All posts filed under: Women

Playing the victim like a puppet on a string

People often find their thoughts and behaviours being affected by the decisions of others, particularly, if the ones closest to them are making choices that they believe are not in their best interests.  Our thoughts begin to revolve around them and overwhelm us, as we allow worry to take over. Our lives become a bit of a blur, as the worry continues to grow. Relationship experts, Stacey and Paul Martino, tell us that when we focus on wanting others to change, we put ourselves in a ‘victim position.’ We are controlled by their choices and start to act like a puppet on a string, yanked around by everything they do.  We need to ‘detach’ from the expectations we put on others and cut the strings that keep us under the control of their choices. God wants us to live happy and healthy lives, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  As we transfer our expectations from our loved ones and place our hopes and desires for them on the shoulders of our Father God, we will be able to focus on our …

The red flag: Moving past anger

When dealing with anger, it seems that we often make it about the other person, the one who sparked our anger. We blame our anger on them and their actions or words, and rarely about our response and the way we handled the offence. I read where one author treated his anger like a marker or a red flag, as he called it. Whenever he felt a reaction to an offence and recognized the anger that was rising from it, he literally visualized planting a red flag in the ground, staking out where his anger began. From that moment, he would take personal responsibility for his anger and not make it about the other person, as he intentionally worked towards creating a response that would bring resolve and peace for himself.   Looking back at the red flag marker, he could see how far he had come from his initial response.   This has been an awesome visualization that I practice when I feel anger stirring in me.  And, the goal, of course, is to move past the red …

How a daughter forgave her infamous serial killer dad

In a recent interview on 100 Huntley Street, Kerri Rawson, shared the heartbreaking story of when she found out her dad, Dennis Rader, was a serial killer and how God brought her to the point of being able to forgive her father. In 2005, the police arrested Dennis Radar for murdering ten people including a father, mother and two children between 1974 and 1991 in and around Wichita, Kansas. He was a serial killer who went by several acronyms including BTK, which Rader gave himself, that stood for ‘blind, torture, kill.’ He was also labelled as the BTK strangler and BTK killer by the media. During his killing spree, Rader sent letters to media and police taunting their efforts to catch him, but it was these letters that eventually led to his arrest and subsequent sentence of 10 consecutive life sentences. The arrest came when Rader started re-sending letters and messages to the media in 2004 after a several year hiatus. It was a floppy disk sent to Fox News that played a major role …

A broken heart can physically break your heart

According to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) an emotionally broken heart has the potential to physically damage a person’s heart. Though the condition called Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is rare, it is potentially fatal and is found most often in women. Researchers from Harvard stated that 90% of the cases involved women between the ages of 58 to 75. The research team from MGH stated that TTS occurs when a person undergoes a stressful event that results in increased activity in a person’s amygdala, an organ located on either side of our cerebrum that controls our memory and emotions. This in turn can cause increased activity in a person’s heart that can actually cause physical damage resulting in what is referred to as a “broken-hearted syndrome. According to the researchers, there are several things that can lead to this condition including such stress producing factors as: Death of a child or spouse Death of a pet Divorce or break up Job loss Infidelity Unfortunately, these type of events are a part of real life. God …

A mother’s faith and prayer avails much

In an Instagram post on Mother’s Day (May 9, 2021), international pop star, Justin Bieber, wished his mom, Pattie Mallette, a “Happy Mother’s Day.” But instead of focusing on his mother’s sacrifice to his 171 million followers, Justin shared the important role his mother played in Justin’s faith: “Happy Mother’s Day Madre ! I could talk about all of the sacrifices that you made to take care of me but the most incredible thing you could have done was share with me the love of Jesus!” Justin’s climb to international stardom started through videos that his mother initially posted on YouTube for family and friends. But as others found the videos and saw his talent, Justin’s popularity began to grow, until he was noticed by those in the music industry. But as the fame took over his life, he was increasingly being caught up in the negativity that often comes with it. For a few years, all we were reading about were Justin’s run-ins with the law and the latest scandal that overtook his life: …

This Hurts Too Much

Did you ever try to focus on something that was or is just too painful? That’s what happened to me these past few weeks. I wanted to really dig into the tragedy of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada but I found myself holding back. There are a few reasons for this. One might be my own experiences being marginalized. Another might be that the injustice and lack of public outcry angers me. I have written previously about how poverty and prejudice impacted my life. While I am in a place now in which prejudice and out-casting no longer affect me, I am still hurting for those for whom it does affect. And in these days of double racism, a dangerous idea in which people of color accuse white people of racism with racist chants and slogans of their own, there is so much division and hatred.  Violent elements have taken advantage of this and have burned and destroyed businesses and lives under the umbrella of social justice. It feels like they are set …

Finding your secret place of prayer

Sometimes, I find it hard to pray. I feel disconnected and far from God. It seems that I have to pray long prayers and work hard to get God’s attention. What is my perception of prayer that it makes it seem like such an effort? Do I feel unworthy or not good enough? Do I feel like I’m barely existing and disconnected from myself, people and God? Thankfully, there is a divine connection available to us, and we can have unlimited access to heaven, at all times. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) And, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for your sins and was resurrected from the dead, you have the key to connecting with heaven from here on earth. To help me pray easily and effectively, I often create a garden, a secret place in my mind, where I can go anytime day or night. I …

Does God Care?

When things are going well, it is easy to feel that he does care. Even when things turn bad we can still feel like He cares. But when awful things happen we can lose sight of his love as we struggle through illness, job loss, and death. Once the shock and intensity of the trauma leave us, we can look back and see how his love and care carried us through these times. But what if the bad times never ended? There are many tragedies in our lives. Most are only for a short time. Some are lifelong. When I was disabled and in severe pain and chronically ill for thirteen years, I still felt God loved me. I still felt He cared for me. But just not as much as other Christians. In my mind I was a second-class Christian. This was my lot in life. To suffer and persevere. Not to thrive. In the end I was healed. I was restored to clarity of mind and heart as much as healed in my …

White Woman Syndrome

Who loves you? Well, if you are white woman apparently the media does. For a long time, I had an idea that some people received more favorable media coverage than others. Recently in Canada, Stephen Harper, a right-wing Prime Minister, received more negative coverage than his liberal opponent Justin Trudeau. We now have Prime Minister Trudeau. In the United States the most flagrant and obvious violation of media objectivity is their coverage of President Trump compared to President Biden. Now they have President Biden. The media chooses who will be their darling, and then they create a narrative around them. If you have their favour, your weaknesses and mistakes are not reported. If you have their ire, even your good points are twisted into something wrong. And way before the current chaos in our lands, the media in the United Kingdom were mostly favourable towards the Royal family.  During World War II, the media became the propaganda machine for most governments as they sought to downplay war losses and help to ensure we knew the …

Are you trapped in your past trauma?

“Instead, the wandering is slow. It’s healing. It’s devoid of shame. God takes those who have been traumatized and frightened by the hand and leads them through.” – Dr. Jill Richardson (First 5) What is ‘trapped trauma’? Trapped trauma describes people who are trapped by their past negative experiences. They can’t seem to move past it. It hangs like an anchor to their souls. I began to read about this condition that many find themselves ‘trapped’ in.  I have not experienced physical trauma, but I do know the symptoms of emotional trauma, and it can feel as torturous as the physical and I have been trapped by it. Trauma does take time to heal, but often people will resist the steps needed to be freed from it. While in slavery in Egypt, the Israelis had been beaten and abused. Yet, as God wanted to release them from their captivity, the Israelites resisted Moses encouragement and instructions to move out of their slavery into the Promised Land. They remained trapped in Egypt as they struggled to …

Ex porn star finds Jesus after watching boyfriend murdered

In a recent podcast, former American porn star, Brittni De La Mora, explains how she became a Christian and left the porn industry shortly after watching her boyfriend get stabbed to death. Forced into hiding as police looked for her boyfriend’s killer, De La Mora came across a Bible in a hotel room that so spoke to her, she became a believer. The Western Journal provides the details: “Sometimes, hardships that come into our lives … are inevitable,” she said on a recent episode of “Let’s Talk Purity,” a show she co-hosts alongside her husband, Richard. “There was a time in my life … I actually was dating a guy who was murdered. He was stabbed in front of me.” De La Mora went into hiding for a few days while authorities searched for the people who committed the crime, and it was there, while isolated in a hotel, that she encountered a Bible. “I saw a Bible. I wasn’t a Christian. I was still in the porn industry during this time,” she explained. “And …

What is behind the opposition to Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination?

As Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation for the Supreme Court enters its second day, those in the media and some politicians are focussing on her religious beliefs as the basis for their attacks. Amy and her husband Jesse are Charismatic Catholics and attend a group called People of Praise. However, this opposition may ultimately backfire as a recent poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy on behalf of First Liberty Institute revealed that 62% of Americans do not believe that Supreme Court justices should be asked about their faith during the confirmation process. The poll of 1,000 Americans in early October asked if nominees should or should not be asked questions related to their faith. In fact, only 30% of those surveyed said they should be asked about their faith with 8% stating they didn’t know. It is interesting because it is becoming increasingly apparent that those on the political left are convinced that a person’s faith should somehow disqualify a person from holding such positions. Those opposing her nomination are equally concerned about her view …

Christian woman flagging outdoors in Banff, Canada

In the midst of the lockdown, Claire Shieh, a Christian woman, took to the streets of Banff, Alberta, Canada, to worship God in dance and with flags. God TV writes: A woman worshiped with flags and danced in an open street in a Canadian town. The woman, Claire Shieh, hopes to bring peace to the tension of pandemic by inviting the Presence of God through her worship. Called to Flag, is a ministry in Canada that aims to equip the Body of Christ with techniques and teachings of praise for worshiping with flags. Claire and her husband, David, founded the ministry with the heart to serve and see people restore their identity in God. And just last Sunday, they took their flags and boldly worship at the heart of downtown Banff. READ: Woman Worships With Flags At Open Street In Canada Mesmerizes Viewers On her YouTube Channel, Claire explains what happened in Banff: Everyone in the downtown core is required to wear a mask. I can feel the tension from the moment I checked into …

Exposing secret strongholds

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we had some unusually strong winds blowing through our city and province. It was a pounding and relentless wind that went on for several weeks. It was uncomfortable to even be outside and people wondered when the winds would stop blowing. During this time, I often went onto our deck, faced the wind, looked up at the open sky above our yard and played ‘Catch the Wind” by Bethel Music.  Sometimes, I would just stand facing the wind and praying. At other times, I would pick up my flags, dance and worship on the deck and blow my Shofar. (I am sure it had my neighbors wondering what is that?) In the Old Testament, as Israel marched around the city of Jericho, a natural stronghold in the Promised Land, the Shofar was sounded to announce God’s victory and the pulling down of Jericho’s walls. I play my Shofar with the same expectation of victory. But the Bible also talks about spiritual strongholds that need to be pulled down …

Removing the tentacles of judgment

Over the years, John 3:16 has consistently been one of the most popular verses for Christians. But do you know what the most popular verse is for those who don’t believe? Surveys reveal it is “don’t judge, lest you be judged.” And God has been really speaking to me about judging, because Jesus “holds space for me” and allows me to show up with all my faults and weaknesses. But am I treating others including those who are not believers the same way God treats me? Jesus embraces me despite my imperfections. He embraces me through eyes of love and nothing I do can change His perception of me. And when we get ourselves into trouble, we can ask for help and God will provide it. But notice what James adds: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5) God will provide help without finding fault. He won’t point a finger of blame or judgment when …

Embracing your rest?

“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) What does ‘rest’ in God mean to me? Personally, I can rest in God because Jesus has made me ‘enough’ and in the eyes of God I will always be enough despite my mistakes, failures and shortcomings. Truly, there is a liberation that takes place when one accepts Christ as their personal  Saviour. No more worry about heaven or hell.  Eternity is secured because of the rich red blood of Christ that flowed down the cross to redeem the world from sin. Through Christ’s death, we become a ‘friend of God’ and we are no longer a slave to the law of religious dos and don’ts.    A relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes easy knowing we are deeply loved as a ‘child of God’. We can talk with Him, confess our sin, failures and shortcomings and then move on, no longer restricted by them. But it takes faith, believing what God says about you, and then …

A better way?

“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31) Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines “way” in this verse as a road or a journey: A way – (Strong’s Greek 3598 – A way, road, journey, path. Apparently a primary word; a road; by implication, a progress; a mode or means This verse is talking about the specific journey that God has for all of us. The first step is learning to love ourselves because we were created in the image of God and that means we cannot hate or despise ourselves. How can we love others while hating ourselves? This verse also talks about the many gifts God gives His children to serve Him. We serve God best when we embrace our unique gifts and talents that have been given for us to serve this world.  Each one of has a purpose that we can step into and live out our journey through life. This verse has been ringing in my ears these past months because life’s …

Entering the void

If you are like me, you want the comfortableness of certainty in your life. And over these past few months that has been completely shattered, I have said ‘we will get through this’ to myself and others too many times. Often, when we enter a desert time, familiarity is stripped away and uncertainty becomes our ‘new normal’. This season has several names, the unknown, the void or the desert. Yes, we can get through this, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things will be better. It may also be different from what you were expecting. If you are counting on certainty, this fleeting hope could ruin your life. There is a risk that comes with living and instead of constantly fighting it, we need to go with it. It’s the tension of the unknown and realizing that nothing is for certain that keeps us alert and alive. This is where God’s grace needs to become our ‘new normal.’  Getting through these times, requires us to recognize the tension that grace holds for us. Grace holds …

How to become a fountain of life in times of trouble

In your mind picture a fountain that you have seen in a park.  This is a picture I am holding in my mind as I walk through these days of uncertainty with riots, fires, rules and legislation changing during this Covi-19 panic.  These things have been weighing on many of us heavily and each day something new gets thrown onto the pile of rubbish. And I find this garbage growing in my mind, and occupying way too much space there. But like a stream that never stops flowing, even though garbage and rocks get thrown into it, if there is enough pressure, the water will find its way over, through, and around the obstacles.  If, there is enough pressure flowing from the source, then the stream is unstoppable. This is how God wants us to function in these days and always.  In John 7:38, Jesus said if we believe in Him that rivers of living water would flow out of us. We are to be the fountain life to everyone around us. The Holy Spirit …

What being easily offended says about you

The writer of Proverbs describes a person, who is not easily offended by what others say about them, as being a person of glory: A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. (Proverbs 19:11) Notice how the writer says that it is a person’s glory to overlook a transgression. In other words, the ability to overlook an offence says a lot about who you are. According to Terri Cole, my favourite on-line therapist, being offended is an ego response to what someone says to you or about you. You cannot control what others say or think about you. What matters is what you think in your heart about you! Being easily offended, means you are allowing others to define who you are. When you get offended by what they say, you are giving their words more importance than what you think about yourself or what God says about you. Cole says an ego-offended state also perpetuates a victim mentality which disempowers you and redirects your focus off …

Dealing with the fear of the unknown

Fear of the unknown can overwhelm us and impact our body, mind and spirit in unhealthy ways as we start obsessively worrying about the future, which some refer to it as “future tripping.” The actual purpose of fear is to signal our brain that there is potential for danger or death telling us to ‘fight, flee or freeze.’ Though there is benefit to it, that changes to negative when we are consumed by prolonged bouts of fear. Psychotherapist Terri Cole, who has worked with women for 20 years, states that we must be aware of the psychological, emotional and physical cost to walking around in a constant, heightened state of fear. She says being on constant alert is not good for you and can even compromise your immune system. Exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, brain fog and depression are all symptoms that your nervous system is being overloaded by fear. And if this describes you, it may also suggest this pandemic is exposing deeper emotional issues and trauma in your life, that you have been carrying around …

A cocoon is not a tomb: A prophetic word about the Coronavirus

A recent prophetic word by Nate Johnston has encouraged me during these last stages of the COVID lockdown. For a while now, my husband and I have sensed that things may be different for the church and the people of God when we are finally released from this lockdown or maybe  ‘set free’ is a better term to use. Nate Johnston is a prophetic minster from Australia who I have been following for years. Nate’s recent prophetic word “This is not a tomb season, This is a cocoon season” has helped me understand the place many of us are finding ourselves in — spiritually confused, frightened, disorientated and maybe a bit angry.  For many of us, it feels like we have been locked up in a dark place for too long and the glimmer of hope that it may soon be over has many wondering what’s next?  Things may not be the same. We are not the same and how do we prepare for this new stage that has been set before us?  Nate prophesies …

Start walking

One of the problems with vision is that we want instant success. We want it to happen now, but in order for you to produce fruit, there first needs to be pruning.  Pruning can be a long process for some of us, as in 40 years of pruning from when my husband started to write and pursue his passion for Bible teaching and world events.  It wasn’t until my retirement that I began to pursue my dream and desire for women to connect and whenever I gave up and let go of the dream, it always came back stronger than ever.  Maybe God has given you a dream or vision that He has called you to do. Below are a few tips from a sermon delivered by Matt Adams a couple of years ago, that helped me in my journey: “It doesn’t matter how many we lead. It matters where we lead them and how you lead them.” “Learn to lead from your placement, where you are now, without wanting to be a star.” “We …

Can we block our own prayers?

What is your stance these days in light of all that is happening? What are your thoughts? Are they fear based or faith based? Are you standing on solid ground or shaky ground? Do we need to shift our prayers from a place of fear and frustration and step onto more solid ground? The Apostle Peter writes: “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3) Based on this promise, I have challenged myself to change my position from pleading to God for help to stepping into a posture of thanksgiving and praise. God’s word says that He has already given us everything we need to live a life of abundance. Asking for what we want or need is a good thing, but staying stuck in a place of continual pleading may block us from receiving or even seeing God’s provision and answers to our prayers because of our frustration and …

Keeping Prayer Simple

When I looked at prayer in the past, I thought it meant praying for at least one hour before it counted, and this belief discouraged me from entering into prayer. I believed that it was just too hard to incorporate into my everyday life and as a result prayer was often the last thing I did. Then I started feeling guilty about not praying enough, and this led me to just stop praying altogether because I felt my prayers weren’t good enough or long enough, so why bother. The priests ministering in the temple in the Old Testament had a great spiritual responsibility to offer sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. But they also had other duties. These were called ‘sacred lots’ where the menial duties of priesthood were divided up including such things as kitchen duties, yard work and providing oversight to the Levites. They had other necessary duties that did not include the sacrifices, but were important enough to be called ‘sacred.’ Understanding that the Old Testament priests had menial …

Standing in hope

I watched our dog, Lulu, bounce down the stairs, go to her dish, do her little dance as she looked up at me with hopeful eyes expectantly waiting for her breakfast. She knew that I would not disappoint and I realized as I prepared her dog food that this was the perfect picture of hope! I have been trying to enter into hope as I prayed at different times throughout the day and the night about the Coronavirus. But the events of recent days are pushing against hope. Like many, I was caught up in the concern of those feeling panicked, overwhelmed and because of this, fear held me in its grip as I struggled to pray during this COVID-19 crisis. I had lost my hope. And, in the midst of this an indignation and anger rose up within me and I found myself fighting and pushing back against the injustice and manipulation this pandemic had brought into our lives. And for me, hope was the seal and security I needed to continue stepping forward …

Standing in Faith Against the Storm

Often during the past few weeks, I have felt fear and uncertainty rise up within me. During these times, I made a firm decision not to succumb to fear, and as soon as I did that, something changed and life suddenly felt lighter and brighter in our living room where I was standing. As I stepped forward and envisioned myself on a beach with waves rising and building on the waters before me, I was reminded of Christ’s words, “Peace to you!” Shortly after the Lord’s crucifixion, the disciples had locked themselves in a room for fear of the Jews and the uncertain times they were in. Jesus appeared in their midst saying: “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  John 20:21-22 The Hebrew word for spirit in the Old Testament is ‘ruach’ and it means ‘air in motion.’ The same word is translated ‘breath’ and life’. When talking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus …

Touching heaven, touching earth

Like many these days, I am praying more often than usual and in so many ways God has used this season of ‘panic’ COVID-19 to pull me into prayer more consistently than I have done for many years. Yes, God clearly used this time to ‘work out good,’ and bring out good disciplines in my life.  But there has been a change in how I pray. I am now praying more often, but not as long as I used too. These are not extended periods of prayers. They can be short just two to five minutes or sometimes longer. As well, I have set aside specific times to pray. When the clock strikes 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 8 pm and 12 midnight, these are my designated times to pray. I start first by giving thanks. I often take five slow deep breaths to help clear my mind and slow my thoughts and then I enter into a time of prayer. Sometimes things come up and I miss my time, but I carry on with …

Lack is not the Issue

In these COVID-19 days, images of empty shelves are splashed across all media outlets. Long line-ups of people rushing to the stores to purchase food items and sometimes over-buying non-essentials, resulting in hoarding. While world poverty has been reduced significantly in the new millennium, there is still over a billion people world-wide who live in extreme poverty. Self-survival is not new to our generation and although we’ve never watched a child die from malnutrition, or had to resort to cannibalism to survive, a great majority have experienced a ‘scrapping the bottom ofthe barrel’ time. The Bible is filled with stories of people seeking provision during times of adversity. Jesus recognized this social issue; “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me,” (Matthew 26:11). Panicking during droughts and diseases is mankind’s natural reaction to an adverse situation. But lack of provision is not necessarily the true underlining issue for our reaction. The prophet Elijah is instructed by the LORD to go into Zarephath, a city of Idol worship, where …

Staying on your side of the street

When I talk about  ‘staying on your side of the street,’ I am not referring to social-distancing that we are seeing worldwide with the ‘coronavirus pandemic.’ I am referring to a ‘pandemic’ of my own making, where the actions and opinions of others sends me spiraling into anger, fear, confusion and doubt about my own abilities.  And, even as scientists are working on a vaccine for the present ‘coronavirus’ threat, I am very aware of my need to become immune to my personal pandemic, where I require validation from others to feel good about myself. One of the symptoms of this disease is that I become negative or depressed when someone says something that offends or degrades me. If I allow their words to affect my life then I have the ‘validation virus.’ The ‘validation virus’ occurs when I lack confidence in my myself and find myself deeply affected by what others say. Because I have failed to validate myself as a person of worth created in the image and likeness of God, then others …

Are fear and worry weighing you down?

I was at a seminar several years back, and they wanted to show us how much negative thinking affects us. Each of us were told to hold our arms out from our side and then have someone try to push our arm down while we resisted. Most of us put up a good fight, but then we were told to have that person push down our arms while were thinking negative thoughts about ourselves. It could be anything from rehearsing past failures to thinking about how stupid we were. We all immediately noticed how much physically weaker we were when we thought negatively about ourselves. And, although our thoughts don’t hold an actual physical weight, scientists say that negative thoughts ‘weigh’ on your brain in the same way that repeated movements tire your muscles. Negativity and worry have ‘energy costs’ that can tire out our neurons, that are the physical carriers of our thoughts. As a result, we feel a ‘heaviness’ because of the emotional drain on our brain and its neurons. Negative thinking and …