Have you ever heard of something that sounds too good to be true? Someone might even chime in with, “In my experience if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” What if believing that thought holds you back from stepping into something new that God wants to use to bring you more freedom? After all, that is why He came. (Galatians 5:1)Continue reading
PART 2 OF WHAT TPM IS AND IS NOT – EMOTIONAL PAIN CAN BE YOUR FRIEND
Have you ever cried out to God in the midst of your emotional pain and said things like . . .
- I just want the pain to stop!
- I can’t go on like this. The pain is just too much!
- Lord, please take this pain away NOW!!!! I can’t take it any more!
I’ve been there, too. We probably all have been. What I have learned in my training to be a TPM Mentor is that some pain we experience is truth-based and some is lie-based.Continue reading
Have you ever been in a place where you were sick and tired of . . .
- fear that paralyzes you?
- having the same tired lies keeping you from doing what you know God is calling you to do?
- reading God’s Word and knowing in your head it’s true, but it doesn’t FEEL true in your experience?
- _____________________ ? (Fill in the blank with anything that causes you pain)
That is where I was about a decade ago when God introduced me to a type of prayer that today is known as Transformation Prayer Ministry. On the outside most people probably thought I had it mostly together, but on the inside, I was a hot mess a lot of the time. I felt as if I had heavy chains weighing me down and I didn’t know how to break free. (I shared about that part of my story here.)
Transformation Prayer Ministry or TPM has been a tool that The Holy Spirit has used to help me uncover the true, authentic Barbara which was a cry of my heart from a place of intense anguish.
He can do the same for you! Let me introduce you to this resource.Continue reading
Are there any Bible stories that make you want to throw your Bible across the room sometimes? Take the story of Mary and Martha in Luke. Don’t we all know that it’s a good thing to sit at Jesus’ feet and soak in His words? You may be thinking – if I slow down, then how is _______ and ______ and _____ (you fill in the blanks) going to get done?
Lean in and I’ll share about an insignificant word from the story of Mary and Martha that I believe has the power to transform our way of doing life in the midst of busyness.
USE THE WORDS THAT MAKE SENSE
I am reading a book right now called Holy in the Moment. The author, Ginger Harrington, just added to my vocabulary and I couldn’t be happier than to have this brand new word that The Holy Spirit is using to soothe my soul right now. I know when I get ready to type my new word, the red squiggly line will appear taunting me to fix it. But I don’t have to listen to my spell checker. I know what I mean and this is a good word. Thanks Ginger!
HOW DID I GET HERE?
My sister used to call this pace of life that I am in at the present time, being in production, since her daughter was part of the theater world. Many times I know that it is coming and I try to prepare to avoid it, but often it sneaks up on me. Can you relate at all or is it just me?
It seems that every few months I find myself in a familiar place of too much/overwhelmed/gotta get it done state. If I just put one foot in front of the other and mark off things on my to-do list, the status quo remains stable. [Look closely, you may not see it but I know it’s there – the absence of anyone else working with me, namely Jesus.]
Here we go again – me being overwhelmed but not acknowledging it and just pushing through the list. Just stay out of my way – I can get it done!
Then bam! All of the hours I spent working on a lesson for our Bible Club curriculum – gone! I did it again! I forgot to save the download from my sweet co-worker who is helping me before I began making changes. Where does this stuff go? I did all of the searches I knew to do this morning through teary eyes after another short night of sleep. Guess what I found? NOTHING – NADA! I felt myself spiraling down and running through a multitude of if only and how will I ever scenarios?
JESUS CAUGHT ME!
Praise God – I landed on a ledge instead of falling to the bottom of the pit. The Holy Spirit prompted me to remember Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Or as Frank Friedmann from Grace Life Fellowship in Baton Rouge teaches, it really means “I will rest you”. Whew! What a relief. All we have to do is “COME”. The rest is up to God.
SECOND GLANCE AT MARY AND MARTHA
I think that part of “resting me” this morning was to bring to my remembrance a page from Holy in the Moment where Ginger pointed out a seemingly insignificant word in the story of Mary and Martha. Like Ginger, I have had thoughts that I need to slow down and be like Mary. I’m doing too much. The rhythm of my life is off.
I know those thoughts are true, but that doesn’t help me right now in the middle of this too much/overwhelmed/just gotta get it done state. When I’m in the middle of this mindset, sure I have thoughts like Calgon take me away! But what if there was an alternative. What if you really don’t have the extra minutes to spend extended time with Jesus marinating in His Word or just being still and knowing Him without a list a mile long?
WHAT? WHERE DID THAT WORD COME FROM?
Maybe you don’t have to take sides in the Mary vs. Martha debate. Have you ever noticed the word ALSO in that text? (Don’t read it in the NIV because it’s missing.) Maybe everybody else has noticed this word except me.
Is there really a side to be on in the Mary vs. Martha debate?
I love the tense that Ginger used next. She said, “Mary is also-ing”. There, that’s it! We don’t have to stop life in order to enjoy Jesus’ presence. We can be also-ing. (That just makes me smile.)
Ginger went on to say that “Mary shows us a position of the heart – quiet, seated, listening, and present – making the most of the opportunity to learn from Christ.”
She also references Matthew 6:6 when Jesus tells us to “go into your inner room” when you pray. Ginger challenges the reader with, “What if your inner room is a condition of the heart, rather than a space on the schedule, a place in the house or a formula for spiritual growth?”
I love the imagery that my mind concocts as I read her summary:
SOUL REST IS INNER-ROOM LIVING IN A BUSY WORLD.
SWEET: INNER-ROOM LIVING
Doesn’t that make you just sigh deeply as the words draw you inside to your inner-room. Right there is where you and your Papa can meet and together move through your to-do list or whatever that thing is that is inhibiting your soul rest. Ahh! Also-ing at its finest!
Do you think it takes God by surprise that I lost hours of work? Nope. He allowed it because He knew that’s what it would take to get my attention. Do I wish I didn’t have to redo the work I did last night? Yep. Would I go through it all again to find peace in my soul and learn the lesson of also-ing? Yep.
We can read God’s word over and over but until we have experiential knowledge of it (gnosko), it probably won’t transform our life the way it is intended to do. It will remain as head knowledge.
I guarantee you that I will never forget my new word: also-ing. Will I find myself in a place of too much/overwhelmed/gotta get it done state again? Probably, ‘cause I tend to be a slow learner. But now The Holy Spirit and I have another experience that He can remind me of when I have veered away from abiding in Him.
I can’t wait to hear your stories of also-ing. Please share so others can be encouraged by ways you have experienced your union with God in your “also-ingness.” (Can I say that?)
When you think of love, who or what comes to mind? A loving and doting grandmother? A mom or dad who tucked you in every night and assured you with words meant just for your ears – “I love you to the moon and back”? Maybe you think of how much you love your children or spouse. Regardless to who or what came to mind, set that aside for a moment and consider perfect love.
When you think of perfect love does your mind shift at all? Maybe you had the thought that only God can love perfectly. That is true, but the truth about you may just blow your socks off.
Geoff Bynum, the pastor at the Vineyard Church in Katy, TX just preached an amazing message on perfect love. Just warning you – if you choose to listen, it might not be what you are thinking. Just sayin’. . . (The message is actually called “Vision 2019: Part 4” recorded on February 10, 2019)Continue reading
Have you ever had thoughts about desiring to be in God’s will? Maybe you have even been desperate to be in His will. Were you ever fearful of making the wrong decision about big things such as which job to take, which person to marry, or if you should move? Or possibly you made a decision but the results weren’t as positive as you expected, so you entertained the idea that maybe you didn’t hear correctly from God – were out of His will.
Anytime I hear someone speaking about being in God’s will I am transported back to a Children’s Pastors’ Conference years ago when 3 friends and I heard Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales speak about this.Continue reading
Do you have a community of believers that you are doing life with? If you are like me, I have had thoughts of joining a Life Group, but usually dismiss it because of the time commitment or maybe it’s because it’s more comfortable to stay home on a Friday night.
On occasion I have been part of short-term Bible studies and did find them rewarding and challenging, but the long-term commitment has never been there. I guess I weighed the costs and possibly thought the investment of time was too great.
GOD HAS UNIQUE WAYS OF DRAWING US INTO THE NEXT STEP ON OUR JOURNEY
Recently, God orchestrated a few encounters that have caused me to think more seriously about being involved in a consistent small group. I’d like to share a few of those stories with you in hopes of encouraging you.Continue reading
Have you ever considered that you may have solutions in place that could be acting as roadblocks and preventing forward movement in areas of your life where you have sincere desires for transformation?
When I use the word “solutions” I am referencing a part of the transformation prayer ministry process. The definition on transformationprayer.org describes a solution as “a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation.” Click here to read more about solutions.
Recently I had an experience that is a good example of how a solution can operate “on your behalf” without you even being aware of it.