Tag Archives: body

Dear Vanessa ~ Getting caught up in gossip



Dear Vanessa,

I am struggling recently with coffee-room gossip. I want so badly to be an example to my coworkers by not “joining in” on talking about others but I find it so hard. My question for you is what is the right way to deal with personality frustrations without gossiping and remaining a good Christian example in the work place?



Dearest Lexi,

This is something many struggle with, you are not alone.   Most of us have either been a victim or participant at some point in our lives.

Also, you need to give yourself some credit as you have identified you want to be part of the solution rather the problem - this is one step ahead!

The bible speaks clearly to gossip, lies, and whispering:

Proverbs 16:28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.

A whisperer separates close friends.   Talking about others when they are not around or cannot hear will cause strife in a relationship.

Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

He who is trustworthy in the spirit keeps a thing covered; meaning one does not reveal secrets.

Proverbs 26:20-22 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.

Adding wood to a fire; the more one gossips the bigger the problem gets.

Psalms 41:7 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.

When gossiping about an individual, assumptions are made.  One should never assume.

You obviously have guilt about being part of this, and are frustrated with the way people are behaving.  It is important that we do not judge, but in all things try our best to lead by example.   This is key in curbing this kind of behavior.   Jesus lead by example and we are to follow that example in all that we do.  This can be difficult at times, we stumble, but God forgives – He loves us and wants to pick us up.

Philippians 4:9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 3:17  Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.

I have struggled with this myself at times, especially when beginning a new job or joining a new group of people.   But integrity is core to my value system, and honesty….   In these circumstances, I have assessed the group and if the individuals are open to my opinion, I will be honest with them about the behavior.  I have also tried to provide a different perspective – opposite to theirs.

For instance, let me give you an example, one of my friends says, “Look at Sally, the clothes she wears are so dated, and her hair….”  I would then respond and say, “What if Sally doesn’t have the money to adjust her wardrobe or hair?  What if her money goes to charity instead of the clothing she wears?  We do not know her circumstance so should not judge.”

God does not want us to conform to this behavior; He wants us to rise above.  Rise above and lead by example.

While this works for me, it may not work for you or others that are uncomfortable with challenging the perception.  I have a few other suggestions that may help:

  • Remove yourself from the group that is gossiping. 
  • Adjust the topic to something else.
  • If you have been a victim of this behavior in the past, provide your perspective to the group that is gossiping on how you felt about the situation.
  • Finally, and most importantly, if you have fallen into this habit or are finding difficulty with the situation, pray and ask God for guidance.  He will direct your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Lexi, we lead through our actions.  It is so amazing when we take a leap of faith and step out of our comfort zone.  It has ripple effects, like a drop in the water.  

Dear Lord God,

I ask that Your voice is what others hear when engaging in conversation.  I ask that You lead individuals down the right path when interacting with others.  I pray that you give individuals like Lexi the strength to rise above.  We know that through our actions others will follow, I pray that our actions exemplify You in all things.  I pray for this in Jesus’ Name Amen.

Blessings to you beautiful lady,


If you have a question for Vanessa please email her at [email protected]

You can also visit her personal blog page at www.nesschesters.wordpress.com

Catching Fire!


catching fireI love fortune cookies. My kids love fortune cookies. I remember racing through my meal when I was younger, just to get to the little folded cookie at the end so that I could see what the future had in store for me! Would the tiny slip inside tell me that I would be rich? Famous? Beautiful? Or would it give me some tiny bit of wisdom that would enrich my life immensely if I applied it to my life?

I can’t say that I ever received any profound thoughts or advice in all of the years that I ate Chinese food, but as I sat in church on Sunday and listened to the message, when the subject of a fortune cookie came up, it peaked my interest. Maybe someone else had received some noteworthy message inside of the sweet little folded goodness.

He unfolded a fortune that said this: “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come from miles to watch you burn!” Of course, this elicited giggles from the congregation. How funny! The first thing that I thought of was someone standing in the middle of the street all aflame, and people gathering to watch….maybe a few even pulling out the marshmallows and weenies!  Then I got real….

As the speaker continued with his message, it turned out that this quote was originally written by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church. How interesting. All of a sudden the quip took on a whole new meaning for me. “Catch on fire with enthusiasm, and people will come from miles to watch you burn!”

Can you see it now? A sidewalk preacher standing on his soapbox, preaching the good news of the gospel? An animated bible teacher excitedly telling her class the message she is there to convey? Maybe a high school student retelling an event in his life that somehow changed him, due to God’s hand in that situation?

When we are on fire for Jesus, it shows. Our light begins to blaze the message that was put within us; that God is always there for us, guiding us, loving us. There are many who need to hear this, who need the comfort that accompanies the message. Sometimes we don’t even know that we need it, but when we see someone that is excited about something that has happened to them, don’t we take notice? Do you pay attention to what they are saying while their hands are waving around and their voices are raised in animation of the story? If you see a noticeable change in someone, and they tell you it is due to something that has happened to them, don’t you want to know what it is? Don’t you want that too, for yourself?

Everyone wants to be happy, to have comfort, to have good things happen in their lives. If you knew how to do that, wouldn’t you want to share that secret? So why do we keep our stories to ourselves? Have we become too good at keeping secrets? If everyone around you were happy, how much happier life would be! Isn’t this what we want?

The message of Jesus is a happy message, a powerful message. It is loving, peaceful, encouraging and life giving! It has the power to transform the world. Why wouldn’t we want to tell others about the things that it has done for us? Maybe you don’t see true change in your life coming from God. Maybe you still need to take that first step, have that relationship with your Savior, and put God first and the rest will follow.

Don’t keep it all to yourself…. catch on fire with enthusiasm for God and what he has done for you; people will come from miles to watch you burn!

My Prayer:

Lord, help me to be on fire for you, to show others the excitement that you have placed within me. Let me shine like the stars in heaven so that others may see your goodness and power and seek you as they watch me burn! In Jesus’ name I pray!

Reflect His Light!


dear vanessa ~ death and fear


Fear is a very destructive force in our world and can reek havoc on our lives, our relationships and our very beings. Vanessa addresses an important aspect of conquering this; by filling the darkness with light.

Dear Vanessa,

My son has been stricken with fear and panic attacks since Christmas. He’s terrified he’s going to die or someone will kill him. It all started after the school massacre/shooting in Newton, Connecticut, right before Christmas. We shielded him the best we could from the news, but of course they talked about it in school and his friends were also talking about it. My husband and I have hit a brick wall. How do you tell a 9 year old that “yes, there are bad people out there, who do bad things, but you can’t let fear take over and keep you from living and doing what you enjoy doing everyday”?  I have had extreme anxiety in my life as well, and I feel for him, I don’t want this to paralyze him.  Do you have any advice here?

Sincerely concerned parent,


Dearest Charlene,

Have you spoken with your child about heaven?   I remember as a child I was so scared of dying, I would pray every night for our house not to start on fire.   I don’t think my parents knew…  I cannot even remember where the fear and anxiety came from.  But you know, maybe you can give him a picture of heaven for him to understand.   It is often difficult to bring the images of heaven down to a childlike level.  

This place of heaven is designed for us; I imagine that it is full of light, love and warmth.   Because I had this fear of death, I wanted my children to understand death is not the end, but the beginning.  It has taken me a good portion of my adult life to understand the concept of death, and to let go of the fear.    Something to keep in mind Charlene, is that God smiles on us when we let go of the fear.  

When I hug my baby boys (yes I still call them babies now 5 and 8) I have an overwhelming feeling of peace and love.   My children feel the same too; a parent’s hug warms the heart and soul from the inside out.   One night I said to my boys that heaven is like the same feeling of a hug multiplied by a million.  They were in awe, and said “really mom? Is it that good?”  I replied by saying, “It is better than that, beyond our understanding. It is a place where all we feel is love.”  I then went onto explain that Lions are our friends, that there are rainbows and colors beyond our comprehension, and heaven is a place where faith, hope and love are one.  

In bridging my understanding I have read a couple of books (which have calmed my soul):

  • Heaven is for real http://heavenisforreal.net/  - a book about a young boy visits heaven and comes back.  This website has some interesting resources, and if you look online – there is an interview with the boy.  This might be a good starting point as well.

  • To heaven and back by Mary C. Neal   - interesting account from a physician’s perspective

Charlene, you have a lot going for you, the fact that you suffered from anxiety reveals that you have experienced this but have grown beyond.   Deep down I can tell that your fear is that your child will not be able to cope with this, but who is better than you to enable your son in dealing with this anxiety or fear?  How have you coped?  What strategies have you put in place to deal with your anxiety or fear?  

What you need to concentrate on is that God loves you and your child.  He is here to protect you.  Sometimes bad things happen, but good always comes out of it.   In this case, it is a learning opportunity for both of you, which will bring you closer.   The root of dealing with this is bringing a new level of understanding for your young child.  Speak his language… Get him to write down his fears – give him a few magazines and show him how to put together a collage of it all.  That way you will be able to see exactly as he is seeing the fear, and this exercise will also help you navigate through the discussion.

Fear is something that the devil feeds upon, so bring your anxiety to God, and he will help you through it.  

A few things I want to leave you with:

  • God is good, He is here for us to present our worries to Him, He will help us through, He is infinite. 

Cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares about you.  (1 Peter 5:7)


  • You love your son, just as God loves you.  In all things where love is present; evil cannot exist.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

  • Finally, remember the evil one is always lurking, waiting to prey upon our minds, souls and bodies.   I have practiced prayer in the morning, and throughout my day, to help ward off his attempts to control me.

                Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

You are a mother that loves her son, and you can help him through this little bump.   Prayers for you beautiful lady.

Dear Lord God, I ask that you bless all of the parents and families dealing with uncertainty in this world.  Bring them peace, understanding and discernment in the uncertainty, so that we can enable our children to walk in your ways.  I ask this in Jesus’ Name.  Amen


bible study tuesday: Genesis ~ Are we alone?


Bible Study Tuesday

gen picI would like to undertake an in-depth study of the book of Genesis….well, the first chapter anyway and we can decide where to go from there.  Anyone who knows me knows that long term projects aren’t my forte, but I think that this is so ultimately important that we are going to get started on it and see where it goes.

Now when I ask the question “are we alone”, I am not talking about alien encounters.

I think everyone generally accepts that Satan exists and he has a body of followers called spirits or demons that seek to bring evil into the world…yes? I heard a message some time ago that got me thinking.  This brief sentence rocked my world and engaged my curiosity to the point that I could think of nothing else. The sentence was, “I’ll bet you didn’t know that there was a world that existed before this one, right here on earth” And this was coming from a pastor. Needless to say, I had to know what he was talking about. He said all of the evidence was right there in scripture if we just would read it literally and choose to accept it. I started to explore genesis and I have to admit that I still did not see it, until I went to the “get whole” class and this very subject was discussed.

Too often we read through the bible, just skipping the things that we don’t understand, which for most of us is, like….all of it! Or we will try to make sense of a concept based on our own human understanding.  I don’t believe that this is how we are supposed to do this. If the bible is the word of God, I would think that He would write it in terms that could be proven and researched, or understood, not in some vague, poetic form that would leave too much to be interpreted by anyone who wanted to…Godly or otherwise. He would want us to be able to discover His truths.  So, I also believe that it is our duty, if we really want to know what we are here for and what God wants from us and for us, to do what we can to discern its meaning.

So I embarked on a path to figure out exactly what this pastor was talking about. I read and reread Genesis 1 and honestly I didn’t see anything there that I hadn’t seen before.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless beginningsand empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

Let’s stop here for a minute…I think that “in the beginning” is pretty self-explanatory…before there was anything else but God, He “created the heavens and the earth”. Do you notice the plural use of heaven? This implies that there is more than one. Keep that thought on the back burner for now though….it would be confusing to discuss that here. The next part of the verse says this: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep”… stop. The word we are going to look at here is was. “Was” in Strong’s bible concordance is number 1960 (Hebrew) in case you would like to look it up- it was not easy to find….for me anyway! It says this: to fall out, come to pass, become. So if we replace the word was in the verse it now says: Now the earth became formless and empty. Looking at this logically, it tells us that the earth was not formless and empty before. Before what? Before God created Adam and Eve, because that comes later in the next chapter of Genesis.

Does this rock your world? It did mine! Truly I am not making this up or twisting words. It’s in the bible if you choose to see it. Proverbs 3:5 says this: “trust the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.” 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “study to show yourself approved unto God…rightly dividing the word of truth.” –We are to discern the truth from what God has given us…His word.  It is all there right from His mouth. We just have to see it and discern the truth.

All that I am saying is that something was here before us. If you think about it, this would explain tons. God created the heavens and the earth, something happened and then the earth became formless.

Right after the word was, is “formless and empty”, or if you read the King James version it is “without form and void.”

Formless is; confusion, unreality, emptiness – or chaos. Void also describes emptiness or a wasteland. So, the world became a barren wasteland, giving the impression that there was a time when it was not that way.

I think that is enough to chew on for today, check it out, think it over…choose to see it or not, it’s up to you. If you would like to continue with me along this path, tune in next bible study Tuesday.


Next Tuesday: we will continue with this line of thinking, but here are a couple of other verses from the bible that can support what we are talking about today:

Jeremiah 4:23-26 and 2 Peter 3:5-7. Don’t just look on the surface of what they say, look at each word and concept that it presents and try to see what the possible implications could be.  And absolutely do not read the commentary section if you have a study bible, it will just close your mind to the possibilities. Hint: in Jeremiah, the heavens saw no light in his vision. In 2 Peter look at the word perished and to what it is referring.


My Prayer:

Lord, open my heart and my eyes to see the glory of your words and the life that they can bring to my soul. I pray that you will help me to discern the truth regardless of what my lifelong training has told me, so that I will not be influenced by preconceived ideas and the forces that could have put them there. I wish only to know Your truth as it has been given to me through your word, your good and perfect word.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

A Father’s Love


1 Thessalonians 5:23

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   KJV

“I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” CEV

I think that it is interesting that two version of the same verse, can bring about a different picture in your mind.  A common complaint that I hear is that the bible can be very difficult to understand, and I agree with that on many levels. Depending on which version you are reading, things can come alive and be so real for you and your life.

People differ in their opinions of whether to take the bible literally or just symbolically. If we read it to be a literal representation of what God has to say, I think that the message is cut and dry. If we choose to see it symbolically, then it is left to the interpretation of the one who is reading it and at that point it ceases in it’s accuracy, for each man will see what they want to see and leave out what they perceive as distasteful.

Many have trouble accepting that God breathed His words into others so that we could reap the benefits of His plans and desires for us, His perfect creation; but I think that this shows His unfailing love for us. God is love: perfect love. He loves as a father loves his child, completely and without fail. He wants us to know His plans for us and how to live them out. It is our job to seek the truth and apply it, and in that we will be made whole; spirit, soul and body.

I think a great first step is understanding our Father’s love and accepting it as a baby accepts the love of it’s parents; without question or reservation. We have a tendency to think that if we are good, if we become Christians, or if we go to church; then God will love us.  I’m not saying that these things aren’t important, they are, but it is not what makes God love us.

We are ALL loved by God, every one of us. The good, the bad and the ugly. We are, everyone of us, His creation and He loves each and every one of us without fail and unconditionally. I think that this is the most important thing for all of us to remember.

“For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son…” John 3:16

He loved the WORLD, not just the Christians, not just the Jews, not just those who were good, not even just those who believed in Him.  He love the world…all of His creation. Now that is not to say that they will all have eternal life, we have already been given the direction on that and it is not the subject of this writing. But we do need to understand that we are ALL His creation and we are ALL loved by Him.

A great first step into understanding God, His heart, and what He wants for us.

Accept His love as unconditional and go to Him as a child, with arms wide open, ready to accept a great big hug!

Over the weekend I was blessed in ways that I hadn’t even imagined possible. I attended a class that I thought was going to teach me one thing, but in the end it was so much more, providing foundational things that I am just now beginning to unravel in my mind. It all started as a visit to a church on Sunday and below is the message that was given in the service.  My life has been changed and continues to change as I unwrap the gifts that were given to my spirit. If you are interested in seeing what it is all about, the video of the service is below. Watch and receive!

I pray that you are blessed today, know that the Father loves you always!!


Praise for Jehovah Rapha


“Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.”  Acts 14:9-10

As I sit and ice my knee from an injury that I sustained skiing last weekend, I contemplate my thankfulness for the pain. I asked for healing, and I did receive it. Yet many would argue that the injury is still there, I’m still in pain, and face a period of healing before I will be able to jump and twist and do all of the things I used to do.

healing hands of godThe healing that I requested was to deliver me from surgery, for I knew when it twisted and I felt the ‘pop’, that surgery was going to be a definite if I wanted to be the same again. And deliver me He did! No surgery! In fact the doctor says that it’s just a small sprain, I don’t even need physical therapy. Now that is something to praise God for! I am truly thankful!

Would it have been nice if even the sprain was gone and I didn’t have to ice my knee or take breaks during the day to rest it? Yes. But I believe that I need to see the lesson here, the lesson of rest. You see I am one of those people that have a million things going on all at once and try’s to manage them all, no matter what.  God says slow down, so slow down I will, and praise Him for it too, for he knows what is best for me; and like a child to her father….I will listen.



My Prayer:

Father, thank you for your healing touch and your concern for the busyness of my life. I praise you for who you are and pray that I will learn your lessons well. Continue to provide healing for me in all your good ways, and help me to always be thankful for whatever trials I may face, for I know that they will do me good. Be my crutch, the one I lean on through all that I encounter and teach me the lessons you have for me to learn. I love you!

Reflect His Light!




Patience is not my virtue, but I do trust. Waiting for healing is not something that I relish, but I know that God is working on my behalf. I have started day three of a knee injury, and honestly, I had hoped that, by some miraculous deed, I would be healed…yet I am still hobbling along in need of ice, pain relievers and a knee brace.

gods hand and heartAs I sit here and look above the mantle of my fireplace, I see the words of wisdom that I had placed there some years back: “When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart.” And I begin to see just how impatient I really am, where I am lacking in my faith, and what I need to do to fix my heart trouble.

You see, I need to realign my heart with God’s. When I am frustrated because I can’t do something that I could do yesterday, I need to ask instead of pout. I know God loves me, but do I show it by wondering why I haven’t (after only 3 days mind you) received the healing that I asked for? And if the doctor tells me today that I do need to have surgery, even though I have prayed for deliverance from this, will I be angry or wonder if he really loves me?

When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart….There is a reason and a season for everything and today I am going to choose to trust that God knows what lies ahead, and whatever I need to do along the way to participate in His great plan, I will do it and thankfully.

My Prayer:

Lord, teach me to be thankful in everything; the good times and the bad, the pain or sorrow as well as the joy and fruitfulness. I know that you love me and want what is best for me, so chisel away at my life and form me into your perfect creation. Walk with me in my trials and fears and comfort me. I trust you.

Reflect His Light!


A Lenten Fast


Lent is a time to remember. To remember how Jesus lived and how He died, why He came and what that means for us as a body of believers; as His bride.

 fAsting pic

Fasting as a spiritual discipline has lost its popularity and practice over the years, but is founded in  biblical teachings as far back as the beginning of the Old Testament. Prophets of old used this practice to further develop their relationship with their creator and to experience profound transformation through humbling themselves before God and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal their true spiritual condition.

This opportunity is available to us too, as believers, through the practice of fasting. When implementing this discipline, prayers have been answered as well as questions of the spirit through the repentant heart of the fast-er, and lives have been changed.

Over time, we have become a self-obsessed people, dispelling the notion that we should ever deprive ourselves of anything we desire including food, entertainment, clothing or the latest technology. Our “gimme” society is so accustomed to having it all; that the notion of doing without is the farthest thing from our minds… it is time to change that.

Have you asked yourself what is keeping you from a deeper relationship with God? Possibly, there is a part of your life that you have worked to reform, with little success, a habit that you can’t seem to let go of, or a discipline that you have tried to learn but continually seems to escape you. Discouragement can be devastating to your resolve and your strength wanes with each moment of perceived failure. Fasting done as a spiritual discipline could be your answer.

The practice of fasting separates you from an inner desire, denying the body of what connects it to the world and therefore separates you from your father. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

There are a lot of action words in that sentence. Not only are we to pray, repent and look for God, but also humble ourselves. How do we do that?

King David humbled himself through fasting (Psalms 35:13); Moses fasted at least twice for 40 days each as did Jesus and He then instructed His followers, “but when plateyou fast, put oil on your heads and wash your face.” You notice that He said when not if. In Jewish culture, fasting was expected along with prayer, especially when a reformation of the people was needed. The people would dress in sackcloth, put ashes on their heads and fast until their situation was changed. This action showed God a humble heart, the sorrow of the people and a desire to change. We are still living in biblical times(we have not yet experienced the second coming)…fasting, therefore, is still necessary and expected. Change can happen with the right heart and the right petition.

Fasting today can have the same effect for change, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in the same way. The point is to deny yourself…make a sacrifice. There are numerous ways that this can be accomplished.

  • ·         a partial fast (like the Daniel Fast, or from a meal 1-2 times a week, possibly just a dessert or treat that you like)

  • ·         A full food fast (water only – check with your doctor before doing this please and only undertake this if you know that it is the will of God)

  • ·         a media fast (facebook, twitter, computer activities, phone texting)

  • ·         an entertainment fast (movies, tv, video games)

  • ·         a  music fast (from secular music primarily)

These are the things that, today, separate us from having a more intimate relationship with our Father. They are worldly influences that threaten to replace God in our hearts and time,

I think that it would be valuable for most people to experience all of these options as the majority of us today indulge in most of these activities, and spending a period of time in denial of them, will be beneficial in discovering which truly present a problem for us. We all have different trouble areas, and some could be problematic and we aren’t even aware of it.

I propose that during the 40 days of lent (that is Monday through Saturday, Sunday being your day of rest from the fast) we devote ourselves to (4) 10-day periods, fasting from a different aspect of worldliness each period, and placing that concentration on God himself. The results could be astounding, life altering even. God desires this, but it is up to us to take the first step.

I have been doing some research lately, on this subject and would love to have you participate if you are willing. If you would like to participate in the research, I have a link below for you to follow to download a 40 day guide to journal in while fasting your way through lent. At the end of your fast, if you could simply email the journals back to me so that I can review the results for an upcoming book on media fasting, I would be very grateful. If you do not wish to share your journals, I understand and would love for you to participate anyway. Feel free to download the journal for your personal use.  Consider sending me a simple message about how your fast went and how it enriched your relationship with God. Also, I welcome comments or suggestions about the fast itself.

Regardless of how you decide to spend your Lenten time, I pray that it includes thoughts of our Savior and leads to a deeper and more spiritual relationship with Him.

Reflect His Light!


Download The Fasting Journal ~ fasting journal 2013

Life’s Blood ~ Part 3


“When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”  

 Daniel 12:7b

At the end of the book of Daniel, he is given a vision of many things including things that have not yet come to pass. In the above passage, Daniel sees a man clothed in linen, hovering above the waters with his hands raised towards heaven, swearing by Him who lives forever. No reference is made as to who this man in linen is but the point to understand here is that God’s will, will be done, when our power has been finally broken. If we look back on history we see that many times over this has happened. Persecution of God’s people, near destruction of the remnant…our power seems to be crushed over and over again.

God has a recurring purpose here, and that is to break the pride and self-sufficiency of his rebellious people.

We are not just talking about the Israelites here.  We are His people, His rebellious people. Many times we don’t see it, but when we worry about losing our job, we are telling God that we don’t trust His provision. When we pass judgment on someone who wronged us and harbor hate in our hearts, we become judge and jury instead of trusting in God’s perfect timing for retribution or judgment of the sins of man.  We don’t look to God anymore to improve our situations, we don’t count on Him for the things that we need, we don’t ask for His guidance in decisions we need to make, we just make them ourselves.  Self-sufficiency. Then we wonder why we experience trials and tribulations, when we should be wondering when we stopped trusting in our Father.

Growing up we placed our very lives in the hands of our parents, the ones we knew loved us. We trusted that they would feed us, clothe us, provide love and security and we never doubted their sovereignty over our lives. This is what God wants…to love us and provide for us, to be our “go-to” guide and to be the sovereign Lord of our lives. But somewhere in our rebellious teenage years, we started to think that we were all grown up and didn’t need our parents anymore, that we could make all the decisions and provide all that was necessary for our happiness and security. Just as a loving parent lets their child experience independence, God lets us decide for ourselves whether we need Him or not, if we want to trust Him or not. Sometimes we take enough rope and hang ourselves with it, causing troubles in our lives that sometimes could have been avoided if we had only listened and obeyed.

Self-sufficiency, relying on our own power and capabilities to navigate through this life, is something that we all are guilty of, and also something that we are all capable of giving up.  Prayer and petition and reliance on our Father doesn’t make us weak. Jesus relied on the Father for everything; I doubt anyone would call Him weak.  Many other biblical giants trusted in God’s provisions, and while they may have faced trials and adversities, they ultimately had the favor of God and they lived a fruitful life.

The second step in our journey to our Life’s Blood is to relinquish our control; give it to God. Self-denial is a good place to start. This would mean giving up our desires for God’s. How do we do this? Biblically speaking, many of God’s people achieved this by fasting; denying themselves what their bodies craved.

We are leading into the Lenten season on Wednesday which is a perfect time to enter into a period of self-denial or self-sacrifice. Tomorrow (fat Tuesday) I will present a lesson on fasting. This is not just a fasting of food, but much more, it is a fasting of the mind and of what is replacing God in our lives. There will be a downloadable booklet for you to use to track your fast which will be broken down into (4) 10-day periods, concentrating on different aspects of secular concentrations that are not of God. This should make the experience more manageable and hopefully lead to a closer understanding of the things that separate us from the Father.

Tomorrow: A 40-day Fast

My Prayer: Lord guide me in your will for this coming Lenten season, I wish to honor you and your sacrifice with my desire to give up my self-sufficiency. In Jesus’ great name I pray.

Reflect His Light!


Life’s Blood


I was blessed, yesterday, to be witness to a most amazing teaching sermon. Have you ever ended up somewhere you wouldn’t normally be and later realized that God intended it all along? Yesterday was just such a day.

mindThe sermon was actually a part of a 3 part series of which yesterday was the last part.  It was called, “Mind, mouth, and marrow”. This was a mind body spirit message that absolutely blew my socks off!  The third part, dealing with the marrow, began with 15 minutes of scientific data about the atoms of the body and, although very interesting, I have to admit that I started to glaze over, like many others I’m sure. It was when he began to bring scripture into the picture that the message began to take shape and I was simply amazed at what was revealed.

The book of Proverbs is basically a guidebook for fruitful living, laid down by God. If we start with its wisdom here, we can begin to see how God bodyhas instructed us in the very health of our bodies. In Proverbs 3:2 we are told to keep God’s commands in our hearts “for they will prolong your life many years”. How? By letting love and faithfulness never leave us. In Proverbs 3:8 we are told to “fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” And then, Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” The last two proverbs here talk specifically about the bones. Why do you think that God is so concerned with our bones, concerned enough that they are mentioned specifically and often throughout scripture in both the Old and New Testament? Bones are mentioned 76 times in the Old Testament and 4 times in the New Testament, 4 of these verses speak specifically about dry bones, in other words, bones that the marrow has dried up in.

Let’s look at what marrow is:

It is the flexible tissue that is found in the interior of the bones. Bone marrow is where your red blood cells are produced and is also a key component of the lymphatic system, producing lymphocytes that support the immune system. So, if there is something amiss in your marrow, and your immune system is not functioning as it should, sickness and disease can infiltrate.

soulIn 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Notice how he talks of the spirit soul and body as if they are one…this is key. 2 Corinthians 7:1 also talks about the body and spirit as connected. “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

The connection here is that what we fill our minds with (anger, hatred, envy, strife, fear and worry) is directly connected to how our body functions, how God made us to rejuvenate and heal. When we allow things that are not of God, or worthy of God, into our lives, it affects how our bodies react and their ability to function in the way that it was created to. Our minds are connected to our spirits which is connected to our bodies, and as such, directly affects each other.

If we are lacking spiritually, we are not giving our soul the food that it needs to renew our minds. And if we are filling our minds with things or concerns that are not of God but only of the enemy, we are cutting off the very life blood that is within us.

Next time:  Practical steps to take to renew the mind-body-soul connection.connection

My Prayer:

Lord, I am sorry that I have not realized the provisions that you created within me, which you knit inside me from the very beginning. I promise that I will take better care of the mind, body and soul that you have given me and I will trust that you knew what you were doing when you knit me together, that you provided me with the very life blood that is necessary for my life. I believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and will respect your vision of me. Help me to keep your commands in my heart and to have a long and fruitful life.  In Jesus’ precious name.

Reflect His Light!