Friday, May 19, 2017

ACCOUNTABILITY Partners

Think about why professional athletes need coaching? To stay on top of their game, they MUST be accountable to someone who knows their strengths and weaknesses. A mentor or coach builds a relationship of TRUST while expecting a positive mental attitude, a physical exercise routine, and a team spirit. Improved performance comes from a person dedicated to a team, and to what the coach demands. Inside an effective mentor/coach relationship, both parties are acutely aware of strengths and weaknesses. Corrections are sandwiched with encouragements in order to increase ones potential spiritually, physically or financially. WHO you are in Christ, is what makes you set apart, for His purposes.  WHAT lies ahead will always be a mystery,  Trust God, do NOT be afraid.  WHEN temptation haunts you, speak aloud God's word to destroy and banish the voice that is NOT from God.  WHERE there are choices to make, make the one that honors God.  You will never regret that decision.  WHY things happen will never be certain. Hold on to your FAITH in God, and in His plan for you.  Before you enter into such a dynamic growing relationship with God, and your special accountability partner of choice... it is wise to ask yourself these important questions and write out the answers: Where have I been? Where am I going physically, spiritually and emotionally? IF I do not change
my habits, my ways...where will I be in 3 years? In five years?  For things to change I must change...my thoughts, my ways, my habits. A good mentor/accountability partner will know IF you are being honest, and IF you are not, they will be the SALT and LIGHT you need and call you on your stuff.  Taking a moral inventory requires us to be authentically honest with ourself and then to our accountability partner. We MUST place our HOPE in GOD and NOT in our mate, our sponsor, our accountability partner.  REMEMBER this TRUTH:  People will fail you.  Your expectations will not always be met.  Your heart will be broken by people, NOT GOD.  Only GOD is consistently GOOD and only His plan never fails.  We MUST choose to TRUST GOD, no matter how often our plans fail.  We MUST commit to NOT quit, no matter how many times our circumstances shift away from what we WANT.  What we NEED is different than what we WANT.  We will face trials and a CRISIS of BELIEF along our journey.  We will be required to make adjustments in our thinking to follow God's plan to prosper us. People MUST give themselves a check up from the neck up.  "EXAMINE MY MIND and HEART O' GOD and reveal to me anything in my thinking, in my ways that does NOT honor You."   AMEN!  The relationship with any accountability partner is based on TRUST.  Both must agree that whatever is shared, stays private. All information shared is honored as sacred. Our coach has the right to call us on our hesitations, and our excuses. Introspection keeps our motives pure and keeps us in the growing mode. After all, doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results defines INSANITY. Patience and commitment are critical in order to grow. Remember if you are not growing, your are decaying. Leaders read and they journal where they are physically, spiritually and mentally. Open, honest communication with self and your mentor is essential. It requires sharing feelings, thoughts, new ideas and changes. Select someone you admire and respect and schedule a time to ASK THEM to be your mentor. A "getting to know you" meeting will take at least two hours. One sitting for rapport and trust building is NOT sufficient, but it is a great start. Being straightforward and transparent will be in your best interest. Eventually you and your mentor can write a simple agreed contract which includes regular monthly/or weekly meetings. Prior to this mentor meeting make a list of where you feel you need encouragement and help. This will become a working document for you and your mentor, which can be revised and changed over time. It will give your mentor a guideline and a view of you, providing accountability and a record of your progress. Family members and friends may NOT be considered the best mentors as many have a pre-conceived idea of what you are capable of. Some of our biggest cheerleaders and critics have been family members. If you are looking to develop a model in which to measure growth, make lifestyle changes, or even be transformed by the renewing of your mind and spirit, it is suggested to find someone who is older than yourself and someone who has already achieved what your are hoping to obtain. Someone with the same energy level, someone who shares similar interests, someone who you will look forward to spending time with. Accountability partners can be sought for accelerated learning, increasing faith, improving a skill, or developing a hobby such as, photography, gardening, fishing, golfing,
arts, or exercise. Your carefully chosen accountability partner will be there to listen, pray for you, and offer suggestions for a change. You will be the one who will need to keep the communication line open and make changes as they fit in your life. Your mentor will be the one who will question your motives and challenge your complaints. Good questions to be asked are: "How are you going to handle that?" or "What would you do?"  "When do you plan to execute your firm decision?"  Coaches draw on their past experiences and share their expertise, however, the ultimate decision you make is all up to you.  You will always be responsible for your choices, good or bad. Meet together once a month, or twice a week. Decide and agree on the first Wednesday of the month or agree according to what feels comfortable for all concerned.  Make it enjoyable and celebrate your growth together.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Barb of Bright Fables

Recently I have bathed my mind in the wonderfully written pages of Anne of Green Gables.  My imagination swells with a kindred spirit to Anne as I embrace her wordy, colorful visions. As her uninhibited tongue renames anything that impresses her as "royally beautiful", she delights to describe with specific words, that which gives glory to her soul's response to God's magnificent creation.  The "White Way of Delight" is how she proclaimed the wonderfully silent, yet vivid impression she received when Matthew quietly drove her through the Avenue. "It's the first thing I ever saw that could not be improved upon by my imagination!"  We too are on a journey, in a physical buggy, best driven by the Holy Spirit...to a place of peace and eternal rest..that also cannot be improved upon by our imagination...our heavenly home. "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.  And the One who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A
rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne." Revelation 4:1-4  --- It seems quite possible that the Author of our souls knows how beauty implores us to respond in praise! God's living Word gives us a glorious indescribable glimpse of His impact, His brilliance and His promise to us as He calls us to "Come up here, and I will show you"...the unmatched beauty and magnificent sounds of what our eternal home, in His presence will be like. Anne of Green Gables, Barb of Bright Fables and YOU were created to joyfully worship our faithful Father, our generous King, our powerful God for Who He is and for all that He promises us. In this life as I drive down the Libremento to it's end in Ajijic, the amber-brushed hillsides on both sides of the road
are like hands applauding Lake Chapala's graceful shifting landscape.  A beach receding that is flush with ethereal shades of green bobbings and a body of water that shimmers incandescently under a rainbo colored sky. Anne would certainly call Chapala's big translucent pond "the Lake of Shining Waters". Lakeside is a little valley that is saturated with God's creative handiwork. Wistfully and eagerly I thank my Lord for His shining light of guidance, provision and promise. Oh my heavens Jesus, my mind is raptured into silent reverence as I consider ALL what You have prepared for those who love You. A Word that fits: Halleluiah!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Secure Housing

The Eternal housing Act protects people from eternal discrimination or condemnation while they are living, dying or clinically dead.  They are secured for eternal housing in heaven.  The prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, doctrinal interpretations, sex, disability, the type of baptism (sprinkle or immersion) the lack of a marriage contract, or the presence of children. Eternal Housing is your right as a child of God. If you think your rights for Eternal Housing have been violated,
the Holy Spirit is ever present to help.  Simply call on the name of Jesus and make your claim known. You must state your case as a sinner living in a world of hurt and ask for divine intervention. HUD otherwise known as the Holy Understanding Department will enforce mercy as it extends forgiveness to all inquiring parties.  HUD has a statutory obligation to ensure that individuals are not subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or the offense, or sin committed. Authority to dispense grace, mercy and forgiveness of all sins and offenses is authorized under the human race civilian act of Jesus dying on the cross in 29 AD.  It has never been amended as God never changes.  The Eternal Housing Act is a reliable resource to secure your future eternally! Unlike the Fair Housing Act, justice is served to every individual who applies.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Word Fast

Ahhh, let me hear you say "outstanding!"  Or tickle my ear with "that sounds marvelous!" Increase my joy by replying "what fun!" Fascinate me by your interest in the tale I told. "What a blessing that must have been!"  "We have two ears, and one mouth....let us listen more, and speak more about "their" positive impact, "their" value, and less about me, me, me. Why not ask more questions, and listen intently? Let us not minimize "their" experience with one of our own. Simply remark on how you perceive the potential THEY have to be a mighty force, a great
blessing to others!  The Holy Spirit dwells within each beleiver. He is just waiting to be asked to take hold of our tongues so that we can speak more blessings!  "Are you listening to what the Spirit is saying?"  We are exhorted to "LISTEN" many times in God's Word. Examine yourself: Does the content of my mind and heart show up on my face as a smile or a scowl?  Are you baffled by doors that have been closed to you? Do people seek to be around you? Are you a light?  Do you consider IF your complaints
about people in authority, or about innocent strangers..."IF"you are pleasing God, or those that hear the complaint? Or do you simply voice whatever runs through your mind without the filter of considering God's purpose? Do you resist changing your pattern of thinking and speaking?  Why? Are your thoughts superior to God's? While observing God's beloved people, are you judging them by asking "Why would anybody say that, or do that?" As Jesus hears every thought, if we remain surrendered to the Holy Spirit, He might respond "Only God knows the motives of man's heart and that we all fall short and need grace."  Are you easily irritated by perpetually optimistic people? Does your level of contentment depend on who wins the game, the race, the election?  Do you grumble when plans change? Do you automatically issue mercy because you have received much?  Do you seek opportunities to encourage?
Do you look for what is GOOD in your spouse, in the White House, your team or the church and speak it? Are you quick to inject a compliment or a complaint? Are you inclined to defend your ways, your thoughts, your actions, your opinions?  Do you listen with both ears and an open mind?  Are you quick to point out the good, the better way when in the midst of chaos? Can you admit that you miss the moment in front of you as you reminisce about the way it used to be?  Will you agree or deny the scripture that paints the picture of a man’s stinking thinking? “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.” Mark 7:20-23  For our heavenly Father is fully aware of our secret criticisms. Inside every Christian, the Holy Spirit abides, and He is there to help us be purified of all that defiles us. Can you agree that sarcastic humor is just as wicked, or as sinful as profanity or murder?  It is foolishness to deceive ourselves... and pride fully deny... that a critical spirit is not of God.   Lord, in the name of Jesus,  help us heed Your calling for our hearts to be transformed as we put on the mind of Christ.  Wash our minds and uproot  
the deep pockets of judgment that reside in our hearts.   Give us eyes to see what You see in others. A living hope, a holy restoration and the ongoing sanctification through the completed work of our Lord Jesus.  Help us to look and find the good in every situation, in each encounter You set before us.  Help us to control our tongues and speak words that will edify and encourage those You place in our path.  “Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.” Psalm 101:5  To the glory of God, and for His good purpose, as we relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ, it is vitally important that we become a love covering for another believers inappropriate actions or words.  1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because 
LOVE covers a multitude of sins”  This truth instructs us to recognize that if we gossip about a wrong choice, or a worldly way in another, we are exposing faults and uncovering them. When we tear down instead of lift up, we are choosing to sin against God's will that we love one another, forgive one another, and issue grace to one another...just as He loves, forgives and issues grace and mercy to us....daily. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2   A dysfunctional Christian justifies his complaining, sarcastic humor, negativity and criticisms.  Jesus taught that there is no middle ground between the kingdom of heaven and the world we live in. “Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.” Matthew 12:30  Our judgments’ produce misery and the chronic critic reaps what he sows.  “Yet I will show you a more excellent way” 1 Corinthians 12:31  The polar opposite of a life spent in judgment, criticism, sarcasm and
bitterness is a life filled with complete joy and contentment.  “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 The NEW creation, is NOT a negative person, but a positive, joy filled, peaceful person who identifies with the freedom of Christ Paul had while in prison.  We are either praising God in all circumstances, or we are whining and complaining!  To live “in Me” as I am “in you” is to live in gratitude and contentment.  “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the WILL of GOD in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thess 5:16  Choose to look for whatever is noble, noteworthy or good in every situation, everyday.
Choose to draw people to the Love, Light and Joy that lives inside you.
Choose to rehearse or filter every thought before it exits your lips.
Choose your words intentionally to inspire, uplift and transform.
Choose words that saturate the receiver’s soul with love.
Choose words that cause the hearing face to light up.
Choose words that cause good feelings to emerge into a smile.
Choose to be methodical not mechanical in your praises.
This word picture goes perfectly with our 40 day word fast challenge. We cannot accomplish fasting on negative, pessimistic thinking and broadcasting without our indwelt Holy Helper.  Lord help us hold our tongue.  Help us listen with genuine interest and not just wait for a pause just so we can share our experiences.  Help us intentionally choose words that will uplift, acknowledge, and encourage.  Help us glorify Your plan for the world as we speak Kingdom language. Forgive us for any secretly held thoughts of criticism, judgment, malice or unforgiveness.  Amen ---- "The Forty-Day Word Fast" by Tim Cameron

Sunday, May 7, 2017

OLD FUDDY DUDDY

In 1884 Mark Twain's first lines of Huck Finn read: "You don't know about me without readin a book by the name of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by a Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly.” Mr. Twain thought highly of his intellect, even boasting that he told the truth mainly. One of his readers, a Miss Olivia Langdon attended church twice weekly and she was a devoted Christian when Mark Twain came to court her in the 1800's.  As Mark was a well known outspoken critic of religion, Olivia's parents were openly disgruntled when she accepted Mark's proposal of marriage. The young woman believed that by association her husband's heart would soften towards Jesus. Soon after they wed, Mark took part in family prayers and Bible reading. However, over time, Mark Twain's skepticism about matters of faith, hardened his heart and eventually, his wife changed, and also withdrew from her beliefs. He was quoted to say this to his young wife:
"Livy, you may keep this up if you want to, but I must ask you to excuse me from it. It is making me a hypocrite. I do not believe in the Bible; it contradicts my reason." Time passes and Livy becomes depressed over a friends death. Her husband encourages her "Livy, why don't you lean on your Christian faith, certainly that will help you get past your grief." Olivia replies "I can't Mark, I haven't any." God is not an old fuddy duddy when He warns us to not marry those who do not share faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Read Genesis 1:1-27 and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth and give you understanding of what our Creator, Redeemer, Spirit is saying in regard to our relationship to the ONE GOD.  The Amplified Bible reads: "God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of
July 2014 in Sonora
God He created him; male and female He created them."  God said "let us" --- Who was in the "us"? The King James Version of the Bible: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness
Let us not rely on our intellect to interpret God's living Word, but let us be wise and ask the Holy Spirit to give us understanding.  "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth....and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." Gen 1:2 NIV ~ And God said....and His Spirit filled living Word created all that there is. God expects us to believe in the full Deity, Power and Authority of His Godhead. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with ALL wisdom and understanding. And He made known to us the MYSTERY of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment---to bring ALL things in heaven and earth together under ONE head, even Christ." Ephesians 1:7-10 What God says about His Son when He brought His first-born into the world, God said, "In the beginning, O Lord, You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.  They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment....
but You remain the same, and Your years will never end." Hebrews 1:10 NIV ~ "Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the Builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself."  Hebrews 3:3 ~ The Lord's most beloved disciple wrote these Holy Spirit filled words "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1 --- God said the Word was God, and that He, the Word was with God in the beginning.  God also said "He was in the world, and though the world was MADE through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him."  John 1:10 --- God came face to face with Mark Twain and even as Mark read these words in the Bible, Mark did not recognize Jesus as God, and Mark chose his REASON over the wisdom of God found in the holy scriptures.  Let us not make the same mistake as Mark Twain and deny or profane the Name of God.
"He has a name written on Him that no one but He Himself knows.  He is dressed in a robe dripped in blood and His name is the Word of God." Revelation 9:12-13 ~ As humans who attend church, pray and worship, we will remain empty and wanting unless we return to God, our Father, Jesus our Lord, and submit to His ever present Holy Spirit. God said "I am in Him, He is in Me, and you are "in Christ".  We are not separate when we accept what God says as the ultimate Truth.  Mark Twain relied on what he thought, his human reasoning, and without the Holy Spirit, unfortunately, Mark and his wife were led astray and failed to "get it", to understand Who Jesus Christ is. Jesus is the Word of God, He spoke as God and created the world.