Holy Ghost

What to Do when you don’t know what to Do

This may sound strange coming from a man but…I love reality shows. Well not all reality shows but certain ones hold some value. Not those silly Survivor, Jersey Shore, and other weird ones. My two favorites are The Voice and So You Think You Can Dance. I tear up when I experience seeing someone who is somewhat hidden now blossoming into their gift. I absolutely love honor, dignity, and being noticed. This article could go very religious in that I could talk about vanity, God’s glory versus man’s, and the other arguments against, well whatever religious people hate about random things but I’m want to come from a different vantage point.

Like I said above, seeing someone be recognized for their gift and honor moves my spirit and soul to a deep place within me. However, if you’re like me, than you’ve tried many things to find “what you’re good at” and have  yet to hit the mark. I played Soccer as a kid (who hasn’t) and then tried baseball one summer then went on to play football for a losing team on a local community league. I then played JV football at high school (nobody gets cut there) then got cut in 11th grade for Varsity football because I was more of a soft-spoken, laid back type of gent. I didn’t care much about school nor about the future. My siblings were excellent hockey players who went on to play pro roller hockey but not me. I liked pot and video games. Then when I was 20 I (re)dedicated my life to Jesus. Got free from pot yet still entangled with self-worth issues.

You see I had trouble individuating when I was younger. I wasn’t really great at one thing. Sure I was semi good at soccer, in baseball I couldn’t hit the ball for the life of me, and in football I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been. I actually tried out for hockey once but made the B team and then dropped out. I wasn’t good at any particular subject in school though I enjoyed Home EC and the Sciences in general. I absolutely hated reading and writing was a close second. I couldn’t sing, dance, or play an instrument (I tried learning guitar many years back as an adult but threw my “Idiots Guide to Playing Guitar” book away after it demanded I learn to read music) so that was a bust. I even wrote and recorded rap songs (which can still be found online) when I had a lot of free time on my hands. I wasn’t good at it, though I thought the lyrics were on point and held several meanings often. I did not have an education so I went into the family business of carpentry. I was fairly good at that. I do have a strong attention to detail, when I want to, so that helped in that field. Left that field went to other labor work of delivering mattresses and then working at a major toy company’s distribution center. After working 10 hour shifts on concrete floors and working 10 hour shifts during a 12 day stretch twice during Christmas season I had enough of that riff raff. I then took classes at a local community college to help study for three different computer certifications. That was over 4 years ago and I only have 2 out of 3 certifications…in a field where I don’t find fulfillment or gratification. Then I started studying and reading about inner healing & deliverance concepts and I’m hooked. It fascinates me to no end. That and psychology as well. Abnormal psychology to be exact. My new venture is writing. For a person who abhorred reading and writing to become an avid reader and writer is interesting to say the least. The verdict (mine, God’s, and those who read it) is still out on writing. I  also find immense fulfillment is doing prayer ministry in the limited time I do it. If would do it full-time if it were to be economically viable one day. I still have my doubts, which is something I’m pondering in my spirit and my soul, if this is what God has for me or not. Looking back I wish I went to college for Christian counseling but some things weren’t meant to be I suppose. Even at 33 years old I’m still individuating.  Still investigating to find my niche. Still trying to “Do” while finding out what I’m suppose to “Do.”

What I wrote above is probably not foreign to many of you. The only difference is that you may be 20, 40, or 50 and above and still not know. Mid-life crisis anyone? Most of us in waiting have to do what we  have to do to survive and pay bills and most hobbies are to kill time. We are swamped with responsibilities and somewhat forced into fields that don’t fulfill. To those who love what they do and get fulfillment and get paid we all envy you or at least I do. Now here’s the rub…what do you do when you don’t know what to do.

We must reconcile our past and present with God’s truth over us. And to borrow Graham Cooke’s quote, “We must bring the future into today.” The foundation for any “Doing” comes from “Being.” Character is the foundation where fulfillment can be built. When you live in and with fulfillment, the problem of problems diminishes. Problems become a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. Fulfillment bends the will of the problem in your favor wherein problems become but a servant to a master. Fulfillment comes when God’s design, imprinted in your spirit, meets the works that were prepared for it. So here are a few places needing to be addressed.

  • Time
  • Land
  • Agreements
  • Surroundings

I’ll attempt to explain these as short and concise as possible. Remember there is no shame or condemnation just reconciliation and alignment.

Time

How many of you have been asked the question, “If you were living in a different time when would it be and why?” It’s a great ice breaker in small groups. But how many actually wish they lived in a different time? When we reject the point in time we are in now we reject God’s very own placement of us. We can see God’s time set for all of us in Acts 17:26 which says, “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.” You see here that God determines the time in which we will live. If we have rejected our time then we must repent and ask God to forgive us. Some have trauma related to time (good teaching here) and some have even cursed their conception and birth like Job (Job 3:3). Still others have actually had their time switch and manipulated through occult activity and SRA. If that is the case God can and will reorient us back to His original timeline for us. When we come to a place where we accept when we are then we can look at the where we are.

Land

Land is an interesting one. There is not much teaching on land in the body of Christ. But if you were to do a word search the word “land” is used in the KJV you’ll find it used 1,717 times in 1,489 verses. Most, I’m sure, are simply talking about land in general but if you look deeper and read all that within the Scripture you’ll see that land plays a big role. As we see in the Acts verse above God appoints land and territories. God appointed land to Adam & Eve, Moses, and Abraham. The only way these people could live out their destiny is to be on the right land. There are deeper dynamics to land (good teaching here) but I’ll queue you in on one. 2 Chron. 7:14 says, “and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” We’ve all heard this verse but how many have glossed over the ending? I know I have for years but it shows that God wants to heal land. And, like a lot of things, the New Age has stolen and perverted due to the Church leaving a vacuum of not address the whole counsel of God.

When it comes to us and land there are generally two current realities. One is that we are on the land God wants us on or we are not on the land God wants us on. If the former is true and you agree with the Lord than awesome. All is well on the land aspect. If the former, then there are a few reasons. One is that we reject where God wants us just like the time aspect above. Two is that we are not on the land but are moving towards it like Moses and Abraham. Three is that we are dynamic in our land relationship. We go in and out with bondage or we go in and out with freedom. If in bondage, than we are being pulled away by the enemy, ourselves, or trauma but are fighting to stay in. If in freedom, than we accept our land but also know that God has things for us in temporary land placement. To reconcile the where we must again repent for rejecting the land where we are and to ask the Lord if we are on the right land now and if not where to go. God may not say exactly but He may move you to a different city or state like He did to me. We should also ask God about the current land to cleanse it and mine it for God’s treasures (gardeners will understand).

Agreements

We all make agreements as we go through life. Some we vocalize while other we internalize. Both can be labeled “Inner Vows“. Another good article on this is “What is the Soundtrack to Your Story“. When we make agreements on our current life situations, we enforce and solidify the mentality and emotional reactions which then cloud and distort future life situations. That means the past life situations in which you made unhealthy agreements with yourself, others, or the enemy are now clouding and distorting your current reality. We make or have made bitter root judgments which then create a bitter root expectancy.  These judgement we have made then hold us and keep us from advancing. It may very well be one major aspects of not know what to do. We again must repent for our inner vows, bitter root judgments & expectancies and ask God to release us from our words and vows so we can move forwards. All of these steps are things you can do before you know what to do.

Surrounding

We are, for the most part, products of our surroundings. We are an amalgamation of our past. We had good parents, bad parents, or no parents. We had good, bad, or no siblings. Our home was either structured, chaos, or somewhere in between. The list goes on and on. Our environment is a huge factor on who we are and whose we are. As you read above in the “Agreements” section you may notice that some of those agreements we’ve made come from the surroundings we were in. Now the past is the past and can be healed, redeemed, and we can learn from the pain we experienced. What I want to talk about is current surroundings. We need freedom. Freedom to do. Freedom to be. Freedom to try. Freedom to fail and freedom to succeed. If you are not in a place, especially Church, where you can’t grow, try new things, expand than you may need to ask the Father if there is a better place for you. If you were never able to individuate as a child or young adult or even a middle-aged adult then it’ll be difficult to live a life of fulfillment. We must surround ourselves with encourages, life-givers, and positive people. It may be hard where you are now but God can provide at least one person but if not, His Presence can surround you and show you Himself and yourself.

Conclusion

Above I described at least four things to do before you know what to do. The list could go on and on but I wanted to give you a few things that maybe you haven’t looked at before. We need to accept the time we are in and the current land that we are on. Then break previous debilitating agreements and adjust our surrounding as much as possible. You’re probably thinking that you don’t have gifts but I can assure you, God has places design and birthright into your spirit and soul. It’s the process of finding what it is that proves to be most difficult. There is probably no platform, TV show, or other experience where you will get honored or esteemed. But if there was a show highlighting people’s ability to speak peace over troubled souls then you’d been voted in. If there was a show looking for the best mom then you’d be at the top. If there was a contest for “Best Dad” then you would out shine them all. If there was a show where a person who loves to serve without any recognition then you would be showcased. If there was a show where raving about the best person who goes over and beyond while behind the scenes then you would be the star.

I struggle everyday to know “What I’m Good At” and still question the things that I think maybe I have a shot at it. I’m still individuating. Maybe I’m a good writer or maybe I suck. Maybe I’ll be a prayer minister (current dream) or maybe I’ll do more harm than good. I still feel the “problem of problems” and am seeking fulfillment where obstacles bend to my design instead of me bending to them. I’m still attempting to walk out of spirit looking for the works that God designed for it. If I look for outward fruit I may be disappointed but I must know that every tree bears fruit at different seasons. When or where is my season? I don’t know. When and where is your season? I don’t know. But what I do know is that we can prepare beforehand and rid ourselves of baggage and develop character and the fruit of the Spirit which provides a foundation for the gift. Graham Cooke said it best, “People destroy with their character what they’ve built with their gift”.

Spirit I call you to attention and I give you freedom to try and to fail.

I give you freedom to try and to succeed.

I give you freedom to receive your sonship and legitimacy from God your Father.

I give you freedom to be a bride who can rest in the Bridegroom.

I speak peace in the process.

I speak healing from the past and restoration in the present.

I bless you with walking with God instead of walking for God.

I bless with you being before doing.

I bless you with being you and no one else.

I bless you with looking in the mirror and liking what you see.

I bless you with looking in the mirror and loving what you see.

I bless you in the name of Jesus, who loves you with an everlasting love.

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Charismatic Dualism

Charismatic Dualism? Lets talk about that.

Dualism – the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided

Gnostic Dualism is the heretical teaching that says all physical matter is evil thus shunning it and only adhering to spiritual world.

Charismatic Dualism can be described as the belief that the soul-life is bad and the spirit/Spirit life is good.

This isn’t a wide-spread issue that I personally know of however from time to time I do hear the phrase “They were in the spirit and then dropped back into the soul” meaning what they were doing was good but now that it’s the soul it’s not good anymore. Spirit = good and soul = bad. This is not so in my opinion and I believe Scripture supports it.

Another common sayings could be, “Oh he is just operating from the soul” or “That person is so soulish.” What I think is happening is that people mistake soul with flesh or carnality. They are not the same thing. “More of Him and less of me” is also a common one. Personally I don’t like that term either. Number one reason for not liking it is because people base that off of John the Baptist says in John 3:30, “I must decrease and He must increase”, when the context was John the Baptist forerunning Jesus’ coming and Jesus’ ministry. Some of us take it as we don’t matter and we need to crucify the soul. Both are wrong.

3 John 1:2 says,

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Soul in the Greek is psychē and simply means the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions, etc. So here Paul is saying he wants us in good health and prosperous just as our soul prospers. So our souls must prosper and if so, how can they prosper if we equate the soul with flesh, evil, etc? God gave us a soul and it is the life of God. God made it and gave it so His original intent was and still is for good. The soul operates with the organic body. Mind with brain, emotions with chemicals (generally speaking), and will with brain (conscious or subconscious). The soul can only operate as good as the organic operates. That is why when there is a chemical imbalance in the body, emotions, will, and mind do not operate the best. With the soul we do believe, have faith, reason with the Lord and others, have strongholds (whether good or bad), and affect the body. Our souls must be healed, cleansed, restored, set apart, and grown. Our souls carry a strong redemptive gift (see http://www.sandylandry.com) and with that redemptive gift is a birthright, authority, and redemptive quality God has given us to affect the world around us. The soul is good because God originally created it good and once saved it becomes good. But the most important factor in our soul’s growth, stability, wholeness, and essence is when the soul is led by our spirit (of course the Holy Spirit as well).

1 Thessalonians 5:23 declares,

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you see how it’s listed? Not body, soul, and spirit but spirit, soul, and then body. I have a hypothesis about why the body is listed last and not first but that’s for another blog.

God has designed the spirit, as the light of God and made in the very essence of God, to lead the soul and body. This is why I believe Moses, Jesus, and others could have not eaten or drank water for 40 days yet survive. Their spirits were leading and in charge of their soul and body.

Spirit in Greek is pneuma and simply means the part of us never referred to as a depersonalised force but the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc. Oftentimes the spirit and soul get combined together as one so we longer are a trinity like God (thought we are created in His image) but a dual being of sorts. However, Hebrews 4:12 dispels this argument and says that there is a division that happens and must happen. But this division is not for dividing to separate and remove but to distinguish mode and function.

For so long we have operated out of our souls in most of our spiritual activities. Our souls have been trying to do the work of our spirit and vice versa…and it’s not our soul’s fault not our the fault of our spirit per se. It is the fault of inadequate teaching of our spirit’s role, design, and function. Our spirits have an incredible database of things spiritual, soulful, and bodyful (is that a word?). Our spirit is light and light can and does carry data. “Really?” you ask. Yes, really. Think fiber optics. Data is put into light, then transferred to then be used. Same as our spirit. “In Him was Life and that Life was the Light of Men,” says John 1:4.

Only when our life, mode of being, and priorities are lined up spirit, soul, and body will we see ourselves prosper in ways never dreamed of. Our souls have a function and our spirits have a function. Each has different functions and some functions being very similar. Each has its own emotions. Our spirit loves differently than our soul does. Did you know our spirit has a voice just like our soul? Our body also having a voice. Three Scriptures that have jumped out at me ever since learning about the human spirit are 1 Corinthians 2:11, Proverbs 18:14, and Proverbs 20:27 and they really give a broader picture of the place of our spirit.

The spirit and great and the soul is great. It’s all about alignment. Next time you hear someone speak bad about the soul just know that our souls need work but they aren’t bad…they just need direction and leadership from our spirit. Our souls give us context to the natural world whereas our spirits give us context to their spiritual world both of which are and should be under the Will and Want of Father God. And when we beat up our soul for not doing the spirit’s job then we are missing the mark.

Charistmatic Dualism should have no place in the Church. Another aspect of Dualism is that our spirit and soul are one and the same, but that is a whole other subject.

 

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Blessing Your Spirit – Your spirit and Land

I hope this ministers to you and opens up your spirit, soul, and body to connections to land that is holy and removal from defiled land. You may have never thought of these things but if you were to do a study on land in the Scripture you would find a plethora of passages.

I am currently borrowing a camcorder but would love to buy my own when I have to give up the one I’m borrowing. If you would like to sow into that you can click the Donate button below the video to give if you want. I do this all for the benefit of the listeners and readers and only want us all to walk in the freedom that Jesus paid for!

Thanks and be blessed!

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New YouTube Video Uploaded!

I have post another YouTube video! This video goes along with this post: https://1john417.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/im-going-to-be-a-father/

Condemnation, Judgment, and…Discipline: What are they and are they still around?

Most confuse the first two and hardly talk about the last one. Lets explore their real meaning and possible applications in New Testament thinking. Lets dive in and see how many don’t like what I have to say. If you don’t please comment and explain your take on the different sides, definitions, and applications.

First three(ish) Greek definitions

  • Condemnation – katakrima in Greek – an adverse sentence (the verdict):—condemnation
  • Judgment – krisis in Greek – decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice (especially, divine law):—accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment
  • Judge – krinō in Greek – properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:—avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think
  • Discipline – paideuō in Greek – to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication), discipline (by punishment):—chasten(-ise), instruct, learn, teach

Now our English definitions according to Oxford Dictionary

  • Condemnation – The expression of very strong disapproval; censure
  • Judgment – The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions
  • Judge – Form an opinion or conclusion about
  • Discipline – Train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience

Does God still condemn? Does God still judge or give judgment? Does God still discipline?

Many “Grace Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God in no way condemns nor judges or gives judgments. I haven’t heard much if they believe God still corrects or disciplines (could be due to so much emphasis on God not judging). Many “Judgment Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God is still in the judging/judgment business and He does it often and without restraint. This view is usually about how God is angry at sin and sinners and is punishing them for it yet you don’t hear much about restoration or redemption in it. “Death to California and NYC” tends to be their mantra.

Funny thing is the hyper-grace people tend not to offer the same grace to those who don’t align with their thinking. And the judgment people don’t offer grace to much of anything. I think the “Judgment Preachers” need a lot more grace and the “Grace Preachers” need a lot more discernment, which true judgment is. All the while neither side knows there is a balance between the two. Look at the Apostle John. Only the Apostle of Love could receive Revelation and all it’s hard sayings.

Both sides hold very strong beliefs regarding their viewpoints. Both usually tell the other side to question what they’ve been taught. Both are tend to be hardliners. Both, in my opinion, burn bridges and castigate each other. Do they not realize they’ll be spending eternity together? God will one day set us all straight in our beliefs…but until then the schism remains and the devouring lingers. For what it’s worth, which may not be much, here is my belief, not to tear one down nor build another up. I will digress from my ratiocination above and move along.

Do I think God condemns people? In a word no. People think God does but He really doesn’t. People are not meant to condemn other people either. It’s interesting to note that Hell was never intended nor created for human beings but the devil and his angels. But Hell does exist and some invariably will choose to reject Christ and His offer and end up there, despite some Christian Universalist’s claims. It is interesting to note that in Matthew 12:41 that the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it along with the Queen of the south. However there is another Scripture in Luke 6:37 that says not to condemn or you will be condemned. Clearly in John 3:17 it says God did not send Jesus to condemn us. Our hearts can condemn us according to 1 John 3:20. But God is greater than our hearts and supersedes it.

Now what about judgment or judging? The most common Scripture used to say we are not to judge is Matthew 7:1 which says judge not lest you me judged. Like I said most common used Scripture. However many miss another Scripture in John 7:24 which says,

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

There is a righteous judgment that is necessary and allowed, you may even take it as a command but that’s on you. Lets be honest with ourselves for a moment… We all judge. Everyday. Mostly based upon outside appearances. Sometimes internal. As the saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover”, so goes in life. 1 Samuel 16:7 says,

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I ran across another blog written by an outright pagan. Now I wasn’t there and I don’t know either of the parties involved so I can’t judge their hearts but their actions may point to something here. I am not condemning them at all but pointing out something that is sorely needed, especially in Charismatic circles where some strange people seem to surface (I say in jest). She and another visited a Healing Rooms in a very prominent Charismatic church in Cali. There aim was simple and quite neutral and genuine. They wanted whatever this particular Healing Rooms had to offer.  So they went and encountered absolutely loving, gentle, and encouraging people. They received very encouraging words a

Another passage about judging is 1 Corinthians 6:1-11. To keep the word count down I won’t supply the whole passage but the gist of it is this: we are called to judge with righteous truth and discernment. We will judge angels and the world yet it is not politically correct to judge people’s actions according to some. You can see this in the current events. For fear of profiling and judging a terrorist attack in San Bernardino could have very well been prevented. The situation in question was purely an outside appearance issue. But because of the sensitive nature of people these days a person did not come forward with a concern. Spiritually speaking, discernment should one or the only criteria for judging. There is right and wrong plainly explained in Scripture and should be taught, preached, and learned. There is also much gray areas as well. There are also some areas that aren’t touched at all. Some other Scriptures that point to fact that we need to point out issues in our lives and other people’s live, if they have given us authority to do so, I repeat, if they have given us authority to do so are: 2 Tim. 4:2, Eph 4:15Eph 4:25-262 Cor 7:81 Cor. 2:10-16, and 1 Cor. 14:24-25. Many people judge others and have no clue who the person is or where they came from or their story. In these cases judgment should only be used via discernment and not outright rebuke. Discernment is but judgment devoid of outward appearances. Rashness, bigoted, hateful speech is never, ever a legitimate expression of righteous judgment or discernment. Ever. Because of the “Judgment Preachers” people are hating Christians even more these days. And this may very well be the reason for the appearance of “Grace Preachers.” However both have been around since the start of Christianity. The biggest problems with the “Judgment Preachers” are the sub group I call, “Date Setters”. Whether it’s Jonathan Cahn, John Hagee, or the eBible Fellowship people, they have an issue with sin…and obviously don’t know how to handle it. Truth with love, speech seasoned with salt to give grace, grace that empowers change and not that destroys countries. On the discipline…

I’ll start with Heb. 12:5-17

…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

And Revelation 3:19 which says,

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

Discipline, correction, and rebuke. All three are come from judgment/discernment and are labeled as condemnation by those who don’t fully understand the terms. Hopefully the I answered that and if not then I would encourage you to study it more than I have. This blog is already getting too long…lol

God does indeed discipline and correct us and if Hebrews is right then that proves we are legitimate. And if He doesn’t there is illegitimacy. “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it,” says Prov. 9:8. “Rebuke a fool and he will hate you,” goes the rest of it. Look I don’t like people telling me I’m wrong. Usually people don’t. But to remove that from our lives is to remove growth in areas we don’t think we need growth. Have you ever sought the Lord for a Word concerning something but He gave you a Word about something totally different? It goes the same way. We need to have people in our lives who can challenge, correct, exhort, and come alongside us.

One scripture that is oft quoted is 2 Tim. 1:7 which says,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We love not being given a spirit of fear. He crave love. We yearn for His power. But a sound mind? What does that even mean? Glad I asked! Sound mind in Greek is sōphronismos which means discipline. Ever since I looked up the meaning I’ve wondered why the translators chose such a different phrase that discipline. How many crave discipline? I do as an adult. But hated it as a child. Maybe that’s the difference? Maturity versus childhood.

Redemptive shame, just like redemptive pain, is a gift from God. However, destructive shame and destructive pain from the enemy is a curse and not a blessing. Knowing the difference is key. Yes there is redemptive shame and sorrow (see Acts 5:41, 1 Cor. 1:27, 1 Cor. 6:5, 2 Thes. 3:14) Redemptive shame and destructive shame are only confused by the voice of the enemy. God brings hope. Enemy despair.

James 2:13 says,

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Judgment and mercy. Mercy and judgment. A paradox.

In my experience, mercy, not getting what I do deserve, has often been, getting a little bit of what I do deserve. Shame, fear, hell, judgment, pain is what drove me to Jesus. I felt like a horrible human being who didn’t deserve to live. And God used that feeling to get me to dive to His feet. I was stumbling on a path the led to nowhere but hell and destruction and was enjoying it…until He put His hand on my life and said, “You’re wrong and you and I both know it.” He disciplined and corrected me in the midst of it all and 12 years later I’ve changed and I’m changing…and it wasn’t a pretty process. It was a redemptive process but not a pretty one. Sometimes God gives you what you want to show you what you need as someone has said.

For me I must be open to His many ways of dealings with me. I cannot turn a blind eye or a deaf ear if He wants to show me how I’m wrong. I should crave it! King David said his judgments (which He uses to correct and discipline) are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired than fine gold or a winning Powerball ticket. Sweeter than honey or stevia, whichever you prefer. For by them your servant and son are warned. In keeping them is great reward.

Condemnation is a no-no for humans. Judgments are a yes-no but only when love, mercy, and true righteousness is established in their heart. Discipline is a yes-yes for without it we are illegitimate. And fear not because God doesn’t correct but for our own benefit and not destruction.

So I did my best, which is far from perfect, but I thought I’d open a dialogue that many have shut down. I aim to regain bridges that have been burned. A good scribe brings from his storeroom treasure both old and new.

There are two sides to every coin and only when a coin has two different sides is it ever of any worth.

 

 

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Things have been a tad foggy…I could use a little help

I’m not one to ask for help. Could be my maleness or my Polishness; unsure at this point. It could very well be my soul vying for dominion because God knows the soul has had the throne uncontested for some time. I feel in my spirit a satisfaction that comes from knowing the affection of my Heavenly Father regardless of activity. My soul has the need for affirmation and perfection, both of which will never come outside of Him. Right now the soul is pinning down the spirit and the count is two with one second left to spare. It may be a last-ditch effort to show the spirit who is boss…at that is where you may come in.

I have 9 blogs in draft, one being a short story, and a two books held in my spirit: a novel and non-fiction. At the moment time is the commodity in need, even though Ravel and Rachmaninoff stole some of it when it was available. So far 100% of my blogs have been written in the midst of turmoil; the turmoil of my job. I work an IT help desk job so I am on and off the phone all day and attempt to write in the between. When I go home I tend to thwart all needs for a computer. All writers know “writer’s block” and loathe it at times. I struggle with that as well.

I am not a popular blogger and don’t have hundreds of likes, shares, or views but that doesn’t matter. This blog is more for me than you but I do it for you more than me (if that makes any sense at all). I am asking for prayer. That I would access the time I have and that it would be redeemed. Also that this last-ditch effort of the soul would be thwarted by an even stronger reversal from my spirit (after all the spirit loves the soul much than the soul loves the spirit (at least according the soul’s current view-point)). That any all fog would lift.

I’m also “planning” on moving to another state and city both of which are Teacher redemptive gift which I also am a Teacher redemptive gift (see http://www.sandylandry.com/) There is an immense blessing that would come with this and an immense ability to respond and redeem the negatives that can also creep in. I could use prayer for a job for my wife and I that could make for a much smoother transition being as I am not moving for work but for God’s leading. He’s provided before and I know He will provide again.

I’m learning and filling myself up with much teaching and tools that I need and that I can minister to others with. As a Teacher I am prone to want to get every teaching, listen to every sermon, or read every book I can on a subject. This can be good but at the same time could take up that commodity called time. I had some responses from my blog: I’d Love To Help In Any Way I Can and so far fruit has come out of it. Prayer points for that would be increased wisdom, discernment, and insight.

In the midst of great things happening things can still get foggy. Please pray that either the fog will lift our for my spirit to focus on the Light in the midst of it. I also am Asthmatic, which sucks, and dealing with panic/stress related feelings in my body both of which I’m looking for insight into healing and deliverance from. I’m also overweight so I need some healthy discipline and self-control in that area. Both Asthma and panic/stress issue hold me back from exercise. The other day I was listening to two individuals who love Jesus but are riddled with health issues and it breaks my heart that surviving is so hard using artificial and fabricated medicines. “White knuckling” life in the midst of a promised abundant life. I wanted to weep and I’m welling up slightly recalling the conversation.

Above all I want a more intimate walk with my Daddy, Dad, Father, and King. To walk in full Sonship. To hear, feel, see, and experience Him more fully. That my spirit would rise to dominion and my soul would finally rest in submission to my spirit and that the full transfiguration process would continue to progress as I look with an unveiled face.

Thank you and God bless!

PS: thank you to those who have sown into my blog with finances, prayer, likes, comments, encouragement, and admonishment. I know change is happening in you and I and I’m blessed to be a part of it. It is this that spurs me onward.

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Learned Helplessness

Disclaimer: I’m neither a psychologist nor trained in mental health whatsoever. However, I do read a lot of books, articles, studies, teachings, ideas, etc about mental health and the people who suffer from mental health issues. My heart goes out to them. If it were one people group who I would love to see most set free, healed, and delivered it would be those who suffer with mental illness. History has shown that patients with mental illness have had atrocious things done to them and I am horrified about it. Thankfully science, psychologists, and revelation has increased and brought much growth, understanding, and tools to bring freedom, healing, and deliverance to those precious people suffering under the weight mental illness.

The past several weeks I’ve been reading “Brain Rules” by John Medina. Needless to say the book fascinates me. I just finished the chapter on Stress and you can read the overview of the chapter here: http://www.brainrules.net/stress.

In the chapter on Stress, one point in particular jumped out at me and it was talking about Learned Helplessness. If you Google it you’ll come up with several different links that are much more detailed and scientific that anything you’ll read below. But I’ll do my best.

Learned Helplessness is when a human or animal is subjected to aversive stimuli which is inescapable. The result is that a person or animal stops trying fight against it and just takes it basically. Things will never change so why even try anymore type of mindset. Even when opportunities exist to get out of the stimuli their learned helplessness will forestall any movement to get away from it.

This concept is geared more towards animal psychology however, it can apply to many situations regarding human beings. The notion is that the lack of control a person experiences breeds a helpless attitude, which in turn will cause a person to overlook openings for change and/or growth.

Steven F. Maier and Martin Seligman were the two psychologist who stumbled upon this discovery. They detected this via an experiment on dogs. They found helpless behavior in canines who were trained to expect an electric shock after hearing a noise. After this conditioning, they placed the dogs in another box where there is one side that would provide an electric shock and another side which provided no shock and the only separator was a very low wall which the dogs could easily walk over to get to the other side. The dog who was conditioned to feel the shock never even attempted to leave the electrocuted side. In another test one of the dogs was harnessed and shocked so the dog was unable to vacate the electrocutable side. (To read the rest of the explanations and different test that were fun visit: http://psychology.about.com/od/lindex/f/earned-helplessness.htm)

Now regarding people. It happens all the time. A person undergoing stress for a prolonged time that is inescapable can Learn Helplessness. It can be a root issue that can lead to depression. Personally, I’ve experienced Learned Helplessness, but not to extremes as some have I’m sure, but I’ve felt it’s twinge in my life. However, my reactions usually show up in other ways like being angry at bad drivers or people who mess up by food order.

Here’s a quick backstory. Growing up I, for the most part, was raised in the ideology that a kid is meant to be seen and not heard(some of you may have grown up with “It’s better not to be seen or heard”). It was not always the case but most of the time it was true. I was the quiet one, who didn’t excel in sports, so I was pretty much dragged along to my brother’s traveling sports team. I was raised not to ask questions therefore, my opinion didn’t matter. This was and is still an issue in my adulthood. Without a voice as a child, I “knew” my voice didn’t matter as an adult. I learned that it was pointless to speak my mind because it was never heeded nor sought out. Now as an adult my wife almost always wants my opinion, she even loves my opinion. This was new to me. I lived so long on the electrocuted, your voice doesn’t matter so why even say anything, side of the box. Growing up hearing my father reply to me asking a question, “Just say, ‘Yes, dad.'” was my harness holding me back. I just went along with things.

Another slight pang of Learned Helplessness I’ve experienced is lack of control in my life. For the Alphas out there it is probably the exact opposite you’ve experience. In the lion’s share of my adult life I was again dragged along with others. I didn’t go to college and didn’t have a career. My parents divorced and my dad moved out so I was lived in our house with my mom and brother. It was a trying time to say the least. Both of them were party animals drinking and partying very late in the evenings when I liked to sleep. I felt totally disregarded. They didn’t give a lick of what I had to say. Then when I called them out on it, I wasn’t a righteous person either, they called me judgmental. So my uncle in MN had ALS so my mom wanted to move out there…so I followed with no real choice. I lived in MN for three years, my cousin passed away, my mom dispersed all her money from selling the house, then she decided to move back to MD…I followed. I felt helpless to make my life’s choices because I didn’t feel I had a choice. Electrocuted again.

Now back in MD I lived with my dad, because I didn’t have a choice. Then moved back in with my mom and brother and the partying commenced but this time at other houses thankfully but unthankfully. Unthankfully because I received a phone call at 2:00 AM saying there was a car accident and my mother was pinned in the car. Harnessed and electrocution. I told my mother that evening to come home. She didn’t listen. Thankfully she is in Our Father’s arms. It took me years to be able to keep my phone on during the night after that. Being as I lived with her and she was no longer alive…I was forced to move once again.

Lack of control is still a pain I feel from time to time. This isn’t the need to control everything but simply having a choice and making a choice. I’m going on 32 and am almost three years into a career that I thought I’d like but ended up not being exactly what I thought. Now it’s not that I don’t like what I do but it is a very high stressful job. My biggest problem is that I care. I want to help people. Fixing computers isn’t really helping people but it does partially pay the bills. Being married presses me onward though because I need to support my wife and any future children. The job is stressful and that is the crux of Learned Helplessness. I care and want things to work but I am given poor tools. It’s like giving me a screwdriver when I need a screw gun. Five months into the job I started getting panic attacks at very random times. Not to mention leaving a church and having a brother and father who didn’t want me to get married, didn’t hear what I had to say, and even tried to split my wife and I up. Mixed in was lies, gossip, triangulation, and never being able to provide the other side of the story.

Now my story isn’t that bad and nowhere near other people’s stories. We can all find places in our life where we’ve Learned Helplessness. The issue here is the “learned” part. It’s very hard to unlearn sometimes. The number one thing to help Unlearn Helplessness would be an incredible conspiracy of grace to come upon you. A conspiracy so profound that it would totally shift your paradigm. Thankfully some do experience it. I envy them. However others do not. For those who don’t, there is one word that will explain the medium for healing and that is process. I do not like process. It’s messy, it disturbs my current reality, and can be quite painful. It takes trust and when it’s hard to trust it’s hard to submit to process. As Wm. Paul Young says in The Shack,

“I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.”

You can’t schedule friendship and friendship is where healing comes from the most. Friendship with God and friendship with His children, our brothers and sisters. Even then it’s incredibly difficult to find friends who are willing to be available. That’s why people have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on counseling or therapy when just having real, available, grace empowered friends would provide the soil for healing. So where do we go from here? Great question!

Pray for willingness. It’s the obstacle that births Learned Helplessness to begin with. We don’t posses the ability to be willing to walk over that small wall to that other side of the box where there are no pangs, twinges, or electrodes. We can’t be willing because we are hurt. Is it no wonder that in Matthew 8:2 the leper asked Jesus,

“Are you willing to make me clean?”

Sometimes we need someone else’s willingness to breath upon the ember of our fading willingness. And what did Jesus do in response? He said,

“I Am willing. Be cleansed!”

Then He reached out and touched him. He reached out. He touched.

Maybe you don’t have any Learned Helplessness…but you know someone who does. Maybe, based upon the Spirit’s movement, it’s time for you to reach out and bring a whole bunch of willingnessness with you. Sometime all someone needs is a touch. A gesture. Intentionality is key. Generally speaking, people know when someone does something intentional. There is usually a cost or sacrifice entailed with it.

Now for those in my boat and so many others what do we do? Is there hope? Are we harnessed somehow? Have we lost the willingness we so desperately need? Like I said above we need to pray. Pray for willingness. God has promised to give us willingness. Philippians 2:13 declares,

For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.

Dearly Beloved God is willing! God is able! Grace is within you whether you know or have experience it or not. Grace and Joy are your inheritance.

Our hurts don’t come prepackaged, so neither will our healing. Our wounds are specific so our healing should be just as specific.

Lets pray.

For your soul:

Father, yes, you are a father despite my experiences that try to tell me otherwise. I have learned helplessness. I’m not speaking death but being real. I’ve been harnessed and electrocuted. I’ve been hurt. The pain is real and I flinch at the smallest things sometimes. I see faith, I see hope, I see joy but they seem so out of reach. But I choose to say, “You are Good.” You are a good Father despite it all. Give me willingness. Holy Spirit breath and birth in me willingness. Send me those who are willing who can walk with me, side by side. Father show me your willingness. Jesus reveal Yourself to me. Show me where you have been throughout my life. Show me that you’ve been with me in this box all along. Apply Your salve. Apply your oil. Heal my soul. Heal my body. Give me back a voice. Give me back my ability of choice. Make my will free again. Father, I ask You to lift off all crushing and shame that’s on my spirit. Lift off rejection from my soul. Release all demonically inspires lies and harassment. Remove the talons of the enemy from my mind. Father, give my soul perspective that in the midst of stress I can choose peace. In the midst of heartache and despair I can walk to the other side of the box and have joy. In the midst of this dark night of the soul I want a bright day of the spirit. Thank you Father for being my Father.

For the spirit:

Soul I recognize the frustration, pain, hurt, and trepidation that you have been experiencing. But, if I may, ask you to step aside for a brief moment. This is not rejection. I am just applying something to the spirit that will assist you along the path of healing. Spirit of _____ I call you to attention in the name of Jesus Christ. Spirit, I understand if you may be distant and afraid to come fully forward and I understand that and I acknowledge your right to feelings of safety. Please stay present throughout this blessing. Spirit if you are fully forward than great. Receive the word of God for you today in Philippians 2:13 , “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. Spirit God has and is giving you willingness to jump to the other side of the box. Where the soul has learned helplessness, spirit you have learned willingness. You are designed to lead, guide, and bring into alignment the soul with the Kingdom and to take all of life’s woes with a more than conqueror mindset. You have the ability to help the soul get free. And spirit only you and the Holy Spirit knows the things of man. The soul does not. I bless you spirit with going to mind and setting things right. Where stress has taken over and damaged the brain, you spirit have the ability to repair. You, spirit, are the sustaining force that God created the whole of man to have. You, along with the Holy Spirit sustain man. Spirit go to the face of the Father and receive instruction, insight, revelation, power, and authority to set things right. Joy, Peace, Love, Faith, Hope are all your forte. It’s who you are. You are created and creative light made from the same substance as God. You are created in His image according to His likeness. You have what it takes. I bless you spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.

I hope this helps. I love people and I want to see them whole, healthy, set free, and walking in the fullness that Jesus died for and God created us for. Be blessed today and for the rest of your life. Let us no longer learn helplessness but to learn willingness to move over and manage, with out spirits and the Holy Spirit, the stress that the worlds brings.

If you’ve read through and I got something wrong please comment below cordially. If you have any insight or tools that may help comment as well.

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