Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: How Can I Get Out of This Mess?

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“Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24b-25a NLT, second edition).

Here is the testimony of a Chinese Christian: “I walked through the road of life and had fallen into a great ditch. The ditch was filled with depression, discouragement, and sin. As I lay in that ditch, Mohammed came along and said, ‘It’s your fault you’re in the ditch. You offended Allah, and this is your just punishment.’ Then Marx came by and said, ‘You’re in the ditch because of class warfare. You must revolt.’ But after the government changed, I was still in my ditch. Then Buddha came along and said, ‘You’re not really in that ditch. You just think you’re there. It’s all an illusion of the mind. Be at peace.’ Then Confucius came by and said, ‘Here are the 10 steps of self-attainment by which you can get out of your ditch. If you will struggle, you will climb out eventually.’ But as much as I struggled and strained, I couldn’t get out of the ditch, because it was too deep.

“Then one day, Jesus Christ came by and saw me in my ditch. Without a word, he took off his white robe and got down in the muddy ditch with me. Then he lifted me up with his strong arms and got me out of the ditch. Thank God that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself.”

Jesus did for you what you could not do for yourself.

If you want healing in your life, you have to believe that Christ can change you. Romans 7:24-25 says, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (NLT, second edition).

The answer to your problem is a person. Who’s going to be lord of your life? Who’s going to call the shots? You or Jesus Christ? When you’re mastered by him, you can master your problems.

God has the power you were lacking. He’ll help you out.

Remember that God will give you the grace to forgive as you walk in faith with him.

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

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Celebrate Recovery

CELEBRATE RECOVERY: LESSON 7 MORAL

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Moral

Principle 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

“Happy are the pure in heart.” (Matthew 5:8)

Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)

An important word of caution:

Do not begin this principle without a sponsor or a strong accountability partner (these are explained in Lesson 8)! You need someone you trust to help keep you balanced during this step, not to do the work for you. Nobody can do that except you. but you need encouragement from someone who will support your progress and hold you accountable. that’s what this program is all about.

Think About It

In this principle, you need to list (inventory) all the significant events – good and bad – in your life. you need to be as honest as you can be to allow God to show you your part and how that affected you and others. the acrostic for MORAL shows you how to begin.

Make time

Set aside a special time to begin your inventory. Schedule an appointment with yourself. Set aside a day or a weekend to get alone with God! Clear your mind of the present hassles of daily life.

“Then listen to me. Keep Silence and I will teach you wisdom!” (Job 33:33, TLB)

Open

Open your heart and your mind to allow the feelings that the pain of the past has blocked or caused you to deny. Try to “wake up” your feelings! Ask yourself, “What do I feel guilty about? What do I resent? What do I fear? Am I trapped in self-pity, alibis, and dishonest thinking?”

“Let me express my anguish. Let me be free to speak out of the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 7:11, TLB)

Rely

Rely on Jesus, your Higher Power, to give you the courage and strength this exercise requires.

“Love the Lord, all of you who are his people; for the Lord protects those who are loyal to him…So cheer up! Take courage if you are depending on the Lord.” (Psalm 31:23 -24, TLB)

Analyze

Analyze your pas honestly. To do a “searching and fearless moral inventory,” you must step out of your denial!

That’s all the word moral means – honest! this step requires looking through your denial of the past into the truth!

“The Lord gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves.” (Proverbs 20:27, GNB)

List

List both the good and the bad. Keep your inventory balanced! If you just look at all the bad things of your past, you will distort your inventory and open yourself to unnecessary pain.

“Let us examine our ways and test them.” (Lamentations 3:40)

The verse doesn’t say, “Examine only your bad, negative ways.” You need to honestly focus on the pros and the cons of your past!

As you compile your inventory, you will find that you have done some harmful things to yourself and others. No one’s inventory (life) is flawless. We have all “missed the mark” in some area of our lives. In recovery we are not to dwell on the past, but we need to understand it so we can begin to allow God to change us. Jesus told us, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10, TLB)

Principle 4 Prayer

Dear God, You know my past, all the good and the bad things that I’ve done. In this step, I ask that You give me the strength and the courage to list those things so that I can “com clean” and face them and the truth. Please help me reach out to theirs You have placed along my “road to recovery” Thank You for providing them to help me keep balanced as I do my inventory. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen

BREAK EVERY CHAIN, BREAK EVERY CHAIN

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God bless!

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Motivation · Power Thoughts

POWER THOUGHTS: Depression: Fighting Dragons

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Being the Hunted

What did Jesus call people who were attacked by dragons, regardless of the righteous way they were conducting their lives? Jesus called these people normal. Jesus made a few promises about what would happen to us, regardless of our faith. Here is what Jesus promised those who love Him the most:

In this world you will have trouble.John 16:33

Jesus didn’t say, “In this world, there is a slight chance that you will go through hard times.” Jesus didn’t say, “If you don’t have enough faith, you will have trouble.” Jesus didn’t say, “If you go to church, stop cussing, don’t drink too much, and always keep your promises, then you won’t have any trouble.” Instead, Jesus said that trouble will hunt you. Period.

If you are alive and breathing, you will have trouble in this world. Either you will hunt the dragon, or the dragon will hunt you. There is no escaping it.

Jesus had every right to make this statement. Jesus believed all the right things, and He had stronger faith and loved God more than you and I will ever be able to. Still, soon after making this statement, Jesus was arrested and nailed to a cross.

Faith, belief, and love do not buffer or barricade your life from trouble and hardship. In fact, sometimes it feels like having faith and doing the right things can attract trouble.

I want to address the dragon that I most often see hunting the people around me: depression. This includes both the deep blues anyone can feel and the diagnosable imbalance that plagues so many. No one asks for this dragon, but he swallows up many people regardless. This dragon is big, heavy, overwhelming, and he has the potential to crush, suffocate, and swallow you up. This dragon doesn’t create bad days or bad weeks. He creates bad childhoods, bad decades, and bad lives. On and on, day after day, year after year, this dragon causes pain with no relief in sight.

Remember that overwhelmingly sad feeling when you learned that someone you loved died? Remember the guilt and embarrassment you felt after your biggest failure was exposed? Remember facing the biggest problem in your life and thinking that it was impossible to fix? Remember that time, as a little kid, when someone held you under the swimming pool too long, and you thought you were going to drown? Roll all of those emotions into one, carry them around with you every day from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep, and you will begin to understand the dragon of depression.

When you experience the dragon of depression, your entire world is seen only through the lens of sadness, hopelessness, mourning, loss, emptiness, grief, pain, anger, frustration, guilt, and death. Death is always there, looming and lurking: “I can’t live another minute like this. Death has to be better than this. The people around me would be better off if I wasn’t here to hurt them. I can’t do this anymore. This is never going to get any better.”

The dragon of depression is a cyclical prison cell. It’s like a dog chasing its own tail: “I am depressed. Because I’m depressed, I can’t do what I need to do. This makes me feel like a failure. That makes me depressed. Because I’m depressed, I can’t do what I need to do. This makes me feel like a failure. That makes me depressed.”

David, the famous king from the Bible, knew these feelings well:

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of Your unfailing love. Among the dead no one proclaims Your name. Who praises You from the grave? I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. – Psalm 6:2-6

How long, Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death. – Psalm 13:1-3

King David wasn’t alone, and you aren’t either. This might surprise some readers, but Jesus understands what depression feels like. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just before Jesus was arrested, He experienced the height of His depression:

Then He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:38-39

If you read Hebrews 4:15, it is clear that Jesus had been tempted in every way that we are, yet He walked through those temptations without sinning. But somewhere along the way, it seems some biblical scholar or translator decided “depression” was no longer included in the long list of ways that Jesus was tempted.

In my opinion, it’s tough to read, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” without concluding that Jesus was struggling with depression. Jesus essentially said, “I’ve been swallowed up to the core of My being with sorrow. The suffocating weight of My sadness is about to crush My life.” Elsewhere, the Bible says this about Jesus’ time in the garden:

Being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. – Luke 22:44

There is a medical condition (hematidrosis) brought on by extreme emotional anguish, strain, and stress during which the capillaries in the skin rupture, allowing blood to flow out of a person’s sweat pores. So for hours, alone in a dark corner of a remote garden, Jesus fell down, curled up on the ground, cried, and prayed so intensely for deliverance from His circumstances that the blood vessels burst inside His skin. You can call it whatever you want, but to me it looks like emotional depression.

Jesus understood, and still understands, depression.

Weeks before Jesus was in the garden, He came face-to-face with everything I’ve just described.

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet Him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. – Mark 5:1-5

Depression can be caused by many different things. In this guy’s case, depression was caused by satanic attack or demonic oppression. The man in this story was possessed by many demons. If you’re anything like me, you immediately think of The Exorcist or some sci-fi movie, but the reality is that, all through the Bible, we read descriptions of battles being fought in the spiritual realm. The New Testament teaches that while a Christian cannot be possessed by Satan or one of his demons, he can be oppressed.

Satan continues to wage war against Christians by attacking or tempting us.

Depression can also be caused by guilt. Sometimes the weight of our downfalls and sins can cause us to grieve and mourn to the point of depression. That’s one of the reasons King David was depressed. He had just been convicted of adultery and murder, and his child was about to die. He used phrases like, “My bones wasted away… my strength was sapped… Do not forsake me, my God… My heart has turned to wax… my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth… Troubles without number surround me” (Psalm 32:3-4, Psalm 71:18, Psalm22:14–15, Psalm 40:12).

The apostle Peter understood depression after he denied knowing Jesus. After his sin of denying Jesus, Peter wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). Judas understood depression after he betrayed Jesus to his death. When the weight and guilt of what he had done finally hit him, Judas decided that committing suicide was the only way out of the belly of the dragon in which he found himself swallowed (Matthew 27:1-5).

Depression can also be caused by the difficult circumstances of our lives. Life can get so hard that it makes us depressed, and that’s what Jesus was feeling in the Garden of Gethsemane. He understood why He needed to be sacrificed. He even knew the wonderful outcome that would result from His torture and death. Yet even though Jesus knew that the next few days would ultimately become the most wonderful event ever to occur in the history of the universe, the thought of them still caused Him to collapse to the ground, curl up, and cry until blood seeped from His pores.

Depression can also be the result of a physical illness. Sometimes the circumstances of our bodies can cause us to become depressed. I’m not talking about body image issues causing someone to become depressed (although that happens often). I’m talking about synapses misfiring and chemicals becoming imbalanced. I’m talking about diseases within our bodies. This can be the most difficult cause of depression to wrestle with because you can’t quite put your finger on the reason you are suffering. You’re simply suffering. More on this in a minute.

Regardless of the cause of depression, one factor remains constant: depression always centers on death and pain.

Depression is about death. The naked guy on the beach in Mark 5 lived in a cemetery. When you feel dead inside, you begin to dwell on the things of death, and eventually that place becomes your home. Depression is also about pain. The man would cry out and cut himself with razorsharp stones.

Depression has many causes, it revolves around death and pain, and it has no easy fixes.

Let’s continue with the story about the naked man on the beach:

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of Him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” – Mark 5:6-9

Later in this story, Jesus sends the spirits away and heals the man. That’s when the crowd shows up:

When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. – Mark 5:15

Jesus is bigger, stronger, and Most High over everything.

In the story about the naked man at the beach, the demon of depression recognized and yielded to the authority of Jesus. Jesus is bigger than depression. Whether you personally hunted down your dragon or it stalked and ambushed you, Jesus can set you free again.

No More Dragons by Jim Burgen

Love and joy to you all,

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(Source: FaithGateway and Jim Burgen)

Family · Rick Warren

FAMILY: Happy Thanksgiving! A Thankful Heart

Family

Today is a great day to meditate on all of God’s abundant blessings in our lives and spend time expressing gratitude to Him. Today’s the perfect day to lift up your thanks to the Lord all day long! Praise Him in song! Praise Him in poetry! Praise Him to your family & friends! Praise Him for the small miracles of each day and for the grand gestures of His lavish love! 

* * *

Philippians 4:6

Come to Me with a thankful heart, so that you can enjoy My Presence.

This is the day that I have made.

I want you to rejoice today, refusing to worry about tomorrow. Search for all that I have prepared for you, anticipating abundant blessings and accepting difficulties as they come. I can weave miracles into the most mundane day if you keep your focus on Me.

Come to Me with all your needs, knowing that My glorious riches are a more-than-adequate supply. Stay in continual communication with Me, so that you can live above your circumstances even while you are in the midst of them. Present your requests to Me with thanksgiving, and My Peace, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your heart and mind.

Read today:

Psalm 118:24
The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
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.

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(Source: Sarah Young and Faith Gateway)

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Three Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking God’s Will

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“The steps of a man are established by the Lord …. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand” (Psalm 37:23a-24 NASB).

You may be at what you think is a dead end in your life. “We’re never going to get out of debt! I’m never going to have a baby. My dream is never going to come true. How is it ever going to work out?”

Right now it may look dark and you may feel defeated and it may seem like a mystery to you. But one day you’re going to see in the light of eternity how it all fits together in God’s plan. Until then, there are three errors you need to avoid as you seek God’s will that will help you trust in him, even when you don’t understand.

  1. Don’t be fatalistic. The idea of fatalism — that everything that happens is God’s will — leads to self-pity. It causes us to blame God for everything bad in our lives rather than accepting responsibility that we caused the problem. And, fatalism leads to passivity. It makes us think, “I’m waiting on God to bring me a wife” or “I’m waiting on God to get me a job.” God’s saying, “I gave you a brain! I gave you two feet! Get out and do something about it!”
  2. Don’t be frustrated. If you try to figure out everything in your life, you’re going to be very frustrated. Sometimes you’re going to do what you think is God’s will, and it’s going to fail. “I thought God was leading me to start this business, but it failed.” What do you do when there are no answers? You keep trusting God, knowing that he’s working on your character through all of your circumstances and that he has good plans for you.
  3. Don’t be fearful. What is behind the fear of God’s will? The root problem is that you doubt God’s love. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18a NASB). We always get into trouble when we doubt God’s love, because when we don’t trust him, we don’t obey him.

Psalm 37:23-24 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord …. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”

God’s will is an expression of his love. When you don’t understand what God is doing, have patience. God knows what’s best for you. You can’t see the end result, but he can. God’s path may be a path of pain, but all those delays and difficulties and problems are building character in your life.

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Celebrate Recovery

CELEBRATE RECOVERY: LESSON 6 ACTION

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Action

Think About It

Even after taking the first two steps we can still be stuck in the cycle of failure:

Guilt >> Anger >> Fear >> Depression!

How do we get “unstuck”? How do we get past the barriers of pride, fear guilt, worry and doubt that keep us from taking this step?

The answer is we need to take ACTION!

Accept Jesus Christ as your Higher Power and Savior!

Make the decision to ask Jesus into your heart. Now is the time to commit your life, to establish that personal relationship with Jesus that He so desires.

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him form the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Commit to seek and follow HIS will!

We need to change our definition of willpower: Willpower is the willingness to accept God’s power. We see that here is no room for god if we are full of ourselves.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:9-10)

Turn it over

“Let go; let God!” Turn over all the big things and the little things in your life to your Higher Power. Jesus Christ wants a relationship with ALL of you. What burdens are you carrying that you want to TURN OVER to God?

Come to me and I will give you rest – all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke – for it fits perfectly – and let me teach you; for I am gentle and jumble, and you shall find rest for your souls. “(Matthew 11:28 – 30, TLB)

It’s only the beginning

In the third principle we make only the initial decision, the commitment to seek and follow god’s will. Our walk with our Higher Power, Jesus Christ, begins with this decision and is followed by a lifelong process of growing as a Christian.

“God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within is finally finished.” (Philippians 1:6, TLB)

One day at a time

Recovery happens one day at a time. If we remain stuck in the yesterday or constantly worry about tomorrow, we will waste the precious time of the present. We can only change our hurts, hang-ups, and habits in the present. We can only change our hurts, hang-ups, and habits in the present.

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34, TLB)

Next: How do I ask Christ into my life?

Ask yourself the following four questions, and if you answer yes to all of them, pray the prayer that follows them. That’s it. That’s all you have to do!

How to Establish a “Spiritual Base” for My Life

By Pastor Rick Warren

Do I…

Believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for me and showed He was God by coming back to life?

(1 Corinthians 15:2-4)

Do I…

Accept God’s free forgiveness for my sins?

(Romans 3:22)

Do I…

Switch to God’s plan for my life?

Do me…

Express my desire to Christ to be the director of my life?

(Romans 10:9)

Dear God, I believe you sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins so I can be forgiven. I’m sorry for my sins and I want to live the rest of my life the way you want me to. Please put Your Spirit in my life to direct me. Amen

Principle 3: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

“Happy are the meek.” (Matthew 5:5)

Step 3: We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

“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.” (Romans 12:1)

BREAK EVERY CHAIN, BREAK EVERY CHAIN

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God bless!

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Motivation · Power Thoughts · Rick Warren

POWER THOUGHTS: Let Go of Your Hurt

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“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:13 NLT, second edition).

Many of us have someone in our lives who has done some crazy, hurtful thing to us or, maybe even more importantly, to somebody that we love. In our minds we think, “I know the Christian thing to do is to forgive, so I will. I will forgive him as soon as he gives me an apology.”

The problem with that is, you’re still holding onto the hurt. Truth is, that person may never ask you for forgiveness. He may never say he’s sorry, because he doesn’t get it, or he may not even realize what he’s done. So you end up stewing over something that the other person has long ago forgotten. And it’s eating you up inside!

Never hold onto a hurt, because resentment tears you up. Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it’s going to kill someone else. It doesn’t work. You have to decide that, before anything else happens, you are going to forgive that person.

Jesus said this even in the most extreme of circumstances, as he was hanging on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a NIV).

So what do you do? When you struggle with forgiving, remember the great gift of God’s forgiveness.

Remember a verse like Colossians 3:13: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT, second edition). It’s not a bad one to memorize and carry with you throughout the day, because you’re going to have plenty of chances to use it.

That phrase “make allowance” is the Greek word that means “to bear with, to endure, to be tolerant.” Basically it means to cut people some slack. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NIV).

I want God’s blessing in your life. One of the ways you receive that is by being merciful.

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Love and joy to you all,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

Prayer

PRAYER: Letting Go

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Oh King of Heaven, how we love Thee! You our Father are magnificent and none can compare to your Glory. We bow down before you to humbly ask that you help us release every negative thought, every trace of doubt and every bit of fear that may lurk deep within our hearts. Help us to let go of the things that consume our happiness as we declare you release joy into our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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Father we ask your assistance in letting go of ideals, old patterns or habits that no longer serve us, arguments and limiting beliefs. Help us to remember that letting go is a healthy practice to maintain joy and peace within our hearts as well as our lives.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Lord remind us that letting go also means finding forgiveness. Whether it is forgiving yourself or forgiving a person who betrayed you. Help us to release the past and let go of the pain and anger that destroys our ability to show compassion.

Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Help us, Oh Loving Father, to remember everything in our lives happen for a reason and you alone know why. For you make all things work together for our good. Every detail, every event, whether big or small, is all part of your plan, to shape us and mold us into the persons we are meant to be. Knowing this now, we declare that every situation that makes our hearts heavy, be released…

In Jesus’ most precious name, AMEN!!

God bless.
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Motivation · Power Thoughts · Rick Warren

POWER THOUGHTS: How to Get Past Regrets

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“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands” (Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG).

How often do you play the “If only” game?

  • If only I could do it over again.
  • If only I had listened sooner.
  • If only I could erase the past.
  • If only I could forgive myself.

    The thing to remember is that no one is perfect. We all have regrets. We’ve all made bad choices and said foolish things. We’ve all wasted time and hurt ourselves and others.How do you release your regrets? In my experience as a pastor, I’ve seen several strategies we tend to use that simply do not work:

  • You try to bury your past. Burying the past will never help you get past your regrets. You can try to minimize (“It wasn’t a big deal”), rationalize (“Everyone does it”), and compromise (lower your standards), but your regrets are still there, and if unresolved, they’ll keep coming back to haunt you over and over again like a creature in a horror movie.
  • We blame others. This tactic is as old as Adam and Eve. When Adam sinned, he took it like a man: He blamed his wife! We use blame to balance out our guilt.
  • We beat ourselves up. We try to pay for our guilt unconsciously through illness, depression, setting ourselves up for failure, and other forms of self-punishment. The problem with beating up on yourself is this: Your conscience never knows when to stop! Some people spend their entire lives in self-condemnation.What does God want you to do with your regrets instead?
  • Admit your guilt. Own up to it. Don’t make excuses. “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance” (Proverbs 28:13 TLB).
  • Accept Christ’s forgiveness. He’s waiting to clean your slate. Ask him to clear your conscience. Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
  • Forgive yourself, and focus on the future. “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands” (Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG).

11-11-16-Forgiveness-How-To-Get-Past-Regrets

Love and joy to you all,

3l8vgf8e2pga9jxok0br

(Source: Rick Warren)

Celebrate Recovery

CELEBRATE RECOVERY: LESSON 5 TURN

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Turn

Think About It

How do you TURN your life over to the one and only Higher Power, Jesus Christ?

Trust

Deciding to turn your life and your will over to God requires only trust. Trust is putting the faith you found in Principle 2 into action.

“If you declare with your lips, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9, GNB)

Understand

Relying solely on your own understanding got you into recovery in the first place! After you make the decision to ask Jesus into your life, you need to begin to seek His will for your life in all your decisions

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Repent

To truly repent, you must not only turn away from your sins, but turn toward God. Repentance allows you to enjoy the freedom of your loving relationship with God.

“Turn from your sins and act on this glorious news!” (Mark 1:15, TLB)

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remake you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed.” (Romans 12:2, PH)

New Life

After you ask Jesus into your heart, you will have a new life! You will no longer be bound to your old sin nature. God has declared you NOT GUILTY, and you no longer have to live under the power of sin!

“Now God says he will accept and acquit us – declare us ‘not guilty’ – if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins.” (Romans 3:22, TLB)

We will work on the “how top’s” of TURNING our life and will over to God in Lesson 6. But do not forget this key point:

Turning your life over to Christ is a once-in-a-lifetime commitment!

Turning your will over to Him requires a daily re-commitment!

Pray the following prayer daily:

Dear God, I have tried to do it all by myself on my own power, and I have failed. Today I want to turn my life over to you. I ask you to be my Lord and my Savior. You are the One and only Higher Power! I ask that you help me think less about me and my will. I want to daily turn my will over to you, to daily seek your direction and wisdom for my life. Please continue to help me overcome my hurts, hang-ups, and habits, that victory over them may help others as they see your power at work in changing my life. Help me to do your will always. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Principle 3: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

“Happy are the meek.” (Matthew 5:5) 

Step 3: We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

“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.”(Romans 12:1)

 

BREAK EVERY CHAIN, BREAK EVERY CHAIN

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God bless!

3l8vgf8e2pga9jxok0br

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