Posts Tagged heal

10 Possible Reasons Why Christians Look Young for Their Age

One thing I noticed when I first became a Christian is that, in general, Christians look younger than average at almost every age.

Some may have had a little nip or tuck but surely not all. So of course I prayed about it. The scripture says:

“…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” Psalm 103:5

And it seems to be so.

So these are my possible ten reasons Christians tend to look jolly well for their age:

  1. Peace – Deep peace stills the brow. Less worry, fewer worry lines- stands to reason.
  2. Deliverance -From addictions. Since June 2010 the Lord has delivered me of a taste for alcohol and a full-blown addiction to nicotine. And testimony after testimony tells a similar story.
  3. Sleep – There is just something about being right with God that means you get a deep and refreshing sleep
  4. Restoration – The Lord promises restoration, this appears to apply to cells as much as anything
  5. Healing -Clearly illness takes its toll on the countenance, and Jesus came to relieve us of physical suffering
  6. Support -Belonging to a church means there is always someone to turn to for a helping hand, reducing the strain on the individual
  7. Abundance -Good food and plenty of it
  8. Victory -We have victory over Satan and it is the enemy that comes to kill steal and destroy, but we have the authority and victory to prevail under the blood of Jesus
  9. Love- Living in love ramps up the happiness factor, which in turn increase endorphins and so improves our immune system, helping to keep healthy and looking well
  10. Faith = rest, God has our back, we do everything through Him, all glory to Him
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To Tithe or not to Tithe?

When I first became a sweet and innocent new Christian I watched the Christian TV shows, and I learned about tithing (giving a tenth of your income to the Lord) and flush with newborn enthusiasm I started tithing faithfully.

After a good start it started to get very difficult. I was newly a single Mom, Christmas was looming and I wanted my children to have a lovely Christmas after a tumultuous year. The Lord spoke to my heart and said Who are tithes for? The fatherless. Your children are fatherless in the world so I want you to put half your tithes directly to improving their life for 3 months.

Wow. Okay Lord, I thought, and so I did and we had a lovely holiday season.

In the new year I went back to tithing and all was well again for a couple of months. Then I started jiggling my tithes around to help my cashflow. Nearly immediately I had hold ups with my income coming in. It was exactly as if the Lord was saying, if you mess with the timing of My finances, I can easily mess with yours! I immediately repented, and went back to tithing in a timely manner!

After a few months I again found myself stretching to make ends meet. By now you would have thought I would recognise the test. Would I have faith to push through a slightly trying time? At this very moment I happened across a teaching that clearly explained that tithing was an old testament concept, that it was part of the law, that we gentiles aren’t under the law but under grace and anything the Lord does for us is by grace and nothing we do, or don’t do, will affect our abundance which is a gift of God by grace. All of this teaching appeared firmly supported by scripture. Further the teaching said that, by tithing, we put ourselves under the law and therefore under the possibility of the curse. After reading this very convincing, scripture quoting, teaching I was actually feeling AFRAID to tithe. Now by this time hundreds of hours of bible study and my own experience should have shown me this was a false teaching, but I checked out the quoted scriptures and they all appeared to support the argument. The very fact that this teaching used FEAR should immediately have been a red flag. Who is fear of? the Lord? No. The enemy Yes.

What happened? Well I stopped tithing for two months, because of this false teaching, and both months I ended up having to borrow money just to get my bills paid. there were days when my family actually struggled for groceries. I was out of faith. I felt distanced from God.

I prayed about it and immediately the Lord gave me this simple scripture.. in Jesus’ own words, as clear as clear can be (my emphasis):

Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practised the latter without leaving the former undone. Luke 11:42

So I determined to go back to tithing. I thanked God for the guidance. The very next day I had a letter telling me I was owed some considerable money, and a very useful amount monthly from that month onwards. Oh yeah!

My view now? Yes tithe. But not out of fear. Yes it’s new testament, yes it’s new covenant. Jesus says so.

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Q: How Many “F”‘s in ‘Life’? A: 5

I’ve ordered my five fundamental F’s in my daily order that I attend to them, and noticed that it makes them alphabetical and easy to remember. Score!

Faith

The first thing I do every (weekday) morning is get into the Word. Sometimes this is not easy, especially in winter in the dark, and of course the enemy will try anything to stop you so that you find yourself tempted to just press that “snooze” button a few times. It takes just a little push to get past that, but the rewards are immense. I get up early so that I can concentrate and meditate before the children get up looking for breakfast, P E kit, lunch money. This two hour session sets me on my path for the day. I read the Word, pray, confess the Word and sip coffee watching Godly TV.

Family

After a couple of hours in the Word, I am Much more able to greet my 3 boys in a positive, encouraging, patient and loving way.  They tend to wake in a good mood and we have a happy breakfast before they all get off to school. I walk my little one to school, and I thank God  for everyday I have that I can give him a loving little kiss on the forehead before he gets to the “Mom, get off,not in front of my friends” stage. Back home I get straight onto the washing, cleaning, tidying the garden… Looking after my nest.

Finances

I check my finances daily. I went through a horrible stage of thinking I was entitled to my every whim and I paid the price in a mass of consumer debt for stuff that didn’t bring me the happiness or satisfaction the advertising man had promised! What astonishes me now is that I would make the same mistake over and over and over and still not learn my lesson. It took years to fight my way back out of the pit of debt. It is a hard slog paying off debt, but it is truly amazing what you can achieve with very little cash as you do it. I might not be completely debt free now, but my head is well above water and I have learned to handle my cash responsibly. And now if I run out of cash I just make do until I get some more!

I am fanatical about business and I truly believe that a business founded soundly on Christian biblical principles can not fail to succeed. This is because any business based on helping others to solve their problems and which is grown organically (i.e. without borrowing to finance growth), has no seeds of failure in it.

Fitness

Once the chores are done I head most days for the gym. If I get there early it is quieter, I am still fresh and awake and I make the most of it. If I have time I can also follow a workout with a relaxing hot tub session.

If I can I also work a walk into the day. This is a good time to meditate, pray and or pray in the spirit. Filling your lungs with oxygen inevitably increases the oxygen to your brain and aids clear thinking and de-stressing. This is a great time to literally walk with the Lord.

Fun

The rest of the day is filled with blogging, writing, speaking, working with others, growing things, people, organisations and businesses.

After school is break-time for me and the kids. A session in the family hot tub is a great time for family communication. Cooking the daily family meal together is another chance to bond. Plus I want to know my boys will all be equipped to feed themselves and their own families when the time comes.

The evening is wind-down time. Light reading. Godly TV. A family film….

Thank you prayers and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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You’ve Changed!

“You’ve changed!”  Spewed out with venom on a popular TV soap or daytime talk show.

When did changing become so despised by the world?

It’s a problem for Christians, if we allow it to be a problem. Its a popular tool of the enemy at the moment, getting your family and / or your friends to shout this in your face.  How dare we change? We aren’t people pleasers anyway are we? No its okay, we’re pleasing God.

“Thanks” I say.

Last week my son told me I’d changed over the past year. “You’re nicer now Mom” I nearly cried. Thank you Lord, its your work, not mine.

It made me take stock. Over the past year or so I’ve stopped smoking, I hardly drink any more, I shop much less and have got my finances under control. I have new patience and so now I have my temper under control. But its the peace, oh the peace of the Lord that’s the biggest change. Thank you Lord, thank you for the peace.

When you think about it, the world has an awful lot invested in us not changing. Advertisers encourage us to carry on like out of control teenagers well into our adult lives, drinking, smoking,being selfish, worrying about the latest fashions, being irresponsible with family finances. That’s madness at any stage of life but as a grown up? We set ourselves sane goals of having a nice home, a loving family and then we set about doing everything we can think of that will stop us achieving those goals. Wasting money, wasting time, putting our focus on an ex who treated us like rubbish in our teens instead of lavishing our attention on our spouse. Watching Two and Half Men on tv, then wondering why our sons have no respect for women. How things have changed since The Waltons.

We scratch our heads when our finances are a mess. We cry out “what went wrong?” when our relationships fail. Maybe we should have changed when a spouse or a child tried to talk to us about our faults. Maybe we should have changed when the boss mentioned our late starts. Maybe we should have changed when the bank sent that first letter.

I’ve changed, and I’m changing, and I’m going to keep changing too and I thank God for it!

If you’ve changed too, congratulations, good on you. Let’s pray we keep on changing too, under God’s direction.

But if someone’s trying to talk to you about change, in a positive way, maybe you should stop ask yourself whether the Lord is maybe using this person to truly help you onto a better, happier path?

You can change, Woo Hoo!

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Yet ye have not, because ye ask not

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. James 4:2

Christians are often masters at quoting half scriptures. We quote the second half of this one because we want life to give us everything on a plate, for the asking. But of course we also know how boring life would be if we didn’t have to grow or learn or study or work to have things. How unfulfilling. We see worldly lottery winners who try to fill themselves up by buying things. And like all other addictions and distractions the tactic doesnt work and too often we see they end up broke and broken and empty again a few years later, selling their story to a tabloid newspaper.

So what is this verse from James telling us? Well certainly its reinforcing the basic message ‘turn away from sin’. And it is also telling us that we do not have to fight and battle our way into our provision. We ask God for provision through prayer, we go to the throne in the name of Jesus and we ask our heavenly Father to supply our needs.

I came across this verse in John 9:31 this morning:

God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will John 9:31

 

So now we see that we have to turn away from sin, that is repent, obey and ask. And have faith.

So when you have done all this, the Lord will answer your prayers and petitions. I am convinced this is the case because I’ve experienced it, praise God.

But I’ve learned one more essential little thing that may also help.

There is already much provision for you in the world that the Lord has already made and pride stops us from accessing it.

The Lord rarely acts by floating cash directly down from heaven into your open hand, nor heals via thunderbolts. Jesus didn’t chase people around to heal or prosper them! But if they asked their petition was granted. Generally speaking you need to ask in a worldly way too. Let me explain better by example. Say you are suffering in mortgage arrears and are worrying about losing your home. Are you seeing the provision the Lord has made for you? Are you asking you mortgage company for help? They may well have a plan to help you, like lower repayments for a period til you get on your feet.The Lord will direct you where to go for help if you ask Him.

Another example may be illness. I know a person who constantly suffers with aches, pains and illnesses. I ask what the doctor says and he hasn’t been. I tell him about healing services we have in my church and he won’t come. I share my testimony on healing and they write it off as coincidence. They are missing all the worldly signposts to their healing!

I read this news article on poverty this morning, and I’ll admit to shedding a tear or two over it. But what came to mind is I hope and pray these families know there is help out there for them in the Christian community. I pray they know about Freecycle for clothing and for meeting needs (more here). If ever there was is simple beautiful example of “ask and receive” its Freecycle. You simple offer good things you have to give and ask for things you need. Free. A truly blessed use of technology, all you need is not to have pride and just ask.

Get active about your receiving.

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10 Reasons Why Forgiveness is So Important

1.  Unforgiveness stands between you and God.Why? Because we are all sinners, and through Grace God has forgiven us and sees us as righteous. If God can forgive us all the awful things we’ve done, we can forgive others.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

2.  Forgiveness is good for you. If you harbour unforgiveness you will be holding onto bitterness and thinking badly of others, sinning and opening a door to the enemy to get into your life and cause havoc.

29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.” Proverbs 24:29

3. Forgiveness is mainly for your benefit, not for the benefit of the person you are forgiving. As long as you are feeling like a victim, you are carrying a heavy burden. Forgiveness allows you to put the burden down. And simply walk away from it. Free.

4. Choosing not to forgive gets us stuck in our own past, preventing moving forward. Without forgiveness you are constantly stuck in your own past. Many people waste years of their lives in bitterness and resentment when they could, through forgiveness, have lived that time in joy.

5.  Forgiving helps us grow. Once you have forgiven anyone in your life you feel has harmed you,you suddenly find you have more time for thinking good productive and useful happy thoughts instead of negative and useless self-centred complaining.

6.  Forgiveness leads to healing. Holding onto resentment and not forgiving is sinful and seems to stand in the way of physical wellness.  Just google bitterness and cancer if you don’t believe me.

“But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Matthew 9:6

7.  Forgiveness is a free gift! Free to give and to receive.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” Matthew 18:21-22

8. Forgiveness leads to purification of the spirit.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

9. Being forgiving is empowering. Forgiving those who have done you wrong gives you the power back. It unbinds you from the effects of that transgression and opens the door to the Lord to deal with the situation.

Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 2 Cor 2:7

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 2 Thessalonians 1:6

10. Jesus tells us to, He suffered and died and was resurrected so that we could have forgiveness.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28

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Testimony. Why its so Important.

Why do Christians go on  about testimony? Well we love people and nothing is quite as upsetting as seeing people suffer needlessly. Whether its alcoholics or addicts, smokers… those suffering from depression, financially afflicted, or suffering broken relationships, there is a Christian out there who was at one time in pretty much the same place  as you and wants you to know you don’t have to suffer for even one more minute!

So today I have started my own testimony.

Its here. I pray it helps at least one person know God is Good, he loves you. Really.

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Obedience? Not Fun?

We all tend to think of the word “obedience” in negative terms. Obey your parents… groan, obey your teachers… moan, obey the law…yeah yeah. We think of obedience as tedious, boring, no fun.

But the fruits of obedience are wonderful! Obedience at home gives us peace and tranquillity. Jobs get done, the family prospers, everyone grows. Now I’m only talking here of Godly obedience. No-one should be obedient to un-Godly instruction and leave themselves open to abuse. I’m talking here about the “take the garbage out please”, “sure Mom” type of obedience.

Obedience to the law means no speeding tickets, no fines, no court appearances – no legal bills! …no unnecessary stress in that department.

Obedience in work or at school leads to positions of trust and responsibility, promotion, financial blessing.

Here’s what God taught me in one easy lesson of obedience…

About a year ago I was newly saved, unemployed, financially challenged and was looking for a good, local, bible based church. I found my local AoG (Assemblies of God) church on-line, and found out the service times.  The Lord said me “I want you to go to that church and give £20 to the person I tell you to bless. You’ll know who it is”. My reaction was What! No way Lord. That would be way too embarrassing, plus £20 was a lot of money to me at the time.

Luckily I’d been listening to Joyce Meyer’s teachings on obedience , so I decided to just ignore how I felt and just obey, as an act of faith.

I found the woman I was supposed to give the £20 to… I don’t think she needed it so much financially, but she did need a sign of God’s blessing. It turns out she was born in the same city as I was, over 3000 miles away, within a few months of my birthday. It turned out too we were both single mums. Now we do discipleship classes together now every week at that church.

The very next day I woke up with a gnawing thought about my water bill. Which was odd, its not the kind of thing I normally wake up thinking about! Turns out the water company has a special plan for single mothers which caps their water bill while they are on a low income. I was owed £35 immediately, and a £20 reduction every single month! That is how obedience works in God’s Kingdom. As you become more and more obedient the more He will open your eyes and ensure that you are in His favour!

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Grace through Faith

What is this Grace that Christians talk about? Well this is something that I have been studying very hard recently.

You can’t earn grace, it is freely given gift of God and He renews it every single day.

Ephesians 2:8-9

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So what, on a practical day-to-day level, does this mean for the average Christian going about his or her daily tasks?

Well today I had a good example. Someone asked for my help. This was on a technical matter and I am blessed with the particular skill that was needed. So straightforward decision you would think.

Except…

Except the person who needed my help has let me down, a lot. In big things and in minor things. Before I became a Christian I would have thought “no way mate, after the way you’ve treated me over the past few years? No way, no chance.”  But a year ago, having been newly re-born in Christ I would have thought “ok God, I’ll help, I’ll hate it, but I’ll do it and in return I know you’ll take care of me”. That is works. Doing good in hopes of earning God’s favour.

Now grace, this is grace: “Lord I don’t want to help this person, they are evil and mean to me and let me down loads, but Lord I’m not perfect and you by your grace forgive me my sins and shortcomings. Lord I am so grateful for your grace which makes me righteous in your eyes, I will do this in your strength”

Grace is recognizing that God forgives you, helps you, strengthens you and does not ask you to do more than you can bear. Your job is to receive God’s grace and obey his will. That’s all. Simple, but effective.

And this is just brilliant

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Review: Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree

Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree, Perry Stone, Charisma House

 I liked this book, a lot. This is how much I liked it… It arrived by post at about 11am, by 2pm I was on my 3rd coffee, still with it in hand. I speed read most of it the same day and then spent the last few days reading it again properly. I learned a lot about demons and I learned quite a lot about Perry Stone, who turns out the be very likeable. There was no questioning he was oft quoting scripture to support is work. All good so far…

The only thing I didn’t like was it wasn’t enough of a “how to…” manual for me. I’ve got some stuff going on in my life and a part of me wanted this book to give me permission to make some radical changes as well as give me step by step guidance on making those changes. Clearly that was an unfair expectation, and had it been fulfilled would most like have left Mr Stone wide open to all sorts of “I read your book, did what it said and it wrecked my life” allegations and probably potential legal actions. I’m not at all sure about the relevance of the chapter on new and full moons that sits a little awkwardly near the end, like a slightly embarrassing distant cousin to the rest of the chapters.

If your family has some very odd or destructive branches that need radical pruning, this book sadly doesn’t give you enough surgical knowledge… not sufficient to do what it says on the cover, safe in the knowledge that you will do no harm. Other than that it is well worth a read.

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