Real power is in a Name

I love this song! My favorite line, “you didn’t want heaven without us.” No matter what the devil brings including arguments on how to pronounce His name, it is the connection to Him that wields the power when His name is spoken. It shakes the very bones of the enemy with fear at the sound of that name coming in whatever language. It is the assurance of salvation and the knowing that our forever address is Heaven that activates the spiritual movement and realignment that IS prayer in His name!

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Two Toolboxes

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Interestingly enough, this blog idea came to me in the midst of a very trying time. I am under stress and my walk as a follower of Jesus has been questioned. However, the Holy Spirit is so wise. During a drive running some errands He began to speak to me about what the christian walk really looks like.
He showed me a picture of two toolboxes. Now, I don’t know if this analogy is one that has been spoken of before, but it surely speaks to me! I saw a brand new shiny toolbox. It was open and silver lined in bright clean metal.  And, it was empty. Then I saw another toolbox. It too was open. It was however, filled with lots of rusty,dirty,  greasy tools. Nothing a good mechanic or fix it man would ever use.

Then I got it! The new toolbox is a gift for us. When we come to Christ, He makes us all shiny and new. The bible says: 
New American Standard Bible
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

So, here I saw that it is as if  we are given a new tool box with which to “work out our salvation.” (not work for salvation, when we come to Jesus sincerely, we are saved)
King James Bible
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

As we travel into our relationship with the Lord, he teaches us how to walk in it. This may be through bible study and reading, prayer and receiving teaching from authentic pastors and teachers of the word. As we come upon these truths and they become part of us, we then begin the process of renewing our mind. Old things are thrown out and new things take up residence within our mind.

New King James Version: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable…

Those old truths and mindsets are then replaced with new ones. Some of these truths deal with honesty, how to speak to others, behaviors, habits, forgiveness, repentance, love, trusting God, giving, and the list goes on. As we encounter a new truth, we have the opportunity to remove the old lie from our mind and replace it with the new truth that comes from God.

Those old thoughts come from our experiences before we chose to walk with Jesus. Those lies which we only think are truths are changed and replaced. Those lies may be thoughts about ourselves like, I am stupid, I am lost, I can’t do anything right, they are better than me, I am a failure etc. Some others lead us to behave inappropriately. We may lie, cheat, speak harshly to others, be sarcastic, break laws, hurt other people etc.

When we understand from the Holy Spirit’s teaching and leading that those things we believed before were just filling our old toolbox with dirty, rusty tools, that we would take out each time we were hurt or triggered by an event. We would use them and then replace them with the remnants of the wounds whether we used them on someone else to manipulate them or to hurt them in order to feel better, or unfortunately, we would even us them on ourselves. Our own flesh and blood would be left to rot and dry on those tools as they were replaced back in that old toolbox.

However as we come further and further to the truth of who God is and who He says we are we find that those ugly old nasty, and rusty tools begin to show up in our new toolbox, shiny and clean. They turn into instruments of healing and comfort. Maybe even glowing with some of the glory of God. As we take these new tools out and use them (and yes, if they are not used, they may get rusty again) we will then learn how to walk in the assignment that was given to us originally by our Father, before the foundations of the earth.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 that God has thoughts and plans for us. Plans for our welfare and peace and not for evil.

So, as we continually empty out that old messy toolbox that represents our life before our relationship with Jesus, we will be following the instructions of the Lord himself by allowing Him to free us and heal us from hurts and experiences that left us wounded and injured, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Remember it says that we are three part beings. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 points this out. God provides us healing in all three parts of our being.

Most of us still have two toolboxes, however as we empty out the former one it will become smaller and smaller and the new shiny, clean one will become bigger and bigger.

Do you have two toolboxes? Perhaps you received your new one and it is still empty or maybe just has a few tools inside. Or maybe you just have the old one still lying around within easy reach. When Jesus said step into the yoke with me, He meant it. His burden is easy and light. Oh, we still have to pick up that toolbox and carry it around, we don’t get off that easy, but wow, it sure is light for how big it is and those tools are light too! King James Bible
Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I am still exchanging those rusty, dirty tools for my new ones, this process will go on as long as I live. But, with the exchange comes more and more freedom to be who He called me to be. Jesus is kind, he gives us all that choice.

 

 

 

 

 

What?!?! But I have GRACE! Have we forgotten that God also told us to Repent!

In the book of James, we read this: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:7-10

Wow, does this sound like the sweet words of the gentle savior? Sometimes Jesus comforts us with words of loving kindness and sometimes like a good parent he speaks to us a bit more sternly with words of correction. However, these words although they may sound harsh, will ultimately take us to a place of personal freedom! We don’t always like to be corrected or instructed to do something. We don’t always see things the way God sees them. He is a God of omniscience, he knows everything all at once. He knows the past, present and future. He knows what we need for today and also the days to come. Matthew 3:2 tells us that Jesus wants us to repent because the Kingdom of God is coming. Well, what does that mean? He wants us to know that there will be an end to this world. How will he find us when he returns with that angelic shout at the last trumpet? Will he find us going about his business or our own business? This is a stern word for us all, but we do not want to be tricked into believing that we will go be with him simply because we have been “good.” That is not what he said, he said to repent. Confess your sins.

Let’s take to heart what the bible says, what the Lord of heaven AND earth is saying to us, to those who he says, have ears to hear. When we take the words in James and really apply them, we will see that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of those things in our lives that do not line up to the word of God. When we get serious and really mourn the behaviours and attitudes that need to be rooted out of our lives, it is then that we will receive the freedom we need. By leaving these things in humble repentance at the foot of the cross we enable God’s hand that was stayed, to once again release blessings unto us.

He really is a loving God who wants His best to flow into us. He tells us how that can happen. Obedience is paramount. Obedience to his word brings that freedom and that truth, along with so many other wonderful truths will bring us what we need. He longs for us to come to him and release these things that hinder us. Pride and false confidence brought by the enemy will keep us from repentance. But, really it is so simple. The rest of James chapter 4 will show us what to do. It is our decision if we will do it or not. God won’t force us to repent, but it delights him when we choose to be obedient, and oh how he smiles when we are finally released from bondage by doing so. In order to live that abundant life he tells us about in John 10:10, this must be done, for by repenting we keep the “thief” from stealing from us.

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God WANTS you! He not only loves you, but he really does like you too!

Lately, I have been listening to some teachings about God, the bible and learning some very basic, simple truths. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been walking with the Lord since 1984 and have been a student of the bible for a long time. However, sometimes, we get so bogged down in all kinds of study that we kind of forget the simplicity of the gospel, the “good news.”

In the book of Ephesians, we find the true heart of God. Paul the apostle, wrote the book of Ephesians, or the letters to the Ephesians,  because he was in the city of Ephesus, Turkey. He sure got around didn’t he? In that ancient city the folks worshiped the idol Diana. She actually was not a god. There was a strong territorial demonic presence on that city at the time and an ancient principality (fallen angel) had a stranglehold on the people by counterfeiting God as a deity that tries to mimic the true nurturing and loving God.  Hence, “Diana” is presented to the people. Paul shows up and has the task of undoing years of mindsets and ancient witchcraft and rituals. The people were so ingrained in the false teaching of this little g god that Paul had to go back to the basic truth of the gospel.

The first chapter of Ephesians gives us great insight. He reminds us that all blessings come from God and that they are available to us through the work of Jesus. He also lets the people who are riddled with false teachings which required them to perform rituals in order to receive what they needed from their god, to know that they are loved just because they exist.

So, did you know that God has chosen you? He has set you apart for a specific purpose? That he not only loves you but He really likes you as well? Yep! Ephesians 1:4. God created us for His pleasure, Ephesians 1:5. He wants us and wants to be near us. One author says it like this: He wants our little faces near His face. Thom Gardner: Healing the Wounded Heart.

So think about this, we sit at home and wonder where in the world God is. We stress ourselves out by thinking that we have to do everything under the sun to make him love us. We take precious time and fret about things that have already been settled by the work of Jesus. Jesus did all that needed to be done when he took our punishment for us. We are to live and love in the freedom that has been given to us through what Jesus chose to do. One teacher says it this way: He took the bullet for us! Michael Smith at http://www.hardcorechristianity.com

So, relax, He’s got this! Our only job is to step into the work that has already been done!  Now, the only thing required from us is to believe that and live according to what He says. You’ll find all that you need to be and do in the New Testament. Jesus is all about verbs. You know, he gives us simple instructions about how to live a life of freedom. Our only job is to find out what these are and do them. How simple is that? Stop fretting, stop worrying, stop going to “what if land.” God has you.

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How is God showing you that He has you in the palm of His hand as the bible says in Isaiah 49:16.

You may contact us at lifestationexpress@gmail.com for more information about how to step into the presence of the one who Created you. Also our Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/AngelCounseling

What’s new? New Year musings and discoveries!

Well, here we are starting a new year! 2014, is it really?  Oh wow, how time does fly!

I remember hearing the “older folks” speak like this. Time flies, why yesterday we… and other similar sayings. Now, I am the one using these familiar sentences. This past year has been one filled with wonderful happenings and hard struggles. A new grandson came to our family, our son got married to the love of his life, we discovered another wonderful grandbaby is on the way later in this year, changes and transitions at our church. Many things humming along with the same smiles and frowns as usual.

Our pastor is teaching us some of the basics for the new year, prayer, getting alone with God and reading through the bible. I believe the Lord is taking me to higher AND deeper places with Him and will use these new revelations as I sit with clients in the counseling room. I’ll be sorting and separating these new thoughts and truths with much study and prayer.

In what ways are you moving forward into the new year with the Lord? How is he taking you to new horizons? Please share and encourage us! Thanks! Let’s keep moving along this journey with Him. Remember, if you need to pull off the tracks and rest in the “station” for a while with us, our invitation stands for you to connect with our counseling ministry. Blessings! Linda

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Renewal, rebirth, redeemed, re-positioned, rebuild, reconciled, etc. etc. etc.

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Today is the first day of Spring!!! Yippee! We are coming into my favorite time of year! Signs of renewal and rebirth are soon going to be seen everywhere! As I drive through the apple orchards here in south  central Pennsylvania with my 4 year  old grandson, we rehearse the stages the apple trees go through during each season. All winter long we have seen the bare branches of the numerous trees that line row after row over the rolling hills. We talk about the next step, buds, that will be coming soon, and the next step which will bring the beautiful blossoms and then the leaves and so forth until those trees are full of ripe red apples that will be picked when the air is again cool and the ground begins to get frosty.

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Like the trees and plants that are getting ready for rebirth, we too have the great opportunity to make some new plans for our own lives. Rebirth and renewal and all the other words that begin with the prefix re come with our re-lationship with God. Jesus is the redeemer, the one who brings us to a place of realigning ourselves, spirit first, then soul (mind will emotions) and then body.

What a great opportunity to be re-positioned to the One who created us! In his letter to the Romans chapter 12, Paul says: Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer 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.

Sometimes, we need to re-do the patterns in our lives that we ourselves have set. Changing habits, or ways of thinking is not always easy, but none the less, when we do, we then line up with what God says and find the road, be it rocky or smooth, a road that leads us forward.

How about you? Are you considering some re’s in your life? At Angel Counseling, we understand what this means. If you would like to talk about some of the things that you are facing and changing, we are here to help you. Feel free to send us an email or comment.  We would love to hear from you.

The WORK is done, completed, finished!

Did you read the book, The Shack by William Paul Young? In it, he portrays Jesus wearing a tool belt. I see this as being true. Jesus is the one who has done ALL the work. The work that allows us to step into our healing, our provision, and anything we may need.  Now, if you read the words of Jesus in the New Testament, he also gives instructions. He told the man who was paralyzed to get up and walk. Really? He told his own mother to fill the wine jars with water. What? He told the lepers to go show themselves to the priests. It was forbidden for them to be in the city, much less the temple. They must have thought, is this guy kidding???  But, it was after these tasks were fulfilled that the miracles came.  Should we not ask the savior, the healer, the one who has done the work, what is it He would have us do? Jesus has completed the work of creating the miracle, He himself said that it is finished.

Sometimes there may be a specific task we may need to accomplish before the miracle can be brought to pass. Sometimes, we have done everything and just need to stand, Ephesians 6:13. At other times we may have occasion to resist the enemy, James 4:7. Whatever it is that the Lord is asking of us, we need to do completely and with obedience. His finished work has made the miracle possible.

Does the Lord expect us to jump through hoops? Not at all. But in order to see what we need come to pass, we must companion with Jesus and become part of the process. It is through this joining, that we are truly a part of Him. He invites us to be “yoked” together. Again, this is something that we must do in order for us to see our miracle. He says “take my yoke upon you and learn from me”.  Two verbs, take and learn. We GET to be part of the process! He doesn’t leave us out. He wants to be a part of our lives, the most vital part. That part that comes in the form of a personal God. He loves us that much!

When we understand that Jesus has done the work for us, it makes coming to Him so much simpler. He is waiting for us. He wants to show us what the next step is.

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Do you have an experience you would like to share with our readers about a time you looked to Jesus for the next step?

How did He meet your need when that was accomplished?

 We would love to hear from you!