Author: Barb Smith

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Finding your rhythm through ‘yes’ and ‘no’

Many times when we turn our cares and worries over to the Lord, I believe we must let go or drop something in our lives as well. There are many things we can be doing and saying ‘yes’ to because they are good and worthwhile plans and causes. But, I often end up dragging myself before God asking Him to take my worries and cares from me, that only I can remove by saying ‘no.’ There many good plans and activities that are often difficult to say no too and many times we feel guilty if we don’t step in and help.  We must find our rhythm and set the pace for ourselves so that peace and rest emanate from us not frustration and anger. If we do things out of a sense of guilt, a constant stream of ‘yeses” will create a current of anger in us that will interrupt the flow of God’s presence in our lives. Lysa Terkeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministry talks about saying ‘yes’ to too many things and by …

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God who sees me

A few days ago, I was on my knees praying at my bedside. I needed to get rid of the weight of expectations I had put on myself and as well some other emotional baggage I was carrying. I know what it’s like to pick up a weight that is too heavy for you because two weeks earlier I had done exactly that while at the gym. I used a weight that was just to heavy for me. Well, my body has been recovering from that incident for three weeks now. I felt crunched from head to toe. And, that is how I felt that night as I knelt at my bedside, crunched, overloaded and hurting in my spirit. Too much emotional weight had piled itself on me and I was feeling overwhelmed in many areas. I am not much of a kneeler when it comes to prayer as I like to walk while I pray.  But that night I went to my knees because I desperately needed to transfer everything over to Jesus. It …

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Shining a light on authentic Christianity

A few weeks back, my daughter and I went to a Saturday-morning woman’s brunch.  The temperature was -40 degrees with blowing wind and snow. It was one of the coldest days, in one of the coldest winters in recent memory. I walked in the front door where the tables were set with white tablecloths and serviettes that reminded us of spring to come.  The women in the room ranged from 26 to 75 years old. There were mothers with babies, young adults and seniors. Three older women who sat behind me came from a care home. I asked them how they got to the church. One women said she went to the window of her suite, pressed the button on her command start and to her surprise the car started, even though it hadn’t been plugged in. The speaker that morning talked about her six-year journey of raising four children while also caring for her husband who had bowel cancer. During this difficult time, she worked hard to make it appear she was doing OK.  …

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Is momentum building for the next great wave?

When my husband showed me Cindy Jacob’s recent prophetic word posted March 15th on Charisma News, I was stunned because I had seen a similar vision and shared it the same day on opentheword.org. For those who don’t know Cindy, she heads Generals International and many consider her a strong prophetic voice in Charismatic circles. In her article, Cindy wrote about a vision she recently received: “As I was praying, I saw a vision of a huge wave, and the Lord spoke to me that there is a momentum gathering of the power of the Holy Spirit. A wave gathers power and goes towards the shore, and I see that there’s going to be many, many people working together.  There’s going to be many groups working together.” What I saw was very similar. It involved a large wave rising up and Jesus riding on the crest of the wave with outstretched arms and He was ready to fall on the church. What was interesting in Cindy Jacob’s vision is that she saw that many groups …

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The Time I Felt God’s Glory Show Up

This past weekend I attended  a conference, Ask for Rain, in our city designed to bring churches together to create relationship and community. During these sessions I believe God’s glory showed up. Pastors, intercessors, prophets and teachers from various churches in our city taught, shared, prayed and prophesied during the planned intervals between worship sets that were two to three hours long. An hour before the two-day Ask For Rain event began, I met with a group of intercessors to pray. As I stood with them, I saw a massive wave rising up out of an ocean of waves and I saw Jesus being lifted up on the crest of this giant wave.  His arms were stretched out and He was positioned to fall upon the church. I had seen this same image many times in the past few weeks and as I stepped out and prayed what I saw, this passage came to my mind: ”Where I saw the brightness of the glory of Israel’s God coming from the east.  The sound I heard …

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Es hora de volver a calibrar! Usted no tiene que salvar el mundo

English version: It’s time to re-calibrate! You don’t have to save the world Es fácil perdernos en los acontecimientos de nuestra vida cotidiana. A menudo, nos quemamos y quedamos cansados cuando damos todo nuestro tiempo y energía a una buena causa, o en la satisfacción de las necesidades de los que nos rodean. Estoy aprendiendo que no soy indispensable y que el mundo puede estar muy bien sin mí por un tiempo. La dura realidad es que a menudo creemos ser “indispensables” en nuestros propios ojos. Nos perdemos en la ilusión de que el mundo no puede hacerlo sin nosotros. Necesitamos dar un paso atras y tomar un buen vistazo en lo que nos hemos convertido. A nuestro ego le encanta la atención y la “necesidad de ser necesitado.” Lo llamo “ mi mentalidad de salvar el mundo “. Mi marido puede dar fe de las muchas veces que le he pedido que me recuerde que “yo no tengo que salvar al mundo.” Debido a que esta mentalidad ha arruinado mi salud, me ha tirado …

When the Holy Spirit fell on me while I was vacuuming

Español: Cuando el Espíritu Santo cayó sobre mí mientras pasaba la aspiradora My husband had just gone out for coffee with a friend and I had the house to myself. It is a rare treat  these days with both of us retired and home together. So when he closed the door behind him, a peaceful silence wrapped itself around me like a warm blanket. I had the next two hours to myself. So, what did I decide to do? Vacuum of course! But the Holy Spirit had other ideas. As I leaned over to pick up the hose, I felt a nudge. It was  like a slight wind on my back. Initially, I thought it was the silence and peace settling on me. Then, I felt a breath blowing over me. And immediately, there was a stirring in my spirit and what seemed like a flame igniting inside me as the Holy Spirit engulfed me. I lifted myself up, raised my hands and began to dance and worship God and speak in tongues all at …

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Waves of surrender

As, I stood on a beach in Mexico recently with my daughter, the waves caught my attention. Over the past few weeks, I wrestled with some things in my mind that mostly involved expectations I had placed on myself. These expectations kept me awake at night and anxious during the day. I sat down in the warm ocean water leaned back on the sandy shoreline and allowed the waves to crash over me. I watched the waves rise, gain momentum and then fall. The strength of the waves kept building and some were four to five feet high. I plugged my nose, held my breath and braced myself as the next wave rolled over me, pushing me further back onto the shore. The sand massaged my body as I sank deeper and deeper into it’s wet but warm embrace. It was so comforting! In those moments, I released the expectations I had placed on myself. I let go of them as the waves rolled over me.  I had placed expectations on myself of things I …

Stepping past your fears

For years I have been controlled by what other people thought of me. Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed watching YouTube videos of people dancing up stairs.  I had a notion to try this myself but wondered what others would think of a 60 year-old-woman dancing up a set of stairs. Because of my fear, I hesitated doing it. I was trapped in a mindset of “not being good enough.” I was caught in the comparison trap and was controlled by what other people might think. Proverbs 29:25 tells us that “the fear of man is a snare.”  It traps you and stops you from being who God created you to be. We have to quit worrying about what others think, because God accepts us just the way we are and we need to accept ourselves. Each one of us is created with our own unique design and expression. We were recently in Galveston, Texas and I saw some stairs going down to the ocean.  In that moment, I wanted to dance up …

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Quit comparing

We were recently on a cruise and one day I headed to the gym and exercise studio on the 11th deck. I decided to participate in a workout session that I had only observed from my corner of the studio the previous two days. The class was more challenging than what I was used to. Anyways, I made up my mind to step outside of my comfort zone and give it a try.  It was a tough workout. The instructor knew I was struggling and I found myself looking at the women around me who were obviously in better shape. Several times I was ready to quit, get up and walk away from the class. But it was a windy day at sea and we found ourselves either rolling to the left or the right during our routine and loosing our balance. We couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves. The laughter loosened me up a bit and I decided that I wasn’t going to quit and leave the class. Comparing myself to others has never gotten …

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Breaking the Cement of ‘Not Good Enough’

Several years ago I found myself in depression. I felt anxious and overwhelmed most of the time and walked around in a cloud of doubt and indecision.  There was no glint of happiness or joy in my life. As Henry Nouwen writes: “Joy does not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep on choosing joy everyday.” We are responsible for our mindset and the fear of failure sucked the joy right out of me. I allowed my mistakes to define who I was and they kept me trapped in a dark place.  I was stuck in a very unhealthy mindset of ‘not being good enough.’ I want to share some advice that has helped me stay out of depression and move forward in my life emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being afraid to make a mistake means you will stay stuck in confusion and doubt.  Mistakes are part of life and they can become our greatest teachers. Learn from your mistakes and move on.   “I know I made a mistake but …

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What does it mean to be born again?

“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (reject, condemn, to pass sentence) on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” (John 3:16) When talking with people about my faith, I have searched the Bible to make sure I am distinguishing my faith which is Christianity from the many other faiths out there. What makes my faith, Christianity, different or more appealing than all the others? To understand, we need to read the words that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus who was a prominent leader and teacher of the Pharisees.  This religious sect had long lists of rules and regulations (do’s and don’ts) to follow.  They believed that obeying these laws would make them acceptable in God’s eyes. As a result, Nicodemus felt the heavy weight of the laws of the Pharisee Sect on his shoulders. These rules hung like a noose around his neck and at times it felt like he was being strangled by them. The thought of this weight …

Martha and Mary by Georg Friedrich (1639)/Wikipedia/Public Domain

Are you an over-functioner?

My many years of operating as an over-functioner qualifies me to say that “we do not serve ourselves or our families well when we over-function.” So what is over-functioning? Over-functioning takes place when when we do for others what they can and should do for themselves.  When we do this, it stops people from growing up and taking responsibility for their own lives. We keep them in a perpetual state of immaturity. I remember reading a story of a married couple who had kicked their 30-year old son out of the home. He wasn’t working and expected them to look after him. They were not doing him any favors by letting him continue in this lifestyle. He had to grow up. Incredibly, their son even sued to stop his parents from forcing him out of the home. Fortunately for him, he lost. But it is easy for this to happen. We become the biggest obstacle to our children taking responsibility for themselves  and end up stunting their emotional and spiritual growth. We do not allow …

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Drain the blame

If you keep doing what you’re doing, and thinking what you’re thinking, you are going to keep getting what you’ve got. Nothing will change in your world until you change. —  Gay and Katie Hendricks This message is really about me and not anyone else. My intention this year is to get hold of the blame cycle that kicks in whenever I feel overwhelmed, anxious or fearful. In times of frustration or difficulty, I want to blame others for my problems. I tend to project my frustration on those nearest me. It could be my family or friends. But if we continue to project our frustrations on others nothing will change. It only creates a vicious circle that gets smaller and smaller and pretty soon I end up acting like a caged lion without really knowing why. In other words, the only person you have the power to change is you. So rather than focusing on what you want changed in others, it’s time to create an “inner shift” that will transform what’s going on …

We need to unlock from our past to push ahead Credit: Antoine Robiez/Flickr/Creative commons

Unlock yourself from the past and push ahead into 2019

I want to honor my spiritual journey over the past 30 years.  To sit here today and dismiss it all would be wrong.  It wasn’t all bad all the time. Looking back it was my life experiences that shaped me into who I am today.  I am so thankful  for the opportunities and resources along the way that helped me heal, grow and move forward.   God has made His provision for healing and wholeness readily available to us. Unfortunately, we often stubbornly hold onto our pain by refusing to forgive. It acts like a soother keeping us trapped in a “poor me” mindset. There were two people in particular that I chose to forgive and when I encountered them again, as I did from time to time, it was like nothing had ever happened allowing me to treat them respectfully. I was able to climb out of the confusing muck of bad experiences and memories they brought me by forgiving them.  My emotions and even my body embraced the release I experienced as I literally …

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Rewire your brain

Español: Renueva tu cerebro As a Christian woman, I kept waiting for God to change things in my life.  I had a very fixed mindset about how things should work. Literally, I was rolling around in the mud of a helpless “poor me” mindset. Shifting out of  “poor me” to an  active and positive  mindset  that propels you forward is the only way to keep growing spiritually. We must want personal growth and change. We need to be able to look back over the year and say yes, I grew. I changed. I made progress. It’s about standing our ground and saying ‘no more’ to the thoughts that debilitate us.  Let’s make choices and grab hold of the opportunities that are available to help us break out of old patterns of thinking that have become strongholds in our lives; “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) There are two kinds of strongholds. There are demonic strongholds that …

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Look to the Mountains of Mercy

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13 NIV) We so easily fall into the trap of religion where we judge people by what they do or don’t do and the choices they make. The reason we judge others is it gives us a reason to not show mercy or kindness. Yet that is so contrary to how God treats us, who remains faithful even if we are faithless. We do not serve a pagan god who requires rules and regulations to please or appease him. God’s judgement towards us has been appeased by Christ’s blood shed on the cross. Whatever thoughts or struggles I may have with someone, I am learning to first look at myself and see if there is a personal message about my own shortcomings and poor choices. As I have dealt with my personal struggles in this area, I keep seeing a vision of God’s mountains of mercy that surround us. And as we walk through the valley that winds between the mountains …

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How I see others?

I have been seeking ways to view  people in the world around me through the lens of Christ’s love.   When I am disappointed, and focus on the flaws of others from my high and lofty position of arrogance on the mountain of judgement, I am failing not only my fellow man but myself as well. I earnestly desire new eyes, to change the lens of my perceptions and the way I view people — friends, other Christians and strangers. Sometimes people don’t return phone calls, or show up when their supposed to (like me on occasion) or answer e-mails or follow through on things they said they would.  People are not perfect but we expect it more from others than we do ourselves. A daily devotional I read recently summed it best with these words: “We see ourselves through rose-colored glasses and everyone else through a microscope.” If I do not look with eyes of hope on those around me as our Lord did. . . then I have not really  embraced the message of …

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Breaking out of your victim cage

I am on an email list for Lana Vawser who has a prophetic ministry in Australia. Almost every time I receive a prophetic email from her it speaks directly into my life about where I have been and where I am now and where I am headed spiritually in the future. Even though she has hundreds of followers, her emails often address issues I am facing at the moment.  She recently sent out a prophetic word about an issue that has controlled my life for many years: “The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear … “You see not through eyes of defeat, you see not through eyes of a victim mentality, you see not through eyes of fear, but you are now arising and seeing with greater clarity and vision through My eyes.  The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear, but now you are arising …

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The ’48 hour’ rule

Many times through various seasons of my life, the voices of my loved ones were calling out to me in the wilderness of my emotions as I circled around the same issues and same people over and over again. They were voices of reason reminding me to calm down in the midst of my emotions that were suddenly triggered. But, how does one calm down when every sense in your body is reacting? I have learned the hard way, when unchecked, emotions send us whirling into bad decisions that often create more havoc, confusion and damage in our personal lives. It’s never about the other person. It’s about you and your emotional well-being. Because of this during times of emotional turmoil, I decide to practice the 48 hour rule that I recently read about. The 48 hour rule puts you in a timeout, gives you space to settle down and allows you to re-evaluate the circumstances once your emotions have calmed. During this two-day period, I don’t make any decisions, send reactionary emails or texts, …

The bush displaying its leaves and berries late in the fall while we were on our prayer walk,

Our prayer walk

My friend Linda and I were on a walk praying for the nation of Canada. As a prophetic act we released leaves into water representing “healing for the nations” spoken of in the Book of Revelation: “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:2 NIV) We prayed that racial divides and rifts in our country would be healed and Canada, together with the nations, would stream to Mount Zion and be healed and restored to God and one another. Afterwards we were attracted to the shrubs that lined the path around the lake. Though it was late fall, their leaves were still green and clusters of red berries filled the branches. It was in stark contrast to the barren trees and leaves that were laying on the ground. We were drawn to the clusters of bright red berries on the shrubs. Linda shared that the berries were …

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Learning to live within your boundaries

Learning to live with healthy personal boundaries is a spiritual journey that has changed my relationship with God, myself, my loved ones and friends. I am easily distracted and when I see a need or someone struggling, I commission myself to rescue that person. Without thinking I step outside my personal boundaries to help the individual. I have had as many as five people on my “to save” list and my husband just shakes his head and quips, “off to save the world again?” What I did not understand is that when I did this I was pushing beyond my own personal boundaries which affected my health and emotional reserves which were often riding on zero.   My tank was empty and it would literally wipe me out. The problem was that I was trying to save people who were not my responsibility to save. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that each of us has boundaries in terms of ministry and we are not to go beyond these borders: 13 We, however, will not boast …

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Women need to set boundaries

I believe many Christian women find themselves feeling guilty about things that they think they ’should’ be doing. We do not have a clear understanding about what it means to live a happy, wholesome life. We seem to operate mostly  from guilt and ‘should have’s’. Gerri Scezzarro, author of The Emotionally Healthy Woman, says that we have  a wrong perception of a good, loving Christian woman. She states that most women believe this is how they need to live: “They never say ‘no’.  They have an active social calendar.  They juggle many things and never complain.  They get things done and put others before themselves I fell into this trap and started my Christian experience with this popular phrase as my cornerstone, JOY.   Alas, JOY, (Jesus first, others second and lastly you) did not work for me as I continually sacrificed my own and family’s wants and needs to help others.  I ended up being a joyless Christian women trying to carry my cross and save the whole world. It was not a pretty picture! …

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Are you self harming?

Whenever I heard the word ‘self-love,’ it made me cringe as I immediately thought of ‘selfishness’. I was pretty sure this was not the Christian way. In my mind, self-love and selfishness were the same thing. But as I pressed into my journey to wholeness — physically, emotionally and spiritually — the idea of needing to love yourself kept coming up. I wasn’t sure how Biblical this was but thought I needed to find out if it was or wasn’t. It seemed that to heal from past issues and recent traumas that constantly triggered me, I was being pointed in the direction of ‘self-love’. What was I getting myself into? And how did this fit with the verse, “deny yourself and take up your cross and follow after me?” Jesus shed His blood on the cross to save the world and it started to feel like I was doing the same thing, making personal sacrifices for others. But were these the sacrifices that God was asking me to make? Was I being motivated by love …

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Don’t let envy and resentment destroy your joy, the story of Miriam

Recently, I have been drawn to the story of Miriam. Her name comes from the word Myrrh. Myrrh was the main ingredient of the anointing oil that Moses sprinkled on the tabernacle, which made it not only visually but also olfactory prominent in Israel’s camp. (Exodus 30:23). And though it referred to the fragrant spice used in the tabernacle, it was also considered bitter. Because of Myrrh’s connection to bitterness, some believe Miriam’s name originally meant “sea of bitterness” or “sea of sorrow” or “rebellion.” Her mother may have given Miriam this name because of their hard life in Egypt. Miriam was a leader among the Hebrew women. She was a prophet and gifted musically. She used her leadership role to direct the women to praise the Lord often through the dance. She was a godly influence in their lives. Miriam was one of God’s special gifts to the people of Israel. As was typical of the day, these dances were often spontaneous. The women would follow Miriam in the dance copying her movements and …

Don't allow storms to rule your life. Photo credit: Bill Collison/Flickr/Creative Commons

Lo que significa arrojar tu pan sobre el agua

English: What it means to cast your bread upon the water El verano pasado, planeé una caminata con amigos alrededor de un hermoso lago en el centro de nuestra ciudad. En un momento de nuestro viaje, nos detuvimos en un pequeño lugar tranquilo a lo largo del borde, tomamos nuestras migas de pan y las arrojamos al agua y las vimos alejarse flotando. Estábamos cumpliendo simbólicamente las palabras que el Rey Salomón escribió: Echa tu pan sobre las aguas, Que después de[a] muchos días lo hallarás. 2 Reparte tu porción con siete, o aun con ocho, Porque no sabes qué mal puede venir sobre la tierra. (Eclesiastés 11: 1-2 NBLH) Los comentaristas creen que Salomón se refería a los barcos que enviaba llenos de bienes para comerciar con otras naciones y que regresarían llenos de tesoros. Durante su viaje encontrarían vientos dominantes, tormentas masivas con olas que se estrellarían sobre sus pequeños cascos de madera. Pero lucharían a través de ella.. Se habrían ido por días, incluso semanas, y cuando regresaron a casa estaban cargados de valiosas …

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Tearing down strongholds of self defeat

Often, I notice in myself and others that we have a tendency to sabotage our own happiness. The expression that “We are our own worst enemy is so true.” We don’t feel that we deserve to be happy and the way we think about ourselves prevents us from receiving God’s blessings.  We’re not even sure that God wants us to be happy, because subconsciously we don’t feel like we are worthy. Many times it has to do with how we were raised.  We don’t realize it but often we are dealing with strongholds that have been passed down from generation to generation. We have blueprints that have been imprinted upon our minds from childhood. If you grew up in an environment where it wasn’t safe to express your wants or needs, you will begin to believe you really don’t deserve anything good. If you were constantly criticized, you will struggle to feel good about yourself. It can feel safer staying stuck in our uncomfortable old patterns than to rock the boat and feel good about ourselves. …

Are you playing the blame game?

Freeing yourself from the mire of resentment

Sometimes we need a clear picture of what happens when we allow resentment to settle in our spirit. When that happens our pointing finger of blame is often the only thing that can be seen as we sink deeper and deeper in the bog of anger, resentment and blame. And if we don’t pay attention to what is happening, the sticky mire of resentment dries and hardens on us until we can no longer move or even breathe. Great effort is required to keep our hearts from hardening when we feel life is unfair or if we keep getting offended by what people are saying or doing. I will tell you now that these other people have nothing to do with it. No one has the power to make us angry or resentful except us. It is our choice. When we become offended or point the finger of blame, we are giving other people control of our lives. We are giving our power over to them. When we remain offended and angry, we lose control …

And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations

Over the years my friend Linda and I have walked and prayed around and through the park that is planted in the center of our city. Yesterday, we sat and prayed at one of our favorite spots. The leaves were just starting to turn color and fall to the ground. And we were drawn to the passage in the Book of Revelation: 2 … On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2 NIV) We contemplated the meaning of this verse as we have many times over the years. And like many scholars have noted, the interpretation can be unclear concerning this day and age. Many times this scripture would surface as we prayed for our nation. With the leaves falling all around, we began to pray once again that the leaves of the tree (Christ the tree of life) and we His people (the leaves) would receive …

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What is your addiction?

Believe it or not you may have an addiction! But it’s not what your thinking. I am not talking about an addiction to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. But many of us are feeding addictions in our lives that have haunted us for years. In my life, I had an addiction or need for people to recognize and acknowledge my accomplishments. In the end, this led to a serious addiction of people-pleasing. In other words, I was struck with “the disease to please,” and would do things I didn’t want to do just to get people’s approval. It was unhealthy and killing me from the inside out. But there are other addictions operating in our lives that many of us do not recognize as well. When we hold on to limiting beliefs about ourselves, then anger, sadness or guilt will show up to compensate for our lack of self-confidence. We substitute unhealthy emotions for our lack of confidence. Sadness can be a way of getting others to notice and feel sorry for us. We need this …

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Did the Apostle Paul warn about a coming narcissist plague?

I walked out of the doctor’s office a few days ago and noticed a young woman in front of me crying. I passed her on the way to my car and then thought I should check if she was okay and turned around and went back to talk to her. She looked at me as she wiped a tear from her eye and said that she was just diagnosed with PTSD. She shared that it had been a year since she left a relationship with her narcissistic boyfriend. She fled England a year ago after her boyfriend burned her house down. The only way she could get away from him was to leave the country. Just days before leaving England she considered going back to him “because he would only be angry for a while and then things would get better.” This is the same guy that set fire to her house! What was interesting about this is that until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what narcissism was until I started reading …

A crop close to harvest near Lohbusch, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Credit: Christian Kortum/Flickr/Creative Commons

The womb of God’s provision

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) The growth and the nurturing we received while in our mother’s womb is a wonderful example of God’s great care for us. It is a clear picture of how God our Father wants to provide for us while we are in the womb and out of it. Our nine months in the womb, as an embryo formed into a tiny baby, is the precedent to experiencing the hand of God outside the womb. This tiny form deep inside the mother did not demand the nourishment it needed to develop. Before the babe knew what it needed the nutrients were already there for the next stage of growth as the hands, fingers, feet and toes, eyes and ears needed to develop. The baby was in perfect alignment with the Spirit of God who had prepared beforehand what was required for the …

Just say no Credit: Dylan Todd/Flickr/Creative Commons

When I want to say ‘No’ but say ‘Yes’

What do boundaries, healthy boundaries, have to do with our relationships? Why is learning to say “no” important and why is it so hard? Because if you continue to do things you don’t want to do, you eventually become, angry, resentful and bitter. If like me you choose to be a martyr and say “yes” when you really want to say “no,” you will become what some describe as a “bitter martyr.” But as one psychologist puts it,  “it’s not too late to turn the ship around.” To remove the bitterness, we must become better at telling the truth to ourselves and others because saying “yes” when you want to say “no” is being dishonest. Why do we struggle with this? It’s the little girl in us acting out our childhood training to be nice. According to psychologist, Terri Cole, growing up with a mother who was a people-pleaser makes it difficult for a person to say “no” when it is the last thing we want to do. If you lived in a home where …

Sky diving over Palau Credit: Richard Schneider/Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s okay to be afraid

Sometimes we are being pushed out of our comfort zone and often think fear is telling us to pull back. But in reality it’s a signal to move forward, push through the fear and jump. I have been acknowledging my uncomfortable feelings these past weeks. At times I almost feel paralyzed by fear and anxious thoughts. Have you ever felt this way afraid, nervous and excited all at the same? It’s an uncomfortable feeling. And often we judge ourselves for being afraid of our next big step. We have this misconception that fear is telling us “not” to do it. Well, the good news is that fear is just a natural emotion that means you are stretching yourself out of your comfort zone. Being stretched is uncomfortable in the physical and the natural. Growing and expanding beyond where I have been comfortable for some time now. Fear is a normal part of life, but it is an emotion we must control before it conquers us. Writing for Proverbs 31 Ministry, Bobby Schuller says: “Fear is …