Sunday, August 19, 2018

All He Asks Is For You To Love Him

“Often depression of spirit and great misery of soul are removed as soon as we quit our idols and bow ourselves to obedience before the living God.  We must do this with all our hearts and all our souls, and then our captivity will end.” – Charles Spurgeon

“Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” – Deuteronomy 8:3

“Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.” – Deuteronomy 6:13

“Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:25-26

“God says if we will direct our worship to Him, He will give us strength to turn from the mistakes of yesterday and provide portions for our needs of today.” – Lisa TerKeurst

Cravings come from a feeling of emptiness.  Lusts come from feeling deprived.  And boasting comes from feeling rejected.  It made so much sense to me to read this.  Finally, I understand why I have binge eaten for years…when I have felt “empty” from loneliness, sadness, feeling overwhelmed, feeling rejected and unloved.  I have been trying to “fill” my emptiness with food.  And, it has worked to a point…it has numbed me briefly, but it has left an even emptier feeling afterward.

When I read that the strength I need to turn from binge eating only comes AFTER WORSHIPPING THE LIVING GOD, I realized I’ve had this backwards for decades!  I’ve been trying to TURN FROM THE FOOD.  And, I’ve had NO strength of myself to do it--even though I've prayed and tried and prayed and quoted Scripture!  That’s because only through worship does the strength come.  AND, IT COMES FROM GOD…NOT FROM MYSELF!!!!! 

This truth has convulsed me to my core.  When I tried to write this out the first time for myself, it took me THREE tries to get it right!  I kept writing, “Turn from…”  But, I kept saying it backwards.  We DON’T TURN FROM!  WE TURN TO!!!!  We turn TO God; then, God gives the strength my heart needs to turn from!  Turning to God in WORSHIP first FILLS US UP!!!  WE THEN NO LONGER NEED OR EVEN DESIRE THE FOOD IDOL!

I have been replacing God with idols.  This “slight” shift of thinking has been cataclysmic to my former way of thinking.  Immediately, I changed my focus from food to worship of the living God.  I began to read Scripture daily and I was already doing a Bible study called, “Uninvited.”  I woke up the next day and had a "smallish" (normal!) breakfast.  I then committed to waiting to eat my next meal until my stomach growled.  I love using this signal as a natural bodily function designed by God.  I will tell you, I felt like I was going through DT’s not going to food before my stomach growled again to eat lunch at noon!  This food idol is a clawing, grasping demon.

But, each time I was tempted to go to the kitchen, instead, I talked to God.  I told Him, “Father, I choose YOU over food!”  And, no kidding—each and every time, I didn’t think about food again for awhile.  GOD GAVE ME THE STRENGTH NECESSARY!  HE DID IT…I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO TRY!  I did this each time I felt forcibly drawn into the kitchen.  And, each time I told God, “I choose YOU over food,” and read Scripture or talked with God.  That first period between breakfast and lunch was my hardest time. 

I am enjoying the relationship with my Lord more than ever!  I had just never thought about my choices like food and when to eat it as opportunities to worship God.  I knew the Bible tells us that God is jealous for me and that He wants my undivided worship, but I HAD NO IDEA THE POWER BEHIND IT!  I didn’t realize that STRENGTH to OVERCOME only comes from God…and that it comes only AFTER true worship.  I always thought, I guess, that the strength to overcome would come to ME after I read Scripture, prayed, etc.  BUT I had it backwards...The only strength comes from God.  The strength comes from my worshipping and loving Him.  HE DOES IT!  ...NOT ME!!! This is the power to overcome Paul talks about all through the New Testament!

Idols have a choke-hold on us that can only be loosed by God.  Choosing God over these idols through worship of Him releases the power of God to tear down the strongholds in our lives.  In the study, “Uninvited,” Lisa asks, “Is my attention being held by something sacred or something secret?  Pornography, sex outside of marriage, trading your character to claw your way to a position of power, fueling your sense of worth with your child’s successes, and spending outside of your means to constantly dress your life in the next new thing—all things we do to counteract feelings of being left out of and not invited to the good things God has given others—these are just some of the ways lust sneaks in and wreaks havoc.  Two words that characterize misplaced worship or lust are secret excess.  God says if we will direct our worship to Him, He will give us strength to turn from the mistakes of yesterday and provide portions for our needs of today.”  Secret...and Excess.  Need I say more?

So, I’ve been replacing idol worship with God worship in my eating, in my quitting the “news” which has pretty much become pornographic to listen to or read, in my slothfulness, in my negativity…in other areas of strongholds that I have not been successful long-term changing in my life.  The Lord has already been telling me to memorize and daily repeat scriptures regarding these problem areas.  NOW, they are even more meaningful to me as I turn them into worship when I turn TO God so that I can gain HIS STRENGTH to overcome!

I praise God today for this powerful insight into overcoming long-term the strongholds in my life.  I pray that God will sweetly and "life-changingly" use this for good in someone else’s life as he has mine.  I pray for someone else to fall in love with their Savior more deeply and intimately as a result.

Just a brief FYI...Two days...minus 2.6 lbs.  Boom!  I'm eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner (normal sized meals...enough that my stomach growls about the time the next meal rolls around) and I'm worshipping God and putting HIM first and HE is keeping me from giving in to the idols that would love to grab me by the throat!  

I always "knew" that this weight issue I have dealt with for so long had to do with my relationship with God.  I guess I just thought I had to behave good enough for Him to love me and help me.  Little did I realize it all had to do with just loving Him.  And letting Him SHOW me how very much HE loves me!  

...And, will be able to look at me in the next year and see how much I love Him. It will show all over me!  I know this makes me very vulnerable.  But, God has shown me something so life-changing and true that I want to share it with anyone who will listen.  The Bible tells me to tell of his amazing deeds...and this one is HUGE!  So, I share it.  May God bless the worship of our hearts.  I love you and am praying for you.  I know how long you have struggled, wept, prayed, begged and pleaded with God.  He just wants a relationship with you.  He wants your love and devotion.  HE does the heavy lifting for you once you TURN TO HIM instead of your idol.

“God says if we will direct our worship to Him, He will give us strength to turn from the mistakes of yesterday and provide portions for our needs of today.”

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

They Can’t All Be Wrong And You Right…Or Can They?

Where to even begin today...

Well, here goes...I'll just dive right in.

Today I'm writing to perhaps a small interest group.  But, it may be far larger than I imagine.  And, for some reason, I think probably it is.

To the person I’m writing for today, you likely feel one of these three ways about yourself growing up:

1.  “I grew up in a loving home.  Maybe we didn't always overtly "show" our love, but it was always "there."  We just "knew" it.  I would call the bond "strong," and we would "always be there for one another when the going got tough."  It's something I always just “knew.”  “Love” never had to be stated or explicitly shown, but it was always implied.  Sometimes I felt like I had to “walk on eggshells” because of someone’s temper and “you never wanted to make it worse,” but then that’s how every family is, isn’t it?”

2.  “I grew up in a scary home.  I never knew when the axe would fall.  I had to stay vigilant so as not to be taken by surprise by what might happen.  I felt mostly rejected, unloved, worthless, and helpless.  I was to blame for a lot.  It seemed like I could never do anything right.  Sometimes I was punished for things I didn’t do, and a lot of times I had to take blame for things that didn’t even make sense.  Things were done to me that I couldn’t talk about because no one believed me, or I was told or made to understand that to “tell” would be even worse than what I was enduring.  And, so, life went on as usual and no one was ever the wiser.  I could see that perhaps every family wasn’t like mine, but I couldn’t clarify what was right or what was wrong because so much in my family just didn’t make sense.  Usually, I just figured it was really all my fault, anyway.”

3.  “I grew up in a scary home.  Things went on that I knew weren't right and that I didn’t understand.  I saw one of my parents doing things to one of my siblings that scared me.  I wasn’t usually treated that way, and I didn’t want to ever be treated that way, so I just tried to ignore it, stayed out of sight, and hoped it would go away.  I learned to lie so that I never got caught in the crosshairs of being treated like that.  I would do anything to keep from rocking the boat.”

Sweet, sweet Friend…I want you to know to every last molecule of your being:  NONE of the aforementioned scenarios is okay before God Almighty.  Not one of these “raisings” brings you out unscathed!

True love is never just implied and never shown.  We all desperately want to be and feel loved.  “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)  The Bible tells us the Truth:  True love is SHOWN.  Any way of being treated that leaves us questioning the treatment, making us feel dirty, or making us feel guilty or shamed is NOT TRUE LOVE!  Anyone…ANYONE…who treats us in ANY way that makes us FEEL BAD afterward is NOT good for us to be around.  PERIOD!  

It is highly likely that if you grew up in a home where you “just knew you were loved” even though it was never “shown,” you grew up in an emotionally abusive home.  You wanted so desperately to “know” you were loved, you made it up and believed it with all your heart.  You had to in order to “survive.”

We should never be made to feel that we must “walk on eggshells” or “we’ll get it!”  No one has the right to impose their personality on us in such a way that triggers a “fight or flight” feeling within us.  The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”  This, Sweet Friend, is how we are to treat others AND it’s how others, especially Christians, are to treat one another.

What I want you to know today, Dear One, is that you might have grown up in a home that was less than loving.  Some of you grew up in homes that were not even close to loving.  And, this has affected you in a HUGE way.  All of your thinking processes, the way you make decisions, even your inability to make good decisions, come from this bad treatment you endured and from not having the gift of having good behavior modeled for you. 

You can’t help how you were raised.  The GOOD NEWS is that you can change all of that and become strong and healthy!  Through Christ Jesus and His example for us, we can all learn and model good, decent, and loving behavior.

There is one more very important thing you need to know if you grew up in a home like one of these I have given as examples.  That is this:  There is something called a “Black Sheep Family.”  Have you ever heard of it?  I hadn’t!  It’s very, very interesting.

In a “normal” type of family, if a person decides to go off and become a “Black Sheep,” (defined as: a member of a family or group who is regarded as a disgrace to them), it is generally thought that they "go off" and live a life that is in some way morally bad according to society in general. For a Christian family, this would specifically include going off and living in ways that are opposed to Christian values found in the Bible and as taught by Jesus/God.  In other words, the Black Sheep no longer holds to the moral values of the family.  To “come back into the good graces” of the family would mean you would ask for forgiveness and change your behavior.

In a “Black Sheep Family,” the morally “bad” behavior (the disgrace) is going on within the ranks of the entire family, but they believe an “illusion of the perfect family” must be maintained at all times and at all costs.  Therefore, no APPEARANCE of moral wrongdoing by the family is allowed to be seen or known by others.  So, what happens is that since the members of the family who have ALLOWED the abusive behavior TO CONTINUE feel that they cannot be “seen” as having “condoned” or in any way been “bad” themselves, they close ranks and re-victimize the victim through intimidation if he ever tries to bring attention to his abuse. The victim is “taught a lesson” and the family goes on as if nothing has ever happened.  To make sure they maintain the illusion of the perfect family, the Black Sheep Family all work together to make certain the victim is made to “look crazy, be the “problem child,” etc., etc.  They work quickly and fervently to do “damage control” and put out fires by any means possible if the abuse is ever brought to light in any way.

This is how people like Harvey Weinstein get away with sexual abuse for decades and decades!  The “Black Sheep Family of Hollywood” is very loathe to accuse anyone within their ranks.  So, anyone trying to bring attention to abuse they have suffered are cast themselves as “The Black Sheep” and they are victimized and shut down by any means possible.  They then let the abuser carry on as usual.

Black Sheep families and groups “cannot” allow a victim to speak from a position of truth.  It ruins their illusion of the perfect family.  Remember:  The victim is NOT a Black Sheep...not a disgrace.  They are the moral one trying to shine a light on a wrong.  WHOEVER allows a wrong to continue is a Black Sheep.  Anyone in these families or groups who works to shut down the “right thing to do” is a Black Sheep...a disgrace.

You may have always been made to believe “it’s all your fault” because abusers have a desperate need to place blame somewhere other than on themselves.  So, if you feel confused and nothing makes sense, it’s highly likely you have been blame-shifted by someone else all your life and…you need to be away from them! 

So…is it possible that “they can all be wrong and you right?”  YES!  It is ABSOLUTELY possible that an entire family or group can be doing wrong and condoning wrong while you are trying to do the right thing.  

I hope this makes sense to you if you have grown up in a home like the ones I’ve described.  If you are trying to grow and change and undo damage that has been done to you TAKE HEART!  God is on YOUR side and don’t let anyone get your eyes off Jesus and what He teaches.  If you grew up in a “so-called” Christian home, but the things that go on in that home don’t line up with what you are taught in the Bible, the chances are very high you grew up in a “Black Sheep Family.”

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.”  The family or group who is crushing one of its own is wrong.  If you are trying to speak out or speak up for the one being crushed, you are NOT wrong!  And, remember:  these Black Sheep “Families” can be not only entire families, but any group, organization, class, etc., which allows any type of abuse within it.  I have even seen it in a Sunday School class at church.  An abuser came in and the “authority” of the class (teacher, director, etc.) allowed the abuser’s behavior to continue.  Those who speak up against the abuser's abuse are severely reprimanded and chastised...all for the sake of the "appearance of the class."  So you either have to stay in the class and be a part of the abuse by watching the abuser abuse other members or you have to leave.   

If you think you might be a victim of abuse of any type…whether physical, sexual, or emotional, please seek help.  I have done research using the website:  It is extremely insightful.  Our world is composed of people who are tainted by sin because of Satan.  None of us is perfect.  The Bible teaches us in 2 Corinthians 5:21:  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”   

Beloved, know that there is always hope in Jesus.  God loves you.  Even if you feel there is no one who loves you, or ever loved you, always remember:  “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15).


…THE BEST NEWS IN THE WORLD IS:  “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).  You ARE LOVED!!!

Monday, June 19, 2017


OH MY GOODNESS!  I have been impacted by something so transformational that I don't even know where to begin!  I don't know if I even have the capacity to relay to you all that God has shown me that has changed my life so significantly, but I will try...

Several weeks ago, I was reading an article by a woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of having tried to commit suicide.  Her story is one of remarkable recovery and change.  I was so curious about it, I did more research into studies about brain function.

The result of my search was that of Science colliding with God!  Not colliding in the sense that they clashed, but that Science CONFIRMED Scripture head-on for me, and my own brain began to explode with excitement over what I discovered!  It has changed how I look at Scripture forever!

My sweet second husband, Rick, suffered a brain tumor that took away the entire bottom half of his vision.   Doctors told him that the brain can re-learn everything except for vision. He had no choice but to learn to live with that disability.  My study of the brain confirmed that the brain, indeed, can be "re-wired!"

This is the sentence that captured my attention:  "What actually changes in the brain are the strengths of the connections of neurons that are engaged together, moment by moment, in time.  The more something is practiced, the more connections are changed and made to include all elements of the experience (sensory info, movement, cognitive patterns).  You can think of it like a "MASTER CONTROLLER" being formed for that particular behavior, which allows it to be performed with remarkable facility and reliability OVER TIME."

Immediately upon reading this, God showed me that this is why He tells us in His Word to MEDITATE upon His Word!  God, Himself, once we commit our lives to Him, becomes our "Master Controller!"  He has given us His Word (the Bible) to show us how best to live.  He created us and He says in Isaiah 43:4-5:  "You are precious to me.  You are honored, and I love you.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you."  His Word to us tells us that He sent Jesus so that we can "have a rich and satisfying life" (John 10:10).  God tells us to "renew our minds" through His Word...Scripture!  Romans 12:2 states, "Let God TRANSFORM you into a new person by changing the way you think."  This is EXACTLY what Science says must happen to make any change in our brains!  We must change the way we think! Science even now tells us that, "Your brain has a natural negativity bias which means it constantly looks for, learns from, and holds onto anything it considers a danger or loss with much more gusto than something neutral or pleasant.  Bad memories even get stored differently."

To change any habit, etc., we must change the "Default" our brain automatically goes to based on our already hard-wired habits!

Brain research shows that "Your brain actually wires itself and forms neuronal connections based on what you do over and over in your life.  Vegging out in front of the TV, having a sugar fix, sipping soda, fixing a cocktail to unwind after work, smoking cigarettes, biting your fingernails.  These activities literally become wired into your brain."  To "re-wire" our brain to change a habit, therefore, we must change what we do "over and over" in any given circumstance!  This is the answer to overcoming strongholds, or bad habits, in our lives.  This is the very definition of, "Get behind me Satan!"  (In Matthew 16:23, we even see Jesus saying to Peter, "Get away from me, Satan!  You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's.")  We must do exactly what the Bible tells us to do:  Acknowledge the wrong way of thinking, quote Scripture, and do it God's way!  ...Over and over and over...and the neurons that "fire together" gradually begin to fire together in a new pattern...the pattern you desire for your life...rather than the other habit that became your "Default" through its repeated use!

Ephesians 4:23 says, "Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God."

In my research I found this quote:  "There's a traditional saying that the mind takes the shape it rests upon:  the modern update is that the brain takes the shape the mind rests upon.  For instance, if you regularly rest your mind upon worries, self criticism, and anger, then your brain will gradually take that shape--will develop neural structures and dynamics of anxiety, low sense of worth, and prickly reactivity to others.  On the other hand, if you regularly rest your mind upon, for example, noticing you're all right right now, seeing the good in yourself and letting go...then your brain will gradually take the shape of calm strength, self confidence, and inner peace."

I came away from hours of brain research sooooo excited about being a Christian!  God so very clearly showed me how brilliant He is, how dearly I am loved, how intricately He has made us, and He specifically wanted me to know that I know that I know that He is Sovereign.  He is in control.  And, He knows exactly how to make my life beautiful, peaceful, happy, contented, and, most importantly, He wanted me to see how what He has been trying to teach me my whole life is even just now being backed up by Science.  He showed me...once again...that He "is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." (Revelation 22:13)  Science always has and Science always will FOLLOW AFTERWARDS.  God already has all the answers for our life.  God allows science to confirm Himself, and I absolutely adore that!  Every time this happens, it thrills my soul!  God loves to confirm Himself powerful and loving!

I wish I could convey the great joy and happiness God has brought into my life via this "little article" I "just happened to read" and which "just happened to lead" to the research that has forever changed my life!  God tells us in Psalms 32:8:  "The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.  Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control...unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD."

I praise God today for His sweet guidance in my life.  I began several months ago to walk and memorize Scripture.  He has been showing me throughout my life that memorizing Scripture and praying it back to Him was the way to overcome sin in my overcome fear through have faith in Him in all circumstances.

I overcame panic attacks in my life simply by trusting God with it.  I allowed Him to lead me to wellness.  I just knew if I was to be well, it would be through Christ.  I instinctively just knew this was a spiritual issue for me.  God first led me to the verse, Isaiah 26:3: "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"  Then, I learned how to "fix" my thoughts on Him:  God led me to the verse, John 1:1:  "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

The Word is Jesus.  Scripture is God's Word to us.  So, I began to meditate on Isaiah 26:3 every time I would wake up in panic in the middle of the night.  I would quote it whenever I was hit with panic during the day.  Then, I learned that if I coughed, turned my head, and began to think about something else (distraction!), the panic attack subsided.  I did this every time a panic attack struck and, over time...doing the same thing over and over...after about three months, I quit being hit with panic attacks.

About a year later, I woke up in the night with the room "swirling," and I didn't understand what was going on.  The Lord showed me this was Satan "tempting" me with panic, just disguised with different symptoms than before.  So, I shouted out loud, "Go away, Satan!" and I began to say over and over the name, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," because in Proverbs 18:10, the Bible says, "The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe."  Pretty quickly, I was no longer attacked in this way.  James 4:6-7 says, "As the Scriptures say, God opposes the proud but favors the humble.  So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you."  After just a couple of times of this happening to me and me immediately quoting Scripture, I have not been paralyzed by panic attacks for decades.

Later, the Lord showed me that the reason I was having panic attacks in the first place was my desperate attempt to "control" my life.  At the time they began, I was going through a very difficult stage of life and felt "out of control" in my life!  God revealed to me that I was not trusting Him to lead and guide me...not letting Him be the wise "master controller" of my life!  God showed me in Daniel 4:26, about King Nebuchadnezzar, "You will receive your kingdom back again when you have learned that heaven rules."  God. Rules.  Not.  Me!  I can trust His wisdom in the things He allows to happen in my life. Period.


God continues answering my prayer for healing from a stronghold I have been dealing with for ages! He has used Science to show me He knows best.  From the beginning, He has told me to memorize His Word.  He has the answer to every question in my life.  To every problem I have.  When my wonderful husband, Paul, and I purchased my engagement and wedding ring 45 years ago, the kind jeweler we purchased it from also sold us a beautiful little Bible with a Mother-of-Pearl cover on it and he said to us, "The answer to every problem you will ever have is right here in this Bible!"  And, do you know what?  Forty-five years later, I can look back and he was spot-on!  God has answered every single problem I have ever had through His Word and prayer!  And, God has, indeed, given me the abundant life He promises!  I cannot praise Him enough today!

I now have pages and pages of Scripture printed out to read over.  I am overcoming a stronghold of gluttony...overeating...eating more than is necessary and good for me. Folks, can I tell you, this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with in my life!  It  has bamboozled me for decades.  Stopping it has defeated me for years.  It has been a spiritual defeat for me.

God has led me on a journey toward victory in this area of my life.  I would not for one second change how He has dealt with me.  Every step of the journey has been important...not only for healing of the addiction, but for the spiritual insights I've gained as a result of each step taken on the road to recovery!

God now has me walking my 30-minute "praise walk," reading beautiful verses that answer all the reasons "why" I overeat and they give me "God's mind" on each matter.  I am literally "re-wiring"..."renewing" mind to become like the mind of Christ!  I am literally changing my brain patterns (confirmed by "Science!") from its former "associations" and am forming new ones!  I am gaining new "defaults" to go to rather than to food!  For instance, I have listed every possible reason I can think of for "why" I go to food rather than to God for comfort:  pain of relationships, boredom, "everyone else is eating and I'm not hungry yet", loneliness, stress, anxiety, anger, worry, tiredness, frustration, overwhelmedness, fear, stupidity, feeling out of control, guilt, sadness, hate, depression, wanting to reward myself, hurt, insignificance, rejection, sense of God's displeasure, unhappiness, embarrassment, being "old and unimportant," feeling that "nothing matters," comfort, having no husband, disappointment, discouragement, confusion, bad memories, lack of self-control, temptation...I have listed every reason I can think of with God's help.

For each reason I overeat, I have googled and found beautiful verses to keep me from going to food.  I can now go to God through these verses and re-train my mind to think about relationships, frustration, discouragement, insignificance, comfort, etc., the way God wants me to think about them!    I love this one for when I am tempted, for instance, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind, and God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  1 Corinthians 10:13.  I am re-training my brain to default to this look for his sweet way of say, "Go away, Satan!"

I know that I know that I know that it won't be long and these new ways of thinking will take over and these painful "associations" and eating will no longer go together; rather,  painful events in my life and these new, constructive and healthy associations of Scripture will begin to "fire together" in my mind.  Soon, just like the panic attacks of old, I will be free from overeating!  Praise God!

I have become amazingly happy.  I now go to bed happy and I wake up happy.  I find my mind ruminating upon God's Word of happiness, comfort, and peace!  I used to go to bed scared and worried and I woke up the same way.  My mind is beginning to rest upon God's Word and Truth.  I am waking up to songs of praise to God, my Savior, instead of negative, worrying, unhappy thoughts.

THIS!  Yes, THIS is why Jesus came.  He came to save us from ourselves and how we automatically tend toward our negative and protective nature because of sin in the world! He came that we might know how to renew - "re-wire" - our brains...our minds...and enjoy the abundant life He has promised to those of us who are His children through Jesus Christ!  It is IMPOSSIBLE without the renewing of our minds!

So, we can choose to use the "Science" of neuroplasticity to work our tails off, trying as hard as we can to "re-wire" our brains in man's best efforts, or we can choose to embrace the simplicity of God's way...meditating on His Word about all that pertains to our lives. Truly, the answer to any problem we have is found in God's Holy Word to us.

Today, it's so easy for us to simply google what God's Word has to say on __________. (Fill in the blank!)  Print out the verses that God stirs your heart with and read and pray them back to God every day and whenever temptation comes your way.  You can do this. Freedom is within reach!  God says it best in John 8:31-32:  "Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  AND YOU WILL  KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE."

Dear Ones, learn the truth about what GOD says about you and your life.  The hateful things others say about you, the bad things you say about yourself, and the harmful things that have happened to you...that is not the truth! What Satan says to you to deceive you with is not truth!  Get the truth engrained in the beautifully-made brain God has given you! Make new neuronal connections in your brain by memorizing Scriptures to go with whatever you are trying to change.  I also now tell myself over and over that "I don't eat in bed.  I don't eat when I watch TV.  I don't listen to the news (because I don't want my mind ruminating - resting on - fear).  I don't eat when I read a book.  I wait for my stomach to growl to eat.  I eat only about a fist-sized amount of anything I want (the size of a normal stomach) when I do eat."  And, as I do this over and over and over, each time I do it, my brain is computing it.

I am making new associations for myself.  I am stopping associating reading a book and other enjoyable and good things with food.  Food is for nourishment...not an entertainment, not a reward, not a comfort.  Food is a blessing to be thankful to God for in and of itself.  God says in 1 Timothy 4:3, "God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth.  Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.  For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer."

The articles I read on brain function said that with discipline, hard work, and over time, the neurons that fire together to make the "defaults" that our brain automatically goes to in any given situation, will absolutely change.  When I read that, it served to remind me how very, very lazy I have been in my Christian walk to memorize Scripture.  That if I had consistently done it like God exhorts us to do, I would already have been so much further in my mind becoming like the mind of Christ's!  I have at least been wise enough to recognize that for every problem I encounter, God has the answer and I'd better look up the Scriptures I need to memorize and pray!  And, God has been faithful always to be true to His Word and rescue me...but I am thinking that much precious time from "problem" to His answering me has been wasted simply because I HAVE been like the "senseless horse and mule" God talks about in Psalms 32:8!  I have bucked and balked and tried to control situations on my own and in my own way and God has very gently and sweetly tried to keep me on the pathway that is best for my life.  I praise Him for His patience with me!

I pray today that God will use this article to help someone reading it who has come to the end of their wits...someone who is ready and willing to change.  The answer is that we must find the way to change what our habitual default is.  And, the only way to do that is to do the thing in a new way, over and over and over.  Then, our brain will have re-learned how to respond in that particular situation.  The overarching solution is to give your situation to God...let Him show you the verses He wants you to know and to learn about Him.  Then, you can input this new thinking into your brain. And, every time you go to that rather than the old default, your brain is learning to change to it instead.  Take the time to do the googling of scriptures for your situation, to print it out or write it down and read it every day!  Practice over and over going to it when you are tempted.

You and I can do this hard work and discipline if we know it is going to make a difference. Science has proven it just takes changing what we do each time to create a lasting effect. Knowing that it is just a matter of time and hard work makes this totally doable!  We can absolutely do this!  I have already seen it change me in spectacular ways in a very short period of time.

With every new skill we learn, the brain records the good tries as well as the bad passes. The more good tries we are successful with, the more the brain adapts to having that response.  Praise God for how He has made us!  Praise God He is FOR us!  And, praise God for answered prayer!

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!" (John 15:7)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Psalm 96 says, "Sing a new song to the LORD!  Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!  Sing to the LORD; praise his name.  Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.  Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.  Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.  Great is the LORD!  He is most worthy of praise!"

…"Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.  Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.  Great is the LORD!  He is most worthy of praise!"

So…"publish" and "tell" is what God asks of us.  When he does something amazing and glorious…share it!

So, tell I must…God has been amazing me now for 54 years!
Recently, I have begun walking 30 minutes each day.  At first, I memorized Scripture as I walked.  Then, after our pastor preached a sermon on "Praise," I began spending that 30 minutes praising God for Who He is and for all He has done.  These 30 minutes of my day have become a refreshing to my soul and spirit.  Psalm 22:3 tells us that "God inhabits the praises of His people."  Our pastor said, "Praise is God’s address!" He went on further to tell us that if we would just begin to praise God, many of us would see miracles happen in our lives…and many would become well as a result of making a habit of praising God.

I immediately began noticing a change in my attitude…in my outlook on life.  If you listen to the news and to people talking about what’s going on in the world, it’s easy to become pessimistic, gloomy, and depressed.  After my first 30-minute "praise walk," it was very apparent how happy I had become.  As I walked and thanked God for all He has done for me…as I thanked Him for all the beautiful answers to prayer He has given me…and even as I was able to thank Him for prayers He answered with a "No," I became totally amazed at what an awesome God He is!
During my first walk, God showed me two particular prayers I had fervently asked Him to answer how I wanted Him to answer.  God very clearly showed me how much better it has been for all involved that He answered them, "No!"  It startled me how happy I was to have gotten a "no" from Him!  I began to look back and see many more "no’s" that I was thankful for from the past.  I praised God for His great wisdom.

Over 54 years with my Savior, I have filled numerous prayer journals with prayer requests and God’s answers to those prayers.  I will not go back over them all, but I want to recount just a few from the journal I began in January, 2017:

·        Two financial needs I asked God to provide for me.  ANSWER:  God supplied both needs by taking the needs completely away and providing in another way!

·        I asked God to guide me in another financial decision that was very difficult for me to make.  ANSWER:  Within the week, God took away two financial responsibilities I had, giving me a direct answer of what to do.

·       A ten-year-long prayer for a loved one.  ANSWER:  Out of the blue one day, the answer came dramatically and was answered in a way that gave me GREAT joy.

·         A decades-long prayer for a loved one to return to a life of loving and serving God.  ANSWER:  I received word one day that one of their children came to salvation when a neighbor invited them to church…which led to the renewal of this loved one’s commitment to Christ.  The entire family is now loving and serving God with great delight!

·         Prayer for a friend diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.  ANSWER:  Surgery revealed it to be not what the Dr. thought, but was easily treated and removed.

·       Prayer for a baby born with severe birth defects and not expected to live long.  ANSWER:  This child now prospers in every physical way!  This is a true miracle!

·         I prayed for 9 years for a good husband for a sweet family friend.  ANSWER:  She recently married, and when I got to the wedding, I discovered she was marrying the brother of a good friend of mine!
·       Two family members in dire health situations.  ANSWER:  God spared both lives!

·        A sweet friend’s mother had a life-threatening surgery.  ANSWER:  She came through the surgery beautifully!  At the last minute, doctors discovered a situation that would have killed her during the surgery, but God intervened before the surgery.

·       A friend was discovered to have a rare and life-threatening liver disease.  ANSWER:  Upon being sent to a specialist, our friend was told the other Dr. had amazingly discovered his disease in time so that it could be treated!

·       A 5-year-long prayer for a dear young friend a godly husband.  ANSWER:  She’s getting married in June!

·       A 2-year prayer for a loved one with a spot on his lung and a bad cough that needed to be treated, but he was worried about his wife getting her pacemaker put in and those bills paid for first.  ANSWER:  He recently went in for an x-ray and was told, “That spot is gone!  All we can figure is you must have inhaled something and coughed it out!”  And, his wife is doing great as well!  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy this has made me!

·       Continued prayers for our nation and the loss of religious freedoms.  ANSWER:  I was so happy to see the President the other day sign legislation reversing that trend in our country!

·         A 4-year prayer concerning ongoing bullying.  ANSWER:  God so kindly took me out of that situation, taught me huge insights into bullying and how to deal with a bullying person.  Praise God!  He has taken fear from me and restored the joy of my salvation!  God showed me how to forgive and even pity and pray for this person. 

·        I have been praying for my children and God’s provision for them.  ANSWER:  God has been so very gracious to give my children good jobs, where they are appreciated and thriving.  God continues to bless and honor their work.

In a word of encouragement for those of us who pray for God to work in the lives of our children and grandchildren, I was fascinated by a quote our pastor gave us last Sunday:  J. C. Ryle, a Bishop from Liverpool in the 1800's, said, "The children for whom many prayers have been offered, seldom finally perish."  I love that, don't you?

I have written several other posts about prayer, but tonight as I was reading in Psalms, I knew God intended for me to "do" what He tells us to do in Psalms 96:1-4…to proclaim the good news that he saves; to publish his glorious deeds; and to tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:31 to boast in the Lord…we are to give glory to God by proclaiming His goodness. 

How about you?  Will you begin boasting in the Lord…praising Him for His goodness to you?  Praising Him for Who He is and for all He has done?  By "Telling everyone about the amazing things he does"?

I will make you a promise:  You cannot continually praise God and be depressed.  You can’t praise God and not be changed…and that for the better!  If you need a “lift” today, just spend some time being thankful to God.  You will find yourself cultivating a relationship with your Savior that you will look forward to with all your heart!  I don’t enjoy walking, but I absolutely look forward to it now that I spend it praising God and having my spirits rejuvenated!  It’s like a daily “facelift!”  I love it!!!

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands."  Psalms 63:3-4

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Soooo...have you made any New Year's Resolutions this year?  I'm generally not a fan of them because, actually, I can't remember a single resolution I've made at the New Year that has stuck with me.  Good intentions, always, but the deeply-rooted patterns of my life have always prevailed.

This year feels different...mainly because my "resolution" this year comes at the tail end of a long, progressive series of battles in one particular area of my life which God has been working on.  And I do mean working on!  For years and years. 

Some time ago, God began whispering to me something quite counterintuitive about my problem.  He told me that, rather than focusing on the "problem," I needed to be focusing on "Him" instead.  He said that focusing on the problem all the time kept me "in" the problem, and that focusing on Him instead would take me "out" of the problem...would put it into the background as I brought Him to the forefront.  So, I began to explore what that would look like, and I tried to make changes.

I began to notice that when my heart drew near to God through prayer and reading my Bible, I did "do better." But, my "resolve" didn't last long and I seemingly, "inevitably," soon went back to my "old, familiar ways" and to the sin which so easily beset me.

One night not long ago, as I was mulling over "my problem" and what to do about it, the Lord whispered into my ear:  "What does the Bible say about "the fruits of the Spirit and self control?"  So, I turned the light on, got out of bed, and googled "fruits of the Spirit and self control."  Google sent me to Galatians 5.  If you are a Christian, as I am, God gives you a tremendous gift: Truth.  So, when I hear truth, I know it.  A comforting warmth engulfs my body and settles around me like a soft, cozy blanket on a cold winter's night.  God gave me these words of Truth from Galatians 5:  

"But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us."   

"What is important is faith expressing itself in love."

"You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.  For the whole law can be summed up in this one command:  "Love your neighbor as yourself."

"So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses."

"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear:  sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these."

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things!"

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in
every part of our lives."

This was all well and good...and I had read this passage many times, but I wasn't gaining the fruit of self-control I was seeking.  I consider myself a Christian truly trying to live a Christian life, but failing to obtain a fruit of the Spirit was frustrating me to no end!

So, immediately I googled, "How do I let the Holy Spirit guide my life?"

These were the phrases and words God led me to in my search:

"Don't accommodate your sin.  Get rid of it!  You can't "manage" sin!"  (This was written in the margin of my Bible as notes I took from my pastor's sermon one Sunday.)  

"Read God's Word"


I realized that just "wanting" a fruit of the Spirit wasn't enough.  So, the first thing I did was to begin a new Prayer Journal for 2017.  I labeled one column "Request" and across from it another was labeled "God's Answer."  I decided this year to make most of my requests quite specific so that when God answers I can definitely "see" if His answer is "Yes," "No," or "Wait for My Timing."  I have 40 Requests placed at Jesus' feet in my journal so far.  Request #7 is about my "problem."  I was very specific.  Over the course of time, God has shown me some specific steps I can take to gain self-control in this area of my life.  My request is for God to help me do the things He has shown me to do.  I have asked for Him to make me successful in it.  I am asking God to help me do the things I need to do so the Holy Spirit is free to work in me.  

The next thing I did was to begin a new plan for reading the Bible through in a year.  I'm praying and I'm seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance in my life through God's Word.  I am seeking to not just read, but to obey what I read.  I am placing "my problem" in the background, leaving it in my Prayer Journal and trusting God with it, and I am purposefully bringing God to the forefront of my life through the specific disciplines of prayer, meditation on His Word, and really trying to "obey" and put into action what I'm reading.  I have recently also moved from a position of just "sitting and soaking" in a Sunday School class and am out of my comfort zone, working as a volunteer in our Children's ministry.  I am trying to "express my faith in love" as Jesus teaches in Galatians 5.

Something very obvious has happened.  Soon after I finished my Prayer Journal, I was tempted.  This time, however, instead of just numbly giving in to the temptation with no thought, I heard very distinctly in my mind, "No."  Just, "No."  This happened 3 times in a row, and each time, my mind responded to the temptation with, "No."  You need to understand that this did not come from my own will and I knew it didn't each time it happened.  It was the Holy Spirit guiding me! Tears are streaming as I write this because it was such a breakthrough for me.  I was immediately aware that this was the Holy Spirit when it happened and I instantly filled with great joy and understanding.  I laughed, grinned, and looked up to God and told Him, "Thank you!"  "Thank you!"  "Thank you!"  "I get it!"  Leave the "problem" with you and place my focus on you!

Today I felt God nudge me to write about my experience, so again I googled "How do I let the Holy Spirit guide me?  The article (below) from came up and is so good!  It repeats what God told me, as He so often does for me when He wants to teach or tell me something important.  I want to share it with you because it explains so perfectly how to overcome "problems" of sin in our lives, and it tells us how we are able to gain victory and let the Holy Spirit work in us in practical ways.

So....this year, I have hope.  A New Year, a new resolve.  I resolve to try as best I can to place God at the focusing on Him instead of my problems.  As I do this, the Holy Spirit will be free to work and act in my life to fulfill God's plans for me.  I can trust Him!  My part is easy...focus on the One who loves me best.  I know the more I focus on Him, the more I love Him, and the more I love Him, the easier it is to focus on Him!  "The Problem" has distracted me from Him and taken away my focus on "The Answer!"

God's part is to do the heavy lifting!  Praise God!  God tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

My sleep has become so sweet!  No longer do I "mull and ponder" my problem.  Now, I go to sleep after reading His Word to me and, when I do this, I sleep with a smile rather than a frown.  God's got my cares...they're written down and given over to Him in my Prayer Journal.  I can mull and ponder God's goodness to me and I can imagine what He looks like, what all He has stored up for me in Heaven, what adventures He has yet for us to go on together! Peace...sweet peace!

Precious Ones, my prayer for you in 2017 is that you will resolve to give your resolutions over to the only One who can fulfill them for you.  Resolve, instead, to love with all your heart the "Resolver" of all your problems!  I love you and pray God's richest blessings for you in the coming year!

(Here is the article I promised you taken from

"Question: "How can I overcome sin in my Christian life?"

Answer: The Bible presents several different resources to aid us in our effort to overcome sin. In this lifetime, we will never be perfectly victorious over sin (1 John 1:8), but that should still be our goal. With God’s help, and by following the principles of His Word, we can progressively overcome sin and become more and more like Christ. 

The first resource the Bible mentions in our effort to overcome sin is the Holy Spirit. God has given us the Holy Spirit so we can be victorious in Christian living. God contrasts the deeds of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:16-25. In that passage we are called upon to walk in the Spirit. All believers already possess the Holy Spirit, but this passage tells us that we need to walk in the Spirit, yielding to His control. This means choosing to consistently follow the Holy Spirit's prompting in our lives rather than following the flesh.

The difference the Holy Spirit can make is demonstrated in the life of Peter, who, before being filled with the Holy Spirit, denied Jesus three times—and this after he had said he would follow Christ to the death. After being filled with the Spirit, he spoke openly and strongly to the Jews at Pentecost.

We walk in the Spirit as we try not to quench the Spirit’s promptings (as spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 5:19) and seek instead to be filled with the Spirit—that is, to be fully under the Spirit’s control (Ephesians 5:18–21). How is one filled with the Holy Spirit? If sin is what grieves the Spirit and hinders His filling, then obedience to God is how the filling of the Spirit is maintained. We should pray that we be filled with the Spirit, immerse ourselves in God’s Word (Colossians 3:16), and walk in obedience to God’s commands. This gives the Spirit freedom to work within our thoughts and actions.

The Word of God, the Bible, says that God has given us His Word to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It teaches us how to live and what to believe, it reveals to us when we have chosen wrong paths, it helps us get back on the right path, and it helps us to stay on that path. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and powerful, able to penetrate to our hearts to root out and overcome the deepest sins of heart and attitude. The psalmist talks about its life-changing power in-depth in Psalm 119. Joshua was told that the key to success in overcoming his enemies was not to forget this resource but instead to meditate on it day and night and obey it. This he did, even when what God commanded did not make sense militarily, and this was the key to his victory in his battles for the Promised Land.

The Bible is a resource that we too often treat lightly. We give token service to it by carrying our Bibles to church or reading a daily devotional or a chapter a day, but we fail to memorize it, meditate on it, or apply it to our lives; we fail to confess the sins it reveals or praise God for the gifts it reveals to us. When it comes to the Bible, we are often either anorexic or bulimic. We either take in just enough to keep us alive spiritually by eating from the Word (but never ingesting enough to be healthy, thriving Christians), or we come to feed often but never meditate on it long enough to get spiritual nutrition from it.

It is important, if you have not made a habit of daily studying and memorizing God's Word, that you begin to do so. Some find it helpful to start a journal. Make it a habit not to leave the Word until you have written down something you have gained from it. Some record prayers to God, asking Him to help them change in the areas that He has spoken to them about. The Bible is the tool the Spirit uses in our lives (Ephesians 6:17), an essential and major part of the armor that God gives us to fight our spiritual battles (Ephesians 6:12-18).

A third crucial resource in our battle against sin is prayer. Again, it is a resource that Christians often give lip service to but make poor use of. We have prayer meetings, times of prayer, etc., but we do not use prayer in the same way as the early church (Acts 3:14:316:413:1-3). Paul repeatedly mentions how he prayed for those he ministered to. God has given us wonderful promises concerning prayer (Matthew 7:7-11Luke 18:1-8John 6:23-271 John 5:14-15), and Paul includes prayer in his passage on preparing for spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:18).

How important is prayer to overcoming sin in our lives? We have Christ's words to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before Peter's denial. As Jesus prays, Peter is sleeping. Jesus wakes him and says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matthew 26:41). We, like Peter, want to do what is right but are not finding the strength. We need to follow God's admonition to keep seeking, keep knocking, keep asking—and He will give us the strength that we need (Matthew 7:7). Prayer is not a magic formula. Prayer is simply acknowledging our own limitations and God's inexhaustible power and turning to Him for that strength to do what He wants us to do, not what we want to do (1 John 5:14-15).

A fourth resource in our war to conquer sin is the church, the fellowship of other believers. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He sent them out two-by-two (Mark 6:7). The missionaries in Acts did not go out one at a time, but in groups of two or more. The Bible commands us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together but to use that time for encouraging one another in love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). It tells us to confess our faults to one another (James 5:16). In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, we are told that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17). There is strength in numbers (Ecclesiastes 4:11-12).

Many Christians find that having an accountability partner can be a huge benefit in overcoming stubborn sins. Having another person who can talk with you, pray with you, encourage you, and even rebuke you is of great value. Temptation is common to us all (1 Corinthians 10:13). Having an accountability partner or an accountability group can give us the final dose of encouragement and motivation we need to overcome even the most stubborn of sins.

Sometimes, victory over sin comes quickly.  Other times, victory comes more slowly.  God has promised that as we make use of His resources, He will progressively bring about change in our lives.  We can persevere in our efforts to overcome sin because we know that He is faithful to His promises."