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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When to Change Your Friends

June 28th, 2013

A reader asked what to do about harmful friends?

The question itself is almost an oxymoron  (opposite terms). You usually do not think of calling someone a “friend” who is harmful to you. However, depending on one’s personality, some people tend to repeatedly choose relationships with people who are harmful to them — emotionally or physically. Other times, it may not be that the person is harmful, but that there is an idiosyncrasy in the friend’s personality that, if discussed and dealt with, would heal the relationship .

Let’s take a look at how to determine if the relationship is harmful, why you chose the relationship, and when to change friends.

A few simple questions can help you determine if the friendship is healthy for you or not.

Answer each of the following questions either (1) most of the time, (2) about half the time, or (3) rarely.

1. Does the relationship with your friend lessen your self-esteem?

2. Does the relationship hinder you from achieving short and/or long term goals? Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Anxiety – Quick Self Test

June 7th, 2013

You can do a quick self-test for your level of anxiety, fear, or stress.

Performing this test will help you determine how much anxiety, fear, and stress are affecting your life, as well as some of the possible root causes. The official name of the test is the Rhomberg neurologic test and it will immediately show if you suffer from low level anxiety syndrome.

Stand with your feet put together. Then stand on your tips toes. Now close your eyes. If you cannot keep your balance once you close your eyes, you have low level anxiety syndrome. People who pass the test and can keep their balance while their eyes are closed will have an anxiety level of 10 during an immediate fearful situation, but the next day be back to level 1. Those with low level anxiety syndrome stay at an anxiety level or 4 or 5 all the time.

You may recognize these other common physical symptoms associated with low level anxiety syndrome.

People with low level anxiety often have numerous allergies. They are also sensitive to scents such as perfumes or newsprint. Caffeine may keep them up all night. In addition, they are usually very sensitive to even small doses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

The source of low level anxiety syndrome is holding on to undesirable emotions.

If you didn’t pass the test and realize that you live in a constant state of low level anxiety, evaluate which of the following undesirable emotions are the source of your anxiety. People who are perfectionists often suffer from low level anxiety. Unresolved bitterness Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Fear the Center of Your Attention?

April 28th, 2013

As the ideas of economic upheaval, threats of war, disease, natural disaster, or other factors beyond one’s ability vie for control of your thoughts, where is your attention?

Fear is a major factor of everyday life in the times in which we live.  It is a force that one must come to terms with.  Fear can control one’s life, altering your every decision. It changes your health due to the stress it creates.  It steals creativity and rational thought. It hinders spiritual receptivity.  It is a force that cannot be ignored or it will grow in control and dominate your life.

Make the decision to be in control of your thoughts.

It is vital to control your thoughts, rather than allowing them to have free, random access to your mind – the center of all your decision making.  This positive habit is referred to as “taking captive” every thought.   A simpler way to express it may be to say that whatever controls your thought life controls you. Is fear the center of your attention?

You may feel that it is necessary to fear.  With all the uncertainty with the economy, with the instability of the political world, it may give you a false sense of 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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When is Pain Good?

April 5th, 2013

In the physical fitness arena, the phrase “No pain, no gain,” is quite common. For your emotional “fitness” in relationships and boundary setting, “No pain, no gain” is also a necessary practice.

People who repeatedly allow themselves to be hurt or harmed by others, physically or emotionally, have difficulty setting boundaries. They bring a continual flow of harm into their lives due to not setting boundaries, or not making clear what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior mainly due to a fear of the other person’s response. They fear the other person’s anger or they even fear hurting the other person’s feelings. Often, the boundaryless person fears hurting the controlling person because of an “over-identification with loss.” He or she hasn’t dealt with their own personal losses, especially those caused by the harmful relationship, so there is an unrealistic, over-emotional response to the thought of hurting the other person. It is a tragic thing to see destruction rule throughout a person’s whole life when restoration and abundance is attainable — all because he or she fears boundary setting will hurt the other person’s feelings. In such cases, pain is a good thing!

First, realize that it is possible to hurt someone’s feelings by “doing what needs to be done” to be responsible with your gift of life.

I’ve referred before to the Boundaries book by Cloud and Townsend when discussing relationship issues of this type. You do what you need to do to be responsible with the gift of your life though it may hurt the other person’s feelings. This is not a matter of being inconsiderate. You think through and evaluate how the boundary will likely hurt the other person’s feelings; that’s being empathetic and “taking into account” the other person’s feelings. But you still set the boundaries to stop the harm to your life; otherwise, you are being irresponsible to the gift of your own life. The other person will likely Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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When to Change Your Friends

November 4th, 2012

Reading Level: Leisurely

A reader asked what to do about harmful friends?

The question itself is almost an oxymoron-opposite terms. You usually do not think of calling someone a “friend” who is harmful to you. However, depending on one’s personality, some people tend to repeatedly choose relationships with people who are harmful to them — emotionally or physically. Other times, it may simply be an idiosyncrasy in the friend’s personality that needs to be discussed.
Let’s take a look at how to determine if the relationship is harmful, why you chose the relationship, and when to change friends.

A few simple questions can help you determine if the friendship is healthy for you or not.

Answer each of the following questions either (1) most of the time, (2) about half the time, or (3) rarely.

1. Does the relationship with your friend lessen your self-esteem?

2. Does the relationship hinder you from achieving short and/or long term goals?

3. Does the relationship create various stress-related physical health problems, such as headaches, stomachaches, nervousness, or lack of sleep?

4. Does the relationship cause emotional health issues, such as fear, worry, or intimidation?

If your answers were in the 1 or 2 range, the friendship is showing signs of harmful behavior which is negatively affecting the well-being of your life in significant amounts.

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If the friendship is affecting your life mainly in negative ways, ask yourself why you became involved in that relationship.

If you repeatedly choose to be in relationships with people who are not good for you and your life, you need to ask yourself why? Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Are You Focused on Your Fears?

September 19th, 2012

Even in the midst of fearful circumstances, focusing on the fear itself or the cause of it can hinder a positive outcome.

I’m going to approach the subject of fear in different way here than I normally would. We’re going to look at a circumstance described in history and outline points that you can apply to the fearful circumstance you are presently facing or may face in the future. The reference is out of Mt.14:26-32, and whether or not you are a believer in the historical accuracy of this account, its principles are still applicable.

Here is the description in the Amplified translation. [I prefer the Amplified for study because it gives more detail as to the meaning of the original Greek words; most translations limit the text to a “word for word” translation when many languages — such as Greek, Hebrew, Arabic — have much broader concepts included in their individual words.]

And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, “It is a ghost!” And they screamed out with fright. But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid! And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me from death! Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

Let’s apply this situation point for point to our own fearful situations, learning from both the positive and negative responses in the story.

1. Notice Jesus’ response to the men’s fear — He “instantly spoke” when they cried out in terror, vv.26,27. Jesus, Father God’s revelation of Himself and His character to us, shows an immediate, interactive response to Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Help for Your Fear

June 22nd, 2012

Reading Level: Gratifying

Not dealing with fear or anxiety can quickly destroy your quality of life, causing lack of sleep, lowering job productivity, stress in relationships, poor decision making, and countless physical ailments. 

This past Christmas, we gave out several copies of a book on the topic of overcoming fear to several co-workers. There were two different issues of the book, one dealing with the life fears of the average person, the other dealing with the additional fears particular to the family members of those in the military.  We received incredible feedback, to the extent that co-workers came looking for copies to give to family and friends.  The book had an unusual format, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Fear Response: Are You Defensive or Offensive

March 14th, 2012

Do your worries cause you to react or do you overcome fear by being creatively proactive?

You can choose to respond to fearful situations in ways other than panic, being withdrawn, or some other solely, defensive protective mode. You have the option of choosing not to react to your fear, letting it manipulate you, but to think creatively, outside of the box, and discover responses that will actually enhance your life.

A recent study of the economy illustrates that most people react to fear instead of being creatively proactive.

The present economic situation in the US has affected all kinds of businesses, large and small. One of the categories of institutions largely affected is charitable organizations. Statistician George Barna of the Barna Group recently posted 3 articles with the results of his year long study of how the economy affected churches and other non-profit organizations, as well as how the churches responded to the fearful economic situation.

What stood out to me was Barna’s comments that most churches responded, in my terminology, by reacting to the economy, rather than seeing opportunities to respond creatively and actually enhance their situation and the lives of the people in their communities. Many churches adjusted budgets, cut spending, and cut staff. While it is the right thing to do to re-evaluate the budget and eliminate unnecessary spending, Barna notes, “For the most part, church leaders seem to have been in a hunker-down mode, attempting to get through the tough economy…”, a protective fear response. Similar to most people in fearful situations 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!

1 word4U2day

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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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A Collection of Your Questions Answered

November 12th, 2010

There were several questions submitted by readers which have helpful replies and discussion already made to you in previous posts.

Today we’re going to go through 7 Reader Submitted Questions and give you the links to the articles provided to  bring healing to those life issues.

  1. How to Forgive Yourself
    Healing by Forgiving Yourself
    Hold on to Forgiveness Instead of Failure
  2. How to Deal with Emotional Pain from Betrayal
    Hope for the Betrayed Heart
    Not Allowing Hurt to Stay Central Focus
  3. Recognizing Love or When a Person Truly Loves You
    Recognizing Real Love Part 1
    Recognizing Real Love Part 2
    Defining Harmful Behavior
    A Love that Isn’t Earned
  4. How to Follow Through on Goals
    Break Out of the Rut
    Make Room for Restoration
  5. How to Overcoming Fear and Negative Thoughts
    Practical Ideas for Overcoming Fear
    Relinquishing Fear Video
    Take Charge of Your Thoughts, Take Charge of Your Life
    Better Thoughts for a Better Life
    Making Real Change to Thought, Feelings, or Behavior
    The Necessity of Strength and Courage
    Enforcing Hope in Your Thought Life
  6. How to Deal with Emotionally Destructive Relationships
    Healing through Overcoming Family Past
    Defining Harmful Behavior
    Responding to Abusive Relationships
  7. How do You Release Guilt
    Forgetting What God Forgets
    Why Guilt is Unnecessary
    2 Simple Steps to Releasing Guilt
    Healing by Forgiving Yourself Video

Please note that since these are past posts, the Listen Now feature that appears for you to listen on your laptop/desktop or download these archived articles to your iPod or MP3 will not be available as the company only offers it for 1 month after posting.

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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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