Category Archives: Christian

Self-Control: The Caboose of the Fruits

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Learn => Reflect => Identify & Adjust => Integrate => ACT

The fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and gentleness are all ignited into action through the last fruit of the spirit: self-control. It is the Caboose of the fruits that keep the first 7 on track. Without self-control our ability to respond with love and forgiveness over hatred and judgment is blocked.

Scriptures: Learn:

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of POWER, Love & Self-Control.” 1 Timothy 1:7

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:1

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6

Reflect/Identify & Adjust:

One of my favorite reminders of who I am in this world comes from the above verse in 1 Timothy 1:7.  Let’s dismantle this a little to give it more clarity of focus thus increasing our ability to put it into daily action.

First of all, know what you are and what you are not. This releases inner anxiety instantly:

You are a child of God, possessing the blue print of the creator of the universe flowing through your spirit that is beyond all momentary troubles and tribulations.  Your spirit knows itself to be enough, capable and victorious at all times even in the eye of the storm. Simply put, you are first and foremast a spiritual being having a physical experience, as proclaimed by the Christian mystics throughout history. 

You are not your circumstance; judgments from yourself and others; traumatic situations; rejection; fear; doubt or worry…unless you choose to believe you are in which case the spirit of fear will twist the reality of who you are as created in the image AND likeness of God.

For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of POWER, Love & Self-Control. You have a spirit that moves with self-control: the ability to choose a certain response to life that serves your well-being and the well being of all concerned.  We do not use the spirit of self-control enough in our daily life as we play victim to our circumstances: “If I don’t get this certain outcome I won’t be able to handle it”…”life is a struggle”…”I can’t do that”, “Nothing ever works out for me” “I don’t understand why they did that, said that, didn’t do that…why things work out for other people and not for me.”

In order to experience the POWER and the LOVE contained at the heart of our spirit which fuels our ability to create, self-control needs to be resurrected to the front lines of our responses to people, things and circumstances.

Integrate/ACT:

This week practice self-control…step back from your quick responses to life, often fueled by emotional flare-ups of unbridled ambition and seek the wisdom that flows from the Holy Spirit, known as the Counselor: “Give me the words to speak that are in my best interest and reflect the higher good I am created for, or the silence needed for even greater wisdom and guidance.” Remember, true greatness comes through the archway of temperance, humility and love. The gap, which allows wisdom to drop in between what happens around you and your response to it, grows bigger with each act of self-control.

Dear God, I give you permission to resurrect within me the spirit that is my birth right as your child on earth: A spirit of POWER, LOVE and SELF-CONTROL.  In order for me to experience the power of your love through my thoughts, words and responses to the life in front of my face I need the grace of faith in action manifested through self-control.  Help me to remember who I am this week, why I do what I do and the bigger picture in life. Expand my ability to control my thoughts of self defeat, judgment of self and others that render me incapable of accessing the strength and power of my spirit to overcome and powerfully witness to the successful creative nature that manifests a greater good on earth, which I am willing to consider I will focus on at the sunset of this life.  Help me to live my life backwards…doing, saying, creating those things that at my last breath, as I reflect on how I showed up each day, will cause me to hear the sweet words of ultimate success in life: “well done, my good and faithful servant, you remembered who you are, what you are capable of & why, with the gift of each new dawn your heart continued to beat.”

Questions for Growth:

What specific area of your life would you like to practice more self-control this week in order to bring Glory to God?

What could you do today that would help you think about what is good and admirable?

When is it easy to let the Holy Spirit guide your actions? When is it difficult?

Our Next Virtual Bible Study will be October 28th at 9:30 am EST/7:30 am MT/6:30 am PST 

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Knowing Happens in Stillness

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“Be Still and Know that I Am God” Psalm 46:10

 

Perhaps the invitation here is to infuse your daily tasks with moments of silence.  Cease to DO & simply BE so that the divine spark that is ignited by intimacy with God can override the antics of your mind which is fueled by unbridled ambitions and the need to analyze, interpret and conclude…wow, just writing those 3 words is an energy leak.

 

How about this week you begin and end your day simply sitting in silence as you express the simple longing of the young boy Samuel: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

 

Sit for 5-10 minutes in stillness morning & evening and expand 1 minute each day.  Then infuse your day with shorter moments of stillness before God: take 2 minute silent breaks from the mind and lean into God. Watch and observe yourself do life after these mind breaks and notice how inner peace, confidence and kindness begin to have its way within your responses to life.

 

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

If I Can? Belief Makes it Possible

faith makes all things possible

 

I was reading the scriptures today from Mark 9:14-23. So imagine this scene: a bunch of people crowding around Jesus in awe and wonder. One man in particular makes his way into Jesus attention and speaks up:

“Teacher, my son is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

So I’m not sure at this point if any of the disciples this man was referencing happened to be overhearing this conversation. I can imagine though if I was in their shoes I would have felt a bit thrown under the failure bus…wouldn’t you? So here we stand in a moment of DOUBT. Can you relate?

There is also another element here worth exploring, that being robbed of the ability to speak, which was the case for the boy possessed by the evil spirit. Have you ever felt robbed of the ability to speak? Perhaps it’s simply around your ability to speak healthy boundaries into your life or speaking the truth in spite of negative reaction? Either way it’s obviously an area that an evil spirit can slither into and perhaps worth some self reflection.

The scriptures continue on with the scenario and Jesus response which I can only imagine the facial expressions that went along with it: “O unbelieving generation…how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”   Quickly the people ran and got the boy who was possessed and Jesus asks how long the boy was in this condition…perhaps to remind us all the healing from God is not confined by time or intensity, as is too often the case in human reasoning: “Well, it’s always been this way so this is the way it will always be.” Jesus is constantly beckoning to us all to step up and out of limited, self-defeating thinking.

The people responded from that below the line limited thinking as they shared with Jesus that the boy had been possessed since childhood and then went on to say, “if you can do anything take pity on us!” …Sound familiar? “Please God, please help me if you can do anything to help me, then help me.” I know those words flew out of my mouth during some dark moments in the midst of advanced cancer and divorce.

Again, can you imagine the facial expressions that go along with Jesus’ response to the above plea from the boy’s father: “If you can?..EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE for those who believe.” After saying these words Jesus’ commands the deaf and dumb spirit to leave the child and he is healed instantly. Compassionately Jesus then instructs the disciples as to the need for specific prayer needed to drive out this kind of evil spirit.

I have often laughed out loud as I imagine how many times Jesus has had the same response to my plea’s for help: “If I can? All things are possible for those who believe.” When you ask for those things in a surrendered state which align with the will of God for you in life: love; joy; peace; patience; self-control; godliness; kindness; goodness; gentleness; strength of character; wisdom; perspective; guidance; a spirit of courage and power to overcome that which you feel overcome by in your circumstances in life, then stand up tall and occupy the space of belief that YOU WILL RECEIVE THAT WHICH YOU ASK FOR.

God believes He CAN do all things in and through you…do you?

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

How to Release and Be Here Now

mindfulness

 

“Not by might not by power, but by my Spirit,’ Says the Lord.” 

 

Zechariah 4:6

 

There is a spiritual Native American teaching that is worth our

attention in that it reminds us of a few practices that when

implemented on a daily basis can result in profound inner

peace, worth/value and definitive purpose:

  • Be Present
  • Act in Love
  • Speak the Truth
  • Detach from Outcome

 

The question is: How do we weave these practices into our

 

thoughts; words; deeds and reactions to life?

 

 

By contemplating the invitation held in Zech. 4:6: Not by might,

 

not by power but by God’s spirit within us.  Jesus encourages us

 

to ASK, SEEK and KNOCK.

 

 

To remain present in a world that

 

is set up to have us live in the future and ruminate about the

 

past requires GRACE.  Ask for the grace to stay in the moment of

 

life you are in NOW while wisely planning for future events and

 

meetings.  Plan and schedule then RELEASE all thoughts around it

 

and return to the NOW a.s.a.p.

 

 

Do everything in love, for love, by love through you.  You are

 

created in love so lean into your natural state of being in each

 

moment: FAME and STATUS don’t fit in the pine box at the sunset

 

of our lives…LOVE, gentleness and random acts of kindness do.

 

 

The only way to consistently speak the truth in love is to ask

 

for the grace to release your desire to be liked, understood &

 

acknowledged…and trust me this IS a GRACE…ask for it along

 

with the wisdom to be able to speak the truth with love (void of

 

the need to be right, respected and approved of…Jesus was

 

a master of this practice).

 

 

Go for everything 100% and be attached to nothing. Again ask

 

for the grace to live in this kind of freedom…we all had it under

 

4 years old.  Resurrect this free response to life and fun, levity

 

and confidence will reemerge to the front lines of your life.

Flip Out of Irritation into Gratitude

 

Sing and Make Music in Your Heart copy

Irritation in this life will often flow from your need to be right, seen, acknowledged, recognized, respected and responded to in a specific way…can you imagine giving these antics up and knowing you have already made it in this life? God delights in you, no need for outside reinforcements. I would imagine we would have a lot of mind space freed up to create more love and beauty in this world…is not that the purpose for which we are graced with another heart beat?

Dear God, may I remember as I open my eyes to another gift of life today that you delight in me and see me for all that I desire to be in this world.  

Thank you for giving me the grace today to release my need for certain outcomes in order to feel secure, joyful and successful.  

Thank you that I have the ability to scale the perceived walls in my life along with the capability to create more beauty and love.

May I remember throughout the day that it is not so much WHAT I am doing but the LOVE that I put behind what I do that makes all of the difference in the outcomes I experience on earth.  Have your way with me in spite of myself.

 

You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  With your help I can advance against a troop, with my God I Can Scale a Wall.” Psalm 18: 28-29

 

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Choose Your Attitude

 

Choose Your Attitude: You Have the Mind of Christ =>

You have the ability to choose your attitude.

Your attitude is the portal through which you process the events in your life.

Make it a top priority therefore to consciously choose the thoughts that fuel your attitude.  Want more love? Be loving? Want to be understood? Seek to Understand? Want to be appreciated and encouraged? Look for opportunities to appreciate and encourage those around you.

Creating a positive life-giving attitude often requires the gift of grace, especially in the midst of challenging circumstances.

The prayer below is based off a scripture I read earlier this week that caught my attention, I believe that what God calls us to is possible now:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Phil 2:5

“God, I want the very mind of Christ as I go through another gift of life today.

May I see, as he did, You in every face I encounter.

Give me Jesus’ thoughts that were not imprisoned by the yoke of slavery to unbridled ambition for status or the unquenchable desire for approval.

I want to choose love & compassion as Jesus did, over fear & judgment.

I want to think and respond as Jesus did: to love for the sake of love alone, untainted by hidden agendas or crevices of lack & scarcity.

Break my heart over the things that broke yours as you walked the earth.

I want to seek to understand over being understood, free from attachment to certain responses.

To be able to respond to criticism with even more love to make up for the lack of it in those moments.

Jesus existed above compliments & complaints, grounded in the purpose for which his heart beat: to be a missionary of love no matter what…I want that same energy and laser focus today so that my God given ability to create beauty in this world flows without restriction & reflects a focused sense of purpose.

God, I believe this is my natural state of being so as you answer this prayer of mine my joy will be complete & my peace will be profound.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Self-Awareness in Authentic Leadership

nothing has the power to define you unless you give it away

Edge God In Bible Study: April 18th: Leadership: Self-Awareness EQ

Self-Awareness => Self-Management

Social Awareness => Relationship Management

Focus for the study is on the first essential component of emotional intelligence: self-awareness. We cannot give out effectively what we have not given attention to within ourselves. Our ability to effectively manage our relationships with those around us is in direct proportion to our ability to manage our own perceptions and emotions. What does God say?

3 Questions to reflect upon when considering self-awareness:

  • Who Am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • What will it matter?

Who Am I? Scripture:

  • John 1:12: “To those who believe in His name are given the right to become the children of God.
  • Romans 8:15-16: I have received a Spirit of sonship…Abba Father, this spirit testifies that I am a child of the living God.
  • 1 Peter 2:9: I am part of a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people belonging to God.

Why am I here? Scripture:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:20-21: To make God recognizable in this world. I am Christ’s ambassador as if God were making His appeal through me. For our sake He made Him to be sin who did not sin that I might become the righteousness (the excellence) of God.
  • 1 Peter 2:9: As a part of God’s child and a Holy Nation I am here to declare the praises of Him who called me our of darkness into light.
  • Galatians 2:20: I have been put to death with Christ on the cross so it’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me this life I live by faith alone in Him who died for me. I am here to live by faith and allow Jesus to live within and through me.

What will it matter? …when I prayed on this one I got: “why will it matter? It will matter in all of eternity for the sake of salvation of souls, your choice to live for me will end in life.”

What will it matter – What will it Matter?

It will matter because in order to truly have self-awareness and self-management you need to understand and ask yourself “How do I recognize my own emotions and how are they affecting my thoughts and behavior? “

You can know this by understanding your Strengths, Weaknesses and Self Confidence.

1) The scripture tells us how to recognize our emotions and know if they are affecting our thoughts and behaviors.

John 8:31-32 AMP, Jesus says: “ If you abide in My word … you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free”

Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your way acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”

2) We must know and understand our Strengths, Weaknesses, and have self-confidence to know what and why it matters to God.

  • Strengths come from God: Philippians 4:13 King James Version (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
  • Weakness are taken care of by God: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Self Confidence is given to us through the scriptures:
    • Philippians 4:13: ESV: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
    • 2 Timothy 1:7: ESV: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
    • Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV: Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

3) We must remember the saying “What would Jesus do?” to manage our emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Because of His Love <><

Lauren & Estella

Step into the Unfamiliar

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Dear God,

Thank you for loving us enough to call us into the unfamiliar, reminding us of Godly character  and strength we too often lock up in the face of fear, doubt and worry. The unfamiliar reminds us of the person you call us to be in this world: faith-filled with a mission to make you recognizable.

 

Q. When in your life, perhaps it’s now, has God called you into the unfamiliar? A few examples:

  1. Abraham & Sarah: Having a baby at 90
  2. Moses in the Desert for 40 Years: Comes up on the “promise land” filled with Giants.
  3. Noah Building the Ark on Dry Land
  4. Lazarus Called Back from Death
  5. Peter Called to Walk on Water

 

Enjoy the Replay from our Recent Edge God In Virtual Bible Study:

CLICK HERE

Join us for our next virtual live Edge God In Bible Study Feb 8th at 7:15 am MST:  CLICK HERE to sign up.

Because of His Life,

Lauren <><

A Prayer at The Break of Dawn

 

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Dear God, thank you for the gift of a new day of life to explore growing in the ways of loving and being loved…You, myself and those around me.

 

Once again I release my grip on my need to know why things happen as they do along with my need to know how things will turn out. You are in control and that is enough for me. I give you full permission to have your way with me in spite of myself, for I have learned on this short journey of life that as I have surrendered all to you, I am never left empty handed.

 

Continue to release the shadows that distract me from living out the purpose for which I was created: to love and beloved. Protect me from the need to own, control, possess, analyze, interpret, conclude; from attachments, assumptions, expectations and all sense of entitlement along with the antics of comparison, jealousy and envy… for nothing thrives in a state of war. The only thing I am entitled to know is that you love me completely just as I am and that you will never leave me or forsake me, because of this all things are possible for me. Move me this day to step away from the 3 fuels of discontent and inner turmoil: popularity; position and possessions. For what will I gain if I gain the whole world yet forfeit my soul?

 

Grant me a spirit of joy and laughter that I may light up from the inside out and may all those who come into this light feel refreshed and inspired. Use my life and my death for the sake of salvation of souls. Use this gift of teaching you have blessed me with to guide people back to themselves as connected to you, so that they may experience their fullest potential of being on earth. You have revealed to me through my own dark night of the soul experience that you do your greatest work in the eye of the storm, through this knowledge resurrect within me a courage that far outweighs the momentary distractions of fear, doubt and worry. For you have brought about a greater good in spite of the darkness than had my personal trials never occurred.

 

Move me to lean into the mystical experience captured within one of your most masterful creations: the beautiful fragrant rose that emerges in the midst of the thorns. You have me, and I have you…I tremble with eager expectation as to the beauty we will create together as I step into another gift of life today.

 

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><