Don’t run back!!! It’s still yucky there!

When I read the account of the crossing of the red sea I stand amazed at the awesome God we serve. I marvel at what happens afterward in the now free from slavery crowd of people who gaze upon their current situation with  dissatisfaction. Even after experiencing first hand what the mighty power of God had done, the Israelites still found time to gripe and complain when their conditions got a bit more challenging. After walking across on dry land as the water of the great Red Sea stood at attention on either side of them during their God-made exodus and escaping the terrifying army that Pharaoh had pounding down upon them with horses, soldiers and chariots, the memory of what they thought were “better days” came back to taunt them. In Exodus 16:3 we read, “If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”

So why in the world would death or life as a slave be so enticing? The answer, the enemy and his lies. When we come out of a victory or a triumph we stand in that for a while marveling at the Lord and how much he loves us and how he provided a way out for us. Eventually, life gets in the way and normal and mundane days become less exciting and we lose that emotional high we had just after winning that last battle. We slip into a place where we forget how important it is to seek and rely upon God for the things we need. We get “ordinary” again and life gets boring. We notice how big our needs become and we forget how big our God is. We get to a place of complacency and that is the very space the devil is looking for. That space where we forget to pray or thank God for what we need daily. We forget, ‘give us this day, our daily bread.’  We forget that we can do nothing without Him. And then our mind becomes sluggish and we go down the slope of whining about what we don’t have instead of remembering what the Lord has done for us. Then, in they slither. Those thoughts, the ones that take us back, back to where we used to be. How life was when WE were in charge, before we placed ourselves under God’s authority and protection. Like little snakes they come. Worming their way into our minds and once again we find ourselves in that place of want and need. That place that we previously escaped.

Oh how we wish we would have taken those thoughts captive, as it says in 2 Corinthians:5 and not have traveled down this road. But take heart! This is not the end. We serve a forgiving God and when we arrive at this place of woe, He is still there to forgive us and lead us back to victory! And rest assured, as we practice this “taking thoughts captive” and continue to rest and rely on Him and His word, we will surely walk in that victorious life that we crave so much and the life that God has provided for us through the cross. We just need to remember that Jesus already did the work   http://wp.me/p37EgM-a  and that all we need do is step into obedience to his word and allow Him to lead us.

Running back to the yuck is part of the journey. As we progress through and press toward the mark as Paul says, we will become less likely to go back there. We will be able to stop and regroup our thoughts and keep our mind on Him and His word in order to continue on the path that He has laid out before us. Phil. 3:14.

Thank you Lord that you have made a way for us. We come to you with great anticipation and excitement as you lead us toward that goal of  living life victoriously! Amen

http://www.angelcounseling.info

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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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Hang in There! God REALLY wants to Bless YOU!

God is amazing! And don’t you think for one minute I am just quoting something I have been hearing for years! God is amazing! He has outdone Himself. In the past I have been able to pray and allow the Spirit of God to lead me in certain ways, but lately, He has been gently moving me into another sphere of obedience and surprising me with things I only thought I would see. Healing and deliverance. People caring for one another’s needs and much more. I have seen some of my friends tested to the breaking point and choose to hang in there with Him, no matter what! And the blessings and answers come!

I don’t know what else to say today, other than, HANG IN THERE! I don’t know what God is planning for your life, but I do know that if we choose to push through and be obedient to Him, he will honor that with more than we can even imagine! So, having said that, if wondering what God wants you to do is illusive to you, go to His word and start reading. Believe me, it’s in there. It may be just the simple act of caring for someone with a meal or a ride to work, it may be giving money to a cause, who knows? It may be as simple as choosing to smile while walking down the street. But, there will be something that will please the heart of God and allow Him to do what He has wanted to do all your life, BLESS you! Try and see!

I would love to hear from you! What has God been speaking to you?

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There’s A Light at the End of the Tunnel, Can you See It?

Recently I was talking with a counseling client about the choices we get to make. The point was, that we GET to make these choices.

Sometimes when we get bogged down with life and the things that have happened either to us or around us we forget that these “things” are circumstances that we can choose to be overwhelmed with or choose to use  to get to that “next level.” Whether the level is a spiritual one or an emotional one, we never stop advancing or rather we should never stop desiring to move forward in life.

As I was talking with my client the Lord gave me a picture. I saw some miners in a collapsed dark mine tunnel sitting around in the rubble. Some were focused on the destruction all around them, some were focused on the injuries they had sustained and some others were looking in the direction of where they knew the tunnel opened up toward the light. These men were not miles under the earth as we have seen with some recent mining accidents. They were probably several hundred feet from where there might be an opening.

One miner thought he saw a speck of light off in the distance. He strained his eyes to make it out. However, there was a mountain of rubble and dust in the way. He immediately started to crawl over boulders and sharp  dirty rocks and debris in order to get to the light. He didn’t mind or even notice that he was perhaps injured or hurt, or that it would take all his strength just to get through the rubble.  He just had a driving instinct to get to the place of freedom! As he was moving forward, he noticed that others were not even looking in his direction, they were focused on what had happened,they were looking back into the darkness and the devastation that had just occurred.  Fear was gripping them and their only thought was “I’m trapped”.

The difference between these two groups of people is that one group was focused on the  freedom that was somewhere in the distance and  were willing to get to it no matter the work, and the others were focused on the darkness that had surrounded them and their current situation.

In life, we get to focus on either light or darkness. That is our choice. One or the other. When we choose to stay in the dark, we may feel that familiar sense of being separate or isolated. Although this place may be dark and suffocating, we may choose to stay here just because of it’s familiarity. However, when we get a glimpse of the light and the way to freedom, we have a choice. We can take a step forward, and be renewed and refreshed, or stay where we are. As scary as that might seem to be, the light is where God is and His freedom awaits us.

Jesus says,”I am the way, I am the truth and I am the life”. What does that mean to you? Are you willing to find out? Or do you feel that sense of false safety in the familiar darkness. Sometimes, we just need to take a step, that’s all, just a tiny step toward the light. Even if it hurts our eyes. Because when we do, a whole new world that is bright and fresh will be waiting for us. Taking that step may be the hardest thing ever! But when it happens, the light that is available in Him will envelop us with a warm peace that we can experience no other place. That is His peace, that is His Shalom.

Where are you on this journey? Are you moving toward His light or maybe you have stepped out a bit, but seem to be pulled back into the miry darkness by some false sense of familiarity and saftey it poses? Sometimes, we just need to re-evaluate where we are. Look around, is darkness heavily breathing down your neck, or have you truly placed yourself into the hands of the One who is forever lighting the way.

If this is a new concept to you or you would like to hear more, please call us. We would love to talk with you! Let us know what you think! 717-638-8703 Please leave a comment. -Linda-

All Aboard for some Important Information

Angel Counseling Life Station

http://www.angelcounseling.info

http://www.facebook.com/AngelCounseling

Angel Counseling Life Station is a place where individuals may come for pastoral counseling.  We provide individual pastoral counseling sessions, also, couples counseling, generational deliverance counseling and any other specific biblical based counseling that may be needed or desired.

Owner/Business Partner Linda Stanhope – 717-638-8703, linda.angelcounseling@gmail.com

Business Partner-Julie Lawson –   julie.angelarmor@gmail.com

Linda and Julie are both certified pastoral counselors through Emerge Counseling Services/Ministries in Akron Ohio. Linda has served as a pastoral counselor at Freedom Christian Counseling Services housed at Freedom Valley Church, Gettysburg Pennsylvania for the past 6 years and has an Associate’s Degree in Human Services, Harrisburg Area Community College 2007.

From Linda’s personal Facebook page: I meet with clients who are searching for ways they can bridge the gap between living in this world and everything it brings, and understanding who they are in Christ. I encourage others to search the Lord and learn of His ways. We, together walk through their hurts and disappointments toward a place that brings not only peace, but understanding and fulfillment in their calling. As my clients have ventured out and placed themselves on the road that leads to life and that abundant life for which Jesus paid the price, I respectfully and prayerfully help lead them toward that goal. It is only with His guidance that this is accomplished. I remain in His service.

Angel Counseling is a part of the Angel Armor Business Network. Angel Armor is an Inspirational Jewelry company founded by Julie Lawson in 2011. Julie and Linda work together at the jewelry company creating original and uniquely beautiful pieces.  The story of the beginnings of the company can be found online at http://www.angelarmor.com   the website offers an online store where the jewelry may be purchased. There is also a blog page. Each blog entry is an offering to our friends and customers to get to know us a little better and also be encouraged. Take a look and please share your thoughts in the comments area.

Our ultimate goal is to find a facility to house our Life Station; a place where folks may come and enjoy a cup of coffee and some “me” time, to relax or just to sit and chat with friends who will also be stopping by. We will be offering a homey friendly environment in which to take a break for a few minutes just to reflect, read or listen to music. Whatever is needed for you to refuel and continue on your day.  We will also regularly offer workshops and “how to” classes.  Currently, we are holding counseling sessions at Linda’s church just north of Gettysburg. For information please call! We will be happy to talk with you!

Thank you so much!  Linda (white shirt) and Julie(blue dress)    l (70)

 

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 Journey

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As we take a step into the journey called LIFE we can be overtaken by some of the things we see, do and feel. Not only are we influenced by events that happen to us, but the things that go on around us impact us as well. So many emotions and thoughts swirl about in our minds. Opinions are formed and truths are set in place.

The world in which we live can be a difficult place to separate what we perceive as truth from what the truth may in reality be. One person’s way of thinking may differ from ours simply because of our experiences. What we like or dislike for example. Where we want to live or the foods we want to eat, how we want to raise our children or take care of our own wants and needs for example.

The reality is that God has given us so much. The world can be a big scary place, but it is also His creation. He gave us His Word so that we can be guided and kept on track while living life. Life is what He has given us. Living life to the fullest is His desire for us. Have we gotten a bit off track? Well, to say the least, we do not live in paradise any more! But, we can take a look at where we are, what we think and who we are portraying ourselves to be. There are wonderful truths that can often seem hidden from us that can bring us to a place of  living in that fullness. And yes, despite the things that we have seen or experienced that have somehow twisted our view of others and ourselves, He still calls us Overcomers!

Wow, overcome! Live life to the fullest! Exactly! It is time to take a look and really see just what it is that may be holding us back from this life of the Overcomer. That may be a challenge, but it is worthwhile, not only for us but for those in our lives who see us each and every day. Those who we influence by how we are living. Is it time? Let’s step over into that place where we allow the God of the Universe to influence us.

Are there places you have stepped into that have moved you toward being that Overcomer? If so, we would love to hear about it. Do you consider yourself an Overcomer now? What does that mean to you?  Or maybe you are one who sees that goal way over in the distance. Would you like to move in a little closer? If so, we invite you to join us on the Journey.

Next time, The God of the Re!