Category Archives: Bible Study

Want More Stress? Seek to Please People over God

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“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

OOOOOOH this is a good one and worth repeating on a daily basis as a touch stone to help us identify and adjust those behaviors and thoughts that are seeking the approval of people over God.

A recent study revealed that the majority of Christians would be willing to compromise their beliefs for the sake of a promotion. Oh come on, God will understand, He knows we need to put food on the table. Take time this week to read through proverbs and refresh your mind on the things that flow from God’s wisdom and those thought patterns and responses that flow from the Drug of Approval and the Disease to Please.

Why can’t we have it both ways? Why can’t I try to please people and be a servant of Christ at the same time?

Personally I have found that when I enter a situation with hidden agendas to be seen, acknowledged or approved of in a certain way by the people around me I set myself up for a huge fall from imaginary greatness. The more I muck around in a people pleasing mission, the more vulnerable I become to rising and falling emotionally depending on how the world judges me at that time.

Truth being, if God were to cease to think of me, I would cease to exist.  I am on His time, not mine, for His purposes, not mine. God does not value what the world values, He uses the things that are often over looked and even looked down upon to shame the wise. Example: Jesus forgives a woman caught in adultery in front of those who gripping stones of judgement where brought to a place of humility with the invitation that continues to echo throughout all of time: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  Shazam, Jesus does it again.

A worthy contemplation this week perhaps in light of the conflict of serving people over Christ comes in the form of three questions:

Why do I do what I do?

How does it further the great commission (God’s presence on earth through Jesus, making disciples of all nations)?

How much of my mind space, time and energy is taken up wondering how people will respond to what I do or create in this world or why they don’t respond?

“It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not allow yourself to be burdened by the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

The truth of the matter is simple: you can never fully please people because the only thing that leads to complete contentment in this life flows from God alone, it’s like trying to squeeze lemon juice from a banana…why are you looking for the living among the dead?

Click Here to Explore 48 Bible Verses on Pleasing God rather than man.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Would love to here your insights on this post. Why do you think it causes more stress if you seek to please people over God? 

Edge God in with Forgiveness

February 13, 2015

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I forgave an enemy today and I feel empowered, relieved, and ready to move on!!!

The bible speaks a lot about forgiveness and what is expected of us.  I do know it is hard to forgive as our approach to forgiveness is sometimes done in the  flesh and not in the spirit.

When someone has a grudge against you and you against them, it shouldn’t be expected that when you are ready to forgive, that they are ready.  Also, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurts you, or condoning of their actions.

What I do know is that there is a peace that happens along with the assurance that you have been obedient to Gods word and his expectation of us.

Here are some scriptures on forgiveness that  empowers me.

Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you don not forgive men for their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Mark 11:25 – And when you stand in praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Edge in forgive today

~Estella

How to Slay the Serpent of Future Fear

 

no hair still ok

The doctors told me at 38 years old that they were focused on getting me 5 years of life.  This conversation happened after being diagnosed with advanced cancer one week prior to my final divorce court date with 3 young children.

I had a simple daily practice (which I still implement to this very day) when the suffocating weight of the future attempted to rob me of the fullness of life Jesus died to give me.

Staying awake at the gate of my thoughts with sword in hand was my greatest place of empowerment; catching the negative serpents of fear, doubt and worry by the throat when they tried to slither into my thoughts with the intention of rendering me in a place of mental and physical paralysis.

The Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword and pierces the deepest parts of mankind, equipping him/her for victory when it comes to the battlefield that exists between the two ears. Below are a few powerhouse scriptures that came to my aid in the midst of the mental attacks fueled by future fear:

“Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts shall be established.” from Proverbs 16:3

“The Lord will fight your battle, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

“There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat of by day; and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.” Isaiah 4:6

“I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit’ says, the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you, nor forsake you; do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13

“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, stand firm then and do not allow yourself to be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” Gal. 5:1 (slavery to future fear and anxiety).

“The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” 1 Thess. 5:24

Give more authority to the power of God’s word stored in your heart to slay the serpent of future fear.  Remember, when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert, he rebuked him each time by proclaiming the word of God:

“Get thee behind me future fear serpent, I give more authority to God’s Word than to your lies and accusations in my life.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

The Ultimate Power

eaglepriestess

There has been a lot of discussion around power animals and their breakthrough power.  The origin of such animals comes from the shamanic belief that everything alive carries with it power and wisdom.  Power animals are helping spirits which add to the powers of shaman and are essential for success in any venture undertaken by the shaman.

I feel that God gives all creatures  purpose and power, but I also believe in the order of things… God… Man… Animals.    It is important for us as believers in Jesus Christ, to be knowledgeable in all matters of Christ and know what he says about ultimate authority and power.

Man holds the “power” over animals – God the fathers, has dominion (ruling or power) over his creation and has delegated the authority of mankind (man) to have dominion over animals.                          Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.  And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping things that creeps the earth.”

God has the “ultimate” authority God is the ultimate authority and only he appoints power.                                                                                      Romans 13:1-3 – Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

He (GOD) “delegates” it (authority) to whomever he will (keep in mind it says men not animals)                                                                                       Daniel 4:17 – The sentence is by the decree of the watchers (angels), the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living my know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.”

There is only “one” God                                                                                                    1 Timothy 2:4-6 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  

 All creatures “recognize” Jesus even these power animals                      Revelations 5:8-13 – All creatures recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world and praise God right along with redeemed men.

Go to the “thrown” for all your needs                                                 Hebrews 4:16 –Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.

Food for thought!

~Estella

The Fame Game: Have You Played?

 

Speaking

The Fame Game: Keep Watch

 

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever

a man sows, he will also reap. For the one who sows

to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption,

but the one who sows to the Spirit will from 

the Spirit reap eternal life.” 

Gal 6:7-8

 

St. Augustine reflected on mastering inner peace

and communion with God

and came to a simple conclusion: 

“I have learned the secret of interior success

over my fleshly responses to life

 and that being my daily

commitment to giving my Spirit permission

to guide my flesh into all things.”

 

Flesh in this case is linked to those

choices in life that flow from a self oriented nature 

in such a way that they drown out the whisper

of God which is constantly calling

us into our highest good & the good of

all concerned.

 

When our desire for fame exceeds our moral compass

or distracts us from the things that are highly

valuable commodities of the Spirit: love; joy; peace;

patience; kindness; goodness; gentleness & self-control we

render ourselves extremely vulnerable to

the world’s definition of success over Gods.

 

I speak from my own personal “mini-possessions” as I

have used up, on occasion, my time, talent &  energy in the

endless pursuit of the flesh: unbridled ambitions & 

worldly position and recognition.

 

This fame game is like a slippery serpent and will

often slither in our ambitions and motivation under

our conscious radar. We will know it is present

when we begin to put things above God & people.

 

Exploring the following questions will often

reveal the level at which you are engaged in the fame game:

 

Am I Ok without this accolade? (Do I feel loved, accepted?

enough?)

 

How does pursuing this goal make God recognizable in this 

world by contributing to the higher good of all concerned?

 

What is my level of attachment on a scale from 1-10 

(1 being not attached at all and 10 being very attached) 

to the success of this project?

(Remember, an attachment is an emotional state of

clinging due to the belief that without some thing,

person or situation you can’t be happy).

 

Does pursuing my goal or desired position take precedence  

over prayer/meditation time and service of others?

 

How high is my irritation level when my plans are thwarted?

 

Am I putting the success of this project above 

humble, kind & integrous responses to people?

 

Do I feel entitled to “it” (whatever “it” is)?

 

Am I comparing myself to another human being?

(feeling less than, envious, jealous?) 

 

The most wonderful thing about the fame game is this: as

soon as you realize you are playing it, the light of your

awareness offers you the opportunity to begin again with God

as you recommit to the practice of giving your 

Spirit permission to guide your flesh.

 

Dear God,

 

Help me to recognize the

interior discomfort when I am sowing to

please my flesh verses my Spirit.  Grant me the grace to 

flip back into the person you have called 

me to be during this earth journey. I

rededicate myself to the daily practice

of pursuing those things that expand your

presence on earth: love; kindness; humility; gentleness and

patience in my words; thoughts; deeds and actions.

May everything I do begin with your

inspiration and continue with your saving help.

Let all my work find it’s origin in you and through

you reach completion. 

 

Because of His Love,

Lauren

Praise the Lord

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February 3,  2015

I woke up this morning with my mind… set on Jesus…”praising” our Lord for all he is and does!

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever – Psalm 103:1

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised – Psalm 113:3

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord – Psalm 150:6

Let us not forget to praise God daily!  Praise him for giving us the breath of life… our family and friends… our blessings… the gift of salvation…and the gift of eternal life.

Praise is individual, personal, and is experienced differently for everyone.   No matter how you praise him… just do it….giving honor to our lord Jesus Christ.

He suffered died and was buried for our sins…

I just sent out a hallelujah. 🙂

~Estella

Tips to Help You Enter into God’s Presence

 

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“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

The presence of God is like a fish swimming in the ocean, as Mother Teresa suggested, no matter where the fish swims, it is surrounded by the water.  We are consistently surrounded by the presence of God and our ability to access this truth lies in our ability to slow down, be still and lean into God over the demands of the world. Jesus was masterful at this as he consistently found himself surrounded by questions, doubt, fear and anxiety.  He knew that the Father was in Him, around Him living through Him, in this space He lacked nothing and ALL things were possible.

How much of your day do you spend leaning into your to-do list? How many moments do you pause and remember you are like a fish in God’s endless ocean of possibilities and purpose?  Are you feeling overwhelmed by circumstances in your life? Unsure about your future? Remember that God’s omnipresence surrounds you, like a fish in water, no matter where you go, you are engulfed in God’s loving guidance.

One definition of omnipresence is to be present everywhere simultaneously. God is omnipresent. He meets you in the present moment; wherever your present moment happens to be. Your great­est peace always comes when you remain present to the moment of life in front of your face.

The power of God’s presence in nature calms the soul/body instantly when you are present to it. Choosing an inspirational verse or saying and repeating it throughout your day creates enough of a mental distraction to keep you present; safe from the fog of the future or regrets from your past.

Want to know peace? Know God. Want to know God? Practice stillness within your day. You will find strength in quietness and trust. Do animals ever fret over whether or not they will have enough grass to eat tomorrow? No, they simply enjoy the grass that is available to them today without any thought of lack in the future.

How to Let Go & Let God

no hair still ok

 

“Faithful is He who calls you and He will bring it to pass.” 1 Thess. 5:24

When I was diagnosed with advanced cancer one week prior to my final divorce court date this verse kept popping into my head. I began to memorize the scripture when I first fell in love with Jesus and His teachings when I was a teenager. 1 Thess 5:24 was one of the first scriptures I memorized, not realizing at the time that it would come back to me in the midst of the dark night of the soul to strengthen me from the inside out. I remember giving more authority to what God said in this verse than to my circumstance when I felt my emotional ship sinking.

God promises to give us the necessary resources to walk through deep waters and climb the high mountains of life. I remember one particular moment when I was bald and breastless looking at image  in the mirror and saying to myself, “I don’t even recognize my physical appearance.” In the weight of that moment I heard another verse that I had memorized as a youth, “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outer appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

It continually amazes me how many times the Word of God pops into my mind sometimes years after I stored it in my heart to remind me of what my soul always knows: God is omnipresent and will never leave me nor forsake me; I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

This week take time to read God’s word, I first started with the Gospel of John when I first picked up the Bible as a teenager. Write down a scripture that supports the person you desire to be in this world and memorize it.  Give God’s Word more authority in your life than fear, doubt or worry.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

How To Edge God In to Worry

full rainbow steamboat

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33-34

What are all these “things” that are added to use when we Edge God In over all of the shiny objects and demands of the world that flare up worry? Simply put, it’s one main thing: the ability to do life without worrying.  Worry is to simply give into the challenges in life as we give them more authority to define what we are capable of than to the presence of God within us which flares up internal anxiety.

Jesus speaks of this prioritizing in response to his observation that we tend to worry a lot, about many different needs in our life: What do I wear? What should I eat? Where should I live? What will other people think? What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t get the promotion? What if something happens to me or someone I love? What if I don’t have enough money to pay the bills? What if don’t say the right thing?  Jesus references the word worry six times in 9 sentences.

The next time you feel spun into the worry war of the mind explore using this prayer:

Dear God I give you more authority to comfort my heart and mind in the midst of this perceived challenge than I do to worry and this internal anxiety that is fueled by the thought: I won’t be able to handle this situation successfully. Grant me the grace to remember that whatever you call me to that you promise to provide the resources to make it all happen. You call me out of worry into the ability to Edge You In to all of it. You are the Prince of Peace.  Grant me the grace to step out of worry into You. Help me to tune into the solution with a peace that passes ALL human understanding. More of you, less of me.  Help me to remember that you have already overcome all that I feel has overcome me.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Purging Your Tree

 

Black shears pruning a fruit tree

John the brother of James and son of Zebedee wrote about Jesus God being the only savior of the world. He provides more extensive information of Jesus reason for coming to earth and gives special emphasis to Jesus’ patient treatment of the disciples. Really good reading!

John in 15:2 wrote “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit”.

As we move into this year, and edge God in to our thought, words, and deeds, think about our branches. Do you bear good fruit? What fruit do you need to purge or keep?

Really interested in hearing how you are going to Edge God In this year and how you’ll be working on your branches….

Blessings

~Estella