Forgiveness from a Medical Perspective

Shout Out to Dr. Alexander Sinu MD who posted about this in his blog: DSM (Defeating Stigma Mindfully).

I lifted this information on forgiveness from the website Human Performance Psychology because it is so interesting from a medical standpoint. You can read the entire article here:

Why Forgiveness is So Important?

You can download for free (it is free) an article I wrote about why it is so hard to forgive and how to do it anyway here.

https://thepoolministries.org/products

Just click or paste the link into your browser bar, scroll down to Free Downloads and click Multifaceted Cross (pdf) to download the article.

Here is an excerpt from Why Forgiveness is So Important from the website Human Performance Psychology.

“An astonishing example of the power of forgiveness can be found in the practice of burn surgeon Dabney Ewin. His patients would enter the ER ‘all burned up’ both inside and out, writes Megan Feldman Bettencourt in her new book Triumph of the Heart: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World.

As they lay in agony, enraged at themselves or someone else for their wretched injuries, Ewin spoke to them more like a therapist than a doctor: ‘You can still pursue damages through an attorney. You’re entitled to be angry, but for now I’m asking you to abandon your entitlement and let it go, to direct your energy toward healing, and turn this over to God or nature or whoever you worship. When you know at a feeling level that you’re letting it go, raise your hand. Then I’d shut up, they’d raise their hand, and I’d know that skin graft was gonna take.

‘Over many decades of treating burns, Ewin discovered that the attitude of his patients greatly impacted their healing.

‘With someone who’s real angry, we’d put three or four skin grafts on, but his body would reject them.’

For this surgeon, helping his patients forgive was step one.”

Hugs and blessings, Susan

Please call 205.556.4555 and leave a message. We are happy to answer questions or schedule prayer ministry, but because of robo calls, we ask that you leave a message or schedule a call time by emailing thepool@thepoolministries.org.

We will call you back.

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Destiny! Calling! Purpose! Oh My!

I have long held the opinion that the ever-popular teaching about finding your destiny and/or calling is flat-out wrong and even dangerous. Now, let me clarify. It isn’t that I believe people don’t have destinies or callings. I think that pursuing a calling or destiny is where we go wrong. Remember this common Christian warning: The enemy only needs to get you off a little bit. When we pursue destiny or calling or even purpose, we are off that little bit. Here is why.

The word “destiny” isn’t in the Bible (that I can find). The word “calling” appears to mean being called by God to Himself; not called to a ministry or to perform some great feat. More like your mother calling you to come in for supper.

So, my understanding is that pursuits of callings and destinies are a diversion from our pursuit of the Lord. It is a little bit off. Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Then, and only then, are the other things added to us by God.

So, if I’m not here to be important and accomplish great things, why am I here? I think all of us are here for this reason: To Learn to Follow Jesus Every Single Day No Matter What and No Matter the Cost.

Along that path, we may achieve a purpose or realize a destiny. Our dreams may come true. But as soon as we make those things the reason we roll out of bed, we are on the wrong path. How many times have I seen wounded people (that includes us all) desperately clinging to the hope of someday realizing a far-off destiny that will heal all their hurts and fulfill all their dreams? Too many times.

When I was a new Christian, I remember longing to be in ministry so that I would feel worthwhile. I longed for a destiny that would make me important, admired and acceptable in the eyes of my fellow fallen man. (And—to be completely honest—safe from the unkindness of my fellow fallen man).

I have learned that the admiration of people is thrilling for about 5 minutes, then the craving for more sets in. It doesn’t satisfy. Nothing within a malfunctioning heart is ever healed by gaining the admiration of fallen humanity.

Please consider laying down your desire for a destiny or calling. Instead, deliberately take up your cross and follow Him. Just do that every day for the rest of your life.

What is taking up your cross? In this case, it is laying down your pursuit of any destiny beyond following Jesus (Luke 9:23). Because there is only one way to safely and meaningfully navigate the fall. There is only one way that will ultimately fulfill and satisfy us completely (John 14:6).

When you do lay down your hopes and ambitions, you will never be disappointed if things don’t work out. Why? Because you are following Jesus through the good times and the bad. That is your calling, your destiny and purpose. That is the fulfillment of your hopes and dreams.

We are not here to be famous, important or even to write books (that’s for me). We are not here to get married, have a family or become wealthy. We are not here to be pastors or prophets. We are here to follow Him. Only that, and it is more than enough.

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

Blessings and hugs, Susan

To contact the ministry, please cal 205.556.4555 and leave a message.We are happy to answer questions or schedule prayer ministry, but because of robo calls, we ask that you leave a message or schedule a call time by emailing thepool@thepoolministries.org. We will call you back.

Judging Bites Back

My God Has Taught Me A Lesson

When I was in grad school, I was housed in a dorm reserved for graduate students and students with families. This meant that I met lots of international students, including a Nigerian family. I don’t remember their family name (Don’t judge. It was a long time ago). But I do remember what the husband’s name meant when translated into English. Here’s the translation: My Friend Has Taught Me A Lesson. According to the husband, his father named him that because a friend he had loaned money never paid him back. Well … My God Has Taught Me A Lesson.

I’m not supposed to drink soft drinks, but I like them, especially Co-Colas as they are called here in the deep South USA. I recently shook off my Co-Cola addiction and have been Coke free for months. Then I backslid. Drank a Coke and therein lies my lesson. But first the back story.

I have been ministering off and on with three different women who have husbands addicted to behaviors that—when it comes right down to it—release the ladies from their marriage covenants. Of the three, only one is moving on; one is enabling the behavior (in the name of Jesus); and the other is waffling around. As things have dragged along with no apparent progress, I have become exasperated. Ok. Enough back story.

After drinking—and thoroughly enjoying my Co-Cola and the subsequent buzz—I forgot about it, other than noticing that I was visiting the toilet an awful lot. Then I went to bed and my bladder started to howl. That’s when I realized that I might not ought to drink Cokes because I might be allergic to something in them. Simultaneously, I was CRAVING a Coke.

So, on the one hand, my bladder was begging me to repent and on the other hand my whatever it is that craves was alternating between demanding I drink more Coke and grieving that an allergy might mean never having another Coke. Nowhere in the midst of that conflict did the horrible consequences—that I was experiencing at that VERY moment—have any power to affect my craving.

Here is the lesson, and it’s straight from the mouth of Lord Jesus. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1). The Greek word translated judge is krino which means to judge with condemnation. It’s the attitude that I would never be that stupid because I am better than you.

Well. Take a look at Stupid here, because I was intensely craving what was causing me extreme misery. Consequences were not a deterrent.

So, it all boils down to this. It is by the grace of God ONLY that I am not caught in the traps that my people are struggling in. It sure isn’t because I have better sense than anyone else.

As soon as the Lord made it clear, I repented for my condemning attitude toward others—those with relationship addictions as well as other addictions. Hallelujah! My craving stopped, my bladder settled down and I went to sleep.

Jesus warned us. He said if we judge with condemnation that we would be judged. How are we judged? We do the same things we judge other people for doing. Oh. It may look a bit different. But an addiction is an addiction. A hurtful behavior is a hurtful behavior.

Let’s face it. We have all judged. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Let’s ask the Lord to open our eyes to how we have judged, and when He does, let’s be quick to repent.

Let’s pray:

Father God, Maker of heaven and earth, I ask you to keep me safe from making condemning judgments (krino). Open my eyes to any past judgments I have made; to any current judging I am doing, and protect me from making future condemning judgments.

I repent right now for ever believing that I am better than anyone else. For thinking that I would never fall into the traps that have caught other people. It is ONLY by Your grace that I am free. Thank you for setting me free and thank you for keeping me free.

In the name of Jesus, I repent.

Amen.

Blessings and hugs,

Susan

http://www.thepoolministries.org

Please call 205.556.4555 and leave a message. We are happy to answer questions or schedule prayer ministry, but because of robo calls, we ask that you leave a message or schedule a call time by emailing thepool@thepoolministries.org. We will call you back.

This Present Darkness

Joyful Prayer
To what may I compare our current world situation?

Some years ago, my friend Janie and I landed at the Birmingham International Airport—about an hour’s drive from my home—returning from a ministry trip to Sweden. It was night and we were tired from the very long flight.

We collected our baggage and my car, and began the drive home along a busy interstate highway. As we traveled, a motorcyclist zoomed around us, traveling well over the speed limit. We all were speeding along, to be honest, but he left us behind, weaving recklessly between vehicles. A short time later, we passed him, or what was left of him, a smear on the interstate, chunks of wreckage strewn along the road. The sight was like a slap in my face.

Shaking from the tangible shock that lingered in the atmosphere, I cried out to my friend, “Janie! He wrecked! I think he’s dead!”

Rather than joining me in my distress, she smiled calmly and said, “Let’s pray in the spirit.” And she proceeded to do so, praying in her prayer language.

But but but …” I stuttered.“Just pray,” she urged. So I did, pushing past my reluctance to focus on something other than the horror my eyes had seen. As I joined her in prayer, the presence of heaven came down, wrapping us in a peaceful serenity that cannot be described, only experienced.

Yesterday, I found myself focused on the uncertainties—the “what could happen ifs.” I didn’t think to simply pray in my prayer language. I wrestled with my fears instead. When it finally occurred to me that I could pray with my spirit instead of trying to figure it out with my mind, I did pray and the wisdom of God broke through the constant static of this present darkness. His peace surrounded me. I was able to relax.

My point is this: Our world looks a lot like that motorcycle wreck. It’s difficult not to focus on the horror. But the Lord is calling us to focus on Him instead. Let’s pray for a move of God like never before. And let’s fix our eyes on the Lord like never before.

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9

I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 1 Corinthians 14:15

Blessings and hugs,
Susan

Please call 205.556.4555 and leave a message. We are happy to answer questions or schedule prayer ministry, but because of robo calls, we ask that you leave a message or schedule a call time by emailing thepool@thepoolministries.org. We will call you back.

We have a new website. It is still being updated, but please take a look at http://www.thepoolministries.org.

Hope for a Broken World

My husband Sam and I are teaching a course called How to Hear God’s Voice. The past classes have covered hearing God in our thoughts. To activate this ability, students ask the Lord a question of their choice and wait quietly for an answer. Then they write what they hear or see in response to their question.

Heather Baker, one of the students who is also a part of The Pool Ministries, asked the following question and the answer was so encouraging, I wanted to share what she received from the Lord.

Question: Lord, why is the world so broken?

Answer: Beloved child, my heart weeps for the brokenness and pain of my children. This devastation was never my plan or design, but a path that was chosen out of innocence at the beginning of time, when choice was gifted to my creation. But just because something is broken does not mean it has no value, no redemption, no healing, no restoration. What is at work here will shine brighter than all the stars in the heavens, and will be the crowning jewel of my creation. Look on in hope, for what is lost will be found, and what is broken will be made new. All of the pain, devastation, and sorrow will be redeemed and made beautiful beyond anything you can imagine

.… He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:8-9

If you have someone willing to read the word and the scripture out loud to you, please ask them to do so.

Hugs to you all.
Susan

205.556.4555 (Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of robo calls. You may schedule a call or prayer session via email).

Please send your email to thepool@thepoolministries.org

If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate.
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Those Fancy Fig Leaves

The “Smarter Than You” Spirit
I’m one of those fortunate/unfortunate people who had the privilege/horror of attending graduate school as a brand-new, spirit-filled (in the traditional sense that I experienced an encounter with the Holy Spirit subsequent to my born-again experience and emerged speaking in tongues) Christian.

Shortly thereafter I was accepted into a graduate-level program at a university. Little did I know that the campus was saturated in the “Smarter Than You” spirit. Or perhaps you know it as the dog-eat-dog spirit which can manifest in environments other than academia, but academia was the place I first recognized it.

Because I was very vocal about my beautiful God and completely lacking in wisdom, my classmates and some of my instructors made me a target to mock.

But the very thing they mocked turned into my shield because I didn’t care one bit if someone was smarter than me. I just wanted everyone—and I mean everyone—to know about my wonderful Jesus.

From this seat in heavenly places I was able to observe how desperately, and often viciously, the campus population competed for the prize of being the smartest. Now, the competition I watched was mostly confined to faculty and graduate students. The staff were viewed as peasants and, thus beneath notice, while the administrators were powerful but considered unimportant.

What did I learn? That the ones so desperately competing were deeply insecure about their value; that they were terrified of appearing stupid; that they were willing to do “whatever it takes” to hide their vulnerability even if it meant partnering with a predator spirit that devoured anyone deemed weak.

Did you know that we inherit fallen behaviors from our ancient parents Adam and Eve? This means that blame shifting comes easily to us. Another automatic fallen behavior is hiding our true selves because we believe that we are shamefully naked and unacceptable.

What that boils down to is this: All the competing and showing off, all the despising another person and thinking ourselves better, smarter, richer and prettier equals fig leaves. My fellow grad students and the faculty were competing over who wore the fanciest fig leaves. Pretty dumb, huh?

Disclaimer: Not everyone competed. Some fought against it and were very kind. But I think everyone was affected by it. Those who were basically secure often felt despised by their peers. Others felt compelled to prove their worth.

Here are some clues that you are discerning the presence of that dog-eat-dog “Smarter Than You” predator spirit.

Do you feel compelled to prove to others that you are smart? Really, really smart?
Do you feel compelled to make others feel stupid?
Do you feel stupid and insecure around certain people, but otherwise feel ok?
Do you feel haunted by feelings of insecurity in certain environments?
Have you fallen into the habit of measuring your worth against the accomplishments of others?

I don’t have a solution for this problem other than this. Bring it before the Lord.

If you are keeping yourself safe by being smart and smarter than everyone else, for goodness sake repent! And ask the Lord to heal your broken heart and to heal the people that you have hurt.

If you are simply discerning this kind of spirit and not in agreement with it, you will feel bad about yourself as if you just don’t measure up. Of course, you may have unresolved hurts in your heart, but those hurts are amplified by this kind of spirit. The problem is a predator spirit—not you.

Ask the Lord how to pray. Ask him to reveal any unresolved hurts that need his touch. And ask for the courage and wisdom to be who you really are without getting caught up in the competition over whose fig leaves are the most dazzling.

These are the only words Jesus used to described his nature (that I have found).
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Be gentle and humble in heart. Hugs!

Susan
205.556.4555 (Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of robo calls. You may schedule a call via email).

Thank you for your many emails. Makes me feel loved. (Most of them do lol) Keep ’em coming. thepool@thepoolministries.org

If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate.
http://www.thepoolministries.org

Spells, Curses and Bitter Words

I have been struggling with chronic headaches and achy sinuses (that hadn’t become bad enough to seek medical help but wouldn’t go away) for a while now. Yes. I have tried the home remedies. No. They haven’t helped. I have felt tired but restless. Guilty about not being productive, but too heavy and fuzzy to be productive.

“So what,” I asked the Lord, “is going on?”
His answer came when I was sleeping: Witchcraft.

A lot has been taught on the subject of witchcraft, some of which has dumbed it down in my opinion. I don’t think Christians praying controlling prayers is witchcraft in its true sense. I think that is the behavior of unbelieving believers, often well-meaning, who struggle with doubt and fear.

I’m talking about intentional witchcraft that involves casting spells and curses with the intent to do harm. Witches, warlocks, Satanists and Luciferians (and only God knows what other groups) actively view Christians as their enemies. As a prayer minister, I have had two Satanic cult members sent to me at different times in the guise of needy people seeking prayer ministry. When the Lord uncovered their true motive, they abruptly stopped their sessions. Which was very sad since both of them appeared to have been groomed from childhood to be tools in the hands of people truly given over to evil.

My point is this: They were sent to destroy my ministry if possible.

Spells, curses and even bitter words are being sent against God’s people—especially the intercessors, ministers and those deeply committed to the Lord—to discourage them, to make it too hard to pray, too hard to continue the good fight of faith.

Evil spirits have no authority, having been stripped by Jesus (Colossians 2:5). So one way they attack is by attaching to the words humans speak, claiming that because a human wants to hurt you that commissions them to carry out the human’s wishes.

But the truth is this: That another human wants to harm you does NOT give demons a legal right to attack you. (I question any legal right claimed by the devil since he is a criminal himself.) We, as the children of God, are not subject to demons or to people who partner with demons. Look at Luke 10:17-19.

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

Demons are subject to us. Even if a human being orders an evil spirit to harm you, you are not subject to that. Now, there is nothing we can do about a person choosing to use their free will to hate, criticize, judge and curse. But we can stop the demons from piggy backing on it. Persons who hate without demons attached are annoying but generally harmless.

Now there are levels of cursing, ranging from the bitter words of grumbling, disgruntle people to systemic and ritualized cursing and spell casting. Both are handled the same way.

(You might want to print this out for future reference. Also, please share it with your friends).

First: Tell any and all demons partnering with any human words spoken against you, your family, your prayers, your ministry or anything that your life touches that they are not allowed to attack. In other words, tell them no.
Like this: “Demons. You will not use the words of humans to hurt me or anything my life touches. In the name of Jesus, I forbid it.”

Second: Once you have forbidden the attacks, sever the partnership between human and demonic.
Like this: “I forbid any demon from partnering with any human to harm me or anything my life touches.”

Third: Commission your angels to go forth and destroy all such partnerships.
Like this: “Angels. I commission you to destroy all human and demonic partnerships that have formed in order to harm me or anything my life touches. I send you forth in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Fourth: Break assignments.
Like this: “I break all demonic assignments against me and anything my life touches in the name of Jesus. I reassign all demons to the feet of Jesus. Angels, take them there now.”

Fifth: Send the curses to the cross.
Like this: “I send all curses to the cross of Christ to be destroyed.”

Last: Clean up.
Like this: “Lord, please cleanse me and mine from all demonic defilement and remove any demonic devices that have been placed on us. I ask in the mighty name of Lord Jesus.”

I think that covers it. Demons do just as much as we allow. And sadly, we allow too much.

Oh! My headaches are gone. My sinuses are better. And you can see that I am able to be productive again.

Many blessings to you! And I exhort you to be joyful! The devil hates joy 🙂

Susan
205.556.4555
(Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of spammers. You may schedule a call via email).

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

If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate.
http://www.thepoolministries.org