Should we keep murdering, polarizing, hurting, hating, and tearing each other down? We are destroying ourselves and each other instead of valuing each life as a gift.
Giving in to the darkness of hate-of anyone- no matter what our political, social, ethnic or religious background is, is the recipe for demise. We do not have to fear a foreign enemy or a virus. We are doing an excellent job of destroying our own selves. The problem starts in the unseen heart of each of us.
So, where do we go from here?
“Having resentment in your soul is like drinking poison and hoping that your enemy will die”- Nelson Mandela
So, where do we go from here?
“The fastest way to change you is to change me.” -Tony Robbins
So, where do we go from here?
“Three things will last forever- faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love.- The apostle, Paul.
Are you feeling a bit afraid? Me too. Sometimes I walk outside and think, holy crap is all of this really going on? Are we really in a pandemic? In a month so many things have changed and, like 9/11, I think they will change, the way we do life, forever.
Well, forever, as pertains to this life anyway. When I was about nineteen years old I became, what Christian’s call, born again. I intentionally gave over the control of my life to Jesus Christ. I knew that I was living a very selfish, self gratifying life with a lot of secrets and well worn roads and I was miserable.
One night when I was driving quite a distance from home after performing some singing telegrams, that was my occupation at the time, I happened upon a Christian radio station. The old-time preacher was calling me out from the front seat of my metallic blue ’78 Mercury Zephyr. He said; “If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?” I said, “No” out loud. He went on to explain that Jesus came to earth, died and rose again and is seated in heaven now to take my sins and the sins of the whole world and there is nothing we can do that will make us a good enough person to get into heaven, but we must surrender our life in Christ. He went on to say, that we must ‘hand over the wheel of our life’ and give Jesus the control over it because He knows what He created us for, where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do. Well I was driving with the steering wheel in my hands and said, out loud, driving down the highway, right there on my white leather seats, “Jesus take the wheel of my life in yours, I hand my life over to you. ( And this was long before Carrie Underwood wrote the song:)
He saw me and He heard me and my life has never been the same. He became my focus and pursuit and a whole new world and possibilities opened up for me. My life was no longer focused on the next self gratifying event, but instead, I became very curious about this King of Kings, and how I fit into His Kingdom.
Today, this moment, it seems to me we are confronted with the same choice. There is an unseen virus that is wreaking havoc in every place of our lives. Our once autonomous lives are becoming less and less autonomous. There is no where to hide. We can’t leave our neighborhood, our county, our state or the country. We cannot meet up with friends like we used to. We cannot shop to get some retail therapy. We can’t get our hair done or go to the gym so we can feel a little better about ourselves. We are being forced to sit with our selves our thoughts and the families that we are bound to.
There is no game to go to tonight, no dinner reservations, no show. Some people are wearing masks and gloves and some are visibly bothered by being around others, even six feet away. Some people have to postpone graduations, weddings and even the mourning of a loved one. It’s easy to see how we can be overwhelmed by fear and panic. What can we do?
We can feed our faith. We can, like Philippians 4:8 says to do, meditate on whatever things are true, noble, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy things. Meditate means; to engage in thought or contemplation, reflection, ponder, consider, dream about, purpose, think on. The Bible says that We can transform our minds by the renewing of our minds. I know this is true, for I have spent months doing this very exercise at a time in my life when I forgot what my true identity was as a Christian.
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. He also called himself the light of the world. He said, whoever follows Me will not stumble around in darkness but have the light that leads to life. We need that light and that life today. Just like the unseen virus that roams around waiting to devour, we have an unseen enemy of our souls and his name is satan or the devil. The virus threatens our lively hood, our education, our health, our society, our world and maybe our very life. But Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.
Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy, just like the virus, but the ramifications are eternal. He seeks to take your soul through deception like lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and seeking after all the things this life has to offer. His primary focus is to convince you that you are not a child of God and God does not have your best in mind. He is a liar and a thief and loves to use fear as a primary weapon.
Faith in God is eternal safety in this life and the life to come. He invites us in to His Kingdom that is without end and offers us joy and peace that, He says, surpasses all human understanding. As the layers of what we have known as our lives get pealed away, He is there offering supernatural protection, direction and hope.
I chose this image for the blog for it’s majesty, peace, calmness and hope. As an Aromatherapist, I know the value of Lavender for it’s central nervous system calming and sedative properties. It is very effective as a support for people who struggle with anxiety or have a hard time falling asleep. It is beautiful to gaze upon and beautiful to smell. Green is the color of life and being alive.
Purple is the color of royalty and peace, very fitting for The King of Kings. Mountains are majestic and lift our eyes up to something greater than ourselves. During this time of panic and uncertainty, lift up your eyes to where your help comes from, everlasting help comes from The Lord Jesus. Call on His name, give him the wheel of your life and feed on Him as the object of your affection and your faith.
No matter where you are, no matter where you have been, He is warmly and excitedly waiting for you right now.
Yesterday I had the privilege of working a long side (my husband, pictured here:), but also, another very gifted and intellectual man, Dr. John Neyman. The seminar was held at Cornerstone Church of Clarion who warmly and authentically welcomed us to share. John wrote a book called; “The Neyman Strategy”, out of his life long career of counseling people with various issues, namely, anxiety. He shared the information from that book and more, in his seminar, “A Day Of Grace”.
If you get the chance to schedule this doctor of Theology, Psychology and Behavioral Specialist in a town near you, which I highly recommend, my husband and I will most likely be supplying the music for the event and sharing a bit about our story.
Dr. Neyman’s over arching theme is; change your thinking, change your life. His passion comes from his own life journey, where he walked in dark trenches himself and met God there. That led him on a path of faith and a voracious desire to become educated in every way so that he could grow and help others.
He shared many stories of the transformations that happened in seemingly hopeless cases. He once asked the City Of Pittsburgh to give him their most difficult behavioral case, and they did! It didn’t happen over night, but freedom eventually came to the tormented person who others would have written off.
God says in His Word in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Science backs up God’s Word for this! In recent years, the neuroscience field has proven that new neural pathways can be created when we meditate on positive, life giving thoughts and subsequent actions.
One of the strategies that Dr. John teaches in his book and at his seminar is, meditating on scripture for 7 minutes a day in 1-minute increments.
We are given second, third, forth, chances when we apprehend this tool! How am I so certain? Well, God did this very thing for me after I came through a great challenge and subsequent failure. I could have been left in depression and in the bondage of guilt and shame, but God lead me by His grace into His path of light and life. I wrote about this journey in my book; That’s Not Who You Are.
The very method of renewal that Dr. John spoke about for hours yesterday, is the same method I used to recover from failure. I spent hours and days, studying scripture, meditation on it, writing it down, writing songs and blogs about it, speaking it, memorizing it, trusting it, and trusting God- not my circumstances. It transformed me. It didn’t happen in a minute, it wasn’t the microwaved, drive-through version, it was deep, wide and continues to sustain me.
I was able to share a bit about that at yesterday’s seminar and connect with people who have been touched by the pain of hopelessness. I share how God is a God of hope, second chances and new life! I share how God made Himself so real and intimate to me in such a dark time of my life. How He brought others to surround me along the way as I surrendered my control to Him.
If that is not the God you know, I invite you to rediscover Him again, through His son, Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and He does not disappoint! No matter what you are going through, addiction, depression, anxiety, loneliness, failure…He has every answer and has given us the tools to illuminate our lives. There is nothing that you could have ever done or do, that He will not welcome you with open arms when you come to Him for help. He delights in mercy.
It is to Him, I am grateful to have the privilege and the honor to work with and along side so many amazing people<3
To inquire about a Dr. John Neyman event, call: 724-712-9449
The other day I got a call from the teacher’s aide in my son’s English class. Mrs. Allman, this is a good call, she began. Whew, I said! After several years in a formal school setting, we have had our share of bad calls concerning our autistic son.
She proceeded with the intent of her call which was to read me a letter our son wrote that day in class. The class was given the assignment of writing letters to a local student who has terminal cancer and whose Christmas wish it was to receive letters from other students. She told me how our son eagerly grabbed his paper and pencil and began writing away, when other students were at a loss for where to begin.
The above image is a sampling of that letter. After I sat listening and crying, I thanked the aide for the call and encouragement that she said she gave to our son. Our son, who struggles with his relationship with God, who struggles with, “why doesn’t God always answer my prayers?” Who struggles with the unseen and intangibles. This son, wrote a letter of faith and hope to another young man, about an unseen God who heals and cares, exposing his own tender heart in the process.
His faith, as faltering as I have witnessed it to be, is still extended as hope to one who is in need of it. I guess my son and I are more alike than I was aware and I see myself in this recent scenario.
This is the true meaning of Christmas even if we cannot understand it fully. Jesus was born, God’s gift to humanity, extending the light of the world to dark places and broken people.
“Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior, yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace to people on earth” Luke 2:10,14
It is the now and not yet kingdom that God set up on the shoulders of Jesus Christ. We bear witness to some of it while we live this life, but we wait with expectancy for the day when He will reign and rule with loving kindness and justice. We look for the day when light will over power the darkness, when broken things will all be made whole and when sickness and cancer will be forgotten terms.
Until then, we extend hope and faith to ourselves and others even when we fail to see the witness of it. No fear, good news, great joy, glory and peace to you all today, amen.
I am so thankful, on this fall morning, for the peace and freedom that I am experiencing right now! I have been writing a book and have a deadline for the end of December. It is my story of recovering from an addictive, life altering event.
I have written my journey, in part, on this forum for over three years now. But in the wake of this particular event of my life, I took months off of life, to spend time with The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I needed to emotionally heal and I am grateful to my family that I was able to do that. My wish and prayer is that every person could have that space of time to recover from what ever trauma they have experienced and I would love to be a facilitator of that in the future, in a greater way than I am presently.
During that time I wrote out scriptures, some quite artistically, and literally plastered my home with them. They would be in front of my face and I would read them, speak them and meditate on them all day. Yesterday, I had the privilege of reacquainting with a woman who had been at my home during the time of my renewal. She said she will never forget seeing those scriptures attached to my walls. She said that she used the bathroom while she was at my home and spent time just reading the verses that were attached to the mirror in there. She too had been entangled in something and God was using the means of renewing my mind, to shed light into her darkness as well. This is the ultimate power that is greater than any other pull of the world, but we have to apprehend it.
Our mind is a magnificent created universe with tremendous pathways that can be re directed. I had built unhealthy ruts in my mind through addictive behaviors and they needed to be rewired and healed.
Romans 12:2 says; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
I had conformed to the pattern of the world and it was downright painful to pull out all of that construction and rebuild, but God had encouraged me on with every Word that He spoke through His Word to me. Jesus became very real and tangible. During that time He pulled down the strongholds of caring what others thought about me, he delivered me from depression and He showed me, so intimately, who I am in Him.
Another scripture that I wrote down in addition to Romans 12:2, was 1 Peter 1:13.
Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This passage speaks of doing what ever it takes to focus our thoughts on those things that allow us to serve God successfully, all the while eliminating any thoughts that would trip us up. The Hebrew idea was, to pull up long robes and tie them around the waist so that quick and freeing movement could be made.
Are there things that are tripping you up? Do you feel as if you can never get free from the things that bind you and set you back? Do you have dark corners of your heart that you hide from everyone in the world? I did too. God knows, He sees, and His response is always love. No one loves or cares about you more than Him. His plan is for you to reflect His glory and be His light to others in the darkness of the world. Jesus offers Himself to you right now. He is the way, the truth and the life. I did not only say that, He said that about Himself. (John 14:6) Whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life. (John 8:12) It is the most freeing, spiritual and adventurous journey you can ever take.
He cares about your life, your soul, your spirit and your eternity and so do I. He is here for you right this minute, again, no matter how many times you have tried and failed. Ask Him to forgive you and renew your mind and set all of your hope on His grace to you. Make Him your obsession and aim. I am right here with you walking this path of wholeness and I am so thankful for the opportunity.
This is the message I communicated to my kids today on the way to school, after my son told me about the rejection he received when he asked a peer group if he could be their friend and they flat out said, “no”.
I said; You have value. Not because of who you know, what groups you are in, how well you succeed, what people want to hang out with you, or what natural ability or talent you have. You have significance because, the Creator of the Universe loves you, accepts you, forgives you and you are pleasing to Him. And Whether you do well or you screw up, that is never going to change. There is No One else out there who is you!
My heart is burning within me to share that with all of you! It is rock solid truth and it will never change. This week has been National Suicide Awareness week in the U.S. I have been, as I am sure you have been, affected in some way by this tragic choice. I have even had times in my life that I seriously contemplated suicide, because I felt hopeless and useless. That is the deception of deceptions and a lie carried to us by the adversary of our souls. You and I matter! The literature from the Personal Life Mission course I am participating in right now says it spot on;
No body has your wiring and your history. Nobody! This gives you a unique place in the world and even greater things for your future!
Do you believe it? I do, and I am walking this path of wholeness with you and would love to hear from you today!
I have two friends who, right now, are going through tremendous times of pain. It is excruciating for me to watch, there is nothing….well very little, I can do for them.
My one friend has lost her closest brother to suicide. He was a highly decorated Marine in our United States Marine Corps. He went on from there to become a highly distinguished Navy Seal. He literally gave his life for our country and it’s people. For all of his post trauma, he could not re enter life when he got home. My heart breaks and my eyes swell even as I write. What do you do with this kind of pain?
My other friend has just given birth to a child with severe Spina Bifida. The baby’s back never closed while she was growing safe and snug in her mama’s womb. The amniotic fluid that serves as safety to typical babies became a daily threat to her nerves and muscles that were exposed to it every minute of every day. Before she even had a chance to suck at her mother’s breast, all six pounds of her was taken into life threatening surgery. The details of how you manage three other children and recover from your own, less than perfect, surgery while trying to care for this new life, is more than any one can communicate- but this is my friend’s life right now.
I know something of pain myself. I have had a lot of it in fact. Maybe that is why I can so deeply feel other’s pain when they experience it, which is a silver lining in living through a lot of distress. It is a silver lining because I can relate, be understanding and unselfish in terms of what I get out of that particular relationship. Many times people tend to want you to “snap to it” and “be yourself”, grieve quickly and move on. I am not a grieve quickly kind of person, but the flip side is that I can love in a deeper and more gratifying way too.
This was my prayer to my friend this morning who did not sleep because the baby had become swollen and was draining liquid from her brain and the doctors did not know why.
The brokenness is over whelming we can scarcely stand it, we want to jump out of our skin and flee! Give strength in the pain God and be the rock of salvation, the cornerstone, the hiding place of peace in the storm. Be the light in the darkness and the hope. You are our all in all. You are life. Give, be and have life through us, through the baby. Be somehow glorified and magnified in this and every situation. Amen.
F.B. Meyer ( Author and English Evangelist, working in Inner Cities around the turn of the century) said;
Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal If only you will get alone, where the disturbance of self will does not intrude, where human opinions failed to reach- and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, through all around you insist on immediate decision or action- the will of God will be made clear: and you will have a new name in addition, a new conception of God, a deeper insight into the His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone- a rapturous experience, to abide as your precious possession forever, the rich reward for those long waiting hours.
There are times in life when we simply have to wait and while we wait, we have to endure and press forward in the moment. We all experience pain and the degree we measure our pain cannot be against the pain of another human being. We can run… I have done that. We can mask…I have been there as well. Or we can run and hide into wholeness. Into The One who takes the pain in real time and brings shalom in the waiting hours.
I am right here walking this path of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today.