God's Truth In Love

Posts Tagged ‘Prophecy’

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 5 – What is Repentance?

In Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, End Times, Exhortation, God's Voice, Godliness, Learning, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on May 16, 2018 at 9:15 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

What is repentance and how do we as individuals and a Body find our way to its door? The word repentance is found twenty-six times in the King James Bible, twenty-five of which appear in the New Testament and one appearance in the Old Testament.

Geek Language Definition for the word “repentance” as found in 2 Corinthians 7:8-12

3341. metavnoia meátanoáia, met-an´-oy-ah; from 3340; (subj.) compunction (for guilt, incl. reformation); by impl. reversal (of [another’s] decision):— repentance.

3340. metanoevw meátanoáeáoµ, met-an-oá-eh´-o; from 3326 and 3539; to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (mor. feel compunction):— repent.

3539. noievw noáieáoµ, noy-eh´-o; from 3563

noevw noáeáoµ no-eh´-o; to exercise the mind, (observe), i.e. (fig.) to comprehend, heed:— consider, perceive, think, understand.

In the meaning of the word “repentance” as found in the Greek Language, we see the need for a reversal of a previous decision we have made. That reversal of our choices can only come after we have compunction about a choice we have previously made. That second-guessing and reconsideration whether brought about through guilt, fear, shame, regret, or some other less than desirable feeling can be a powerful source for bringing about a needed change. Yet, people flee at the first sign of just such emotions.

Feelings tell us something is wrong in our environment. While we should never be led around by our feelings, we should respect our feelings enough to evaluate their meaning. “Compunction” carries with it a moral sense concerning the feelings one is experiencing. When feelings carry with them a moral overtone, they should be given even more consideration and respect.

We must actually take the time to ponder our potential reversal of a previously committed decision. There is no room for lazy living, in a godly spiritually successful life. We have to use our minds, observe our lives, consider the consequences and effects of our actions, perceive the heart of God on a matter, and thoroughly think it through to understanding. Then we will be in a place where we can apply a true commitment to repentance regarding the matter.

Hebrew Language Definition for the word “repentance” as found in Hosea 13:14

5164. µj’nœ

noÆcham, no’-kham; from 5162; ruefulness, i.e. desistance:— repentance.

Once the matter has been carefully pondered and clearly thought out we must make the leap, we must change our course of action. Repentance cannot just be about the sorrow of sin; it must be about committing to change. Change is the evidence of repentance. God does not bring us to a point of sorrow over sin or poor choices only to leave us making the same choices. He does so that we might find the motivation, grace, and willingness to change.

Encarta ® World English Dictionary Definition and Synonyms for the words “repent” and “repentance”.

re·pent

1. be sorry: to recognize the wrong in something you have done and be sorry about it

2. change ways: to feel regret about a sin or past actions and change your ways or habits

-re·pen·tance, , n

-re·pen·tant, , adj

-re·pent·er, , n

re·pent2

growing on ground: growing or lying along the ground

repentance (n)

regret, sorrow, remorse, penitence, atonement, shame, contrition, penance, contriteness

True repentance should come with a desire to atone or amend for previous actions or behaviors. This is not always possible, nevertheless, whether possible or not the desire should exist. This desire is further evidence of a truly repentant heart. If possible, we should take action to right a wrong or mend a broken relationship, restoring fellowship between Believers whenever possible. This will add to the joy we find in repentance.

Scripture Text – 2 Corinthians 7:8-12 NKJV

“8For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. 9Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.”

Our sorrow should lead us somewhere. If it does not lead us to life, it will kill us. That is heart of this book. To bring us, all of us, the Body of Christ to a place of life, a place of repentance, a place of joy.


Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 4 – Personal Repentance

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Learning, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Remnant, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on May 2, 2018 at 6:12 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

To follow the will of God is to prosper; to rebel against the will of God is to be destroyed. – Mencius

Again, this will be challenging but it is what God wants said, THE CHURCH MUST REPENT, which means individuals must personally repent!

Each day when we arise, we make a choice within our spirits regarding whom we will follow. As the days turn to years the choices are many and the reasons for our choices varies but nevertheless they are our choices. Either we will follow our own will, the Will of God, the will of another person, or we will drift aimlessly through our days with no sense of direction or purpose. Whom we chose to follow, as well as choosing not to follow anyone and just drifting through life, affects and effects both other people affects and effects the Body of Christ as a whole.

Much like ripples on a pond our choices are ripples through life, ripples which begin with our personal choices, then reach out to our spouse and/or family members, from there out to our local congregations, next the Body of Christ, and ultimately to the world as a whole multiplying as they go. One wrong or selfish choice can affect the lives of a dozen people or more. Yet, do we look at each choice that way. Do we consider this truth when we are deciding whom we will follow each morning when we open our eyes to greet the new day? We should, and we can.

Joy has slipped from the lives of individual Christians and from the Church as a whole because for too long we have chosen to do things our way instead of choosing to do things God’s Way. We have awakened morning after morning choosing to do our own will, the will of another, or even the will of Satan himself instead of doing the Will of God. That choice day after day has drained the joy from our lives and that draining of joy has extended much like those ripples on a pond, to the entire Body of Christ to some degree. Where we were once excited about fellowship with Jesus and fellowship with each other now we are lifeless and somewhat empty. That can all change.

We as individuals have an option to repent, repent from self-will and once again make God number one in our lives. Our joy can be restored through our repentance. Once our joy is resorted we can begin to see the ripples on the pond extend to our spouse and family, our local congregation, and then to the overall Body of Christ.

We as a group, the Body of Christ, also need to extend that repentance to our local congregations, in respect to how we have done things, how we have neglected people or even mistreated them at times. Then we will begin to feel the impact of that repentance on the overall Body of Christ. Once that has taken place we will begin to see people once again attracted to the Church and attracted to what God has to offer their lives.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 3 – Church Repentance

In Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, End Times, God's Voice, Holy Spirit, Prophecy, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 18, 2018 at 3:15 pm

I have been waiting on God to ready the message and the messenger.

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

This will be challenging but it is what God wants said at this time, THE CHURCH MUST REPENT!

The church has so compromised the Principles of God, the Ways of God, the Purposes of God, and the Will of God, that for most God has grown remote and silent. Religion has replaced sincere godly spirituality. Program has replaced the moving of the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 2:1–3 (NKJV)

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

The church has treated people, the lost and its own, in such a poor manner that the passion of God, the passion for God has been drained from its walls. A shallowness in love and intimacy sits side by side with cold love and events or programs meant to serve those individuals holding them instead of those individuals in attendance.

Matthew 24:9–12 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

The church is filled with leaders who are filled with selfish ambition and are ministering to meet their own needs instead of being servant leaders there to meet the needs of a dying world and decaying church. The leaders serve those individuals within their congregations with influence, money, or both often afraid to speak God’s Truth boldly for fear of offending their congregation and losing members. Of these leaders that I speak they are hirelings.

Ephesians 4:11–16 (NKJV)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

John 10:12 (NKJV) – Jesus speaking

12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.

Philippians 1:15–16 (NKJV)

15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains;

There is good news however, great news, God is a merciful God who will forgive the church and restore its influence on society if only the church will repent. Revival does not come without repentance. Repentance is the match that lights the flame in the heart to which revival comes. Repent!

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 2 – Motive

In Apostasy, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Exhortation, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Prophecy, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Truth, Uncategorized on March 24, 2018 at 2:46 pm

This blog will alternate weekly between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Always remember however low you set the bar in life you will come in yet lower, just below that bar; so you might as well set it very high, at least then, you will make it eighty-five percent of the way.

I will start out by making it plain that this blog topic is not meant to tear down The Church but instead to build up The Church through an honest call to repentance and change. If The Church refuses to look honestly at itself then it will not be capable of turning back to what Jesus intended it to be at its conception. An honest appraisal and review will go a long way toward restoring our, meaning the Body of Christ’s, reputation with the world and our own members. Refusal to assess where we are at is a call to march toward death. The Church is hemorrhaging now from its wounds and we must be willing to stop the bleeding in order that we might survive, and even thrive.

That said let me be the first to say as a Child of God, Christian Writer, Christian Spiritual Leader, and fellow member of the Body of Christ; I have made MANY mistakes in my forty plus years of Christian life and service that have reflected poorly on The Church, God, my family, my fellow Christians, and myself. I am the first to say, ‘I have failed many times to live up to Christ’s ideals.’ Yet, my failure to live up to those ideals does not make those ideals, God’s Standards, any less true, any less God’s Principles, or any less the real ideals of our Savior, the Christ, Jesus.

Therefore, since none of us are without sin, without failings, let us approach this issue within the Church and Body of Christ with humility and hold fast to the truth that we are to have mercy over judgment. We are only to use this blog discussion to make us, as the Body of Christ, better not condemn or judge the Body of Christ or any member therein, in an ungodly way. Never forget how much mercy your Heavenly Father has shown you. We as a Body of Believers can discern the truth, face the truth, and tell the truth without crossing that line into condemning or judging. That is all this blog seeks to do and all I want it to exhort others to do. Do you love people? Do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? I love people so I need to “speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” – James 2:12

The stories and examples given in future blog entries are real accounts which have been witnessed by me, told to me by the person it happened to, happened to me personally, and/or told to me through a third party or anonymously. No names or actual locations will be noted in the examples. Therefore, the privacy or confidentiality of no persons, including myself, will be violated in anyway.

Let this blog discussion be a tool in the hands of the Master Craftsman so that His Church might arise once again and be an example to the society in which they live.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 1 – God Moving

In Apostasy, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christianity, End Times, Exhortation, False Doctrine, False Teaching, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Jesus, Prophecy, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on March 10, 2018 at 8:58 am

This blog will alternate weekly between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

You see your church is not growing, so now what? It is time for those who can see to begin to speak to the church about why it is not growing and what God wants done about this sad reality. The next few years between 2018 and 2021 are going to be critical for The Church, The Body of Christ, Jesus’ People as God begins a powerful transforming move of His Spirit.

Are you personally ready to face Truth, to face God and what He is saying to His People? Is your group, your church, ready to embrace a move of God that will transform lives and your church permanently? If you are, then I recommend you follow this blog (at the bottom of the page is a “follow” button to sign up for email delivery), then buckle your spiritual seatbelt, take off your blinders, unplug your ears, and get ready to face Truths that will change you and your church in almost every area.

God has something to say and do – encourage every person you know to listen, and watch God do what only God can do!

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

It’s Only Hamburger

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Courage, Depression, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Renewal, Spiritual Fruit, Truth, Uncategorized on May 22, 2015 at 10:32 am

For the ladies…

 

Well worth the read.

 

http://brando.tickld.com/x/woman-realizes-that-shes-been-accidentally-abusing-her-husband-this-whole-time

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Conclusion

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Courage, Depression, Devotional, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Jesus, Loss, Love, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on May 8, 2015 at 7:23 am

A personal moment of grief…

One of the longest running sources of grief in my lifetime has been the deterioration of the corporate church I have watched over the last twenty years. There is no way I can describe for you the pain it has caused me to watch churches and spiritual leaders who I believe once loved Jesus and were fully devoted to Him become apostate churches and apostate leaders.

I have been accused many times of speaking out against the church and against the brethren, yet, it was never my desire to hurt either, it was my desire to honor God, speak what He told me to speak, and bring warning against the deterioration of the corporate body in an effort to turn the tide back to true unadulterated devotion to Christ. I never wanted us, The Body of Christ and the corporate church, to be where we are today – churches emptying and closing and with attendance of churches at a record low in America. I have cried many tears over this problem, still do, and the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual pain has been almost unbearable at times over the last twenty plus years.

I watched a special news cast regarding the continuation of the television series “The Bible” which is currently airing the second part, the New Testament, “A.D. The Bible Continues” on Sunday nights. This television program is the most watch show in television history. This means people are interested in the Bible and drawn to God, perhaps even seeking faith, yet it has been proven recently and made known in the media that church attendance in America is at an all time low. I write about why that is and have been warning about it for years – you can find the writings on this blog [GodsTruthInLove.org] in the achieves under “Spiritual Remnant” – Believer are leaving the corporate churches in droves.

During this news special I watched, they interviewed the pastor of the largest church in America, with some 33,000 plus people in attendance weekly – Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. They asked him why he believed church attendance in America was at an all time low despite the fact that people are obviously interested in the Bible and seeking faith. Sadly, this man’s answer was right on target and what I have been exhorting churches to stop for years, the pastor stated that the reason was because people had been hurt so badly by churches that they were leaving churches but not their faith.

We must learn to disagree without wounding or killing one another. Jesus never killed or wounded those He disagreed with; He merely gave them the truth and then walked away from them.

Spiritual leaders more than anything or anyone else have been the cause of the deterioration of the corporate church – may God forgive them, forgive us, and heal the grief caused while at the same time restoring His Church to what He always intended it to be.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Pt. 12 Prayer for Healing

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Courage, Depression, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Renewal, Rhema Words, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on May 1, 2015 at 5:57 am

If you have lived very long then grief and loss has touched your life in some manner and to some degree. I will not attempt to list the various types of loss that cause people grief in life, for there are far too many to ever do a list exhaustively or even with any true amount of justice. I will only state that grief caused by loss in all its forms is a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual pain like no other and only the One True God, Jesus the Only LORD and Saviour, is able to ever completely and totally heal us from grief. That healing is exclusively in His timing and by His design but I do offer this prayer of healing for all those out there reading this that have suffered loss, no matter how extensive, like Job, or no matter how sight – grief is grief and I want to see you healed from that pain.

Father God I come to You in the name of Jesus and through the blood of Jesus to seek You for healing from the devastating pain of grief for all those individuals who read this prayer and stand in agreement with its content.

It is by the strips of Jesus that all those who know Him personally have been healed, made completely whole in You. I realize it is according to Your Will that You determine how You will manifest and distribute that healing balm. I submit myself to that Truth in accordance with Your Will and Your Word.

Lord Jesus please pour out Your healing from the pain of loss and grief over all who read this and have true need. Wrap them in the comfort of Your loving arms and let them cry. Dip them in the pool of Your grace and help them to accept, and where possible, understand Your Will and Your Ways. Wash them with the Water of The Spirit and rid them of the bitterness that often follows grief. Sit them on Your strong knees and hold them for a season while they regain their strength. Then lastly Lord Jesus please stand them down upon their new ground supported by the renewed strength You have placed in them and point them in the direction they should walk, having completed Your healing work which has set them free from their grief and granted them a new spiritual perspective, courage, and spiritual strength for life.

I thank You for Your Divine Healing and complete restoration of our, those individuals reading this, lives. I thank You for healing their grief. I thank You for healing my grief. I thank You for restoring their joy. I thank You for restoring my joy. I thank You for entrusting me, and us, with so much grief to endure – thank You for believing in me, in us, that we were made of the spiritual stuff to endure it, overcome it, and thrive.

Prepare us with the godly words, in season and out, to speak life and healing into the life of every individual we encounter who is enduring loss and grief.

I love You so much, we love You so much, and we offer this prayer in full trust of Your goodness and willingness to give Your children good things therefore, we thank You for granting our request.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen and Amen.

In the next part of this series, the conclusion, I will share a personal testimony regarding grief.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Pt. 11 Stages of Grief / Stage 10

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Courage, Depression, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Renewal, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on April 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm

In the final stage of grief, the second healing stage, the person who has struggled through the dark days of grief begins to inwardly and outwardly avow their new reality.

At this point their new life, life without whatever or whomever they lost begins. The person must begin to move in their new reality which now includes perhaps one or more of the following – a life lived without a parent in it, a life that will not include a child that has been lost, the reality of single life after years of companionship from a loving spouse, life beyond the end of a dream or hope, or the unsteady steps of building new relationships after the loss of a dear friend, social community, or church group.

The new reality of the griever’s life, their new role in life, must be accepted and embraced, for their life must continue to propel itself forward if the grieving person is to find peace. This is a period of renewal of sorts, in that, by the winds of change the griever’s life has been made different and therefore new in many ways. Going back to the old self is no longer an option for the griever as there is a missing dynamic to what the old self use to be.

There are daily choices that must be made as part of the new life. Life is a series of choices in many ways and those choices make up the fabric of what our life entails. For those ready to stand on the other side of their grief they must choose daily to accept their new reality and live in that reality. In making that one grand choice they must make a series of smaller choices that support living in their new reality, all the “what to do’s” and the “what not to do’s” of life. I will go walking today. I will not sit on the couch and cry for hours. I will call a friend and go visit them instead of indulging in self-pity. I will not sit alone and sulk over my loss, eating or drinking to comfort myself. I will not focus on what might have been, that dream is over. I will focus on what God has brought into my life and give myself to that work/service.

There is a sense of strength found in the new reality and renewal of the person who has suffered from grief and loss. If a person has come through heavy grief and now finds himself or herself on the other side staring their new reality and new life in the face, then they cannot help but be a stronger person.

1 Peter 1:6–9 (NKJV)

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

James 1:2–4 (NKJV)

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

To survive loss takes strength and to survive loss and then thrive takes greater strength and profound courage therefore, godly Christians cannot help but cultivate an inner strength and greater dependence upon God that opens their eyes to the potential beauty to be found in their renewed life. The difference to be found between Survivors and Overcomers is found in the beautiful life lessons they can see and glean from their grief, trials, and hardships in life. One of the most beautiful treasures people find in grief is the great value of people and relationships that cannot be taught any other way.

In the next part of this series, part twelve, I will offer a prayer for healing from grief and loss.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Pt. 10 Stages of Grief / Stage 9

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Depression, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on April 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

In stage nine of grief the griever begins to see hope emerge from the ashes of loss.

Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

To console those who mourn in Zion,

To give them beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

That they may be called trees of righteousness,

The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

In stage nine the person grieving begins to realize that the painful memories they are experiencing are part of the healing process and therefore must be integrated into their life. There is an acceptance of the fact that life has changed and the person begins to embrace completely all that has happened. They begin to reach out to life once again with less fear and more confidence.

The speed of this return to life will vary for different individuals but nevertheless they begin once again to find their emotional equilibrium. They begin to realize and accept that life must change if it is to continue and continue it must.

For Christians this is a time of returning to, waiting for, and/or drawing closer to their Lord, the Author of their salvation.

Lamentations 3:22–26 (NKJV)

22 Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,

Because His compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning;

Great is Your faithfulness.

24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“Therefore I hope in Him!”

25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,

To the soul who seeks Him.

26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly

For the salvation of the LORD.

The mercy of God is great, nothing can compare to His mercy, and He reaches out to His children each day with new mercies. The word “new” in verse twenty-three also means “fresh” in the Hebrew. Each day there is a fresh supply of God’s loving-kindness also known as mercy. For those grieving that freshness becomes fresher and fresher with each passing day.

For a Christian the Lord is our portion. The words “my portion” in verse twenty-four in the Hebrew means “smoothness” and “inheritance” which is exactly what God is for us and to us. He smoothes the rough places and gives us a “part” or our “allotment” of Himself, our daily allotment. Both the words “part” and “allotment” are found in the definition of “my portion” according to the Hebrew language. The language also indicated that He will “deal” and “distribute” that portion of Himself that is needed by us, as we have need of Him. What a wonderful Truth to know that our God is there for us during our time of need, and for that matter, at all times.

In order to sense our Lord’s presence during the difficult times in life, we must not allow ourselves to become so overwhelmed that we do not seek Him during our hour of need.

To “seeketh” [KJV] found in verse twenty-five in the Hebrew language means “to tread or frequent; usually to follow for pursuit” and by implication it is to “ask” and more specifically “to worship” doing both “diligently” as we “inquire” of the Lord for our help. As one heals from loss and grief be mindful to worship God and to take your questions to Him in prayer.

One must not let their pain keep them from talking to God about their questions regarding all that has happened to them. To “hope” in verse twenty-four means to “say” and “be pained” but then in verse twenty-six a layer of meaning is added, it evolves to also means to be “expectant” of something. Therefore, what happens between verse twenty-four and twenty-six? … Waiting and seeking the LORD.

When we do not understand something we wait with faith and trust in our Lord that as His children He only has our best interest at heart, for He always wants our ultimate good. In verse twenty-six “and quietly wait” [KJV] in part means “to be dumb” in the Hebrew language. There are times in life when we cannot know what we desire to know, we cannot obtain the needed knowledge to understand why something happens; at times we remain “dumb” to the whys of life. It is during this time of not knowing, our season of denseness, that our trust, faith, and reliance upon our Lord grows – all of which is needed to obtain salvation from our grief and pain.

There is the Eternal Salvation, which Jesus provided through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead for those who would trust in Him, then there is the daily salvation He provides for us here on earth. In healing from grief or loss that daily salvation is applied to our lives as we seek Him and allow Him to apply that salvation.

In verse twenty-six “for the Salvation” [KJV] in the Hebrew means to “rescue literally or figuratively” and to rescue both in the natural and spiritual. It means to bring about our “deliverance, help, safety, salvation and victory” ultimately. It also means to make us “to be free” and that means “freedom from some trouble” we are facing.

To whom is this type of salvation given? To those who wait for the LORD. What does it mean to wait for the Lord? According to the Hebrew language “unto them that wait” [KJV] in verse twenty-five means “to bind together perhaps by twisting” and “figuratively to expect” something. Expect what? Expect the Lord to act on our behalf, expect the salvation of the LORD. The Hebrew meaning also indicates we are to “gather [ourselves] together” and “look patiently” while we “tarry” in expectation of the Lord’s actions.

Are you twisted up in your grief or are you intertwined, twisted, and bound to The Spirit of God that is healing you? Are you accepting and enduring your grief in expectation of God’s salvation from its pain? Are you making room for your salvation [the victory and deliverance from grief and sorrow] to come by patiently enduring what you do not understand, what you do not want, while staying bound to Christ in full trust of His love for you?

In the next part of this series, part eleven, we will examine the final stage of grief, the second healing stage.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Pt. 9 Grief finds Job

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Depression, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on April 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

In this part of the series, we will glean what we can learn about grief and how to handle grief from the verses below taken from the Book of Job.

As many people reading this might know, Job was a man in the Bible that God allowed Satan to attack. Through a series of attacks on Job’s life he lost everything he had except his life and I do mean everything tangible and temporary. He lost his home, his children, his marriage was broken down, his health was horrible, he lost his business and he lost all his possessions.

Job was left with three things in the end: his life, his faith, and his God, which was all Job needed to make a comeback and make a comeback he did. At the end of Job’s life he had more than he had ever lost, as God restored what he had lost tenfold and then some.

Nevertheless, during that middle season of Job’s life he grieved and he grieved intensely. Now let us look at that grief. We will examine how Job responded and how those around him responded.

Job 2:13 (NKJV)

So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.

Job’s grief is described as “very great” which to me seems like an understatement. For a man suffering from such monumental losses I am sure words could not sufficiently express his pain. Very often we have no words to express our grief sufficiently when we are going through a loss. We really should not try to express our feelings beyond what we are able, as words cannot always express what is in the human heart.

Notice in this verse that Job’s acquaintances or friends who came to visit him during his grief done nothing more at this point other than sit down with him, on the ground right where he was sitting, for seven days and they said nothing. These individuals did not quote Scripture at, try to express sorrow, try to verbally empathize or express sympathy for at least seven days. Today we do the opposite and unfortunately we often overwhelm the person who is in the early stages of grief with phone calls, text, visits, etc. in an effort to express our care during a time when they are in all probability in shock.

I believe there is much to be learned from those individuals in this verse who sat around Job during his grief. We too should learn to simply sit silently with someone who is suffering in pain and grief. We too should not search for words but instead let our presence and our presence alone do the talking for us. We too need to allow people space to adjust to the shock of what has happened to them.

Job 6:2 (NKJV)

“Oh, that my grief were fully weighed,

And my calamity laid with it on the scales!

A person in the throes of grief longs to be understood but often feels that no one understands their loss. Quite honestly no one can understand their loss completely because grief is very personal and the pain very privately held within the deep recesses of our souls. The grief that people see exhibited in our actions is often only a small example of the grief we feel deep within ourselves.

In a society where things are quite generic in nature, where we prize equality even when equality is not always possible or best, we have a difficult time accepting that not all grief is alike. Not everyone’s grief is equal. The grief I have suffered in my lifetime does not equal the grief Job suffered during his lifetime. The various forms of grief I have suffered in life are not equal to one another; they vary in length and the amount of pain or hardship they caused. The sorrows and losses you will suffer might be worse than what someone else will suffer in sorrows and losses during their lifetime. The weight of our trials is as different as we are different.

If we measure out the intensity and quantity of the various issues of grief people will go through during a lifetime they will not be evenly distributed among people. Therefore, let us be cautious before easily allowing the words, ‘I am so sorry, I understand how you feel.’ to slip from our lips. We may feel sad and sorry for them but do we really understand how they feel? More times than not, no, we do not know how they feel.

Job 16:5 (NKJV)

But I would strengthen you with my mouth,

And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.

As time passes and the initial shock of someone grief begins to recess there comes a time to offer words of comfort, encouragement, and help. Job’s visitors did not do that but Job makes it clear that is what he would do and what should be done.

Likewise we should seek to do as Job describes as well, comfort with our words not harm. Therefore, our words should be selected very carefully during the time of a friend’s or acquaintance’s great grief or loss.

Job 16:6 (NKJV)

“Though I speak, my grief is not relieved;

And if I remain silent, how am I eased?

One of the most important lessons we can learn about grief can be derived from the words found in this verse. Whether we talk about our grief or we choose not to talk about our grief, it takes time to heal from loss. I am sure you have heard it said, ‘Some things just take time.’ and sometimes some things just take time to heal. Greif caused by substantial loss of a loved one, a dream, or a significant relationship is one of those “things” that just take time. Talking at times will help. Remaining silent at times will help. With our lips open or closed, we must still do the required time to see the manifestation of our healing.

There is a wonderful song by Dallas Holm I used in years past, over two decades or more now, to help me during some dark days of grief, a grief so intense I truly did not want to live any longer, a song that one day made me angry when I heard it and the next day could comfort me like a mother’s arms – the title of the song says it all – This Too Shall Pass.

In the next part of this series, part ten, we will examine stage nine of grief, one of the two healing stages.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, End Times, Exhortation, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Do not allow people to walk all over you just because you are a godly person.  Understand when the time has come to stand up and in a godly way push back against the tide of society. 

DEPOSITORY – JUSTICE DEPT. LIBRARY

PUBLIC LAW 103-141—NOV. 16, 1993

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT

OF 1993

DEPT. OF JUSTICE

MAR18,1994

MAIN LIBRARY

Pg. 2

107 STAT. 1488 PUBLIC LAW 103-141—NOV. 16, 1993

Public Law 103-141

103d Congress

An Act

Nov. 16, 1993 To protect the free exercise of religion.

[H.R. 1308]

Religious Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of

Freedom the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Restoration Act

of1993. SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

42 USC 2000bb

note. This Act may be cited as the "Religious Freedom Restoration

Act of 1993".

42 USC 2000bb. SEC.2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSES.

(a) FINDINGS.—The Congress finds that—

(1) the framers of the Constitution, recognizing free exercise

of religion as an unalienable right, secured its protection in

the First Amendment to the Constitution;

(2) laws "neutral" toward religion may burden religious

exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious

exercise;

(3) governments should not substantially burden religious

exercise without compelling justification;

(4) in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990)

the Supreme Court virtually eliminated the requirement that

the government justify burdens on religious exercise imposed

by laws neutral toward religion; and

(5) the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal

court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances

between religious liberty and competing prior governmental

interests.

(b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act are—

(1) to restore the compelling interest test as set forth in

Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963) and Wisconsin v.

Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) and to guarantee its application

in all cases where free exercise of religion is substantially

burdened; and

(2) to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious

exercise is substantially burdened by government.

42 USC SEC. 3. FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGIONPROTECTED.

2000bb-l

(a) IN GENERAL.—Government shall not substantially burden

a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from

a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection

(b).

(b) EXCEPTION.—Government may substantially burden a person’s

exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application

of the burden to the person—

Pg. 3

PUBLIC LAW 103-141—NOV. 16, 1993 107 STAT. 1489

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest;

and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling

governmental interest.

(c) JUDICIAL RELIEF.—A person whose religious exercise has

been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation

as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate

relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense

under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing

under article III of the Constitution.

SEC. 4. ATTORNEYSFEES.

(a) JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS.—Section 722 of the Revised Statutes

(42 U.S.C. 1988) is amended by inserting "the Religious Freedom

Restoration Act of 1993," before "or title VI of the Civil Rights

Act of 1964".

(b) ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS.—Section 504(b)(1)(C) of title

5, United States Code, is amended—

(1) by striking "and" at the end of clause (ii);

(2) by striking the semicolon at the end of clause (iii)

and inserting ", and"; and

(3) by inserting "(iv) the Religious Freedom Restoration

Act of 1993;" after clause (iii).

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS. 42 USC

As used in this Act— 2000bb-2.

(1) the term "government" includes a branch, department,

agency, instrumentality, and official (or other person acting

under color of law) of the United States, a State, or a subdivision

of a State;

(2) the term "State" includes the District of Columbia,

the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each territory and

possession of the United States;

(3) the term "demonstrates" means meets the burdens of

going forward with the evidence and of persuasion; and

(4) the term "exercise of religion means the exercise of

religion under the First Amendment to the Constitution.

SEC. 6. APPLICABILITY. 42 USC

2000bb-3. (a) IN GENERAL.—This Act applies to all Federal and State

law, and the implementation of that law, whether statutory or

otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the enactment of

this Act.

(b) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Federal statutory law adopted

after the date of the enactment of this Act is subject to this Act

unless such law explicitly excludes such application by reference

to this Act.

(c) RELIGIOUS BELIEF UNAFFECTED.—Nothing in this Act shall

be construed to authorize any government to burden any religious

belief.

SEC. 7. ESTABLISHMENTCLAUSE UNAFFECTED. 42USC

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect, interpret, 2000bb-4.

or in any way address that portion of the First Amendment prohibiting

laws respecting the establishment of religion (referred to in

this section as the "Establishment Clause"). Granting government

funding, benefits, or exemptions, to the extent permissible under

the Establishment Clause, shall not constitute a violation of this

Pg. 4

107 STAT. 1490 PUBLIC LAW 103-141—NOV. 16, 1993

Act. As used in this section, the term "granting", used with respect

to government funding, benefits, or exemptions, does not include

the denial of government funding, benefits, or exemptions.

Approved November 16, 1993.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—H.R. 1308 (S. 578):

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 103-88 (Comm. on the Judiciary).

SENATE REPORTS: No. 103-111 accompanying S. 578 (Comm. on the Judiciary).

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 139 (1993):

May 11, considered and passed House.

Oct. 26, 27, S. 578 considered in Senate; H.R. 1308, amended, passed in lieu.

Nov. 3, House concurred in Senate amendment.

WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 29 (1993):

Nov. 16, Presidential remarks.

21 states have a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act enacted by their legislature:

Alabama (state constitution amendment)

Arizona

Arkansas

Connecticut

Florida

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Mississippi

Missouri

New Mexico

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Virginia

States with RFRA-like provisions – provided by state court decisions—rather than via legislation:

Alaska

Hawaii

Ohio

Maine

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Montana

North Carolina

Washington

Wisconsin

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Pt. 8 Stages of Grief / Stage 8

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Depression, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Prayer, Prophet, Prophetess, Spiritual Fruit, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on March 26, 2015 at 5:33 pm

There comes a point within the grief process where the individual who is grieving finds themselves resisting returning to their normal routine, activates, and responsibilities. This resistance might be only slight or it might be significant but the general unwillingness to get on with life typically manifest.

This resistance might manifest as an unwillingness to get dressed, clean the house, run needed errands, attend social events, church, clubs, or exercise. If the resistance manifest in an enormous way a person might refuse to go back to work. All such actions of resistance can have negative consequences, which will only add to the emotional burden of the grieving person.

This unwillingness or hesitancy in returning to normal activities is really about fear, the fear of returning to living. This fear can be driven by concern over how people will respond to the grieving person. The grieving person will fear rejection should they have a desire to talk about their loss. There is also fear associated with encountering something that reminds the griever of the person, persons, relationship, or opportunity they have lost. Additionally, grievers have fear that people have forgotten what they are going through, since other people appear to be returning to their normal routines.

During this stage, it is my personal hope that people have taken the preventive measure mentioned in an earlier part of this series, trying to continue in a normal routine as much as is possible. It is much easier to continue with life than it is to return to life. Once a person’s sits down in their grief or pain for too long it becomes quite difficult to get up once again.

Nevertheless, a person must at some point return to life and business as usual, for life must go on. As Christian friends and family of the grieving person we must, in love, exhort and encourage the grieving individual to return to their normal activities. We must help them face their new reality. Attempting to shelter a person from their new reality and from returning to a normal routine will only hurt them long-term. If we truly love them then we will help them get up and go on with life.

Part of that agape love we need to show them might involve not doing for them, instead of doing for them. By discontinuing taking care of their personal needs, such as house cleaning, shopping, yard maintenance, and cooking we put the responsibility back on them and thus they are forced to get on with life. It is not insensitive to do this, it is necessary for the overall wellbeing of the individual who is grieving. Real love makes some tough choices sometimes.

In the next part of this series, part nine, we will take a break from the stages of grief to address the earlier mentioned verses in the Book of Job, gleaning their insights on the issue of grief, before we begin to cover the last two stages of grief, the healing stages.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Pt.7 Stages of Grief / Stage 6 and 7

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Depression, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Prayer, Prophet, Prophetess, Rhema Words, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on March 20, 2015 at 1:52 pm

The next two stages of grief are often inverted as far as when they might manifest in someone life. The two stages feed off one another and are somewhat interdependent in order to survive and thrive. However, being interdependent means that once one is effectively dealt with the other will most likely die. These two stages are guilt and hostility or anger coupled with resentment.

At this point, the grieving person begins to feel guilt relating to the loss they have suffered. They might focus on their own past wrong actions relating to the loss, their mistreatment of the person they have lost, or their neglect in the situations where they have suffered a loss. It is quite common to spend a period of time only focused on the negative or less desirable aspects of the relationship[s] at the center of the loss, the wrongs done to one another, and the ugly things that were said.

In so doing, the griever might exaggerate wrongs that took place or even imagine wrongs that did not take place. Either way to some degree, the wrongs the griever struggles with are real to them and must be dealt with. The Scripture tells us, to ‘confess our sins one to another and to pray for one another, so our healing can come.’ That is exactly what the griever should do. They should find someone to talk with and unburden the real feelings of guilt they are carrying, thus putting the feelings into perspective so they can move on.

James 5:16 (KJV-AV)

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Most importantly, one must go to Christ Jesus and seek forgiveness for the wrongs they have done to the person they have lost. If the person has died who was wronged, then the griever cannot go to them for forgiveness. In still other cases, it might not be possible to reach out to the person involved in one’s loss therefore finding forgiveness without direct interaction with the wounded party is necessary. The griever must seek forgiveness from God, forgive himself or herself, and often they also have got to be willing to forgive the person they have lost for the wrongs done to them as well. Forgiveness is a major part of any form of healing.

In dealing with this process for some people the hostility, anger, and/or resentment begins to emerge. Then for other people the hostility, anger, and/or resentment is covering up or acts as an introduction to the guilt they are feeling. Whether the hostility, anger, and/or resentment precedes or follows the guilt, it must be effectively brought under control and then ultimately eliminated.

This hostility and resentment can be directed toward the person who has been lost, the people involved such as spiritual leaders, medical personnel, caregivers, family, perpetrators, or God. Here the griever is wrestling with “the cause” or “who caused” their loss. The griever might vacillate between searching for someone to blame and their own guilty feelings over having not done more. Again, the idea that they or anyone else could have done any more to prevent the loss may not be realistic but feelings during grief are not based on what is realistic. Questions emerge such as, “Why didn’t he or she fight harder to survive?” “Why didn’t the staff do more to save my loved one?” “Why didn’t my spiritual leader’s prayers work?” What is more, the biggest question of them all, “Why did God let this happen?”

Feelings of anger toward God are difficult for Christians to acknowledge and deal with. However, God is well aware of their inner feelings and talking them over with another godly mature Christian can be very helpful to the grieving person.

Hostility during grief is part of the healing process but it is not something that should be ignored or encouraged, it should instead be dealt with as quickly as possible. Anger has a tendency to grow when left unchecked and it can grieve The Spirit in a Christian if they do not lay it aside.

Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

In the next part of this series, part eight, we will examine stage eight of grief.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Grief – Suffering All Will Endure – Pt. 6 Stages of Grief / Stage 5

In Advice, Agape Love, Anxiety, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Depression, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Suffering, Truth on March 12, 2015 at 12:51 pm

In stage five of grief people find themselves in an emotional mix of fear, panic, and anxiety.

The grief can be so overwhelming for some people in certain situations that they become convinced something is wrong with them; they begin to fear that they are gravely damaged in some way in their minds. This leads the person to begin to panic and they find themselves either thinking about only what they believe is happening to them, going insane, or they can only think about their grief and loss continually. Both of these endless pathways of thought are extremely unhealthy for the grieving person.

People react to panic in different ways. Those ways can make them either grab for their neighbors hand for love and support or it can cause them to raise their hand against their neighbor in frustration and anger. The Bible talks about the panic in “The day of the Lord.” The Scripture even says that panic is from the Lord.

Zechariah 14:13 (NKJV)

It shall come to pass in that day

That a great panic from the LORD will be among them.

Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor,

And raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;

Why would panic come from the Lord? Perhaps, when we panic we are humbled to a place of understanding that ultimately, there is only One person who can help us completely and totally and that One person is Jesus, the Christ, and I pray your Saviour, as He is mine. Jesus can restore the panicked mind to wholeness, soundness, and sanity.

There is also anxiety during this stage of the grieving process. This anxiety can manifest in dreams about the person they lost to death or the relationship they have lost or the opportunity they have lost. These dreams are very real to the individual and can seem very lifelike to the person. They may believe that their lost loved one has been in their presence or has spoken to them.

During the anxiety process of grief, depending on the intensity of the grief, the griever may believe they see the person they have lost when they are out in public. They might believe this to such a degree that they approach the individual, only to realize it is not the person they thought it was after all.

Spiritual anxiety will manifest in the form of seemly endless questions and focus on the “why” of the matter. Why did the person die? Why did this happen? Why did she or he leave me? Why did I lose my job, I was a good worker? Where is he or she at now? Did they go to heaven? Did they go to hell? Why did God let this happen? Why did God make this happen? Why didn’t God stop this from happening? Why? Why? Why?

During this time of anxiety, the griever must place their trust in their God. They must relent to the truth that God is the Giver of Life and a person’s life does not end one moment before God ordained it to end. The Scripture warn us that feeding anxiety, which we do when we do not trust God and we continually struggle with questions we cannot answer, will only lead to something far worse – depression.

Proverbs 12:25 (NKJV)

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,

But a good word makes it glad.

Instead, reach out to the Lord with all your anxieties and questions and trust that He will bring you comfort, peace, and strength. In so doing, it has been my personal experience and I have observed it in other people for many years, if we do not find comfort, peace, and strength it is all too often because we refuse to accept God’s Will and God’s Way of doing things. If we do not like how He leads us, how He tells us to deal with the anxieties, worries, and concerns of our lives, then we might not respond to what He prompts us to do, thus we find no comfort, peace, or strength in life – no victory.

Psalm 94:19 (NKJV)

In the multitude of my anxieties within me,

Your comforts delight my soul.

All of this panic and anxiety produces fear and lots of it in many different forms. Fear of going crazy. Fear of losing one’s faith. Fear of being alone. Fear of other people’s questions. Fear of forgetting the loved one who has died. Fear of being unloved or unlovable due to rejection in a relationship. Fear of how to conduct life now, without the one you have loved so dearly. Fear of having to interact with others without that special person. With proper responses to God’s guidance and direction, all fears can be overcome.

In the next part of this series, part seven, we will examine stage six of grief.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.