Monday, July 27, 2009

The Emotionally Healthy Church

Last week I blew my witness with one of my co-workers and I've felt really bad about it. It was one of those moments that I know I shouldn't have done it, but all the while it was happening, I didn't want to stop myself. I'm sure we've all done it, but that doesn't mean it was right. I will have to make amends to her somehow, the moment just hasn't presented itself. I was making copies this morning and she came in, but she wouldn't even look at me so I feel as though she needs a little more time.

That leads me to the subject that I've been reading up on called the Emotionally Healthy Church. A church is only as emotionally healthy as it's members and I took the test to see if I were emotionally healthy. Although I passed on most of the items, there are several that I need to work on.

Here is a statement that stuck with me...

Jesus never compromised his Holiness... He felt every human emotion and yet never sinned...

How can we be assertive... yet not aggressive
...deliberate yet not impulsive
prompt...but not rushing in to speak your mind

Jesus knew what he believed in and what he stood for, yet people were drawn to him in the midst of their sinfulness... Like the woman at the well who "had many husbands..." Like Nicodemus, the tax collector... Like the woman caught in adultery and the crowd wanted to stone her...
Jesus knew what was under the shell of every person he encountered and he had compassion on them. Yet he always spoke about doing what was right. For them to "go and sin no more." Always with compassion.... I lack compassion... It was one of the questions on the test that I scored WAY low on...

It was stated like this... I am regularly able to enter into other people's world and feelings, connecting deeply with them and taking time to imagine what it feels like to live in their shoes...

I can honestly answer this question as No... Now in my honesty, I need to search out why I don't have more compassion for others. Last year for my evaluation at work, my boss gave me glowing affirmatives. The only thing he said that I could improve on was to be a little more sensitive to how other people might struggle and to put myself in their shoes... (UMMM... I think I'm starting to see a pattern here.)

One of the reasons that I can admit to not being so compassionate is that I believe that we make our own choices. We do exactly what it is we want to do. Even if doing it causes us harm or pain... The problem is that some people really want to stop doing it, but can't... Here is where I have a little disconnect... Just STOP... Or DON'T... It's not that you can't, it's that you don't want to... Just like when I went around to talk to my co-worker... I didn't want to stop...It wasn't that I couldn't...


That is why I am not as compassionate as I should be... I don't want to put myself in their shoes and understand what it is they are struggling with. If we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that we have a problem that we need to stop doing... That's the key to emotional health... Being honest with yourself...Most emotionally unhealthy people just don't want to admit they have a problem. In fact, the emotionally unhealthy person will blame someone else for the fact they do what they do... What is it that holds someone in bondage to a destructive pattern of behavior?

I calmed down considerably after I rushed in and spoke my mind last week and even after the moment passed, my co-worker made a comment about having had a really bad day, that one of her kids had his wisdom teeth pulled and she was really stressed with a corporate report that was due. It didn't excuse her hanging up on me or yelling at me over the phone, (prior to her hanging up on me) or the fact that she wouldn't open her door when I went around to talk to her face to face... None of that is excused, however, it is understandable and I am a stronger person emotionally than I believe her to be, so I should not have crushed her with my words. I should have stopped and waited before confronting her.

But I didn't.... Now I have to make amends for it.

Yes, I have to make amends, because that is what I'm taught to do by the example of Jesus Christ...

The Bible does give an example of Jesus getting angry, like when he overturned the tables and ran the people out of the temple, or when he got angry that his disciples couldn't stay awake long enough for him to pray... But he never sinned....

That's what I need to work on... The not sinning part.... I hope that I have another opportunity to do it right...

Just not before I study a little more about it... I don't think I would pass the test if I took it again today.

Always learning, striving to be better, staying honest with myself... Admitting where I fall short, and asking for the chance to do it right... That's what keeps me emotionally healthy...

I'll end with this verse that I've never noticed before. It's John 2:23-25...


23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. 25 No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.

Wow, I want Jesus to be able to trust me... Father, forgive me...
Lea Anne

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Are you spending enough time with God?

I stay so busy. There is so much to do...work to do at home and of course my REAL job, activities at church and school, (well only when I want to do them at school) taking time to exercise (I'm actually in a health challenge at work and I HAVE to exercise three times a week or I have to pay $1 when I don't) appointments, family obligations, invitations to special events (Do I actually get to go to special events?)...it never ends. In fact, it all seems to grow larger day by day.

God, when life gets so busy I need to remind myself to take time out. I don't want to try to do everything and leave You out. I want to start fresh right now and come to you every day; spend time talking with you, meditating on your Word, listening to you, praising you and thanking you. Please, God, like a breath of fresh air, cleanse and clear my heart and mind. Fill me with your presence and power for living the life you want for me.

I start my day with a daily dose of "Life Today" with James and Betty Robinson and then immediately follow that with Joyce Meyer. I find that when I commit that hour everyday, then my mornings start off a little better. I open the Word of God and let God say hello to me. This morning I was reading Psalm 51 and I didn't think it was appropriate for how I was feeling today and I almost skipped over to something else, then the words... "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me," jumped off the pages to me. We all need to pray that prayer and start our day asking God what needs to be cleaned out of our lives.
Since that verse spoke so loudly to me, I reread the first part of the Chapter... It was about being broken, and calling out in repentance to the Lord asking for forgiveness for my mistakes and flat out attitude problems. It said that God doesn't want our sacrifices, he wants a broken and repentant heart. That is not to keep us in bondage and feeling unworthy, but to be cleansed from all our unrighteousnesses...

To stay right before the Lord... It takes that daily confession of our sins and our activities to stay in the keeping of the Lord...

So I ask you, have you sought the Lord today? Have you asked the Lord to forgive you for your sins of yesterday, last week, last month, last year... How long has it been since you've been to the Cross...

I love you,
Lea Anne

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What to do when your guest doesn't show for LIVE TV...

So I have to do the Live 50/50 Thursday segment this morning at 9:25 with a local restaurant and I get to work this morning and there is an email from her saying she's sick and can't make it for the Live segment so I could just go on without her. This is the segment from this morning in which I grabbed my manager and said you be me, and I'll be the guest. Sometimes you just have to be flexible where LIVE TV is concerned... Why worry and get all stressed out. Just live in the moment... That's what I did.

Don't feel as though you have to watch, I just thought it was funny with me trying to explain a restaurant that I've never even been to...

Enjoy!

video

I commit my work to You, Lord, knowing You will establish it (Proverbs 16:3).

May it always be that I love the work I do and be able to do the work I love.

Lea Anne

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A place of Patient Waiting...

I talked to Mom today and she asked me what was going on because I haven't updated my blog in a while and it seems like this is the way she keeps up with what's going on in my life. I should call you more, Mom!! But it is true that I am an open book in that what I'm praying for or thinking about I usually lay right out here for everyone to read. Well this morning when Mom asked me what I have been up to, I said that I was just waiting... And that is exactly what I'm doing. I'm praying for a breakthrough in at least three areas of my life and although I am still in the "getting direction" part of my prayers, I don't have anything definite to talk about yet, so I am withholding those random thoughts from you so as not to scare you away from my blog. Believe me, when God starts to move me in a new direction, there is a lot of random events that don't make sense at the time, but in reflection, all seem to be the pieces of a puzzle that gets placed at just the right time and sequence in order for the next piece to fall into place...
All this to say that as I opened my email this morning, this is the devotional prayer that I read...

God, I believe You are using circumstances and events to move me into a place of patient waiting as You put me in the place You desire for me. Help my soul to mature, my faith to grow, my life to be more pure and dedicated to You. James 1:2-4 tells me, "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Lord, I praise You in the midst of it all--my special trials and daily challenges--knowing that I must learn to be patient and content as I wait upon You. Thank You for being with me through every trial, every day. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Isn't God amazing? How he directs our thoughts and our actions and gives us the right kind of encouragement when we honestly don't know exactly where he's leading us... I use the word exactly, because we don't have to know what the picture looks like, we just need to trust that he's directing our path... and to follow it with blind faith...

I will tell you that part of this unknown plan that I'm praying about is the sell of our house. I gave the description sheet to my realtor friend who is sharing it with his agents today... Just to see if someone may have a client that is looking for our type of house. I will trust that if it's meant to be to sell our house, then it will, and then the next thing is in God's hand... Although, I will let you in on a little bit of the randomness and that is that he has stirred my soul with a fixer-upper down the road that I feel would be the next great adventure for Dana and me to tackle, so I will let you know how that unfolds as well...

Told you it was random... This could drive someone crazy that didn't understand how I process a new word from God... Which to say Dana isn't crazy yet, he's learning how God and I communicate... He has his own way of communicating with God and somehow, God unites our thoughts and actions in agreement...

Amazing!
Lea Anne

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A highway of Holiness...

A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness... the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:8.10)

Are you looking for a little Joy and gladness?

Do you want your sorrow and sighing to flee away?

Then the scripture says to walk down the highway of holiness... It's neat to see how it says that a highway shall be there, which means that we will walk up to it and then we have to decide whether or not we want to take the highway of holiness... We don't HAVE to take it, we get to choose to take it... It says the Redeemed shall walk there, the ransomed of the Lord shall RETURN... It means to me that we can decide to walk there at any time we choose to turn and walk it. No matter how long you've left the highway and chosen a wider path. We can choose to walk along the highway of Holiness..

The most wonderful thing about my faith is that I can choose to be obedient regardless of whether anyone else in my life chooses to do it or not. It is my obedience that the Lord blesses. If you are waiting for someone else in your life to start being obedient before you start being obedient, then you are missing the opportunity to "come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on your head."

God bless you today.
Lea Anne

Monday, July 6, 2009

Setting the temperature...

A lot of things have happened this week that have brought me to my knees in prayer. Simple things that I gave to the Lord because I didn't want to worry about them. I know my God is big and can and wants to handle every situation that I find myself facing. Some things I prayed about weren't even related to me but someone else asked me to pray for them...I am always eager to pray for others, but I can't tell you the Freedom that it gives me to know that I can offer every care and concern to my Lord and he hears them...

I received a fresh perspective from an older retired Nazarene minister on the 4th of July that I'd like to share with you. It was very simple, but so profound...
He asked me a question...

Do I want to be a thermometer or a thermostat?

Have you ever thought about this? I hadn't before...

A thermometer just takes the temperature

but a thermostat, SETs the temperature...

If I want to see the power of the Holy Spirit work in my life, then I need to be on fire for him. I need to be red hot and NOT luke warm...

If we walk into a room, we can affect those around us by setting the temperature... Don't just take the temperature... Change it... or don't...

I just thought I'd share this thought with you and see if it means anything to you like it did to me.

I'm going out to adjust a few thermostats around me....

Have a great week.
Lea Anne