He Heals The Brokenhearted

He is Near to the BrokenHearted !

‘ He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ‘PSALM 147:3 AMP

The ladies of VirtousBella and I were doing a devotional with scripture reading. One of our readings talked about processing loss and grief. After having a great dialogue with the ladies, I wanted to share my experience with processing loss and pain and hopefully encourage someone. 

Have you ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders? Or maybe things have happened to you that you decided you would never relive, so you swept it under the rug and kept pushing forward. I’ve been there! I know for me personally I use to tell myself “you don’t have time to fall apart, you have bills to pay” and I would sweep it under the rug and go into straight hustle mode. No time and no emotion. I feared that if I allow myself to open up and grieve that I might not recover. I use to think “what if I don’t recover, what if I lose it?” “What if the pain of the situation is too much to bear?! Then what, how will I survive?” So my defense was always to sweep it under the rug. I would think about it for a bit, but when I felt the rushing waves of my emotions, I would shut it down and tell myself I had to keep it together because no one else was going to take care of me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was playing the role of god in my life. Over time I learned that this was unproductive. I began to learn about healing, deliverance and genuinely leaving it all at the altar. Once I allowed God to deal with me, I had to take a trip back down memory lane. I had to revisit situations I had blocked out. I had to process those emotions, but the good news was that God was right there with me. I got to cry on His lap, and once I released it at the altar, I LEFT IT THERE and allowed Him to heal my heart. The danger of not dealing with situations is that it will most likely lead to sin. Whether it be assault unforgiveness, rape, family issues, church hurt, anger, bitterness, jealousy, depression or any and everything in between. These emotions and the situations that triggered them, if left undealt with never end up good and become the devil’s playground. Now I’ll be honest my road to deliverance wasn’t pretty! BUT I trusted God and I survived. I was delivered and healed, and that’s honestly freedom I can’t explain. I encourage you to let go and trust God. Freefall into His arms and He will catch you! Recieve your deliverance and remember to walk in your deliverance!  God bless you, sister!

‘  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 KJV

Taming The Tongue

taming-the-tounge

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. ~

Psalm 141:3

Several years ago, I was serving with a team of women in the church.  I was the person in charge of the task, although I had a leader over me that I reported to.  Every month I met with my team, and we would come up with plans for accomplishing our assigned task.  Every month I would present it for approval, and every month we were shot down.  We felt like we were just treading water and honestly questioned if they really wanted this task completed.  We could never make headway.

That is when it started, the frustration building.

“Why are we even bothering to meet?”

“You should just tell the church to do whatever it wants, and stop wasting our time.”

“Maybe we should just do it on our own; they don’t even care.”

The excitement that once motivated us toward volunteering for this project had faded.  As the appointed leader, I heard their complaints.  I must confess, I was frustrated too.  The complaints about the project, however, began to shift to complaints about the church, and then to specific people.

“If more people from the team would speak up, they might listen.”

“It’s all Pastor’s fault; he’s never supported projects like this anyway.”

“I’m not surprised; Pastor has always been dismissive of ideas.  Sometimes I think he just gives enough permission so that you’ll leave him alone.”

The more talking was going on, the more frustration grew.  Thoughts were beginning to influence how we all viewed the church, the people overseeing us, and even our place in the body.  This ultimately led to a confrontation with another member.

What I had not realized was that I was working with a very unhealthy team.  I didn’t catch on to their complaints shifting into gossip.  What I saw as a legitimate conversation about our frustration had turned into a gossip and complaining session, and I was just as guilty.  I wasn’t just guilty the moment I began to share my opinions, I was guilty the very moment I allowed their feedback to turn into gossip.  I had let their voices influence me.

Then when the fellow leader and I ended up in a confrontation, those voices were unsurprisingly silent.  I am very grateful that the Lord put someone in my life who could help me see what was happening, and that I was able to apologize and reconcile with my fellow leader.  Gossip is a sneaky, sneaky thing.

Gossip is a like a spider web. Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and into a web?  You couldn’t see it coming, and you may not have immediately realized you walked into it.  But, as your senses catch up you realize what you have done if you are like me, panic follows.

When we think of gossip, we often think of the intentional spreading of lies about someone.  However, gossip can also be spreading truths… truths that were not ours to share.  In church, gossip can often be disguised as “prayer requests” or “venting”.  When serving on a committee or ministry, it can often come in the appearance of complaints.

We can often get caught up in gossip and not sense it until it is too late, just like the spider web.  And, like a spider web, once it is on us… gossip clings to us, and it’s hard to shake off.  We may even panic as we realize what we have done.

Once someone knows you are receptive to gossip, they will return to tickle your ears again.  When something is so sneaky and pervasive, how do we know the difference between someone who really needs to just talk something through or someone who is spreading gossip?

Some cues I watch out for:

  • Is she speaking about herself & her own problems?  If not, ask her if she has permission to share this with you.
  • Would she say these words to the person(s) involved?  If not, she shouldn’t be speaking them to you.
  • Is she trying to involve you in a situation that doesn’t concern you?  If so, point her back to those involved and encourage her to take the issue up with them.
  • Is she trying to get you to handle or solve the problem for her?  If so, suggest ways in which she can resolve the issue herself.  Take yourself out of the equation.
  • Is she speaking lies or truths just to make conversation or make herself feel better?  If so, don’t hesitate to point out that she is gossiping, and it is inappropriate.

When you begin to put boundaries in place on how you handle gossip tossed in your direction, you will change everything.  True gossipers who are just out to run their mouths will avoid you.  Those who may not realize what they are doing will learn to tame their tongues.  An added benefit is the more you put up boundaries against gossiping, the less often you will find yourself getting caught up in them.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29

At His Feet

1984745-1465337408012_640x640

Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

With our lives growing and practically consumed with busyness, it’s important that we make time for God. He is the lamp to our feet, and He lights our path. But how can we know where He is telling us to go if we never step out of our mundane tasks and into the Most Highs presence? Are we willing to come under God’s discipline and learn what He wants to teach? We can do this by sitting at His feet.

But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power, and strength. – Charles Stanley

Spending time with God is what cleanses us from our worries and replenishes our strength for what lies ahead. Christ renews us; He is our guide through life. Ever felt like nothing you do is working? Maybe you feel stuck, like everything around you is moving and you’re not.  Or even find yourself going backward. We won’t make it on our efforts alone as Christians Christ is our power supply and a lot of Christians are running on E because after they take off, they never come back to the power supply (Christ) to stay filled.

Early in the night, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there. – Mark 1:35

Sitting at His feet is challenging at first but as you make it a habit you will see your appetite and awareness of His presence grow.

Here are some tips to help you spending time at His feet:

You can read the rest of this post by clicking here to go to BibleVerses.com

Praying knowing the Power of God

antique-bible-blur-213-942x350

Peter Freed from Prison

But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it.14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” 

Acts 12:5,13-15 NLT

This story of Peter is great encouragement on why we should keep praying regardless of what the situation may look like. Herod had just killed James, the brother of John. When Herod saw that killing James made the Jews happy he arrested Peter with the intentions of putting Peter to death too. Peter got arrested during Passover, so he was held in prison. They kept Peter in what we would call a maximum security prison. He also was under heavy guard so escaping was not an option. The Church knew that Herod’s plan was to kill Peter. They began to intercede on Peter’s behalf praying earnestly for him.

It’s important to understand what earnestly means because this is essential in prayer. According to Dictionary.com earnestly means:

  1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous
  2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling
  3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention

This means that they were praying for a purpose, sincerity, and serious intention. They were pleading for a move of God to set Peter free. They knew that this was a situation in which only God had the power to provide a resolution. 

While they were praying, an angel of the Lord came to free Peter. Peter thought it was a vision then he realized that the Lord had sent an angel and saved him from Herod. Peter then went to the home of Mary, the same place where the Church gathered to pray for Peter. Peter knocked on the door, and Rhoda was amazed. How could Peter be at the door? Instead of opening the door Rhoda ran with excitement to tell everyone that Peter was there. They were all in disbelief and thought she was crazy because they were praying for Peter. Peter kept knocking, and they finally opened the door, and they were overjoyed and amazed at how God answered their prayer.

Peter’s story shows us the power of prayer. No matter what your situation looks like nothing is too hard for the Lord. I urge you to keep asking, keep praying and believe that God is able! As in Acts 12 literally, while you’re praying the answer may show up at your front door, and you too will bask in the incredible power of our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!

Prayer: Lord you’re mighty and worthy of all the praise. Father, we ask that you increase our prayer life that we may pray earnestly. Allow us to pray with expecting hearts. Let us not limit you Father God. We know that you are a God, who can do all things. I pray that we open the door when you answer our prayers. Let us continually lift the body of Christ in prayer by interceding for one another. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks, Amen.

Friends, how many of us have them?

 
Friends2k 
 
“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:18-20 NLT
 

This story about the paralyzed man speaks to how important it is for us to have what I call Kingdom minded friends. We all need someone to keep us accountable, encourage us, fight for us, and have our best interest at heart. Having someone, you can depend on that wants the best for you spiritually is important.

This story in Luke shows us how friendship should look. Have you ever told someone about something you were struggling with only for them to say “man that’s a shame?” The paralyzed man’s friends didn’t say “Oh well you’re paralyzed.” They heard about Jesus, a man who could heal and took their friend to see Him. We know these were real friends because when they got to the house, there was a  large crowd, and they were unable to get through, however,  this didn’t stop them. They took their friend to the roof. Can you imagine how strenuous this task was? There was a sea of people around the house where Jesus was. They made their way through the crowd to the roof of the house carrying their paralyzed friend. I can assure you that couldn’t have been an easy task to complete. After all of that, they then removed part of the roof so they could lower their friend down right in front of Jesus. Because of their faith and determination, Jesus healed the paralyzed man. I believe this was also because He wanted to let us know this is how we should care for one another.

When you have a spiritual support system, you know they care about your overall well-being. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not, they love you for who you are. Like in this story, they will fight for your healing. These kinds of friends won’t be throwing their good deeds in your face later. They do things for you because they care, not because they’re expecting something in return. I’m sure we can all use some friends like that.

The Bible gives us several scriptures that reference having support.

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”-Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoys its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” James 3:18 MSG

“If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:1-3 NLT

The Bible makes it clear that we will need help from other believers. We won’t always be able to go at things alone. I’m still praying that I can experience this type of community for myself, and I know God will provide. Let God lead you to the right people. He led Jesus to His disciples; He can surely lead you to a community that you can do life with.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for all that you have done and all that you’re doing. We know that we are nothing without You. Help us strengthen our faith in You. Give us discernment before we enter into relationships. Lead us to people who will have our best interest at heart and will love us for who we are. Protect us from the evil one and keep us in Your arms. It’s in the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Are We really living for Christ?

Living for God 
 
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”
Romans 12:1-2 NLT 

What is sacrifice?

The surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having higher or more pressing claim. (Dictionary.com, 2014)

The Bible says that we need to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Meaning we have to live for Christ. We need to make it a habit to consult God in the choices we make.

I faced a tough decision recently and was unclear on what choice to make. Terrified of making the wrong choice. I wanted God to audibly tell me what to do. I had to make a choice and doing nothing was not an option. So I prayed a prayer of desperation.  I came to the Lord and said “Father you know my heart and that my desire is to please you. This is a tough decision and I want to make sure that I am moving in the direction that you would have me to go. Please give me discernment and a peace that surpasses all understanding around the right choice.”  I’ll be honest I still didn’t feel like I knew what to do. So I made my choice based on what would bring God the most glory. The choice that would allow me to serve the Lord the best way possible. Looking back I see that God’s silence allowed me to remember what I’ve learned about Him and apply it. Had I been looking in a worldly perspective it’s likely I would have made a completely different choice. Sacrificing my will for the will of God truly gave me peace. Psalms 32:10 tells us that we’re protected by the Lord.

Knowing the promises of God helped me make a tough decision. It’s important that we stand on the promises of God and speak them over our lives. Know that if you make choices to glorify God He will protect you and give you peace! He will not put more on you than you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13) All things are possible through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13)

If you’re in a situation where you’re not sure what the right choice is, tell God! Let him know why you’re apprehensive about preceding and ask Him for discernment and peace around the right choice. 

Prayer: Father God you’re more than worthy of all the praise and honor. We thank you, Lord, for being our protector, comforter, and provider. Father, we believe but, help our unbelief. Let us consult you and follow your direction in the choices we make. Provide us with discernment. Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Protect us from the evil one Father God. We love you, praise you and worship you. It’s in the matchless name of  Jesus we pray Amen.

You gotta have faith!

Gotta Faith 
  
“Take control of what I say, O  lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.” Psalm 141:3-4 NLT
 

 I love this Psalm written by David; it shows the power of prayer! This Psalm is written by David, and if you read Psalm 141, you can see it’s a prayer for safe keeping from wickedness.  I’m sure we have all been in situations where we have wanted to say or do something that we knew was contrary to God’s will. Sometimes it can seem as if people just want to test out your faith by pushing your buttons. David is my encouragement in those moments. I look at the life of David, and I see a man who truly had a relationship with God. David knew he could not go through life without God. He needed the power of God to help him in those tight situations. We can truly appreciate David’s example of relying on God in situations cannot handle in our power.

Can you imagine showing the love of God to someone who talks about you behind your back but, smiles in your face? Someone who attempts to slander your character with lies? What about someone who steals from you? What about someone who hates you enough to kill you?

I believe that the prayer in Psalms 141 was during the time where David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Saul was very jealous of David. During his time on the run, David had two opportunities to kill Saul. Even David’s men were encouraging him to kill Saul. Their theory, God, was delivering Saul into David’s hands for payback. However, David being a man of God refused to kill Saul even though Saul was trying to kill him. This prayer in Psalms 141 could have been what helped David remain faithful to God and not kill His anointed one. We also see how God protected David during this time because Saul never captured David. God is faithful. He will provide. David’s story is proof that God will answer prayer and provide in our hour of need.

I thank Jesus for dying for our sins and sending us the comforter who can help us be like David when we run into trouble. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) tells us about the fruits of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  We should be excited this means we don’t have to rely on our strength when faced with trials and tribulations. Galatians 5:22-23 is another one of my favorite passages in the Bible, it’s so encouraging! It reminds us that we are human and apart from God we are imperfect.

We can all recall a time when we found it hard if not impossible in our strength to love or be gentle with someone, remain joyful in the midst of pure chaos and confusion, show kindness to someone whom you may not like, or maybe you’re like me and struggle with patience. I have good news; God will provide! So next time you’re in a situation where you see yourself lacking in one of these areas before you react pray! Ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome the situation. As with David God will give you the strength to overcome!

Prayer:  Father God, we just want to thank you, Lord, for your protection, faithfulness, and guidance Lord. You’re so worthy of all the praise and glory. Guard the words of our mouth oh Lord and let us not partake in evilness. We thank you, Father, for the fruit of the Spirit that allows us to get through trying situations. Please remove anything in us that’s not of you Father. Continue to mold us Father into the faithful Christian men and women you’ve called us to be. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks. Amen.

Are you worried about the wrong things?

Worried
 

Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This passage speaks volumes, it truly does! There is so much to learn here. Jesus came into Martha’s home. Upon His arrival, it seems that Mary, Martha’s sister was in awe of Jesus’s presence and wanted to spend every second soaking Him up. While Martha worried about making everything perfect for Jesus while He was there, and she soon became overwhelmed. If Jesus came to your home now what would you do? Would you be trying to clean, cook and get everything right? Or would you be sitting at His feet focused on Him? If you’re a neat freak like me always cleaning before you have company, and like to have everything things in order for your guest, these questions could be hard to answer.I reflected on these verses, and I could see how this story reflected different areas and seasons of my life. At times, we feel as though we have to get things right and in order before we can come to God and sit in his presence. For example, we may feel like we strayed from the path God had set for us; now things have fallen apart, and we feel obligated to put things back together before going to God.  The fact is things are in such disorder because we worry about the wrong things!

Come to God with all of your mess; especially when you’ve strayed. God knows that we will stumble. We can’t be fruitful in life without Him! He takes joy in being our restorer. Don’t let the enemy play with your mind and have you feeling like you can’t come to God ANYTIME, ANY HOUR! I like to think of being overwhelmed or upset as God using my frustration as an opportunity to say: “Tomasa, Tomasa, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” The truth is things don’t become right or fall into place until we submit to God’s will for our life. God wants us to come as we are so He can perfect us! We are mere humans, and nothing we do alone will be good enough for our God! (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4)

Have a lot on your mind? Are you confused about your purpose or identity? Are things just not going as you would have hoped? Do you feel overbooked with tasks? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong but know things aren’t right?  If so stop and sit at the Lords’ feet in silence and relax. Let Him renew you and make you whole! Let Him declutter your life and organize your comings and goings. If we stay consistent and focus on Him, He will supply and take care of our needs!(Matthew 11:28-29) The Lord loves you, and if you chase after Him with all your heart, he will not leave you with a need or worry!

Prayer: Lord God, let me not worry about the wrong things. Let me come to you wholeheartedly and put You first in all I do. Comfort me in knowing that if you are my center, you will protect me. If I place you first in all things, you will bless the rest. I am nothing without you, Lord. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Some Related Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Matthew 11:28-29,John 14:27, Proverbs 1:33, Romans 10:9