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Reaching Your Children

Children go to the arms of love, with utmost freedom.  If you want to reach them, love them.  Never scold.  Don’t criticize. Don’t show frustration, or discouragement.  Don’t tell them how bad they are. Tell them how good they may be.  Never preach sin, preach it’s cure.  They want to obey, just like you want to obey God.  Consider the mercy given to you, and receive it.  Then show them mercy, revealing Jesus.

Extreme actions never get it, but consistency will. Be consistent with love, and with loving discipline.

Settle in for the long haul, walk in love, and trust God.  Teach them, train them, and watch them grow. They are awesome! They are your great reward!

Resources:  A New Kind of Love,  EW Kenyon;   The Bible

Listening to God

We hear much about praying and talking to God these days.   But, how much do we hear about listening to God.   What does that mean?  How does that look?   Does He really talk to us?

As I write this I must grin.   Because, I know so well that He sure does talk to us.  Not only does He, but He wants to even more.   He wants to talk with us, and share His heart, His thoughts, and His love with us.

So how do I hear from God?   It is great you asked.   A good way to start hearing from the Lord is to spend time reading His Word first, in a quiet place.  Then set 5-15 minutes aside to listen to Him.  Have a notebook and pen in front of you, and start with letting God (and yourself) know that you want to be still and wait on Him. Thank Him that you will hear His voice only.   I often say, “speak to me Lord”, and wait, knowing that He will answer.

At first you may hear “I love you..”   “You are doing great”, or “I have been waiting for you”.  Yes, God has been waiting for you.  He loves to communicate with us.   Keep your mind on a visual of Him, or on the Word you just read and let Him give you deeper insight as you ponder it.

Do not just sit with your mind blank and accept anything that comes in.  Remember, you have an enemy.  His name is Satan, and his demons.   They are certainly able to speak to us as well.  But, you have the witness of the Holy Spirit and the Word to help you be sure of God’s voice.  Also, if you ask to hear from  God and His Holy Spirit, you can trust that God will protect you from any other spirit.   If what you hear does not line up with the Word, than it is not God.  It could just be your flesh, also.   Cast it down, do not be alarmed or moved by it in any way.   Then put your mind back on Him, or even say verbally again, “thank you Lord that I hear your voice only”.  Sometimes it takes time for your flesh to learn to be still in God’s presence.

An important point to remember is that, as Christians,  we have God’s Spirit living in us.  It is through Him, the Holy Spirit, that God speaks to us.   The Spirit talks to our spirit, which feeds the information to our minds.  When you hear God you can often sense it coming from inside.  Although, there are times you just look around and are sure you just heard an audible voice.  Therefore, when making a decision about something, do not depend on words you hear in your mind only.  Confirm that those words are from Him, by making sure it lines up with the Word and then by making sure you have peace in your spirit about it.

You are practicing His presence.   It takes time, commitment, and patience.  Just as it does when you have to give yourself to someone else, to listen to them and really understand what they are saying rather than just wanting to say what you want to say.  This is even more awesome, because He is God, the Almighty God and He loves you so much.  One word from God can change your whole life!    Enjoy your time with Him!

Helpful Resources

Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

The Master is Calling by Lynn Hammond

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Counseling at it’s Best

As counselors we must understand that all mankind interacts with the world around us based on how he or she see themselves. The root of all counseling issues is found in the client’s perception of themselves and their God. The Word of God tells us, “As a man thinks so is he”. We have all read much and listened to much that reminds us that the battlefield is in our minds. But do we get it, do our clients really get it, or do we just see it as too much work , and hope to skirt by or find another way?

Romans 12:2 says “You must not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Many go from relationship to relationship, judge others, change their surroundings, go from revival to revival, change spouses, change careers, or become legalistic all in an effort to find peace, while ignoring this very simple truth. Being personally transformed is what will bring peace and lasting joy.

God’s Word is so very clear of our need to be transformed, and the only way it happens is first being born again through Jesus Christ (John 3:3), and then a lining up of the soul (mind, will, and emotions) through agreement with God’s Word. The New Age movement teaches their own version of this truth, teaching the changing of reality by changing their thinking. They call it “positive thinking”. Well, praise God. It is God’s principle, and it works for all that use it. Yet, they are trying to think themselves into victory and divinity. We as born again Christians already have the victory (Romans 8:37) and we are already of a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), under our Lord and King Jesus Christ. According to II Corinthians 5:17, “we are new creatures, the old has gone and the new has come”. Our spirit man is alive, and brand new, therefore our “positive thinking” is faith filled thinking that is learning to get in agreement with what God says is true about us already.

When this happens we and our clients begin to experience the truth that already lives inside of us. This is when our client’s countenance changes, it is when their relationships become transformed, and it is when they find themselves experiencing the joy of being God’s child. They begin to understand that they are deeply loved, completely forgiven and whole, totally accepted, and fully pleasing to God in Christ Jesus.

Suggested Reading:

Search for Significance, by Robert McGee

Bondage Broken, by Craig Hill

Who Switched Off My Brain, by Dr. Carolyn Leaf