The Gift of Trust

A Perfectly Amazing Present

 How do I get my 15-year-old to want to hang out with me again?

 Why does it feel like my spouse doesn’t exactly “like” me anymore?

Maybe you have a person in that family that just doesn’t seem to want to be with you. You are stuck with wondering what to do.  Do I give them space? Do I reach out? Am I doing something wrong? 

As we help people in their marriages and with their children, we were recently posed with the question, “how do we reach our son…he feels disconnected from us”. 

Bob immediately threw out the question, “Do you trust him?”  They both immediately (and in unison) chimed, “No!”

The fact was, this son had demonstrated behavior that disqualified him from trust.  So, discipline was in order.  Privileges taken away.  Consequences in place.  All the important mechanisms that help shape our children to understand that sin will lead to pain. 

And it does.  Sin leads to destruction and ultimately death. But sin does not separate us from God’s love.  God, in his love pursues me while I was still lost in sin:

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners…and since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.  For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.  So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God” (Romans 8:6-11 loosely translated from NLT).

Restored Friendship

We started asking them more about their son.  We asked about his passion, his interests, and most of all, his heart.  Their faces lit up as they described the time he went on a missions trip and stood up in front of everyone and told them about how  Jesus accepts Him without question.  They talked about the fact that he was strong and talented enough to pay football, but that he just didn’t have the heart to fight.  The more they described him, the bigger their smiles became. 

I love how God speaks and brings such a gentle answer to our deep and heartfelt questions.  I then asked the question, “Your son sounds like an exceptional person.  Would you like to give him an incredible present?”  They said, “yes...maybe that’s what he needs…a present?”

“I think I know what your son is craving and longing for more than anything.  I think this present would change everything for him”.  “What is it,” they asked.

Trust.  Why don’t you sit down and tell him that you’ve decided to give him the gift of trust.  He can stop beating himself up and he can stop trying to jump through the hoops to earn your acceptance”. 

You have the opportunity to draw a line in the sand, step over that line and give your loved ones the gift of trust.  Sure, they may mess up again, but because there is trust, they will be safe enough to move towards you instead of away from you when that happens.  The flow of relationship runs freely as love is your goal and trust is a highly valued gift. 

 

Monday

Believe in the “real” version of your family members

Did you hear in that story how the conversation turned when the parents began to talk about what they loved most about their son?

Every personality has a redeemed and amazing side to it.  The person you love might be more of a fighter than a lover!  So when you read about this son (above), you think, “wow, must be nice that their son has a soft and warm heart, it’s easy to see the beautiful part of that!”  Well, maybe the one you love (your spouse, your loved one) has the gift of passionate persistence and lion’s heart of a leader that will push through resistance and “fight” for truth and justice.

Don’t try and mold and shape the person you love into who you think they should be.  Discover and focus on the truth of their identity and embrace the gift that they are. Remind yourself, even keep a grateful journal of all the fabulous qualities that come with this gift God created! 

 

Tuesday

 Believe the best instead of assuming the worst

Your loved ones can “feel” your judgment, even if you’re not saying the words aloud.  Take every thought captive!  If you want to think of negative attributes about someone in your life, you can gather up more than enough evidence to prove your Right-ness and how you’ve been wronged. That could very well be true, however:

A wise person demonstrates patience, for mercy means holding your tongue.  When you are insulted, be quick to forgive and forget it, for you are virtuous when you overlook an offense.  (Proverbs 19:11 tPt).

Believing the best rather than assuming the worst in your loved ones is an invitation to draw them near. For your own sake, start releasing your angry or hurt feelings and thoughts. Stop your mind from obsessing about the past, and focus on the present and future. Turn toward what is going well, what you’re grateful for. Your giving attention to the garden of your heart, you have to pull some weeds, sure, but mainly focus on planting flowers.

 

Wednesday

Live in the land of acceptance

This is not denial!  Yet, how do we pursue our misbehaving family in love without condoning their mistakes or behavior.  You can accept that person without approving of their behavior.  But that doesn’t mean blasting them with reminders of how unapproving their behaviour has been. On the contrary, you will emphasize 100% acceptance.  Open arms.  Caring words. 

We were recently speaking with a couple last week, and we simply asked them to give each other some safe-space to heal before we tackle the relationship issues.  The marriage relationship cannot be healed until the two precious individuals within the marriage first become healed and whole. 

As we were Skyping with them, we felt led to ask them if they would agree to live in the “Land of Acceptance” together.  They thought about…looked at each other…paused for a moment, and then both said, “That actually sounds like a good place to be”. 

Even if your loved one hasn’t invited you to live in the land of acceptance, you can start by letting them live there with you. What a concept!

 

Thursday

Don’t demand appreciation

Living in the Land of Acceptance means you simply can’t make your loved ones jump through hoops. I know it’s not easy.  I recently reached out to a distant family member by spending a significant amount of time, money and creative effort to send a present.  It’s been a few weeks and I haven’t heard whether they received it, or whether they appreciated it.  Yikes! Something in me wants to jump up and down and say, “Hey! Hey you!  Did you get that amazing present of love I sent you, or what?”

All of a sudden it sounds like my love-gift wasn’t much of a gift at all? That’s because it comes with a stipulation! Chose not to be “that person”. I want to give without expecting anything in return.  Not always easy, but Bob was so amazing with his word picture.  “Audrey, you built a beautiful bridge.  Now, it’s up to them if they want to come towards you.  But, aren’t you glad you built it?”

Yes, I am!  Plus, I don’t want to tear that bridge down by suddenly having expectations, or make it difficult by placing a tollgate and demand payment for a restored relationship.  I want to keep that bridge alive, full of love and ready for any moment that distant relative wants to come over and deepen our relationship.  And I will build another one and another one.  Why not?  When you love, you can’t lose!

 

Friday

Be generous with the gift of trust

Let’s not be stingy with trust.  It’s risky, I know.  But Jesus took a huge risk on me, by loving me first.  He demondstrated His love.  He extended His hand.  He built the most safe and beautiful bridge imaginable. And I love this about Him!

There was a day about twelve years ago, when Bob gave me the gift of trust. I couldn’t have performed enough to ever earn it.  I couldn’t have cried and been sorry enough to deserve it.  Yet, he offered it to me out of his love.  It’s the most beautiful gift Bob has ever given me in this lifetime.  I cherish it.  I treasure it, and I live up to it. 

*Disclaimer:  We are fully aware that there is a place for earned trust through changed behavior.   This is not permission for someone to mistreat or abuse you in the relationship. Prayerfully consider if there is someone in your life that would benefit by your gift of trust.

Led by God Under an Open Heaven

Introduction

Audrey:

How do you remain in that sweet place where God’s presence surrounds you, joy fills you and peace leads you?

Paul calls it “Walking by the Spirit” in Galatians.  Two things that tend to “trip me up” when it comes to this daily walk are:

  1. My own human strength
  2. Measuring myself by the world’s standards

Bob:

This week we want to highlight some words that Paul used to encourage the Galatians to pursue a life of holiness, not in their own effort but in the knowledge of God’s empowering grace in their life.

There are several encouraging points we will make that will help bring strength and encouragement to your relationships and your life. But there is one phrase Paul uses that we’ve adapted into our Christian vernacular and it’s this, “Walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-18).

So the natural progression would be to answer, “What would that look like for me?”

This week, we want to inspire you, help you and invite you to the best life…the one we are called to live as children of God. 

 

Monday

Galatians 5:18

Bob:

There are two images found in Galatians 5. Today we look at the first image found in verse 18: “If you are led by the Spirit you are not under law.” Most of us read it this way, “If you follow the Spirit…”

 

To understand the distinction between the two is transformative. The Spirit is not a leader like a pace car in the “Daytona 500.” He is a leader like a locomotive on a train. We do not follow the Spirit in our own strength, rather we are led by His power

 

“Walking by the Spirit” means remaining connected (think relational) to The Source of power and going wherever He leads. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I am drawn into the best pathway for my life. When you are “led” it emphasizes the Spirit’s work, not my own. There is an empowering and enabling grace on my life.  

 

Tuesday

Galatians 5:22

Bob:

The second visual of our walk in the Spirit is in Galatians 5:22: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc.” If our Christian walk is to be a walk of love and joy and peace, then “walk by the Spirit” must mean “bear the fruit of the Spirit.” But again, the Spirit’s work is emphasized, not ours. The Holy Spirit bears the fruit. 

Recall John 15:4-5: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” So “walk by the Spirit” means “abide in The Vine.”

Paul emphasizes the work of the Spirit, yet the command is for us to do something. It’s our will and opinions that are deeply involved and must be surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must want to be coupled to the locomotive. We must want to abide in The Vine. The work I’m involved with is active trust and abiding peace. 

 

Wednesday

Galatians 1:3

Audrey:

“I pray over you a release of the blessings of God’s undeserved kindness and total well-being that flows from our Father-God and from the Lord Jesus” (Passion Translation)

In your own effort, you simply don’t wake up with enough mercy for your day.  Most of us often start the morning being hard on ourselves and others before we have even brushed our teeth.  That’s why God provides!  When we walk by the spirit, we tap into his waterfall of undeserved kindness and mercy.  We allow Him to saturate our entire being with His unconditional love.  Thank heaven that His mercy is new every single morning!

We will naturally GIVE what we are receiving.  Mercy is needed each and every day.  Trying hard to be a kind and merciful person takes much human effort.  When we walk by the spirit, His mercies identify us and His kindness empowers us!

Make this your personal prayer today.

 

Thursday

Galatians 1:10

Audrey:

“I’m obviously not trying to flatter you or water down my message to be popular with men, but my supreme passion is to please God.  For is all I attempt to do is please people, I would not be a true servant of Christ.” (Passion Translation)

For many years I struggled with “stretching the truth” or giving “partial truth” because of fear that people wouldn’t like me. Even though my natural personality and behavior are to soften the blow of any challenging truth, as I conquer fear by being found in love, I can face extreme challenges head on.  It is here that I discover the value and importance of truth and love – I write on my heart, “I am a lover of truth!  I don’t compromise!” 

My own human ego will strive to please people.  Worldly pressures and the attractions of this culture will pull me towards performing to gain love and acceptance.  The Holy Spirit in me is in love with the supreme passion for pleasing God.  That’s walking in the Spirit!  There is no stretching of the truth here: You and I are immeasurably loved, my God!   

    

Friday

Galatians 1:24

Bob and Audrey:

“Because of the transformation that took place in my life, they praised God even more!”

Our lives tell the story of God’s goodness.  Your life is a living testament of God’s incredible faithfulness and love.  Whenever you feel discouraged, there’s a good possibility that you have measured your success by the culture of this world, and you may be lured by the attraction of what people have to offer as a source of acceptance or approval.

Encourage yourself in the Lord, speak aloud and give direction to your day:

“Arise thoughts of God’s goodness!  Arise words of Adoration!”  As you set your sights on the realities of heaven, you find rest in His calm retreat knowing that you are a child of God, and you are the one that “Walks by the Spirit!”

 

- Bob and Audrey Meisner

You Can Know God’s Best Pathway!

Last Monday we talked about the efficiency and intention that happens when we set goals, and how we will be the person, secure in our identity that accomplishes these goals.  We want to be “those” people who hear God’s whisper behind them saying, “This is the way…walk in it…” 

Some of your responses after reading about goals last week:

  • How do I know God’s best direction for my life? 
  • How do I know if I am on the right path?
  • I don’t want to waste time and energy setting goals that aren’t completely in line with God’s best! 

What a beautiful response, for that expression of longing, is spoken from a heart that understands that God’s thoughts are higher than ours, and His ways are higher (and better!) than our ways.  God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.  Let’s take a week and seek HIS way.  “If my people who are called my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, then shall they hear from heaven…”

Let’s involve heaven in our anticipation of the future!


Monday

Day One: Tackling the Fear of Missing God

Fear of missing God, or missing His best has had its home in my heart for much of my life. I am convinced of His goodness and wisdom, but I’m afraid of my human inability to hear Him correctly, or that my opinion may rob me of being flexible enough to follow His lead. 

 Let’s tackle this fear head on.  About six weeks ago, Bob and I traveled to Bulgaria to minister to families.  I threw my Decrees book in my travel bag and we headed off for a very long plane ride.  On the first flight, I read a decree and something in my heart said, “Whoa. I need that truth written on my heart”. In other words, this has to take the drop from my head straight into the deepest part of me where it’s established in my spirit. I handed the book over to Bob and he commented, “Audrey, that decree really covers it all”.

It’s one thing to read a decree and another thing to memorize it. For me, memorizing is the first step to getting it to my heart. I establish visuals as I memorize, creating little movies in my imagination, and I intentionally allow myself to feel and experience the meaning of the words as I repeat them again and again. 

Now I had ammunition to overthrow the fear.  I began to experience God’s relentless love for me as I read about God’s best pathway for my life.  Over and over again, line upon line, the truth of His Word became my reality.  The first thing I recited in my mind when I woke up, throughout the day, and last thing before I drifted off to sleep.  By the time we got back on the plane eight days later, that decree had become part of my belief system. 

“The Lord guides me along the best pathway for my life.   He advises me and watches over me.

 The Spirit of God pays special attention to me.  With prudence and judicious, vigilant care He imparts instruction and understanding to my mind.  He imbues my spirit with His superior heavenly wisdom such that I am caused to have success and to prosper. 

With the skillful precision of a master-teacher, the Spirit’s accuracy points me in the right direction.

The strength of God establishes a firm foundation, and His vision waters the seeds of His promises within – such that His ways become my natural instincts.

Under the gentle and continuous gaze of His eyes, I receive His deliberate counsel and kingly advice.  His favor, approval, and partiality toward me pave the way for my every day and every circumstance – such that I am brought into the very best of everything”.

Prayer:

“Jesus, I desire to experience your love.  I am not reading this by accident, you are establishing the comfort and care that I can feel knowing that this promise is mine.”


Tuesday

Day Two: When and how do you feel the most safe?

Hands down, I feel the safest when I know where I’m going. Even if it’s rough terrain ahead, if I know God’s leading me I feel encouraged, energized and very close to Him. That’s why memorizing this decree has adjusted me or aligned me to a new level of security.  He knows the best pathway. He is not confused. He is not in question.

In the short six weeks since I established this truth in my heart, a couple of pretty big things in our life have shifted. And they aren’t necessarily “feel-good” positive circumstances! The astounding thing to me is my reactionInstead of freaking out, I have heard the Lord bring clarity: You are leaving your comfort zone, but you are trusting me…right? Yes. This may not look like progress from your point of view, but you are trusting me…right?  Yes. 

In order for a new season to begin, seasons have to end.  In order for God to move you to new things, you have to leave the familiar. But when do we feel most safe?  Security has very little to do with circumstances in this present world and everything to do with your position “IN JEHOVAH”. I know, that I know, that I know that I am on His best pathway for my life…what a safe way to live!

“Thank you God that you know the best pathway for my life…I trust you and can smile at my future knowing that I am safe and secure in your love for me.”


Wednesday

Day Three: He pays close attention to you

Near the beginning of that decree, my memorizing adventure brought me to that line: The Spirit of God pays special attention to me. I guess I’ve known that my entire life as a believer. I have relished in Psalm 139 for most of my life, the scripture that says that God knows when I rise, when I sit down, He knows my thoughts from far away, and His thoughts towards me outnumber the grains of sand…(very paraphrased) so why is this hitting me so deep in my heart?

I got emotional as I recited that line over and over again.  The Spirit of God pays close attention to you.  All of a sudden it just doesn’t matter who else is paying attention.  Maybe you feel like the world rejects you, or your family doesn’t understand you.  Possibly you feel the pressure to make your mark in this world, and your current state isn’t reflecting your goals. 

Well my friend, let this hit you deep in your heart.  The Spirit of God pays very close attention to you.  You are not forgotten.  You are not lost.  There is no need to hide. You are not alone.

“Thank you, Holy Spirit for being attentive to my day, my feelings, my needs and even my fears.  Thank you for caring so deeply about my life.  I surrender to your thoughts and opinions about me.”


Thursday

Day Four: His ways become your ways

The strength of God establishes a firm foundation, and His wisdom waters the seeds of His promises within – such that His ways become my natural instincts.

I love the effortless victory in this line of the decree.  As I faithfully follow His promises and invite the Holy Spirit to water the seeds within me, it will be easy to think His thoughts!  His ways become my natural instincts, in other words, I don’t have to think about it!

I respond to people’s words with His love. 

I react to other’s actions with His Love. 

My ideas reflect His thoughts. 

My opinions are founded in Him. 

What a way to live!  Make this your prayer today:

Father, establish your strength in my inner being.  Make my foundation strong in you!  I ask you for your wisdom to water the seeds, like rain, on the seeds of promises you have personally given me.  Make it be that your ways are my natural instincts.


Friday

Friday: Your Future is Expanding Before You!

You can probably sense my passion about this decree becoming part of the beliefs in my heart. Bob and I have lived in the same home for twelve years, and I seldom miss a day of walking when I’m in town, so you could say I really know the neighborhood.  Including the park that is one street away.  And the open vast desert that is about a four-minute walk from our front door.  I know every path, every cactus (well, almost) and I often venture off the pathways in the desert to forge my own, just because I love adventure. 

After I got home from Bulgaria, I was reciting this decree on my usual walk with our dog, Winston.  Something extremely strange happened.  I was in the park and felt “led” to turn left where I have never turned left before.  A new path I had never seen before opened up in front of me, leading me to beautiful scenery that I had never enjoyed!  It was extremely weird to me because it was like it was new, that someone had put something there that I had never been exposed to! I had been in this park a thousand times, how had I never seen this before?

THAT, my friend, is what happens when we decree God’s best pathways for our life.  He shows us a path that has been there the whole time, you just hadn’t seen it before!  He leads you to new possibilities that have been waiting for you to simply turn a corner!  He opens your eyes to the limitless potential that has never caught your attention!

Thank you, Jesus for new possibilities! In my present situation, right where I am, I thank you for opening up new pathways. Even where things are so familiar, you lead me to places I never even knew existed.  I can trust you, Lord!

Your plan of action?

Download my book, “Like Yourself Love Your Life” – the ebook is $5 and you will begin to celebrate the very fact that you were born – the first step to seeing the pathway in front of you, and knowing that your worth is deserving of God’s very best. 

Go to lovemarriedlife.com for your instant download, you can start reading it right now!

Setting Goals for 2017

Introduction

This week we want to help you to take some huge steps in setting yourself up for your best year ever. We will introduce ways for you to better discover clarity and motivation as you set goals for this New Year. I know it’s mid-January but there’s no better time than now to set those goals or begin to revisit and refresh the vision you hold in your heart. 

There are two Live Transformed Podcasts that will encourage you with your next steps. 


MONDAY

Day ONE:  Be Clear with Your Ask

Your limiting beliefs that emerge from the experiences of your past tend to be the leading hindrance from receiving everything Jesus has promised for you.

An important key to finding what you truly desire is having clarity. In scripture we find Jesus asking the obvious, “what do you want?” Better translated, “what are you willing for me to do for you?” What would be your answer?

This week I want to encourage you to have some extended times of being still. Sure you're going to answer all the questions and make your list of goals. But how would it make you feel if you were to hear His voice inviting you into a new level of relationship? A friendship that transforms your life, resulting in you being the person who accomplishes these goals this year.

Life gets exciting when you begin to live from the truth of your identity and you begin to experience effortless victory. Start today and imagine what it would look and feel like to have your best year ever.

Answer this question for each of these areas of your life:

What would your best year really look like?

Emotionally:

Physically:

Vocationally:

Financially:

For your family:

For your marriage:

Don’t have too many goals, and don’t make them unrealistic, but still make them slightly outside of your comfort zone!


TUESDAY

Day TWO: Get Motivated

You make goals… but then you procrastinate.

You write a to-do list… but then you don't follow through.

Seriously, what's the problem? Why are we so good at thinking of what to do but so terrible at actually doing those things?

Science supports that you're skipping an essential step. Here's what it is…

Productivity rarely takes emotions into account. And feelings are a fundamental and unavoidable part of why we as humans do what we do. We can't ignore our emotions. Because of the way our brains are structured, when thought and feelings compete, feelings almost always win. Attempting to fight with our feelings, research shows, this just makes them stronger.

Feelings are real but they are not always a reflection of truth. Emotions are a gift of God and an essential part of you executing your goals. Making your list and charting your course isn’t enough to cause change. Make yourself feel something! 

When it comes to feelings we tend to have no problem envisioning “worst case scenario.” But let’s reverse that and find so new motivation.

  1. Happiness and Gratitude promote productivity. Remind yourself of these and write them down. What does the military teach recruits in order to mentally toughen them up? Optimism.
  2. Reward Yourself (after an accomplishment). Rewards feel good, penalties feel bad.
  3. Wisely choose your friends. The people you associate with often determine the type of person you become.

Think of yourself as a motivated, productive, happy person. Research shows how people feel about themselves has a huge effect on success.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [a]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [b]dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NASB)

WEDNESDAY 

Day THREE:  More Resources than you can possibly Imagine. 

The truth is, big goals are always overwhelming. Mainly because they seem super difficult to achieve. 

Strategy: Determine your desired outcome. Break down your long term goals into bite-sized pieces. Establish at least 3 goals for the next year (habit) which will lead you in that direction of your desired end. 

You’re now charting your own map of success! As you remain faithful along the way resources will find you more than you can imagine. Your Heavenly Father is relentless in His love for you and He will reach you with His protection, provision, and Promotion. 

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
  He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,

for the Lord holds them by the hand.   
(Psalm 37:23-24 NLT)

THURSDAY

Day FOUR:  Make Peace your Goal

“If your success is independent of your identity it will always destroy you.” Bob & Audrey

A life led by the Holy Spirit will empower the heart of the believer to be both “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). We can expect sorrow from this world and full redemption from God. It’s amazing looking back to see the redemptive hand of God (Romans 8:28).

Making Peace your goal isn’t living without conflict, struggle or pain. Peace isn’t the absence of hardship but rather the presence of someone - Jesus our Prince of Peace.

As you actively pursue your goals this year, daily practice His presence, experience His love and then be the ambassador He has appointed you to be!  

“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”  (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NLT)

FRIDAY

Day FIVE: Go a Little Deeper

I want to be the person to accomplish these goals. The changes in yourself are much more deeply satisfying than any actual stuff you may acquire, or achievements you make.

Each moment of every day there remains an invitation to be a follower of Jesus. 

Most people like the comfort of having rules to follow. Rules give us a clear understanding of what is expected. Obey the rules and we feel safe, confident in our actions, and assured of their promised outcome. However, excessive focus on rules can make one arrogant and judgmental. Critical of others and one's self.

Jesus said, “Follow me.” The important difference between good works or dead works and following Jesus is where we place our focus. It’s not enough to believe right. It’s not enough to behave right. The invitation to follow is purely an invitation to relationship. It’s not an invitation to obedience. It’s an invitation to a relationship with your Father in heaven.

This year you’re moving in a direction to see some BIG changes take place. Go for it! All I’m asking is that you don’t go at it alone. Jesus called sinners and unbelievers to follow Him. He didn’t demand that they change first. He didn’t even demand that they believe He was the Son of God. He knew that if they just followed - if they just took a step in His direction, it would change their life forever.

Go a little deeper be a follower of Jesus. As believers, we are connected deeply to His heart and are invited to live in the shelter of the Most-High, rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He alone is my refuge, place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. His faithful promises are my armor and protection (Psalm 91:1-4).

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.”  Mark 8:3

I'm Deeply Offended - Now I'm Mad!

Quick note from Audrey:

Bob and I hope you’re having a great day today!  I personally faced a challenge right before Christmas that had the potential to steal my joy, in this video I describe how Jesus met me.  I really believe you’ll be encouraged!

Remember, recognizing lies is the best way to breakthrough!

 

The Lie: I’m Deeply Offended – Now I’m Mad

When anger is infiltrating your thoughts, it leaves very little room for joy, and it’s virtually impossible to experience beautiful family memories! An offense that demands justice leaves you paralyzed with fury. 

 

So what do you do with this anger?

Our human reaction is to fight back.  If I have been judged or accused, I immediately formulate judgment right back! My mind immediately counter-balances the attack with new thoughts of ways “that” person has failed. 

 

The “madness” has to turn to “sadness” before it can be released.

When Robert was in Kindergarten he made this statement.  “I can’t get rid of MAD until I get SAD first”.  That’s pretty profound.  Anger holds on to me.  Pain and sadness make space for Jesus to heal my broken heart. 

 

Taking thoughts captive leaves no room for judgment.

When you love, you can’t lose.  Daily dealing with the thoughts that direct your life, allows you to choose patterns of peace, mercy and unconditional love.  Hurting people hurt others, so that person that hurt you is crying out for love deep down.

We are looking forward to dismantling lies with you ALL YEAR LONG in 2017!
Let’s live in joy, hope and peace together – Bob and I love you and are fighting for your family!

 

P.S.  Listen to our podcast with Dr. Jim Richards on January 5th, it will really help set you up for a great year! www.livetransformed.com.  (You can catch up on any episodes you have missed!)

 

P.S.S.  There’s till space available for our Marriage Getaway in the Dominican on January 19-26 – details are at www.lovemarriedlife.com

Believing the Lie: Emotions Drive My Life

Do you ever feel yourself getting discouraged? Do you ever start going down a downward spiral, and all of a sudden you’re stuck in the feelings of hopelessness?

In this video, we get PRACTICAL.  We apply God’s truth to our heart…no longer allowing emotions to drive our decisions or dictate our day.  Get ready for a visual that will help keep you on track with God’s hope and perspective for your life. 

Ponder these questions in your own heart:

     1. The Holy Spirit in you is already perfect

Have I ever taken the time to truly imagine the reality that Jesus has chosen to make his residence inside of me?  Can I see him “stepping” into me and living His perfect life through me?  Write out your thoughts about this:

     2. Your emotions are a gift

Have I ever become angry at the fact that I may be considered an “emotional” person?  Have I ever taken to thank God for the emotional life He has given me to experience the rich facets of life?  Do I remember a time when my emotions were so sad or angry that I turned them off (numbed them) in order to survive?

     3. The strategy is surrender

Am I willing to surrender my emotions to the Holy Spirit Me? (Create a picture in your heart of a car, and emotions are no longer driving.  Instead, “Jesus in You” your spirit is taking the lead) Your emotions are alive and working for you, they arejust not “in charge”…take time to think about how this will affect your day:

Truth:  My emotions are a gift, and as they are surrendered to the Holy Spirit, I am aligned with God’s thoughts and ways. 

 

“If you wait at wisdom’s doorway, longing to hear a word for every day, joy will break forth within you as you listen for what I’ll say” 
(Proverbs 8:34, The Passion Translation) 

 

Enjoy the video, leave a comment, and know that we are praying for you – believing for breakthrough in every area of your life….

Love in Jesus,
Audrey and Bob

 

P.S.   We leave today for Bulgaria to minister to marriages for eight days – Pray with us for restored relationships and strategic times in God’s presence…we will keep you posted!

Never Alone

We all know what it’s like to feel lonely.

It’s a hollow emptiness, a feeling of isolation and disconnection. And we don’t even have to be by ourselves to experience it. We can feel lonely in a relationship, in a crowded room, even among friends.

Why do people have to feel this way? Millions of people in this world, all of them craving connection, and looking for something specific (not sure what) to satisfy them and yet inadvertently isolating themselves in the process.

It’s normal to be lonely sometimes but not all the time. It’s good to spend time exploring unknowns, alone. Having alone time should feel like having some downtime - not feeling alone.

There are practical steps you can take to help alleviate the feeling of loneliness. Establishing a true sense of belonging allows you to be lonely with never being alone.

How to fix it:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take action sooner rather than later. The feeling of loneliness may be factual but is it truthful? Although loneliness is a part of being human, the pain of loneliness does not need to be an abiding emotion of suffering.
  2. A cycle of isolation can be effectively broken by making the first move. Rather than waiting for an invitation use what you have, “to do good and to share what you have” (Heb 13:16). One of the most effective antidotes to loneliness is in helping others. The Bible says there is healing through helping: "Those who are kind reward themselves" (Prov. 11: 17).
  3. Loneliness is a time to become better acquainted with God and His abiding presence. In your moments of loneliness, you can learn to better recognize how near He truly is. King David says in the Psalms 139:7, "Where can I flee from your presence?” Nowhere. You will never be in a place where God isn't. You need to refocus on that when you feel lonely.

Finally, God (Our Father) calls us His own special people (His family). God’s intention has always been to call out and equip a people who will proclaim His praise and spread His blessing throughout the earth.

    “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special     people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” -1 Peter 2:9

You are chosen. I know it can be painful to be alone. And I know the thoughts of being set aside are loud andat times overwhelming. Don’t give way the temptation of believing in the hollow emptiness of feeling unnoticed.

Today choose to look beyond the immediacy of the moment. Allow this season to reveal a deeper knowing of how completely loved, forgiven and cherished you truly are. You may be sincerely overwhelmed. But as a friend, let me remind you that you’re not alone and that your situation isn’t unique to you.

There is reason to Praise the Lord. He is not bound to our boundaries, nor tied by our time. His resources are unlimited. His power and authority unequalled.

You are never alone.

-Bob

P.S. I know our weekly Live Transformed Pod Cast will be of immense encouragement and help for you. This Thursday, Audrey and I are with Dr. Jim Richards, and we’ve been getting a great response - if you haven’t explored our weekly podcast, you can catch up!  This Thursday we will be talking about acceptance and approval.  The law of effortless transformation is that you become like the God you believe in. Prepare to get challenged with the probing questions that will identify your real source, and leading you to deeper layers of peace in Jesus.  

The Best Decisions

I woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep. I had a decision to make.  Do I pray, listen to podcasts, or do I try and find a lame TV show so that I could try and fall back asleep?  I opted for podcasts and listened to some great messages about influencing our culture.  It was still dark outside. I could see a glimmer of sunrise, so I decided to grab a jacket and take our dog for a walk.  

As I walked, I pondered about strategy for loving and reaching our culture, fulfilling purpose and changing the world (I know…pretty intense for a sunrise stroll!) and then instead of ANOTHER podcast, I thought it best that I just listen to some music.  The first song that came on immediately touched my heart.  

When you’re sad and lonely, and you need a helping hand…and nothing, nothing is going right.  Close your eyes and think of me, and soon I will be there.  To brighten up even your darkest night.  You just call on my name and you know, wherever I am, I’ll come running to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you’ve got to do is call, and I’ll be there…you’ve got a friend. 

I immediately shed a tear.  I wasn’t exactly sad or lonely, but all that thinking about strategy was starting to overwhelm me.  So, knowing God as my friend was instant-perspective.  Because that is my most important thing.  What a friend we have in Jesus.  I am a friend of God.  First and foremost, we have friendship with God…we have moment-by-moment conversation with The One who loves us, made us and knows absolutely everything.  When this is my goal…to sprint towards Him…to know Him…to trust Him with this day…to cherish the reality of His presence, I truly believe all that strategy and world changing happens effortlessly, naturally and effectively.  

“There’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed (Philippians 3:13-14 The Voice).

We all make countless decisions every single day.  Some are automatic, some are intentional, but the best decisions are made from a place of peace. And there is so much peace in knowing the depth of our friendship with God.  

Bob and I have an agreement to never make decisions from a place of pressure.  The question we ask is, “What is the most loving thing we can do for every person involved?”  

When peace and love are part of our decisions, it invites God’s presence.  Then sometimes we look back and think, “Did we make a mistake?  Could we have made a better choice?”  Maybe!  But Proverbs is so comforting when it says, “Man’s plans are many, but God’s purposes prevail”.  In essence, this means, no matter how many plans we make that don’t work (Plan A turns to Plan B, and they can sometimes go up to Plan Z!) But God will never fail us.  He continues to redeem us and He guarantees that His purposes will prevail. 

Isn’t it great to know? You’ve got a friend….

Lots of Love in Jesus,
Audrey and Bob