Tonight’s reading gave me pause and caused me to desire this level of acceptance for people: “I choose to look at people through God, using God as my glasses, colored with His love for them” ~ Frank Laubach. I am currently reading: “Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now” by Gregory A. Boyd So my question dear friends is: What would the world be like if we all looked at people through God, or the blood of Jesus, or maybe with a heart knowing except for the grace of a loving God, we could be in a very different place ourselves?
This morning I am supposed to be working on a presentation for a ministry event this weekend and I sense the Lord saying, “Write something for men who have been abused.” My initial instinct is to duck this assignment because I am not interested in opening wounds for people if I am not present to tend to them or available to help people process. Yes, I know that God is sovereign and that God will place the right people in the right places, at the right time. So, here I am writing for my brothers ~ red, yellow, black and white! This is not a race thing but a reconciliation thing! I want to journey with you as you are reconciled back to yourself!
I am a survivor of sexual abuse; so, I know the pains that come with that trauma. I was 26 years old when I told my parents what happened to me as a child and I never told them that I had been violated as a college student. Because at some twisted level I blamed myself for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong guy. I thought he was right, but at the tender age of 17 what did I know about the “right guy”.
I give this back story to share that I know the shame, the guilt (for something you had no control over), the pains and the dysfunctions that come with all of that! I write to let you know that freedom is available! Healing is accessible! Love and total acceptance is knocking at your door. If it wasn’t so, you wouldn’t be reading this at this time and engaged to find out what I’m saying. I’ve been a part of deep inner-healing work (both as a participant and facilitator), for almost 10 years now and I promise you, when I started I was a mess. But, through the grace of God, the sweet communion of the Holy spirit, some wonderful caregivers and my commitment to tell myself the truth I am on a beautiful healing journey now.
I sense the need to say, be honest with yourself! Slowly begin to take off the mask you’ve been wearing! Admit that you are in pain! Admit that your dysfunctional behaviors really aren’t anesthetizing your pain and that you are ready to do your work! Help is available! I and some of my equipped colleagues would love to journey with you as you pursue your healing! I guarantee, it will make you a better self, better mate, better parent, better co-worker, and a better individual all around. I know it’s not easy for men to give voice to this because of the stigmas and perceptions that come with this. So let’s do this in a safe, nonjudgmental, non-condemning, loving, and accepting space; where you are free to be, and free to feel, and free to pour out for your freedom’s sake!
You are worthy and you’re worth it! If you’re not ready to talk, but want to begin to investigate what you’ve been going through and how you’re feeling: breathe, give yourself permission to feel and check out some of these resources!!!
Meditation scripture: John 8:36 ~ So think of it this way: if the Son comes to make you free, you will really be free. Voice Translation
Take good care of you!!! Lisa
This morning I overslept. So, I didn’t make it to church. My friend, Marlene texted me to see if I was ok because I kept coming up in her spirit. I told her that I was okay as far as I knew, but that was an alternative fact. In other words ~ that was a lie! My spirit was not settled! Looking at the events that have taken place over the course of the last week in our country, I realize it is effecting me in ways that I don’t like. My anger is rising; my questions are rising and initially I couldn’t seem to get myself together.
When I got quiet and sought God, the word that came to me was Psalm 46:10 ~ “Be still and know that I am God”. The word didn’t say, sit still – it said “be still”. I take this to mean, don’t sit still and do nothing; but rather be active, get educated on what you can do to become a part of the solution, speak peace to your spirit and pray!!! If I can’t get into the community to do anything physically, I know for certain that I can wage war in the heavenlies against the demonic forces that we are witnessing.
I don’t pretend to know the mind of God or why this is being allowed in this land. But what I do know is that the Lord has never left me, nor forsaken me. So, if I can offer anything to someone who is feeling the same kind of pressure that I am feeling, speak to your spirit and rest in Psalm 46:10. Don’t sit still! Be still!
Take good care of you!
Hezekiah Walker has a song “Amazing” that spoke to my heart in a wonderful way this morning during my devotions. I blogged two months ago about my journey with my doctorate and was pretty transparent that finances was the hold up in me completing this journey. I stand amazed this morning that the Almighty God I serve has defeated the prince of Persia that was holding up my blessing!!! So amazing!!! When I tell you that I serve an amazing God, it is such an understatement! My bill has gone from $9818 to $1318 ~ you can’t make me doubt Him! But I had to do my part too and stand on what God promised – speaking and believing that He would do what He said.
I don’t know what you stand in need of today, but I want to encourage you to press into what God says with an attitude of gratitude; believing it’s already done! Seek the Lord with your whole heart! Jeremiah 29:12-14 says: At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. 13 You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. 14 Yes, I will be found by you,” says the Eternal, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations where you’ve been scattered—all the places where I have driven you. I will bring you back to the land that is your rightful home.” God is so awesome! The word in church yesterday came from Matthew 8:8-13 ~ “Speak the Word” 8 Lord, I don’t deserve to have You in my house. And, in truth, I know You don’t need to be with my servant to heal him. Just say the word, and he will be healed. I want to encourage you to hang out around verse 13 where it says: “Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” My question is what do you believe and what are you saying?
We serve an awesome, amazing, almighty, all knowing, and all powerful God. See it and then say it!!! Prepare to be amazed!!!
Meditation scriptures: Jeremiah 29:12-14 and Matthew 8:8-13
Hezekiah Walker’s Amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLku74xtMdw
Take good care of you!
This past weekend, I had the privilege to travel to Cincinnati, OH to minister with the Healing Care Team under the leadership of Dr. R. Neal Siler, the founder of The Healing Place ~ Center for Counseling and Spiritual Direction. Our seminar, “Living with Loss: Finding Hope & Resurrection”, was our focus. Friday night the move of God was so amazing that while we were sent to minister to the Bibleway Church, we were blessed to see people get breakthroughs and blinders falling off of many. I absolutely love the work that I’ve been called to in this season of my life. I love when people show up who are thirsty for God and what God has for them. It is a beautiful sight, to the spiritual eye, when people who were blind, begin to see; when they have finally gotten to the place that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired; and they are really ready to do the deep inner work to live in a healthier place.
As the weekend progressed, Friday was unbelievable. But Saturday morning the revelation knowledge that was downloaded was life changing for the team and the participants alike. And then it happened…my teammate, Dr. Emily said, “I’m not sleepy, why am I falling asleep?” I began to look around and realized that lots of people were falling asleep. This was early Saturday morning, so it wasn’t an ‘itus’ moment – where you fall asleep after eating. I sensed the Lord saying, “This is what happens when you are made aware!” “What does that mean God?”, was my question. The nudging of the Spirit informed me that when we are made aware, the enemy’s tactic is to lull us to sleep. I was further revealed for me to look at this on a larger scale.
Think about what is happening in our country even now with racism on the rise; death and dying on the rise; murder by the people who are supposed to protect on the rise; presidential candidates that you can’t trust; education short-falls on the rise; people living in fear and not certain who or what to trust anymore; prison industrial complexes (modern day slavery) on the rise; and the list goes on and on! We’re hurting each other, some times intentionally and sometimes not. It’s a lot! The point is, we’re aware of these issues, but many of us have been lulled to sleep and are stuck in a do-nothing stage. This is what I call, bystander apathy. We’ve got to do our part in helping Thy Kingdom to come – on earth as it is in heaven!!! The Kingdom of God has need of you!
Please take time to quiet your spirit and seek guidance on what your next steps are in order to live your best life! You have been created to do great things, but you have to be in a healthy place in order to live into the fullness of who you are! If the Lord has made you aware of the work assigned to your hands and your next steps, please don’t fall asleep.
John 9:25(b) ~ “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”; Isaiah 52:1(a) ~ Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength.
Take good care of you,
When I was young I often heard my elders say, be careful who you hang around ~ you’ll be judged by the company you keep. While that may have been good advice to a point, the fact of the matter is we shouldn’t be judging people. That’s God’s job! And then, on the other hand… we really do need to consider the company we keep when individuals, activities, or commitments are draining the life out of us. I’ve had to do some tough self-reflecting and admit that I’ve participated in some pretty draining relationships and behaviors over the last few years. I had a Messianic complex and was in the business of trying to save folks; some who didn’t ask me to save them, didn’t come into my life for that purpose and then there were those that who didn’t want to be saved. There is nothing more draining than attempting to rescue someone who isn’t interested in being saved!!! I’ve learned the hard, costly way, Jesus saves! Not Lisa!
My thought or question this week is: what gives you life? Please don’t be deep, spooky and super-spiritual. I know that God is the only one who can give us life… My question is what keeps you going; who or what makes your world rock; who pours into you when you are feeling depleted?
My pastor used the word “withness” in one of our seminars earlier this year and I love it! When I say it, it gives me a sense of connection. It’s another form of the word togetherness. When I think of who’s really “with me”, I consider those people and opportunities that give me life. When I think of my personal life-giving areas, I think of my family and the support system that is found “within” my family. We can be super dysfunctional sometimes, because nobody hits the mark every time – but they make my world rock! I also think of my pastor and our Healing Care Team. One thing we definitely understand is how to encourage one another. I think about some wonderful people who I call friends, and they respond in kind. I’m blessed to be a blessing. I am so grateful that I have relationships that are consistently supportive and supported.
So I’m inviting you to investigate the people and the connections you have (whether they are work, church, community, or personal). Really consider whether these connections are life-giving or life draining. Do you realize that we often stay in life-draining situations because they are familiar, because we don’t want to be alone, because we don’t want to fail, because we don’t have or want to exert the necessary energy to disconnect and sometimes we stay because we haven’t given ourselves permission to let our heart break so that we can heal from the toxicity of others regularly disappointing us? Sometimes we must allow the pruning process to be done in order to bear good fruit. So what say you…who or what gives you life? And how are you making positive deposits into someone else’s life?
John 4:14 ~ I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again; Job 10:12 Your care has saved my spirit, and You have given me life and loyalty;
Take good care of you!
For the last 3 or 4 weeks God has been dealing with me on the word ~ embarrassment. I am wrestling with the thought that embarrassment comes from one of three thoughts – one out of fear, one out of shame, and the other out of arrogance. Stay with me as I hash this out, outside of my head and let me know your perspective…
When I am embarrassed by behaviors or life situation of others, am I saying, considering, or thinking that I am better than that individual and they should behave and live in a manner that is comfortable or befitting of what I think is right? Yes! I realize we all have an overly intoxicated cousin, a loud friend, an obnoxious co-worker or someone we know up close and personal who wears a 4x but buys a size 12…We all know people who we really wish would act differently. But, if we were honest about what “differently” means ~ I am realizing that it means for me, in a way that fits what “I think” is appropriate. How does the way someone else behave effect you? The people who think less of you because of someone else’s behavior is looking through a lens of piety. What arrogance! Who am I to determine how someone else should act; what they should wear; how they should fix ‘their’ hair; or with whom they should mingle?
When I am embarrassed by my own behavior or life situation, am I saying that others are more important than me and that I should live or behave in a manner that makes them comfortable, because if I don’t I may not be accepted by them? Yes! This is shame or fear of rejection!!! What am I saying to my own soul when I think that I have to assimilate and become something or somebody else in order to fit in with others? What do we say to our soul when we create a pseudo-personality or lifestyle in order for others to think that we are more than even we believe about ourselves? We are saying that we are not enough and that we have to live a lie in order to be accepted! Now don’t get me wrong, I believe there are places that certain behaviors are inappropriate and that we have to exercise some tack and decorum – not necessarily to make others comfortable, but to demonstrate that we have been taught something about social skills. But, I have no right to determine who you should be just so that I am comfortable!
What a posture of arrogance we sit in when we don’t accept people for who they are when we encounter them. Gregory Boyd said in Repenting of Religion that “love is the central command in scripture and judgment is the central prohibition.” Therefore we need to turn to God’s love and away from condemnation. Because if the truth be told, we all have something that we could be working on as we journey towards healing! A close friend challenged me when I said I wish a tennis player would do something with his hair. He asked me why? I said, “First, he’s black and representing us and then it’s just nappy and he looks unkempt!” He said, “Lisa, that guy didn’t sign up as your representative and how do you decide that he looks unkempt. Is it because his hair is not something that you’re okay with?”
That conversation was about 3 years ago, but as I consider the word embarrassment and how typically self-acceptance is not encouraged but rather that people live and exist in a place that is comfortable for others, I’m repentant. So with that, I apologize to every individual that I’ve ever tried to make live in the box that kept me safe at the cost of sacrificing yourself in order to be in relationship with me! Love who God made you to be!
Genesis 1:27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Psalm 139:13-14 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
Take good care of you…