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You want to be stronger, braver, and more integrated.

You want to be more whole right?

I have good news. As you learn and apply Transformation Prayer Ministry to your life, you will become a stronger, braver, more integrated, and whole person.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”Hebrews 12:14 NIV

Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM) is, by far, one of the best tools I’ve seen that can nurture growth in this way.

The intent of the TPM process is to provide a systematic and reliable means to intentionally and purposefully participate with God in refining one’s faith, which results in renewing one’s mind, and naturally transforming one’s belief and behavior.

 

“ . . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 NIV

 

To understand this more clearly, today I’m sharing with you a personal account of a Transformation Prayer Ministry session. In this, you will see how Molly (fictitious name) was able to move through her negative belief about herself.

To read another personal application of Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM) click here.

We begin here.

When Molly was talking with her husband about the slow pace of work in her current job, he suggested she should look for another job.

Feeling irritated and defensive, and realizing they were getting nowhere in their conversation, she decided not to engage in any arguments.

 

In fact, she decided to essentially dismiss herself from the discussion and just let him talk.

Bothered by her own unclear thoughts and feelings, which arose in their interaction, she asked me to mentor her in Transformation Prayer Ministry regarding these unsettled feelings.

 

EMOTION  (The ‘box’ or place we begin a session)

 

I asked her: “How did the conversation make you feel?”

 

Molly: “It made me feel defensive and irritated.”

 

MEMORIES

I asked her: “What comes to mind as you focus on what you are feeling?”

 

Molly: “Hmm . . . Why did I feel defensive? What was I defending? . . . THAT I’M NOT SPOILED OR LAZY. “

 

I asked: Why do you feel that way?

 

Molly: “ Because I was the baby of the family, the youngest with a large age gap. I remained close in proximity to my parents and they were a great help to me with babysitting, helping with finances and rides when I didn’t have a car. My other siblings moved out of town and were more independent. Later, I was able to be a stay at home mom.

 

BELIEF

I asked her: “Not that it is true, but does it feel true that you are spoiled or lazy?”

 

Molly: “No. Actually when I think about it, I do not believe I am spoiled.”

 

TRUTH

We entered this TPM process spontaneously and were in an informal setting. Others began to enter the room before we were quite done. This interfered with the process. I believe Molly began to speed things up, and her intellect took over for her emotions in the BELIEF box.

Once she heard herself say she’s “spoiled and lazy” and thought about it, she realized that was not true. If her response was yes, (which would have been the typical response if not rushed to conclude things) I would have asked her if we could present that belief to the Lord.

 

TRANSFORMATION

I asked her: “So, what do you feel is true?”

 

Molly: “I am not a spoiled child. I work hard. I am very productive. I am resourceful. I contribute a lot to my family. I have made sacrifices and do not ask for much in return. I do not always get my way or what I want.

 

If you become familiar with Transformation Prayer Ministry you will be a stronger, more positive, united, and whole person.

Wholeness leads to holiness.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”Hebrews 12:14 NIV

To read another personal application of Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM) click here.

Wordless, Yet Powerful Conversation

Yes, a conversation can be wordless.  And yes, a wordless conversation can be powerful.  It may well be one of the deepest blessings you, or I, will receive.

A conversation with gaps of silence, with someone you don’t know very well, feels odd. However, a wordless conversation with the closest of family or friends can be deeply rich.

An uncomfortable or uplifting conversation . . . depends in large part on how well you know the person, and their character.

For example, after my mother suffered a massive stroke, her ability to communicate with words was greatly diminished due to aphasia.

She could no longer utter words that made sense.

Though I longed for them, they were no longer necessary because . . .

I knew them.  I heard them.  Different versions of them.

Even more importantly, I knew her.  I knew who she was, and who she wasn’t.

Her words are carved into my being.  Over and again day after year etched with care.  The things my mother said and the way she made me feel . . . I can still hear and experience them.

As a little girl, I saw joy dancing in her smile as I handed her a fist full of dandelions along with a few sprigs of queen anne’s lace. 

I happily plucked a bouquet of weeds from our backyard, and thought it was a magnificent gift.  Just the right thing for my mama.

She could have thrown them away, ignored them by laying them on the table to wilt, or scolded me for bringing the messy bunch into the house.  Surely I was tracking dirt on my feet, and bringing some kind of outside mess indoors.

Instead she lovingly gave them a place of honor, in a vase on the window sill.

She spoke life into me when I was too little to notice . . .

Sitting next to Mom after her stroke, even though she didn’t have words for me anymore, was like soaking up every single ounce of sunshine that ever existed.

I knew who she was and what she was likely to say.

Her outer words have become my inner words.

Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; . . . If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:5&7 NKJ

The forefathers of my faith tradition called the bible the outer word, and the prompting of the holy spirit the inner word.

The inner word is written in each believer’s heart by the Holy Spirit, and it is completely identical with that which is outwardly written in the New Testament. The Complete Writings of Alexander Mack William R. Eberly, Editor

We “hear” the words of our parents, spouse, or others, even when they’re not physically with us to verbalize them. We not only know their words, we know their character and essence.

Likewise, if we absorb the bible over the weeks, months, and years it becomes our inner word. We get to know God’s character. We can more clearly hear God’s still small voice when we quiet ourselves to listen.

I love to take long walks because, not only am I getting exercise and enjoying the fresh air, but I also find it’s one of the times I am most atune to the Holy Spirit’s prompting through the inner word.

I shared with you before how the towhee reminds me of God’s personal love song. But, there are many times on my walks I don’t have a sense of new things He might be saying to me. And that’s okay. I know who He is.

And while my mother was wordless, her essence still exuded because I have shared much time with her. Likewise, when God is wordless, His essence still exudes because I have shared much time with Him.

His outer words become our inner words.  And a wordless conversation with Him can be a great blessing when you know Him and His character.

Dallas Willard puts it this way. The most important things about us in our mind. And the most important things about our mind is what it’s fixed on. The most important thing for our mind to be fixed on is the Lord. Check out my video here.

 

Find Confidence & Authority to be Yourself (STYLE Part 1)

 

Do you struggle at times with not having the confidence, or authority, to be yourself in your significant relationships with family or friends?

Do you feel at times like no one really knows you? The real you is lonely, and yet afraid to come alive . . .

Sometimes I am lonely, like you. I’d rather not feel that way, and neither would you ~ right?

Often those feelings bubble up because the relational dynamics with family members, or friendships, are stressful. You’re connection with one another is out of whack.

You can feel it in your gut, but can’t understand why the disconnect exists.

Personally, during those times I’ve found a way to connect uniquely with the great I Am, the Creator of my soul, that reaches into my loneliness and deeply satisfies me.

This soul to soul with Jesus gives me confidence and authority to be myself.

When the Creator of life fills me emotionally, I notice I no longer feel lonely. Instead I live from a full well.

I have less need of approval. And I have greater freedom and capacity to be the joyful me I was created to be.

All relationships need nurturing.

If any friendship, or relationship of any sort, is going to thrive it needs to be watered and cared for like a garden, or like a tree that sinks its roots down deep allowing it to drink life from the nutrient rich soil.

A few years back I created a program (called Moms in STYLE) to help mothers whose central desire was to re-connect joyfully with her grown children.

These moms involved in emotionally distressed relationships with their adult children wanted to learn to nurture those relationships.

The Moms in STYLE Program applies the following truths at its core and informs ways to nurture relationships.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:30-31 NIV

(Your husband is your closest neighbor,)

. . . whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.  And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.   1 John 4:20-21 NIV

Do to others as you would have them do to you.  Luke 6:31 NIV

The LORD your God is with you, the Might Warrior who saves. He will . . . rejoice over you with singing.  Zeph 3:17 NIV

 

Our relationship with our Creator needs nurturing too.

My relationship with my Creator and Lover of my soul is no different. It needs nurturing too.

With this in mind, I’ve flipped the STYLE Program upside down, and rearranged it to help you become more aware and receptive of God’s great love for you.

Instead of guiding you to use STYLE to initiate blessings to others, I turned it upside down to help you prioritize ways you can receive God’s initiative of love for you. To experience His love for you at the heart level not simply the head level.

In fact, when we allow the Designer of our souls to fill us emotionally, that’s when we can be our most confident and best. It’s also when your relationships and friendships will be at their peak.

A heart-filled by Jesus will be a heart that’s working. When your heart is working you will find it to be the most natural and effortless thing to bless others, even in your stressful relationships it will be true. You will have the confidence and ability to love yourself.

The secret to having the confidence and authority to be yourself is found in the receiving of your Maker’s specific love for you at the heart level.

It is key for us to put ourselves in a place where we receive His love because if we are looking to those around us to fill our love need, even with a significant other, we will be disappointed.

As we grow in intimacy with the One who formed our very souls we will feel less shame and be freer to reveal our true selves.

As we are free to reveal our true selves we will have the joy of being known, not have the depth of loneliness we once did, and have richer relationships.

From the safe haven of being loved by the great I Am you will be able to risk greater openness with others because your essence is not tethered to others opinions, but is wrapped in the all-knowing all- loving arms of Jesus.

As His love spills over you it calms and quiets you. It will overflow into your being, and give you greater sensitivity and compassion for those around you. This in itself will strengthen your friendships and relationships.

When your own emotional needs are met in healthy ways you will be more confident. Confidence gives you power to be the real you. Not the performing person you think others will like.

It is key for us to put ourselves in a place where we receive His love because if we are looking to those around us to fill our love need, even with a significant other, we will be disappointed. As we grow in intimacy with the One who formed our very souls we will feel less shame and be freer to reveal our true selves.

From the safe haven of being loved by the great I Am you will be able to risk greater openness with others because your essence is not tethered to others opinions, but is wrapped in the all-knowing all- loving arms of Jesus.

As His love spills over you it calms and quiets you. It will overflow into your being, and give you greater sensitivity and compassion for those around you. This in itself will strengthen your friendships and relationships.

Once these emotional truths begin sifting down deep within your soul, there’s a synergy that start’s to take place.

I inverted STYLE to give you a super charge at the get go. It will give you practical tools to use in developing a stronger, and emotionally healthier, you. You will benefit, over time, by naturally growing stronger healthier friendships and relationships as a result.

Become aware of something small God is doing for you.

The STYLE in LifeSTYLE is an acronym. The S in the STYLE Program is to do something small.  Instead of doing something small for someone else, allow God to do something small for you.

I know this may sound strange. But He really does want to do things to delight you. Becoming aware of how He is doing it is the first step in receiving it. Take some time to think about some small way He wants to connect with you.

Take some time for a walk, a leisurely drive, or if you only have two minutes use those two minutes to be still and ponder the truth that God is for you and not against you.

Think about how God may be reaching out to you. Absorb it.

Don’t worry if you don’t sense anything right away. This little exercise in itself will make you more receptive to how God is reaching out to you in many small ways. Over the next day or so it likely will become more evident to you.

You will begin to recognize how He is extending Himself to you in some little ways which you have not noticed before.

I find the towhee’s song to be something small God does for me. He’s doing it for you too.

The next is the T in STYLE. That stands for together fun.

God reaches out to you with a spirit of joy and laughter

Together fun is the T in the STYLE acronym .

On a new day think about how God is reaching out to you with a spirit of joy and laughter.  How He want to have fun together with you.

It might seem funny at first, but be assured you delight His heart simply because you are choosing to be with Him.

Don’t you feel good when someone specifically chooses to be with you to have fun?

 

How to Turn an Ordinary Day into an Extraordinary One

It was an ordinary day,  doing ordinary work,             Ordinary Day

UNTIL

It stopped wringing the clothes.

The washer.

What a nuisance.

Guess I’ll be wringing clothes out by hand until we get a new one.

Oh bummer.  Another step, and more time.

I wasn’t counting on this.

How in—con—ven—ient.

And annoying.

 

Shortly we’ll have a new one, but it won’t be today.  The dirty laundry’s multiplying like rabbits.   Grrr . . .

 

I usually enjoy hanging clothes on the clothesline.  But, not now.  I’m feeling swamped with these drippy clothes.

“Robert come help me hang the clothes,” I summoned, through the whipping wind to my 14-year-old son.

Whosh  whew  whosh  whooooshhhh

 

The windy day added to my irritation as I tried to fight against it while pinning the soggy clothes to the clothesline.

I just wanted to get this messy job done.  And get it done quickly.

This.  Wind.  Is.  Slowing.  Me.  Down.

“Oh, listen mom,” Robert laughed, “It sounds like we’re at the ocean.  Hear the blowing leaves?  They sound like the crashing waves.”

 

Ordinary Day Turns into Extraordinary

 

“Ya,” I unenthusiastically responded to his comment while we both continued to hang the water-logged pile.

“I think the long grass on the hillside, blowing in the wind, looks like ocean waves,” he happily quipped.

I began remembering our delightful recent trip to the sandy windy beach.  He was starting to attract my attention.  After all, I’d love to be back there instead of arguing with the wind over who’s the boss of the saggy clothesline.

Then it hit me.

 

Remember to express the positive.

I just wanted to be grumpy.  After all I was inconvenienced with a broken washing machine.

 

Ordinary Day Becomes Extraordinary Day

 

My son was, unintentionally, making it easy for me to express the positive.  To jump into the imaginary sea, or at least put my big toe in.  He was helping me find the extraordinary ocean-like features of our grassy-green back yard.

 

ME, I was fixed on complaining.  I was fixed on ME.

 

Okay Joy, I reminded myself, express the positive.  Join in with Robert on his positive, and imaginary, thoughts.

 

At least smile with him.

 

Squabbling with myself, I thought — why should I? –– I’m almost done.  Just check this mess off the list and move on.

 

Seconds later, while setting my sights on the next project, but before leaving the clothesline,  I realized again why it is important for me to express the positive, and delight with my son in his lovely green ocean.

 

 

  • I’ll be happier.
  • My son will be happier.
  • I’ll be making a relationship deposit with my son instead of a relationship withdrawal.
  • My son will be more inclined to help me with future jobs and, while doing so, he’ll have a positive attitude himself.
  • Habitually expressing the positive will draw my son towards me rather than repelling him away from me.

 

So I did it.  I took the leap.  Enjoying all the sensory benefits of our imaginary green ocean right in our own back yard.  The sound of the waves in the blowing tree leaves, and the sight of gentle ocean waves in the long rippling hillside grass.

An ordinary day with an extraordinary flair.  Click here for another kind of extraordinary day.

Whosh whew whosh whooooshhhh

 

As we walked away, laughing in the wind, the drenched clothes playfully misted us with ocean sprays making our visit complete.

 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, ~ if anything is excellent or praiseworthy ~

think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

 

Energy and Excitement for Sexual Intimacy With Your Husband

What if your relationship with your husband could be something that gives you energy to tackle your to do list, and not one more thing to add to your to do list?

Imagine what it would be like if you could say to yourself, “I worked hard for everyone else today, I will enjoy something amazing now!”

 

 

What would life be like if you could flip a switch and suddenly feel “in the mood”?

If this sounds good to you then today is a wonderful day because I have a resource to share with you that will bless you and your husband.

I mentioned in the last post about inviting Jesus to fill your heart and soul with experiences of His tangible love. One way I am tangibly enthralled by His love for me is in the surprise of the towhee’s love song.

When you experience love or beauty your natural response is to share that beauty and love.

 

 

It will spill over to bless you and your husband.

But, perhaps you are feeling empty because the overall trajectory of your marriage is not going well.

Then this course is not for you.

Keep reading my blogs though, because I will have something helpful suited just for you in the future.

 

If the overall flow of your marriage is going well then continue reading.

 

I know for many women chocolate and a bubble bath sound way more enticing than sex at the end of a long day, but I also know that sex is supposed to be awesome in marriage. And too often we women devalue sex, and end up losing out on something amazing that God created for us!

 

I don’t want to miss out on something awesome.

 

So when I saw Sheila Wray Gregoire’s Boost Your Libido course here, I knew it would be something you would be excited about.

 

You’ll feel hopeful immediately because in the first unit you will learn the one thing the vast majority of women misunderstand about our libidos – and how that one insight can change everything.

 

She’s the “Christian sex lady”

 

For those of you who don’t know Sheila, she’s the “Christian sex lady” who blogs at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. She’s so down to earth, and she’s so open about her own struggles. And now she’s created a 10-video course that you can take that can really and truly help you to boost your libido!

 

She starts by talking about how we often don’t understand libido in the first place. We think that if we’re not panting at the sight of our husband, then we must not want sex. But what if our understanding is wrong?

 

And then she talks about (in a seriously funny way!) how libido is mostly in our heads.

 

Boost Your Libido Tall 1 - Graphics for Boost Your Libido Course

But it’s not ALL in our heads, and throughout the course she shows how understanding our hormones and understanding how our body works (and even accepting the body we have!) can help us want sex more, too.

This is a really fun course, because Sheila is awfully funny. And each module comes with a practical assignment that can help you see immediate results. You don’t have to wait until you finish the course to start your libido revving up!

 

Christians should have the best marriages possible

 

I’m passionate about marriage. But too often we miss out because we get too busy, we feel distant, or we just plain don’t understand how we work.

 

Let this course take the guesswork out of your body, and let Sheila help you learn to think differently and change your routines so that chocolate will never seem like a sex substitute again!   Check out the course here.

 

 

GOD IS GOOD—ALL THE TIME

 

I once visited a church service that opened with this exchange:

Pastor: God is good.

Congregation: All the time.

Pastor: All the time.

Congregation: God is good.

Easy to say. Hard sometimes to believe. When we face tough times, we may feel God is anything but good to us.

I’ve been a “good girl” for most of my life, and I’ve been righteous in Christ for many more years than not.

I read my Bible.

I pray.

I brake for squirrels.

So I may feel entitled to a good life.

 

 

Yet life has not always been good. I’ve attended funerals for an infant daughter, my parents and four siblings. I’ve been dismissed from a job—on a church staff. I’ve suffered through disorders from colds to cancer, from dizziness to dental mishaps. When life goes bad, is God still good?

 

If I think “good” means “freedom from pain and suffering,” I need to rethink my definition. My dictionary defines “good” as “Being positive or desirable in nature.” There’s a difference.

 

We love quoting Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” But please continue reading verse 29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

 

The greatest good—“being positive or desirable in nature”–we can experience is to be conformed to the image of Christ.

 

I have found that my struggles contribute to this transformation. For instance, when our daughter died, I identified with the psalmist who wrote Psalm 42. Like the writer, I thirsted after God yet I was “downcast”—numb, bewildered, depressed.

 

But the psalmist encouraged me to: “Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” I memorized the Psalm. It became a lifeline through weeks, months and really years of grief. And as I waited on God, heaven became more real to me as I pictured my daughter there.

 

When I lost my job, I felt highly embarrassed and devastated. My family lost its relationship with a congregation. And where would I work?

 

Let me tell you, losing that job was a stretching experience. But it drew me closer to God. I learned to forgive. I learned to let go. I learned to rely on God for daily strength, wisdom and direction. And I also learned that God is faithful in the ups and downs of life.

 

He led me to a new career in journalism. As a writer and now a speaker as well, I have met and ministered to thousands upon thousands of people. God opened doors to a ministry far wider than one congregation. And what a fascinating experience it has been.

 

According to Gary Thomas in A Sacred Marriage, God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. The challenges and struggles of marriage draw us to God if we respond with hearts and minds open to God. Thomas’s thoughts certainly apply to life in general. We‘re motivated to connect with God in our struggles.

 

In his book Waiting on God Wayne Stiles writes: “We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust him.” That is true. His ways are so much higher than ours, we can’t begin to fathom what he is doing.

 

Stiles also emphasizes that realizing the goal of Romans 8:28-29 takes a lifetime and ultimately the resurrection. Our suffering may not end this side of eternity. But it will end once we meet our Savior. There’s pain in the patience of waiting, and God uses it to mold us into the image of Christ.

 

They say struggles make you better or bitter, and by God’s grace, I am a better person for having survived challenging experiences. I am more humble. I am more aware of the hurts around me. I am more grateful for God’s daily gifts of grace.

 

Yes, I believe God is good. All the time. He is good in the sense that he is for me and not against me. He is good in that everything that happens to me can help me mature as a Christian. He is good in that he knows the final outcome, and like the song says, “when you can’t see his hand, trust his heart.”

 

An author and speaker from Millersburg, Pennsylvania, Shirley Brosius inspires audiences through dramatic presentations of lengthy portions of scripture (such as the book of Ruth) from memory. As a member of Friends of the Heart, three women who share God’s love through messages, skits and songs, she leads women’s retreats and events throughout the East (www.friendsoftheheart.us). Shirley and her husband Bill have two married sons and a daughter waiting in heaven. She loves to read, write and keep in touch with five young adult grandkids. She is the author of Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference (available as an E-book) and coauthor of Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides, both daily devotional books designed to draw readers closer to God.

Good News, God Gave You Super Powers

At times it seems your thirst for love will never be quenched. You know in your mind you are loved but, it doesn’t always match your feelings.

Sometimes you are down right lonely . . . and wish you had super powers to resolve those pangs.

 

 

The good news is you have super powers.

And what powers you don’t have  . . .  Jesus does.

Here’s the thing.

The most important thing about you is your mind. And the most important thing about your mind is what it’s fixed upon. So the object is to have your mind always fixed on the Lord. This is only possible through constantly renewed effort.

Dallas Willard

You have the super power to fix your mind

on whatever you want.

And when it’s focused on the right things you will be empowered.

I seem to have a never ending need for love. And that need for love rarely seems to get filled.

Only God can fill that void. (I know that in my head anyway.) He put that vacancy within me to give me a craving for communion with Him.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 KJV

It’s no fun to feel lonely or unloved. I know it’s a lie when I do so . . .

I’ve been on the look out for ways

I can power up and become more aware of Jesus’ love

and how to receive it.

In the process, I discovered a fun way to allow that intellectual knowledge trickle down a little further into my heart knowledge.

I’m excited to share it with you.

Watch the video below and I’ll show you as we walk through the woods.

Then let me know what you do, or want to do, to be more aware and receptive of Jesus’ love for you.

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