How to Live the Christian Life

A Fresh Look at the Christian Life

As a believer have you ever had thoughts like, Why does the Christian life seem so hard? I read God’s Word and try to do what it says, but it’s just not working. Maybe that’s because you were never designed to live the Christian life in the first place.

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What is the Reality for a Believer in Christ?

One reality for a believer in Christ is you are connected to THE VINE.

Don’t you find it incredible that the instant you became a believer in Christ, you became one with God? That is mind-blowing to me, but the scriptures are clear on that. 1 Corinthians 6:17 is a good example – “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”

You may be wondering what that even means for you? This post and the ones to come will spell out your new reality as a believer in Christ.

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Is it Really Possible to Be One with God?

When you heard the invitation to accept Jesus to be your Savior did you understand fully why you needed Him and what your new reality would be once you made that decision?

You possibly heard that you’re a sinner and when you die you will be thrown into the pits of hell and live forever separated from God. You knew that you needed your sins forgiven so that you could one day go to heaven and live eternally with God. So you made that decision of faith and your name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

That is my story. I was at a revival as a youth, and felt compelled to walk the aisle when the invitation was given. I knew I was desperate for Jesus, but I was really clueless of the magnitude of that decision I made.

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God’s Word is True but What if it Does Not FEEL True?

Have you ever been reading God’s Word and you come across a scripture that you know must be true because it’s in the Bible. You are 100% certain that God’s Word is infallible, but the scripture doesn’t FEEL true for you? You can see how it would be true for others, but you know the real you, right? You know the history that you and God have and He has not always proven trustworthy.

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Is Transformation Prayer Ministry too Good to Be True?

Part 4: Is TPM too good to be true or is it the real deal?

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)

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How to Get Relief When You’ve Tried it All

Part 3 – How TPM Can Provide Relief from Emotional Pain

What do you do when you have gone to counseling, read a multitude of self-help books, and tried every 5 step method to get relief from the emotional pain and yet it’s still there.

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How Can I Make the Emotional Pain Stop?

Part 2 – How Emotional Pain Can Be Your Friend

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.

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How Can Transformation Prayer Ministry Help Me?

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.

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Is There Really a Side to Be On in the Mary vs. Martha Debate?

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?

“Mary, which ALSO sat at Jesus’ feet.”

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.

YOUR TURN

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?)

What’s the Deal about God Being Perfect Love?

What does God’s perfect love have to do with me?

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)

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