Post by Category : Soul direction

Soul Grit  0

 

Elizabeth, Mother of John – Forerunner of Jesus

 

The angel said to Mary, “…behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son.”  Luke 1:36

 

Living under Roman oppression in her own land, being called, pegged as “barren”, Elizabeth stuck to the truth she knew, fulfilling the God given requirements of the time. After centuries of her people not hearing much from God, she still believed the ancient holy prophets’ words and carried on with worship, despite major disappointment in her life. I’d call that soul grit.

 

“And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly…”

Luke 1:6

 

And seeming a bit late, a beam of Son came, rebelling against what the world around was telling her, and re-named her. Like a cloud-covered dusk sneaking in light in the nick of time, Elizabeth’s womb awakens to its Maker’s curious bidding all but too late. Weary-of-hoping, settling-for-being-less in other’s eyes, she herself is startled to the reality of something new in her. Past her time and beyond any relevance of her day, she receives a joyful honor that only a few understood.

 

“your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord.”  Luke1:13,-15

 

God seems to like to do things like that in our later years: surprise us with newness. I’m seeing it especially in those who take notice of His stirrings, who resist the pull from truth and the lure to complacency. I see it in those who risk indulging in faith. He infuses with a wink things in us we’d given up dreaming about, when we feel used up and irrelevant, like Moses after near fatal failure and a lot of years. God’s timing seems so off.  

Mary was too young;

Elizabeth was too old. Moses was way out of date. But God who is beyond time bestows on time a gravity that deeply effects eternity. What will I do with my later years?

 

I’m noticing some newness going on in me and working on resisting the pull to complacency. And wait, I think I see a burning bush!

 

How are you attuning to receive the new He wants to conceive in you?

 

Soul Shame Room  3

Jesus scorned shame. He hated it.

Because it hinders, muffles, binds, squeezes and keeps from truth and growth. It tried to take him but he didn’t let it.

 

“…Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

 

It’s like that annoying parasitic weed I often found in my little garden trying to subtly make it’s choking way

around my plants. Shame bids us away from community, away from acceptance, forgiveness and joy to bow under its power of self-disdain and regret. The path in my soul to the shame room was pretty well worn, visited too many times…though I noticed a few weeks ago as I was making my way there again, that the path had some foliage growing on it; parts of it were becoming overgrown, especially the second part heading into the door. I’m spending less and less time there.

See, I’m learning to catch myself on the way there and make a U turn! I was heading there after I didn’t get a response I thought I should and feeling the inward pull to withdraw into the lies of “I don’t matter” and “They don’t want you” and instead I said, “No, that’s actually not true. I do matter. I’m not going there today.” Shame was wooing me and I called its bluff! Wow. I felt myself do a 180 toward truth

 

and get right back in the conversation, letting go of the inner pull…and with joy at that! We have power over the imposter of shame. We don’t have to go to the shame room. We can scorn it, just like Jesus did!

 

Now that’s freeing.

 

Dr. Thompson in Soul of Shame says “To be human is to be infected with this phenomenon we call shame. …many of us carry shame less publicly often outside the view of even some of our closest friends…common scenarios carry the burden of shame in ways that we work hard to cover up. And our coping strategies have become so automatic that we may be completely unaware of its presence and activity.”

Do you find yourself at times on your way to the shame room?

What keeps you there?

Have you tried a U turn lately?

Tell Your Soul!  0

 

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“Go tell it…!” Just as the Christmas hymn borrows these words from the ancient prophets, so are we to go tell of the victory of our King!

 

Though the enemy tries to convince us otherwise, he is powerless and defeated!

 

The great ancient city of Ninevah in Assyria, held all those around it in utter fear and dread. Then, when

definitively overthrown it was said,

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“Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?”

Nahum 3:19

 

This city that the prophet Nahum predicted would fall, fell in 612 BC and within a few centuries was covered with a windblown sand! (NIV note)

 

 

With great joy this news is received from messengers coming over the mountains: God’s enemies are overthrown! They no longer occupy their country. Judah was now able to resume her feasts and go to the Temple of God without fear, just as we today can live in the Spirit and don’t have to live according to the flesh, the pull of the world or the enemy of our souls anymore! We are given grace to choose otherwise, and freely escorted into His presence without hindrance because of our conquering King! (Hebrews 4:16)

 

Has your desire to live in the presence of your God been interrupted by enemy schemes, where he tries to convince you he still has power over you? Go tell it to your soul that Jesus the great King, the Overcomer and Conqueror has defeated the one who tries to keep you in old patterns, attitudes and mindsets!

 

We celebrate the coming of this great King.

 

The world had no idea what was coming…

  

“Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!”

Nahum 1:15

 

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

Go tell it on the mountains that Jesus Christ is born!

 

 

It was the defeat of their looming enemy that was being told of on the mountains, just as the defeat of our looming enemy by Jesus is being told today.

 

Where in your soul is this news needed?

 

Let’s get that news into our souls and out to places in our world it hasn’t gone yet!

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Going and telling in the mountains of Central Asia!

Soul Realigning  1

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So how do you realign to your design?

Here’s a video and pdf to get you started.

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Disclaimer –This blog is read of your own free will and could lead to some great positive change. Copyright in process. Content is for informational purposes for use at your own risk. Owner reserves the right to change focus or shut it down. None of your information will be sold or misused.

80 year-old Soul  0

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Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise.”

Prov 22:17

 

 

Some things 80 year-olds said when asked what would they do differently in their lives:

 

  • Don’t expect life to be fair.

 

  • figure-2-old-woman-old-man-dancing-shadowsKeep it simple.

 

  • Risk more; do more things that will live on after you’re dead.

 

  • Reflect more on the journey while you’re on it.

 

  • Take charge of your attitude.

 

  • Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.

 

  • Become someone’s hero.

 

I find it fascinating how much we can influence one another by our lives and choices.

 

“The I develops inside the we,” says Judith Glaser, Organizational Anthropologist.

“We are hardwired with the learnable ability to connect and grow…to write new things on each other’s brains.” There is a genetic ability to affect one another. Brain science is proving this.

 

“Stimulate one another to love and good deeds…” Heb. 10:24

 

My choice today to reach out to someone, deal with my emotions (see previous post) or change my attitude with God’s help, could be the microscopic adjustment that leads to major influence on others down the road.

 

So which of these wise sayings do you need to take to heart today?

What choice is God holding before you?

Your life is passing by.

Changed Soul  0

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Some people get tattoos, some lose a ton of weight, some change careers and others (on their way to figuring out their lives or marking a new path for their souls) change their names!

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I met her at a course on spiritual formation.  She was vibrant and full of fun energy.  When I heard she had an ileostomy I thought, “What? Where?” She told me she almost died when she had a one-year old.  At one point, she was in the hospital for 42 days. She miraculously made it through and now lives and thrives with her ileostomy.  She even became a partner with a friend who started an underwear company for people like herself!  ☺

 

Cricket’s Story

 

“I was at a play in 2006 and there was this goofy little cricket character.  The name resonated within me so much so that when we left the play I announced to everyone from that point on I wanted to be called Cricket. They were like, “Okay… whatever.” But I was serious and I didn’t know why. The following Sunday I told all my youth group kids I didn’t want to be called Cheri anymore, I wanted to be called Cricket. They were cool and many started calling me that. 

 

This went on for about 4 months when finally one of my friends said to me, “I can’t call you Cricket because I HATE crickets and I really like you!” Her husband said, “It must mean something other than the bug…let’s go online and see.” So we looked up the definitions to find that the word had multiple meanings: the insect, the game cricket, and from the game, the state of “being cricket” which meant “fair play or honorable conduct”! We all looked at each other and my friend’s husband said, “See, that’s why it’s important to you!” And it hit me; I wanted to be CRICKET!! Not just some silly name. In my marriage I had not been honorable or fair to my husband and God was doing a work in me, to change me, because of the new creation I was in Christ. I saw this new name as a severance of who I was and what I did to my husband as Cheri. So it was deep within me to walk out in fairness and honesty.

 

In 2007, I legally changed my name from Cheri to Cricket, after really living with it for a year. And it has been cool how there have been times I’ve thought of doing something dishonorable and the Lord reminded me in my spirit that the action would not be Cricket!!”

 

 

It helps to put stakes in the ground along the way as we journey with God

to remind us of the decisions we’ve made and of what he has done for us.

Soul training: How do you remember what He has done for you?

“Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget…”

Deut. 4:8

 

Great Soul  2

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“He stoops to make me great…”

(2 Samuel 22:36)

 

God changes us and rearranges us as He stoops to make us great. We really are very ordinary. We are just broken vessels. As we let Him break us from sin and the negative pull of this world, more of His glory shines through. We are still in that process.

 

I tend to categorize people and size them up, but I hate it when people do that to me. I try to figure out who has more experience or has more to say or says it more creatively. Who uses their time well or better or best? Who knows more or is more insightful or more caring? I am beginning to realise that our life paths are not linear, nor is it to our advantage to act like it is a race against each other. Our lives are more like balls of string wrapped together, spiralling, twisting, curving around in many different ways toward different ends. You may have more experience or a keener insight into many different realms where I have not ventured. I may have depths and clues that have not yet come up in your life. We can always learn from each other. We get too categorized and fail to explore parts of our lives that need perhaps a fresh eye, from a different angle.

 

I want to be great! I do! I want to have something to “show” for all these years on this earth! Paul said: In Christ…I have reason to be proud of my work for God (Romans 15:17). I tend to measure by certain things in my life, and you probably do so by other things in yours. Would you say (if no one were listening) that you are great? Do you want to be? Is that wrong? Is it pride? Well, apparently not, because the One who is our example said, “If you want to be great … ,” do this. He did not say, “Get rid of that desire,” or “It is wrong to want that.” Of course, He was talking about greatness in the kingdom of God, His kind of greatness that is good in this life and the next. Our measure is very different from God’s, so if we can learn to want His kind of greatness, we are doing well. That is the kind of greatness that will last past this life and will bring something of value into the next life. It is clear there is some reward for that kind of greatness.

As the Kerner/Rettinos put it in Kid’s Praise! 4, “If you want to be great, learn to be the servant of all.”

 

Wow, that is so vague—what could it mean? Could it mean that you are aware and looking out for others, anticipating needs, being okay with being common, yet with excellence? Being extraordinary in the ordinary? We want to do big things—but sometimes the big things are in the little mundane things over a long period of time. They do not come with a lot of outward applause or pats on the back or frills, but rather in just doing and being His hands and feet and voice and arms to others that He has put in our little worlds. This is not the picture we had in mind. It is harder and takes longer, and no one notices.

Was Jesus great in His world? I mean: did many people see Him as great?

 

A few saw His greatness—mostly unimportant people.  How do I measure greatness?

 

For full article: http://thriveconnection.com/2016/08/23/stoops-make-great/

Talking Soul  2

Talk to yourself

English heart surgeon Martyn Lloyd-Jones said,

“Most unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.”

“What kind of voices do you hear? When you meet people do you tell yourself they’ll let you down? When you face new experiences does a voice in your head say you’re going to fail?” The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, John Maxwell p. 93

Sometimes we don’t even realize the tape playing inside, but that critic within keeps rearing its head and we have to deal with it. The subtle negative voices can be overbearing and discouraging, but there is Truth, hope, care and comfort that can wipe out the negative self-talk and help us decipher what is false and what needs attention.

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God is a Blessed Intruder. As we usher him into our “committee of selves” within, he sets things straight and gives a reference point to wade through the accusations, the downcast eyes and hands that hang down. He is the

  • Lifter of our heads when our sight is on ourselves Ps. 27:6
  • Holder of our hands when we are out of alignment. Is. 41:13
  • Keeper of our path when we’re unsure of our way Prov. 3:5,6

“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble…and now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies around me…”  Ps. 27:5.6

Take notice today: Are you

  • talking to yourself (directing your heart to truth) or
  • listening to yourself (the inner critic, the doubter, the pessimist)?

#talktoyourself

Soul Time  4

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring

 

Facing our world and our lives can be daunting.  Here are some beginning tips on how to go for it.

 

 

Check out the pdf for reflection in my last post.  reflect2106

Wisdom to your soul  0

How do we get wisdom into our soul?

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In our busy-ness we’re in danger of mismanaging ourselves.  “Your toughest management challenge is always yourself” Bill Hybels says.  Make it a priority to find time to set aside for your own reflection and planning for the year ahead.  It will make a big difference in your sanity!

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

“Teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Ps. 90:12

 “Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the LORD his God…”  2 Chron 27:6

 

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise. ”  Ephe 5:15

 

 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”  Psalm 50:23

 “The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit.” Prov. 14:8

For a pdf download on some steps to ordering your days before God click here.  reflect2106