Blog Archives

When Selflessness isn’t so Selfless

Inhale .. Exhale ..

Sometimes it takes me a while to “wake up” to the WHY behind my not “feeling” well.  I was never good at “listening” to my body (a big reason I got so .. well .. big).  This includes not paying attention to signals I’m exhausted or stressed or irritable.  Or feeling “trapped” and prone to blame others for making me feel that way….

I have recently woken up to the fact I got hoodwinked, again, by my own “Old Leah” thinking .. trying to bring a lot of factors together to “make” them work to please all involved.  And my “making” it work involved making a lot of “sacrifices” from my own world – time, money, energy, etc.

THANK GOD I recognized the pattern before it got TOTALLY out of control, but there are still some costs and losses as a result.  (“Natural consequences.”)  And as has become my trend (sheepish grin), I flooded my twitter account with a series of self-counseling, “preaching to myself” blips.  In short, I was walking by sight, not by faith.  I was being led by “emotion” (others’ AND my own) and ulterior motives rather unknown even to myself at first, instead of being led by the Spirit of God – our GOOD Father – who is NOT the “author of confusion” (even though I was kinda overrun by “confusion” at times, and tried to manage it and “force” the square peg into the round hole, instead of identifying that I was sent off course WAY back, and could easily have redirected back THEN and saved everyone a lot of grief, not least of all myself!).

In case you are at all wired like me, a recovering “people pleaser” at odds with her own over-inflated sense of justice (my “kind” word for my own self-righteousness), here are my tweets so YOU might be able to change course, too.  I’ll copy here, and retreat to my prayer closet so I can discern the appropriate “fix” .. which is probably going to include some “repentance” on my part for having let things get this far in the first place.

*sigh*

Thank God he is GRACIOUS and loves to direct us for our own good.  ❤

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  • Need 2listen better 2growing feeling of being overwhelmed..It’s OFTEN a “check in my spirit” that I’m walking by fear/obligation, not Faith!
  • When u bend over backwards 2make square pegs fit round holes so others aren’t hurt or offended, that might not be love as much as cowardice.
  • There’s a difference between sacrificially “giving the shirt off ur back” as Jesus commanded vs. MANIPULATING others by trying 2please them!
  • If ur frustratd bcuz ur manipulation disguisd as self-sacrifice fails 2achieve desired accolades, u WILL hv dis-ease from home-grown stress!

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  • Here’s the point: U might not B aware ur a manipulatng ppl pleaser. LISTEN 2ur stress levels &feeling hurt when others fail 2love ur effort!
  • CUT OFF ur stress &frustration UP FRONT! Be willing 2say NO sometimes, express urself &OWN ur decisions. Sometimes NO = most loving answer.
  • Be led by PEACE in ur decisions. God is not the author of confusion, & ur not being more “righteous” by ever yielding 2everyone elses whims.
  • There is a GRACIOUS diffrnc between loving by SERVING vs being a SLAVE – either 2others OR emotions. Dont be ur own emotional whipping post.
  • When u make self-deprecating decisions 2please others (not 2SERVE others), u really can’t blame THEM when u fail 2accomplish ur own dreams.
  • If ur a chronic “ppl pleaser” be prepard, it will take WORK 2examin ur motives faithfully. CHECK urself,SPEAK ur true desires,say NO if nec.
  • GOOD 2deny urself insofar as ur chasing selflessness. It IS Christ-like. But that is NOT= 2being jerkd by other ppl’s ever-changing desires!
  • Have u caught urself in a snowball of iffy decisions? R u bearing fruit of stress,frustration,exhaustion,anger,blameshifting? CHANGE COURSE.
  • We serve a GOOD Father &his commands R NOT burdensome! If u FEEL burdened, could it be ur walking in a SELF-imposed reality, not led by HIM.
  • Uve made some compromises,found ur iffy motivs,&need 2change course? PAUSE,immerse urself in PRAYER so nxt move =led by the SPIRIT,not self.

Blessings!

~Leah

For Further Study….

Two Unrelated Topics??

Well, a conversation with a friend about “speaking in tongues” has naturally progressed into a discussion on biblical masculinity and femininity because of “headship” and “submission” ~ I did not predict this course! haha! (if you’re interested, check out 1 corinthians 11-14, romans 12, jude 1, 1 timothy 2-3, 1 peter 3, genesis 2-3, ephesians 4-5 ~ all of which are making appearance in this discussion. see if you can spot the connections in these two topics?)

aka #ilovethedeependofthepool ♥

Here’s a link to ALL of the above texts in one spot for your convenience 😉

Blessings!

~Leah

Quoting Joyce Meyer?!

Who ever would have thought I’d quote Joyce Meyer so often!  (Those of you who know me well know I have in the past expressed at least “suspicion” of her teaching because I perceived her to be overstepping her role, biblically, to say nothing of my confusions concerning “charismatic” theology….)
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I can’t believe how “disdaining” I have been of so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ because of perhaps this or that “difference” in our doctrinal convictions. Now that I find myself on the “other side” of some of those convictions, I find myself increasingly aware of just how much of a Pharisee I had become … thinking I was becoming more… “holy” in God’s sight because I was SO concerned with “believing rightly!,” and yet I was really just becoming more self-righteous and unloving.
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Please do not hear what I am not saying – I am NOT saying we should “compromise” essential truths of Scripture! But you could say – I am realizing I had a lot more “truths” in my closed fist (essential) that should have been in the other, open hand (non-essential). Room for different understandings, for patience and forbearance, for listening to one another, and the humility to realize maybe I DIDN’T “have it all right” just because I believed a thing so strongly. The humility necessary to truly HEAR another, and recognize and receive whatever is true of what they are saying, even if it flies in the face of everything I’ve “always been taught….”
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BUT HOW KIND OF GOD! HOW PATIENT OF GOD! that he would take us who have believed on his Son, who have been given, by grace, the “right” to be called the children of God (Jn 1) … That he would take us, and LEAD us into maturity, unlocking doors we’ve bolted shut, opening our hearts to love what HE loves, to hate what HE hates, and to live as HE lives.
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How patient our good Father is for the “fruit” in its season. I look forward to the Day – as promised of the tree in the garden in Revelation which bears fruit EVERY month – when fruitfulness will be EVERY season!!  Why not here? Why not in this life? WHY NOT God’s will on earth as it is in heaven??
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Ah, he is SO good….!! ♥
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@JoyceMeyer: The only way that I know to stay ahead of the tyranny of selfishness is to be an aggressive, on-purpose, giver. -Joyce
@JoyceMeyer: When we love, we must give; giving is the very nature of love. God is love, and He is the ultimate Giver.
@JoyceMeyer: Instead of dwelling on your difficulties, focus more on the fact that God is for you and His power is at work in you.
@JoyceMeyer: Don’t give up on the people you love. Your patient love and faithfulness may be exactly what they need to make a complete turnaround.
@JoyceMeyer: Ask God to fill your mouth with the words you need to say today. No issue is so small that it doesn’t require God’s wisdom.
@JoyceMeyer: Place your desires before God. Pray about them and trust God to give them to you if and when they’re right for you.
@JoyceMeyer: Are you serving the god of your feelings or the God of the Bible?
@JoyceMeyer: Meekness is not weakness, but rather strength under control.
@JoyceMeyer: One of the best ways to start every day is this prayer: Without You, Jesus, I am nothing.
@JoyceMeyer: Cast out wrong thoughts! You don’t have to think whatever falls in to your head.
@JoyceMeyer: Don’t be the person who, all your life, needs to be ministered to. It’s time for transition – to be the one helping someone else.
@JoyceMeyer: We all fail. None of us are perfect and that’s why we have the grace of God. But don’t use that as an excuse. (Romans 6:1-11)
@JoyceMeyer: I think a lot of our anguish over our flaws and weaknesses simply comes from trying to impress ourselves with our own perfection. -Joyce
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My Positive Confession

Confession: Christ is my Strength, my hope, my peace, my strong Deliverer and my Healer. If he is for me, who can stand against me? I am not of those who shrink back, nor those who allow the enemy to take what is rightfully mine because of Christ’s mercy and grace. I am more than a conquerer, in Jesus name! I do not deserve pain or condemnation, because I am no longer “in sin” but “in Christ” so I do not receive the lie of the enemy who would have me believe otherwise. Jesus paid my price and I am free; and even if I fall and fail in the flesh, this has no power over the seal of His Spirit upon me – I apply his blood to my body, my mind, my soul, my spirit, my circumstances, my words, my failings!, my home, my family, my job, my everything. He has redeemed me, and the works of my hands, and I shall not fail to see his glory, for he is faithful to finish what he has begun!! Heal me, o Lord, and I will be healed! Save me, and I will be saved! Thank you, nothing shall separate me from your everlasting love!! You are so good! You are so good!

God Still Gives Dreams

I had a powerful and instructive dream in the wee hours of the morning a few days ago, regarding how to teach the Word of God.  I am not sure I’ve ever had a dream quite like that…
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    I was “on mission” with several others, imaged by a small boat (which I take to be symbolic of my church), battered by storm winds and threatening, potentially capsizing waves, and out from which we were casting smaller boats for search & rescue.
     My “job” in the main boat was to help care for the boat and the return of our searchers; and also to reflect on God’s Word and teach it. But in the dream I didn’t know my job, and I felt useless (very apt). And my teaching “reflections” were primarily self-focused and speculative, rather than exegetical or interpretive.
    I recall that we were ALL able to walk on water, just like Jesus – though I didn’t know yet that I could also do so.  In the setting of the dream, I was fearful of the ocean creatures, sharks and the like, and this dominated my consciousness as we were being assaulted by the storm.
    Our main team was out, and the sending boat was filling to the point of capsizing, so I swam across the deck towards the front, where our skeleton crew was working hard to keep us aright. There, I asked the main post (not a captain, she was like “acting captain”?) what I could do? How to help? Instead of telling me, she showed me how to maneuver the ship – which was designed uniquely to get rid of water in just this kind of danger. She showed me how to “tip” the boat, and it required skill and strength, but the main maneuver required the boat itself to do the work.
    Soon we were arighted, and our scattered searchers returned – having found some Lost, and also bringing back supplies.
    As the lot of us formed our smaller circles at tables in the dining area, I found a corner area to sit back and observe; here, individuals would approach me one by one to ask me about a teaching I’d done on the Book of Ruth. Some had been encouraged, others were critical. I don’t recall specifically what was said – but I do remember catching word through the overhearing of various conversations that the circle of leaders across the way had some thoughts they wanted to express.
    I made my way over and sat with them – instead of a table, they were each sitting at desks, “eating” the Word they were studying. One by one, they began to question me, encourage me, challenge me, even rebuke me. I recall only two bits of instruction:
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  • “Your personal, ‘journal-like’ approach to teaching is not profitable to the whole Body! You may well be learning much, but you need to broaden your pithy one-liners and marginal reflections to find what the Text is really saying, for the benefit of ALL!”
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  • “You are speaking as though every word you’re saying is ‘thus sayeth the Lord’; you must let the Word be the Word – draw a distinction, or people will flock to YOU rather than GOD!” …
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    I have felt this uselessness where I am currently positioned.  It has been a season of “filling” and receiving, to be sure, but I am eager to “go out,” myself.  To meaningfully do my “job” in the Body.  I have felt this was in teaching and singing – neither of which seem to be needs in the church into which God has currently placed me.
    Upon waking, aside from the above explicitely stated revelations which were also very key, I knew that several of the things the Spirit of God was impressing on my heart included:
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  • “DO NOT BE AFRAID!  I have given you authority over the creatures of the sea, AND over the waves!”
  • “I have made you for this time and this place – you are here to be taught, to learn submission, to trust the spiritual authorities I have placed over you, and to be prepared.”
  • “You have everything you need – you can already walk on water! – but I will determine the time and place when you step out.”
  • “You DO have a place; you DO have a purpose in the Body, even in THIS Body!  Be watchful, be teachable, be patient, continue to serve, and I will make it clear what you are to do; I will open the way at the proper time, and you will know it when you see it.”
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Thank you, Lord!
Be blessed!
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~Leah

a word from David Wilkerson about FAITH!

Rec’d this “devo” today via David Wilkerson’s Ministry ~ a very FIT word aptly spoken.  Please read!  It might just change your life!  😉

SPECIFIC PROMISES FOR SPECIFIC TIMES

All Christians have a general trust in the Lord. We stand on a few promises that apply to the whole body of Christ, such as:  “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).  “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  “For the Lord God is a sun an…d shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

These well-known promises have brought great comfort and blessing to God’s people worldwide for many centuries. Yet, beyond these general promises, God gives us specific promises for special times, hard times. We must know them and bring them with us when we come boldly to His throne of grace.

The Puritans, who were mightily blessed of God, said every promise of the Lord is a holy argument. They believed a Christian should not come before the Lord with just a general faith.

When God tells you to come boldly before the throne of grace, to receive mercy and grace in your time of need, you cannot have just a general idea of why you are there. You cannot just say, “Okay, Lord, You know my heart. Give me whatever You see fit.”

That may sound good but God has specific promises for specific times in our lives. He wants us to lay hold of these promises with our hearts so that we might stand strong and assured as we reason with Him. He wants us to stand before His throne having perfect consolation, absolute assurance and no doubts whatsoever!

Maybe the reason you are not hearing from God is that you have given Him a general faith without being specific with Him. God says, “Come, bring forth your strong reasons (see Isaiah 41:21). Why should I do this for you? Why should I bless you?” He knows why, of course, but He also wants you to know why!

~David Wilkerson, World Challenge

Plain and Simple :)

Some quotes I’ve pulled from some old sermons by Brother Keith Moore ~

I love listening to sermons online, and K.Moore is one of my current favorites.  I’m really “soaking up” as much as I can!  I thought I would share some of the brief gems with you:

  • You wanna go high? Dig deep! You wanna go high-ya? Dig DEEP-ah!! Fight the good fight of faith; this is not a suggestion!
  • The more confusing and complex something is? The more darkness you’re in. You just don’t have enough Light in the situation. When the Word of God comes in, the Light enters in, and confusion leaves, and the more simple, the more plain and clear the thing becomes!
  • The more self-centered you are, the easier you are to deceive….Flattery is one of the best weapons in the enemy’s arsenal.
  • The more you die to your flesh, the more you eliminate selfishness from your life, the more clearly you hear from the Lord.

You can hear more teachings by Brother Keith Moore here:

http://www.flcbranson.org/freedownloads.php

Hearing from God

It doesn’t count as “hearing from the Lord” ONLY when he says something you WANT to hear. When he tells you what you DON’T want to hear, and you obey anyway, out of love for HIM, out of a desire for HIS glory and the application of HIS wisdom, then you might be more rightly reassured….  🙂

Read today:  “The Holy Spirit can speak the truth in love—to our hearts. When the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts through the Word—and in those still small voice moments—He shines the truth light on areas of lives that need attention. While it’s painful at times, there is a sweet sense of relief, too. We know that He only speaks the truth in love for our benefit, so that we grow up in all things!… If the Holy Spirit speaks the truth in love to you, don’t resist, rebel, get defensive, make excuses or go into a depression; just take an honest inventory and let the Lord use it to help you grow up.  [Pray]  ‘Father, the truth sometimes hurts, but I have enough sense to say bring it on. I thank You for [speaking] the truth in love to me, so that I can grow up into all that You want me to be and do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.'” ~Beth Jones, Valley Family Church

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Daymares?

Daydream nightmares…..daymares?

If you are assaulted by violent and emotionally devastating mental pictures during the night ~ you wake up, rebuke the enemy, pray and take your thoughts captive to the Truth.

The Truth? …No, you weren’t really abducted by aliens and your spouse tortured and killed in front of you. No, your house didn’t turn into the witch’s candy house in which you’re in danger of being turned into stew for her supper…No, the Nazi’s haven’t regained power and begun systematically exterminating Christians. At least not yet. 🙂 😦

But during the day? Fully awake, with visions of a loved one engulfed in flames, horrible disfigurements, or an accident claiming limbs, or a drowning and you can’t do anything to save them….How do you respond to something like this?

I think the temptation is to let the image play out, as if to see the rest of a storyline, even if the emotions that accompany are powerfully negative. But it can tormentt ~ worse than a nightmare because you’re awake, and presumably “in control” of your thoughts. “What kind of monster am I?!”

Honestly, the battle is the same. Speak Truth to yourself, turn to God in prayer and fix your mind’s eye on Jesus’ face and your faith on his goodness. Anything else is…well, emotionally self-indulgent and destructive.

If you feel you can’t “turn it off” or “make it stop” ~ involve a loving, godly friend to pray with you, to find Scripture to strengthen your faith (pray through Ephesians 6, perhaps, or Colossians 3:1-4, or Philippians 4:4-9, or choose a praise Psalm, or a Gospel so you can refamiliarize yourself with Jesus’ voice).

Note! An imagination is a powerful gateway to spiritual realities … the entrance MUST be guarded by the HOLY Spirit.

Meeting Michael

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Out with Mom for lunch yesterday, I watched a gentleman come into the diner – long greasy graying hair, beard, black trenchcoat, dazed expression.  I felt there was something going on with him, spiritually, so as he sat down I started praying that the Lord would show me what to say to him.  I mentioned it to mom, and she made one comment that immediately gave me my “opening line.”
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I waited till I saw the waitress bring him his check, and he was still eating his omelette, reading a book.  I asked if I could sit at his table for a moment, he hesitantly said ok and didn’t really look up at me, and kept eating.  I introduced myself, said I felt God had highlighted him to me when he walked into the diner, that he reminded me of someone (I was specific w/him about the “who”).  I asked his name, he looked at me suspiciously, and reluctantly told me his name was Michael.  I said “Michael, I believe God wants me to tell you that he loves you and that he hasn’t forgotten you.”  Then I asked him if he would allow me to buy him his lunch.  He didn’t like that idea, said it was nice for me to offer but he didn’t understand why I would do that.  I said, “It is just an act of kindness as an expression of God’s grace.”  He said no, he didn’t want me to do that.
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I again addressed him by name, and asked if there was anything I could pray for him for?  He said no.  I said ok, well I just wanted to say hi, and I repeated that I felt God had highlighted him to me, and that I felt I was supposed to tell him that God loves him and has not forgotten him.  As Mom and I were preparing to check out, ourselves, I went back to his table and just asked if perhaps he had changed his mind about letting me buy his lunch for him?  He said no thank you, and kept reading.  So I just said, ok, and God bless, and Mom and I were on our way.
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I have no idea what I expected, but maybe the encounter was more for my benefit than his?  To help me gain courage in talking with strangers?  Still, if you think of this man, Michael, please do pray for him, even if I did “weird him out,” a little.  ♥
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