BE FREE BY BEING CONTROLLED

Oxymorons are figures of speech in which seemingly contradictory words appear side by side to describe a concept. They are often humorous and intriguing. Like Jumbo shrimp, harmless crime and even non-fat ice cream. When you first see the title “be free by being controlled” sounds impossible. You are probably thinking, “Isn’t the definition of freedom the ability to self-rule without restrictions or controls; or the release from captivity or slavery?” We see in the news many people fleeing their country and migrating to other countries, including the U.S. The problem is not the migrating but the issue is that many people want to come to a country without submitting or obeying the laws of that country. This is a lesson we see clearly and learn frequently throughout life. Obeying the rules or controls of the land provides freedom from the confines of prison. Submitting to your teacher’s control, instruction, learning principles and strategy allows greater freedom to choose the college or vocation you want. Submitting to your coach’s control provides you more freedom from anxiety, pressure and fear when you face a difficult opponent. Submitting to the control of a theatre director or music teacher produces great freedom to explore the art, maximize your expressiveness and freely become the art form. The same is true spiritually. As you submit to the Holy Spirit, stop fighting the way of God, put on the daily armor and let the Holy Spirit guide you in making the right choices in your life. You then become free from the world and are supernaturally empowered by God to achieve your unlimited God-given potential. You are increasingly released from the control and condemnation of sin and then free to truly become the one He created you to be and live the abundant life Christ died for. Today, look at the controls in your life that allow you freedom. Be thankful. Then, look at areas in your life that aren’t working out well. Anything that we are indebted to controls us. Paul wrote, “owe no man anything except a debt of love.” As you move into the year 2019, jettison any emotional baggage you might have. This includes any unforgiveness, offenses, regrets, and grudges that occurred up to this point. Make a concerted effort to release people that had offended, betrayed or hurt you and travel with a light heart into the new year. It is time to remove everything that has weighed you down and re-enter the race that is set before you. Don’t give up but become the person God had intended for you to become.


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WHERE IS IT?

Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation? Is what you’re asking God for seem unlikely to come to pass? Is your faith being tested?
Perhaps, you feel completely trapped, hedged in and overwhelmed, with no solution in sight. Maybe you’re confronted with a challenge where there is no resolution. Or, your heart is heavy with doubt as you cannot figure out what to do next, for there appears to be nothing you can do about what you now face. If you are on an emotional rollercoaster, you could be wondering, “How can things change for the better?”
However, impossibilities are the platforms upon which God does His best work; have faith. With man it may be impossible. But with God, all things are possible. Have you ever felt you were in a hopeless situation? Today, realize your faith only works in the realm of impossibilities. So, where is your faith? Is it working?
Your faith guarantees the results are inevitable. Your faith keeps you going when everything else tells you to give up and quit. Your faith should be the force that gives you the refusal to quit. You should look into the face of adversity and say, “I like my odds.” When you do this, it gives you an unwillingness to move aside. Your faith should solidify your belief in a cause wherein you become distracted by nothing.
 

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RIGHT NOW

“This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Your past is never the gauge of what you become. In any hour, (right now) you can choose to liberate the future. Never make assumptions in life based on what you have done in the past or what everyone else thinks. The future of your life depends on what you do RIGHT NOW. Begin to accept your past for what it was. Start acknowledging your present for what it is and then anticipate your future for what it can become. These will be the thoughts that will shape and govern your life. When you think about it, God told Joshua to be bold, strong, courageous and not to be afraid. Was Joshua’s assignment based on what he had done in the past? Of course not. God was talking to him about what he should do RIGHT NOW. He was showing him where he is and where he should be going. His future and the people he was leading depended on what he was to do at that moment. His RIGHT NOW” moment. He was to anticipate his future for what it can become. If you want something that you never had in you life, you have to do something that you have never done. You will always be afraid to do something that you have never tried before. That is ok. Do it afraid. When you do, you will hear God speak to you in a soft spoken voice that will say, “ I am with you wherever you go.” When you start questioning yourself about whether you can do something or not, remember that it is difficult to define “Impossible”. Your vision or dream that God has given you yesterday IS the confident expectation today. Therefore it becomes your reality of tomorrow….What will be your reality?


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ATTN: PARENTING

And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. (1 cor. 11:1)

Whatever role you might be playing at this time; married, single or being a grand parent, if there is anything that you wish to change in the child, first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in yourself. You have influence and you do not need a title or position. Parenting alone has influence. Which kind of influence do you want to have on a child; positive or negative? It is sad that I have witnessed a parent who began screaming because of a phone call, a mom who smokes a cigarette because she is unable to cope with stress, a Dad who begins to drink every day because life’s challenges become overwhelming. What is the child beginning to learn? It is acceptable to lose your temper. screaming at the top of their lungs when encountering difficult people. I have seen many times a mom lashing out at her child in a supermarket because she is trying to manage her kids. There are frequent times I have been in restaurants and witnessed a child out of control and the parents doing nothing. Do you know that doing nothing is teaching children that aberrant behavior is acceptable and a child is learning that any type of behavior (temper tantrums) is acceptable. If you don’t get your way, throw a temper tantrum. Unfortunately, these young children grow up into adults still throwing temper tantrums. But this time, rather than throwing food on the floor, they will punch walls, strike their spouse or significant other. This is learned behavior and the abuser will have all kinds of excuses rather than take responsibility and say it is not their fault. So today’s principle is based on what Paul the Apostle told Timothy, “….and you should imitate me, as I imitate Christ…….. The examples we set as parents for our kids, how we behave when things don’t go our way is much more important than the rules we set for them. Children will become not what you tell them, but they become who you are…………..


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TIME TO DECIDE

I have been talking about your future and how will your life look like down the road. What is it that we do in the meantime? When you really think about it, your future is not only predicated on what you decide, it is based on what you do every day that matters the most. Make sense? I think every reader will agree that you cannot go back and change your past. Nor should you worry about future events that are outside of your control.

Although you cannot go back and start all over, you can start from now and make a brand new ending. You can decide how your life will end. Sure, your past is important, but not as important to your present as the way you see your future. So, the best way to predict where you will be is to create it. You can stop living your life by default and begin living your life by design. It is never too late. God told Joshua, “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.


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WHAT DOES YOUR FUTURE HOLD? (you decide)

Remember, the last article I had written about the path to happiness. Now you know this path does not exist. It is not there; because it is an illusion. It is not a route among many. Why? Because happiness IS the path that you decide to take.
 
The most simplistic and beneficial way of deriving happiness is to add value to people. This is what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Phillippian Church, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
There is a truth here at work. Happiness is not the absence of problems, difficulties and challenges; but the ability to deal with and resolve each of them the best way we can.
Understand that you cannot change people, you cannot change attitudes. you cannot change the way they think about you. There are many things in this life that we cannot change. But the one thing in life you can change is the way you respond.
When you finally settle down at the end of the day, you realize happiness has nothing to do with your life’s circumstances. It is all based on your ability to accept the things you are experiencing.  Whatever you are doing in life, remember; do not let the past affect your today because the past is gone.  You cannot change it, you cannot alter it, you cannot relive it.
Like time, it is gone forever so do not live in the memories of the past. The other side of the coin is not letting your future disturb you because it has not come yet.
Finally, happiness is not about getting what you want all the time. It is about loving what you have and being grateful for it. It would be wise to listen to the wisdom written by the Apostle Paul over 2,000 years ago, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Phil. 4:11)

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WHERE IS IT?

Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation? Is what you’re asking God for seem unlikely to come to pass? Is your faith being tested?
 

Perhaps, you feel completely trapped, hedged in and overwhelmed, with no solution in sight. Maybe you’re confronted with a challenge where there is no resolution. Or, your heart is heavy with doubt as you can’t figure out what to do next, for there appears to be nothing you can do about what you now face. On an emotional rollercoaster, you could be wondering, “How can things change for the better?”

However, impossibilities are the platforms upon which God does His best work. Have faith. With man it may be impossible. But with God, all things are possible. Have you ever felt you were in a hopeless situation? Today, realize your faith only works in the realm of impossibilities. So, where is your faith? Is it working? Your faith guarantees the results are inevitable. Your faith keeps you going when everything else tells you to give up and quit. Your faith should be the force that gives you the refusal to quit.

You should look into the face of adversity and say, “I like my odds.” When you do this, it gives you an unwillingness to move aside. Your faith should solidify your belief in a cause wherein you become distracted by nothing.

Today, let your faith be known not only by words, but by your actions and behavior as well.
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WHAT ARE YOU IMPARTING TO OTHERS?

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
Paul, who considered himself the least of all the saints, was the most educated, zealous and multi talented person of the day. What exactly is the unsearchable riches of Christ that Paul was talking about?
 
Let me ask you a few questions before we continue to read? How big is God to you? Is God big enough to meet all your needs? Is God big enough to handle all your problems? Is God big enough to fulfill all your desires?
 
When we understand that the riches of Christ are inexhaustible, we are free to share them and spend them without worrying about poverty tomorrow. These riches mean we are freed from jealousy, envy, and strife; and we are free to love, to joy in our salvation, and to impart the same salvation and grace to others.
 
Today, what is it that you are imparting to others? Worry? Fear? Complaining ? What is it that people see in you in times of distress? Do they see the transformation that occurs when God is working and willing to do of His good pleasure in your life? God is always willing but we have to apply what we hear and learn and walk in what we learn. Remember inspiration + application = Transformation. Nothing more – nothing less.
 
As worshipers of God, this is great news. There is no place to go but higher and deeper in spirit and in truth. None of us is capable of fully understanding the nature of God or experiencing the full presence of God in our lives. None of us can see fully the big picture God sees or grasp all that he is.

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I CHOOSE

Today we have devices ranging from IPADS, IPhones , IPods and even restaurants called IHOP. I want to tell you that the secret ingredient to success in life is having the device called  “I Choose “  Well, actually it isn’t a tangible object that can be held. Nor is it an app that you can download from the App Store.
 

In fact, you don’t even have to download the app or buy it. God has already given it to us. It resides in us. In fact, I believe that it is one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed on us freely.

That gift is the power to choose. In this nugget of wisdom , it is called “I Choose”. Yes, this is the secret to your success or to your demise. This really depends on what you will choose concerning the choices you make in life.

We make choices everyday. Whether we know it or not, we make choices concerning all three areas of growth (spirit , soul and body). When you think about it, we ARE our choices. Your desire to improve your life begins with a teachable attitude. If you are not teachable, you will never grow physically, emotionally and Spiritually fit. We will never become what you were destined for nor will you ever reach your potential. Your life, like clay can be a work in progress. No matter what your clay looks like, it can be molded by your willingness to be teachable and receptive to the lessons that life has for you. Are you willing to learn something new? Are you willing to listen and apply life changing concepts? Are you willing to grow beyond your original programming of bad habits , wrong attitudes and poor nutrition that will lead you to become more like Christ? If you are , then choose to personally grow and become more than a conqueror today? Eradicate old habits, develop new ones that will bring you closer to your goals in life. Solicit the aid of people you trust and be accountable for the decisions you make concerning “you.” Today, choose to be teachable. For the choices you make in life will make your life.


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THERE ARE ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES IN EVERY PROBLEM

Going out of Business Sale … Clearance sale … Half Off Sale … Buy One Get One Free … Outlets! Signs like these grab our attention. The reason? Opportunity is knocking.

 

Are you a person that sees opportunities in problems or seeing problems in opportunities. Let me share another, even richer opportunity that separates the successful spiritual investor from the one struggling to get by spiritually from paycheck-to-paycheck. The pivotal moment starts like this.

 

In the middle of a pretty good day, something happens and your day gets messy; a deviation from your agenda pops up … an unplanned adversity surfaces … something painful occurs. Remember, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

 

You see, anyone can have peace when life is going well. Unfortunately, for most people, peace is dependent upon external circumstances. The external environment determines the internal state of mind.

 

You can see how dangerous this is because rarely is life calm. Here is the principle that allows us to achieve the next level of abundant living that God desires for His people.

 

The inner calm graciously offered by God need not be shaken by what is going on around you.   Recall what Jesus said, “My peace I give to you.” What God offers His children is radically different … peace that comes from within, independent of circumstances.

 

The best thing to do when an undesirable event disrupts your peace is to stop what you are doing, take a “time-out” and respond rather than react by making a conscious decision to walk in peace. Ask for God’s assistance. Try turning to and trusting in God in the midst of a messy day. Wait, don’t try, just DO IT.   God loves you. He knows everything, including what you need in that very moment to grow and become more like Him.

 

He is sovereign over the universe, and He allowed the adversity/opportunity to happen for a specific purpose for your powerful development and fulfillment.

 

The disruption to your peace is not from God; it comes from within you … and not from anyone or anything else. So don’t blame anyone or anything for your behavior, attitude or your unhappiness.   The lack of peace comes from the lack of awareness of how God is using this event to show you, protect you, or prepare you for wonderful blessings in the future, including, the mind of Christ.

 

Today, when you face a disruption in your agenda, adhere to what God promises His people, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” So take a time-out when adversity strikes, and perform some self-examination.

 

Do you have trouble applying the armor of God, trusting God’s promises and character, and believing Jesus’ work on the cross for you?   The great opportunity God is dropping in your lap right now is to ID the false belief you accept more than what God says. It is an old habit that has to die.

 

Prayerful digging will reveal where you really place your trust when adversity strikes. Whether you see life’s curveballs creating an opportunity for growth or you let them become an adversity that interferes with growth is your decision, so choose well.


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