Let me propose a question to you. Would you alter someones reality and life if you could? Let me explain. Think of someone you love dearly, someone who has a part of your heart that you love unconditionally. Perhaps they have made not to great life choices. Perhaps they have experienced some pain you could not help them avoid. Perhaps they are in a relationship with someone that you think isn’t good for them or you are not not fond of. Perhaps it’s all of this and much more. Would you, if given the opportunity, alter their reality and their life for the better if given the chance? Say they suddenly had amnesia and couldn’t remember certain things from the past, and when asked you could change how they viewed things….in their life…in their relationships for “the better”. Would you do it? Would you tell them the truth and let the chips fall as they may?
I had this presented to me and I had to really think, what would I do? We all want the best for those we love. We want them to be happy, healthy, and in great relationships with awesome people, right? Would I tell them the truth as I see it? Even if it is painful to them and would destroy the reality of what they have now and how they view life and the people in it? Would I tell them what I thought they needed to hear to have what I would consider a better situation and relationship or would I tell them what they needed to hear to keep their reality as it is. If I tell them “the truth”(according to me) then their life certainly would change. The opinion they had of this person, or that situation would certainly be different then what I thought. OR would I tell them what I knew they felt and thought to be in the reality and life they now have. Tough one. You wouldn’t think it would be, but it is.
This one challenge made me think deep and hard, how prideful am I to think that my opinion matters so much that I have the RIGHT to change the reality of the ones I love so much? Even if I can see it is harmful, or that they deserve “more”, the truth is they have the right to live the life they have chosen and made, regardless of my opinion of it. AND IF there is a relationship involved, I don’t have the right to harm it or change it with my word or opinions(even if in my view it is the truth and right). Can we truly say we love someone without asking ourself, “God, what do they need to hear? What is best for them” before we speak? Can we set our flesh, our opinions, our desire for that person aside and trust the Father to answer what they need vs. standing on our own accord to state and speaking what we think they need?
It’s not my place to change someones reality and life, it’s God’s. So, if I truly love you, I will seek Him first to answer and love you they way HE know you need it, not simply the way I may think you need it. Humility produces for others, while pride destroys.
Day 31! My last Day to Legacy! I can think of nothing else to share but to simply say.. Keep on…keeping on! Take the Word…Use it…Work it…Let it work in you, then share your journey…your legacy with others. Relationships are key…the Word is your lifeline and guide…Let the Spirit guide you and keep you but above all…Keep on….Keeping on!
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The yelling, the screaming, the arguing, the silence, the tension. The overabundence of words, the lack of words said. Uneasiness, work, life, church, responsibilities, business, family, kids…the DRAMA! All these things can lead to and be chaos. A feeling of life insanity that we can barely control and navigate through daily. Things that come our way that we must deal with either in a healthy way or not. Like it or not they are a part of life. One of the last things I feel is necessary to leave in this journey is peace. HOW do you go about having peace in the midst of life’s chaos?! Somethings you can control but others you cannot. How do you still have a peaceful life?
First, where can we get peace when everything around us is in turmoil? Ephesians 1:2 NIV
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. That is our source, especially when our heart, our heads, and our insides are in an uproar. We NEED an outside source to supply us with PEACE. Having a relationship with Christ and Him in us brings us the source of peace. However we must activate that with the knowledge and faith that He is all we need. We have to ALLOW Him to be all we need. See the PEACE that He brings to the inside of us overrides the chaos that is happening all around us.
The phrase that Jesus spoke to the winds and storms in Mark 4:39. Peace, be still. Jesus activated peace into the situation, by telling everything around it to be still so that peace could reign and take over. Sometimes we need to simply stop what we are doing, thinking, and speaking and say…Peace, be still. Everything in me, be still and allow peace to overtake my situation, my heart, my mind and my spirit. PEACE….be still.
In a relationship with Christ we automatically have access to an inner peace that isn’t understandable by others that don’t have that relationship. But only IF we are still and allow it to reign over our lives. You have to want to stop the inner chaos…make yourself be still long enough to know that He is God and that peace can reign inside of you. Jesus can and will calm your life storms, if you allow Him to. So, today, I challenge you, in the midst of the raging storm you are facing and think you may not make it out of. Be brave, stand in faith and activate those words! PEace, be still. Watch peace arise in your insides as you are still and know that He is God. The God of peace inside you.
3 Days left…tick tock..tick tock. What do I really want to say that I haven’t said? What do I NEED to say? Ahh I know.
My process in following Christ was coming along well. For the most part I had stopped doing all the “things” that I felt that were wrong or hindering me from God. I was making intentional efforts and strides to grow, to learn, and heal. I was doing a corporate fast with our church, and I felt led to do a specific fast for a friend and her marriage. However this fast was different. It was from certain foods but also from SEX. Now let me be clear, I was NOT happy about this! Like for real I WAS NOT! My husband and I had a very active sex life and to not have any for a MONTH was unthinkable!!
However, I was to a point in my relationship with God that my desire to be obedient was more important to me than sex(not much more but more.) I talked to my husband and made sure he was ok with it. Now he wasn’t necessarily happy about it, but he understood and agreed it was important for me to obey if I felt that was what God was leading me to do. So with reluctance and without telling many people I proceeded to fast… BOTH, food and sex!
A few days into the fast I began reading Jenetzen Franklin’s book on fasting. I had already read it once but knew there was more I could get from it. One particular passage lept out at me like never before …through fasting we can break free of the bondages that have been holding you and your mind hostage… we stay bound because we fail to fast.” Then he proceeded to list a long list of examples one of which I just happened to be struggling with. This hit me hard. You see, I was removing all the actions, speech, and outward things that I could yet my mind was still bound in this one particular area. I heard the Lord say, “Through this fast, I will free you once and for all from your torment.” I thought, “Is that even possible?” You see I had come to terms that I would just have to “live with” this mental fight and keep it contained, because it was how I was made. “But free me from this? are you sure that’s an actual possibility?!? Well, we shall see!” I thought. Did I want to be free? Absolutely! I had tried so many time to be, yet always failed.
You see through all the years of having “sexual freedom” and “owning my sexuality” I had become dependent on fantisizing about others in order to be intimate with my husband. Specifically, women. I thought that because I couldn’t “shake” this desire or fantasy it was just a part of me. As long as I did not act on it, or indulge it, it would be ok. As long as I fought it, I could just try and suppress the mental part that wouldn’t relent. However, the closer I became to God the more torturous the thoughts were to me, yet I still “needed them”. I would explain homosexuality like this to people. I beleive it is how people are made, they can’t control who they are attracted to. They can only control if they act upon that attraction. Ex. I could be attracted to your husband, yet I choose not to pursue him because of my beliefs on how that it would be wrong. Can I help that I am attracted to him? NO, but I can help what I do or do not do about it. That was my explanation… to myself and others.
Well the fast was HARD… LIKE VERY HARD! Probably the hardest one I have ever taken a part of. Jimmie and I rarely went a week without sex much less an entire month! However I was now very curious and eager to see if I could be free like He said. I’m not gonna lie, I was not optimistic about it. This had been a part of me for so long I wasn’t sure it could just go away. I no longer wanted it, but I couldn’t make it go away. At the end of the fast, you can image… Jimmie and I celebrated! WOHOO! It had been so long no fantasizing was needed, however I was critically awaiting. The next time, my mind began to go to the places it had been before, yet just as quickly as a light switching on and off, what once turned me ON NOW TURNED ME OFF! The thoughts that once excited me, now nauseated me. I’ll be honest I was SHOCKED! Like for real I was. I had convinced myself that this was truly how I was made and that my mind and thoughts were just me and I would have to live with them. Yet, I was so WRONG! My mind was bound and it was now free.
Am I telling you this because I am preaching against homosexuality? NO! My point for this post is HOPE! Hope that whatever you think is impossible for you to be free from, God says there is freedom in Him. Hope that you will know that you don’t have to be tortured with thoughts or actions you can’t seem to control. He has come to renew your mind and set you free. Hope that even when you have given up hope in areas of your life and family, He will always be there saying… “I’m ready to set you free… to set them free.” Hope for the impossible…Hope for the improbable… Hope!
On the last 3 days that I have left… the Legacy I need to leave is HOPE!
Driving 2 hours to pick up this precious little puppy was the most arguing I had done in while. While on the phone with the breeder my heart began to break, yet I didn’t know why. We set up the meeting time and place, then said our goodbye. As soon as I hung up I heard the Holy Spirit say, I want you to pray for her. Cool! I can do that! So I did that night. Lindsey and I got into the car and started our long journey and I hear again, I want you to pray for her. In my head I said, I did. Nope in person…pray for her. THIS time I heard myself say out loud, “Really?!? Your kidding right?! What am I suppose to pray with her about?! She doesn’t even know me!”
The breeder had texted me a few times on the way out stating that she may not make it due to her anxiety. She struggled with severe anxiety and took a large amount of medicine simply to cope. She was having a harder then usual time and texted that she may just send her husband and daughter. Well part of me thought…Oh now I know what I’m to pray with her over. The other part of me thought, maybe she won’t show and I won’t have to pray for a total stranger, 2 hours away, in a Walgreens parking lot!! You guessed it though, she came after all. She said there was something in my voice that just made her want to meet me. HMM I think He’s called the Holy Spirit!
After randomly speaking out loud…maybe yelling a little bit. I had to explain to Lindsey what my “really” (with much attitude) was all about. Needless to say she thought it was rather humorous as I was debating with God if I was going to do it or not (because I guess she already knew who was going to win). We arrived to the designated location, met the lady, and saw Buttercup. Paid for her, chit chatted a little bit , and then said our goodbyes. As I turned to leave Lindsey just looked at me to see what I was going to do. I got half away across the parking lot and stopped dead, “CRAAAAAAP!” I made an immediate about face and walked to the ladies car door. I asked her if she minded if I prayed with her. A little taken aback and shocked, she happily said yes.
Don’t ask me what I prayed, I don’t know. I am sure whatever the Holy Spirit brought to my mind. All I know is when I hugged her at the end, she left in tears and a sense of relief. I left knowing I had been obedient. So, why am I telling you this? Day 23 of Elise’s blog is what words of LIFE has God spoken to you? There are way to many for me to write, but it did make me think about the words of life He speaks to me for others. Praying for them and releasing life to them through my words in prayer. What if I didn’t obey? What if I was afraid?
I have had a lot of lessons to learn, a lot of things to grow through and into. However, the one thing that I keep as my motto, from the beginning to the end, as simple as it may seem is…All I have to do is listen and obey. That simple. If I listen to Him and do as He asks then He will be happy with me. People complicate things so much in the church world. Rules, regulations, proper, not proper. Simply listen and obey. As simple as it sounds, obeying isn’t alway easy. Most of the time it makes no sense, you don’t understand, and you defiantly can’t worry about what others think. I mean I could have EASILY talked myself out of praying for the lady and trust me I almost did during that 2 hour ride! Yet, I knew what He had asked me to. I don’t fully know what it meant to her or did for her if anything at all. I don’t understand it or the reason for it, however I don’t need to. I simply have to obey His voice.
So while thinking of what words of life God has spoken to you, think of some He may have spoken to you for others. Did you tell them? Pray with them? Did you do as He asked? If so what was the results? If not what was your fear? Satan will use fear in any area of your life you allow him to, to stop your growth and obedience to God.
Evangelism…that was almost a dirty word in my dictionary! The thought of talking to someone about accepting Christ made me so uncomfortable I would steer away from it as much as possible OR guide it towards someone with more experience. I just recently told a fellow prayer team leader,” It’s crazy! I’ve grown up in church and still can’t do this! You can can ask me to pray about anything, in front of anyone, but get me into the sinners prayer or explaining accepting Christ and I have a mini freak out session!” WHY IS THIS?! You see I SHOULD know how to do this and want to do this! This is what spreading the gospel is all about right? I love Christ! I know He is the answer and I want everyone to have what I have with Him! Whys is it so hard!?! Well, Thank you ELISE! Your Day 21 post just helped me over come a life long fear!
Accepting Christ is not a formal prayer that simply gets you into heaven. I mean it usually comes with a prayer and the benefits ARE you go there, but that’s not all it’s about! It’s about starting a relationship with Christ and beginning to KNOW HIM! Just like any relationship it takes time(more for you then Him). Relationships take nurturing, take effort, and take a desire to have. Saying yes to Christ is saying yes to a relationship with Him and then taking the time adn effort in getting to know Him. How do you do that? AHHHH there’s the question.
How do you get to know anyone? You talk to them(prayer), but not just talking at them but WITH THEM! So in our prayer time we need to learn to listen…to hear Him respond back. He will. You spend time with people you want a relationship with right?(worship). You learn more about them…like Facebook stalking them! lol Or may maybe with Christ you learn His ways through teaching from the Word. The Bible shows Christ’s heart for us. It shows us How much He loved us. It explains how to love Him back. Saying you love Christ is great but do you show Him you love Him with your actions?
The Christian walk is all about relationship and a LIFE in a relationship. If you ever wondered, how do I have that conversation with someone so that they can experience this awesome relationship with Christ that I have? Here is the perfect example of how that conversation can go! Well Done Elise! Evangelism is redeemed!