Dear Lord, you are the LIGHT of the world, I give you permission to override my below the line tendencies that project “lights off” rather than “lights ON” to the world around me. I know that I can’t give out what I haven’t mastered within my interior world. Open the eyes of my heart Lord to tune into those phrases and verses that pop out to me reminding me of an opportunity to identify and adjust my perceptions and behavior to more fully embrace and live out your will in my life. This invitation to detox my life from negativity is not for the faint hearted. Strengthen my weak knees so that I can unzip my old self and zip up my new self being renewed in the Holy Spirit with the gift of each new dawn. I want to be a city set on a hill and a light that outshines the darkness for you.
Edge God In Podcast Week 18: A Negativity Detox: Step 2
In the previous podcast: Negativity Detox Step 1, we explored high noticing around those negative thoughts and intonations we use with ourselves that dim our light for Christ. We now move into the experience of putting off those behaviors that fuel darkness in and around us as we step into shifting our attention on anchoring those actions that assist us in living a life worthy of the calling we have received.
As we touched upon in the first step of detoxing negativity from our lives mirror neurons reveal an essential element to the point of entry of negativity: our thought life… which ignite our emotional state of being. An emotion is simply your body’s response to your thought life. Mirror neurons will fire, triggering a similar emotional response in the receiver as put forth by the sender.
So, what does this look like when it comes to outshining the darkness? If you want to experience more kindness in your life, be kind. More love? Be loving. More compassion? Be compassionate towards others. This is such a powerful blueprint in behavioral neuroscience that reveals the handiwork of God. Studies have exposed the power of a person’s choice to remain in a place of love and kindness in the midst of outer negativity that is demonstrated by another person. The brainwaves in the sender are actually shift from the two-inch energy of the mind into the unlimited energy that radiates from the heart (The Heartmath Institute). Simply put, we have the ability to shift the brainwaves in another human being for a greater good simply by our choice for love and kindness.
Ephesians chapter 4 and 5 are jammed pack with behaviors that restrict our ability to shine, in fact that fuel darkness in and around us:
- Going to bed angry
- Stealing, even another’s reputation and sense of worth and value through slander, gossiping and bullying
- Foul, polluting language that cuts others down rather than edifying and encouraging using generous assumptions
- Bitterness, indignation and wrath
- Sexual Vices: Lust
- Greed: selfish desire for something: wealth, food, power,
- Wasting time
- Resentment: bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly
- Slander (evil-speaking, abusive language that hurts another person).
- Malice (spite, one-uping, revenge)
- Bitterness: anger at being treated unfairly
- Coveting: a deep yearning to possess or have something.
- Do not be vague (Deuteronomy 30:19 I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life that you may live, that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him).
The following practices and behavior fuel your ability to SHINE, in fact OUTSHINE the darkness and live a life worthy of the calling you have received in Christ:
- Humility (complete lowliness, void of hubris: excessive self-confidence/pride).
- Meekness: quiet and gentle, not asserting one’s own way over another’s.
- Unselfishness: putting the needs of others above your own.
- Gentleness: kind and tender
- Keep the harmony of oneness
- Seeing the best in others (generous assumptions).
- Express truth
- Enfolded in love: loyal and benevolent (disposed to doing good).
- Put off the old self and take on the new
- Grow in Christ
- Forgive: cancel a debt, release angry feelings towards someone for an offense.
- Tenderhearted, loving, kind, gentle
- Renewed in the spirit of your mind
- Release all false talk (gossip, slander).
- Understand what the Lord’s will is
- Filled with the Holy Spirit
- Make an honest living with your hands
- Reject falsehood: the state of being untrue
Reflect: Read Ephesians 4 & 5:
- Thoughtfully read through the first list that highlights the “old self” or nature. Ask the Holy Spirit to sift your mind and help you tune into those behaviors that you most closely relate to in your life. Perhaps they are behaviors you have set aside on your spiritual journey with the Lord. Perhaps they are behaviors that still creep into your life when you are in the HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired…or sick). As you shine the light of your awareness on your “shadow behavior” invite the Holy Spirit to lighten your grip and assist you in the release process. Picture specific times when those behaviors take the main stage in your life. Create a container of psychological safety as you lean into the Lord’s loving grace and healing, nothing thrives in a state of accusation and judgment.
- Next turn your attention to the second list, those behaviors that flow from your “new nature”, created in God’s image in true righteousness and holiness. Which behaviors come easily for you? What behaviors do you desire to see more of in your life? What holds you back from show casing those desired behaviors? Highlight or circle those behaviors.
Identify & Integrate:
- After reflecting on the list of your old nature behaviors, “BC”, before Christ entered into your character and began transforming and pruning for growth, identify and write down the last time you remember a behavior that revealed your “old nature.”
- Next pause, identify and write down the last time you revealed your “new nature”? Identify how you felt in each situation. Identify your feelings of peace, love and confidence when you are Outshining the darkness as your behavior reflects your “new self” in Christ. Galatians 2:20.
- Materials: 1 large index card. On one side of the card write down your top 3 new nature behaviors that come easily for you and 3 new nature behaviors you would like to see more of in your life.
- On the back side of the index card write down 3 behaviors from your old nature that you want to release, unzip and step out of in your life. For each behavior pause and ask yourself: What triggers this behavior in my life? What do I need to remember in that moment to help me lean into Jesus’ love for me? Hear and lean into Jesus compassionate declaration over the life of the woman caught in adultery: “Women, is there anyone here to condemn you? Go and leave your life of sin.” Jesus is all about beginning again and again and again.
- Ask questions to help unveil any hidden agendas around unwanted behavior: what is the upside of holding onto this behavior? What do I get out of it? Is it power over others? The need to be right? Liked? Understood in order to feel that you have worth and value? Peel back the onion to reveal the main fuel behind unwanted behavior. Invite the Holy Spirit into the shadow and ask for the grace to forgive and release.
- Watch out for the serpent of guilt and shame. Satan’s trickery comes in the form of self-accusation that leads to paralysis and more darkness: Did God really say that? Did he really forgive you? Declare boldly as Jesus did: “Get thee behind me satan, I choose to hold fast to my identity in Christ…by his stripes I am healed!”-Isaiah 53:5
- As you master the old nature behaviors, continue to reflect on the list and add new ones as those shadow behaviors reveal themselves to you. Whatever you drag out into the light of your awareness and the light of Christ’s loving redemption loses its grip on you.
Dear God, more of you less of me. I declare the new nature behaviors as my set point in life. I choose, by your loving grace, to put off my old self and completely immerse myself in you, where darkness is consumed by the light. I am your ambassador Lord, make your appeal through me. May my choice to detox negative behavior from my life result in revival wherever you call me to go. I want to outshine the darkness!
~Lauren & Estella
Are You Shrinking Your Brain?
How much of your verbal communication in a 24 hour
period of time contains an element of complaining?
10%? 25% 50% 75% 90%?
Take a moment to go into your internal castle, close your eyes and
give this self inventory question a moment to marinate. For any positive
shift to occur it is essential to shine the light of
our awareness on the state of behavior we wish to prune
out of our life.
Next question: Are you a conscious communicator? Someone
who pauses before responding and edits and adjusts words
to align with the person you are committed to being.
Have you fallen asleep at the gate of your most powerful
modality to create a positive or negative space around you
on this journey of life: Your Tongue.
Science proves that your brain actually shrinks in the midst of
complaining, either from your own mouth or people around you.
Victory over undesirable circumstances lies in your ability
to occupy the space you feel honors the person you are committed
to being. Do you edify yourself and those around you or do
you cut down yourself and those around you? The choice is
yours and makes all the difference in the outcomes you experience.
This week I invite you to take a complaining fast, I’m going to join
you in this practice. As you feel a negative conclusion or statement
bubbling up into your mouth, put your hand over your mouth
and step away from the situation if necessary to catch yourself.
As quickly as possible flip the negative thought into a positive one.
For example: “I am so exhausted and fed up with my work load.”
Flip It: “I love how much effort I put behind what I do in life, my
body is telling me it’s time to take a break and restore so I can
continue to show up the way I want to show up, and I am going to honor that.”
“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example, although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course one’s life on fire…” James 3:3-6
Nolite Timere: Fear Not!
Because of His Love,
Edge God In Podcast Week 14: Activate Aging Grace
Our topic for today is to Activate Aging Grace and we will do this through what the scripture tells us. A tenant of Emotional Intelligence tells us that Self-Awareness => Self-Management.
But are we following this tenant in the flesh or in the spirit?
God’s way to grow old is to develop a walk with him. Ps: 71:18 says, “Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come”.
The reason this old man was able to handle his problems so well in his old age, is because he developed a walk with God, in the years leading to this time and he still was doing God’s work by showing his power to everyone.
The Bible presents aging as a normal process, a natural part of life, an honor. Proverbs 16:31 and 20:29 speak to the benefits of gray hair.“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31; see also Proverbs 20:29).
1: We have too much vanity and should work to change it:
Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity2 of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All vanity.
We are born with a natural tendency to “live for the moment,” but the ultimate futility of that approach is the subject of concern. Proverbs 16:18
2: Our current goal in life is beauty and youth which should be changed to wisdom and knowledge.
God’s desire for us is that we become wiser. Solomon’s hope is that people will grow wiser in the use of their God-given “portion” or allotment before they die. Ecclesiastes 8: 1- Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.
3: Individualism has become a disturbing aspect of aging and not caring for the old has become the new norm.
Timothy 5:3-4 says if we honor our parents we are honoring God. It says Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
What is your mindset on aging? How does the Fountain of Youth take you off course and away from his intentions? Are you social aware of his thought on the aging process, are does the flesh and ego get in the way?
Listen to the above Edge God In Bible Study on Emotional Intelligence Step 1
Holy Spirit, grant me wisdom. Show me who you have created me to be to in this world. Help me to see myself as God sees me rather than how I judge myself. I give you permission to remove everything within me that is not of God, that does not glorify Him or make Him recognizable in my life: my judgments…towards self and others…my conclusions about life that are based in story verses reality, including assuming and mind reading. I am nothing without you Lord, and with you I am everything and feel complete, significant and valued. Refresh me Lord so that I remain in you. Have your way with me in spite of myself.
Edge God In Podcast Week 13: 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.”
Who are you? What are your strongest drivers in life? Those things that move you to engage?
Why do you think you are gifted with another day of life?
As you reflect upon who you are in Christ and why you are here on earth, take your curiosity a little further and explore the amount of time you spend worrying about what other people think along with other achievements. What emotions hold you back from your identity in Christ? Self-awareness is the first step in emotional intelligence. What knocks your lights out during the day? The opinions of other people? Not completing your “to-do” list? Do you focus more on identifying yourself with your struggle instead of declaring your victory over it in Christ? John 15: Remain, remain, remain in Christ so much so that your perception of YOU flows directly from Christ’s perception of you.
Identify and write down those aspects of your reactive behavior to life that do not make God recognizable in this world. Commit to adjusting your perceptions around you to include your most valuable possession: your own will to choose your identity in Christ and your ability to identify and adjust those behaviors which do not align with the person you are committed to being in Christ. With Jesus you lack nothing and your awareness of self gets lost in His love and purpose for you.
Fold a piece of paper in half-length wise. In the 1st column write down your response to this question: I feel most loved when_________________________________. In the second column write down: I feel most accepted when___________________________.
This information will offer you the opportunity to integrate those activities that re-fuel your sense of identity as well as offer you the opportunity to release those methods of feeling loved and accepted which do not give glory to God or are based in selfish ambition or vein conceits. For example: I feel most accepted when people tell me that I have done an awesome job. Affirmations in and of themselves are beautiful and when they start to replace our identity in God we render ourselves vulnerable to rising and falling depending upon how the world judges us at that time. Self-awareness is the first step in emotional intelligence in that it is the gateway through which we become capable of allowing God to make Himself recognizable in or life or not. You can not give out to the world around you what you do not take time to nurture within your own interior world with God.
For three weeks take 3 minutes before you fall asleep to do an examination of consciousness. Pause and notice how aware you made God recognizable. Was your identity (your sense of worth, value and capability) in what you did or in who you are in Christ? This is a time of high noticing around how you show up in life. What worked for you in terms of your personal responses, assumptions and conclusions about your daily events? What didn’t work for you? Withhold judgment and simply observe and commit to expand those self-reflections that are working out for you and supporting your desire to making God recognizable in your life and relationships: Edge God In.
Surround yourself with people who make you a better person in life
Feed the Flock
Father God, I ask that you bless this bible study by opening up our hearts and minds to the learning you have for us today. I ask you that you enrich our abilities to learn, digest, apply all that we learn in a way that creates change in our hearts and minds. With your guidance, I ask that your word provides the knowledge needed to shepherd your flock toward the revelation of knowledge that you have for them. I thank you in advance for enriching our lives with this time to learn and experience more of you.
Edge God in Podcast Week 12: Food for the Flock
What does it mean to feed to flock?
Feeding the flock is a commitment to the worship of God. It is an active process which requires one to directly and personally experience him. It also takes us being actively involved in the works of the church (church meaning the body of Christ).
What does God say about feeding the flock?
1 Peter 5:2 says, “shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
Jeremiah 3:15 says “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Jeremiah 23:4 says, “I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them, and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.
How to I shepherd the change in our hearts and minds?
- In the world – We must be ready to receive the world no matter what state of readiness
Acts 17:10-11 says: received the work with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
We look too much into what we are told and don’t research or study what is there. In order to receive and flock the world, we need to be ready.
- By faith – we have to return to the faith of the disciples. There were countless examples of their faith that stood the test of time. God says in Romans 14:23, that for whatever in not form faith is sin. He says in 2 Corinthians 5:7 twe walk by faith, not by sight.
Faith takes a relationship with God. It must be a relationship of trust at the root of the foundation. Trusting is hard if you can‘t see it and that is where the faith comes in.
- Through the Gospels: they tell us that there is a sense of urgency in the feeding of the flock. God says we no not the time or hour when the son of man comes back but we do know what are work here is to do and that requires us to urgently and diligently work to do this.
Conclusion: Feeding the flock can involve all forms of works in the church. Healing, ministering, teaching, etc. Neglecting the “feeding the flock” is in turn very badly damaging to preaching the gospel to the world. You can’t be a casual observer but must be personally involved.
Trust Trumps Fear:
Dear Lord, help me to know deep in my soul that you have my best interests in mind so much so that no matter what happens around me in life I am able to trust with complete confidence that with you I am safe and loved.
Edge God In Podcast Week 10: Trust Trumps Fear
Problem: We give power to outside circumstance to define our worth, value and capability. This can be a very scary place to live life as we rise and fall depending upon how the world judges us.
Scripture Fear Trumps Trust: Genesis 3:1-13: Who was the 1st human being who ever experienced fear? Adam…think about this for a moment. He’s in the garden all is going great for him: good food, great company, God’s favor all is well in his world then SHAZAM the little serpent slithers onto the scene and into the world of Eve: “Did God realllly say that you can’t partake of this delicious fruit? He just doesn’t want you to know what He knows.” Eve starts to ponder: “Hmmm, that’s not cool. What’s wrong with a little good fruit in life and I can use some extra insights.” Perhaps a little fear creeps in…”I might not know all that I could know which is power.” Eve approaches Adam: “Hey, you gotta try this fruit.” Adam partakes and fear slithers in so much so that they tried to hide from God and play the blame game when God confronted them. When fear takes over the fall happens. Perhaps the biggest fear here is one that trips us up in life way too often: the fear of missing out. The fear of missing out was so extreme that they compromised the truth of who they were created to be and missed out on paradise. Thanks a lot guys.
Scripture Trust Trumps Fear: Daniel 3:15-18: Let’s flip to a group of guys who decided to allow trust that God has big plans, bigger than circumstance and has the ability to bring good out of evil when we choose to trust. The definition of trust is: a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. In this case it’s God. Do you trust that He has your best interests in mind and is working on your behalf behind the scenes to showcase the best YOU you can possibly be on earth? If you do then fear will be locked out of your interior castle which was the case for Rack, Shack and Benny in Daniel 3:15-18. Here’s the scene: The King demands that Rack, Shack and Benny bow down and worship a statue (idol) every time the music kicks in and if they don’t they will be thrown into the fiery furnace. There reply is simple: “No we won’t bow down to your statue, we worship the Lord our God and have so much trust in His ability to save us no matter what circumstance we are in that we believe He will deliver and save us.” So into the fire they go and as the King observed, a fourth man was seen walking around in the fire with them. Not only do they emerge from the flames without one hair being burnt, they don’t even smell like fire and are completely unaffected by the destructive elements of fire. SHAZAM Trust Trumps Fear! Isaiah 43:1-2 nails it when it comes to reminding us of what happens when we trust God: “Do not fear, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
In what areas of your life do you allow fear to trump your trust in God?
Identify & Adjust:
Moving forward in your life, how specifically will you increase your trust in God when faced with fearful situations? Here are some common fears that get in the way of our trust in God and scriptures to support you: Fear of what others will think (Galatians 1:10), Fear of failure (Matthew 19:26), Fear of not being able to handle something (Romans 8:31), Fear of being left behind or left out (Hebrews 12:3), Fear of criticism (John 12:42-43), Fear of making wrong decisions (Romans 8:28, if you mess up God will find you). Identify 1-3 of your top fears that sabotage your trust in God.
Each time you feel that fear you have identified above pause and quote a scripture that you have put to memory and invite God’s grace to help you trust in Him more than the fear you are experiencing. Trump your Fears with Greater Trust & Confidence in the One who Calls you by Name and Adores You so Much He Died to Win Your Trust. Will you trust Him?
Surround yourself with people who make you a better person in life
Lauren & Estella
Are you worn out at Peter was after fishing all night without anything to show for it? Reflect on Luke 5:5 and 2 Peter 2:19. Has your “doing” in life creating an interior prison linking your worth to your achievements? Ask the Lord: where would you have me go today? Who would you have me speak to? What do you want me to spend my time doing with the gifts and talents you have given to me? When Peter stepped away from the enslavement of his own efforts into the Lord’s guidance: “Go out into deep waters and cast your nets” it was then that he came to the end of himself which is when God kicks in. Let Go and Let God Move You into His Will Today.
Let God and Lean Into God. When you get to the end of yourself it is then that God’s mighty power and will begins.
Because of His Love,
There is a lot of talk about energy especially in reference to spiritual energy. In new age teaching Spiritual energy” is felt to be no less real than any other energy, like electricity for example, and thought to be more vastly important. Spiritual energy in this sense is prana (also known as “universal life force” or “qi”) carried by pure love.
But we as Christians need to understand what does God teaching tell us about energy in the spiritual sense.
Estella and Lauren discuss important things that we as Christian’s need understand about energy based on Gods Principles. Three topics for discussion includes…
- Knowing who God is
- Knowing what God teaches
- Knowing how he wants us to apply all the energy he has given us