Tag Archives: Joyce Meyer

Bless You (“Christian Redefined” part 2)

“They’ve made me feel like a prisoner
They’ve made me feel set free
They’ve made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king

They’ve lifted my heart
To places I’d never been
And they’ve dragged me down
Back to where I began”

What is Hawk Nelson talking about?  Sounds like a riddle between Gollum and Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit“.  The first several times I heard this song, I didn’t listen close enough to hear the words.  Then I found out that’s exactly what it’s about:  “Words“:

“Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out”

Yep, our words are packed with power.  Deuteronomy 30:19 says that we have a choice to make: we can bless or we can curse.   I think that, next to saying “Thank you” (click on the red words to read that post), the next best habit we can develop is that of blessing.   This post is about saying bless you:

Proverbs 18:21 says that “the tongue has the power of life and death” (check out Speak Life for more on that).  Joyce Meyer spoke about this in her broadcast on 2-4-15 called “The Power of Words“.  She said, “Your words can carry your faith to the Kingdom of God and release angels to help you, or your words can carry your fears to the Kingdom of Darkness and release more trouble in your life.”

I remember taking Jordan Rose to a service project in a questionable neighborhood a few years back.  I parked my car and we walked to the house where we were working that morning.  My mind kept going back to my car, worrying that someone might break in.  I believe that God spoke to me through His Holy Spirit and said, “Do you want your worries to strengthen the power of darkness or do you want your prayers to strengthen the power of God?”  A switch went off in my brain and I started praying that God would bless the whole area.  Everyone was safe that day and our cars were untouched.  Was that a coincidence?  Or did prayer make a difference?  I may never know, but I know I wouldn’t give up the peace I felt in offering prayers and blessings instead of being wrapped up in a bundle of nerves.

You might call me a “blessing fanatic”, as I’ve spent many years training myself to bless everything I can think of.  I bless the house when I leave; I bless the dog and the basement; I bless the people walking down the street as I see them; I bless the car that’s tailgating me and the one that cut me off (hey, that could have been me and I pray that the person I cut off would bless me too); I bless the people I’ve met and the people I’ve yet to meet; I bless the people who can see the gorgeous sunrise and the people who can’t see the gorgeous sunrise because they’re stuck in a building at work (boy, I guess that covers just about everyone!).  If you’re reading this, I’ve probably blessed you too.  I believe that living a life of blessing is not only good for those being blessed, but it’s also good medicine for my brain.  The more I can focus on blessing you, the more I get my mind off of myself.

Joshua just said the other day, “Dad yells at the traffic. Mom just blesses everyone.”  I loved that.  It was beautiful confirmation that it’s not all talk, but that I’m actually practicing what I’m preaching.  And God bless my husband.  May he learn to bless the traffic as well.  🙂

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The Beautiful Adventure

I used to feel like I was trying to get my life to the point where I didn’t need to “bother” God anymore.  My problems were tiny and irritating to Him, like mosquitos buzzing in the ears of the King of the Universe.  Have you ever felt like you are simply too much trouble and God is waiting for the day when you can finally take care of yourself?  For men: be a good boy, grow up to be “a nice guy”, live a safe life and do what you’re supposed to do.  For women: be a good girl, be helpful, kind and don’t do anything stupid.

Thankfully, I no longer think that God feels that way.  I believe we were made for something greater:

“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”
― John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

“We think you’ll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That’s what makes a woman come alive.”
― John & Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

I’m not a man, so I can’t speak to the first quote, but as a female, the quote from “Captivating” resonates with me.  But it certainly puts a lot of pressure on my husband, doesn’t it?  And what about single women?  Do they have to wait for Mr Right to fulfill the longing of their hearts?  And what if he doesn’t?

Thankfully, I don’t think that was the point the Eldredge’s were getting at when they wrote those books.  More on that below.  But first, I need to go on a tangent.  The morning I read those quotes, I was in an emotional “funk”, looking for something to pull me out.  Even though God saved my mind back in September, He didn’t change my personality.  I still have emotional ups and downs, a Melancholy through and through.

But is that a bad thing?  I know I don’t appreciate sunshine without clouds, summer without winter, food without hunger, company without loneliness, up without down, good without bad.  Opposite sides of the same coin.

And I also find that the best questions come during the darkest times.  Those questions haunt me until I find answers.  And it is those answers that bring me out of the darkness and into the light.  If I stayed “up” all the time, I don’t think I would ever ask those questions.  And if I never asked those questions and got those answers, how could I be an encouragement to you?  No, I believe my Melancholy state is a thorn in my flesh that is there for a reason.

Rather like the Apostle Paul’s thorn in his flesh that he asked God to remove (2 Corinthians 12:7), I too have asked God to remove the feelings that drag me into a ditch of despair and a pit of self-pity.  I may scream at God, “I can’t do this!”, but He calmly and confidently, with a warm, loving smile on His face, responds, “I know, Beth.  You weren’t meant to do this alone.  I gave you feelings for a reason.  They were meant to draw you to Me.”  I understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he went on to say, “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

So, in that emotional funk, with my mind focused on the quote from “Captivating”, here is what I believe God said to me about every woman’s desire 1) to be romanced, 2) to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and 3) to unveil beauty:

1) God is the one doing the romancing
2) I am playing an irreplaceable role in God’s great adventure
3) God calls me to unveil the beauty all around me, as seen through my eyes.  That’s this blog

I could make the same assumptions for men in their longings for 1) a battle to fight, 2) an adventure to live, and 3) a beauty to rescue.  What if that were:

1) The battle of this world, good against evil, fighting for good
2) The adventure of following God where He leads, not necessarily where life is safe, comfortable and secure
3) Rescuing the beauty, the “bride of Christ”: brothers and sisters who desperately need to know that there is a God who loves them so much that He sent His son to die for them

So, do you think that God wants us to get our lives to the point where we don’t need to bother Him anymore?  Or do you think He wants us to join Him on the adventure of a lifetime?  I believe that we each have a unique purpose.  Something we were put on this planet to accomplish.  Something only we can do – no one else.  The Apostle Paul tells is that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV).

What is the role you were designed for?  If you don’t know yet, let Jesus be your example, as he “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38).  Do good.  Don’t be a “bucket”, trying to fill yourself up.  Be a pipeline – a conduit of God’s love.  The only way that a pipe is “filled” is when something is flowing through it.  Let God love you and then give that love away.  Let good flow through you today, be an encouragement to someone else, be a blessing, and guess what?  You’ll be filled too.

And if you know what your role is, then go for it!  Joyce Meyer says that “God won’t do for you what you can do yourself.  You must do what you can do, and then trust God to do what you can’t.”  Maybe He’s simply waiting for you to take a step.  Maybe that step is to turn around and take His hand.  Join Him in the beautiful adventure He has prepared for you.  “Trust in the Lord and do good.” Psalm 37:3 (NIV)

Having trouble hearing from God?  Check this out:  Hearing Aids

 

Don’t think about the bee

Jordan couldn’t sleep last night.  It was about 2:30am when she came into my room crying because she thought there was a bee in her room.  I prayed for her, checked her room and got her all snuggled in, but she was back about 10 minutes later.  She said she couldn’t stop thinking about the bee.

How many times do we repeat over and over in our minds, “Don’t think about the bee”, when we really should be thinking about something else?  Joyce Meyer teaches that the best way to get rid of a bad thought is to replace it with a good thought.  The Apostle Paul was kind enough to give us an idea of what to think about instead:

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  Phil. 4:8 (NLT)

The second time Jordan came, ruminating on the bee, we talked about that verse in Philippians.  I gave her some suggestions of what she could think about instead of focusing on the bee.  My idea didn’t work, so she was back a third time about 5 minutes later.  That time, instead of praying for her, I asked her to pray for God to give her something to think about.  She was so sweet, crying as she prayed, knowing that God would guide her.  I gave her another suggestion, but I told her that she should focus on whatever God leads her to focus on.  Ditch my idea if it’s not working.

And isn’t that what we’re here for?  Parents are here to guide their children until their children can learn to be guided by God.  We teach them what it means to follow authority, preparing them to follow the Ultimate Authority in their life.  We teach them to obey us, knowing that obeying God, who speaks in whispers, will be more difficult, but so much more important.

Thanks to my amazing brother, Rick Baumhauer of Baumhauer Photo, for the gorgeous bee picture.

Thanks to my amazing brother, Rick Baumhauer of Baumhauer Photo, for the gorgeous bee picture.  If you like the bee, be sure to check out his gallery.