February 7th - One-on-one ministry time with Linda in Los Angeles, CA.
February 10th - MY BIRTHDAY!! Pray for me on this day, that would be the greatest gift I could get.
March 13-15th - Ladies 3-day conference in Mt. Aukum, CA.
May 2 - 1 Day Seminar - Hilltop Community Church, Vallejo. Open to the public.
For more information on these seminars, please visit the seminars page.
A Pain in the Neck!
I have to tell you something that happened to me in hopes to help you when you get a "pain in the neck." Some of us experience stiff necks, or aching necks, tenseness, etc. And I hope my story will help you find your release when that happens.
I have been given an opportunity to create a training session to teach at the church I attend. I'm fairly new at the church, I've attended classes, attended women's meetings, etc., but haven't really gotten involved in anything particular. With my own ministry, I haven't been eager to commit to anything yet. But, in the area of teaching, I am always open for that opportunity. Well, it finally came. We were given an opportunity to submit an outline of a class we would like to teach. I was so excited because I haven't had a chance to share with the leadership what I teach in Life Application Ministries. There just hasn't been a door opened for that, but here's that door.
I was so excited, I have so much to talk about that will help people find freedom from fear. I've called the class "Fearless Living." Something I think we can all use to help defeat the enemy in our lives because I believe we all have some fear we are still wanting to be free from. My first task was to develop an outline. As I began working, I was "thinking" about what I should write about. What would the pastor write? What would he say? And as time went on, I was getting somewhat frustrated. I would work hours on it, and I felt like I was getting deeper and deeper, my one page outline turned into 12 pages and it was getting very confusing. I wasn't enjoying this, it was HARD! I was consumed. I was 'trying' to write something in a way that it would be "approved" of by the board at this church. So about the 2nd day of this, I began asking God to help me write this. But, my head would still bring up the pastor's face. This went on for a couple of more days until finally I had to say. "God, I keep thinking of the pastor's face. I have to stop trying to write for him, but write for you. If they don't want me to teach after reviewing what I write, then so be it. But I need to write according to what is on my heart, not what I "think" man wants." God has showed me in that moment that I was "driving myself to please and be accepted by man." I didn't realize I was doing this! Yes, I still get to take tests!
Also, during this time I was experiencing a very bad neck pain, so severe I almost went to the doctor. I began asking God to heal me, and yet it was still the same, day after day. I prayed over my neck, and layed hands on it, but no avail. I wasn't sure what was going on. So one morning when I just couldn't stand it any longer I asked God, "Why is my neck not getting healed?" I then confessed to Him that I wondered why he held back my healing. I didn't realize it but I was disappointed in God for not healing me as I knew I had the faith to be healed. So I repented to God for accusing Him for not healing me. I confessed that I blamed Him. Yes, I still have to go through things like this from time to time even though I teach this stuff. So then what happened after that was a miracle. After confessing my heart to the Lord, and being restored to Him. He then helped me see the trut -- that I did this to myself!
He began showing me a play back of the accounts of the previous weeks. I had so wanted to teach this class that I got "fear of man" all over me and began writing in fear. I was "thinking" about how the pastor would write, and what he should say. The interesting thing is that I don't know what the pastor would say. So as I realized that I repented to God that I had "fear of man" and "trying to please man." After I confessed all these things the Lord showed me even more. My neck ache started when I was in "fear of man." The minute I saw that, I repented to God. And cast out all thoughts of the pastor and began writing the curriculum with God in mind, not man. And twala.. things changed.
My neck began mending expeditiously. Peace was restored because when you are in "fear of man" or "driven to please man" there is a hightened state of anxiety and frustration associated with it. So now that I'm doing this curriculum for God, my whole body was released and the pain in my neck subsided. I'm no longer "thinking" of how to be witty or wonderful in my writings, but just from my heart the Word of Truth. because even if I don't use it for this class, I am going to use it for seminars I conduct.
I wanted to share this with you (exposing my weaknesses again) because many of our ailments could be caused by our own selves. We don't even realize this. We immediately blame God or someone else, when it was us all along. As God showed me it was me, He also gave me some tools to apply to my life. #1 - He showed me that I was sitting in an awkward position while writing on my computer. So I was actually straining my body as well as my neck because of the posture. And He was right. I had to use another PC for the time being and it wasn't set up ergonomically. But I worked anyway, and caused a lot of my own pain. #2) To use a hot pad to eliminate the pain - it really helped too. 3) To keep my mind on pleasing Him rather than man. 4) And when I begin to get tense again, repent! All these things resulted in my healing! Not only did God deliver me, but I was part of that healing by making some changes myself. Repent is to confess and turn from whatever it is. Because as the saying goes, "Insanity (bondage) is doing something the same way hoping for a different outcome." So I changed my positioning at the computer, and I changed my thinking! And working together with God on this, changed the way I wrote the curriculum. I remember Him telling me that writing the curriculum is supposed to be fun. Well, it wasn't, not until I realized what was going on. And when I applied all that the Lord showed, me the joy came back and I began having fun again. The writing just flowed and I have looked forward to working on it each and every time!
So, I ask you. in the midst of your turmoil or pain or suffering, what are you thinking and how are you doing it?
As you read this, realize that I work with so many in this same situation. Even though it sounds like you... it's not you specifically.
Tom and I were driving into town and I love it because we have a lot of time to talk... well, I do most of the talking. And so this time I had a question I needed to ask and I thought who better but to ask my husband. I began sharing with him how I am working with a lady whoses marriage wasn't very good. This woman doesn't feel loved but feels like a sex object. She isn't happy and even sleeps in another room, cringing at the fact of having sex with her husband. She doesn't love him very much, never really did, but the fact remains she was married and didn't want to get a divorce. They have been married for five years. She wants to love him, she wants to be a good wife, but she just can't. This man is very nice to her, he's attenative, does anything she wants for him to do around the house without hesitation, but this one area of intimacy she can't do. She doesn't trust him, he's flirty with other women, things like that.
He responded by telling me this is about her lust. I was a bit put back by that and asked him what he meant. Because he knew this person I was talking about he said, "I knew of her previous relationships, and each of them, including her husband now, has a perversion about them. They are very lustful. She attracks people who are lustful. She so wants to be desired that her desire to be desired is "lust" to those who are attracted to her." I thought for a minute and said, "You may be right. She is always buying beautiful things and looks so beautiful all the time, anyone would desire her." And then my husband said, "She looks good on the outside because the inside is not so good." Then he continued, "That desire to be desired gets perverted and those desiring her turns to "lust". So the very thing she desires gets turned around." He said it this way: She wants to be desired, it attracks lustful men, then the lust turns into perversion, and the very thing she desires she rejects. It's a vicious cycle.
So as I thought about it for a bit. Then my question came. So, how do you get rid of lust?
Within seconds he responded. "Have love first. it takes the lust away! Lust is self-centerdness, seeking to serve selfish desires, but love is not, it seeks to serve the other. When we love, it overcomes lust." Then he said, "I desire you, I don't lust after you because I love you." This brought a tear to my eye because he continues to amaze me of how much he loves me.
That's my husband, says a one-liner that sums it all up. And he is so right on!
Well, in this person's life this is true. She doesn't feel loved by her husband, she herself isn't "in love" with him either. So the love that she desires isn't love, but lust, in both of them.
So then I thought how can they be set free and have a holy, consecrated loving marriage?
First we need to understand that Love, Lust, Desire are ALL separate. In this situation, they were all mingled and confused. And that it's going to take an act of their will working with God's will to restore this marriage relationship to holiness and cleanliness. That comes by repenting our own hearts in the area of love, lust and desires. Even though the woman is "feeling" lusted over, it's because there is lust in her too. She also has to confess this. There is a need to be desired and needed. They need to coming clean before each other, be honest and transparent, and ask God to forgive them, and heal them and restore them. All that inner turomoil has to be healed before both individuals find peace and love within each other.
In ministry, I mostly work with the women. And when a women's heart is healed toward her husband, and all peace is restored, it actually causes the marraige to be healed too! It just seems to work that way. I explain it this way, if there isn't all that junk in one of the marriage partners, then the junk in the other has no where to go, but bounces off and both are made free! But as long as the junk is in both, the enemy plays ping-pong-ball with their lives.