Hope for the Broken Hearted

March 5th, 2014

I came across some great encouragement for those struggling with broken hearts, oppression, and bruised spirits.

In my area of work, I come across many people in emotional pain created by a wide variety of circumstances.  Each of us, at some point during life, go through periods when we feel oppressed, almost crushed by the weight of the circumstances.  In Scripture, Paul talked about his feelings in such circumstances,

We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, yet not destroyed. (2Cor.4:8)

Since we each face “crushing” circumstances at times, it would definitely be beneficial to be able to go through them as Paul did, not denying the gravity of the situation, but not allowing the situation to destroy him emotionally. Paul’s faith, or hope, kept him from losing heart in trying times.  Faith is defined in Scripture as not only believing God exists, but that He responds positively to those who seek Him. (Heb.11:6)

It is knowledge of the nature of God that gives one hope during times of brokenness or oppression.

It is the difference between knowing without a doubt that someone cares about you and what is taking place, especially Someone with greater abilities and resources, as opposed to feeling there is no one to care at all. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Envisioning Your Own Well-Being

May 24th, 2013

Reading Level: Leisurely

Are you your own worst enemy? Check what you believe  your life is destined for!

When you envision your present situation and then the rest of your life, what do you see? Do you see a life of continual lack, illness, struggle, and disappointments? Or instead, do you envision that you are destined for a good life, an effective, satisfying life? There is an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” Why do people say that? Because there is great power to your thoughts just as there is in your words. People who believe that they are destined for a satisfying, effective life are more aware of the right opportunities when they present themselves. Such people Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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God Wants Our Lives to be Well

April 12th, 2013

It is an essential part of our healing, whether physical, emotional, and/or spiritual, to be able to believe that God wants our lives to be well.

I mention in various articles on this site how our view of God can either aid or hinder our healing. If we doubt God’s love for us, feel unworthy of His goodness, or struggle with poor childhood teaching which portrayed God as evil and vindictive, such ideas actually affect our ability to receive good from God. It is much like the psychological concept of projection. I’ll just briefly touch on it here; a person is hindered from good, positive progress in life with regards to jobs, relationships, etc. because he/she projects negative feelings and perceptions from past experiences into present job situations and relationships. Without realizing he/she is doing this, the person actually recreates a constant cycle of problems in the present situations similar to ones in the past. To put it in simplest form, a negative view of how others want to act toward you can cause people to “treat you poorly” and create more negative experiences; however, it is your own response and actions based on your negative perceptions from the past that make people again react negatively toward you.

In a similar way, our projection of negative feelings or actions onto God which do not exist in His person affect our receptibility to healing and other good from Him.

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As I cover our own perceptions more in other articles, my purpose here is to briefly provide some comforting, health-giving passages about God’s activity in our environment that relay how much God desires that our lives be safe, well, happy, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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What Are You “Not?”

October 20th, 2012

Sometimes who you are is more clearly defined by what you are “not” than your present existance or what people would describe you as being.

During a traumatic time in Paul’s life (author of 2 Corinthians), the most important aspects of his life were what he was not, rather than what he was.  Let’s take a look!  Paul said he was:

  • hard pressed on every side but not crushed (defeated)
  • perplexed and unable to find a way out but not in despair (hopeless)
  • persecuted but not abandoned
  • struck down and hurt but not destroyed (1)

At a time when things were extremely difficult in all areas (every side),  he was clueless as how to solve anyof his difficulties, he was being grossly mistreated by people and even physically harmed, Paul still rises above all this, displaying Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Are You Righting a Wrong or “Jumping the Gun”

September 1st, 2012

Certain situations may bring out in us a sense of justice, but our own indignation to “right a wrong” can make things worse.

We have been analyzing a certain situation in which we have seen much injustice, of sorts, going on. Many people have been hurt by it. Technically, it is out of our hands and not particularly our responsibility. We are idea people and problem solvers by nature, used to taking charge and correcting situations to make them better. I came across a significant post online from a website of daily articles by one of my favorite authors from the past, Oswald Chambers. It was no coincidence to come across it today, and the words were so wise and apropos that I wanted to share them with you.

How many times have you stepped in to correct a situation just because you knew you had the ability to do so, but it either wasn’t the right time or you weren’t the person for the job?

I looked up some definitions on the phrase, “jumping the gun.” Of course, the origin of the phrase refers to someone starting a race before the shot went off, but the phrase now means:

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God Wants Our Lives to be Well

August 25th, 2012

It is an essential part of our healing, whether physical, emotional, and/or spiritual, to be able to believe that God wants your life to be well.

I mention in various articles on this site how one’s view of God can either aid or hinder your healing. If you doubt God’s love for you, feel unworthy of His goodness, or struggle with poor childhood teaching which portrayed God as evil and vindictive, such ideas actually affect your ability to receive good from God. It is much like the psychological concept of projection. I’ll just briefly touch on it here; a person is hindered from good, positive progress in life with regards to jobs, relationships, etc. because he/she projects negative feelings and perceptions from past experiences into present job situations and relationships. Without realizing he/she is doing this, the person actually recreates a constant cycle of problems in the present situations similar to ones in the past. To put it in simplest form, a negative view of how others want to act toward you can cause people to “treat you poorly” and create more negative experiences; however, it is your own response and actions based on your negative perceptions from the past that make people again react negatively toward you.

In a similar way, one’s projection of negative feelings or actions onto God that do not exist in His person affect your receptibility to healing and other good from Him.

As I covered our own perceptions more in other articles, my purpose here is to briefly provide some comforting, health-giving passages about God’s activity in our environment that relay how much God desires that our lives be safe, well, happy, and whole.I’ll put the Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Unstoppable Determination- The Missing Key?

June 1st, 2012

Unstoppable determination could be the missing key to achieving your goals.

How determined are you to reach your goals?  Are you so determined that nothing can make you quit?  Or, do seemingly unmovable obstacles cause you to lose heart and let up on your efforts?

A key factor in overcoming obstacles and reaching your goals is having the discipline and determination to not quit when you hit the wall.

A favorite illustration of mine is one I read about an athletic term called, “hitting the wall.”  In the book footnoted below, the author used the illustration to refer to a person who is making good progress through life and then hit by severe financial trouble, failure, or sickness.  You are stopped cold in your tracks. However,
when faced with seemingly unmovable obstacles, it is not the time
Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 2

April 22nd, 2012

Table of contents for Relationship Issues Q&A

  1. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 1
  2. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 2

Dr. Henry Cloud, PhD, one of my favorite authors, is a frequent guest speaker for the Family Series event hosted by Bill Hybel.  There are some excerpts of one of his talks. Dr. Cloud is a noted psychologist and author of “Boundaries,” “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping,” and “Safe People.” You can listen or watch the full talk by Dr. Cloud at this link (Part VI on their page).

This is a continuation of a 2 part post. If you missed Part 1, use the above series link.

These are paraphrased excerpts from Dr. Cloud’s question and answer session on some of life’s toughest relationship questions. Please use the link below to watch or listen to the full video or audio. The insights will greatly benefit yourself, your friends, and family.

5. With regard to blended families and step families, how can a parent continue a close relationship with a child who is living with the other re-married parent and both parental roles are already being fulfilled in the child’s life?

This is a painful scenario and there is no way to go through this without feeling some loss. However, the first important step is to remove from your thoughts the concept of “either/or” because you are both in the child’s life. You don’t have control of when you are not there, but you do have 100% control of the relationship you have when you are together with your child. First, if you are nurturing, warm, and positive and do great stuff together, yet have requirements and expectations that he live by your rules, even if the other parent is a non-structure type, kids deep down eventually gravitate toward structure. You will face fights and some “prodigal son” moments, but continue to be the best person you can be in regards to loving and discipline. The child will develop an attachment to you based on that.

The second important point is don’t poison the other relationship with the step parent or the one with your ex. You want the child to have as many Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 1

April 20th, 2012

Table of contents for Relationship Issues Q&A

  1. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 1
  2. Relationship Issues Question and Answer Part 2

Dr. Henry Cloud, PhD, one of my favorite authors, is a frequent guest speaker for the Family Series event hosted by Bill Hybel.  There are some excerpts of one of his talks. Dr. Cloud is a noted psychologist and author of “Boundaries,” “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping,” and “Safe People.” You can listen or watch the full talk by Dr. Cloud at this link (Part VI on their page).

Here are some paraphrased excerpts from Dr. Cloud’s question and answer session on some of life’s toughest relationship questions. We’ll do this in a 2 part post.  Please use the link below to watch or listen to the full video or audio.

1. Where do you draw the line between tough love and unconditional love?

There is a problem with this term of “drawing the line.” When we look at God’s personality, His expectations are done in ways that are perfectly loving and honest so He never has to “draw the line” due to having gone too far down an enabling, co-dependent road. With parents, too often we have let the child go too long down a path without consequences until it is at a point where harm will come to them if he (or she does) not get control of himself. It should never get to this point, but if it does, it should be done in a loving way.

As for child discipline, in this culture people often say, “Don’t say ‘No’ to your child; give them choices.” As an adult, one runs into ‘No’s,’ with speed limits, job requirements, etc. Our job as parents is to arrange situations in a way that when they make good decisions then good things happen and when they make bad decisions bad things happen. The goal is to transfer self control to the child. They should grow to the point of being in charge of themselves and feeling, “Oh, I better do it this way so something uncomfortable does not happen.” …we must take a stance that requires them to step into maturity so they are in control and we can finally delegate that job to them.

2. How do you address character issues in marriage? How do you let a spouse know you want more from a relationship without making them feel like a bad spouse?

In response to the first part of the question, most problems are the same in every marriage whether or not it is a good marriage, unless something strange is going on. It is how it is handled that makes the difference. Research shows that you can predict divorce in couples by 90% accuracy if couples (1) are judgmental, critical in giving feedback to each other instead of problem solving and (2) if they have a lot of contempt for the spouse. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Guilty Feelings to Self Esteem

April 1st, 2012

Reading Level: Impassioned

How much does guilt and self rejection hold you back from what is most important to you in life?

Do guilty feelings keep you from confidence, happiness, and success? Feelings of guilt or self rejection will usually hold you back from most of what you desire out of life unless you choose to change those mindsets and bring restoration to your confidence and self esteem.

I have been enjoying a book by Brennan Manning called, Abba’s Child; it was a recent gift from a friend. In the beginning of the book, he discusses his own path to overcoming shame and self rejection. He is aware that his own past experiences are so common in the human experience that many people will benefit from the results of his journey to self acceptance and value.

One of the main behaviors that cause a person to live with guilt and self rejection is the habit of projecting his or her feelings of self onto God.

The emotional weight is great when one feels shame or self disapproval of past choices, decisions, or just the person that you are. How much greater is that weight when one convinces himself that his Heavenly Father, his Creator, the most phenomenal being in the universe thinks all the same negative, condemning thoughts about him? Yet, this is a typical thought pattern in the human experience, though we are usually unaware that this is what we are doing.

Usually included in these projected thoughts is the idea that life’s good and bad times signal God’s approval or rejection.

As Manning says, it is easy to feel loved by God when life is going well, all your support systems are in place Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Grateful Focus in Economic Drought

November 28th, 2011

After a year of severe economic crises in various countries, I came across a true, challenging story to the wisdom of a grateful focus even in economic drought.  The story is of a farmer’s response to physical drought, but the wisdom still applies to the stresses created by our world economies. 

When R.H.Schuller was growing up, drought ravaged their family farm. They prayed for rain that never came. His Dad, who normally harvested 100 wagon loads of corn, reaped only half a wagon full. Schuller says, “I’ll never forget it. His calloused hands holding ours as he looked up and prayed, ‘Thank you Lord, I’ve lost nothing. I’ve regained all the seed I planted in spring.’ While other farmers were saying, ‘We lost 90 or 100 loads,’ my father told me, ‘Never count the might-have-beens or you will be defeated. Never look at what you have lost, only look at what you have left.’ ” 1

Many of you have lost much financially this year.  I challenge you to remove your focus from what you’ve lost –so you will not be defeated– and focus on every incredible good that you still have in life, be it health, a home, family, friends, past victories, dreams for the future. Be undefeated!  Keep a grateful focus on what you still have!

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Peace of Mind

October 23rd, 2011
We each go through times in life in which peace of mind is a little more of a struggle to maintain.

As I was going through journal notes this morning from the past several months, I came across several quotes on peace that I thought I’d share with you. This is an unusual type of post for this blog. My desire is that these points will help to solidify your peace of mind when fear tries to rob it. Following most quotes, I’ll have some comments to ensure the steps for attaining peace are as clear as possible.

Peace of Mind Begins by Your Communication with God Controlling Your Thought Life.

Col. 3:15 Let the peace of Christ continually act as umpire in your hearts, settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds…and be thankful, giving praise.

God encourages us in this quote to allow His peace to umpire the fearful thoughts that battle in your mind. When faced with fear, one has a choice to let the fears in his mind run rampant, or allow God’s peace to put those questions and fears to rest with finality.

Ex. 14:13,14 Fear not; stand firm, confident, undismayed and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the oppression you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.

See in this peace quote the instruction from God to not fear or be dismayed. More importantly for this section of our discussion, He says Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Live Worry Free

December 27th, 2010

Do you consider yourself a “perpetual worrier?”

Is there always something in your life about which you are worrying? Do family pressures, financial pressures, and hectic schedules that are part of normal everyday life overload you with stress and anxiety to the point of negatively affecting your physical health, emotional health, and spiritual well-being? If so, you certainly are not alone. You can learn to have a worry-free life, but it takes some changes in your thought patterns.

First, remember that worrying does not accomplish anything positive for you.

Along this thought, Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying and being anxious can add a single unit of measure to the span of his life (Mt.6:27 Amp)?” Imagine that! All the volumes of time and energy you put into worrying will not even accomplish something as small as adding a single second to the length of your life! And, as many doctors and studies show, it is proven to do just the opposite and remove time from the length of your life as well as from its quality.

Second, realize that you cannot put trust for your well being in physical objects.

There is a very famous discourse by Jesus on worry in Matthew 6. Most people think it begins in verse 25, but I think verses 19-24 are actually a significant part of the instructions, particularly verse 24 which says,

No one can serve two masters for he will stand by and be devoted to one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and deceitful riches, money, possessions as what is trusted in.

This quote is not condemning money, but rather the concept of being deceived into putting your trust in money and possessions. If your trust is there, you will still worry about the safety and stability of your life. I had a friend who had been very wealthy in her younger days, before her husband died. She loved to talk about the house she had and how she used to wear a different pair of shoes to work every day of the year! However, in spite of all her wealth, she said they went to bed every night worrying about whether or not they had put their money in the right investments. Admit to yourself that money, possessions, and investments will not keep you worry free. Neither can they be counted on for life-long stability. The world is full of stories of people of great wealth who lost everything overnight. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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From Self Criticism to Self Empowerment

December 10th, 2010

Negative words from other people may not be as harmful as the negative words you speak to yourself.

I read a great post the other day by fellow SelfGrowth.com expert, Jaqui Duvall, on moving from self-criticism to positive self talk, along with the benefits of it and the how-to’s.  I’m going to give you a few highlights of her article here.  Please use this link or the link below to read Jaqui’s full article, “Proactively Start Your Day with Positive Self Talk.”

Though the old saying about sticks and stones says, “Words will never hurt me,” words do hurt; often, our own words hurt the most.

This is the premise for Jaqui’s article.  The words we speak to ourselves in our minds are often even more harsh and more harmful than the words of other people.  Interestingly enough, she has found that many of her clients admit that they are their own worst critic instead of their own best friend.

There is a common source for this type of inner, self criticism.  Psychologists say that it is directly linked to how we were talked to as children, that we “imitate the parenting we received inside our own heads, continuing the practice of praising, disciplining, etc.”  Any nurturing voice in one’s mind is usually drowned out by the critical ones.  If fear is involved Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Peace of Mind

August 21st, 2009

Reading Level: Impassioned

We each go through times in life in which peace of mind is a little more of a struggle to maintain.

As I was going through journal notes this morning from the past several months, I came across several quotes on peace that I thought I’d share with you. This is an unusual type of post for this blog. My desire is that these points will help to solidify your peace of mind when fear tries to rob it. Following most quotes, I’ll have some comments to ensure the steps for attaining peace are as clear as possible.

Peace of Mind Begins by Your Communication with God Controlling Your Thought Life.

Col. 3:15 Let the peace of Christ continually act as umpire in your hearts, settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds…and be thankful, giving praise.

God encourages us in this quote to allow His peace to umpire the fearful thoughts that battle in your mind. When faced with fear, one has a choice to let the fears in his mind run rampant, or allow God’s peace to put those questions and fears to rest with finality. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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