From Self-esteem to God-esteem

From_Self-esteem_to__Cover_for_KindleSpecial Christmas pricing!

Go to the site and enter discount code 28QZESR5 and receive $3.00 off the list price of $12.95. This offer is only good until January 16.

 

Looking for a Christmas gift for a special Christian friend? “From Self-esteem to God-esteem” is a reminder to mature Christians everywhere of the journey from salvation to righteousness.
Do you know someone who recently accepted Christ as their Savior? This book will help them over some of the bumps in the road as they start their Christian walk.

https://www.createspace.com/4851082

 

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From Self-esteem to God-esteem

I’m saved, now what?

How do I pray?
What if I sin?
Which church should I join?
What is the role of the Holy Spirit?

These questions and many more are visited by the author as she takes you along on her journey from salvation to righteousness.

Righteousness is a living process and every Christian has questions about how they are to live in order to put God’s desires, needs and esteem over our own.

Whether you have been saved for many years or a few seconds, this book will give you the map for God to lead you on your own journey From Self-esteem to God-esteem.

My new book, “From Self-esteem to God-esteem” will be published by Christmas. If you would like to pre-order this book, please go towww.prayersforprodigals.com. The book will be $15.95 on Amazon, but pre-sales price is 13.95 (including US shipping where needed)

Excuse me, but where did you go to school?

NC-TN 2012 149

“Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. The people were surprised when they heard Him. “How does He know so much when He hasn’t been trained?” they asked. So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.”

We have become so enthralled with education that we have almost put half of America out of work. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was a high school English teacher for 13 years and I thank God for that opportunity to help grow those young adults into knowledgeable men and women. I even headed up the counseling office that helped them get through all the necessary testing and led them through the maze of available higher education options so that they would be ready to go further in their learning.

Higher education is definitely a good start on making it in our world today; and many countries know that America has some of the best educational opportunities available and send their brightest students here to study. I am proud of America for caring enough to encourage a good education.

What I am not so proud of is how we are often limiting the called of God in our quest to only recognize a degree as the standard for speaking to and leading God’s people. So many of our churches are missing out on great, God-called teaching because their first requirement for a pastor is a seminary degree. The call on a person’s life to speak God’s Word should come from the Holy Spirit and not from a man-designated requirement. And if the elders, deacons or committee of the church are truly called by God to their position, they will recognize the call on the person they are interviewing. They will see if they are getting knowledge responses or Holy Spirit led responses to their questions. But wait, what questions should they ask? What should we truly be looking for in a preacher or speaker or pastor?

First and foremost is, does this person’s life portray a desire to follow Christ’s example? Do they reflect the grace that God has given them through Christ’s sacrifice? Not, have they never committed a sin, but do they live a life of humility because they know they are sinners saved only by the grace of God.

Second, where do they feel they have received the most learning for their lives? If they respond with a list of degrees, then it tells me that their knowledge is top priority over the Holy Spirit leading them what to say.

Oh, I know the we have to have certain guidelines for choosing our pastors and leaders for the church, but so often we, like David’s family, overlook those truly called by God to lead His people. Next time you feel led to ask someone to speak or preach, ask the Holy Spirit to show you if this is of Him instead of asking to see their diploma.

From Self-esteem to God-esteem.

I have made some progress on my next book and would like your comments, constructive criticism, suggestions. Here is the link https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1152343.

I am also looking to use some of the feedback for the back jacket so please let me if you are ok with me using your name.

Thanks, friends, I appreciate you!

A Thorough Cleansing

“Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.l” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

Jeshua was a priest who had returned from Captivity. He was unclean and unfit to help build the Lord’s temple. He was covered with sin and filth of the world and no one wanted to be around him, or so Satan wanted him to feel. But God stepped forward and rebuked Satan. God knew Satan’s ploy was to try to discourage Jeshua and thereby delaying the building of the temple.

God described Jeshua as “a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” My husband loves to build fires in the fire-pit on our deck, and we love to hold sticks crammed full of marshmallows over the hot coals. As you turn the coals the outside gets all brown and crusty while the inside gets warm and gooey. Sometimes, if you don’t have the marshmallow all the way to the end of the stick, the end will get charred and a cinder will build up making it hard to get the marshmallow off without including some of the nasty tasting, burned stick along with the gooey goodness of the marshmallow. But if you take a minute and scrape that char away, you will find that there is a clean part of the stick that is not burned and the tasty morsel will just slide off into your mouth. Just like that burned stick, God knew there was good underneath the dirty, nasty filth on the outside and the angel started peeling away the layers to make Jeshua ready to serve God.

Our prodigals are also like that burned stick. Even after they become clean, they still look dirty to the world and Satan is ready and waiting to point this out to them. The devil will do anything to keep our loved ones from serving God, and a recovering addict is an easy target for his accusations. Our loved ones have literally been to Hell and back by the time they are through detox. Through rehab they have suffered, fallen back, been covered with hatred for themselves and vomited until there was nothing left inside. If our loved ones can go through this and make a commitment to stay sober, then we need to take the role of the angel and help them to start removing the dirt of the world. Speak the Word of God to them so that they don’t start believing the lies of Satan. It will be a slow process until our prodigal child will see that God loves them and is preparing them to serve Him. But with the help of those who have been there, and the support of us, the families, those layers of dirt will fall to the ground. Do you know that one testimony of a recovering addict to someone who has only just started can be just the encouragement that is needed for that day’s struggle?

It is hard for families to trust once trust is broken, but with God all things that make us stronger are possible. Every Prayers for Prodigals meeting that I attend has at least one family member asking how they can start to trust again. All I can say is that as long as our prodigal is living, there is hope. Along with that hope must come our strong faith in the God who sees beyond the dirt. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us in helping our loved ones to stay clean. For God’s sake and theirs.

God Looks at the Heart

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“…People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”                 I Samuel 16:7b

Have you ever noticed how family and friends are the hardest to right a wrong with? No matter how many years it has been since you drove the car through Grandpa’s pumpkin patch, someone is going to bring it up at the next family gathering. And no matter that you now have a doctorate degree, someone is going to remember that you failed first grade. Am I the only one with family and friends like that? Oh, it doesn’t bother me, I know who I was and who I am now, and so does God.

My heart goes out to those who have made even bigger mistakes, though. The world gets us down and wants to keep us there. We are constantly reminded of who we once were and if we don’t let God change us, really change us, we can fall right back where we were. The world wants us to believe that there is no hope, and there IS no hope in the world. But God is bigger than the world, and He is the Hope.

God does His work invisibly. He can change the hardest heart. He can heal the deepest addict. And He will. But the change happens on the inside and when we look at the outside, we still see the same person. And we doubt. How can we know our loved one is changed? Is there something we look for? Yes, we look for Jesus in their lives.

We look for compassion and humility. We look for selflessness and true repentance. And we look at where their strength comes from. We look at the same things that God looks at.

When I picked the rose in the picture above, I felt like I had the perfect rose. Each petal was perfectly shaped, a slight, gentle curve where new growth was taking place. And I thought, only God could make something so beautiful. And that was when it came to me; God was in the rose. If I only looked at the outside, I would miss the true beauty. I don’t want to do that with my prodigal child.

No matter what the outside is saying or doing, I want to see the beauty inside. I want to see the true healing that only Jesus can bring. And I want to believe.

Look closely at your loved one; look closely at the rose.

 

Unexpected Blessings

I stood, with tears in my eyes, and listened intently  as my father-in-law sang every word of “Old Rugged Cross”. Why was that such a blessing? This beloved man is 80 years old and in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Most days he doesn’t even know who he is.

My husband and I became the caregivers when his wife of 41 years passed away. We had no idea the pain and frustration she was going through and there is not a day goes by when I don’t tell her I’m sorry for not understanding. She was 84 when she passed away and on the day that she drew her last breath I leaned down and looked into her eyes, “You’re tired, aren’t you,” I whispered. She barely nodded her head, but I could tell that she was ready to accept that final rest.10328138_322491417904165_1365438147_o

I call him “Pop.” Before he came to live with us I just called him by his name. What is the difference? I feel like I’ve grown to know him so much better now than I did the whole 36 years I’ve been married to his son. It’s a shame that we let so much time go by before we really see the people that we love. We are too busy raising families, working and preparing for a future that wouldn’t even be ours if these precious people had not been a part of us. It’s almost like all the layers have been stripped away and we can see the man. He pats our dog’s head gently as he tells us about the hunting dogs his Dad had. And he laughs when he tells us that they always shot the rabbits, not the dogs.

Then he’ll ask sadly where his wife is and where was he before he came here. We surrounded his room with memories: pictures of his brother and sister when they were younger; his Mom and Dad, and he and his wife. And you should have seen his face when I showed him the high school diploma I found in his things. He told me all about how he had to quit school and go to work in the 10th grade, then while working at Kroger he lived across from Norwood (Ohio) High School so he took night classes to graduate. It took him three years, but he did it. “That is something to be proud of, isn’t it, Pop?” He beamed as he nodded his head, “Yes. Yes, it is.”

We have learned that Pop had a motorcycle when he first went to work. That he delivered newspapers on a bicycle. And when his Dad purchased two horses, he and his brother rode those horses all the way across Knoxville to their home! “Cars kept honking their horns and we just waved,” he laughed. Pop has a beautiful laugh.

Some people don’t understand what happens when a loved one starts living in whatever memories they have. Some people want to “fix” them. I am learning that you can’t fix what isn’t broken. God has allowed my hubby and me to see a whole new side of Pop. It has been an adjustment all around, but I can honestly say that there have been some very good times in the adjustment.

Pop goes to church with us each Sunday and I hold the hymnal on one side and he holds the other. I know that he can’t read the pages, but he knows almost every song by heart. I don’t know what tomorrow holds; my prayer is that we can continue to provide a home for Pop as long as God allows him to live. One thing I do know is that we are blessed to have this moment in time.