Author Archives: TimothyPaul

Temperament Strengths and Weaknesses

Temperament Strengths and Weaknesses

It is temperament that makes some people art and music enthusiasts while others are sports or industry minded. Temperament sets broad guidelines on everyone’s behavior, patterns which will influence a person as long as he lives. Each temperament has its own unique qualities and shortcomings, strengths and challenges. What accounts for these differences?

To use the idea of temperament most effectively, it is important to understand that the temperaments are not simply arbitrary collections of characteristics, but spring from an interaction of the two basic dimensions of human behavior: our communication and our action, our words and our deeds, or, simply,

what we say and what we do.

Isn’t it interesting that some people talk about reality, while others talk about ideas.? Some people do what?works, while others do whats right. The bottom line is each person has the choice to develop his natural temperament strengths and overcome his natural temperament weaknesses. To what degree this occurs depends on the individuals motivation. It is possible to learn how to control and overcome the natural weaknesses associated with a temperament blend.

It is of benefit furthermore to recognize one’s temperament. Only if one knows it, can he judge correctly himself, his moods, his peculiarities, and his past life. If one knows one’s own temperament, he can work out his own perfection with greater assurance, because finally the whole effort toward self-perfection consists in the perfection of his strengths and in the combating of his weaknesses.
Thus;

the Choleric will have to conquer his obstinacy, his anger, and his pride;

the Melancholic, his lack of courage and his dread of suffering;

the Sanguine, his talkativeness and his inconsistency;

the Phlegmatic, his laziness and his lack of energy.

The person who knows himself will become more?humble, realizing that many good traits which he considered to be virtues are merely good dispositions and the natural result of his temperament, rather than acquired virtues.

Consequently

the Choleric will judge more humbly of his strong will, his energy, and his fearlessness;

the Sanguine of his cheerfulness, of his facility to get along well with difficult persons;

the Melancholic will judge more humbly about his sympathy for others, about his love for solitude;

the Phlegmatic about his good nature and his repose of mind.

Temperament is innate in each person; therefore it cannot be exchanged for another temperament. But one can and must cultivate and perfect the good elements of his temperament and combat and eradicate the undesirable ones. Every temperament is in itself good and with each one man can do good and work out his salvation. ?With Gods strength this is possible.

I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength (Phil. 4:13)

It is, therefore, imprudent and ungrateful to wish to have another temperament.

“All the spirits shall praise the Lord” (Ps. 150: 6)

[1]./the-fourtemperaments-by-rev-conrad-hock/ pg 10
[2]./the-fourtemperaments-by-rev-conrad-hock/ pg 11

Free Strength and Weakness Handout


Who Is Really at Fault?

Category : Thoughts

Who Is Really at Fault?

Again, I sit and watch the news unfold; another tragedy in America. The land where now a killing needs to have a quota to make the news. I watch with disgust because this is not the land that God blessed 240 years ago. A land that welcomed an immigrant like me the opportunity to make a better life for myself and to be part of making a better world for all.

It is very easy to sit back and blame the politicians or to blame corporate America but my friend, look in the mirror, the fault lies with you.

You have had the opportunity for years to change the patterns of hate in America. A country once the pillar of the moral fiber of Christianity, has now fallen by the wayside. The love of Jesus Christ is not something you turn on and off at your convenience when it suits you. The love of Christ is a lifestyle that is born in you upon Baptism.

I have seen far too many people of late that scorn the church in America because you don’t live by the example you claim.

You leave church on Sunday with your family, and go out into the parking lot and curse someone that is taking too long to make the left turn. Yes, that is what your kids see and learn is a Christian.

You spew forth hatred and share posts on social media condemning others that differ from your opinion. Yes, that is what the world sees is a Christian.

You support a church where the Pastor lives in million dollar home while many go homeless and hungry around you. I have seen churches literally turn away and abandon the homeless.? This is what you show the world is a Christian.

You miss the opportunity to stop and show someone struggling love and compassion because you cant be late to that meeting. You’re so caught up in your own little world; you are blind to the needs of others. Look at me America, I am a Christian.

You don’t welcome the sick, the hungry, the sinner into your life or church because it is uncomfortable, it stretches you. But you will go to church on Sunday, look wonderful in front of your friends, singing praises to God at the top of your lungs. You will post Pray for America in big caps yet won’t go out and “be” the instrument of His peace and Love.

I meet and talk to so many non-Christians that see your behavior, your interactions with the world and will rightfully say you are a hypocrite. You have let your relationship with God become legalistic lists of rules and rituals, instead the unconditional love which is the essence of God.

My friend, America can and will change but it starts in the simplest of ways. It starts in your heart.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV

. I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV

As for me, I don’t want to make a difference; I want to be the difference.

In His service.

TimothyPaul


Cindy Bodendorfer, C.T.C. in Henderson on 06/26/16

Category : For Women

Freshstart is a group for divorced women and those heading toward divorce.

We’ll be meeting on Sundays at 5:30pm starting June 5th.

The session runs for 6 weeks. There is no charge to attend. Nursery and children/teen activities will be provided.


Are We Compatible ?

A Couples Temperament Test Compared

Below is a typical analysis we do for a couple in counseling.  It’s a wonderful tool for identifying the areas a couple should be aware of.   We find this tool to be incredibly insightful because it goes far beyond the ” 5 Love Languages” many couples have already tried.  It is not just the love languages but the in born design God has for your life and how that relates to your spouses design.  By working through these revelations we find couples gain amazing insight into their husband’s or wife’s needs of both expressing and wanting the desires.

 

Inclusion Control Affection
Peter 4/7 (PS) 6/7 (G) 0/4 (MP)
Ellen 6/7 (G) 2/4 (MP) 9/9 (Gc)

  

Inclusion – In the Area of Inclusion, Peter and Ellen are very compatible. They both have similar expressed needs and they have identical wanted needs. Again, the biggest issue here is for them to learn to honor God in their behaviors and interaction with others. They need to learn not to compromise God’s standards in order to feel accepted by friends.

Control – The Area of Control has potential for conflict due to Peter’s temperament. A Sanguine in Control can cause other people to think the person is “crazy.” In the secular psychology world Peter would be typically described as bipolar. One moment he wants to be in control (Independent Mode) and the next moment he will flip to self-deprecation and claim that he is worthless (Dependent Mode). As a Melancholy Phlegmatic in Control, Ellen will probably shut down when she starts to see this behavior. If she says anything at all that Peter perceives as negative or derogatory, he will move into this dependent mode. Peter will ask for Ellen’s input but then become “unreasonable” when she gives him this input. Over time this will cause a lot of damage in their relationship. Peter needs to learn that when he is in his independent mode he has the potential to be a very good leader. He needs to recognize when he swings to his dependent mode and he needs to learn to indulge himself in ways that are not sinful, but still meet his need for self-indulgence. The key is for him to recognize the swing before it becomes too severe. Ellen needs to also learn to recognize this swing and to permit Peter to self-indulge in non-sinful ways. This means letting things go and not pursuing Peter until he is able to move back to his independent mode. (Self-indulgence may be eating a candy bar or taking a bubble bath. This may be anything that brings pleasure but is not sinful or destructive.)

Affection – This is a huge area of potential conflict for Peter and Ellen. As a Sanguine compulsive, Ellen is looking for affection and opening up to everyone and anyone. She can never get enough touch and “I love you.” As a Melancholy Phlegmatic, Peter is not prone to saying “I love you” very much. He feels that sex is his way of telling Ellen that he loves her. He may also do things to show his love. However, it is not enough for Ellen and he will eventually get emotionally worn out and quit trying. Ellen will then turn to others to try and get this need met. This could lead to an affair or other inappropriate behaviors, not because Ellen is looking for sexual relationship, but because she wants emotional intimacy. This is a tough case to work with. Ellen needs to learn to meet her needs in Godly ways. She also needs to learn that there is no one that can meet all of her emotional intimacy needs. Peter needs to learn to step out of his comfort zone and make an effort to spend time with Ellen and tell her regularly that she is loved. When we consider Ellen’s Sanguine compulsive needs in Affection with Peter’s Sanguine needs in Control there is the potential for huge conflict. They have got to learn to turn to God and meet these needs appropriately.


FreshStart in Henderson on 06/12/16

Category : For Women

Freshstart is a group for divorced women and those heading toward divorce.

We’ll be meeting on Sundays at 5:30pm starting June 5th. The session runs for 6 weeks. There is no charge to attend. Nursery and children/teen activities will be provided.


Cindy Bodendorfer, C.T.C. in Henderson on 06/05/16

Category : For Women

Freshstart is a group for divorced women and those heading toward divorce.

We’ll be meeting on Sundays at 5:30pm starting June 5th.

The session runs for 6 weeks. There is no charge to attend. Nursery and children/teen activities will be provided.


Special Qualities A Woman Has That Mean You Should Never Let Her Go

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Good people are kind people. If she isn’t kind then she isn’t worthy of taking up a part of your life. Being a woman, being nurturing is very important as well.

In some relationships the man may be more nurturing than the woman. Nevertheless, women are born with/develop maternal instincts with age. If you wish to one day start a family then you want to be sure you found a woman who wants to be, and is suited to become, a mother.


Special Qualities A Woman Has That Mean You Should Never Let Her Go

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder – as long as you find her to be incredibly beautiful, according to your definition, then she is worth holding on to.

I feel that these days we have those that put too much emphasis on beauty and then those that are rebelling against the concept and giving little to no importance to beauty.

Beauty is something that has been reveled upon since humans had eyes; it’s not something that we should be ashamed of, but rather something we should learn to appreciate properly.


Special Qualities A Woman Has That Mean You Should Never Let Her Go

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Every man needs a smarter woman to help him get through life in one piece. They say that behind every great man is a greater woman – they aren’t lying. Without woman, man is little more than an ego-trip.

Enter a smarter woman into his life and suddenly that ego has a purpose, a direction, and the wisdom not to screw everything up.






Are you a Legend?

Category : Uncategorized

I’ve seen the mystics play there
Once or twice but I knew they had a reason
Enchantment plays it’s cards all right
Hand in hand with the workings of the seasons

Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the Son, loved by the Son
Loved

Two and two go so close together
Whether there is hope that is torn apart
In the words of all that’s singing
Hand in hand the beginning is at the start

Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the Son
Loved by the Son
Loved

Who sings of all of love’s eternity
Whose shines so bright
In all the songs of love’s unending spells

Only lightning strikes all that’s evil
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Hear the music of love eternal
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake

Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
To believe in the good in man.
To believe in the good in man.
To believe in the good in man.

 

Lyrics altered by TimothyPaul

Songwriters: ANDERSON, JON / FRANKE, CHRISTOPHER G. / FROESE, EDGAR WILLMAR / SCHMOELLING, JOHANNES
Loved By The Sun lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Christmas is for you!

Category : Uncategorized

Christmas is for you!

Hello my Facebook friends. Please remember as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. This is your day. He was born and died for you. His birth was for you to be able to walk in His Light.

“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12

Be His Light in this dark world. Celebrate both His Birth and your Real Birth and may you be surrounded and engulfed in His Peace and Love where ever you may be celebrating and with whomever you are celebrating with.

In His service…..  TimothyPaul


Why you need to do more than just pray about your problems

Category : Uncategorized

I saw this on the I Am Second website and its great.  Wanted to post it here for our followers….

—————————————————————

 

I Am Second

I recently met a young man who told me he was praying for God to get him out of a really difficult situation. Praying. Praying. Praying.

His life had been headed down a dangerous path and he was waiting for God to rescue him. He was making poor choices, stuck in a destructive pattern, and was desperate to turn his life around.

Yet, through it all, he had done nothing to get himself to a better place. He had sought no accountability. He had made no plans and taken no action toward improvement. He hadn’t actually done anything to turn his life around. He was just praying.

I admire people of faith. It’s important to believe and to live as though what you believe is already truth. The problem comes when people exchange the guise of “faith” for the role of passivity and sink into a pattern that lacks action and takes no responsibility. “Faith” without deeds can be paralyzing, particularly when you begin to expect God to live for you, rather than looking for him to work through you.

I heard a joke once about a man who was drowning, but he had faith that God would rescue him.

A jet ski came by, but he declined saying, “I’ve prayed, and God will rescue me!”

A rescue boat came by, but again, he declined saying, “No thanks, God will rescue me!”

A helicopter came by, but a third time, he declined saying, “God will rescue me!”

And finally, he drowned.

When he awoke to heaven he approached God and asked him, “But Lord, you promised to save me.” To which God replied, “I tried. I sent a jet ski and a rescue boat and a helicopter, but you never got on board!”

This story might get you to chuckle but I have found there to be so much truth in this concept. And it’s no laughing matter.

As a professional counselor (who also happens to be a Christian), I run into people who doubt my line of work because they believe prayer is enough. They dismiss the value of counseling, treatment, and therapy, considering it a replacement for the power of God.


Treatment doesn’t negate prayer, it compliments prayer.


I’m a firm believer in prayer, and I encourage many of my clients to pray. Often I even pray with them. But treatment doesn’t negate prayer, it compliments prayer. It is a beautiful partnership that challenges people to match their faith with actions. It forces them to give to God what they can’t control and to seek to change what they can.

Maybe you are that person and you’re feeling stuck in feelings, behaviors, addictions, or struggles that you can’t seem to manage on your own. Maybe the pain of your past or the fears of your present are paralyzing you from living your life the way you know you should. And maybe you’ve resolved to “pray about it,” but not done much else. If so, I challenge you to consider the following things as you contemplate whether or not seeking treatment and counseling is right for you.

1. Are you dealing with a problem that seems to have a daily effect on your life?

Problems come and problems go, that’s the nature of humanity. But there are some seasons in life in which problems, negative feelings, or destructive thoughts, habits and behaviors start seeping into the day-to-day, becoming a part of our routine.If you feel caught in a daily battle that doesn’t seem to be letting up, maybe it’s time to consider trying something new.

2. Is this something you have been struggling with for over one month and can’t shake?

Many times struggles begin small but snowball into something that seems way beyond our control. It may be an innocent habit, a deficit in communication, or a “small” struggle that begins to take root in a way that you never imagined.

3. Is this something that is causing you to engage in self-destructive or harmful behavior or hurting those around you?

Some habits and struggles are subtle, secret, and out of sight.  Others are loud and clear, unable to hide from the eyes of others. Either way, both have the potential of doing damage.

4. What if you could prevent a struggle from becoming a struggle?

That’s not something people normally think of when it comes to counseling, but it’s crucial. The best way to tackle a problem is to deal with it before it begins. I see a lot of young men and women who are trying to get a head start in healthy relationships through counseling focused on premarital issues, marriage communication enhancement, and even singles wanting to make the best choices before they take the plunge into a relationship.

It’s time to stop simply talking about prayer and begin living a life that reflects those prayers; a life that puts deeds to faith.

For some of you, that may mean shutting off the Internet, getting rid of the alcohol, or finally breaking up with that boyfriend/girlfriend. It may mean seeking accountability, admitting that you need help, and admitting some of the things you’ve been doing in secret. No matter the size of your pit or how long you’ve been living in it, today is the day to start climbing out of it.

A version of this article originally appeared on the website True Love Dates.

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life. You may also recognize her voice from over 150 articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 


Concrete

Category : Uncategorized

Concrete

The couple was probably in their 60s. He dropped her off in front of the store and went to park the truck. Seconds later, she was on the ground, having tripped and fallen in the clutter of merchandise that surrounded the door.

I’m not sure if he spared a glance towards the confusion as he walked around us and went inside. If he did, he had no idea that his wife was on the concrete. I can’t blame him, really. There were probably half a dozen people surrounding her. She had a towel over her face and was in the midst of a full blown panic attack, wailing in a voice I’m sure no one who knew her would recognize.

But once he was located … once he stepped outside and saw the paramedics helping her onto a gurney … once the towel was removed and he saw her bloody face … he did … nothing.

No words. No touch. No reassurance. No You are still beautiful even if that scars. Nothing. He stood there for a moment, and then turned and headed for his truck. I watched her watch him turn his back, and my heart broke for her.

I’m guessing that he had a long standing pattern of leaving her to fend for herself … of dropping her off, walking ahead, and paying no attention. I’m guessing that he rarely knew what she was feeling or what she needed. I’m guessing that she had hit the concrete in his heart decades before she hit the concrete in front of that store.

Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church … I can’t see Christ walking away.

Guys, does your wife hit a concrete wall when she tries to touch your heart? God has promised to change that, but only if you let Him.

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26 NLT

Concrete is hard, solid, and safe, but nothing grows in it. Light and air don’t get through, until you put a crack in it. Go ahead. You’ll be amazed.

Blessings … Cindy


How to Become a Trustworthy Husband

Category : Uncategorized

How to Become a Trustworthy Husband

Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? Proverbs 20:6 NIV

Trust is the foundation for the emotional connection between you and your wife. As we have often discussed, safety, security and an emotional connection are the essential elements a woman needs to be satisfied in a relationship. Yet, the emotional connection seems to be the most difficult for a husband to attain. Without it, you are never going to have the intimate relationship that God intends you to have in your marriage. So how can you become the trustworthy husband to create that connection?

1. ) You earn your wife’s trust with consistency. In Luke 16:10, the Bible tells us, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” NIV. Think about some of the little things that would make your wife trust you. If she asked you to clean the dishes, would you grumble and moan, or would you say “sure honey, no problem”. If your wife feel safe asking you the little things, when it comes to sharing the more serious things on her heart, she will feel “safe”.

2. ) You earn your wife’s trust by being confident. How often has your wife shared something on her heart that you may have told your mom, dad or friends? And they may have told someone and it has gotten back to your wife?

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13 NIV

“gos•sip
1. casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people.

This is one of those 5 nasty sins that kept the Israelites out of Canaan. If God thought it important enough to make the Jews wander around for 40 years, think of how it affects not only your wife, but you.

3. ) You can earn your wife’s trust by being close. That’s as simple as just spending some time together. Make her your first priority when you scheduling your life. We are always going to get caught up in day to day situations. Our lives have gotten crazy, but instead of taking a half hour to read facebook in the morning, sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or breakfast with her. Don’t let the craziness of life take you away from what is important. Satan attacks relationships in the most subtle ways, creating distance and distraction is easy for him.
I can tell you from my research, that every woman is looking for trust and integrity. It’s a primary need for a woman. What can you do this week, to start fulfilling that need for your wife?

In His service…TimothyPaul


It’s Time to Make a Change!

Category : Uncategorized

It’s time to make a change. E-counseling is a discreet, convenient, and affordable way to get help with many issues. Get help with stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, parenting, addictions, anger-management, self-esteem, and other life challenges. Connect online with a professional, licensed, and experienced counselor. Get the support, advice and guidance needed to start making a change. Visit Ephesians 5:25 Ministries to get personally matched to one of our counselors.


Sixty Seconds With God

Category : Uncategorized

Sixty Seconds with God

Posted 13 September 2015 – 08:15 PM ( – from the God Save My Marriage Forum by M. Bracht – click link above)

Sixty Seconds With God

Have you ever been in deep depression for months or discouraged because of the things that are happening in your life? You are not even sure if God is still listening to your prayers? Is the enemy constantly playing mind games with you? Does he bring up all your past failures? You think of all the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s that IF you had made different decisions how life might be different now. All these negative thoughts soon become overwhelming and you sink further into depression.

If that is true for you now or you have been there before, then stop and listen for a moment. I have been reading a book called One Minute With God by Dr. Keith Ellis. In it he talks about being in a dry place and you really need that 60 seconds with God to change things. I would like to share some of the things that he talks about so that no one ever has to go through that dry place again.

First, God waits on us to invite him into our storm/situation. Your invitation thru prayer is often a setup for the miraculous. The KEY to seeing Him work is being willing to call out to Him for help. Most of us don’t ask God, they just assume when we talk to Him about our issues that we want Him to help. But God is a gentleman. He will never push Himself on you. He is waiting anxiously for you to ask.

KEY #2 is spending consistent time with Him in prayer and reading His Word. Words are powerful and contain life. If you have been dealing with long-lasting problems, continuous difficulties, chronic pain and sickness, torment, or experiencing any form of depression from the enemy, God wants to help.

How do you get Him to respond? #1 Ask for Help. #2 spend time with Him. Don’t just spend 5 minutes and leave and think that will do the trick. No. You don’t do that to your family. Or I hope you don’t. Each member of your family (mothers, dads, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and the list goes on) wants you to spend TIME with them. When you do this they know they are loved. Oh, you think not! You think that THINGS can replace you spending time with them? Well think again. No one wants THINGS, they want to know they are really loved. At the end of the day, do you remember the THINGS people bought you or do you remember the good times you spent with each other? Well, your Father is the same way. He wants you to spend time with Him. It doesn’t mean that you have to quit your job and spend all day with Him, but what it does mean is that you spend quality time with Him and do it consistently. Get my drift?

Next, when you pray, pray with expectation and with a revelation of who He really is. He is God Almighty! There is nothing too difficult for Him. He breathes life into your situation and changes it instantly. He speaks to those things that are not as though they were. He knows the number of hairs on your head. Nothing surprises Him. He loves you unconditionally.

Key #4 – repent. We all know sin blocks the flow of the Holy Spirit from moving thru our spirit, releasing the health and life of God. If you feel like God is a long way off in heaven somewhere and you can’t reach him, then something is blocking that because He is right there by you. In fact, the Holy Spirit is inside of you. The Word says that He is closer to you than a brother. No one can take you out of His hand. So what is the hold up? You. Well, how do I do that? For starters how about repenting of your cold cold heart? If you repent, He is faithful to forgive us and life will begin to flow through YOU fresh, once again. Remember the story of the prodigal son that when he was on his way back home, his father was watching and came running toward him and he fell into his father’s arms. God has no throwaways. He wants all of us to fellowship with Him always. Nothing should ever separate you and your Father. Father will always restore and we can now go boldly into the Father’s presence because of what Jesus had done for us at the cross.

Now that the basics are out of the way, we can focus more on who our God is and the knowledge that He made us in His image. Once you get the revelation that God’s Holy Spirit lives INSIDE of you and that you are spirit and God is Spirit and just how close you really are to Him. Life begins to change. He is no longer in heaven. He is there with you all the time.

When we are in the Father’s family room, we can talk to Him just as if He were sitting next to you. Now God’s Spirit begins to share things with your spirit. You begin seeing situations from His perspective, then hope returns and faith arises. Our vision is restored in the spiritual realm. We all want God to move for us in the miraculous. We need to expect them and believe for them. We need to TALK about them.

Key #5 – exercising your faith. Faith is a vital part of your journey. When we have confidence in God, we have faith in God.

Perhaps you asked God to do something and He didn’t do it like you wanted Him to or perhaps it didn’t happen at all. This created insecurity in you. Don’t put God in a box. Simply trust God to do it His way! God knows everything and He has not turned a deaf ear or a blind eye toward you.

A lot of people beg God instead of believing Him. Don’t let that be you. God tells us in His word that He is working behind the scenes for our good. Believe Him. Trust that He is powerfully working in the unseen. Be thankful that He is working on our behalf. Pay careful attention to what comes out of your mouth because what we speak flows from the abundance of our hearts. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Keep your thoughts and your speech positive.

God used His words to create the universe. Our words are that powerful. We are made in the image of Almighty God. That same Spirit is inside you and me. God spoke to things that were not seen and because of His words, they came into existence. God uses the words of your mouth to get His job done! What is coming out of your mouth?

To be continued . . . .


Blended Families Divorce Rate Increases

Category : Uncategorized

Today, some 75% of divorced people will remarry.  Unfortunately more than 60% of these new blended families will end in divorce.

Divorced couples need to earnestly seek counseling before they “tie the knot” because our patterns of behavior can possibly bring us right back to the same issues that caused the first marriage to fail; that pesky F12 button.

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.  (Isaiah 43:18 NASB)

This an area where an APS test can be a significant tool to help sort our problems early on in this new relationship.  The APS test will help potential couples define how they are outside of God’s design, and together what each of the parties might need to consider going into a new marriage.

Couples can receive an APS test with Ephesians 5:25 Ministries for as little as $ 350.00 for a couple.  This includes the test as well as four hours of couples counseling to help the husband and wife understand where they can help each other to have a marriage that glorifies God.

Call us today, if you are considering a marriage after a divorce.  What we can teach you will make all the difference for your future success.

In His service….TimothyPaul

info@ephesians525.org


Oh, there’s nobody out there for me.”

Category : Uncategorized

Here we are, all of us basically alone, separate creatures just circling each other, all searching for that slightest hint of a real connection.

Some look in the wrong places.

Some, they just give up hope because, in their mind, they’re thinking,

“Oh, there’s nobody out there for me.”

But all of us, we keep trying over and over again.

Why?   Because every once in a while, every once in a while, two people meet and there’s that spark.

And yes, Bones, he’s handsome and she’s beautiful, and maybe that’s all they see at first.

But making love, making love…

That’s when two people become one.

What’s important is we try. And when we do it right, we get close. A miracle.

Agent Seeley Joseph Booth – Bones  Season 3 Ep 3

 

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.   Gen 2:24 KJV

doves


Going Off the Grid

Category : Uncategorized

Off The Grid

I was talking to a friend earlier today, and we were talking about living off the grid. I’ve heard this quite often in various forms. I should have been born 100 years ago, I hate techology, etc., etc.

I was contemplating this, and as we have been discussing, the thought is actually living outside the will of God.

Sometimes, I would have liked to been around in the Middle ages. I love the concept of chivalry, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the concept of might is not right and all of that.

But I believe we must embrace, God’s greater design of rour lives. God’s created millions of people. And He has placed all of them in the time period that was required for them to serve Him, according to His plan and purpose. Whether or not they chose to, well, we’ve all read the history books.

Its a pretty fascinating concept to think of the millions and millions of people that have come before us. I can’t quite do the math, I’m sure my son could, but to me its unfathomable. And to think that for some reason, in His wisdom, He has picked me to live today, in this century, to affect the lives I can reach for His glory, is a really cool concept.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

How would it be a benefit to God’s Kingdom for Paul to be alive today? Obviously, you and I could not understand the tenants of Christianity that are in the New Testament. And what of Martin Luther, would we not be living in a myriad of confusion without the Reformation?

You were born and God’s design is that you live in the here and now. If He needs you to use your phone to text a friend in need, then embrace the phone. If He has blessed you with a computer to reach out to the lost, then use it. All of the things around you, can be tools to reach a very lost and hurting world. There is a very specific reason God has this plan for you. I have a dear Pastor friend that sends over 300 texts every morning, and he’s in his 70’s.

Instead of looking for a better time and place, embrace the opportunities you have now. Live for today.

In His service…..TimothyPaul


The Scorpion and the Frog

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Crap I hit the F12 Button!

Category : Thoughts

Crap I hit the F12 Button!

Often, I’m asked if we can change. I mean truly a heart change.

Cindy and I speak about this often, and she has this theory. As some of you geeky people like me may know, on many computers, you hit the F12 button to get into the bios and reset the system back to the factory defaults. Well, we humans, similar to a computer, have factory defaults. Yea, you guessed it, those pesky temperament things.

I recently went through an experience where I hit that stupid F12 key. And like to share my reflections of that with you and my take away. I think it may speak to some of you if you accidentally hit that F12 key.

I’m a Melancholy Compulsive in inclusion, and a Sanguine Compulsive in affection. That affection part, means I need to show and receive a great deal of love. And like most of us, I’ve been doing life for the past 54 years, so there are many many times I operate out of God’s design. Most people that know me, would think I was a Mc (Melancholy compulsive) in affection. Meaning I need to show and receive zero love. As I know many of you sit with unsettled hearts, you know what things are taking you from living God’s design for your life.

  • So lets get back to the F12 key.

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7: 15 NLT

In this recent situation I had an opportunity and a need to operate in God’s design. Meaning I needed the ability to behave like the Sanguine called God me to be. Well, dang wouldn’t you know, no matter how I planned, when the time came, I slipped back towards the melancholy. And trust me, as a therapist, I knew exactly what it was; fear. Yea, that same stuff that keeps us trapped from receiving the blessings God has awaiting for us. Remember how once the Israelites were wandering around the desert, and they thought it was better to go back and live in slavery then to face the fear of starvation, etc. in the desert. But God had specifically directed them to the Promise Land. Isn’t that exactly what God is doing for us when He asks us to step out of our comfort zone of our temperament and live according to His design.

So while I was driving to a staff meeting this morning the Spirit started to speak to me. First, I didn’t slip all the way back to a melancholy, probably somewhere in the middle. So the Spirit that has been working in me for the past six years is making progress. And now, I am more aware of the battle I face to bring myself into God’s design; how much work its going to be. Just the awareness of this is already empowering. I know I will do better and thats where this whole F12 key thing fits in. ?I refuse to miss out on God’s Blessings for my life.

 

In every bios, there are tweaks. Sure, there is that factory default, but also every bios lets you tinker and customize and improve from those default settings.

So next time you accidentally hit the F12 key of your life, don’t leave the moment without making some adjustments and tweaks.

Nel servizio di Dio……TimothyPaul


Where do you live?

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Where do you live?

In the past few weeks, two very dear friends have asked me “how do you live in this world, but not of this world”?

I’ve been thinking about this, because in my mind, I don’t live “in” this world. – Sometimes, I’m not so sure of course, but for the most part, I tend to think I live somewhere on a plain between here and heaven.

I think the first thing that helps me, is knowing I’m just a tourist on this big planet. Just passing through on my way to heaven. I know one day, through Faith, I’ll be in heaven, there is no doubt in my mind about that. – Is there any in yours? If there is, its time to get right with God. While we all know there is a rapture ahead, none of knows when, that is reserved for God alone. So in the mean time, are you living in a Godly way, an amplifier of the Light of Christ in your day to day actions? If there is any moment, where the question of where you may go upon your passing, becomes a question, there is work to do.

Second, and this is actually more difficult, how often do you defy the cultural norms, to do what is right. If you think about it, this really is the essence of living of the world. Our world has created so many culturally acceptable norms, that in your heart, you know are not right. How often will you cross something our society says is acceptable and stand up for something you know in your heart is true? I’ve seen Pastorial leaders justify adultery, or ignore adultery. I recently had a young Pastor, when I asked him about a couple where the husband committed adultery say “ the wife drove him to it”. Really?

Your elected officials will tell you abortion is acceptable, or marriage can be between same sex couples. Do you ever stand up and verbally or through your actions defend the tenants of the Bible?

And you know what, sometimes, its really not a “big” issue in the news. Sometimes, its something as simple as the way you might behave around other people. I was in a band back in my former life. After practice the guys would hang out and drink a few beers and bs for a while. It was interesting how many negative comments the guys would make about their wives and girl friends. I never said anything negative about my (now ex) wife but I never said anything good either. I never pointed out how detrimental and disrespectful the conversations were. Thankfully, through His salvation, that is not the case anymore, but it was at the time.

Silence, is acceptance of a bad behavior and your actions are a reflection of how the Spirit is working in you.

So as you wind down the day, think about it…. where do you live?

In His service….TimothyPaul


It’s a Good Day!

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It’s a Good Day

God has been putting some things on my heart of late, and it is creating some turmoil. This morning, He gave me some insight, but alas, when God gives you direction, it usually will come at a price. We know, God’s design is never status quo and it always will challenge you to step into a realm of the unknown.

As one that studies human temperament, I am far to aware of my own. Of course through the Blood of Jesus, I’ve come to love how God has designed me, the good as well as the bad. The good gives me the gifts and resources to serve Him, and the bad, the challenges I need to hurdle – why, yes, to serve Him.

So as I paced around my small abode this morning, in prayer, looking for direction and guidance, a little thought started to surface in the recesses of my mind. Subconsciously, I called out loud, “where are you my friend? “ and there buried under a myriad of paper work and other clutter on my desk, was my Bible. God brought me to Revelations 2, and for the moment, I’ll wait to tell you why, but the thought that was more prevalent was…

I wonder how many people today are wandering around with a troubled heart? If that’s you….

go grab your “friend”.

In His service….. TimothyPaul


In the Spirit of Love…..

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The Spirit of Love….

Recently God brought something to Light for me that I thought I would share. I think for most of us, love can be such a selfish thing. It’s not that we have ill intent, usually I find its just the opposite. But yet, because of “life”; love becomes all about having our own needs met.
Last week, because of a beautiful experience, God brought me to John 17… I reference below…

“ I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be as one as we are one.  I am in them and your are in me.  May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  Father, I want these whom you have given me to be where I am.  Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began.”  John 17:22-24

It’s interesting to me, that in Jesus final prayer, He is not praying for himself and the horror that lays before Him, but for those that His life has touched here while on earth.

In a relationship, especially in a marriage relationship, how often do we create that experience for our loved ones.

Yet Jesus tells us right there that God’s unity in a relationship is hinged upon that agape love. So what might there be in our lives that hinder His perfect Peace and Promise.

How often do you share those inner recesses of your heart with you spouse, I’m talking about the real deep things.

There is an amazing fear in being that vulnerable. I know I recoil at the thought. If it wasn’t for the Spirit operating in me daily and fighting the temptations Satan constantly throws before, I’m a pretty lousy human being. Everyday I battle greed, lust, envy, etc. Do I really want someone knowing that part of my heart? We want to cast this illusion upon those we love, that we are stoic and their rock. Or perhaps that if we share those inner dark places, we may fall from our love ones grace. They may not look at us they way they did before, they may not admire us and put us upon that pedestal.

And being on the receiving end of those truths is no picnic either. But first, love means seeing those inner flaws and allowing your spouse to be safe in sharing that their imperfections are part of God’s design for our lives.

“If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand you ground defending him.” 1 Cor 13:7

When was the last time you expressed a love so deep for your spouse that if they shared something so deep and scary, you would hold their heart in your hands and keep them safe. You would not judge them, fear them and at all cost, you would use it as an opportunity to learn to love them more.

Let’s not fool ourselves to think our loved ones don’t know we have theses thoughts, they do also. Why then are we so afraid to share our “dark side”.

I understand why God brought that to Light for me last week.

As I embarq on a new journey in my life, its the essence of His design for unity. To experience that perfect Peace and the ultimate contentment God has in store for each and every one of us; what develops is a deeper understanding of the human plight. And it is only that spirit of Love that we can share and learn to receive that which will raise us higher. In Christ like Love, we strengthen and fortify each other. Through weakness our loved ones give us strength and resolve.

Such a beautiful view into our hearts and what Love looks like.  I see my heart is searching for that experience of such perfect unity that Jesus has promised us.  Its a promise He’s made for us and to us, He prayed to our Father that it is bestowed upon all of us.  Through Jesus it is written in our book of life.

I want that for my life and I pray you do also.

Amore perfetto di Dio vi aspetta
In His service….TimothyPaul


Unholy Trinity …

Category : Uncategorized

I recently came across this excellent blog post on communication. In it, the author outlines what he calls the Unholy Trinity … perceptiveness, lack of self awareness, and defensiveness. When these things are present, it makes effective communication nearly impossible.

 The author’s advice is to minimize contact if possible, and keep things light and low key when you can’t, and that’s excellent advice if someone in your life exhibits these traits. But then I got to thinking … what if YOU are the person who follows this pattern? Do you have a string of lost relationships behind you? Has someone … maybe multiple someones … said that it’s hard to talk to you? Have you cut people out of your life because they’ve said things you didn’t want to hear? Maybe it’s something to think about.

Although any temperament can struggle with self awareness, it’s usually the sanguines and the cholerics who have the most trouble with it. But if we want to become Christlike, it’s up to us to be aware of our sin, dump it at the foot of the cross, and make the behavioral changes that reflect our relationship with Him. When we’re not seeing our sin, God will often use the people close to us to point it out.

So what can you work on if you think the problem might lie with you? Try starting with these.

Perceptiveness … those subtle nuances you are so gifted at detecting are generally not about you. Stop taking everything so personally. Clarify the situation if necessary, and if the other person tells you that he meant X, don’t argue that you’re sure he meant Y. If you insist that you know what they really meant even if they say otherwise, that person is not going to feel safe talking to you again.

Lack of self awareness … if someone close to you says that you’re impossible to talk to, your response has probably been, Well if you can’t talk to me, that’s your problem!  That is guaranteed to keep you stuck in the same place. Instead, take a deep breath and ask them why they feel that way. Accept the fact that they are seeing something you’re not.

Defensiveness … this is where you’ll need that deep breath. What they tell you will probably make you angry. It will probably hurt. You will want to argue and defend and tell them that if they didn’t do A, you wouldn’t do B. This is the point where you have probably ended relationships if the person didn’t apologize and drop it. But if  you want to grow, you need to ask God to show you if what they said is true. If you need confirmation, ask 2 or 3 other close, trusted people … just remember that they are well aware of your tendency to cut people out of your life, so they may hesitate to be honest.

Once you begin to see the problem, you can take steps to change it. If you need help, contact us.

 The Unholy Trinity is, at best, childish, and at worst, incredibly destructive. The good news is that you can choose to change, and you can accomplish it through the power we all have in Christ. It won’t happen overnight … it will happen one conversation at a time, as you decide to stop taking things personally, become aware of how you are affecting others, and really listen instead of defending your behavior.

Getting rid of the Unholy Trinity will leave more room for the fruit of the Spirit … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness … and get us close to the ultimate goal of being like Christ.

 

Blessings … Cindy


Some thoughts to a husband

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Ski – lets chat about this a little more, because its a conceptual thing that is very important in YOUR Christian walk. Notice I said you and not your wife, etc.

We men make this all about getting our wives back, getting the kids back, and so on and so on. But what we fail to realize, this is all a symptom of a deeper problem. Just like the human body, if you fix the core issue the symptoms repair themselves. (even cancer btw). For the men that realize this and walk this out, we actually do receive God’s promise of peace, love and joy. Ask Tony, David, Matt, myself and the list, is very small because only a few understand this. Ken Nair says one in ten will actually get this. And that doesn’t even mean our marriages are restored all the time, but something happens inside of you that is a true miracle of God’s blessings.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 NIV

 

That’s a really interesting passage. Notice how it doesn’t say for “our good”. In other words, God knows the good you need and how you can serve the Kingdom of God. – Lets look at another passage.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” – Jer 29:11-14

 

Everyone loves to quote this passage, or at least the 29;11 part. I rarely here anyone add verse 12 and 13, but isn’t that the action that our Lord uses to bring forth verse 11 ands 14. If we do not seek the Lord, can we expect Him to fulfill His side of the promise?

So now lets tie this back into your life and marriage. I am not too concerned with whether or not you believe what you hear in the ministry. What defines your Christian walk is how you choose to live according to the Word of God. Myself, Joel, any moderator or helper is not your Judge. You are Judged by God alone and whether or not Jesus steps on the scale to balance your sin, is totally defined by your walk.

First, you must completely let go of everything your wife is doing. It is totally irrelevant. The Word of God tells you what you need to do.   If you focus on that, you draw closer to God, and it is HIs responsibility to work on your wife. (see above Jer 29:11-14).

As a husband, your role is defined in Ephesians 5:25-32. There is nothing conditional in that passage.

Ephesians 5:25-33 – New International Version (NIV)

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.   “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

There is no statement saying you do not go to the Cross if your wife sins, or if she treats you poo poo, or she has an affair, etc. etc…. you get my point. You and I are both sinners, and Christ went to the Cross for us. Jesus didn’t say “well, I’ll cleanse TimothyPaul, if he repents, or if he changes his sinful ways. In the same way, verse 25 and 26 tells you that you must die for your wife. The dying is not a physical thing as most men suspect. It is dying to the five sins that kept the Israelites out of Canaan.

Lust (money, sex, earthly gratification, etc)
Idolatry (including ego – narcissism, self)
Fornification (includes porn, masturbation, double looks of women)
Murmuring
Tempting

God is watching you. How you follow His Word. How in the midst of all your pain, hurt, toils and strifes, you honor Him, not your wife and Kids. How no matter what storms life throws at you, you refuse to succumb to your own flesh; and you stand by His Word, by His promises and Glorify Him. That is the test for us Christians.

So far up to this point, God is not asking you to die for Him as many are in the Mid East. He is asking you to love, honor and cherish your wife as your promised Him on the day you married His precious daughter. No matter what.

In His service….TimothyPaul


Top Five Regrets of the Dying

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For many years Bonnie Ware worked in palliative care. Over the years, when Bonnie questioned her patients about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, these common themes surfaced again and again.

Here, in her own words, are the five most common regrets Bonnie heard from those in her care in their dying days.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Wow! What strong and sobering insights for all of us to ponder and apply. Are we building a life that counts and will we leave a legacy that matters?

Note: this post was originally published in Inspiration and Chai. Bonnie has recently released a full-length book titled ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

 

 

If you think it is possible that if Bonnie were to interview you today and any of the regrets above would apply to your life, contact us, so we can help your life be a Legacy.

In His service….TimothyPaul

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Beholding the Glory of God

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“And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

 All counseling can only be effective with the serious relational contemplation of God.  This three part exercise provides an opportunity and structure in which you may be “still and know God”.


Exercise One: God the Father

 – Read Romans 8:28-33

  1. What is the Father aiming to accomplish in you “in all things”?  (see verse 29).  His goal is your utter transformation.  Do you trust His plan and faithfulness?
  1. If He is helping you become like Jesus “in all things”, how will this impact your thoughts and longings?  What if you were able to face your current trial with the mind of Jesus?  How would your response be different?
  1. Consider the faithfulness of God in that your healing (i.e., in all spheres) is as good as complete from His point of view (see verse 30).  The word “glorified” is past tense, meaning that as a believer your freedom from all suffering and sin are certain.
  1. Read Paul’s response to this reality in verse 31.  Do you resonate with his response?
  1. God gave his own Son for you.  How much does this illustrate His love for and commitment to your good (see verse 32)?   Respond with a grateful prayer.

Exercise Two:  God the Son

 – Read Romans 8:33-39

  1.  What is Jesus doing on behalf of the saint (see verse 34)? Are you comforted that Jesus is interceding for you at this time?
  1. As a result of His completed work upon the Cross, what are you now promised (see verse 35-39)?
  1. Write a genuine prayer thanking Jesus for His daily intercession for you and the assurance you have in that nothing can separate you from Him.

Exercise Three: God the Spirit

 – Read Romans 8:26-27

  1. What is the Spirit doing for you in your weakness (see verse 26)?
  1. What do you think about the Spirit praying perfect prayers for you on your behalf (see verse 27)?  Speak to Him from your Heart, He is listening.

Meditation:

Romans 8:26-39 exhibits that the entire Trinity is working on your behalf right now.  The entire Godhead is committed to loving you, changing you, and sustaining you.  Think on these things.  Spend the next 20-30 minutes praying and considering God’s love, favor, kindness, patience, and faithfulness towards you.  How has He strengthened you in your suffering?  How has He been faithful to forgive when you sin?  What blessings has He provided for you today?  Have you enjoyed a good meal recently?  How does this express God’s kindness towards you?  Write out your thoughts below as you are reminded of His goodness.  Converse with Him offering up thanksgiving and love as you behold the glory of the living God.


Five Indicators of An Evil and Wicked Heart

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Five Indicators of An Evil and Wicked Heart

Posted on 1/12/2015 by Leslie Vernick on ChristianCounseling.com

As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin.

I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes.

The Bible clearly tells us that among God’s people there are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing (Jeremiah 23:14; Titus 1:10; Revelations 2:2). It’s true that every human heart is inclined toward sin (Romans 3:23), and that includes evil (Genesis 8:21; James 1:4). We all miss God’ mark of moral perfection. However, most ordinary sinners do not happily indulge evil urges, nor do we feel good about having them. We feel ashamed and guilty, rightly so (Romans 7:19-21). These things are not true of the evil heart.

Below are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart. If so, it requires a radically different treatment approach.

1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention. They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information. (Exodus 2:1; Psalms 5:8; 10:7; 58:3; 109:2-5; 140:2; Proverbs 6:13,14; 6:18,19; 12:13; 16:20; 16:27, 28; 30:14; Job 15:35; Jeremiah 18:18; Nehemiah 6:8; Micah 2:1; Matthew 12:34,35; Acts 6:11-13; 2 Peter 3:16)

2. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words. But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors. (Psalm 50:19; 52:2,3; 57:4, 59:7; 101:7; Proverbs 12:5; 26:23-26; 26:28; Job 20:12; Jeremiah 9:34; 12:6; Matthew 26:59; Acts 6:11-13; Romans 16:13,18; 2 Corinthians 11:13,14; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; 3:13; Titus 1:10,16).

3. Evil hearts crave and demand control and their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance. (Romans 2:8; Psalms 10; 36:1-4; 50:16-22; 54:5,6; 73:6-9; Proverbs 21:24; Jude 1:8-16).

4. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card. They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from casino online those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust. (Proverbs 21:10; 1 Peter 2:16; Jude 1:4).

5. Evil hearts have no conscious, no remorse. They do not struggle against sin or evil, they delight in it, all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. (Proverbs 2:14-15; 10:23; 12:10; 21:27,29 Isaiah 32:6; Romans 1:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

If you are working with someone who exhibits these characteristics it’s important that you confront them head on. You must name evil for what it is. The longer you try to reason with them or show mercy towards them, the more you, as the Christian counselor, will become a pawn in his or her game.

They want you to believe that:

1. Their horrible actions should have no serious or painful consequences. When they say “I’m sorry”, they look to you as the pastor or Christian counselor to be their advocate for amnesty with the person he or she has harmed. They believe grace means they are immediately granted immunity from the relational fallout of their serious sin. They believe forgiveness entitles them to full reconciliation and will pressure you and their victim to comply.

The Bible warns us saying, “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 26:10).

The Bible tells us that talking doesn’t wake up evil people but painful consequences might. Jesus didn’t wake up the Pharisee’s with his talk nor did God’s counsel impact Cain (Genesis 4). In addition, the Bible shows us that when someone is truly sorry for the pain they have caused, he or she is eager to make amends to those they have harmed by their sin (See Zacchaeus’ response when he repented of his greed in Luke 19).

Tim Keller writes, “If you have been the victim of a heinous crime. If you have suffered violence, and the perpetrator (or even the judge) says, “Sorry, can’t we just let it go? You would say, “No, that would be an injustice.” Your refusal would rightly have nothing to do with bitterness or vengeance. If you have been badly wronged, you know that saying sorry is never enough. Something else is required¾some kind of costly payment must be made to put things right.” [1]

As Biblical counselors let’s not collude with the evil one by turning our attention to the victim, requiring her to forgive, to forget, to trust again when there has been no evidence of inner change. Proverbs says, “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Proverbs. 25:19). It’s foolishness.

The evil person will also try to get you to believe

2. That if I talk like a gospel believing Christian I am one, even if my actions don’t line up with my talk. Remember, Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). He knows more true doctrine than you or I will ever know but his heart is wicked. Why? Because although he knows the truth, he does not believe it or live it.

The Bible has some strong words for those whose actions do not match their talk (1 John 3:17,18; Jeremiah 7:8,10; James 1:22, 26). John the Baptist said it best when he admonished the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God (Luke 3:8).

If week after week you hear the talk but there is no change in the walk, you have every reason to question someone’s relationship with God.

Part of our maturity as spiritual leaders is that we have been trained to discern between good and evil. Why is that so important? It’s important because evil usually pretends to be good and without discernment we can be easily fooled. (Hebrews 5:14).

When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry,” or “that he’s changing” when in fact, he is not.

Daniel says, “the wicked will continue to be wicked”, (Daniel 12:10), which begs the question, do you think an evil person can really change?

[1] Tim Keller, Jesus the King, page 172


ENDING WELL

Category : Uncategorized

ENDING WELL
December 27

Read 2 Timothy 4

Adapted from Live|Dead Joy by Dick Brogden

Ending well has nothing to do with dying rich, being respected by people, or slipping peacefully from sleep to eternity. A person may die with all of the external trappings of peace, but peaceful passages into eternity have historically happened at the stake and in physical agony on a sick bed.

We know Paul’s summary of his life:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Let us not forget that his head was chopped off. Ending well has nothing to do with dying apart from persecution. It also has nothing to do with going to heaven healthy. A clear mockery of this idea is found in 2 Kings 13:14: “Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he would die.”

Elisha was a great man of God. He made the Jordan part, predicted victories through music, performed miracles with oil, raised a boy from the dead, healed a Syrian of leprosy, floated a metal ax head, struck an army blind, and called down fire from heaven. God used him to perform other miracles too, but Elisha got sick and died a slow painful death.

If Elisha had to cross over to eternal health on the bridge of terminal illness, how can some people presume that they will be spared the burdens of sickness, suffering, or trial?

Does God want everyone healthy and provided for? Ultimately, yes—in heaven. On earth, the prophets died sick, apostles had their heads chopped off, and the Messiah writhed on a cross. Yet they ended superbly well. All remained faithful, and all passed victorious into eternal life.

Faith is not about money and wealth. Faith is about trust in Jesus—trust that He is real, worth suffering for, worth being sick for, worth being in prison for, worth dying for, worth arriving at the end of life’s race poured out, spent, and exhausted from sharing the gospel.

We end well when we carry the supremacy of Jesus’ worth all the way to heaven—no matter how our time on earth ends.

From the
seven:fourteen Daily Devotional.


Christian Character

Category : Uncategorized

One of the best tests of a person’s Christian character is when you correct them. I compare it to liquid in a glass. When you bump someone holding a glass, whatever is in it will spill out. If the glass is filled with water, water will come out. When you “bump” a genuinely spirit filled person, you will get love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness and self control. But when you bump a person who professes to be Spirit filled but doesn’t have the evidence, out will come meanness, nastiness, bitterness and hostility.

There is no room in the Spirit-filled life for impoliteness, curtness, nastiness, self pity, or self promotion. The fruit is designed to get all of those things out of our life.


The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Husband Faces

Category : Uncategorized

September 21, 2014

The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Husband Faces

Today’s post is directly inspired by another post that has nothing – and everything – to do with being a good husband.

As a matter of fact, I shamelessly ripped off the title and substituted “husband” for “blogger”.

It was just too perfect.

The post in question is written by Michael Hyatt, a top blogger in the field of leadership. His latest post hit my inbox just one day after a conversation with a counselee who was having a tough time.

As I was reading his article, I kept substituting the mental battles we face as men for Michael’s blogging experience. In my head, I was agreeing, “Yes, yes…and YES again!”

And this article was born.

The Right Mindset

My counselee is in the midst of a war that all husbands wage. It’s the battle with the three-headed monster of negativity.

Negativity will do nothing but sabotage your efforts. Do we all get frustrated? Sure. We all want to learn faster and we all want the learning curve to go ever upward. But it doesn’t work that way.

Instead we ride a plateau for a while and then get a little bump up. Then we do it again. It’s called being human.

But because we’re human, we have those little voices in our heads telling us all the things we can’t do or shouldn’t do and why it’ll never work. In his brilliant book, The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield calls this negative chatter “resistance”.

So with the help of Pressfield and Michael Hyatt, I’m going to detail the three-headed monster of negativity and give some tips on how to do “Christ like man”. An awesome Christ like man.

“I Don’t Have Time for This”

Time is at a serious premium for all of us. But to be Christ like, you obviously have to carve out some time to work on your craft.  It is imperative you spend time in your Bible.  It is called the Sword of the Spirit for a reason.

So when a counselee tells me that he just can’t seem to find time to read and study their Bible, I help him determine the minimum commitment that they can make on a regular basis.

Nobody will claim that they can’t find at least 10-15 minutes per day for Bible study.. But most counselees are unaware that that can often be enough, at least to get started. It doesn’t have to require loads of time. It just takes a small concentrated effort consistently applied.

Now that you’ve carved out the time, it’s important that you know how to use it wisely. Ask yourself, “How efficient is my study time?”

Efficiency is all about getting the most done with the least time or effort. This requires that you understand your priorities and make sure to hit those things first. Michael Hyatt calls this “clarity about the essentials”. The essential element of your becoming a Christ like man, is to understand the heart of Christ.  We know that to be a Christ like man, we have to emulate Christ.  That may involve examining the purpose Christ would do something. He is living out the will of our Father.   There is a reason. Normally, these reasons will go against your flesh, but as we continue to study His life, they become more and more clear.  Sometimes, the reason will be intellectually pretty easy to discern however it may just go against your flesh.  That is why after salvation, we go through sanctification.  The cleansing process. This is an ongoing work in progress.

The bottom line: If you’re like most people, you are not going to do this perfect all of the time, especially at the beginning. Therefore you should that while sometimes you might blunder, you need to just get “back on the horse”. There is no need to give up and bail out just because you hit a bump.

“I Don’t Know How To Do This”

Never lose sight of the fact that none of us know what to do in the beginning stages of our journey. But the discovery is the most powerful part of the learning process.

It amazes me that counselees will still say “I don’t know how” when:

  • We have been over the material more than      once.
  • They have a folder of paperwork from      previous sessions.
  • They have the Internet at their      fingertips.

With all of this at their disposal, they will still say, “I don’t know how.”

I realize that many of you will say this screams “laziness”, and to a large extent, it does. If you really want something – and you have resources to aid you – then just get after it already.

But it also screams “I don’t pay attention.”

And if you know anything about being awesome , you know that the greatest thing you can bring to the party is your ability to pay strict attention. It is critical for solving problems.

Finally, “I don’t know how” may be symptomatic of paralysis by analysis. When the options seem overwhelming or when the counselee is afraid to make the wrong choice, he will make no choice at all.

It’s true that there is to contend with if we want to be a good husband. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming; just tackle your  obstacles one at a time.

“I Don’t Have What It Takes”

This is a tough one, because it speaks to our perceptions of our own ability, intelligence, and ability to learn. Understanding that you are not uniquely challenged in this – that every husband, no matter how wonderful he may appear to be, has questioned their ability – should help a bit. Unfortunately, it’s quite normal.

Practicing being a real man is such a solitary endeavor that it can often feel like we’re the only ones who fail. But quitting before the whistle blows, as Michael Hyatt puts it, is a sure-fire way to cheat yourself.

You’ll never know how well you could have done if you bail out when the going gets tough. And we all know what happens when the going gets tough, right?***

Allow me to share one of my favorite quotes, by Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

You heard the man – dig in and dare to be awesome.

Final Thoughts

Even though Michael Hyatt’s blog is about leadership, the theory applies to the same challenges you face  becoming a good husband. So be sure to check out his blog. It’s unfailingly positive and offers some great insights on leadership and life.

 

In His service….   TimothyPaul

QUESTION: Are you battling one of these negative thoughts? How have you learned to manage it? Leave me a comment below!


Happily ever after isn’t the point of marriage.

Category : Uncategorized

Happily ever after isn’t the point of marriage.

08/19/14 by

An excerpt from my book, Marriage Rebranded: Modern Misconceptions & the Unnatural Art of Loving Another Person. (Read time: 5 mins)

david-statue

 

The Michelangelo Effect.

As legend tells it, the story of Michelangelo and his sculpture of David has something to say to us about marriage.

As Michelangelo walked the art market, he passed a stone that had sat for some time, unwanted by anyone. Apparently several artists had tried to use the stone previously but found it had too many veins to produce anything of value. As Michelangelo walked by this rejected rock, he claims the stone spoke to him saying that David was inside of it. As he inquired about its price, the shop owner gave him the stone for free—simply wanting to free up space for a more sellable piece.

Michelangelo used the friction between his chisel and the rock to chip away—piece by piece—at this “useless” stone. Michelangelo didn’t sculpt like other sculptors. No, he didn’t believe he was creating something from nothing. Instead, he believed his slow, deliberate chiseling actually liberated what was already inside of the stone. He saw beautiful figures beneath the surface and considered it his responsibility as an artist to simply set them free.

Michelangelo described his unorthodox sculpting philosophy saying,

“Carving is easy. You just have to go down to the skin and stop.”

Two years of chiseling later, Michelangelo had set David free—and in the process, he sculpted this unlovely piece of rock into one of history’s most renowned pieces of art.

I think there’s more truth about marriage in this story than in most of our modern ideas about relationships. Marriage isn’t, in fact, our gateway to happily ever after. It’s more like a chisel in Divine hands. And though there’s plenty of friction involved, it’s designed to chip away at all the dysfunction in our lives and free the beautiful statues inside.

Interestingly, the Bible seems to agree with this picture that Michelangelo’s carving philosophy offers us. In fact, if you’re ever wondering who you can blame for this chiseling sensation in your marriage, Adam—the first human in the Bible—is your guy.

A healing fire.

It all started when the first human on earth decided to name his wife after a hazardous chemical reaction.

After having just been introduced to the only other human being on earth, he says, “She shall be called ishshah—woman, because she was taken out of ish—man.”

Ish and ishshah. I assume that though they have a certain ring to them, these won’t be topping your list of names for future kids. Even so, they paint a picture about marriage that answers many of our modern questions.

To start, both words are derived from the root word and Hebrew character esh, which means fire.

This means that the original word picture we have for the relationship between a man and a woman is an all-consuming, tireless-in-nature, potentially hazard-creating fire. And though this picture lends itself to the modern concept of heated romance or passionate love, the Bible consistently points to a different purpose of fire.

Fire happens to be one of the Bible’s primary metaphors for purification and personal development.

Jesus promised us, for example, that “everyone will be salted with fire.”

God points to the purpose of fire when He says, “I will put [them] into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver.”

King David, too, alludes to the intention of fire when he reflects in the Psalms, “We went through fire and through water, yet you brought us out into a place of abundance.”

It would seem that the relationship between two spouses—fire—as depicted by biblical accounts, is a source of personal refinement, designed to play a significant role in one’s process of growth and maturity. But hang with me—the biblical picture gets better.

In the New Testament, Paul the apostle goes on to compare love in marriage to the love Jesus showed humanity. He says (emphasis mine):

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her [literally, purify her internally by the reformation of her soul], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, . . . having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

This idea was beautifully expressed in a recent Orthodox Christian wedding we attended. During the ceremony, they acknowledged that Jesus did everything He did—including death on a tree—for our salvation. Then the priest looked at the couple and, borrowing Paul’s comparison of marriage to Jesus’ love, said,

You’ve been given to one another for the other’s salvation.” Not salvation in the sense that only-Jesus-can-save, the priest clarified, but the kind of salvation that’s alluded to by the original Greek word Soteria— meaning one’s holistic healing, deliverance, and prosperity.

What a beautiful picture of marriage.

Marriage is actually about you and your spouse’s holistic healing, deliverance, prospering, and growth. And similar to our former picture from Michelangelo, the Bible alludes to this unnatural relationship as a sort of tool in Divine hands to help us become increasingly beautiful—increasingly our best and brightest selves.

Happiness < Beauty.

So what about this modern idea of happily ever after? Does it have a place or do we abandon the idea altogether to embrace the refining fire of marriage?

Not at all. Happiness is a very real result of a healthy marriage. Even modern social research shows that marriage historically offers more happiness than singleness or divorce.

However, as we’ve seen from Michelangelo, Adam, and Paul, happiness is not the primary goal of your marriage. Becoming more beautiful by becoming your best self—more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, faithful, gentle, self-controlled—is the goal.

Marriage—like fire—can be an all-consuming and potentially painful substance. But also like a fire, it can refine us. And like a chisel liberating the figures inside of a rock, as it would seem, marriage is a tool that the Divine uses to make us beautiful.

Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, the authors of Intimate Allies, explain this paradox well:

“Marriage is where depravity is best exposed . . . and because it, more than any other relationship, bears more potential to draw our hearts to heaven, it can more readily give us a taste of hell.”

I know that marriage can be one of the more challenging things we experience in life. And I know that at times, it demands far more than we feel we can give. I know there are moments when walking away seems like the only sane and rational thing to do. Yet I also know that marriage multiplies what we can become—both as individuals and as couples.

Marriage, even though it will introduce us to some of life’s most arduous moments, has brilliant intentions in mind. It’s unapologetically interested in chipping away at our dysfunctional thoughts, patterns, and postures in life and inviting us—and our spouses—to become the best version of ourselves.

When we remember this brilliant intention to liberate us—the beautiful statues trapped within our own mess—we begin to see a hopeful view of the relationship, even in its darkest times.

This vision of marriage takes the expectation off of our spouses to make us happy and recreates the expectation that our marriage exists to help us grow.

MR-manicon2

It exchanges our goal of happiness for the far more valuable goal of wholeness. It turns our focus from personal fulfillment to mutual personal development.

*This is an excerpt of Marriage Rebranded: Modern Misconceptions & the Unnatural Art of Loving Another Person. Buy your copy of the book here.

 

 

http://www.tylerwardis.com/happily-ever-after-isnt/


“My God, how did I get here?”

Category : Uncategorized

“My God, how did I get here?”

I often see Jeremiah 29:11 quoted as one of people’s favorite verses. It always makes me wonder if they continued reading on. It’s a conditional verse, as are many in the Word of God.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11‬ NLT)

Yes, The Lord does give us hope and a future. But it is based on the verse following verse 11. It is a call to action. When you pray, the Lord will listen; if you look “wholeheartedly”, you will find me.

One of the reasons I enjoy working with clients on their temperaments is because it is an action that brings them closer to God. It is a choice to find out who God designed them to be at their core.

That’s a pretty cool concept isn’t it. If you want to be living God’s will for your life, you have to know who you are supposed to be. We have all suffered many set backs and traumas in our life that define who we are today, not who God designed us to be.

Many of us today are struggling; losing families, jobs, health and a myriad of difficulties and then sit there saying “My God, how did I get here?”

Think of the implication of verse 14. When God tells us He will bring us to “your own land” isn’t He promising us the peace and contentment we feel when we are comfortable in who we are? God designed you for a purpose. When you live for that purpose you don’t wonder “How did I get here”, you wonder what took so long.

“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11-14‬ NLT)

In His service…
TimothyPaul


When Opportunity Knocks

WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

August 9

Read Esther 4:1-17, James 1:5–8

Adapted from In the Gap by Wilfredo De Jesús

 

A crisis can confuse us or it can clear the cobwebs and help us think more clearly. Esther had a background of faith, but she lived in a pagan world. As queen of Persia, she had much to lose: beauty, wealth, and power. The plight of her people, though, shattered her illusions. She realized she could no longer live simply for herself.

She realized the risks. She told Mordecai, “If I perish, I perish.” She was willing to lay everything on the line for the Jewish people, no matter the cost. This was her time, her moment, her God-given purpose. She may previously have had selfish desires, but now her only desire was to rescue her people.

We might say, “Well that was then; this is now. We don’t live in ancient Persia or first-century Palestine. We don’t have a king. Things are different.”

Yes, on the surface things are different, but human nature has not changed. People are just as selfish, just as divided in their loyalties, just as evil, and just as victimized as they were twenty or twenty-five centuries ago.

People in trouble need others who, like Mordecai and Esther, have the courage to stand in the gap and take action.

All of us have defining moments. Sometimes they come and go in an instant, so we must be ready. More often, we have more time—either to respond with wisdom and courage or to make excuses and walk away.

If you’re not sure how to respond to a situation, James, Jesus’ half-brother, has this advice:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:5–8).

Look around. Do you see people in trouble? You stand at a crossroad—between someone in desperate need and God’s desire to use you. The situation, the timing, and the opportunity didn’t happen by chance. You’re there by the providence of God. You have an incredible opportunity. So take advantage of it. This is your time. You can make a difference.

From “My Healthy Church”

TimothyPaul, LPC

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Mankinds Need for Intimacy

Category : For Men , For Women , Thoughts

Mankinds Need for Intimacy

Jack and Trisha Frost

 

One of our greatest weaknesses is our inability to admit need. If we do not realize we have need of something, then we will not pursue it. We will not make it a priority and a driving force in our life. Think what it is like trying to find or give a gift to someone who has no need of anything. Yet because the Father loves so much He continues to try.

Many people today (even Christians) do not acknowledge their deep, God-given need for intimacy. Intimacy is a willingness to know and be known by others. We are living in a season when God is trying to intimately express His love to us but many do not realize their need for it. “Just let me get saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, flow in the power of God, be anointed, be healed, be provided for, have a ministry, be successful. I really dont see what all the fuss is about with this intimacy stuff!” That is what the prodigal son thought. Initially, he only valued the Father for what He could do for him (give me, give me, give me), not for a relationship of love and intimacy.

For many of us, love means pain. Those who have spoken the words to us, “I love you”, seem to be the ones who have hurt and betrayed us the most. Others, who raised us and should have daily used healing words, never or rarely did. Then there were those who used words of love but only when we performed correctly or lived up to their rigid standards. Some people said they loved us in order to get all of their needs met, they used us up and threw us away like dirty rags.

No wonder so many people do not recognize or pursue their need for intimacy! We have hardened our hearts and conditioned our minds to believe that intimacy is something only a few weak people need. It is so easy to justify our lack of intimacy by thinking, “I wasnt raised that way. I had to be independent and self-reliant. Thats what it takes to succeed. If anything is going to be done right, Id better do it myself. You cant trust people. People will only hurt you. Ill not risk being hurt again. Im no fool.”

This type of thinking actually is rooted in fear and fear is rooted in pride. It often hinders us from experiencing intimacy in the Fathers love and with others. Pride is more concerned with what people think than with what God thinks. Pride is actually a fear of man. It is a fear of someone being able to hurt or have power over us. It cuts off the flow of intimacy. We start building walls of self-protection and become a “news, sports, weatherman” (a superficial person who lets no one in). In Christian circles, pride often leads us to surrounding ourselves with religious language, duty, and activity. Intimacy then becomes something of which we feel we have no need. Then we never seem to find rest, security, or a place of comfort. We are left feeling like spiritual orphans and have to harden our hearts further and perform more so we can cover up the feelings of emptiness or pain.

True intimacy involves great faith, risk, and discomfort because of the word that I have found most people do not like: SUBMIT!!! Love and intimacy are something we have to submit to before we can receive them. We are willing to receive salvation. We are willing to receive the Holy Spirit. But few are willing to submit to love because love means pain to most folks. There seems to be a hidden trigger mechanism inside of us that activates each time someone gets too close, too real, too loving. This causes us to either shy away from intimacy and love or to try to work hard enough to earn them.

Wives know just what Im talking about. Most have been disappointed or wounded many times by their husbands when they draw too close to their husbands deepest feelings, only to have them harden their hearts or withdraw in anger. To submit to love and intimacy is a humiliating thing. It always involves humility. Humility is a willingness to be known for who we really are and then be willing to change whatever is not Christlike. Humility is rooted in love and is the opposite of pride. It involves faith, which is the opposite of fear. We can risk walking in intimacy only when we have faith that is rooted and grounded in the Fathers unconditional love for us.

?What Is Necessary For Me To Begin To Move Towards Deeper Intimacy?

First, you must become aware of your need for intimacy. Genesis 1:26 says that you were created in the image of God. 1 John 4:16 says that God is love. Gods image is love! Do you see your yourself as being created by love, and for love, in order to spend your days receiving the Fathers love so that you can give it away to your family and then His? “Love was not put into your heart to stay. Love is not love until it is given away!”

What is your image of yourself? Do you see yourself as a lover, one who is open, transparent, and shares intimately his emotions and feelings with family and friends? Do you see yourself as one in need of others in order to give away all of this love and intimacy you are experiencing in God? Or do you see yourself as independent, strongwilled, in need of no one. “Ill not let someone else in or they will hurt me again.”

Do you let people touch the deepest part of you, the tender and needy areas? Are you sensitive to others needs and seek to meet them? Or are you more concerned with your own needs, successes, and ministry? Do you only allow family and people to touch the surface, while the real you remains hidden behind masks and pretenses? “Light reveals. Darkness hides. Whenever you do anything or say anything to hide what you are or what you have done, that is darkness.” (The Calvary Road by Roy Hession) If I do not clearly see myself as a vessel of love and intimacy and choose to walk in it, then I am walking in darkness and will be insecure. I can only feel real security doing what I was created to do. Before I realized the need I had for intimacy I was very insecure. I covered it well with an appearance of self-confidence. I found my security in ministry. This is called counterfeit affection. Because my love need was not being met through intimacy with God and my wife, I had to compete with others for attention. I had a deep need for approval and felt devastated if I was not receiving it. I had to make a good impression on people. I had to appear successful in life and ministry. Fear of rejection, failure, and man became a constant companion. Outwardly, I appeared calm and all together but inwardly I was full of unrest, striving for acceptance and trying to find value through people. This left me feeling like a spiritual orphan, one who has no sense of comfort or security or rest.

For change to come, I had to first become like the prodigal. In the pigpen, he became aware of his need for intimate relationship with the Father. He only came to that point after he spent much of his life seeking love in all the wrong places. Pursuing security and identity in ministry and success had left me empty even though success had come my way. Three years ago I began to realize my deep need for intimacy with my wife but I felt too inadequate to give it. I had to pursue it in the Father first. Even though I online casino had spent years praying and in the Word two and three hours a day, I realized I really never knew Him because I was afraid to submit to love. Thus my passion had been for the recognition that ministry brought, not for deep, life-transforming intimacy and love.

Secondly, we must realize that our sense of value and self-worth is based upon our ability to love. The way we think about ourselves is how we think God thinks about us. If we are uncomfortable with ourselves we are uncomfortable with others. Therefore, we must find our self-worth in that for which God has created us – intimacy and love!

We see in Genesis 2:18 that it was not good for Adam to have intimacy with God alone.

So God gave Adam the ability to commune with nature and animals (vs. 19 & 20), yet Adam still was not secure and complete. God is helping Adam to become aware of his need for more than communion with God and nature. Man is becoming aware of his need for oneness with a woman. Until Adam saw this, he could not be trusted with a woman. Today, until men see their need for intimacy with God and family more than sports, nature, business, and ministry ? it is difficult for them to be trusted with a woman. They may use them, bruise them, and blame them for all the frustration and insecurity that comes when men do not find their value and self-worth in intimacy with their wives, God, and others.

Paul made it clear in Ephesians 5:25-28 that men will not love and value themselves until they begin to love, cherish, cleanse, heal, and restore their wives through intimacy. Until a man moves towards intimacy in relationships, he will be insecure and he will try to find his identity in the world or a religious system. If a man does not feel like he is the greatest husband on earth, his marriage is in trouble. He is not doing what God created him to do ? to be a lover who is full of passion and intimacy.

Show me in the Bible where it says that a woman is more equipped to love, to be sensitive, to feel, to express affection, to be tender, to walk in compassion, and to be caring. There are those who say that men live out of their mind and are task oriented while women are feelers and more relational. Weve embraced the lie as truth and we are in bondage to it. It has held men back from intimacy. Jesus was the greatest lover, feeler, and compassionate man that ever was on earth. He was sensitive to His brides every need. Men are to love their wives and others as Christ did. Christ lives in us and we have been empowered to walk in the love and intimacy and care that He did, if we so choose!

I chose three years ago to renounce the lie that Im not capable of love and intimacy. I had used the excuse for 43 years that I was not raised with that depth of expressed unconditional love and intimacy. I gave the responsibility over to my wife and it left her like an empty shell waiting to crack. Then I (unwillingly at first) received a revelation of love and I knew I must submit to Fathers love. I have been shocked at the changes that have taken place since I yielded to love and intimacy. I have never before felt more comfortable with myself. Ive been consumed with the Fathers love for me. I have accepted the commission to love my wife as Christ loved the church and sought to heal and restore her to His intimacy! I have become more comfortable with emotions, feelings, and affection! I now know it is my destiny! It is that for which I have been created! It is the image of God in which I have been created!

What if on the day of the great white throne judgment you are asked only one question? Jesus looks you in the eye and then speaks to your wife, “Did your husband love you as

I loved the church and gave My life for it?” What would her answer be? It is one thing for her to hear the words, “I love you!” It is another thing for her to believe it. If she does not believe it, maybe it is because you have looked for value, security, identity, and passion outside of the home. Then she never has been able to receive your love.? Therefore, she has been left uncovered, unprotected, and unhealed.

You can never stand before God and say, “I was never loved in my youth so I could not express love to others!” You cannot use this as an excuse because the Father has said to you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3) You have been loved but have you been willing to submit to it? His love is more powerful than all of your pain. All you have to do is to lower your walls, fears, and excuses and yield to love and intimacy. When you begin to do so, you will be surprised how easily love transforms you.

It is against the laws of nature and creation for you not to walk in love and intimacy. It is the most natural thing in life you can do when you submit to love. You are created in Gods image of love. You are made for love and intimacy! It is your destiny! You have been created as a gift of love to this world! As you yield more deeply to the Fathers love, it will flow through your spirit, and you will begin to supply your family and the world with love and intimacy! The world will never be the same again!

In the Fathers love,

Jack & Trisha Frost

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