

Wrap your mind around that fact!

The God of the universe longs for relationship with you.   He wants to walk and talk with you as He did with Adam and Eve when He created them.  

That is so hard to imagine in our finite minds, but true none the less.

The ultimate statement about our worth and value is that Jesus has the same measure of love and  affection towards us that His Father has towards Him.

It gives us all the right to view ourselves as “God’s favorite”.

This is a gold mine of truth that deserves our focused attention continuously.

 At the last supper, Jesus emphasized this truth to His disciples just before their failures in denying Him.

 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love…These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (Jn. 15:9-11)

Did you realize He said this to the disciples while already knowing they would fail Him?  His love for me and you does not depend on how ‘good’ we are….anymore than your love for your child changes when they are not ‘good’ kids.  He loves you because you are His child.   And you have accepted Jesus which means your unrighteousness has been exchanged for the righteousness of Jesus and He sees you as His precious child.

How do we find this place of divine love and stay there?

  1. Abide:

Stay focused on God’s love.  By abiding, beholding Him, and living in this truth, we position ourselves to experience it more.  Don’t  be distracted from this truth.

Go deep in it…… Surrender to it without resisting or negotiating with God about it.

 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us. (1 Jn. 3:1)

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord… (Jude 21)

  1. Joy:

When we experience Jesus’ love for us, it changes how we feel.  Feeling God’s affection for us exhilarates our hearts with joy—a deep sense of well-being.

Jesus is telling us where satisfaction and emotional transformation are best found.

The revelation of God’s love for us gives us confidence before God, even in our weakness.

It reveals to us our value and dignity in God’s eyes…

Empowers us to walk in deep partnership with Jesus….

It gives our lives relevance in knowing that we are loved, not based on how we perform, but because we belong to Him.

Such love overwhelms me, how about you?

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n   The Bridegroom’s message is about Jesus’ emotions for us, His beauty, His commitments to us,

….to share His heart, home, throne, secrets, and beauty.

An intimate encounter with Jesus is the most transforming experience of human existence.

Jesus is not the religious guy in white robe and sandals that you are afraid to approach or be yourself with.

But He is the Jesus who gave us oceans and rivers, beauty and laughter, sunlight and love……His penetrating love that will transform you.

There are millions who try to relate to Jesus but experience him only occasionally, rarely knowing the joy of hearing his voice, feeling his presence, receiving his powerful, healing love.

We need Jesus, Himself. And you can have Him.

Really.

You can experience Jesus, intimately.

You were meant to.

IMG_1413   You can know the comfort of his actual presence, hear his voice speaking to you, receive healing of your brokenness.

You can live as he did.

 

The King is Enthralled by Your Beauty…My Cinderella Story

 

cinderella_2015_movie_hd_wallpaper_desktop_a8sy2Today I want to address women. 

Men, don’t stop reading because I think you can learn something from this story when it comes to us women, so read on if you dare.

Sometime between the dreams of our feminine youth and yesterday, a treasure has been lost it seems in so many of us, if not all.  And that treasure is our hearts, and how we were created to be.  God has set within us a femininity that is powerful, tender, and alluring.   

ella_and_the_prince_in_cinderella-wallpapers (1)I think every woman secretly longs for that Prince to come riding in to rescue her from the woes of life.  In unveiling the mysteries of a woman’s soul, I find that we were all created to long to be desired.  We all long for romance and intimacy.  He created us that way.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  

It’s just that we have gone to great lengths to satisfy that longing in all the wrong ways.

The longings God has written deep in our hearts actually reveal to us the life He wants us to live.  For so many of us, those desires have gone unmet and long neglected.  Many of us live in fantasy worlds of addictions and men to try to fill that unmet need for escape into being valued and desired.  We try to numb the aches in our hearts.  But our hearts are still there crying out to be set free and to find the life we desire.  

Jesus is the only One who can fulfill our deepest need and longings whether we are married or single.

Last week, my granddaughter Savanna and I experienced a disappointment together when we traveled to a place that we had planned to go, and found we could not continue with our plans due to extenuating circumstances.  As we left to return home, we both began to share our love for Jesus with each other and decided instead of being sad our plans were thwarted, that we would go see Cinderella instead.  

What a plan, right?

Then as we arrived, we challenged each other to see the story in a different light.  We would watch it with the idea that Jesus was the Prince in Cinderella’s story and she would be us.  And the wicked stepmother and the 2 evil step-daughters would be Satan and his evil spirits trying their best to convince Cinderella she was not beautiful, desirable, or loved…but instead a worthless woman who would never amount to anything.  

Hmmmm…how many women really, deep down, feel that way?

Do you long for your own Cinderella story?

Who doesn’t long to rise from her humble past, discover the best in herself, and be appreciated by a true, lasting love.

Yet, her own efforts to fill the yearning often ends in tatters.  And no man can rescue her.

The Cinderella fairy tale provides a powerful allegory for women’s deepest hopes and dreams and the God who longs to fill them.  For all of us who have wrestled with disillusionment, abandonment, our own limitations, and the lies that whisper we’re not beautiful, there is someone who longs for us the same way we long for Him…and if we learn to follow his lead every promise He’s ever made proves true.

Cinderella was a beautiful woman with great potential, but she was bound by an environment and wickedness coming against her, and that constantly put her down and tried to reduce her to nothing! 

One day the Prince knocked on her door.

il_fullxfull.522314485_19nlWe know about the Ball, the Prince and her Slipper.  The Prince never forgot her; she was unique.  He did not give up his search until he found her.   

There are a lot of women today living like Cinderella, bound to situations, living in insecurities and addictions that are robbing them of their peace and joy.

Maybe you have met the Prince of Peace, but you have fallen into emotional bondage or other traps of the enemy.

There is HOPE!

akiane-kramarik-jesus-paintingJesus, the Prince of Peace, knows where you are and how long you have been there.  His desire for you is that you walk in the freedom of His presence and provision and an intimacy with Him that has no end.

I believe that women today are waiting for something external to come along and transform their lives.  We may venture into the world, travel, go to college, or make money.  But underneath it all lurks a wish to be saved, a deep yearning for dependence on a rescuer.  These largely repressed attitudes, I believe, are holding women down because they don’t yet know we already have a Prince standing before us…waiting for us to take His hand.

There are so many parallels in the story of the Prince seeking her out with fervor.  He could not go on until he found her.  He had eyes for only her, and when He saw her He knew she belonged to Him.  

dancing cinderellaHe swept her off her feet.   

We can see this as the church itself in more general terms.  For we are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom, and He longs for intimacy with His Bride.  He seeks us out for relationship with Him.  But we are so busy trying to find that one thing to fill our deepest longings that we miss Him standing there with His hand outstretched for you…and that He is that ONE thing.

But in an even more personal light, as an individual, He has eyes for only you.  Can you even imagine it?

sho123234LARGEAt the end of the story, both Savanna and I were amazed, since we were looking at it from a Jesus-as-our-Prince viewpoint, that when the slipper fit her foot, and the Prince took her in His arms, she knew she was to go with Him…her heart’s desire.  

And there standing on the staircase was the wicked stepmother with a look of shock on her face.  She was looking through the bars of the staircase.  It was the appearance of Satan bound behind bars, defeated once again in keeping the Princess from her Prince.

And the two evil step-daughters?  They were running around trying to look like the perfect sisters all along, chattering and looking like fools…just as the enemy always ends up looking.

Cinderella turns and with a look of fulfillment on her face, simply says to the step-mother and the 2 step daughters, “I FORGIVE YOU”…. 

Powerful words of freedom from the enemy.  No more lies.  She now knows who she is and knew that this was the plan all along for her life.

The King is enthralled by your beauty.”  Psalm 45:11

A few months ago I went to a classical concert with a friend.  The orchestra was lovely and I enjoyed the music but soon became bored as I need more of a visual to entertain me.  Don’t judge me.  I just do.

I decided to close my eyes and let my imagination run with the music. 

And there I was in a beautiful ball gown entering the gates of glory.  My Prince was standing there in the most beautiful tuxedo I had ever seen.  It was white and shimmered like tiny diamonds sparkling off water.  He had eyes that drew me in.  Our eyes met and there was a depth of  love I had never experienced before…as I stood there breathless and in awe. 

He only had eyes for me.

I walked over to Him and His arm was reaching towards me and He smiled.  I took His hand and He swirled me into a waltz that seemed to consume every inch of my being. 

maxresdefaultWe danced around and around and He lifted me higher and higher until we were dancing on mountain tops and over the seas.  The crescendo of the music kept rising to the plateau of complete immersion into Him as it swirled around us.

“Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.” Psalm 149:3

 As He motioned for me to look down with his head, there before me was the throne of God glistening with the colors of the rainbow and shooting off ceaseless jewel colored rays of piercing light that overflowed into the atmosphere around us.  I looked into His eyes and the love that filled my every longing was there and that was all that mattered.  I rested my head on His shoulder and felt safe.

His fragrance filled my soul.

I became lost in HIM. 

Oh, the joy of it. 

“The LORD your God among you is powerful — He will save and He will take joyful delight in you.  In his love He will renew you with His love; He will celebrate with singing because of you.”  Jeremiah 3:17

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nHave you met your Prince in this way yet?  He is standing right there.  Open your spiritual eyes and behold Him…….

 

Unhealed Relationship Wounds…The Patterns of Our Unhealthy Choices

Broken-ChainsGeorgia had finally reached the end of her rope when she came in for coaching.  She was on her 3rd husband and could not understand why he was so much like the former 2 husbands who were rageful, controlling and vengeful.  She longed for a peaceful marriage but her feeble attempts to ‘fix’ these men had made her feel like such a failure and her husband helped her along with that by saying that yes, she was a loser in everything she did.

But what Georgia didn’t understand was that she kept seeking her own healing from years of abuse by a rageful father through men that were just like him.  She would just jump into the first relationship that made her feel comfortable– without seeking healing from Jesus so she could walk away from her past and make wiser choices in who she connected with. 

relationship difficultiesThe problem was the men that made her feel comfortable only made her feel that way because they reminded her of her father.  She had this need to repeat the life she had with him– to try to make it come out right in order to fill the gaping hole her father left in her in her growing up years.

And the pattern was bound to be repeated in failed marriages over and over again until Georgia finally found her way to allow the  Holy Spirit into those wounded places.

Unhealed relational wounds drive us to compulsive attempts to repair the damage. Without being aware of it, we seek out people we believe can “fix” what’s wrong with us or help us find a piece of ourselves we feel is missing.

man-crawling-in-desert-dying-of-thirstWe function emotionally like the man dying of thirst who sees a mirage and hurries to it only to find it is dry sand.   His perceptions are driven by his need.

We are rarely aware that something in us wants completeness.  The truth is we long for Jesus continually because He is the one who  has really set eternity in our hearts. Within us, our spirits, we know the answer lies in Him. But our soulish realm, the mind , will and emotions has to be renewed and healed so we can change ourselves from the inside out.

But if we remain unaware of the powerful forces at work within us conditioned by our past emotional injuries, such as our family dynamics and how we responded to it, we can be blind to its influence and seek out the completeness we lack by making all the wrong choices. For example, consider the following scenarios:

  • The codependent person lacks assertiveness and the ability to confront, so she attracts controlling and aggressive people. (Georgia’s case)

  • The rageful person can’t bear to feel emotions that make her sad, so she finds empathic people who won’t confront her moods.

  • The rigid, black-and-white person with walls a mile thick is not able to let go of control, so he seeks out spontaneous, creative people who won’t try to control him.

  • The over-responsible, guilt-ridden person lacks self-care and feels like a loser, so she finds self-absorbed people who care for no one but themselves.

These kinds of responses do not reflect God’s intentions for us in any way. And they don’t lead to healthy or fulfilling connections.

But we are not complete without relationship with Him and knowing Him as our healer from the past.

303161_414645191931368_893377415_nWe have missing pieces— holes in us that we carry from childhood into adulthood.

The path to completeness or wholeness is to find a relational context and healthy relationships within community in the body of Christ…..finding those who you can trust and be vulnerable with and who can help you finish the emotional work that enables you to grow into the capacities you lack and become who you were always meant to be.

The first step is admitting to the pattern and seeking help.

 “You complete me” is a great line from a movie, but it doesn’t work in real relationships.  Another human being is simply not capable of making you feel complete.   Your sense of worth has to come from God and His complete work in your life.   Our pasts to not have to dictate our futures.

That is why most of us need to put less energy into romance and more into personal growth. It pays off later in romance.  I recently saw this posting on Face book that got a resounding “YES” from me.

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek HIM to find her!”

Complete people attract other complete people.

We all need relationships that are supportive and caring in order to thrive. And while there can be excitement and drama with a person who follows your old patterns of dysfunction, it will ultimately be exhausting, if not debilitating. Setting boundaries and expressing your needs clearly will not only detract unhealthy people from seeking you out, and make them less attractive to you, but it will also attract people who are healthy enough to be there for you as well.

10997005_10206299093105369_4155483824397253812_nAnd that is where the real passion, excitement and God’s love will emerge.

Don’t let unhealed relational wounds or the pain of a past relationship affect your future.

You CAN prevent the past from repeating itself. 

4 Steps to Healing “The Father Wound”

 

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300Caden had trouble just being himself…He always had to wear a mask of perfection for fear of not being accepted.  No one knew the real Caden.  Inside he yearned for love and validation and thought the only way he could do that is be someone other than who he is.  Underneath he had violent anger always brewing.  What is at the root?  His father left him when he was 6 and said he wasn’t ever coming back to live with him again.  In the ensuing years, his father would come to town to visit his new wife’s family and wouldn’t even call Caden.  Caden found out through his friends.  It was a small town.  So, Caden had a split personality.  One side of him was raging, but he kept it carefully hidden…most of the time.  The other side of him was the perfect family man loved by all.  He was a walking time bomb.

Maddy has spent her life yearning for her Dad’s attention, but time and again his attention went to alcohol instead.  She adored her dad, but he was always distracted with his heavy need for a numbing agent because of his own pain and his own father wounds.  When she was a  teen, Maddy’s dad was arrested for vehicular manslaughter and went to jail….now, Maddy lost all sense of who she was in this world.  It took her many years to learn her worth outside of her Dad.  He loved her, but alcohol ruled him most of her life.  He was an absent Dad.

Joyce’s dad left when she was a adolescent.  Joyce was molested when very young by another family member. Her dad couldn’t handle this so left the family to go out on his own.  When her dad abandoned her, Joyce sought male attention through her boyfriends and was led into a world of sex and drugs, and eventually married an alcoholic, which ended in more rejection.  Joyce thinks today that there is not a man that can be trusted.

Tom heard his dad rage at his mom for years.  As a little boy, he would lock himself in his room and put his head under the pillow to try to drown out the yelling.  He became very introverted and quiet.  He isolated himself and was afraid to trust anyone for years.  He began to feel his dads rage and struggled with his lack of direction in life with no role model.  Today he is not sure how he feels about God.

There are many father’s that are physically available, but not emotionally. They satisfy the material needs for their families, but are incapable of fulfilling the need for intimacy and connection in their children. 

Father-holding-child-with-delight-300x300‘Every man carries a wound.  And the wound is nearly always given by his father.” ~ John Eldredge

All of these people I have talked about have a hard time relating to God as their Father…their “Abba, Daddy.”

I, too, for many years, had a hard time relating to God as Daddy– but more to Jesus as my constant companion.  I was a victim of incest by my dad and spent my years growing up avoiding being alone with him.  It is hard to relate to what an earthly dad should be like, or one who makes you feel safe when you are with him.

father-and-child-google-images-300x150A father is one of the most important role models in our lives.  To feel loved and accepted by your dad is vital to you having a healthy relationship with God and with others.  Unfortunately, there are many of us who didn’t have that. 

Does that mean we are exempt from having a healthy relationship with our loving God, the Father ,if we didn’t have a Dad that was trustworthy?  Of course not!

There is nothing impossible with God.  We just have to be willing to do the work!

Some of our deepest wounds stem from a lack of intimacy with our earthly fathers.

64658_465671946828692_1306119874_nIf men don’t seek God’s healing from this wound they will likely repeat this pattern in their own lives with their children.  If women don’t seek God’s healing from lack of intimacy with a safe Dad, they too, will repeat the patterns down through the generations of their families by choosing men that are like their Dads in order to somehow to fulfill her own needs of a dad by repeating the process. 

But, good news….

You have the power to break this generational pattern, starting with your own healing!

If you struggle with understanding and receiving God’s love, it may be related to the internal pain caused by the lack of affection from your father.  The father wound will block you not only from knowing God’s love for you, but also from your ability to love others fully.

But, the good news is, there are some steps you can take to find restoration for your broken heart.  Your past does not have to dictate your future.  Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and to be everything we need!

Embracing the Father’s love is at the core of living the abundant life that Christ died for you to live.

hidingAs painful as it may be, you must re-visit the past and find where the gaps are.  Go back to the times you felt rejected or hurt by your dad and face those painful memories.  Maybe he didn’t protect you or keep you safe, or maybe he was never around.  Whatever the case, write down any thoughts you may have. This is an important step towards resolving your pain.

What emotions do you feel when you see the pictures I have posted on this blog site?  Does it reflect what your relationship with your father ought to have been?  Do they make you feel sorrow for what you didn’t have.

When I look at them myself, I feel numb.  I can’t relate to them because I never had that.

Many years ago, I did this exercise in a small recovery group I was leading.

father-and-son-4-300x200We looked at photographs of fathers loving their children.  The room was silent as each woman reflected on her own relationship with her earthly father.

The only sound we heard was the sound of tears and for some you could see blank faces or angry faces.  For the first time ever, many of the women allowed themselves to feel the pain that night because they were willing to imagine what an endearing relationship with their dads would feel like.  They told me later it was a very painful but healing exercise for them.

Try to discover and face the emotions you have carried with you due to the lack of love you’ve received from your father.

Allow yourself to grieve for the little child that was robbed of the rich relationship that comes from an attentive, caring father.  It was a loss you must recognize so you can allow the Lord to now come and fill that empty place.  Here are some steps to help you get there.

1. Step one in your healing from the father wound is to face your pain and to step out of denial.  Admit you have been wounded.

2. Step two, once you can admit that you have been wounded by your father, you can start the process of recovery.

  • jesus-with-children-0408Go to your Father in Heaven and talk to Him about your sadness and pain.  The truth is that He is the only one that can heal the father wound you carry.  He is the only one that you can count on to never fail you or leave you.

  • You can trust Him to carry you through your journey of healing.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the areas of your life that are bruised or damaged.

3. Step 3 is to forgive your dad.

  • This step may be the most painful one, but it is the most critical one.

  • Forgiveness is a process that starts with prayer.  Pray through gritted teeth if you have to, but push yourself to pray and ask God to help you to forgive your dad.  Remember, forgiveness is not saying what you did to me is okay.  It is saying I release you to God so that I am no longer tied to the pain.

  • cupped handsExtend grace to your earthly father for all the imperfections he has.  Forgive him for every pain he has caused you.  Say it out loud.  Cry if you need to cry.

  • If possible, have a friend with you for this step, for support and encouragement.

  • Set yourself free from the father wound by faith and allow your heavenly Father to heal you.

4. Step four is to recognize that only God the Father can fulfill all your needs through His son, Jesus.

  • It’s never too late to let God replace His love for that which was missing from your earthly father.

jesus and boy“A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing.” Psalm 68:5-6

Take a risk, open your heart and fully grasp the Father’s love for you.  He is your ultimate Daddy, and He adoringly calls you His child.

“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:18

May the Lord guide you and comfort you as you surrender your father wound to Him, and may you be healed forever so that you can live a rich and satisfying life.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children.  Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father.‘” ~ Romans 8:15

I want to tell you that despite the depths of your wounds, and I know for many of you those run dramatically deep, that you are not defined by your genealogy. 

As you process and pray through your “father wounds”, you will experience the love and delight of your Heavenly Father.  You are His!  You are the Beloved!  You are precious in His sight!

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n“Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God’s loving eyes.  Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love.” 
–Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved.

 

The Gnawing Ache of Our Restless Discontentment

o-WOMAN-WRITING-facebookMy prayer:

“I’ve been in a slump Lord and wondering why I feel bored with my life and finally realizing the One I miss is You.  Interesting because I feel You with me all the time.  But You are teaching me that if I don’t take the time to sit and listen to You, my intimate needs of connecting with you will wane.

You are who I miss.  It is You I need. 

When I can’t put my finger on what I’m lacking, then I can always know it is You.  Oh, for the body of Christ to learn this truth!  There wouldn’t be so many needy people. 

So, here I am my Love.  I long for You in the deepest places.  In the depth of my soul. 

Fill my cup back up Lord.  Fill me up and make me whole.  Give me energy again, and health, and vitality.

Hope and vision.

Thank you for Your patience with me and your long-suffering.  Thank you also for the vision of me as an uncut diamond that You are in process of chiseling away the dark coal–which is causing the light of Yourself to shoot off of me in so many ways. 

Wow!  I can see it!

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04As I waited on Him, He replied, Yes, my love it is about your depletion of me.  This is the next step of intimacy.  You already know that I walk with you every moment, but now you must remember that when you are feeling lonely, sad, bored, and have a lack of vision, it is me you are being called to connect with.

Your reserves are depleted when you give out of yourself so much of the time and you get distracted.  You forget to move all distractions out of the way and just sit with Me, so I can fill you up.

I am your very life line.

Instead of turning to everything else, including connecting with people, you must turn to Me.  If you do this, you will find your rest and peace and restored hope for the life I have called you too. 

diamond 2Yes, you are My diamond. The rays of My light shoot off of you as I have been chiseling away on everything that obscures my light.  This will continue to manifest more and more as you walk on in the face of the chiseling.  Your suffering for me has not gone unnoticed and your maturity in rising above the flesh in the many hardships you have faced has made Me delight over you with joy. 

Feel My smile, Dixie.

Feel My love, Dixie.

Feel My presence enveloping you, Dixie.

I love you!”

I have shared with you my most recent conversation with Jesus.  This came out of a time when I was needy and not realizing what it was I needed.

So I asked Him!

Do you stop and just ask Him what it is you need at those confusing moments?  Sometimes we just don’t even think about asking Him what our problem is.

Jesus sees you as His precious treasure…and He longs to have a close relationship with you.

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nMore than anything, He wants you to have an intimate love relationship and friendship with Him.  God wants you to spend time with Him and intimately communicate with Him, to enjoy fellowship with Him, to trust and follow Him, and to give your life meaning and purpose by giving you the privilege of joining Him in His life here on earth.

All of humanity, can be defined as a vast, gaping need.  Looking across the globe of this generation, we witness men and women, young and old, throwing themselves into entertainment, recreation, technology, food, music, friends, and a host of things as they grope for the answer to the riddle of why they are alive and seek to silence the screaming voice of yearning in their souls.   

has-gaming-lost-its-humanity-20110927075056174And throw in these troubling times of terror and the unknown of what we will face before we are taken out of here is gripping people with fear…and distracting them from the very One who can give them peace when our world is seemingly falling apart.

No matter how much we buy, who we know, or what fleeting pleasures we experience, we find that none of it can quench the insatiable thirst in the depths of our being.  So it is that day after day we go about panting and groaning for something that will satisfy the desires that dominate our inner man.

sadIt is in the gnawing ache of this restless discontentment so familiar to us all that the subject of intimacy with God finds its significance.

Intimacy is a word being thrown around a lot in our day, both inside and outside of the Church.

 Some of us are afraid of it.

 We all know that we want it because, on some level, we believe that only God can fill that void in our hearts.  Still, for most of us, we don’t know quite how to get it, and what it actually means when we’re referring to intimacy with God Himself.

We must realize that it is not just a certain way of speaking about God, nor is it merely a feeling we experience.

Intimacy with God consists of relational knowledge – we are most intimate with those whom we know at the deepest levels.  Jesus stands at the center of this pursuit because in His face we see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, and that is what intimacy is really all about.

One of the most common disillusions relates to how He feels about you.  From years of various and sundry teachings born out of our organizational churches, deep inside we think that Jesus is mostly unemotional and distant, except for how disappointed He is with us – that is the one feeling many of us are convinced He does actually feel.

Yet, the truth is that His heart is full of love and desire for you.  This isn’t just an idea or a sweet sentiment, but a reality that He put on display in every moment of His life.

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1In drinking in the wild beauty of this Man, your soul will at last find its rest.  This is intimacy, and this is what you were created for – to enjoy and adore the splendor of His glory forever.

So forgetting what is behind, let us press on to know Him.

Sugar Coated Anger….15 Ways to Recognize Passive Aggressive Behavior!

7699943_f260My belief has always been, when the dark and hidden areas of our minds are exposed to light and truth, the darkness has to go.  Light and darkness simply cannot dwell in the same place. 

So, as a Life Coach, I endeavor to ask the right questions that will uncover areas in ourselves that will ultimately answer our questions and set us free from bondage.  Or to help us see the truth within relationships that perplex us, that also sets us free from the actions of others.

Sometimes our communication and conflict management patterns can be out of whack.  

This can be for a variety of reasons based on our background and learned behavior.  Those patterns can change with some insights, skills and relationship help.

And if you want it to change. 

You have to want it to change. 

It is always about a choice, isn’t it?

So, if this post helps you see your own passive-aggressive behaviors, you will understand why others find it difficult to be around you, trust you, and respect you as you would like to be trusted and respected.

passive-aggressive-spouse (1)You confuse them.  People move away from folks who purposefully confuse them — if they are smart.  It can be such a drain.

Or if it answers your questions or rings a bell in some of your relationship conflicts with the other people in your life who have these traits this will help you realize you are not really crazy–and it is not you!

Just becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that our behavior patterns change overnight.  The minute we become believers of Jesus Christ, our hearts are born anew.  We get brand new hearts, alive unto God.  And we are saved by His grace, not by our own goodness, but by His. 

But our souls, (mind, will, and emotions) have to be renewed on a daily basis by a continued pursued relationship with Jesus.  His spirit helps us to change and it is never ending growth.  We have to learn how to recognize old coping skills from the past and allow the Lord to show us how to move past them and find our security, comfort, and value from Him alone.

So, I am offering you a list of what you can look for in a passive aggressive person, or to even recognize some of the traits in yourself.  If so, I hope you find it home-hitting and immediately revealing and you start the journey to correct it.

passiveaggression1If these traits describe you as you usually are, I invite you to sit up and take notice.  You likely do not even realize you are doing these things.  Once you read them and ponder your own behavior, you may finally understand why you are having difficulties having the relationships you most want, at home and at work or in the church.

More good news, the more willing to work on yourself you are, the greater your chances of having the life with others that you crave.  When you realize how you are pushing them away by your crazy-making behaviors, you can change things within yourself. When you are trustworthy within yourself, you will be perceived as trustworthy by others.

Although men and women express their passive-aggressive behaviors somewhat differently, generally, you are behaving in passive-aggressive ways if you are regularly:

1. Unwilling to speak your truth openly, kindly and honestly when asked for your opinion or when asked to do something for someone.

How this shows up in communication is being “assertively unassertive”.  You say “Yes” (assertive) when you really mean “No way” (unassertive).  Then, you let your behavior say “No way” for you.  People become confused and mistrusting of you.

2. Appearing sweet, compliant and agreeable, but are really resentful, angry, petty and envious underneath and your actions are just off enough to the point that those close to you sense it.  It makes those around you annoyed and confused.

sb_passiveagressive2People who do not get along with others are interested only in themselves; they will disagree with what everyone else knows is right.  A fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is show how smart he is. Pro. 18:1&2 NLT

 3. You fear direct communication because you fear rejection. You then often push away the people you care about because you don’t want to seem in need of support.

relationship difficultiesAll the while, you are afraid of being alone and so you want to control those around you so they won’t leave you.  Very confusing!

4. Complaining that others treat you unfairly frequently.  Rather than taking responsibility for stepping up and speaking your truth, you set yourself up as the (innocent) victim.  You say others are hard on you, unfair, unreasonable and excessively demanding.

5. Procrastinating frequently, especially on things you do for others.  One way of controlling others is to make them wait.  Ouch!!  I know that speaks to so many of us.  You have lots of excuses why you haven’t been able to get things done.  You even blame others for why that is so.  It’s amazingly unreasonable, but you do it even though it destroys relationship, damages careers, loses friendships and jobs.

And, you tell others how justified you are in being angry because, once again, others treated you unfairly.

6. Unwilling to give a straight answer.  Another way of controlling others is to send mixed messages, ones that leave the other person completely unclear about your thoughts, plans or intentions.

Then, you make them feel wrong when you tell them that what they took from your communication was not what you meant.  Silly them!

depositphotos_21157319-Man-telling-spooky-story7. The silent treatment.  Passive aggressive behavior is recognizable by the disconnect between what is being said and what is being done. Nothing highlights this more than the famous silent treatment. Silence generally signifies agreement but not in this case.  When you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment, you realize that the other person is far from agreeable.  They have a big problem with you and just to allow themselves the victory, they have no intention of telling you what that is.

There are 2 other common versions of the silent treatment.  One is to answer the question ‘What’s wrong?’ with ‘nothing’, when there certainly is something wrong.  The other is to answer any question with just one word.  This is intended to signal that there is a problem, without you having to say it.

8-Examples-of-passive-aggressive-behaviourBoth expressions say “You poor confused person. You’re not worth talking to.”  But the real reason for their behavior is that they have not, cannot, or will not take responsibility for their own behavior.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:1-2 ESV

8. Frequently feeling inadequate but covering it up with superiority, disdain or hostile passivity. 

bully-free-workplacesWhether you set yourself up to be a self-sabotaging failure — “Why do you have such unrealistic expectations of me?” or a tyrant or goddes