Use all of the crayons? Yes. God is creating a Masterpiece – it’s you. He is the Master Creator. And we are His Creation. He is creating a beautiful life in you, even if it doesn’t seem like it today. You are His pride and joy. He has your picture on His refrigerator and in His wallet. He brags on you to the Angels in Heaven. And if you are a born again believer, He lives in you to help you in your normal everyday life.
God will use ALL things, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and create something wonderful. Be still my friends, let Him work. Even better, watch Him work in you. It’s exciting! Don’t be discouraged if sometimes life is gray, yellow days are coming. And don’t worry if your crayons are broken either – broken crayons still color!
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
“And we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)
Here are a few great pictures from Pinterest to help illustrate:
Spring Training Lesson #4 – Honoring the Holy Spirit
You sense the presence of God when you wake up…
You hear something that ‘pricks your heart’…
You see a beautiful sunset and wonder…
You start crying at church when they sing that song…
The Pastor preaches a Word that opens your eyes…
All are signs that the Holy Spirit has something to share with you. Something to teach you. Do you slow down and listen? Do you stop what you are doing to see? Do you write it down to meditate on later? I confess I am guilty of moving so quickly that I do not stop. I am learning to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit in my life. I want to acknowledge His presence in my everyday life more. And I want to stop and listen, stop and see, just STOP when He says to stop.
The Bible says that the Holy Spirit lives IN US and He will be with us forever – Jesus promised. Let us all be more aware of His presence and His prompting. Here is an excerpt to one of my friends blog that helped me see today. Even the Demons stop and worship in His presence.
“We have the honor of entering into the presence as much as we like and yet so many of people take it for granted. How many times have people stood in church and the presence of God is surrounding them, yet they do nothing.
Not even the demons could have stopped this afflicted man from worshiping Jesus. Likewise no pain, situation, affliction or trial should stop us from worshiping when we’re in the presence of God.”
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:15-21 NIV)
“All this I have spoken while still with you.But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:25-27 NIV)
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16: 12-15 NIV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26 NIV)
Today I would like to share some things I learned about breaking the generational curses over our lives. There are times that we find ourselves in a situation merely because it has followed us there. Kind of like genetics. If you mom had brown hair, and your dad had brown air, odds are you will have brown hair. The same is true in the spiritual. There may be curses like poverty, divorce, illness, or other things that may be lingering around from the past. Only the Blood of Jesus can break these curses. He is the One who became the curse so that we could obtain the blessing. You can read all about the curses and blessings in Deuteronomy 28. But as a believer, I had to learn how to APPLY the Blood of Jesus in my life so that these curses would be broken.
And as a Believer I did know that I had the authority to break the curses over my own life. I always thought I needed to go to someone to do that. You know, some super-spiritual Pastor or something. Not so. We have the authority – God gave it to us. And we can redeem the past for good – no matter what our Ancestors did. This study was very eye-opening for me. And I did it! I pray that you take the authority God gave you and break the curses over your life and your family’s lives. God bless you as you do!
Here is one of the most powerful sermons I have found on this subject along with my sermon notes.
The Nature of Curses and Blessings by Derek Prince
Through the redemption of Christ we should be released from the curses and enjoy the blessings. But the body of Christ enduring curses when they should be enduring blessings. One of the reasons is we do not recognize what is a curse and what is a blessing. We many not know how to be released from the curse and enter into the blessings.
CURSES AND BLESSINGS BOTH ARE VEHICLES OF SUPERNATURAL POWER FOR GOOD (Blessings) , OR FOR EVIL (Curses).
One characteristic feature of them is they will continue from generation to generation until someone knows how to cut them off (curses). The result is that many people are bearing consequences in their life that took place long ago. We many need to trace where the problem came from and take the appropriate action to be released.
These Vehicles may be:
1. Words – spoken, written, or pronounced inwardly by you or someone else.
2. Can be transmitted by physical objects
When the curse is broken there is no more reason for sickness.
In Deuteronomy 28 there are 14 verses of blessings and 54 verses of curses. Here is Derek’s summation on that chapter:
Exaltation – no longer living under things
Reproductiveness – fruitful in every area of your life
Prosperity or Success
7 Curses (the opposite)
Barrenness – failure to reproduce
Sickness of all kinds
Poverty or failure
“The difference between the head and the tail is the head makes the decisions, the tail just gets dragged around.” -Derek Prince
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the application for these areas. The Holy Spirit is the teacher. We should be above our circumstances.
7 Indications That We Are Dealing With A Curse:
Mental/Emotional Breakdown – people fall apart, emotional or mentally or both
Repeated/Chronic Sickness – hereditary things, or if Dr’s cant find any normal cause
Breakdown of marriage/family alienation – families fall apart, marriage break up, children are separted from each other
Continued Financial Insufficiency – a history, not a season, of being short
Being accident-prone – not natural to always be that person
History of Suicide/Unnatural Deaths – frequency of those things in a family.
A curse is like a long evil arm from the past and every time you are just about to succeed this evil arm trips you up and you have to get up and try again. A curse is like a dark shadow from the past shutting out the sunlight of God’s blessings.
Causes of Curses and Blessings
Blessing = Listen to God’s voice and do what He says
Curses = Don’t listen to God’s voice and don’t do what He says
The greatest sources of curses in people’s lives are breaking the first two commandments. We must not acknowledge any other God. Or bow down or serve idols. See Exodus 20:3-5. Whenever we go to another source for something we should go to God for, we are actually making that other thing our God. For example, if we go to a Fortune Teller for information for the future where God has said not to use that channel, you are making the power behind that Fortune Teller your God. Same with cults, ouiji boards, occults – you are making a God that is not the true God.
Sources of Curses:
False Gods – Exodus 20:3-6
Idolotry (occult) – Deut. 27:15
Disrespect parents – Pr. 30:17
Treachery – neighbor – Pr. 17:13
Injustice to weak, poor – Pr. 28:27
Unnatural sex/incest – Lev. 20:10-16
Anti-Semitism – Gen 12:3; 27:29
Depending on flesh – Jer. 17:5-7
Stealing/perjury – Zech. 5:1-4
Stinginess toward God – Mal. 3:8-10
Men who speak as God’s Mouthpiece against someone – Joshua 6:26, I Kings 16:34
Other Sources of Curses
Persons with Relational Authority – A husband, Parents, Teachers, Pastors, etc. Words spoken by those people have special power whether they are blessings or are curses. In the Bible, the best blessing someone can have is a blessing from their Father. And sometimes the worst things are said by a father to his child.
For example if a Father says to his son, “You will never make it. You will always struggle.” 20 years later his son doesn’t do well. Or if a Father says to his daughter, “You will always have pimples on your face.” 15 years later she still does. Or what if a Teacher says, “You’re shallow, You’re stupid.” That was a curse spoken over a child. And that child was still reacting to those words in their 60’s.There is authority behind those statements. There is a demonic element behind those words. James 3:14-15.
Self-Imposed Curses – Curses spoken by us. Gen. 27:11-13. It’s a self-imposed curse. Rebekkah begins to use negative lanuage about herself in verse 46 of that chapter. She curses herself.
Sometimes we are the ones cursing ourselves. For example if you have said, “I’m tired of living, or what’s the good of living, or I’ll never be able to do this, or I’m a failure, or I’m no use, or I wish I were dead” – you have cursed yourself. And you are inviting the spirit of death into your life! Many people need to be delivered from the spirit of death because they invited it in themselves. Here is the Word to defeat that spirit – If you have made a negative remark on yourself or about yourself, you need to revoke it and replace it with the positive.
Psalm 118:17 I SHALL NOT DIE BUT LIVE, AND PROCLAIM WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE!
Curses from Unscriptural Covenants – Exodus 23:32 No covenant with people with those who worship other Gods, if you do then you make a covenant with their God. In the Western World, there are Free Masons – that is a covenant that brings a self imposed curse. It is idol based. The true God is joined together with 2 idol deities that God has condemned.
Curses by Practices of Tribal Societies – new babies or a young person is initiated into the tribe by cuts in their skin.
Curses from Servants of Satan from the Evil Side – Witchdoctors, Cutting, Elders in Tribes, Witchcraft. Satan’s servants have the power to curse.
Curses from false gods, and forbidden objects – Deut. 7:26 Burn the carved images of their gods, nor bring it into your house. When you bring anything that is associated with idolatry or the occult into your home you are opening the way for a curse to come into your house.
If you believe you need deliverance, go home and check what you have in your home. See if there is anything there that advertises another god except Jesus Christ. Children are very sensitive to this. They may not sleep at night as they feel it. Somewhere in that house is something that gives Satan access. For example, horseshoes are superstition – they don’t protect you they open the door to Satan.
HOW TO BE RELEASED FROM A CURSE
Establish a scriptural basis for your release – Gal 3:13-14, Eph 1:7, Col 1:12-141 John 3:8,Luke 10:19
Confess your faith in Christ. Jesus is the High Priest.
Commit yourself to obedience – hear God’s voice and do what He says
Confess any know sins by yourself or by your ancestors. Confess the sins of your ancestors too, you are not guilty of their sins, but you are affected by them. Be released from it
Forgive all other persons
Renounce all contact with the occult by yourself and your ancestors
Get rid of all forbidden objects
Release yourself in the Name of Jesus. Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven, whatever you release on Earth will be released in Heaven
Confess and Expect the Blessing of Abraham! We are released from the curse to receive the blessing. The Holy Spirit administers the blessing. He has the Key to God’s Storehouse.
Expect the blessing in ALL things. It won’t happen overnight. Go the right direction, you are on the way. Keep walking, keep listening, and doing what God says.
A PRAYER OF RELEASE
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are the Son of God and the only way to God, that you died on the Cross for my sins, and rose again from the dead. That on the Cross you were made a curse with every curse that is due to me, that I might be redeemed from the curse and enter into the blessing. Lord I confess any sins committed by me or by my ancestors. I ask your forgiveness. I also forgive every other person who ever harmed me or wronged me.I forgive them as God forgives me. I also forgive myself. I renounce all contact with the occult in any form. And I commit myself to get rid of any contact objects. And now Lord, having received by faith, your forgiveness, with the authority I have as a child of God, I now release myself and those under my authority from any curse over our lives. Right now in the name of Jesus I declare release, I claim it, I receive it by faith in the Name of Jesus! Thank you Lord!
Last time we talked about exercising our faith by honoring our bodies in SPRING TRAINING #1 – HONORING OUR BODIES. Today I would like to focus on another area that I personally am working on and that is how to make our money work for us. I admit it, I have been ignorant in this area. No class in High School or College prepared me for how to manage money. Yes, I can balance a checkbook, and input numbers for a profit/loss statement, but how to manage the everyday flow of it? No way. Good news though – we are never too old to learn.
This past week I went to the library and got myself some advice from the experts, Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman. These are two that are well known for their ability to teach others how to make our money work for us. I started reading and I have to admit I am learning already. I have had a ‘hands-off’ approach to money. I hate it. And we have been living paycheck-to-paycheck for years. It’s stressful. We have had late fees and overdrafts. It’s humiliating. There has to be a better way. God did not call us to lack any good thing. So here I am, learning how to manage money – Hallelujah!
“This is ridiculous,” I murmered. “Only in America could you drive a Jaguar and not have the money to put gas in it.” I wondered where the arrogant young man from a few years ago was. There I stood in the cold, a man in my twenties, knowing I was in the process of losing virtually everything I owned.
Yes, Yes, Yes, I can relate to this! I am still readingFINANCIAL PEACE, so I may add to this post later, lol!
QUOTES ABOUT MONEY FROM DAVE RAMSEY
“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” ― Dave Ramsey
“As a culture we are ignorant of what money is and how to handle it. Ignorance is not lack of intelligence; it is lack of knowledge on a particular subject.” ― Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace Revisited
“You must walk to the beat of a different drummer. The same beat that the wealthy hear. If the beat sounds normal, evacuate the dance floor immediately! The goal is to not be normal, because as my radio listeners know, normal is broke.” ― Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
“Without a mission statement, you may get to the top of the ladder and then realize it was leaning against the wrong building!” ― Dave Ramsey
“Act your wage.” ― Dave Ramsey
“Pray like it all depends on God, but work like it all depends on you.” ― Dave Ramsey
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” ― Dave Ramsey
“For your own good, for the good of your family and your future, grow a backbone. When something is wrong, stand up and say it is wrong, and don’t back down.”― Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
“Fear is the enemy of hope.”
― Dave Ramsey
SPRING TRAINING #2 – TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR MONEY
1. Admit that we have been in denial about our money.
We have not been active in managing our money. Our bank fees and overdrafts speak to our inactivity to look at, plan an attack, and conquer our goals in this area of our lives
2. Seek out help from those who have mastered this skill.
We may not have had the training or skills to master money. That’s ok. We can start today. Today can be the day we take our heads out of the sand and learn to manage what God has given us.
3. Be willing to sacrifice
There is nothing more humbling that writing down everything you spend your money on. I know I have done it. Seriously, I had no idea I spent so much on ______. (fill in the blank). But the truth is the truth. And once we know, we can make intelligent choices on what to do next.
4. Make a plan
We have to be willing to look forward, past today, past the week, and plan what we would like to do with our money. I would love a vacation. We didn’t even go on a honeymoon. I would love to save for that. What about you?
5. Work the plan
Change happens when we are willing to go through the rough parts, the ugly parts and keep going. Take baby steps. Review your progress daily. Persevere my friends, it will be worth it.
6. Reward yourself for achieving your little goals.
Pay off the little credit cards and debts first (yes that’s what Dave says). Start to build momentum. Keep track, make a bulletin board or whatever, but make it visual and mark off when you accomplish paying off a debt. Celebrate!
7. Enjoy being a good servant of God!
God gave us our talents. He asked us to go multiply them. Whether you believe talents are money or what gifts you have been given He asks us to multiply both. Being ignorant and doing nothing is like burying our money and expecting it to grow. I don’t know about you, but I for one am ready for change. I can’t wait to hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
Here are some great PRAYER POINTS from POWER OF FAITH MINISTRIES. Prayer changes things. I can tell you when my husband and I said these verses out loud, money that was delayed for over a month was suddenly paid. There is power in the Name and Blood of Jesus. Print yourself out a copy. This ministry has 2 churches in Spain and one in Nigeria.
Spring Training. All the baseball teams gearing up for the game. Getting ready, letting go of what doesn’t work and training for the new season. I am in a period of transition. A period of spring training. I have had to acknowledge a few weaknesses and change my thoughts and attitudes to learn new habits. I am learning to build my strength both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Spring Training is a New Series I am writing to help us all refocus on our positive goals and exercise our faith.
Like the athletes we all have ‘muscles’ that we need to use or they atrophy. Muscles that have been in hibernation during the long cold winter. And our faith is the same way. It only gets exercised when we are using it. That means there will be trials,temptations and troubles we will get to go through – but they bring forth the GOLD of our faith. Press on my friends, together we can do this!
SPRING TRAINING EXERCISE #1:
Learning to Honor Our Bodies
Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,
You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 AMP)
Taking Responsibility for Our Health
One of the hardest areas for me after a life of abuse is learning how to honor my body. When you have had innocence stolen from you and been raped you feel like trash. The enemy plants thoughts in your head that you deserved it and you will never be clean. And then add Abuser after Abuser who commanded you to do unholy things with your body and your relationship. Add those swine who sought out pornography and the evils it opens you up to. For many years I did not address or even talk about these things. I did not own my body. I let another use it and abuse it. I gave away my power and my self-respect to a pig.
I was married before and I wanted to please my husband so I did what he said. He was sick. I should have said no. It took me years to learn to say that word. Then I was in another relationship with a very sick man who was into the bondage scene (yeah, my own shades of grey nightmare). Let me say that just because a person has money does not mean they are healthy. Some of the ‘sickest’ people I matched up with had money and thought I was a piece of property and something they owned. I went from psycho to psycho as I didn’t believe I deserved any better. I had no boundaries and I thought I was trash. I had no idea who God said I was.
Some of the wisest advice I got from Grandma Pat, a beautiful woman who lived down the street from me. She used to come over singing these old hymns and just listen to me cry. I wouldn’t be here today if she had not taken the time to stop and come over and listen. She told me,
“You don’t have to dishonor God to please your husband.”
That was the home run for me. I finally got it. I could choose to honor God first. What those men asked me to do and what I did was wrong. God knows what happened. And I had to ask God to forgive me, and then forgive myself for giving authority of my body over to a swine. Yes, I cast my pearls before swine. And they trampled all over them. Because that’s what pigs do.
I ended those relationships. And didn’t date anyone for over a year. I learned how to take care of me and take authority back over my body. I asked God to break all the soul-ties with the blood of Jesus. I asked the Holy Spirit to come into those dark rooms and bring the deep healing I needed. I met with a counselor for a time and learned that the rape was not my fault. I did not ask for it. I did not want it. I did not asked to be abused. It wasn’t that way in the beginning. It happens over time. And it’s wrong. Not every husband/boyfriend honors his wife. I learned the hard way.
When I was on my own I had to learn how to ‘honor my body’ and choose to be well. I didn’t have to stay a victim. God promised to heal me and I chose to let Him. He turned my victim mentality into victorious. He gave me strength when I had none. He gave me hope when I was lost.
I had to learn what honor meant too. Words and actions like honor, cherish, love, treasure – they had no meaning to me after years of abuse. But honor meant I could say NO. I could make a new choice as to what I would accept for myself, and what I would reject. I had to learn what a healthy relationship looked like. And I had to learn what respect meant and how to respect myself after receiving disrespect from so many.
Ways to Honor Your Body:
1. Accept that God made you perfect and stop the negative self-talk.
This negative self-talk led to destructive self-harm for me. I had to ask God to quiet the voices of the Enemy of my soul. And I had to read the Word and learn who God says I am. I had to give God’s Word more authority over me than my past, my hurts, my feelings, or my pain. I even hand wrote scripture verses on index cards and carried them around with me in my everyday life. This way when I heard a negative thing in my head or from some other person I would read and meditate on a verse of God’s Word. It works, really. I honor my body when I believe what God says about me more than how I feel or what someone tells me or has told me.
2. Start to eat healthier.
I admit it, I love junk food and pizza. And after being depressed for so long I ate what I wanted when I wanted it. Instead of taking things away the Holy Spirit has asked me to start adding healthy things – nuts, fruits, and vegetables to my diet. I don’t keep track, I am not a food Nazi. But I have to say that I feel better after adding these things. It is a process and I am glad He is teaching me how to honor my body this way.
3. Stop watching smut TV.
Yep. No more. I refuse to entertain the spirit of lust. I will not even watch mildly graphic shows, no soap operas, no dating shows, no let’s swap wives or Hollywood Housewives or anything. I turn them off. Lust leads to all sorts of bad things. I have seen so many people break up relationships or marriages after the spirit of lust moves in. What comes in through the eyes makes residence in our minds. Thoughts become actions. I have seen people throw away what they have to try something they see happen on tv or a movie. And it’s wrong. I choose to shut that door and not entertain the spirit of lust. I honor my body by not even going there.
4. Start to exercise slowly.
I joined Planet Fitness with my teen daughter about a month ago. The first time I went I could only go 5 minutes on the elliptical machine. And with my past leg injury I didn’t even try the treadmill. Can I tell you after a month I don’t have to wear my leg brace anymore! I can go 20 minutes on the elliptical and have even used the treadmill. All from a girl that heard the Dr. tell me, “I hope this leg surgery works or you won’t walk again.” I honor my body by moving it and exercising it. My mood is better. I feel alive again and there is hope. It’s going to be a good season this year!
What about you?
How did you learn to ‘honor your body’?
Tune in next time for SPRING TRAINING – TAKING RESPONSIBILITY OF OUR MONEY