It is NOT too late. Honest.

Here is a shift in perspective for you. A shift that powers down a particular attack of the evil one. First, how many of you have had distressing thoughts about time running out? How many of you have agonized over the thought that you are too old and its too late in life for you to be useful in the kingdom of God? How many of you are sad because you desperately wish that the truth you understand now is something you had understood back then (when you were younger)?You can put your hands down.

Here is what the enemy is up to. He is pressing your buttons in order to get a painful emotional response from you: disappointment, regret, anger, self-hatred, shame and so on. Why does he bother pushing your buttons? He wants to suck down the life energy that flows from your heart when you are miserable (Proverbs 4:23).This “energy”—for lack of a less New Agey word—has been measured by scientists who call themselves neurocardiologists. Neurocardiologists call this negative energy emitted by the heart when a person feels upset a discordant heart sine. Let me suggest that this energy is what the adversary is seeking to devour. Consider that he is cut off from the life of God and stripped of all power. From where does he get life and power?

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

These same neurocardiologists call the harmonious heart beat that results when a person is at peace or grateful or in awe of something amazing and beautiful a coherent heart sine.

I have set the Lord continually before me … Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. Psalm 16:8-9

Let me suggest that the evil one is NOT able to prey upon the positive energy produced by a heart at peace. What does this have to do with the painful belief that the time you have left on earth is too little and too late? Let me answer that question.

Such thoughts about the meaning and purpose of your life being over are not God’s thoughts. They are a ruse by the devil to produce in you the distressing emotions that result in negative energy.

This prophecy came forth in Little Church a few meetings back. The one prophesying saw an old car on the side of the road and buried in weeds. From the look of things, this car was never going to be useful again, but then the motor roared to life (after a few cranks of the key) and a tow truck with a huge hook arrived and pulled that old car back onto the road. Here is the gist of the words prophesized:

You thought it was over. That you have been sidelined because you are old and useless, but that is not true. This car may be an Old-s-mobile, that was abandoned on the side of the road, but now it is a priceless antique, a showpiece, restored and ready to go.Don’t be fooled by that roaring lion. God knew from the beginning the course of your life. If you have a day left on this earth, rejoice and follow the Lord. If you have 60 years left, rejoice and follow the Lord. Don’t let time sit on the throne of your life.

Let’s pray: 
Father, God, Creator of heaven and earth and time. Forgive me for listening to the lies of the devil. He tricked me into focusing on time instead of You. Whatever time on earth I have left Lord, doesn’t matter. Help me follow You. In the beautiful and majestic name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray.

(To learn more about Neurocardiology and the research that supports their findings, go to https://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart/details/).

Hugs and blessings, 
Susan
205.556.4555 (Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of spammers).

Send me your emails.
thepool@thepoolministries.org 
I love getting them.

If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate. 
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Can You Love God & Be Really Mad At Him Too?

Asking for a friend

So, here is the question. Can I love God and be really mad at Him too? Is it even safe to voice that question out loud where other Christians can hear me? Since it probably isn’t safe to voice that question, let me qualify it by explaining the kind of rage I am talking about. I am NOT talking about the rage of an infant left squalling in a crib for too long. If you are an infant, you should feel rage when your needs are not met in a loving and appropriate way. Screaming your lungs out because your needs are being ignored is age-appropriate behavior when you are little.

It is not age-appropriate behavior when you are 40. At some point in your adult life, God expects you to get out of the crib and use that free will of yours to make some maturity choices. It is good for you. Immature anger misdirected toward God is not good for you and is not what I am writing about.

I am writing about believers who find themselves in a desperate situation. Those of us with a sick child; those who are desperately lonely; those who can’t conceive or carry a pregnancy to term; those with a crazy spouse or chronic illness. I am writing about believers who have worked hard to mature; who have stood in faith; who are willing to do whatever God asks them to do, because they LOVE Him.

Feeling like you have gotten a raw deal—one that God could resolve easily if He would just do so—isn’t a comfortable place to be. If you are like me, connecting and reflecting upon those strong emotions feels very unsafe. Especially if you have distanced yourself from the ugly, angry you. Especially if you believe that the ugly, angry you isn’t acceptable to God; that the ugly, angry you is the reason God isn’t answering your prayers and, thus, must go far, far away.

I had a weird dream recently. I’m pretty good at interpreting other people’s dreams but terrible at understanding my own. And the icing on that cake is this: none of my friends and family are able to interpret my dreams either. If I get an interpretation, it is from God or I get nothing. Not sure I want to examine the why on that, but there it is.

So, I had one of my let’s-baffle-everyone dreams. Let me give you some context. Sam and I used to own a children’s entertainment business. As part of that business, we offered high-quality princess and super-hero characters for parties and events. I was completely obsessed with providing the most amazing characters and experience possible.

Here’s the dream. Sam was in the background putting tremendous pressure on me to costume myself as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast in order to entertain at a children’s party. Setting aside the fact that I am in my 60s, even on my best days I do not look anything like a Disney princess. But I felt compelled to comply with his demands, even though I knew I would be a disappointment no matter how I tried to convince myself that I could fool the kids. But I HAD to perform. On top of that, I was late and the arts and crafts were not ready.

Typing that out makes me realize that a dream could not be more obvious; nonetheless, it was days before the Lord explained the dream. Hidden within my heart was the belief that He required me to be the perfect princess in every way before He would heal my son. Since I believed that, I had sent away the “not princess” part of me, the angry and frustrated me, the mad-at-God me that I thought had to go because “she” didn’t have faith.

Let me be clear that nothing I do will ever make me into princess material. (Here is where everyone reading this agrees with me lol). All my efforts to hide my anger and frustration from God; all my efforts to become the perfect believer did not trick God into answering my desperate prayer. As a matter of fact, my crazy just got in His way.

Are you twisting yourself into a perfect YOU in order to get your prayers answered? Might as well stop, dear one. It doesn’t work and isn’t required by God. Here is why it doesn’t work as I understand it.

You and I will never become perfect enough to deserve God’s blessings. We will never be a good-enough Christian. It just isn’t possible and that is OK, because our savior Jesus is perfect and we are in Him (Colossians 3:3). AND (take a deep breath) God’s blessings are not earned.

Look at these scriptures:

Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God … 1 Corinthians 2:12

Don’t be like me! God’s blessings are free! Stop trying to earn them by putting aside your honestly confused and frustrated self. Instead, I want you to embrace that part of you. If anyone needs love and acceptance, it’s the ugly you.

Oh! One more scene from the dream. I kept looking into the mirror, thinking I don’t look like a princess, but at the same time I looked better than I expected. Maybe the ugly me is really the hurt and scared me? Maybe I just need a hug.

So, don’t bother twisting yourself into a prince or princess. It DOESN’T work and actually gets in the way of God’s blessings. Why? Because bribing God with good behavior is actually manipulation. I think the Lord wants to answer our prayers, especially our most desperate ones, but if He responds to our manipulation (no matter how unconscious), we will come away believing that our manipulation got our prayers answered. We would probably teach other people how to manipulate God into answering their prayers.

(I am NOT saying be bad! I’m saying be real, be honest and let that grow into an intimate relationship with God. Godly behavior will flow from that).

So, let me answer my question: Yes. I think you can love God and be really mad at Him. I think it is OK, because the truth sets you free. So hug tight the ugly you that is angry and have an honest talk with God. I have done it and it makes things better.

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Hugs and blessings, 
Susan
205.556.4555
(Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of spammers).
Send me your emails thepool@thepoolministries.org
I love getting them.
If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate. 
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How to Heal the Image of God (That’s You) Part 2

This continues my previous writing about what it is to be the image of God and how to heal that image. I am in the middle of writing a book and managing a Facebook page for The Pool, SO I am updating you guys by sharing the Facebook posts. I am pleased to announce that the ministry is gaining followers through Facebook. My goal is only this: To get helpful information and effective tools into the hands of people. If you would like to support me in that effort you can donate at the website.

Conflict

The Conflict

As the image of God, you possess a spirit, a soul, a heart and a mind (among other things). So far, I have written a little bit about your spirit and soul and hinted about the conflict between them. (See previous posts). In brief, your human spirit understands eternity while your soul fears death.

Because of the fallen condition of our world and the fallen behavior of people, the soul quickly decides to distrust its human spirit. This is very unfortunate since the spirit and the soul are designed by God to work together.

So how do we heal this conflict between the spirit and the soul? Healing starts with the third aspect of the image of God: the heart.

heart door.jpg 1

Your Identity, Your Reality, Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23 warns us to Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Guard your heart. Not your spirit or your soul or your mind or your brain, but your heart. Guard it above all things. Why? Because, according to scripture, your heart determines the course of your life. That’s pretty significant.

Science has found that the Bible is right (imagine that) about the importance of the heart. Researchers in the emerging field of neurocardiology have discovered that the heart – the thumper in your chest – has its own little brain. This “heart brain” controls many of your body’s internal rhythms.

This means that how you think and feel within your heart is expressed (felt by you) throughout your entire body.

God designed your heart to establish you in an identity and in a consistent perception of reality based upon your early childhood experiences. This would be just fine if humanity wasn’t fallen.

Because of the fall, your heart establishes your identity and “how life works for you” in the midst of chaos and based upon the behavior of the fallen people around you.

as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 (NKJ)

Did I mention that the heart is supposed to stabilize you in one CONSISTENT identity and reality? That means the heart does not easily change once it believes.

for with the heart a person believes Romans 10:10

What you REALLY believe in your heart – not what you want to believe; not what you hope you believe; not what you have been taught to believe – must be unlocked in order to settle the conflict between your spirit and soul.

The how of that is next.

heart chains

The Fall

Your heart’s primary function is to keep you sane. It does this by establishing you in two things: Your identity and your understanding of reality.

Let’s look quickly (because this is Facebook after all) at your identity.

Truth: You are a unique, priceless being who expresses the image of God. There is no evolving up from that. You are the highest point of creation.

Why are you arguing with me? Why are you saying that you are a loser who just doesn’t measure up? Here is why.

You were created within a chaotic, fallen environment, surrounded by fallen people, acting in confusing fallen ways. Your heart MUST make sense of what is incomprehensible in order to establish you in a consistent identity. So, your heart rejects your true identity and replaces it with a painful identity that makes sense.

Here’s an example: The reason people don’t want me is because I’m bad. I’m the bad person. That makes sense! Bingo! New painful identity.

Because the heart is designed to keep you sane, any questioning of what the heart believes is treated as an assault and automatically repelled.

key in heart

Stabilized in Chaos

In my last post I wrote about how the heart believes and why it believes the way it does. Here it is in short: Your heart is designed by God to stabilize you in one consistent identity and reality.

But there is a problem. You were conceived within a chaotic fallen environment, surrounded by fallen people, acting in fallen ways.

This means your heart has to impose order over unrelenting confusion and incomprehensible pain. Your heart MUST make the crazy make sense. And it does just that by accepting a bunch of lies about you. And about life in general.

Every important thing is filtered through the heart’s worldview. This is why God warns us to guard our hearts above ALL else (Proverbs 4:23).

So, what can you do with this information about your heart?

The heart is designed to believe. In order to replace the painful worldview your heart believes in, you must first learn how the heart communicates that worldview to you.

Listen to your inside talk. Do you hear the words “Always, Every time, No Matter What, No One, Never, Everyone?” That is heart language. Begin to take note of these kinds of statements. Write them down.

The heart communicates in absolutes. Absolute statements reveal what is hidden in your heart. Let’s start there and continue in the next post.

keys

The First Key

Sorry this is so long, but the information is absolutely vital. Please read and apply. It would be helpful if you read all my previous posts about the Image of God: spirit, soul, heart and mind.

In a perfect world, your human spirit and soul would love each other; the spirit offering gentle and wise guidance to your soul; your soul submitting to your spirit’s nurture so that it grows into a mature image of God. The problem is this: Sin entered through the Fall and what SHOULD happen exploded into unrelenting chaos.

So how do you restore your spirit and soul to a healthy relationship? Your heart holds the keys to this restoration. Or rather what your heart believes holds those keys.

God designed your heart to perform certain jobs for you. The foremost of its duties is to stabilize you in ONE CONSISTENT identity and understanding of reality. This means that once your heart believes something is true for you, it will believe that forever … unless you learn how to change your heart.

Because your heart has stabilized you in a fallen world, your identity does not line up with truth: That you are a priceless, much-loved child of God. Instead, your heart looked at the chaos surrounding you and decided that there must be “something wrong with you” that is causing the Crazy.

In my last post I asked you to listen for absolute statements of belief. Statements you hear inside of you or that come out of your mouth. Like this: “I’m stupid. I’m ugly. I’ll never be good enough. No one likes me. I will never be loved. Everyone hates me. I’ll always be a failure.” Notice the language is absolute: Always, Never, No One, Everyone. This is heart language.

So, what are the keys to replacing those heart beliefs that feel cemented into place? It is actually very simple and surprisingly easy. It does take persistence on your part, but changing out those heart beliefs for truth is quite doable.

Here is the first key! Write it down and PRACTICE it!

When you hear those absolute statements inside or coming out of your mouth, stop and say this to your heart. “Heart! The reason the bad things happened isn’t because I am bad. The bad things happened because of the Fall. That is the only reason bad things happen. You will now believe that instead of what you have been believing.”

I will give you the second key to replacing wrong heart beliefs with truth in the posts to come.

Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

heart key

The Truth Your Heart Loves

In order to heal your soul and spirit; in order for your soul and spirit to work together according to God’s plan, you MUST convince your heart to cooperate with you. In my previous post I introduced the first of three keys that will gain you that cooperation. (Please read previous posts).

Key One replaces what your heart currently believes about Who You Are and How Life Works For You with ONE absolute godly truth.

That truth is this: ALL the bad things happened because of the Fall. Not because you are bad. Not because other people are bad. Bad things happen because of one thing: The Fall.

Tell your heart this every day. Ten times a day! Tell it to stop believing that all the bad stuff is your fault, or your parents’ fault or whoever. Instead, command your heart to believe that the bad things happened because of the Fall.

This is the first key. Replace all those painful and confusing lies with this absolute truth. Be very firm with your heart. Jesus revealed that you have authority over your heart in John 14:27. He said: “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Key Two coming soon. And yes, the keys work together.

open locket key

Is It Really That Simple?

Key One to convincing your heart to stop blocking and start cooperating may seem simplistic. (See previous posts). But let’s take a closer look.

Much of traditional inner healing involves locating heart beliefs and replacing them with truth. This is effective but very slow. If there has been lots of damage it can be excruciatingly slow.

And when the damage makes no sense – as in the case of child abuse – finding a truth your heart will accept is a huge challenge. Remember your heart has already accepted, and established you, in the belief that it is All Your Fault.

Over the years I have prayed with a lot of people. And I have discovered that hearts need to know only one thing for everything to make sense. Here it is: Bad Things Happen Because of the Fall. This one truth explains it all.

When your heart accepts this, it no longer needs to hold on to all the other reasons why the bad things happen. It no longer needs to stabilize you in painful beliefs about yourself, others and life.

Tell your heart today, every day, ten times a day, that the bad things happened because of the fall. Not because “something about you” makes people hurt you.

Key Two is next.

for with the heart a person believes Romans 10:10

Hugs and blessings from me to you,
Susan
205.556.4555
Send me your emails. I love getting them.
Visit the website to donate (if so led by the Lord, of course).
thepoolministries.org