The Destructive Voice of Unresolved Pain

Unresolved pain, if given a voice can proof to be destructive.  I remember before I got married, I received what was intended to be some well-meaning advice from a woman I barley knew. Her husband had cheated on her multiple times. She told me I should keep my bank account separate from my soon to be husband…just in case.  This advice came from a place of unresolved pain.  Her lack of forgiveness gave her pain a greater voice.  For the record, here I am 17 years later, and I am so glad I did not take heed to her council.

It is so easy to view life and give council from the lenses of past and present pains.  We can miss the valuable lessons that are taught by pain if we choose to hold on to how it felt instead of focusing on the beauty it could produce IF GIVEN TO JESUS. When giving counsel about working out, most trainers don’t focus on the pain, they instead tell you about the progress that will come as a result of the pain.  They tell you how many pounds you will lose, how your physique will be changed for the better, the increased energy, the quality of sleep, etc.  They highlight the positive end results.

I have had to really stop and think about some conversations that I have had recently to make sure that what I share comes from a place of purity instead of a place of unresolved pain.  If we stay stuck in our pain, we will speak with a voice of anger, resentment, and fear when counseling others.  This is something to pause and consider because our council if heeded, can change the course of someone’s destiny. That’s heavy!

The truth is, we will experience pain in life, but we can’t wallow in it.  We must be sure to immediately bring it to the feet of Jesus.  Depending on how deep the cut, we may have to bring it to Him more than once as we walk the road to healing.  If the pain is given to Jesus, when you open your mouth to council, you will speak with wisdom that is laced with love instead of venom. Food for thought.

Be Blessed

Anika

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[ato proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Blessed Are The Peacemakers. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” It is necessary to explain why peace is needed before one can understand the job of a peacemaker. Sin separated us from a Holy God. However, Romans 5:1 reminds us that the work of Jesus Christ on the cross made reconciliation with God possible. The blood of Jesus allows us to be at peace with God the Father. Since I have been reconciled to the Father and I am at peace with Him, I am now called to bring that same peace to others (2 Corinthians 5:18). Simply put, being a peacemaker means that I bring the good news of salvation to a dying and confused world. Peacemakers are reconcilers. They pray with great fervency for revival to break out in the land and for the hearts of people to be turned to God.

Peacemakers will often offend those who are in sin because they speak the truth of God’s word. That truth is sharp and powerful and goes straight to the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Those who choose to continue in sin will never receive the peacemakers. However, rejected truth is still true!
There is so much chaos going on in the world and the root of it all is sin. Well-meaning individuals employ different strategies to accomplish world peace. However, world peace can NEVER happen through human plans, it can only be accomplished through the blood of Jesus. Good actions and legislations cannot bring lasting peace, only an acceptance of the finished work of Christ on the cross can do that. Rejecting Jesus is rejecting peace. Afterall, He is called the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6.

Oh, that the church will arise and embrace the call to be peacemakers!

Be Blessed

Anika

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart Part 2. Mathew 5 Bible Study

I love the promise in Mathew 5:8 that the pure in heart will see God.  This seeing is not limited to when we see Him face to face for all eternity.  This seeing also refers to the connection, the closeness, the sense of intimacy with God that is gained when our hearts are pure.  I love how Psalm 24:3-4 puts it, “ Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?  Only those whose hands and hearts are pure.” When you have a pure heart, you see God so clearly.  He reveals His truth to you when you are studying His word.  Purity of heart opens the door for you to sit at the table as a member of the family and feast on the bread of life.   He floods you with His presence and you “see” Him show up on your behalf and shower you with mercy and grace.  It’s also worth mentioning that trouble and difficulty are tools that God uses to bring our hearts to a place of purity.  The fire of difficulties serves as a spiritual detox. Impurities rise to the surface in the fire, and we are able to be purified. I encourage you not to shun the idea of difficulty because it gives you clearer vision to see God.

Be Blessed

Anika

 

 

 

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart Part 1. Mathew 5 Bible Study

Mathew 5:8 states, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
When we think of purity we think of something without blemish.  However, purity of heart is not about being perfect, it is about being consistent and sincere in my pursuit of the one who will continue the work of perfecting me until the day of His return (Philippians 1:6).  This was a hard truth for me to understand because I have a natural bent to please, especially those in authority.  I recently had an ugly cry session with God and I was repenting and felt so broken over the wrong attitude that I had the previous day. I felt like I disappointed Him.  God gently reminded me that my willingness to not make excuses or be comfortable with my sinful behavior the previous day is what makes my heart pure.  I had to pause and really soak in such an affirming truth from my father.  As long as we live in the flesh, the pure in heart will make mistakes BUT they are quick to humble themselves and repent of their sins.  They are more grieved that they sinned against God and are not just sorry because of the consequences that follow. The pure in heart do not abuse the grace of God and use it as an excuse to keep on sinning. Instead, they use grace as a stepping stool to be delivered from sin.

Purity of heart speaks to inner purity.  It’s a heart that is dedicated to God, one that seeks to please Him, a heart that is honest, and fully devoted to Him. A pure heart is one that says, “I don’t care what man thinks of me, I only want to please you, my allegiance is to you, and it is not divided.” Their constant song is that of the psalmist in Psalm 51:10, “create in me a clean heart and purify me.”

We must resist the temptation to be like the Pharisees who were more concerned about looking good on the outside.  Jesus calls them out  in Mathew 23:27 and tells them they are like whitewashed tombs-beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sort of impurity.  He goes on to say in verse 28, “you try to look like upright people outwardly but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  OUCH! Jesus uses such language of disdain, but this lets us know how serious He is about us pursuing purity of heart.

Let us pray and pursue purity of heart!

Be Blessed

Anika

1 Minute No Bake Sugar Free Coconut Dessert

I enjoy cooking. Baking? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t enjoy desserts.  On the contrary, I love them, which sometimes get me in trouble, but that is another story for another day.  Baking can feel so tedious and leaves little room for mistakes.  Have you ever put too much baking soda in a baking recipe before?  Don’t ask me how I know, but the end result is disgusting and unfixable-yes that is a word.  I accidentally made up this recipe when I decided to significantly reduce my sugar intake.  This recipe was birth from sheer desperation for a guilt free treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth and not take a long time to prepare.

If you are lover of coconut, quick recipes, and despise the side effects of eating too much sugar then this is for you.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

1 Minute No Bake Sugar Free Coconut Dessert

2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut chips or shredded coconut

1 tsp Fiber Yum

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

Ps- it probably will take more time to say the name of the recipe than the time it takes to actually make it.  What can I say, I am a word girl.

 

 

 

New Season

And just like that I have entered into a new season of life.   A lot has changed.

My husband and I started a new church plant.

My firstborn is in high school and my youngest is in Kindergarten. The conversations I have to have with both of them blows me away.

I am hearing God in a way that I have never heard Him before and what  He tells me is not always comfortable or convenient.

I am being challenged to steward my gifts well and be intentional about pursuing what God has placed inside of me.  No more holding back, no more excuses.

I must confess that I am still trying to find my rhythm for my new NOW.  Trying to operate the way I did a few months ago just makes everything off key.    I like comfort and I like having a routine.  But the longer I live, the more I realize that seasons are constantly changing and if I insist on holding on to what is familiar,  I will remain stuck.    I have been experiencing a strange and uncomfortable tension.  I have cried a few times because this is all so unfamiliar to me, and so uncomfortable.  But at the same time I long for the New that God is doing in my NOW.  It’s  a strange, beautiful, painful, giddy kind of thing that is going on inside of me.  I am being stretched…yet again!

Yes, I have moments of frustration but it is undeniable that  I, we, were wired for continuous growth.  Growth requires a willingness to embrace change, to embrace the unfamiliar and become uncomfortable.  I have heard that comfort can become a death sentence-death to dreams and purpose. I am a life kind of girl so I am choosing to say yes to the change, yes to the unfamiliar, yes to discomfort, yes to the growing pains.

In this season I ask you to pray for me as I embrace growth!  How about you,  are you in a new season, and how have you been responding to the change?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven