I don’t need another Savior

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_oYLnmFAbM

Recently written, this is a thought process birthed out of a recognition that Jesus as Savior is sufficient, and that I don’t need any other pseudo savior. I don’t need any other person or idol. I don’t need any coping mechanism. I don’t need something else other than Jesus to comfort me. I don’t need any thing or anyone other than Jesus to save me. And no other person needs me as their go-to. No one needs me as a stand in savior for when life gets hard.

We, as humans, need each other as friends and family, but not as “stand-in pseudo saviors” for when we are questioning or don’t understand what Jesus is doing in our lives. One Savior, Jesus, will do. We don’t need multiple saviors. We just need One who actually saves.

He will bring everything back to His original intent, and it will all work out. In the meantime, I will be persistent in keeping my thoughts focused on and trusting in the only Savior who actually saves.

—————————————————————

I Don’t Need Another Savior
By: Morgan Gascho
July 31, 2017

I don’t want another
No, I already have One
I don’t need another Savior

Plan A won’t always make sense
To my conscious mind
Conscious soul, even Spirit divine
It may take time to understand

Father of time, You’re outside of time
Outside the box
And, oh I know I like to understand
Like to check off the list, like to write out a plan

No Plan B will happen for me
You will bring everything back
Originality

My first, My One, My Only

No, I don’t need another
No, I don’t want another
I already have a Savior

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Revoking Lies, Easy as 1-2-3

Non-readers – want the cliff notes version?   —>   3 tips…
1. Revoke the lie
2. Accept the Truth
3. Allow God to heal your body, soul, and spirit (might require great amounts of grace and time)


*This was not written or published by me (Morgan Gascho). I found this complete resource online at http://splankna.com/lies/ on the Splankna website. All credit goes to Splankna Therapy Institute. I am simply sharing this information, because I believe it is true, simple, and helpful for all Believers in Jesus to know and to practice.


Revoking Lies

Years ago when I was disciplining my son, he said, “I know you hate me and think I’m stupid.” In the moment, I thought he was just being dramatic. Then I noticed a pattern over the next couple weeks. Every time my husband or I disciplined him he would repeat that same sentence.

One day as he was stomping up the stairs and repeating that same phrase. I stopped him mid-way up the stairs and asked, “Why do you keep saying that?” He paused and thought for a minute and he said, “I just keep hearing it.” I explained to him that it was a lie and we needed to revoke it. After we prayed to revoke the lie he never said that again.

It’s so important for us to identify the destructive lies in our lives. We need to identify them and remove them. This can be done in such a simple process.

Really it’s just 3 simple steps.

Step 1. Revoke the lie.

Confess and repent that you believed that lie. Repent that you allowed it to shape how you see yourself, the world, others, God, etc. Pull the lie out of your heart like a substance and remove the lie from your heart and mind.

Step 2. Accept the truth.

Ask God to show you the truth, to speak truth into your heart. Ask the Lord to write the whole truth. He knows all truth and we don’t. Ask him to write HIS truth in your heart.

Step 3. Heal your heart.

Ask God to heal your heart and everything that was affected by believing that lie. Be specific. He can heal your heart, soul, body, relationships, etc.

My son’s prayer looked like this:

“Lord God, I confess that I believed this lie that mom and dad hate me and that I’m stupid. I repent of believing that lie and the affect it had on my own heart and in our relationship. I revoke that lie and ask you to pull it out of my heart. I accept the truth that mom and dad love me and that you love me. I accept that I am made in your image and that I’m not stupid. I ask you God to write the whole truth in my heart. I invite you to heal my heart completely. I ask you to heal my self-image and my relationship with my parents. Thank you Jesus, Amen.”

 

*Article from http://splankna.com/lies/

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Ways to Engage with the Bible

Ways to Engage with the Bible:
1. Write it
2. Read it
3. Speak it
4. Sing it
5. Listen to it
6. Pray it

1) Listen.
Download Youversion on your phone (a free app), and you can listen to audio Bible.

2) Imagine.
Read or listen to the Bible. Close your eyes. Imagine what is happening. What does it look like, feel like, smell like?

3) Ask questions – Who? What? Where? When?
Make a trivia game out of it.
Write a questionnaire.
Write questions you don’t know the answers to, and then do your own research to study and find the answers in the Bible.

4) Prepare to teach it.
What questions would other people have?
What could you teach that you know?
How could you best word something in a way people would understand it?
How can you clearly teach from this passage in a way that would make sense to 1st graders?
Teach what you know. Tell your friends, your roommates, and the people who you are around on a daily basis. Have them ask you questions on anything that is unclear or that they want more information on.

5) Write a sermon.
Preach!
What Truths are coming from this passage? Write them down, preach them to yourself, and be amazed at how this week, these same Truths will be used in conversation with others. The Lord is good with divine connections like that!

6) Find the theme.
What’s the point? Why is this in the Bible? What is it saying? What is repeated?

7) Color Code.
I find that color coding my Bible helps me to find and see topics more clearly. You may like to highlight people in yellow, God in blue, and places in green. Maybe mountains really stick out to you, so you draw a few mountains by every verse that mentions them. You have freedom to create! Color code your Bible if it helps you to engage with His Truth.

8) Ask God.
Read a passage.
Ask God what He is saying and what He wants to highlight to you. If you don’t get anything, ask again or keep reading and do the same thing. Eventually, something usually sticks out or is highlighted. When it is, write it down and dialogue with the Lord about it.

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Writing again. Re-creating. Re-discovering.

Hello blog world! I haven’t seen you lately, because, frankly, I haven’t been posting. I’ve been frustrated and disappointed with successes I have not yet achieved. To get my mind off of this devastating thought, I have been creating self to-do lists, encapsulated by time, in order that I can do something to check it off the list. Then I can feel important and useful.

When I put it that way, it seems like quite a stupid plan and a waste of breath, but nonetheless, I’ve been productive in menial things.

Now, glad that I have those temporal, menial things out of the way, I can start to process and create and re-create again. I am starting to write. I forgot about the power and energy that giving, creating, and writing produces in the depth of my being. Creating, for me, is often a re-creation of something that has probably already been thought, written, or delivered; but it’s new to my soul. Therefore, creating, and often times for me, through the process of writing, is not just a joy; it also is a process and a success. It is something that gives me satisfaction.

A beautiful soul reminded me recently that I haven’t posted in a while. Shout out to Mama GG!! Much love to you! 🙂 Because of that, I have re-discovered some of my old writings. This one dates all the way back to March of 2012. It’s about something I have thought through and struggled with time and time again. It’s the giving up of my own expectations to let God be my Judge instead of letting myself be my own worst critic when I don’t meet my own expectations.

You Justify Me

I love your heart

I want your heart to be in me

Until death I will give

Myself to You to relieve the pressure

Of living up to my own expectations

I will live for the glory of One

I will gain justification from none

Other than my Justifier, my Righteous Judge

The One who is, will be forever, and who was

I am not finished

This is not my end

I surrender myself

So You can begin again

Begin again, begin again

This good work You have started in me

Reveal again, Your beauty

Begin again, begin again

This good work You have started in me

You made me

You said it was good. You say I am good. I am good.

I’m learning my standards are ridiculous and exhausting. I don’t understand this with my mind, but in comparing my standards to the Lord’s, His are better.

Now, I know what you may be thinking, “Of course the Lord’s standards are better.. HE’S GOD!”
To which, I elegantly and thoughtfully reply, “Well, duh!”

Here’s the thing, though.
My standards are to be great and to reach my own expectations in order that I can feel successful, productive, and effective.
The Lord’s standards are holiness and righteousness and perfection.

Looking at the comparison, my standards look easier and more attainable. Hence why I say I don’t understand this with my mind. I have to gain understanding with my Spirit. Holy Spirit, help us understand Your expectations and standards with our Spirit, and then help us to know that it’s attainable – and how we match up to it.

The song, “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” comes to mind. It’s one of my favorite songs in the whole world. Here’s why…

“This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus”

The song states the good things I receive AND it states the standards by which I get it. I get righteousness. How? The blood of Jesus. I get Hope. How? The blood of Jesus. I get peace. How? The blood of Jesus. I meet the standard of God’s righteousness. How? The blood of Jesus.

This Gospel never gets old. This Gospel never stops demons from fleeing. This Gospel is strong and powerful. This Gospel of Jesus Christ is my saving grace. The Truth will remain the Truth forevermore, and the Truth will continue to set you and I free.

Therefore, I’ll keep meditating on this Gospel until I’m completely free. Or dead (which really means I’m fully alive). Whichever one comes first is the one I’ll fully embrace.

The point? The blood of Jesus is the righteous blood that I couldn’t offer to pay my debt. Now I don’t have to die. The blood of Jesus is the Father’s standard for my righteousness. The blood of Jesus is the Father’s standard for my acceptance. The blood of Jesus is the Father’s standard for my success. The blood of Jesus is the Father’s standard for me to be considered good.

I think I’m getting a revelation of the Gospel all over again as I write this. See what I mean? Writing is a process… a journey… one of success and productivity. I’m discovering what has been already stated and created and done in the world, and it’s a process of new understanding for my soul and spirit. The Gospel of Jesus is PROFOUND!

Thanks, Holy Spirit. 🙂

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I am not my own

The other night I had a dream.

I know there can be pizza dreams (as in I ate too much pizza, and had a weird dream about flying dominoes and dancing pigs – that didn’t really happen by the way), but I do not believe this dream I had the other night was a pizza dream. For one, I didn’t have pizza the night before. For two, the dream provoked productive thoughts about my relationship with the Lord.

“It provoked productive thoughts….”
If I find that something is fruitful, I recognize that I cannot immediately surpass or dismiss it just because I don’t understand it. If something has good fruit coming from it, I believe it is my duty (and our duty as responsible adults and as good stewards) to seek it out and to discover the beauty in it. There’s no point in having trees with good fruit if we don’t eat of it, right? Someone planted it (who knows when or how long ago); but let’s use what we have and steward it well.

I know that for some of us, having dreams and equating them with the Lord speaking to us may be “out of the box”. It may not make sense. It may be new. We may not see it in Scripture or understand the purpose. If we don’t see it in Scripture, we can check out the following:
1. The story of Joseph in the Old Testament in the book of Genesis, chapter 37,
2. Joel 2 in the Old Testament
3. Thank God for telling Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father) about Jesus’ birth through a dream, because we might have had a very different story and history had Joseph (New Testament) not listened to God through this dream and then obeyed Him. (Matthew 1:20, Matthew 2:13)

Whenever something is “outside of my box of understanding” and is new, I try to not throw it away at first notice; because it might be worth something. Just because I don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. It may just mean I need more time to understand it or value it. Having something “outside of my box of understanding” may actually be a gift from the Lord; but I may need to pray and seek wisdom and guidance to have understanding of why or how it is valuable to me. I think a “mystery gift” is a good gift from the Lord that we don’t necessarily understand or may not have asked for.

I don’t think this “mystery gift” which is “hidden outside of my box of understanding” always has to be a thing. I think it can come in the form of an idea. Sometimes I think it’s people and personal relationships the Lord puts in our lives as gifts. (I didn’t know these thoughts were in me until I just now wrote them, therefore, I think this train of thought may be an idea for a future post…) The point being, if dreams are “outside your box of understanding”, I ask you to
1. Seek it out
2. Determine the fruit – good or bad?
3. Give it time
4. Give Jesus a hammer so that He can demolish the box AND give Jesus permission to demolish it WHEN we are ready and open for understanding that is beyond what we have right now.

This is my prayer for all of us – that we would continue to grow in wisdom and revelation and understanding and insight; and that as years and time go by, we would be able to look back and say, “Thank God I have more insight and revelation and wisdom and understanding than I did last year, last week, and yesterday”.

Speaking of which – Revelation! Let me share the revelation I have been thinking about in regards to this dream I had the other night.

In part of my dream, I was in a car and music was playing, and I knew it was the Lord singing over me and the others in the car. The only lyrics I remember playing in the car were as follows:

“What is yours is what is Mine”

I woke up, knowing the Lord was singing this over me and the others in the car. He was singing over us, “What is yours is Mine”.

At first, I thought it was a sweet reminder from the Lord that everything HE has, I have access to. Royalty. Acceptance in the family. I have resources, because You have resources. It was a good reminder! I was encouraged!

…But then, I looked again at the words.

“What is yours is what is Mine”.

This phrase was coming from the Lord.

“What is yours (Morgan’s) is what is Mine (the Lord’s).”

Ouch.

I realized it wasn’t about ME having what is HIS. It was about HIM having what is MINE. (or … let’s be real… It was about HIM having what I CONSIDER to be mine).

It was a healthy, holy conviction. Something good. But painful.

It was a reminder from the Lord that I need to have open hands (and open boxes… even in seasons of not understanding Him).

My response then becomes… “Ok, Lord… how?”

The Lord gave me a revelation of this a few weeks ago… of how I can be proactive about having an “open box of not understanding” without having doubt be inside of that box. What I mean by this….

There’s a space inside of me that questions. It’s not bad that I question. It’s just a holy wondering. A holy wanting-to-know. A holy inquisitive mind. It’s a good thing. It’s a God thing. But this space inside of me that wants knowledge and wisdom and revelation is also the space where the accuser likes to taunt and poke, because, I don’t know about you, but for me, places of revelation most often start out as places of unknown, awkward insecurity.

My questions provide space within me to trust and to know God. They can also be a space of vulnerability and weakness, and where there is weakness, the enemy likes to prod. (Remember, he comes around LIKE a roaring lion – as if he has control and power and a loud voice; however, the REAL LION is Jesus. Satan only plays the counterfeit. He likes to seem bigger and louder than he really is.)

I remember the Lord showing me this space inside of me. Call it what you want….
A space of questions
A space of the unknown
The mystery box
The open box
The space “outside my box of understanding”

Whatever makes most sense to you… call it THAT thing. Whatever it is… this space of the unknown…
In this space of the unknown, I have come to a conclusion that I refuse to let the accuser attack there. I refuse to let the accuser tell me that God is not good. I refuse to let the accuser tell me that God doesn’t know what He’s doing. I refuse to let the accuser tell me who I am. He’s not my Judge; God is. I refuse to let the accuser accuse me, when I have already been paid for. I am not under the accusation of the accuser. I am under the authority of a Judge and a King, and I will answer to King Jesus.

Therefore, the whole “What is yours is Mine” is convicting.
It’s convicting, because…

1. The Lord has been talking to me about stewardship, and I’m growing and learning and don’t always feel like I know what I am doing. It’s definitely a learning curve (which feels more like “speed bumps” right now).

2. I am reminded that God is the Giver and everything else is a gift.
Where I live is a gift. Where I am is a gift. My friends are a gift. My family is a gift. My community, these resources, this city – they’re all gifts. Therefore, I hold them with open hands, not closed ones. I cannot hold on to what does not belong to me.

It’s great to say this and to let it be publicly known, but how to live this out in the practical day to day… I have a feeling may be a bit tricky. (If you have insight, by all means – pleeeaaase share with myself and others. The suggestions would be welcomed!)

I have a feeling I will be learning how to maneuver the positioning of my open and closed hands in this season. Learning to keep open hands with everything that is not mine and is originally the Lord’s, because it’s from Him in the first place.

I woke up with a song on my heart this morning, and this is the beginning of the work-in-progress. Feel free to the lyrics to pray or sing through or as a jump-start to make your own song to the Lord! Have fun with it!

My personal heart song to Jesus this morning: 

I’m not my own
Written by Morgan Gascho on November 23, 2016

I’m not my own, I give it all away
It’s You who gave it to me in the first place

I am not my own
You have paid the price for my penalty
I am not my own
I submit to Your plans for me

Destiny on the horizon
I can’t see what is beyond
Skies proclaim Your majesty
Your outstretched hand extends my understanding

My dream the other night
Of You singing over me and my ministry
Singing, “All that is yours is Mine”
And I’m sorry You had to remind me

That I am not my own
I belong to You, the One who bought me
I am not my own
I submit to Your plans for me

Thanks for reading! 🙂
Until later, friends, shalom!

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Part III: Allow Yourself To Be Angry

In my last venture overseas, our team had a rough few months. In one week, it specifically felt like everything was hitting the fan. Think of a bird on a baseball field. Wrong place. Wrong time. Feathers everywhere, bird no more, and the game needed to be stopped to clean up the mess.

In our team’s specific scenario, no one got a free chicken dinner; we just had to deal with the splattering of feathers everywhere on the field. We had to clean up the mess. To be honest, the majority of the mess that we COULD clean up was with how the situation affected us personally and what we were feeling (or weren’t feeling) about the situation.

When we were lead to talk about how we were feeling and what we were thinking, I think a tendency for most of us was to be quiet, not speak, and to act like we were over it. In reality, I think most of us were frustrated, angry, and disappointed. Yet, we needed to be asked questions and we needed someone to listen for us to pour out what was inside of us.

A wise man said something that has stuck with me. He said that if we don’t process anger, it can lead to depression. This is true. As I’ve thought about it over time and how I process anger in my own life, I’ve seen that anger doesn’t necessarily just go away because I acknowledge it (or don’t). Anger doesn’t even go away when I ask God to change my heart or to take it away. Anger, for me, usually gets dealt with as I process through it. It goes away as I vent and process through pain.

It makes sense, though. Anger is something that arises when something is not right. I typically get angry at injustice or when I have been hurt. The anger within us can be an indicator that something that something is off. It may not be that we need to repent or forgive. It may be that we are actually righteously angry. Perhaps something unjust happened to us or maybe someone else was sinned against. Our “justice radar” may go off not only for the sake of our own selves receiving justice – but also for the sake of others. If this is true, then we DO need to be in tune with what we feel, because our feelings might be helping us to discern spiritual Truths. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks… but sometimes the mouth doesn’t speak. The heart still feels. So…

Why are you angry?
Why are you hurt?
Why are you offended?
Why are other people hurt or offended?

I think these questions are helpful, because it gains us ground in getting to the source of why we are feeling the way we are feeling.

It may take a while for us to learn, but emotions are good and important. They help us determine how we are doing – how our soul is doing.

If your soul is not doing well, it’s probably because something affected it. It’s not because you’re a sissy, you need to buck up, or you’re just really sensitive. (Sometimes it is one of those cases, but I think the majority of the time, it’s not).

Thoughts on this are welcome! I just wanted to share my own with you today.

Shalom, friends!

– Morgan

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Part II: Allow yourself to be angry

Yesterday, I posted the blog, “Allow yourself to be angry”, explaining how I’ve seen anger displayed the wrong way through the following:

1. Directing anger toward the wrong person
And/Or
2. Communicating anger in the wrong way

It’s not a fun experience to see things done the wrong way; however, it gives us an example of what NOT to do, and gives us insight into the right way. We can look at the wrong way, and learn from it and do the opposite!

Therefore, now we know we DO have control over our own selves to exemplify anger in a healthy way by doing the following:

1. Direct it toward the right person.
And
2. Communicate it in the right way.

Personally, I love this. It brings me a lot of freedom, because I’m not telling myself to hinder anger. I’m not telling myself, “don’t be angry!” I’m telling myself, “Be angry. It’s good and healthy and productive. You’re human and you are allowed to have emotions. You were made this way, and it’s good. Let’s learn how to deal with it in an efficient way in order that we can create something good out of this frustration.”

For those who have stuffed anger since their kindergarten days and are past overdue in expressing it, let’s put a little context behind the anger of emotion. What is it? How do I deal with this bubble of emotion when it feels like there is so much of it that will come out if I open up this can of worms?

For me, it makes sense to look at the only being who ALWAYS is true and right and loving. Jesus.

When did Jesus get angry? How did He show it? To whom did He direct it toward? This is what I have seen from looking at accounts about Jesus written in the Bible.

Jesus showed anger….

1. When people were being oppressed and injustice was occurring
When people sold required sacrifices to poor people at insanely high rates and increased the amount in order that the poor people were suffering even more, even in their attempt to please God – Matthew 21:14-17
2. When people were being religiously ridiculous and making up their own rules
When pious, rules-oriented leaders (the Pharisees) had stubborn hearts and were doubting Jesus – Mark 3:5
3. At his friend, who was in his inner circle, who acted out of zeal but not wisdom
When Peter cut off the guy’s ear – John 18:10-11
When Jesus commanded Peter, “Get behind me satan!” – Matthew 16:23

[Sidenote: I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of the time, true words from friends are just hard. Case in point from Proverbs.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
– Proverbs 27:6]

Perhaps there are other important points where Jesus showed anger. Feel free to look them up! I am not thoroughly covering them all, but rather wish to give a brief overview in order that we can see Jesus display His emotions freely and openly, even to the public. He is so good at being THE Example and at being vulnerable to the WHOLE WORLD! Jesus, I LOVE YOU for this! Being vulnerable to one person, let alone to the WHOLE WORLD is not easy!

We can see that Jesus directed his anger toward a certain crowd of people or toward a certain person. He also communicated it CLEARLY. Nobody had to ask Jesus if He was mad. He communicated it to that person or group through His Words (and, in one case, through His actions).

Because Jesus is Just and is the source of Justice in Heaven and on earth, it was displayed in His emotions, words, and actions when He flipped over the table. He is a voice for the voiceless. Those who were being oppressed (the poor people wanting to sacrifice but having no means to buy the increased sacrifices that the mean, pompous guys were selling) are the people Jesus fought for. He literally threw over tables, and yelled at people who were exploiting His loved ones.

Apparently there’s a time for this. When people have no voice, when people are oppressed, when people are exploited – it’s the job of the just and the righteous ones who DO have a voice to cry out and to violently take it by force. Fellow soldiers, allow yourself to be angry. Fight for justice righteously. Righteous anger is a gift from God. Use it.

Lesson #1: Righteous anger is good. It’s Godly. I have a voice to cry out for the voiceless. It is my right and in my God-given authority to fight for justice violently and by force.

Secondly, Jesus was angry at the pious, religious people who stood on the corners, praying only to be heard. They prayed not to get closer to God or to have sweet communication with the Lord; they did it to be seen by men. We don’t have time for this. We are here to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. Thus, we can, like Jesus, correct people bluntly when they instill selfish rules they made up to accommodate their own pride.

Lesson #2: Correct religious people. Jesus did it. Follow only God’s rules – not other pointless rules people make up to accommodate their own made-up standards of their “righteousness”.

Thirdly, Jesus and His disciples were close. They spent three years together. They knew each other well. Yet, Jesus was not scared of a possible breaking of a relationship with His close friend, Peter. This guy was a zealous one – constantly jumping out of the boat to swim to Jesus, to walk (and sink) in the water on the way to Jesus, “fighting” for Jesus by cutting a guy’s ear off. Haha! Oh, Peter.

The Lord rebuked Peter when Peter acted out of zeal without wisdom, when there was only emotion and excitement but not a lot of strategy or thought put into it beforehand. Peter may have had the best intentions in mind, but his heart and actions needed correction; therefore Jesus corrected Him in a blunt and straight forward way. Sometimes we need to be this way with our friends. (Although, to be fair, it depends on people’s personalities. If God has gifted someone to be really tender-hearted and sensitive, honor them and recognize their tender-heartedness as the gift from God that it is. Please, please, please, speak to them how they will best receive correction – which is probably in a really soft, loving, caring wayyou’re your tendency tends to be bold, loud, and straight forward, perhaps practice beforehand, to say it in a way that is loving and exudes your care for them.)

I feel like Jesus was able to be bold and blunt with Peter, because it fit Peter’s personality. However, he dealt with Thomas very differently. When Thomas doubted Him, He didn’t command him, “Believe in me!” He showed up and showed his wounds to Thomas. He related to Thomas in a way that made sense. Some of us are like Thomas. Some of us need Jesus to show up and show us His wounds. (I think that could preach a whole different sermon! Wow – I’m getting revelation just as I think about this!) Some of us need to see the wounds in Jesus’ hands and side and touch them to know that He’s alive and that we can still relate to Him.

Whether you are a Peter, a Thomas, or an I-don’t-fit-in-any-category, I know Jesus can relate to us in a way that makes sense to us. After all, He made us, and He knows best how we operate and think.

In your journey in learning how to deal with anger, I pray that God would you give you wisdom and revelation and insight from Holy Spirit on how to:

1. Direct it toward the right person
And
2. Communicate it in the right way

What is helpful to me is to remember that the Church is not my enemy. People are not my enemy. God’s enemy is my enemy.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12

Lord, help us to be angry like You. Help us to express our anger rightly, direct it toward the right person, and to communicate it well, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Allow yourself to be angry

Allow yourself to be angry.

I say “allow” instead of “be” angry or “get” angry, because I think a lot of us already have anger inside of us. I think we just need to allow ourselves to be real about it.

I don’t say this because I deeply see into your soul. I say this, because the world is hard, I don’t understand it, and I’m processing through it myself. It doesn’t make sense that we wouldn’t be angry.

Jesus said to not let the sun go down on your anger. He didn’t say “don’t be angry”. He just wants us to deal with it in the right way.

Why sometimes do we think anger is such a bad thing?

In my experience, I’ve seen people be angry, and THEN I see them sin because of their anger. However, the anger wasn’t the sin. Even the act of expressing their anger wasn’t the sin. The sin was only in the way their anger was communicated.

I’ve seen anger turn into sin in the way it was communicated in two ways:

1. The anger was directed toward the wrong person
OR
2. The anger was communicated in the wrong way

Is throwing something across the room communicating anger? Yes, very obviously and effectively. Is it wrong? Yes, very obviously. We’ve probably all been in this place of dealing with anger. It’s painful. And that’s why we need to deal with it.

If we don’t deal with the pain in our bodies, we get sick. If we have symptoms in our bodies, and we don’t go to a doctor or take care of it, our illness could get worse. It’s the same with our soul or spirit. If we see symptoms, like anger, reoccurring, it’s a sign that somewhere along the way, something was hurtful and we need to take care of it.

“Why deal with anger when it’s painful?”

I can’t give you a theological, Bible-verse wrapped answer. I can just tell you I’ve been angry so many times that I’d have a good salary if it were my day job. I can just tell you that I’ve been through hard seasons – like the one I just came out of, for example, and the one I’m still processing through. I know that if I don’t deal with anger (or other “sick soul symptoms”) it will show. I won’t love others well, my joy is more robbed, and honestly, life is just not as fun. In dealing with anger, a lot of things don’t make sense. The Lord was and, honestly, still is redeeming discouragement and broken expectations.

I’ve heard myself say things like…
Lord, I trusted You.
Lord, I thought You wanted me to do this. I was serving You.
Lord, You don’t make sense. I know You’re good, but I don’t feel like You have good for me.
I don’t understand You, and I don’t get it; and You need to fight for me.
Lord, why?

I say things, and will continue to ask God hard questions and to process these things with Him. Why? Because I don’t know who else has answers or how else to get through life! God is my plan A, and when it doesn’t work, I have to get through it until it does!

This might not seem like something someone “super holy” would say, but let’s be real – life is hard and it doesn’t always make sense! That’s part of being human. We’re going to mess up. Let’s get over failure. It’s happened before. I’ve failed. So what? God still loves me.

Maybe that’s one of the most powerful parts of my testimony I can share.

Hey world! Guess what!? I failed! I didn’t live up to my own expectations! Nothing worked like I planned! And guess what!? I’m still alive! I’m still fine! I am still loved by the Lord, and for the sake of mankind’s integrity – I can be real about it!

So what do I do with my broken expectations? What have I felt like?
Well, to be honest, I’ve felt discouraged. At times, I’ve felt angry.

What did I do to process the anger?

I got mad at God. Sometimes I talked to Him about it. Sometimes I was too mad to talk to Him with an open heart, so I would just remain mad. It is what it is. The Lord is bigger than the boxes we put Him in, and He has been giving me grace to sort through whatever I’m thinking.

And you know what?

The Lord wasn’t mad at me for being mad. The Lord isn’t mad at me for being angry. He’s not ashamed of me. He’s not scared. He’s not backing away. He just stays there and He lets me be angry. He doesn’t tell me anything. He doesn’t tell me I’m doing something wrong. He doesn’t shame me. He doesn’t tell me to stop venting or crying or being mad. He stays silent until I tell Him I’m willing to listen.

And when He spoke to me, He didn’t speak to me about my anger. He spoke to me in a kind way and about what I needed to hear to be encouraged.

With that and for the sake of this not getting too long, I’ll leave this processing here for the moment and encourage you with this.

Let yourself be angry.

When someone hits you in the face, you get mad. Why? Because it hurts and it shakes you up and doesn’t make you feel good. Frankly, they were rude and mean!
When someone punches you in the stomach, you have no problem saying they shouldn’t do that.
When someone punches your heart verbally or emotionally, do you still have a problem saying they were mean and rude and shouldn’t do that?

If someone punches me in the face, I’m going to be mad; but if someone punches me emotionally, I have more trouble validating my anger. Why? I don’t know, and I don’t feel like analyzing it at the moment; but I just know that’s the case. If you’re the same way, then feel free to walk with me through the journey of chasing God and being willing to be chased by God when it doesn’t make sense.

Let yourself be angry.

God isn’t afraid or pushed back by your anger. He created the world and the whole universe rests upon His existence, so one little person venting their anger isn’t going to change His character. You will move His heart, but You won’t change His character.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and no one person in the world will ever change this. He is who He is, and if He ceases to be who He says He is, then His whole case is faulty; so it’s all or nothing. Go big or go home, baby!

If this seems straight forward and raw, it’s because it is. Welcome to my inner world!

I genuinely hope and pray that you’ll be able to process through hard-to-get-through seasons and emotions. I have no doubt the Lord will carry you or I through. I have no idea what it looks like, but I know it’ll be good.

God bless you so much, my friends. I got love for you, and Jesus has more love and capacity for you all! Look forward to more coming on this topic of processing through anger. In the meantime, feel free to pull a Jacob, and wrestle with the Lord. Just be aware, you might come out limping, with a life-long injury of a broken hip with a side of a life blessing!

If you need a minute to process with the Lord with some music, feel free to check out Audrey Aussad – Even In Winter. It’s been helpful to listen to her music this morning as I am processing through this.

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The Brilliance – Brother

“When I look into the face of my enemy, I see my brother…”

The Good Christian Music Blog

Genre: Worship, Indie, Acoustic

Gentle, smooth and thoughtful simplicity met with beautiful harmonies and excellent production makes this track from The Brilliance a true masterpiece of contemporary worship.

For more info on The Brilliance visit:
http://thebrilliancemusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Brilliance-Music/142751459103527
https://twitter.com/brilliancemusic

Purchase ‘Brother’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/brother/id964315117
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/brother/id964315117

Lyrics:
When I look into the face
Of my enemy
I see my brother
I see my brother

When I look into the face
Of my enemy
I see my brother
I see my brother

Forgiveness is the garment
Of our courage
The power to make the peace
We long to know
Open up our eyes
To see the wounds that bind
All of humankind
May our shutter hearts
Greet the dawn of life
With charity and love

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Processing Disappointment #1

Soon the wise lady leading the afterglow quietly said, “I believe Scripture instructs us to bear one another’s burdens, not analyze them.”

SLG Coaching

Several years ago, a good friend took me on a vacation to Algonquin in Canada.  It was a fantastic time of canoeing, portaging, camping and talking.  A memory maker of gargantuan proportions.

Recently another opportunity came up to return there.  I looked forward to it for months and tacked it onto the end of the trip to Canada last weekend.  I went in on Sunday with high expectations and left on Tuesday with my tail between my legs.  What happened is immaterial.  The point of this blog is to explore some facets of dealing with disappointment.

In absolute terms, it was just a vacation that took a weird twist.  Not a big deal.  Just about all of us have one or two of those in a lifetime.  In the immediate, though, it was a huge disappointment.  I was looking forward to engaging with nature, to being on the water in…

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