Sunday, March 22, 2015

More Than A Friend

Jesus found me a number of years ago when I was at my worst ... addicted to drugs and also dealing them. 

He saw how miserable I was and wanted me to belong to Him. So He called me to Himself with irresistible grace! 

Since then, He has sought me over and over again with unrelenting love. What can I say about Jesus? He's my very best friend, but He's so much more. 

May Jeremy Riddle's song and this incredible video background be a pleasing offering to You. Thank You Jesus for rescuing me for the pit of destruction. 

Click on the below picture to worship God through Jeremy's heartfelt song.

"More Than A Friend" by Jeremy Riddle
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFAXz3cGUk0
 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Time to Heal


“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven … A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.” - Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

More than forty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. declared, “I have a dream.” People still get tears in their eyes when they hear that declaration. Why did those words strike home so powerfully for so many people? Probably because every one of us has a dream.

I have one too.

My dream is that church fellowships, local ministries, teams, mission groups, and other bodies of believers will rise up, come out from behind their self-protective facades, and become the healing communities Jesus envisioned. These communities will be characterized by deep vulnerability, compassion for the hurting, sincere love, and the kind of grace that’s impossible apart from God.

Prayer requests won’t always be for Aunt Jennifer’s surgery or a friend’s job interview. It won’t shock people when someone asks for prayer in his or her struggle with pornography. People will talk openly about the anger, shame, fear, and other emotions that — if we’re honest — we all struggle with from time to time. God will be glorified in testimonies of how He spoke liberating truth to Bill or Lisa … or Pastor Michael. These communities will have an inner-healing ministry, as well as home study groups to help members receive God’s help for the broken places in their hearts. The lost, who are usually well aware of their own brokenness, will flock to these communities because of their relevance.

It’s time.1.

What are your thoughts about this post? L2G.Forum@gmail.com

1. Rusty Rustenbach, A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer: Meeting God in the Broken Places (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2011), Pp 200-201. A NavPress resource published in alliance with Tyndale House Publishing, Inc.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

No Longer Slaves to Fear

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Franklin D. Roosevelt

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self control." Paul in 2 Timothy 1:7 NET

Fear is an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding, or freezing in the midst of painful or traumatic events. (Adapted from Wikipedia).

"Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life." Donald Miller

According to one source, the top ten human fears are:


          10.        Losing your freedom
           9.         The unknown
           8.         Pain
           7.         Disappointment
           6.         Misery
           5.         Loneliness
           4.         Ridicule
           3.         Rejection
           2.         Death
           1.         Failure

We all struggle with fear from time to time. For some of us it is our constant companion. For others, we only deal with fear when faced with specific life circumstances like public speaking, taking on a new project, or finding the right person as a potential life partner. 
  • What is your biggest fear? 
  • How do you usually deal with fear? 
  • What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail? 
Sometimes worship music can touch us very deeply and minister to the very core of our being.  Perhaps this offering related to fear will touch you in a powerful way.

"No Longer Slaves"
 Jonathan David & Melissa Helser
To watch and listen click on the picture below
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TkUMJtK5k

For comments or questions? 
L2G.Forum@gmail.com

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Increasing Intimacy with the Three-in-One


I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord … that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.      
~ Taken from Philippians 3:8 and 10 ~ 
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.                                
 ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18 ~
The Apostle Paul expressed the hunger of his heart for ever increasing intimacy with Jesus. Our intimate relationship with the Three-in-One can be fueled by a greater conscious awareness of our deepest longings. When we are in touch with what we deeply yearn for that we cannot satisfy through our own efforts, it can heighten our passion for God as the only one who can deeply quench our hunger and thirst.

This realization can also induce greater brokenness to self, sincere humility, and foster a deeper and more profound dependence upon God and His Word. When a person is out of touch with what is going on below the surface of his or her life, relating to God can easily become blasé and boring. When we’re numb on the inside, it’s next to impossible to experience a genuine appetite for God. A keen awareness of our desperate need is a key ingredient in our passion for God.

God is the only Being who already knows everything that goes on in our hearts: the deep longings, the pain, our true intentions, the scheming, the garbage, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Therefore it’s foolish to try to hide what’s going on deep within from Him. In fact, the Psalmist encourages to “Trust in Him at all times … Pour out our hearts before Him” because “God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8). Our dependence is exhibited by sharing all that we are thinking, struggling with, happy about and sad over with Him in prayer. The constant awareness of our neediness can move us toward a deeper and richer intimacy with the perfect lover of our souls and to persistently listen for His still small voice.

Where do you find yourself in your intimate experience of the Three-in-One? Stifled? Growing? Craving more? Desperate? Discouraged? Encouraged? Losing hope? What are you learning about this important area of life?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Everlasting Joy


A new day with an abundant supply of God's fresh mercies is here! We will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever and as we listen to the voice of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Thank You that You are here all around us … that You reside deep within us … and that we are surrounded by You and Your Holy Angels.




I am calling you out of your depressiveness, sadness, and sorrow into My Everlasting Joy. I will and am doing a supernatural work in you to turn all of your sadness into an incredible and tangible joy that knows no limits, lasting forever … everlasting joy!

May you enter into the Everlasting Joy that is the by-product of believing and living in the reality of Ephesians 1:3-13.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TV7W0WIYO8
(Click above to view this song recorded at St Thomas Crookes in Sheffield, England)

Click here to view the lyrics to "Everlasting Joy" by Nick & Claire Law and Chris Sayburn.

The above song was published on May 6, 2014; this new single from Worship at Crookes is available to be downloaded from iTunes (http://bit.ly/1omdnph), Bandcamp (http://bit.ly/RnGhtX), and Amazon (http://amzn.to/1fLXF6M)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Demandingness


Most problems with marriage or other significant relationships have their root in demanding that the other person treat me in a certain way and thereby meet my needs. My friend may have his (or her) faults and doubtlessly it would be helpful if he improved. However, to fall into the trap of “demandingness” is to somehow miss the whole point of what true relationship and love is all about.

Usually, in today’s society, when someone says I love you he or she really means is I love the way you make me feel. Later, when one’s partner doesn’t make him feel as it used to, the conclusion is that he must have fallen out of love. The real issue in a case such as this is a faulty definition of love. It is a preoccupation with getting rather than giving.

A focus on demanding that my friends treat me a certain way, affirm me, and meet my needs is not only self-centered. It will never improve the quality of the relationship or cause the connection to grow stronger.

What have you learned about the area of demandingness in your deeper relationships?

L2G would love to hear from you.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

READ and SHARE: Addressing Wounds from the Past


Did you ever have a deep cut or broken bone that either didn’t seem to heal, or that began to mend incorrectly? As a boy, I remember receiving six stitches in my forehead after a bad fall. Less than a week after the accident, my forehead began to swell grotesquely. The stitches were too tight and the doctors had to reopen my wound, drain it and re-stitch it. Fortunately, they put me to sleep before they intervened, as the pain would have been even greater than the original wound. I still carry the scar and a small bump on my forehead as a reminder.

The emotional scars we carry on the inside where no one can see them are just like what happened to my forehead. They need to be faced, handled with wisdom and thoroughly mended. If not, they will fester, swell, and infect us for the rest of our lives.

The healing process complicates greatly when unresolved and imprinting childhood hurts are denied, stuffed and secretly buried within us. However, like my forehead, these wounds can be re-opened, examined, disinfected and cleansed. The process will usually be painful, but the hope of true inner healing makes it worth the trouble.

The alternative is scary because buried emotions continue to secretly exercise their influence over us and will usually precipitate a crisis in our adult years. In this sense, early adulthood and mid-life can offer us a unique opportunity to deal with issues that we found too difficult to handle in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.

How about you? Where are you at in your healing journey?
a)   In denial.
b)   Too terrified to look into the past for fear of being overwhelmed.
c)    I’m just becoming aware of some wounds I'll need to address.
d)   I’m in the middle of a healing process.
e)   By God’s grace, I've addressed most of the wounds in my past.
f)    ?

L2G bloggers would like to hear from you. Drop us a note at L2G.Forum@gmail.com or by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Thanks for taking the time to read and share.