Category Archives: purpose

Self-Control: The Caboose of the Fruits

images

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 <><

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 Speak Like a Leader

images

 

How to Speak Like a Leader Edge God In Virtual Bible Study Notes:

 

Lauren:

 

Out of all of the studies I have taken on managing the tongue one of the most powerful is from Joyce Meyers, The Power of Words series. As leaders in the world, we are held more responsible because of the people we are entrusted to care for and guide. Our mouths will either catapult people into the highest version of who they are created to be or shut them down, and we get to choose. The most essential fruit of the spirit we need to activate in the area of tongue control is that of self-control. Even if you have to excuse yourself from a situation because your tongue is about to sabotage your good efforts, do it. The brain is also at play when it comes to gaining control over your tongue and choosing to build up those around you. Reactive behavior is supported by brain chemistry. How does this look? When you respond the same way over and over, a new neuro-pathway is formed in the brain and produces a chemical that actually excites the brain, you can become addicted to reactive behavior unless you choose to jump in and stop it as soon as you recognize the negative reactive behavior. Neurons the fire together, rewire together. You are the gatekeeper of your will and choice of response.

 

Drag the truth out into the light on how to master you mouth:

 

  • James 3:8: (it’s hard to tame; full of restless evil and deadly poison).
  • Proverbs 18:21 (death & life are in it and those who love it will eat its fruits).
  • Matthew 12:36:37: (Jesus says we will give an account for every careless word we speak…by our words we are justified or condemned).
  • James 3:1-18: Prayerfully read through this one it’s packed full of take aways (if you teach (lead others) you are judged more strictly, more reason to master the mouth).

 

  1. Use your mouth to encourage (Merriam-Webster: to make someone more determined; hopeful, or confident); edify (Merriam-Webster: to teach someone in a way that improves the mind or character); build up (reminding a person that the strength of God within them is greater than circumstance, they have the ability to find a solution):

 

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
  • Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
  • Proverbs 15:4: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”

 

  1. Bless Everything You Do and Practice Grateful Living: Pause before each email; conference call; team meeting; 1:1 review and bless it in the name of Jesus Christ. Pause between transitions and hit your needs with gratitude. Be thankful and declare it and the bless yourself (words; thoughts; deeds; actions) and pray it over those around you.

 

  • Psalm 100: A Psalm of thanksgiving. Be thankful and say so.
  • Numbers 6:23: “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
  • Bless your people God has entrusted to your care

 

  1. Be quick to hear and slow to speak: Listen to understand verses to be understood. Remain in a place of observation and pray in grace to see people for who they desire to be rather than how they show up. Get beyond yourself, die to EGO and Edge God In. Resist the urge to speak in doubt, fear and worry into any situation. When we are stressed we hold onto life and tend to micro-manage people and events, we manipulate. We become obsessive about the environment; time and the body. When you are in the place of the Holy Spirit: thinking about what is good; right; true; beautiful excellence and praise worthy you are in your frontal lobe, (40% of the entire brain), which actually calms down the thoughts associated with threat. As quickly as possible when you feel spun out of heart based leadership communication declare the word of God over your circumstance: “I give more authority to the strength of God within me than I do to this momentary disruption in my life and may my words reflect my choice to shift back into the edifying language of the Holy Spirit.”

 

  • 1 John 4:4: “You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

 

Estella:

 

Speaking like a leader involves that art of communication.

Communication is so important because that is were avoidance of miss-understandings happen allowing open communication.

God has given us guidelines on how and what we should speak.

 

  • Don’t worry about what you should speak as a leader

Psalm19.4 “Let the word of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. O lord my rock and my redeemer.”

2)   God has given his people wisdom – so you will communicate the right way with Gods grace.

Psalm 37:30 – the mouth of the righteous utters Wisdom, and his tongue

3)   Speak good and helpful things to people that will lift them up and improve them

Proverbs 12:25 (ESV) “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

Proverbs 25:11 (ESV) “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

 

  • God’s word gives us valuable insights into how we should speak and it Is important that we follow his guidance and leadership. 

Matthew 12:37 (ESV) “…for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Our words are a reflection of what is in our hearts, so we should constantly be filling our hearts and minds with what is best.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY:

HOW TO SPEAK LIKE A LEADER Part 1

How to Lean Into Holy Week

linger

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

The world screams and God whispers. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” said young Samuel to God.

A simple attentiveness along with a willingness to listen unleashes a conversation between God and man. Take time this week to still the demands of the world around you. Pause and reflect before you respond this week on the words, intonation and body language you want to show up with that will make God recognizable in this world.

Slow down and linger in the small ways that God reaches out to you every day. Be still and know that God so loves you that He gave His one and only Son to win you over into full communion with Him. Be still and know that there is nothing that can separate you from the love God has for you. Your past regrets are swallowed up in a single glance from the author and perfecter of your faith.  Be still and know that the love God has instilled within your heart through faith in Christ unleashes the knowing of your soul that ALL things are possible for you when they are aligned with His perfect will for your life. This love within you believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things…this love within you is greater than your circumstance or struggle. You are not your struggle.

Shake off your grave clothes and go forth into your day knowing that the One who calls you is faithful and He will give you the grace you need to conquer with the Spirit of power, love and self-discipline which He has woven within you through your baptism and choice to follow His son.  Slow down and linger in the knowing that it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set you free, stand firm in that knowing and do not allow your circumstance to burden your mind and emotions. Throw off everything that hinders you and the sin that so easily entangles you and RUN the RACE of endurance considering the ONE who endured such opposition from sinful man so that you will not grow weary in your struggle against sin. The insults of those who insult you have fallen on the One who died to win over you affection and attention.

As this Holy Week unfolds, pause, reflect and lean into the One who calls you by name. The One who promises to make all things new and remove your grave clothes from past pain; rejection; false beliefs and condemnation. See He is doing a new thing in your life, take time this week to explore what that looks like for you, feels like for you and sounds like for you. “Behold I make ALL THINGS NEW.”

Have a Blessed Holy Week, take time to lean into the One who leaned into death in order to win you LIFE,

Lauren <><

#HolyWeek

Shiny Objects Distracting You?

Jesus Peru

“And others are they that are sown among the thorns; these are

they that have heard the word, and the cares of the world, and

the deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things 

entering in, choke the word & it becomes unfruitful.” 

Jesus: Mark 4:18-19

 

This is a very popular parable that has circulated

around the globe evoking a sense of curiosity around what kind

of “seed” you happen to be in this world and where have

you been sown?  We have all heard at one point the

common saying, “you reap what you sow.”

So what kind of seed are you? and what have you

given power over to that is cutting off the life

source that enables you to bloom where you are planted?

 

Do you follow shiny objects resulting in

a very shallow root system so when the opinions of

other people and circumstances do not show up

in your favor your inner motivation and inspiration

become flat lined & unfruitful?

 

Or do you withstand the dark moments, with no sign

of light, having full confidence that your God given ability

to break through the dirt of life & bloom in the midst of it

all will override the momentary discomfort

of the growth process?

 

The choice for a deep reliable root system along

with the ability to bloom where you are planted is yours

and will make all the difference in the outcomes

you will experience on this journey of life.

 

I remember when my oncologist said, “it is our goal to

try to get you to 5 years.” In spite of that dirt

surrounding me I chose God and all of the healing and

love that flow from that choice with the gift of each new

day.  Live to bloom no matter what surrounds you.

Now Pause Breathe in the Holy Spirit and Exhale any tension in your body,

Today

Dear God,

 

As is the case with a beautiful garden, there is a

season when the blooms fade and the vibrant colors 

are replaced with dull, life less surroundings.  Yet, in

spite of the lack of life that is captured by the human eye,

there is the process of growth and strength

that is occurring beneath the dark, cold dirt.

As the essential life giving elements flow from 

your hand into the soil and seeds that lie beneath 

the surface, new life, growth and abundance

return once again to the faithful seeds that

don’t doubt their God given ability to bloom once

again…with more strength & expansion than

the previous season. May it be the same for me this

season. Remind me of my capability to bloom and live

a fruitful life no matter what surrounds me.

 

Because of His Love <><

Lauren

True Pride vs A Prideful Nature

breakthechain_zpsa9889784

How to Recognize Pride vs. A Prideful Nature:

 

True Pride:

 

True pride that has its way in you is unable to hear and respond to the voice of humility.  Therefore it has an insatiable desire to dominate, be seen, acknowledged & recognized. The serpents of jealousy, envy and lack and scarcity slither around in true pride robbing it’s host of inner peace and confidence.

 

This pride gets easily frustrated & anger flares up when it’s plans are thwarted and people stand in its way of getting what it wants.

 

It is fueled by unbridled ambition that puts things before people.  The non-essential before the essential, and will do anything, often void of moral conscious, to get what it wants.

 

This pride is like a spoiled child and is seldom content or deeply satisfied…always wanting more.

 

A Spiritually Discerning Person with a Prideful Nature:

 

Know this: Even as a human being seeking to love, serve and honor God you will experience prideful flare-ups.  Often times you will think you have passed a godly character development class in earth school only to find yourself taking a refresher course ;  ).

 

The difference between a person who lives in service of pride and one who seeks to put God’s ways of love and service first and experiences occasional moments of prideful flare-ups is this:

 

As soon as pride shows up the spiritually discerning person will feel the burn of whatever action, thought, or word associated with the prideful moment within their biology.

 

Feeling the discomfort this person will choose to return to God as quickly as possible.  Identifying and adjusting their thoughts, words and deeds to keep themselves aligned with the higher good of all concerned, which flows form their intimacy with God.

 

The spiritually discerning person sees pride for what it is and seeks the higher ground of humility, love and gratitude.  They are also able to forgive others when they have prideful moments.

 

Basically, the truly prideful person is enslaved to pride as they continually choose it over the ways of their godly nature.

 

The person who has a prideful nature or tendency as humans do, yet is not a proud person, is one who rejects prideful flare-ups and quickly makes amends as they choose God over their prideful moment.

 

Begin again, and again and again with even more congruency today than yesterday.

 

Align your actions with your God given natural state of being filling your responses to life with love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness and self-control.

 

Authentic transformation beings with ruthless honesty and the ability to adjust and choose God’s abundant grace which always offers the opportunity to begin again.

“Dear God rescue us from the weak moments of the flesh which rob us of the knowing that we are enough IN YOU. We lack nothing, as St. Teresa of Avila says, when we have you. Fill up those spaces within our interior castle which are void of the remembrance that humility, love and confidence make up the foundation for lasting inner peace and life satisfaction.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

God or Man? Flip Your Authority

 

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

 

Too often we give more authority to circumstance than we do to

our God given ability to overcome, learn from and move 

through perceived challenges in life. This week remember

that GREATER IS THE ONE who lives in YOU than 

the one or thing in the world.

 

Your experience of rising and 

falling depending upon how the world judges you is in 

direct proportion to the power YOU give to the outside

circumstance to define your worth, value and capability. 

If God is for you…who or what can be against you? Flip

your authority today: Give more authority to the strength of God

within you than you give to the opinions of people around you and

or specific outcomes. Failure is just a label we place on an

undesirable outcome.  Think about this for a moment, if

you truly believe that God has plans to prosper you and not to

harm you, to give you hope and a future then whatever pops

up before you can be flipped into positive forward momentum.

What if you take a moment this week before any potential threat

to your sense of safety and ability to overcome and you remember

this simple thought: God has overcome all that I feel has overcome

(or potentially overcome) me in my life…He sees all and is more

than capable of doing more than I can ever ask or imagine for

my ultimate good in this world, I am safe and connected to the

One that is greater than circumstance.

 

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Our Wonderful Counselor

jesus_counsel_on_park_bench_

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord , that shall stand.                                                         ~Proverbs 19:20-21 KJV

As we ponder on the right things to do in life and the right decisions to make, we need to first go the God for counsel.  We run to seek advice from friends, family, and therapist when the person with all the answers is right there… with you all the times.

Much of the problem comes from us being able to hear what he tells us, confident without uncertainty, that it’s his voice we hear.  This comes with strong conviction and dedication to your relationship with him. Through prayer and a continual building of a relationship with him, we are able to discern is voice, counsel, and instruction.

My constant prayer is that all of us are able to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the lord is talking, advising,  and consoling us in the right paths and choices we make.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!                             ~Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Lord, let us hear your counsel, and receive your instruction, so that we may be wise at the end!!

Dr. Stella