Guest Post ~ Naomi Fata Discerning the voice of guilt

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How often do you hear yourself or someone else saying,  “ I just feel so guilty for not______________”?

Many times we fill in that blank with something we feel we should be doing but aren’t doing or some area we feel we aren’t measuring up to a standard (God’s or men’s).

Among women I find this to be more prominent than men – maybe because guilt is imprinted on our hearts since Eve first ate the forbidden fruit and so for that rest time women feel like it is our fault – we aren’t good enough – the enemy grabs onto our floundering emotions and continues to speak these lies into our minds.

As women we have a standard of perfection – the perfect house – the perfect kids – involvement in every activity under the sun (whether in church or out of church) – if our kids are lagging behind in some area we feel we have failed as a mother and feel guilty that it is our fault. The list goes on and on.

Is there a difference between false guilt and true conviction of the Holy Spirit when we have sinned against our Father? I believe there is. The guideline for me is that repentance of false guilt brings no alleviation to our feelings – conviction brings reconciliation and restoration. When we are convicted of sin and confess our sins He will forgive us and cleanse us (I John 1:9) Also Romans 8:1-4 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (http://biblehub.com/niv/romans/8.htm)

But if you step back for a minute……ask God this question

Is it God’s will for you to continue to live in continual guilt?

Before we can move forward in dealing with our guilt we must understand that God does not intend for us to constantly be in a state of guilt. Jesus died on the cross, paying the price for our sin, bringing us to reconciliation with the Father when we receive Him. Therefore the only time we should feel guilty is if we have sinned and not confessed. Continual guilt that stems from what we think we should be doing or how we think we have failed God’s standard often has to do with a false set of standards.

It is easy to build our Christian lives on standards of involvement with church, attaining holiness and becoming a great Christian. However God’s standard is ‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’  (John 15:4-5) To abide or remain is to fellowship continually with Him – to have our hearts resting in His presence – to be listening to His voice – receiving spiritual food from His Spirit (through the reading of the Word and through our personal relationship with Him)

Guilt can be a form of bondage. I say this from experience. False guilt held me in a place away from the love of God. It had to do with inner issues of insecurity, shame, lack of self-worth. All this comes when we do not know who we are in Christ and therefore do not know how to protect ourselves from the attack of the enemy when he speaks to us as the voice of guilt.

A common problem is that many (including myself at one time) never consider guilt as something that could come from the enemy but always think it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Guilt kills, steals and destroys our fellowship with God. And false guilt has no avenue to reconciliation because repentance of false guilt only brings further condemnation rather than restoration to fellowship. Often this false guilt has more to do with a vague sense that we should be doing better for Christ than a true conviction of sin which comes from disobeying God’s law.

Once we know the truth about guilt – that it is not God’s will for us to live in a continual state of guilt – we have a choice.

We can choose to continue to live in the condemnation of guilt which is also choosing to deny the power of the cross, through which we can be set free from this bondage. Or we can choose to go to God moment by moment, day by day, asking Him to give us the power through His Spirit to discern between false guilt and true conviction. We can diligently seek to work with Him to renew our minds with truth, counteracting the enemies’ lies with the truth of Scripture. We can read books written by godly people which will help us recognize our inner issues which may have been feeding our guilt.

The choice is ours – what will we choose?

 Naomi writes for Christian Resource Ministry you can find her here : http://naomifata.com/

Cross:  http://www.freefoto.com/preview/05-08-5/Cross-on-a-Hill

Dark clouds: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/20000/nahled/dark-clouds-1300481177Gy4.jpg

Fantastic Friday: Eight Gifts You Can Give For Free

nesschesters:

Guest Post ~ Eight Gifts you can give for free #kindness #love

Originally posted on Simply Life:

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Giving is the greatest reward.

One of the best things I think we can do for one another is give of ourselves. When we give of ourselves we give from the heart and when we give from the heart it reaches the heart and those are usually the most treasured gifts of all.  And also the most rewarding for the giver.  I found an awesome writing on eight gifts that do not cost a cent on inspirational archive.com. Check it out below I think you’ll like it ;=)

1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING…
But you must REALLY listen.
No interrupting, no daydreaming,
no planning your response.
Just listening.

2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION…
Be generous with appropriate hugs,
kisses, pats on the back, and hand holds.
Let these small actions demonstrate the
love you have for family and friends.

3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER…
Clip cartoons.
Share articles and funny…

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dear vanessa ~ A New DAY!

nesschesters:

Dear Vanessa ~ a new day #cancer #trustinGod #prayer

Originally posted on a beautiful life ministry:

july new  day vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

I have had horrible news a close friend to me has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.   I am at a loss, she is a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend.   I feel like I can’t breathe, and do not understand the why…  Part of me feels like, how did I get so lucky? And then the other part is breaking.   God why?

Lost & Broken

Dearest Lost & Broken,

We understand.   All of us, at some moment in our lives, have been in a place where our breath has been taken away.    In those moments, we hope that things would change or we could go back to a place where we didn’t feel the hurt.

This is a broken world, but we can be restored through love, hope and joy… And Him.

We are not meant to understand the “why’s”, but I do believe we are meant…

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As Season’s Change, We Change

Picture for Relationships

Change…

I am thankful for the changes that take my breath away, where I feel so happy I can burst at the seams or the times where the hurt is so bad that I cry out for help.   These have been the moments that have contributed to a greater focus in my life, and by the grace of God, He has provided me a looking glass of what He has planned for me.  

My focus has changed, and I have realized that I need to take care of my health first and foremost so that I can extend myself for others. In nurturing myself, I want to start and end my day with Him and maintain the close connection.   I can only do this if my life is not overextended.

I have also realized that my relationship with my husband is one of the greatest gifts. He was made just for me, and I should never take that for granted.   I should nurture this relationship as much as I can.  

Two other gifts that have been given to me are my precious sons, I am so thankful for the lessons as a parent. I choose to be plugged into their lives, and this means choosing the “right” balance for us as a family (with Gods guiding hand).    

My broader family, the ones that are close, are meant to be held close.   We are joined to support and love one another.  

And then my extended family, my friends that will be there through the sunshine and the rain.    

My priorities seem simple, but I live a messy life like most.   This messy life has its challenges and many times I feel torn between all of the priorities.     I have also found that as I have changed my priorities, some relationships have changed.   Makes sense doesn’t it?   If we change as people, we will bring into our life the people that are willing to change or adapt with us.

It has been hard at times, because I have had to let go of some relationships.   Relationships should not be forced, they should be welcomed and wanted.   Has there been a time in your life where you have felt like you had to force something?   How did you feel? For me, when I have to force something I don’t feel like myself.   Don’t get me wrong, all relationships require work in some way, but when you feel like the work is all on one side and doesn’t start from a place of love – it may be time to let go.

Change isn’t easy, but if you feel good about the changes, then keep riding the waves.   I truly believe the changes in our life are created for good.

Have you experienced some relationship challenges or changes in your life that revealed good? Consider leaving a comment and sharing your experience.

 

 

 

dear vanessa ~ Parenting Guilt

nesschesters:

Do you have parenting guilt? #parenting #guilt

Originally posted on a beautiful life ministry:

June parenting guilt

Dear Vanessa,

There are times where I feel like I am winning the parent of the year award and then times when I look in the mirror and am disappointed.   I look at those moms that seem to have it all together or those dads  that seem to always be happy….  I wonder if they are really that way all the time?   And then I think do I measure up?  Feeling like a failure today.

Brit

Dearest Brit,

Life can seem that way at times.   It’s funny, before I became a parent I remember seeing that mom in Walmart, yelling at her child.  I thought to myself geesh doesn’t she know how to discipline her children.  I am not proud of that moment, but until I had children I did not fully understand.

Judgement…

Until you walk a mile in some else’s shoes, you do not truly see where…

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Are you feeling overwhelmed? Take one step forward.

image (2)All of us, at some moment in our lives have been in a place where our breath has been taken away.    In those moments, we hope that things would change or we could go back to a place where we didn’t feel the hurt.  

This is a broken world, but we can be restored through love, hope and joy… through Him.

We are not meant to understand the “why’s”, but I do believe we are meant to experience these moments in our lives.   They build us, they help us realize the love we have deep inside for a friend, a family member, and these moments give us hope for the better.   

Many years ago I read a book by Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.  The book provides a snapshot of the experiences of this amazing holocaust survivor.  

He says, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

We cannot control what happens in this life, all we can control is how we respond.  I am reminded of this daily.

                The child that has to endure another chemo treatment.

                I can support the family through prayer, and provide a meal to help ease the pain.

                The mother who doesn’t know how long she is here.

                Be an ear, listen, give my heart and pray.

                The friend that just lost their job.

                Support, love, and give where I can.  Pray.

                Children a world away that have to live without clean water.

                Ask myself, can I spare $40 a month?  Can I sponsor this child? Pray for sunshine for this child.

                The mother, father, father in law, mother in law that are ageing, changing, that we love so much.

                Pick up the phone, extend yourself, help where you can, live, love fully and pray.

                Balancing family and life demands, looking for help.

                Pray for prioritization, refocus, pause, breathe.  PRAY.

He is there listening to us.    Waiting, wanting us to breathe and pray.

Notes from the Road ~ fuel for the journey

nesschesters:

Guest post by Lisa ~ running out of Gas?!

Originally posted on a beautiful life ministry:

june bonking

Out of Gas?

Can’t pedal one more rotation?

Poor, or no preparation for long journeys is never a good idea. When planning a long or arduous ride, the road warrior will load up on carbs the night before as well as in the morning, for he/she knows that if the body isn’t fueled up properly, it will hit a wall before the journey’s end.

Road bikers call it bonking, and it occurs when every bit of stored up energy has been used by your muscles, to the point that you just want to sit down and cry. In order to prepare well for such a trip, the rider needs to carb load beforehand. And if it is a particularly hard or long journey, carb loading is necessary the night before as well.

Improper preparation will leave the rider worn, weary and hurting, for some time to come.  Recovery in this kind of…

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