http://www.wondering2004.wordpress.com

Hi.  I have a second blog. The carrier Xanga is closing down and I’ve been moving my blog over to this WordPress address:

http://www.wondering2004.wordpress.com

Hope you visit this site. I will get back to updating Healing from abuse, but there is a lot of work to get the above site up and running well (I’m working on links).

Have a blessed day.

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Chapter One of my memoir: Tell Me What He Did

I hope you enjoy this chapter – there may be some parts that are triggering and there are some swear words.  Let me know what you think.  My memoir is a healing journey from abuse – and this shows a bit of what my childhood was like.  At the time I’m seven, and that is when he started coming into my room.  My mom would then, the next day, say, “I heard him in your room last night, tell me what he did.”  Curious – would you read more?

Thanks for reading.

Chapter 1 – Boys’ Games

“Run!” I yell to Pam. “They’re right behind you.”

She dodges the boys, races past Mommy’s vegetable garden, and heads toward the maple tree in her backyard. If she touches the trunk, we win, and the boys will finally have to keep their promise to play house with us.

I kneel behind the shrub. My side aches with each deep breath. Using the hem of my shirt, I wipe sweat off my forehead.

Steve sneaks behind Pam and drops the hula-hoop lasso over her head. She kicks and screams as her brother drags her to the cave, the cinderblock barbeque pit in my backyard, and rolls a pretend stone in front of the cave door.

Pam beats on the rock. “I can’t escape. They’re going to eat me.”

Hula-hoop in hand, Steve turns toward my hiding place. “I’m coming to get you.”

“No!” I race toward the tree, but Bobby’s guarding it, hands spread wide to grab me. Maybe I can circle around back.

Looking over my shoulder to see where Steve is, I trip on a root, and fall. A piece of gravel jabs deep into my knee.

I’m lassoed.

“Wait a minute,” I say. “Let me see if I’m bleeding.”

They stop trying to pull me, but don’t remove their lassos. I brush grass stains away and examine my knees. Good, no blood. Even though I struggle, the boys roughly drag me to the cave and shove me in with Pam.

Rubbing my side, I glare at them.

“Can we escape?” Pam asks.

The cavemen laugh. “Never.”

Pam and I pretend to be afraid. We tremble and huddle together.

Steve pinches my arm. “Ugh, good meat.”

“Owww.” I slap his hand away and bite back tears. He didn’t have to pinch so hard.

Bobby rubs two twigs together to light a pretend cooking fire while Steve jumps around in a wild, caveman victory dance.

A bell rings down the block.

Ice cream! We run home to ask for money.

I quietly open the screen door and tiptoe to the living room. If she’s sleeping, I won’t wake her.

Mommy’s sitting in her green armchair, watching As the World Turns. Cigarette in mouth, she takes a curler out of her hair and tosses it into the basket with the others.

“Mommy, can I please have a nickel for an ice cream?”

She shakes her pointer finger at me. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Her cigarette moves up and down as she talks and some ashes fall on her lap.

I want to roll my eyes, but don’t. Putting my hands together in a begging position, I say, “Please, Mommy. Everyone else is getting one.”

She sighs. “Hand me my purse.”

I want to tell her to hurry up, but bite the inside of my mouth and quietly wait while she slowly puts her cigarette down, takes a sip of orange juice, and digs through her change to fish out a nickel.

“Thanks.” I barely make it to the curb before the ice cream truck pulls up.

Why such a big deal over a nickel?

The boys race off after they get their treats. Pam and I sit under the maple tree in my backyard. I slowly nibble the chocolate coating off my ice cream bar, trying to make it last as long as possible. A drop of ice cream dribbles on my hand and I suck it off.

Pam pokes a straw into her cherry sno-cone, “I don’t want summer to end.”

“Me neither.” Not true. School’s safer than home.

“In ten days, we’re going to have to get up early and sit in a stupid classroom.”

“You’re lucky. There’s no homework in first grade. In second, I’ll have tons.”

“Yech, homework.” Pam scrunches her nose.

After we finish our ice creams she stands. “Let’s find the boys.”

Throwing our sticks and wrappers in the garbage, we walk toward Pam’s house.  Steve and Bobby jump out from behind the woodpile, grab us and shout, “Got ya.”

I get so tired of boy’s games.

A green Plymouth turns onto our street. Pam and the boys race toward my house shouting,  “Shirley’s Daddy, Shirley’s Daddy.”

My stomach churns as I head home.

After Daddy pulls into the garage, we go to his car door.

He says, “Hi, kids. Let’s see what I have for you.” He grabs Brach’s peppermints from the glove compartment and gives one to each of us.

My friends say, “Thank you, Shirley’s Daddy.”

Daddy hands me his metal lunch box and gets out of the car. His green Continental Can Company uniform smells like motor oil. He leans on me as we slowly walk toward our backdoor. Daddy’s breathing hard, like I breathe after running the mile at school.

My friends go off to play, shouting, “Your dad’s the greatest.”

###

Mommy opens the screen door for us and we squeeze past her, walking through the laundry room into the kitchen. The laundry room smells like Fels Naphtha soap. I helped her wash clothes today.  She even let me send clothes through the wringer and hang towels outside. I had to stand on tiptoe to reach the clothesline.

Daddy sits on his green, wooden chair and lets out a long breath.

I take my place across the table from him and watch; ready to jump and do whatever he might ask.

Mommy kneels, takes off his shoes and socks, rubs his feet, and says, “Poor, poor Leo, your feet look so sore.”  She helps him out of his uniform and moves the fan to blow cool air on him.

It’s so hot, my sweaty legs stick to the vinyl of my chair. I wish some of the cold air would blow my way. I wish I could be outside playing with my friends. I wish I could be anywhere but here.

Dressed only in boxer shorts, Daddy wipes sweat from his face with a dishtowel.  Mommy gives him a glass of scotch and water. He takes a gulp and sighs. She sits at the table and passes him a lit cigarette.

Through a cloud of smoke, he says, “Little Joe and I fixed three trucks today. Hot as hell in the shop.” With a fork, he digs out a slimy-looking pickled pig’s foot from the jar on the table and nibbles it, smacking his lips as if it’s the best tasting thing in the world. He puts bones in the ashtray and licks his fingers. “Won ten dollars in the shop pool.” Daddy coughs a raspy cigarette cough and takes a drink.

“That’s great, honey.” Mommy sips orange juice.

On the radio, Harry Caray says, “Steee-rike three.”

My mind wanders. Baseball games bore me.

Daddy pounds the table, “Damn.”

I jerk to attention. Not sure what to do or say, I twist my fingers together under the table.

“Cardinals got to get another run or lose their chance for the Series.” Daddy finishes his drink.

Mommy gets him a fresh one and says, “I’ll run your bathwater.”

He eats another pickled pig’s foot and then takes his drink and the Word Jumble puzzle to the bathroom. After a long time, he flushes the toilet and I hear water sloshing in the tub.

Mommy makes another orange juice, quietly getting the vodka bottle she hides behind the pots in the cupboard.

Half an hour later Daddy calls, “Shirley, your turn.”

I slowly undress in my room, carefully folding my clothes and piling them neatly on my bed. Maybe, by the time I’m done, he’ll leave to watch TV.

“Hurry up. Time’s wasting,” he says.

Towel wrapped around me, I walk to the bathroom.

He’s combing his hair over the bald spot.

Wish he had on more than just his boxer shorts. Hanging my towel on the rack, I step into the same dirty water he used. It’s cold, but I don’t complain. When he’s home, I never get to take a bath in clean water. I try to cover myself with suds and hold my right arm to hide as much of my body from him as possible.

Daddy puts his foot on the toilet seat to cut his toenails.

I pretend to carefully examine my legs and scrub them. His thing peeks out from his underpants and I don’t want to look at it.

A clipped toenail lands on the side of the tub. I flick it off. His right big toe is missing because someone at work dropped a wrench on it and he had to have it cut off. After Daddy finishes his nails, he kneels down by the tub to wash my back.

I want to push his hand away and tell him I’m old enough to wash myself, but don’t.

He washes my back and chest and then drops the bar of soap in the water. “Whoops.” He laughs.

Daddy fishes around for the soap. He always finds it between my legs.

I’m so tired of this game. He’s been playing find the soap ever since I can remember. I don’t like him touching me down there.

Finally, he stands, stretches, and leaves. I stay in the tub a few minutes longer to make sure he’s not coming back, wrap myself in a towel, and go to my room to get dressed.

“Mommy, your turn.”

I hear her add a little water to the tub before she steps in.

Sitting on my bed, I open Charlotte’s Web and read until she finishes her bath.

###

I get plates and silverware from the cupboard while Mommy finishes cooking my favorite dinner, spaghetti.

“Ice water,” Daddy calls from the living room.

“Get it,” Mommy says. “I have to drain the noodles.”

I fill a glass and take it to him.

Daddy sits on his sagging green sofa like it’s his throne. I put the glass on the coffee table that holds his stuff: a holder for cigars, cigarettes, lighter, ashtray, bowl of candy, and the TV Guide.

Before he can grab my wrist and pull me closer for a kiss, I back away. “Want anything else?”

He shakes his head.

“Okay, I’ll go help Mommy.”

She fixes a plate and sets it by my place at the kitchen table. I’m glad I don’t have to eat in the living room with them. I twirl a few strands of spaghetti around my fork and take a bite. “Yum.”

She smiles, fills a plate, and takes it to Daddy.

I twirl another bite.

Daddy screams and stomps into the kitchen with Mommy following him.

I quickly look down at my plate.

He slams his dish on the table. My plate jumps and his spaghetti splatters everywhere.

A drop of burning hot spaghetti sauce lands on my arm. I lick it off. Keep eating. Don’t look afraid. My hand shakes so much the noodles dangling from my fork swing and drip sauce on my shirt. If only I could disappear.

“You no good, hooked-nosed son of a bitch,” he yells at Mommy. “Spilling this shit on me!”  

With a dishtowel, he wipes a few drops of spaghetti sauce off his stomach, balls the towel up, and throws it at her. Walking past Mommy toward the living room, Daddy punches her right arm.

She winces, rubs her arm, and follows him.

“I’m leaving,” he screams. “Find a place that doesn’t dump food on me.”

“You’ve been out every night this week,” she says.

“Get my clothes, you damn whore. I’ll go out any damn night I want!”

“I work hard all day. Cook for you. Clean for you. All you do is go out and drink with the guys. Can’t you stay home one night?”

Shut up, Mommy. You’ll get hit again. It’s better when he’s gone. I’m not hungry anymore.

When Mommy gets his clothes, she motions for me to sneak to my room.

I huddle on my bed and hug my doll.

He punches the hallway wall and stomps toward the kitchen. “I’m leaving this hellhole!” The back door slams.

After I hear the gravel crunch on our driveway as he drives away, I feel safer. When I’m sure he’s not coming back, I follow the sound of Mommy’s sobs and find her sitting at the table holding a dishcloth full of ice on her arm.

After a while, she gets up and starts slamming dishes into the sink. “Lousy, no good, son of a bitchen bastard!”  Mommy wipes the table.

I sit in my chair and listen.

She cries as she cleans spots of spaghetti sauce off the wall behind the table. “No-good piece of shit.” Her hand is shaking.

When she washes dishes, I help dry them.

“Gotta get a drink. Calm my nerves.”  Mommy pours vodka into her plastic glass, adds orange juice, and hides the bottle. She takes a huge sip and says, “Put on your pj’s. We’ll watch TV.”

Like always, Mommy sits on the corner of her green armchair, closest to the living room window and I sit on Daddy’s sofa. She fixes the venetian blinds so she can spot his headlights when the car turns onto our street. If it’s before my bedtime, she’ll say, “Quick, Shirley, get to bed.” I’ll fall to the floor, crawl to bed, and pretend to be asleep. I have to crawl so his headlights don’t catch me running to the bedroom.

After Wagon Train, Mommy calls the bar. “He’s not there. Dirty, no-good bastard.” During The Price Is Right, Mommy calls again and he’s still not there. “Bet he’s with his new girlfriend, Hazel.” She makes the name Hazel sound like a dirty word. “Got her name and number from a matchbook in the bastard’s pocket. Be very quiet, I’m going to call the slut’s number.” Turning down the TV, she dials and disguises her voice. “Is that you, Hazel?” She hangs up. “I think I heard his voice in the background and a little boy’s voice too. It’s late. Time for you to go to bed.”

I kiss her goodnight. I know she’ll sit there looking out the venetian blinds, waiting until he gets home.

Before I fall asleep, I wonder; does Daddy love that little boy more than me?

Posted in Healing from abuse | 11 Comments

A beautiful article on healing and massage written by my friend Julie Evans.

Hope you enjoy her article. She has an anointed massage ministry.

Posted in Healing from abuse | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Who Am I In Christ

A small group Bible Study I’m participating in had never heard these affirmations. I thought I would give you the entire list of “Who Am I In Christ.” I looked up the verses in New King James (NKJ)  and in Amplified (AMP). I hope they bless you.  We will continue looking at them in greater detail in future posts.

I AM:

1. A child of God (Romans 8:16)
NKJ: The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
 AMP: The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God

2. Redeemed from the Hand of the Enemy (Psalms 107:2) 
NKJ:  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy
 AMP: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has delivered from the hand of the adversary

3. Forgiven (Colossians 1:13-14)
 NKJ:  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 
AMP [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sin.

4. Saved by Grace through Faith (Ephesians 2:8) 
NKJ: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God
 AMP: For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God


5. Justified (Romans 5:1) 
NKJ: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ 
AMP: Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

6. Sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11) 
NKJ: And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. AMP: And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.

7. A new Creature (II Corinthians 5:17) 
NKJ: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 
AMP: Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

8. Partaker of His Divine Nature (II Peter 1:4) 
NKJ: by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 
AMP: By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

9. Redeemed from the Curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13) 
NKJ: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)
 AMP: Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified)


10. Delivered from the Powers of Darkness (Colossians 1:13) 
NKJ: He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love
 AMP: [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love


11. Led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14) 
NKJ: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. AMP: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

12. A son of God (Romans 8:14)
NKJ: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
 AMP: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

13. Kept in Safety Wherever I Go (Psalms 91:11) 
NKJ: For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. 
AMP: For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].

14. Getting All my needs Met by Jesus (Philippians 4:19) 
NKJ: And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 
AMP: And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

15. Casting All my cares on Jesus (1 Peter 5:7)
 NKJ: casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 
AMP: Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

16. Strong in the Lord and in the Power of His Might (Ephesians 6:10)
 NKJ: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 
AMP: In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

17. Doing All Things Through Christ who strengthens Me (Phil. 4:13)
 NKJ: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.AMP: I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

18. An Heir of God and a Joint Her with Jesus (Romans 8:17)
 NKJ: and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. AMP: And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

19. Heir to the Blessings of Abraham (Galatians 3:13-14) 
NKJChrist has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith 
AMPChrist purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified); to the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing [promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit.


20. Observing and Doing the Lord’s Commandments (Deut 28:12-14)
 NKJ: The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them. 
AMP: The Lord shall open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day and are watchful to do them. And you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

21. Blessed Coming in and Blessed Going out (Deut. 28:6)
 NKJ: Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 
AMP: Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out.

22. An Heir of Eternal Life (1 John 5:11-12)
 NKJ: And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 
AMP: And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.

23. Blessed with All Spiritual Blessings (Eph. 1:3) 
NKJ: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
 AMP: May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!

24. Healed by His Stripes (1 Peter 2:24) 
NKJ: who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed
 AMP: He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.

25. Exercising My Authority over the Enemy (Luke 10:19)
 NKJ: Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
 AMP: Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.

26. Above Only and Not Beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13)
 NKJ: And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 
AMP: And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day and are watchful to do them.

27. More than a Conqueror (Romans 8:37)
 NKJ: Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 
AMP: Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

28. Establishing God’s Word here on Earth (Matthew 16:19) 
NKJ: And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. AMP: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven.

29. An Overcomer by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of My Testimony (Revelation 12:11) 
NKJAnd they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 
AMP: And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing].

30. Daily Overcoming the Devil (I John 4:4)
 NKJ: You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world
 AMP: Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.

31. Not Moved by What I See (II Corinthians 4:18) 
NKJ: while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 
AMP: Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

32. Walking by Faith and Not by Sight (II Corinthians 5:7)
 NKJ: For we walk by faith, not by sight.
 AMP: For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.

33. Casting Down Van Imaginations (II Corinthians 10:4-5) 
NKJ: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
 AMP: For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)


34. Bringing Every Thought into Captivity (II Corinthians 10:5)
 NKJ: casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
 AMP: [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)

35. Being Transformed by Renewing My Mind (Romans 12:1-2) 
NKJ: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 
AMP: I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

36. A Laborer Together with God (I Corinthians 3:9) 
NKJFor we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.AMP: For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building.

37. The Righteousness of God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:21) 
NKJ: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 
AMP: For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

38. An Imitator of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1) 
NKJ: Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. AMPTherefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].

39. The Light of the World (Matthew 5:14)
 NKJ: You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
 AMP: You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

40. Blessing the Lord at All Times and Continually Praising the Lord with My Mouth (Psalm 34:1)
NKJ: I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
AMP: I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

***

Neil Anderson, in The Bondage Breaker provides these affirmations.

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Truth, Facts, Deliverance

Notes from a Bible study taught by Pastor Don. 

This is a link to my other blog. This Bible study is vital to our healing. So many of us look at the facts of our lives instead of the truth of God. We are abused, but God is the healer – we don’t need to stay caught in the bondage of the oppression we’ve faced in our past.

I would be interested in hearing your comments and questions about this teaching. 

I pray your day is blessed.

Heather

 

 

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Really and Truly Forgiven

FORGIVEN

Every week for several months I walked into Pastor Don Moore’s office (Living Word Chapel) and confessed the sin of the week. Our dialogue went, “God can’t forgive me because I did _______”

Each and every time I said that, he would say, turn to First John Chapter 1 Verse 9 and tell me what it says. It says: ” If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

There is NO sin, NO sin that God will not forgive. (Will there be repercussions for some sins? Yes. If you rob a bank, God will forgive you, but you may still do jail time.) Pastor Don would then find someone in the Bible who is guilty of a similar sin and let me see that God was still able to use them in spite of their sin.

This is a conditional verse though.

IF we confess our sins – this means we can confess or not. If we do we get forgiveness, if not, forgiveness doesn’t happen. Who do we confess to? God, Jesus. When I make a mistake now, I try to immediately ask God for forgiveness. Do I confess to others? Yes, but I carefully choose who I confess to. If I have sinned I have a few trusted people I can speak with. Two prominent ones I confess to are my husband and my pastor.

The reason I say be careful who you confess to is you don’t want to confess to a gossip. Your dirty laundry doesn’t need to be told to everyone. We also don’t want to confess to someone with a lower standard of morality than us – we want to be held to God’s standard, not a sliding scale of morality. And we don’t want to confess to someone about a sin when that confession would hurt the person we are confessing to (at least until you’ve talked with a trusted pastor or advisor to make sure that such a confession would be helpful, not hurtful).

Why do we want to confess? Any sin that is hidden is an opportunity for the enemy (satan) to use against us. Hidden sins are pathways to even worse sins. By bringing our sins out in the open we can have them cleansed by God and make ourselves accountable to a trusted person to help us change the negative behavior.

My favorite part of this verse is CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness. Not some, not a bit, not a spot, but ALL – and when we confess our sins we are free. A burden is removed.

God does not want us walking around in oppression. He wants us to be free – Jesus died to give us liberty. Unconfessed sins keep us bound. Know that God loves us. He knows our weakness. He knows our sins. We haven’t tricked Him. He loves us before we knew Him. And as believers, we are already cleaner than when He first loved us.

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Sometimes we need to laugh

Some days we need a good laugh.  Today I came across this video of the fairytale of The Three Little Pigs told in Shakespearian language – well worth the eight minutes it takes.

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Forgiven

We have been going through a list of Bible verses called:  Who am I in Christ?

My favorite translation for Colossians 2:13-14 comes from the Amplified Bible:  “[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.”

Photo: by Jinx McCombs – Rescue Training

When I first read this verse, it was a challenge for me.  As an abuse survivor, I found it easier to forgive others than to accept forgiveness from God. Perhaps it was because my abusers waged a psychological campaign to wear down my resistance to them. When my father first came into my room to sexually abuse me, I was seven.  He told me, “You are so stupid, dumb, and ugly, no man will ever want to marry you so I’m going to teach you to put out so you can at least attract a man.”

I was under no illusion that my father loved me or thought I was special.  He underscored this message with beatings and frequent verbal abuse. I learned that, if he said, “I love you,” it meant he wanted something from me and it would hurt.  By the time his abuse turned to rape, I was fully enmeshed in his world of darkness.  I was certain I was wrong, unloveable, and had tremendous guilt.  I used to look at other kids and wonder what made me different from them that my own father couldn’t love me.

It wasn’t until I became older that I learned about the incredible statistics of abuse: one in four have been sexually abused – women and men.  And I suspect that the numbers are even higher.  Psychological abuse kept me isolated, shamed, and afraid to tell.  My father threatened to kill me if I told and I believed him – he had already tried a few times.

This Bible verse was difficult for me to comprehend in many areas.

Father – I wasn’t certain I wanted another Father.  As I said in previous posts, it took a long time to learn that God was a loving Father, nothing at all like my earthly father.

Being pulled out of the dominion of darkness was a challenge – I was used to being a victim, felt comfortable in that role, and didn’t know any other way to be.  It took a long time to realize that I didn’t have to live in emergency mode, ready for the next attack. I also didn’t have to react in negative ways to my past abuse. I didn’t have to give my body to any man that wanted it so the person would love me.

The father’s love – the Son of His love – that was a tough one. Before I knew that Jesus willingly made the Sacrifice of His life for my sins and began to know more about Him, I thought it peculiar that God, the Father, would let His Son go through such horrific abuse. I really believed that God was another abusive father, just look what he let happen to His Son. It took time to realize just how much love that act encompassed. The sacrifice is mind boggling.

We spoke about redeemed a few posts ago and realized that it meant, according to Strong’s Concordance – (a book that gives us meanings of words in the context used at the the of the Bible),  means to redeem according to the Oriental law of kinship, where the next of kin (Jesus) buys back a relative’s property, marries his widow, redeems from slavery.  It means avenger, ransom, deliver, kinsman’s part, purchase.  The basic use of this term has to do with deliverance of persons or property that has been sold for debt.  In Biblical times, a poor person could sell himself into slavery to pay off a debt.  His kinsman could buy back the slave, pay off the debt, and restore the property to the poor person.

Forgiveness of our sins – Oh, that was the tough part.  Forgiving others easy – forgiving myself almost impossible.  I knew the sinful things I did in rebellion to my past and I was certain God couldn’t forgive me.  Why would He want to?  I counseled with my pastor on a weekly basis and brought in the sin of the week.  God can’t forgive me because I did (fill in the blank).

The truth is, we are forgiven. That our sins are fully washed away.  We may still face repercussions from our actions, but God does not look at us with disgust.  When He sees us, He sees us washed as white as snow by the blood of his Beloved Son.  The sacrifice of Jesus covers all sins.

I want to discuss this more in the next post.  But right now, realize that we are forgiven. That God loves us.  What we did or didn’t do, God knew in advance.  He sent His Son two thousand years ago to settle the issue of our sins once for all. But what does forgiveness mean for us?

Questions for you – are there areas in your life where you are still not believing God can forgive you?  If you have accepted God’s forgiveness, how did you deal with those tough areas?

Please feel free to share how you finally came to terms with God’s forgiveness?  How were you able to put those tough areas of sin in His hands and move forward as one who is forgiven?  Your ways of doing this will be a blessing for us.

Have a wonderful and blessed day.

Heather

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Take Captive Your Thoughts

I am blessed to sit under the teaching of a wonderful pastor – Pastor Don Moore – Living Word Chapel

His sermons show up on TBN on Thursdays at 12:30 PM if you live in the New York area. I get to type the transcripts for the show.  Last Sunday’s sermon is relevant to what we have been discussing about our thoughts and words.  I am going to share a copy with you.  Let me know what you think. I have slightly edited it for readability. What is in  [brackets] are responses of the congregation.

TAKE CAPTIVE YOUR THOUGHTS
Sermon by Pastor Don Moore

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV “ For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,…”

The reality is, the beginning of our battles are right here in the cranium, in the thought life of the individual. Can we see that? [yes]

And so, when we look at it, he says, “For the weapons of our warfare.” Meaning, we’re supposed to be fighting against the flesh. We’re supposed to be fighting against the devil. And he says, but, where is this fighting going down? It’s going down in the mind.

Look at verse five. “Casting down arguments…” that’s our imaginations in some Bible translations. “…and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,”…

Now it isn’t saying that these things are high. He’s saying that, against the knowledge of God, there’s something going on in our minds that sets itself in a high place and therefore tries to take authority from a high place in our minds.  And then it says, it’s casting down, it’s working against the knowledge, or what we know about God.

So, when we break this down and really think about it, the Apostle Paul is trying to tell us that yeah, the enemy, the devil, the supernatural, there is an adversary. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not discounting the work of the enemy. There is an adversary, but the adversary’s battle with us is not external to us. The adversary’s battle is internal. His battle is between your ears and in the mind.

This passage of Scripture is so important because, we tend to go, God here (pointing to heart), devil over there (pointing across the room). But, in reality, it’s the other way around. It’s God there, devil here. … Can we see that?

I don’t want to make you feel bad, but the reality is, that your confrontation with the enemy occurs in the mind. For example, right now, as you’re sitting, you know, it’s early in the morning as we’re doing this teaching, your battle is with did you have breakfast? Are you focused? What’s the temperature in the room? Do I like Pastor’s suit? You know, am I distracted by the person sitting next to me? I wish they’d used a different cologne. I wish they had used deodorant. Or whatever.

There are things that distract us because they exist in the mind. I’m always amazed, as a pastor, I’m amazed that whether I’m wise or not, the proof of God working in me quite often is, the rebellion that is natural in the people that I minister to. … I say go right, they go left. I say sit down, they stand up. I say stand up, they sit down. I say, don’t buy that, they buy that. I say, you know, this is what’s going to happen.

Because there’s just some things that, over the years of ministering to large numbers of people, there’s just some stuff that you learn that’s going to happen. And you sit with people and they want to know about that and you tell them. And you share it with them. And they do the very opposite thing. Now, I’m always amazed at that.

But the reality is, they never got out of the pattern in their mind and their mode of thinking. And so, they cannot receive wisdom. … They can’t receive information and it’s not because they’re bad people. It’s just because they have allowed their mind to see the situation or to receive the information and then they twist it and they put on sunglasses.

Do you ever, do you ever walk into a room and there’s a pair of glasses, you think they’re yours and you put ‘em on and they’re somebody else’s? … Nobody ever did that before? Huh? Yeah, and all of a sudden, you’re looking and everything is distorted. And you know, I picked up the glasses of someone that was farsighted, and everything was weird, the distance, the magnification, and whatever. And I immediately went, “Whoa.” Just like that.

Well, that’s what this passage is saying. This passage is saying that, in your carnal life, as you live and dwell, you are looking at the world through a pair of lenses. Lord have mercy. You’re looking through a pair of glasses. And, therefore, everything looks a certain way to you. And, therefore, it causes you to have to readjust your view of the world, or the view of yourself, or the view of other people around you before you can come in focus with the true picture. …

Let me try this. Did you ever think someone was going to do something and they did something else? And you went, “Why did they do that?” Ah, that fits better, huh? And they say, “Why did they do that?” Only realizing that you’re looking at the circumstance one way, but they’re seeing it another.

One of the most difficult things that is to help people break mental patterns. And, we all have mental patterns. One of the worst mental patterns that we have is that of a distorted or an abused childhood. To come from a dysfunctional family, the difficulty is it isn’t until you are much older that you can realize that your family was dysfunctional.  And you begin to realize, Uncle Joe was a sickie. You know what I mean? He was nuts.

And then you begin to, you get a little bit older and you look at your parents and you go, whoa, my father, my father was neurotic. And living, living with a man that’s neurotic, every day, you begin to think maybe he’s okay and you’re the one that’s sick. Because his neurosis would constantly be saying and correcting you. And telling you that you’re the one that’s wacked. Come on now. Am I, am I right? [yes]

You know, it might have been your mother. It might have been your father. But if you’re living with someone who is, is sick, it’s going to cause you to do mental patterning. Your mind will form certain patterns that, for example, will not fit every situation. But it isn’t until you’re older that you can, you can look back and you can go, … Uncle Joe was wacked. … You know. My mother was neurotic. My, my father, he was a drunken psycho. But not realizing that their dysfunction has caused your mind to think a certain way.

So, a child that grows up with an abuser always has inside them, this … (gestures putting up hands to protect self from being hit.)

Let me say it again. A childhood abuser, the child is going to always have this inside them. Meaning, protecting themselves against getting hit because why? They’re growing up in a home with an abuser, either a verbal abuser or a physical abuser so that the inner child is always, in his mind, protecting himself.

Now, once he becomes an adult, we assume, he should get over that. But the reality is, now we have an adult whose mindset is fearful protection. He’s an adult. He might even be six-foot-four, two hundred pounds. But, in his mindset, he’s still a little, frightened child who’s afraid of the abuser. Everybody got that? Wave your hand at me if you got that.

And so, that causes a certain type of mental patterning. And then, here’s what you’ll find. You’ll find that that little boy, when he grows up, no matter how big he is, will either become a bully. Now, why would he be a bully? He’d be a bully because a powerful offense is sometimes the best defense. So, if you’re afraid of being hit, and now you have some stature, you then become a bully to what? Hold off anyone that may attack you.

As an adult, then, we think that this person is mean and aggressive, and actually, they’re just a frightened little child. Just cause he’s six-foot-four, two hundred and something pounds, we, we, have to add in the mental patterning that he was exposed to that causes him to be what he is. You got that?

And you know, and in a woman, it’ll take the same kind of form. But usually, in a woman, it’ll take an aggressive form of, she’s always coming at you. She’s always coming at you to keep you off of her. You know, so she’s got a mouth. Her mouth is always going. She’s yapping. You can’t get her to shut up for five minutes. And it’s because she’s afraid of what you might say say if you get to talk. Lord have mercy. How are you all doing? Everybody all right? Huh?

And so we have these mental patterns and they exist because these are the weapons of carnal warfare. So what does God recommend? Let’s see what the Apostle Paul recommends when we have these patterns.

Now, it’s your job. My new book coming out will help you, because it has ways that you can study to identify how were you triggered, how were you patterned as a child, so you can get some understanding as to what kind of adult you are. Amen. Everybody got that? So that book’ll be out in a few months and I hope you’ll get a copy and go through the sections on that.

Notice what it says. Casting. Verse five. I’m in Second Corinthians, Chapter ten, verse five. “…casting down arguments…” or imaginations, “… and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Now, the Apostle Paul was being presumptuous here. In verse five, he is presuming that you know what the knowledge of God is so that you know what is against the knowledge of God. That will not work. I repeat. That will not work in a situation where a person has no knowledge of the knowledge of God. Everybody got me? So, we have to assume, who is Paul writing this letter to?

He is writing this letter to church people that have been around the Word of God, or have read the Word of God, and that’s really a problem. Because we have a reality that we’re facing. That most people don’t know what the Word of God is and haven’t read it.

Most people have gone to churches or synagogues or cathedrals and listened to people talk about religion. But they haven’t sought it out for themselves. They don’t have a personal relationship with God. They have information about God. So, they may be very well churched, but they may very well be spiritually deficient. Everybody understand what I’m saying? [yes]

So, you can, you can grow up a Lutheran, a Catholic, a Baptist, and know the tenants of the religion that you participate in, but not know thus said the Lord. And, there is a difference between the doctrine that different faiths teach and the truth that God teaches. There’s a difference. And, and we don’t know that difference until we take the time to study the Word, to find out what did God say. …

And we generally don’t know what God says. We know what our priest said. We know what the pastor may have said. We know what Billy Graham may have said. But what do we know, what God said. And so, we have to become, and I can’t encourage you enough, develop a habit of getting to know the knowledge of God. Not, not what man said. Not even what I’ve said. But learn to read the Word for yourselves. How many of you ever look in the Word? Read the Word? una ha,

It’s like the pastor. He says, next Sunday,  I want you all to read ahead. Next Sunday, I’m going to be teaching on Mark, Chapter Seventeen. And everybody went home. And the next Sunday, he says, “Well, how many of you read Mark, Chapter Seventeen?” And all the people raise their hands. [laughter] And he says, “Okay. Our sermon this Sunday is about liars.” [yeah, laughter] Cause there’s only sixteen chapters in the book of Mark.

So, we’re quick to say we know what thus says the Lord. But the reality is, we don’t. I mean, in, in my little world, you know, you sit on the airplane and people find out who you are and they get weird cause they find out you’re a minister. And then they go, I read the Bible. The minute they say that, you know they’re a liar. You know. Why? Because they haven’t and we all say that. Well, I read the Bible. You know, maybe once. Maybe twice. But the knowledge of God is vast. There’s no way in one or two readings, once a month or once in your lifetime, are you ever going to get it.

And you’re definitely not gonna get it from a forty-five minute service where your pastor or priest is talking to you about his golf game. Well. [well] Movin’ right along. Movin’ right along. My sister-in-law, she said to me. She says, “Well, Don, I don’t,” you know, “I don’t wanna go to church.” And I says, “Why?” And she says, “I’m sick of hearing this guy give, you know, analogies about his golf games.” She says, “I don’t even play golf. And every Sunday, you know, he goes on about golf, trying to tie it to Scripture. Rather than, let’s read some Scripture.”  Amen, how are you all doing? [yes, good]

So it says, let’s look at it again. Second Corinthians, Chapter ten, verse five. “…casting down arguments…” or imaginations against “…every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,…” And let’s read the second half of the verse. Come on. “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”

Now, the first two are presumptuous. It presumes that you know the knowledge of God. And the reason that it’s important is because, if you don’t know the knowledge of God, how are you going to compare it to your thinking? … Let me say that again. It says, the knowledge of God. And then it says you’re supposed to compare the knowledge of God and those high things that are running around in your head, you are to compare them to your thinking.

In other words, the Apostle Paul is trying to get you to be convinced that most of what’s going on in your mind is carnal mental activity. … Carnal mental activity. … Carnal mental activity. You spend most of your time thinking about fleshy things that will never happen, people that will never happen, circumstances and situations that will never happen, but you get your mind and you wind it up in those conversations, thinking those ideas.

And he says, that will destroy you. Can you take a minute and think about what you are thinking about so you can then compare it to the knowledge of God? [yes] … This is, this is deep stuff. But it’ll help you, if you learn to change your life.

Most of the things that you think about, that you plan, that you’re concerned and worried about, many of them will never happen. And if they did, your worrying about them is not what prepares you to deal with them. [well] That’s a good word, right? phew. Maybe I should talk about my golf game. [laughter]

So, there’s some things we just don’t understand. The little boy, I think he’s about third or fourth grade kid, and he just loves his family and everything and he finds out Mommy’s pregnant. Goes to his school teacher and says, “Oh, oh, my mother’s pregnant, we’re going to have a baby. And the baby’s coming and the baby’s coming. Oh, I’m so excited. The baby’s coming into our family.” And whatever. But then he goes home and the Mommy says, a couple of months later, “Do you want to feel the baby?” And she puts his hand on there. He notices she’s getting bigger. And he says, “The baby, the baby’s in there?” She says, “Yeah, yeah, the baby’s in there.” And so, when he goes to school, the teacher notices he doesn’t have any enthusiasm about the baby’s coming anymore. And so, after school she calls him over, and she says, “How come you don’t talk about the baby anymore?” The little kid drops his head and he says, “Because I think Mommy ate him.” [laughter]… I love that. I love these little stories.

What does that little story tell us? It tells us that the limited thinking of the young boy misinterprets totally the circumstances that he’s really dealing with. And, because his knowledge is limited, he has a wrong conclusion. Mommy didn’t eat the baby. Mommy’s feeding the baby and the baby is growing inside the womb.

So how is it, and that’s why we fight with our teenage kids. Because our teenage kids have just enough brains to be dangerous. … You know, I know we’ve got some young people in the house, but trust me, there’s no way at fourteen or fifteen, you know as much as your momma and daddy know at thirty or forty. … There’s just no way. And there’s no way you know as much as I know at sixty-six or at seventy. Because you just haven’t been here long enough. I mean, that’s just basic logic. There’s circumstances and situations that have, are going to occur that have not occurred, that you have no knowledge of. You just don’t, you don’t even know what makes the car work. You think it’s a combustion engine, that’s not what makes it work. What makes it work is money, honey. [laughter] No jobo – no car workal. [laughter] Right?

So, casting down imaginations. You have ideas and imaginations in your mind running all the time, that will not happen, that don’t happen. You know somebody said once, “Pastor Don, I come to church. It’s hard on me.” I said, “Why is it hard?” “I think you’re talking about me every Sunday.” I go, “No. No. There’s just some patterns in life that are just repetitive, and they just repeat and so we learn something.”

And so, what does Paul recommend? What’s his recommendation to change our lives daily? It’s to take captive our thoughts. Take captive our thoughts. Take captive our thoughts. …Take captive your thoughts. Because you can be thinking in a total weirdness of your day-to-day that has absolutely no bearing on what is real. … You can be formulating paranoid ideas about people and thoughts and you can make yourself the center of the universe when you are a hubcap. … You’re just a hubcap on the car of life, but you think you’re the center of the universe.

You know, it’s like, thinking that what you’re thinking is the most important thing. And it’s not. So let’s do, let’s just do the exercise. Come on, (puts hands on head) and say: I will take [I will take] my thoughts captive [my thoughts captive] and think about [and think about] what I’m thinking about. [what I'm thinking about.] Put your hands down.

Somebody right now was thinking about something other than what they should have been thinking about which was doing the exercise. … That’s what I’m trying to teach you. That if we would learn to hear what’s going on between our ears, we will be able, then, if we know anything of the knowledge of God, be able to say, wait a minute, that’s not the way God looks at that. …

You know, if you catch yourself thinking about somebody that you can’t stand them, and you’re putting them down, saying, “I just can’t stand preachers and teachers and I just can’t stand Pentecostals and I just can’t take Holiness people, I just…”

What if you stop and think about what you’re thinking about. You would realize that you’re being judgmental, you’re being negative, you’re being critical, and you’re what? Wasting brains. … You just wasting your brain. Because, what does God think about those people? He loves them. “For God so loved.”

I brought it on my tie. Just in case somebody missed a verse. I put it on my tie. Then I put my vest on. I realized I hid it. So, I’ll leave it out like that. So what does it say? It says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What is this about? This is about life, you all. Most of the stuff we think about is about living. But it’s not life. … Living. But it’s not life.

So, in closing, I just want to put this thought in your head. I was riding on the airplane and I thought, I’m going home. I’m going home to talk to my people that God has given me. And, I want to see them and I want to see the kids, it’s fifth Sunday. And I really want to be there. And I was sitting on the plane, and I thought to myself, and I wrote it in the new book. … Life is serious. Life is a serious thing. … But it’s filled with funny moments. Yeah, yeah, life is serious. We should be serious about life. But we should really be a little bit more focused on the fact that there are a whole lot of funny moments. People are weird. [laughter] People are funny looking. You know, look at people and get a good laugh. I mean, and none of us look exactly the same. Even identical twins can tell each other apart….

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Redeemed

When I was a kid I used to walk to school, eyes focused on the side of the road looking for soda bottles which I could redeem for two cents. A few soda bottles could net a bag of candy or a pack of gum.

I never felt I was worthy to put my two cents worth into any conversation. The abuse I received made me mirror the exact responses others wanted. Necessary, for if I responded wrong, I could literally lose my life. Before I was five, my parents had tried to kill me three times. When my father stuck his fist in my face and told me he would kill me if I told, I believed him.

At first, as a young adult, when I looked in the mirror, I saw the face of an abuse victim. In order to change that image, I had to train my thinking to see a VICTOR. One of the key elements for me was the second verse in the list of who am I in Christ. I am excited to share with you the depth of meaning from this Bible verse.

REDEEMED FROM THE HAND OF THE ENEMY.

The New King James Bible puts it this way:

Psalm 107, verse two, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”

The Psalms were written in Hebrew. When translated from Hebrew to English, some of the words lose important elements of their meaning.  One tool for finding what the psalmist meant by redeemed is Strong’s Concordance.  I want to share with you what redeemed means according to Strong’s (1350)

It means to redeem according to the Oriental law of kinship, where the next of kin (Jesus) buys back a relative’s property, marries his widow, redeems from slavery.  It means avenger, ransom, deliver, kinsman’s part, purchase.  The basic use of this term has to do with deliverance of persons or property that has been sold for debt.  In Biblical times, a poor person could sell himself into slavery to pay off a debt.  His kinsman could buy back the slave, pay off the debt, and restore the property to the poor person.

Chains of Slavery by xomiele

According to Strong’s, a redeemer could also marry his brother’s wife to produce an offspring to keep the line of inheritance going as we see in the book of Ruth.  The responsibility to redeem belongs to the nearest relative. During the time of Psalms, if someone was killed, there was an avenger of blood, who would hunt down the killer and extract a life for a life.  The kinsman redeemer was responsible for preserving the life, integrity, property and family name.  When God redeems, He redeems with a stretched out arm and with great judgments. We know our Redeemer (Jesus) stretched out His arms for us to deliver us from sin.

Our enemy, adversary (as some translations call him) is defined in Strong’s (6862) with some unusual images such as a tight place, a pebble.  We also see him as an opponent, an enemy, trouble, distress, affliction, foes, tribulation, and pressed hard.

Think about these definitions and how awesome God is that He will fully redeem us – he will take what our abusers stole from us and restore us our life, our integrity, our property, and make us whole. He can help us to get out of tight places, out of our distress, affliction, and tribulation.  Our God is stronger than our abuser.

Next post, we will expand on this verse’s meaning.  For now I wonder what this glorious redemption means to you.  Please share.

Have a blessed day.

Heather

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