Your blog just became a viral sensation. What’s the one post you’d like new readers to see and remember you by? Write that post.
You are more precious than you know. If you are like me than sometimes we let others define us. I look back at old pictures and it amazes me how I changed my appearance based on who I was dating at the time. Hey, there is Diana the prep, Diana the biker, Diana the country chic, Diana the Professional, etc. Can you relate?
I have also accepted so many different labels in my life. Things that just are not true. I went through the 12 step rigamaroe – my name is____ and I’m a ____ and I will be forever. What a pile of garbage. I can’t believe I bought all that stuff at face value. No, I am not a ______ – not now, not then, not ever! God does not say that about me – so it is NOT TRUE! As you can see, I am not a fan of the 12 steps. I have found them to be pits of very unsafe people. You can read about it here:
It is true that our thoughts become our actions. But only if we allow it and take those words into our hearts. Just because someone says something does not mean it’s true. But if you tell an Eagle it is a Chicken – and it chooses to believe that lie, then it will not learn to fly. Tell a girl she is a victim and tell her she will always be that way – then she will attract abuser after abuser. Tell a person they have always been a drunk, are a drunk, and will be forever a drunk – and guess what? They go back to drink. If you tell someone they will be that way forever and they believe it, they will stay that way. How does that help anyone get better?How does that help anyone get better? Hence, my dislike for any ‘program’ that exalts itself above the WORD of God.
YOU ARE MORE PRECIOUS THAN YOU KNOW.
All those labels people tried to get you to wear – let them fall to the ground.
All those things people said about you – they weren’t true – let them fall to the ground.
All those words you said to yourself after believing those lies – let them fall to the ground.
Ok, now for my spunky part. Idk why I do this. I guess I am just not afraid to say what I feel needs to be said. And I have been on both sides of the street, so perhaps I am not ‘indoctrinated’ too badly.
Give grace, love without regret, and live – be happy – it drives them crazy!!
And a bit of advice for all the Finger Pointers, Accusers, Pharisees, and Liars out there:
Demeaning others and calling them names does not motivate people to change.
Telling someone they will ‘always be that way’ – does not motivate people to change.
Shaming someone and calling them their ‘sin’ does not motivate people to change.
Talking about how holy and righteous you are and how others just need to ‘shape up or ship out” does not motivate people to change.
Gossiping about others does not motivate people to change.
Throwing the ‘get right with God or else you’re going to hell’ does not motivate people to change.
God makes me new everyday – I refuse to accept your picture of who you think I am.
Your warped picture of me is not who I am. Those words you called me are bouncing right back to you.
I am a work in progress, and so are my brothers and sisters. I am more than what I do or don’t do. So is the rest of the family. We all have ‘stuff”. And guess what, God already knows about it! And He loves us anyway – stuff and all.
If you don’t have anything positive to say, do us a favor, sit down and be quiet!
I will put my trust in God and the Holy Spirit, my helper, will do the work in me from the inside-out. So put down your stick. It is not helping.
We are God’s chosen and His beloved children – that’s what He said. Who said you get to beat up on God’s kids and call them names?
Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
The Power of Influence
The power of influence lives in your words.
We have the ability to build someone up or tear someone down with our words.
Our words carry power and may live long beyond the moment that they are said.
Other people can either accept or reject our words – regardless if they are true or not.
Sometimes people say words over us that we accept as true when they are false.
We become what we believe.
The words we say over ourselves have the same influence – to build us up, or tear us down.
I have heard it said that the brain takes the shape of what it rests upon. They call this plasticity in psychology. It means you get to choose what you believe and that choice changes the functioning of your brain and the relationships between you and yourself and you and the world. Remember the story of the Eagle who was caught in the hen house? (Read it here: The Eagle and the Chickens)
I had a recent experience that really opened up my eyes to how our words have influence. Sometimes I go listen to live music at the local coffee shops and stuff. Not only here, but other places too. And this time I just listened – to the words of the singers and watched the crowd’s reaction to their songs.
Some songs were just downright depressing. Can I tell you I used to do that? When I first started playing out I did all my ‘dark’ songs. Ugggh. I can’t believe I did that. I think I just wanted to get it out and get on with it. No wonder the crowd was speechless afterwards. Forgive me for being so selfish.
Other songs that the musicians sang were positive and had the crowd smiling and singing along. And I finally got it. It’s not about our songs – it’s about their song – their story. As songwriters we should help them to remember something and then minister to them right there. Music Ministers bringing health and healing and song – now that’s what I want to sing about. I am not going to leave them sitting in the pain. From now on, I will use my words to minister to them and bring light into their darkness. Enough about my darkness, I don’t live there anymore. Be the Light.
I am learning a few cover songs to play out and about now. There is something about getting the audience to laugh and sing a long. It’s like I’m not the only one who ever felt that way or did that thing. And I am changing the ‘tone’ of my songs to a positive outcome. Enough whining and crying – no more tears in my beer!
I think it’s time to write a power anthem girls rock song, lol!
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 AMP)
Have you ever heard voices in your head? No I am not crazy. But I do know that not all voices are good – and sometimes we just need to tell them to shut up. Especially the accusing voice. The voice that likes to condemn, and put down, and talks about how unworthy you are. Can I say right now, that is NOT the voice of God. God is the lifter of our heads. It is the enemy trying to get us to run and hide in the bushes. Because we have a Royal Calling – a Destiny in the Kingdom. And we have been authorized to advance the Kingdom – we are Ambassadors of Christ. We carry His Power and Authority to do His work. That’s why the enemy keeps trying to talk to us and get us to run and hide. Like Adam and Eve did after they ate that apple – they went and hid in the bushes.
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
(Psalm 3:3 AMP)
Remember Eve in the Garden with the snake? He told Eve that God was holding out on her. That if she ate that apple she would be like God. But guess what – he lied to her. SHE ALREADY WAS LIKE GOD! That stupid snake told her she was NOT something that she already was! So, the enemy accused her. Told her she was NOT…when she already was. What does the enemy accuse you of? What is that voice in your head falsely accusing you of?
If you hear – You are NOT pretty – it is a lie. God says You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
If you hear – You are NOT smart – it is a lie. God says You have the mind of Christ.
If you hear – You are NOT going to be free – it is a lie. Jesus Christ already paid the price for your freedom. You are free!
See what I mean? Don’t believe that voice. It is not true. That is why it is so important for us to read the Word. How do we know what is true if we don’t know the Word? How can we tell the enemy to shut up because God says…..if we don’t know what God said.
The Accuser is no longer in God’s ear whispering. We do not live in Job’s era. God kicked the Devil out of Heaven. He doesn’t live there anymore. This is New Testament times. However, now the Devil may be in your ear accusing you. Just because he says something does not mean it is true. He lied to Eve and I think he is the father of lies.
You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false. (John 8:44 AMP)
Cast him down – God already did. Enforce the victory! Do not let that condemning voice talk anymore – it is your head. Take control of your thoughts. Any thoughts that are not in line with the Word of God YOU have the AUTHORITY and LEGAL RIGHT to take them captive and kick them out! Yes, there is a battle going on – but we know who wins! Take charge of your thoughts! We get to kick out the bad ones!
For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
Being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission and obedience [as a church] are fully secured and complete. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6 AMP)
And more good news – Jesus is the one who is whispering good things in God’s ear about us!
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?] Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?
(Romans 8:33-34 AMP)
God wants to lift our heads. I think I’ll let Him – what about you?
Today we will look at what is within our boundaries. What do we have responsibility for? Seriously, I had to learn this. I was so busy taking care of others in my life that I did not “own” my own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. I am grateful that I got this through my thick head! Life is much easier and more peaceful for me now. Another lesson from Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend’s Book: BOUNDARIES.
WHAT’S WITHIN MY BOUNDARIES?
Feelings have gotten a bad rap in the Christian world. They have been called everything from unimportant to fleshly. At the same time, example after example, shows how our feelings play an enormous role in our motivation and behavior.
Feelings should neither be ignored nor placed in charge. The Bible says to “own” your feelings and be aware of them. They can often motivate you to do much good. The Good Samaritan’s pity moved him to go to the injured Israelite.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:33 NIV)
The Father was filled with compassion for his lost son and threw his arms around him.
So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 NIV)
ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS
Attitudes have to do with your orientation toward something, the stance you take toward others, God, life, work, and relationships. Beliefs are anything that you accept as true. Often we do not see an attitude or belief as the source of discomfort in our life. We blame other people as did our first parents, Adam and Eve. We need to “own” our attitudes and convictions because they fall within our property line. We are the ones who feel their effect and the only ones who can change them.
The tough thing about our attitudes is that we learn them very early in life. They play a big part in the map of who we are and how we operate. People who have never questioned their attitudes and beliefs can fall prey to the dynamic that Jesus referred to when he described people holding on to the traditions of men instead of the commands of God.
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human tradition. (Mark 7:8 NIV)
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3 NIV)
Behaviors have consequences. As Paul says, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV). If we study, we will reap good grades. If we go to work, we will get a paycheck. If we exercise, we will be in better health. If we act lovingly toward others, we will have closer relationships.
On the negative side, if we sow idleness, irresponsibility, or out-of-control behavior, we can expect to reap poverty, failure, and the effects of loose living. These are natural consequences of our behavior.
The problem comes when someone interrupts the law of sowing and reaping in another’s life. A person’s drinking or abuse should have consequences for the drinker or abuser. “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path.” (Proverbs 15:10 NIV)
To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless.
We need to take responsibility for our choices. This leads to the fruit of “self-control”
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
A common boundary problem is disowning our choices and trying to lay the responsibility for them on someone else. Think for a moment how often we use the phrases, “I had to” or “She/he made me” when explaining why we did or did not do something. These phrases betray our basic illusion that we are not active agents in many of our dealings. We think someone else is in control, thus relieving us of our basic responsibility.
Setting boundaries inevitable involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. (ouch!)
What we value is what we love and assign importance to. Often we do not take responsibility for what we value. We are caught up in valuing the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12:42-43 NIV)
Because of this misplaced value, we miss out on life We think that power, riches, and pleasure will satisfy our deepest longing, which is really for love.
Two aspects of limits stand out when it comes to creating better boundaries. The first is setting limits on others. This is the component that we most often hear about when we talk about boundaries. In reality, setting limits on others is a misnomer. We can’t do that. What we can do is set limits on our own exposure to people who are behaving poorly; we can’t change them or make them behave right. (another ouch!)
Our talents are clearly within our boundaries and are our responsibility. Yet taking ownership of them is often frightening and always risky. The parable of the talents says that we are accountable when we are exercising our gifts and being productive. It takes work, practice, learning, prayer, resources, and grace to overcome the fear of failure that the “wicked and lazy” servant gave in to. He was not chastised for being afraid; we are all afraid when trying something new and difficult. He was chastised for not confronting his fear and trying the best he could. Not confronting our fear denies the grace of God and insults both his giving of the gift, and his grace to sustain us as we are learning.
Our minds and thought are important reflections of the image of God. No other creature on earth has our thinking ability. We are the only creatures who are called to love God with all our mind.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NIV).
Paul wrote that he was taking “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2 Corinthians 10:5) Establishing boundaries in thinking involves three things:
We must own our own thoughts. Many people have not taken ownership of their own thinking process. They are mechanically thinking the thoughts of others without ever examining them. They swallow others’ opinions and reasoning’s never questioning and “thinking about their thinking”.
We must grow in knowledge and expand our minds. One are in which we need to grow is in knowledge of God and His Word.
We must clarify distorted thinking. We all have a tendency to not see things clearly, to think and perceive in distorted ways. We rarely see people as they really are; our perceptions are distorted by past relationships and our preconceptions of who we think they are. We do not see clearly because of the “log” in our own eyes.
Our desire lie within our boundaries. Each of us has different desires and wants, dreams, and wishes, goals and plans, hungers and thirsts. We all want to satisfy “me”. Part of the problem lies in the lack of structured boundaries within our personality. We can’t define who the “real me” is and what we truly desire. many desires masquerade as the real thing. They are lusts that come out of now owning our real desires. For example, many sex addicts are looking for sexual experiences, but what they really desire is love and affection.
We often do not actively seek our desires from God, and those desires are mixed up with things that we do not really need.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4)
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him” (Psalm 145:19)
Our ability to give and respond to love is our greatest gift. The heart that God has fashioned in his image is the center of our being; its abilities to open up to love and to allow love to flow outward are crucial to life. Many people have difficulty giving and receiving love because of hurt and fear. having closed their heart to others, they feel empty and meaningless. The Bible is clear about both functions of the heart: the receiving of grace and love inward and the flow outward.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37,39)
And how we should receive love: “we have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-!3)
Many people do not take ownership for how they RESIST LOVE. They have a lot of love around them, but do not realize that their loneliness is a result of their own lack of responsiveness. Often the will say, “Others’ love can not ‘get in”.” This statement negates their responsibility to respond. We manuever subtly to avoid responsibility in love. We need to claim our hearts as our property and work on our weaknesses in that area. It will open up life to us.
We need to take responsibility for all the above areas of our souls. These lie within our boundaries. By taking care of what lies within our boundaries isn’t easy; neither is allowing other people to take care of what lies within their boundaries. Setting boundaries and maintaining them is hard work, but worth it
(REVELATION IS FOR ME FIRST! I am still learning here too, Diana)