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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Potter”

 

THE POTTER

As the sun rises announcing a new day to face, the screen door slams as her night guest slips out. Crushing the cigarette into the ashtray and shoving the now empty whiskey glasses aside, the woman shoves her chair back from the table in disgust. She glances around the garbage strewn kitchen and her eyes fill with tears.

Taking a deep breath she walks out to the old shed where her pottery tools lie covered in dust. The kiln sits in the corner with old rags piled high on its lid. Her work table has clumps of dried clay stuck to wood. Her potter’s wheel has cob webs intriguingly stretched across it.

Walking to the shelf she grabs a whisk broom and begins sweeping the cob webs with a vengeance while muttering to herself. She grabs a hand full of rags and furiously dusts off the work table, scraping at the old dried clay.

Once the cob webs are gone, the dust removed, and the rags put on the shelf, she grabs a glob of clay and sits down on the rickety old chair. In almost a frenzied-like state she begins to shape the clay.

She pounds, she rolls, she furiously punches the gray clay and finally a large round ball is formed and with anger she carves out the face; the eyes with tear drops spilling down the gray cheeks. She smashes the nose and reforms it much smaller. The down cast mouth speaks of great pain and sorrow.

She pokes and pulls on the clay as she forms ears. Looking at it, she suddenly smashes them thinking they are too big. The clay face staring back at her is how she sees herself; lost, hopeless, no good, the lowest of lowest.

She doesn’t hear the squeaky door slowly open and a Man steps inside. He stands in the doorway with the sun radiating behind Him watching her. The woman raises her fist and with a loud vehement cry she smashes her fist into the clay figure she has formed.

Her head drops to her chest and her sobs rise from deep within her soul. The Man steps forward and places His hand on her shoulder. With great compassion He speaks softly, “I am the Potter and you are the clay. Here, let me show you.”

He gently pushes her aside and takes the seat. With hands of a Master He reforms the clay and in a short time the woman sees before her a new clay figure. The eyes are sparkling, the nose is pert with a smidgen of freckles, and its mouth is full and smiling. Where there was a ghastly form of death, the clay figure is now filled with life.

The Man scoots the chair back, stands, and smiles at her. Tears are running freely down her cheeks as she stares at the clay form. The Man reaches out and gently runs His thumb across her tears, wiping them from her cheeks.

“I have come to give you life more abundant.” Pointing to the newly formed clay, He softly tells her. “Because you believe in Me you are a new creation.”

The woman throws herself into His arms and hugs Him tightly sobbing out all her hurt, all the pain life has thrown at her. His beard rubs her cheek and withdrawing from Him she places her hand on her cheek where His beard rubbed, savoring the lingering feeling.

She looks back at the clay form as she swipes at her tears and shakes her head in wonder. Turning back to face Him she softly states, “Only the True Potter could make something beautiful out of the mess I’ve made.”

He smiles and quietly slips out into the new day.

~~~

2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

~~~

We are all guilty of committing sins, each and every day. That’s why Christ died on the cross even while we were still sinners. Through His death our sins are washed clean. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior cleanses us and we are made new through His blood and by the renewing of our minds. So many times we see ourselves in the exact opposite way that Christ sees us. As in the story, she saw herself ugly and hopeless and yet Christ sees her, even in her sin, as beautiful and loved. Each one of us is special and greatly loved by the One who created us and He has a special purpose for each of His children. With our permission He will transform us into what He created us to be.

Our past is not our Identity!

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My Peace I Give to You

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images

The birds, high above in the trees, chirp their welcome. They sing with their various whistles for all the world to hear. An ant crawls across the grass with determination, a rabbit scampers, then stops to look at me quizzically, then hops on.

The sounds of natures are all around me and the peace I feel as the cool water ripples around, over, and between the rocks downstream is calming. The smells of nature fills my nostrils. I breathe slowly in and slowly let it out.

In times when we have thoughts invade our mind or the worries of life invade causing our peace to skitter away we can take a moment and visualize our safe peaceful place. We all have an image of where we would like to be, a place that fills us with peace. Some may find that peace fills them as they sit by a flowing brook and some may find that peace standing high on a mountain top looking out over a scenic view, while others may find it as they walk a long sandy beach with the sea breeze kissing their cheek, but wherever we find it God will take us there.

In times when things seem overwhelming we can stop and take a few minutes and ask the Lord to take us to our peaceful place. He knows where it is. For me I see myself in my mind’s eye sitting under a large tree next to a flowing stream. I hear the birds, I see the rippling water and hear its sounds as it gently meanders downstream to its destination. It’s path has been determined by God and nature and to sit there quietly, with no thoughts, brings peace.

Christ said it is His peace He gives us. His peace seeps into my soul and gives me calm. It replaces the worries, it replaces the memories of the past, it fills those spaces that the enemy wants to invade. Sitting quietly, Jesus has arrived. He sits down beside me and we quietly bask in the beauty. My peace is complete.

“Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.” 2Thes. 3:16

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Blessings to you.

Break the Silence – Testimony

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breaksilence

Sexual Assault: A Personal Story

GERI UNGUREAN APRIL 28, 2016 FEATURED ARTICLES LEAVE A COMMENT

For a while I have been wanting to open up my life to my readers about an event that forever changed my life.  I believe that the Lord showed me that it is time.

I wrote recently about the new rules at Target, which would allow transgenders to access ladies bathrooms and dressing rooms.  In that piece I asked what would keep a sexual predator from posing as a “transgender” person, to access their prey, and commit unspeakable crimes against women. It seems that the rights of transgenders are more important than keeping women safe from harm.

This morning I read that in 2015, Obama ordered ICE to release 19,723 criminal illegals; 900 of them had committed sexual assault crimes – back into our society. They are everywhere in our country. The states had wanted to deport them, but our president would not allow it.  I live in a sanctuary state, which makes us even more vulnerable to criminals.

Article on released illegal felons 

1973

When I was 22 years old, I sang for a living in Washington, D.C.  I was part of a band.  I was not saved until 1983.  One evening after our band’s performance, I was attacked by two men and sexually assaulted.  I kept this horrid event secret for a very long time.  I blamed myself.  I was singing in a band and in my mind the assault had to be my fault.

When I finally sought help, I was told that this was not my fault, and that I should not be blaming myself.  I did not continue with therapy. It was too painful to speak about the rape. Every time I would talk about it, I wound up crying hysterically, and feeling worse.

Night Terrors

Within a year I began to have terrible night terrors.  I would run and scream (this is what I was told) but I would not remember doing this.  I broke bones and fell down stairs. Some times this happened 5 nights out of the week.  I thought that I was losing my mind. I didn’t seek help because I was embarrassed. But I confided in a lady from church in the 1980’s. She urged me to try to be part of a sleep study at NIH.

I was admitted into a sleep study there. I never told the neurologist about the attack.  I just couldn’t talk about it with him. I had terrors during my stay at NIH. The doctor diagnosed me with Nocturnal Panic Attack Syndrome.

PTSD

It was years later that I learned that my night terror attacks were a hallmark symptom of PTSD. I thought that only soldiers struggled with this. It seems that being sexually assaulted causes PTSD too.

Gripped by fear

Everywhere I go, I am hyper vigilant. I am constantly looking over my shoulder. I will not get into an elevator with just men – I wait for a mixed crowd. I live in a constant state of fear. After I was saved in 1983, I was a bit better. I knew that Jesus was watching over me. But the scars from the attack ran deep.  The night terrors continued.  I prayed and prayed that the Lord would protect me from these terrors. It was as if the devil used my sleeping hours to attack. I was convinced that this was spiritual and not just from the rape.

After a night terror, I would begin to be cognizant of my surroundings – not remembering the terror, but I was aware that something awful had happened to me. All I remembered is that I felt as if I was dying.  The next day, my head felt like I had been in an accident and had sustained brain damage. Concentrating was difficult.

Another victim

When I was a young girl, my mother’s best friend had been shopping with her daughter. They were in the dressing room, trying on clothes. A man got into their dressing room and the man raped my mother’s friend in front of her 8 year old daughter.  Both were scarred for life.

How can they forget about our rights?

It seems so demonic to me that a store would put the “feelings” of a person who is confused about their gender, over the safety of women. This is absolutely crazy and demonically inspired.  Are they waiting for the worst case scenario to happen, and only then will this be rethought?

My prayer is that this article will help in some small way.  It was the hardest thing for me to write this, but I truly felt the Lord urging me to do it.

Come Lord Jesus

I am a Jewish Christian who was born-again in 1983. Yeshua is my life. Writing about Him is my passion. Maranatha!!

Jesus Paid It All

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Written by Charlotte Abanese

butterfly_tattoo_by_elmynoo

You’ve got your ways

And I’ve got mine

You’re so consumed with your selfishness

You miss the chance of love devine

Forgiveness is a choice on this

You can live with your leechy baggage

Or be transformed by His sacrifice.

*

There was a price

Put on your life

The second you were born

But Jesus paid it all

Jesus paid it all

You were trapped and abused in sin

But Jesus paid the price

Jesus paid it all

For your healing, a new beginning,

for peace and security, 

and live with Him for eternity

You’re His creation, His beloved,

not easily replaced.

*

You’re drowning in your own tears

You’ve been wasting away these years 

The light has been within your grasp

You never believed once this could last

*

There was a price that was paid

for your life you waste away

and you pray with your own sorrows

always worrying about tomorrows

When peace is what He promised

because without it, we don’t know this

Forgive and live on

with His gentle healing balm I love

*

You ain’t easily replaced

You ain’t easily replaced

You’ve got worth in your soul

No matter anything at all

There is value in you

You’ve got Jesus in you too

Open your heart to Him again

Be healed and delivered from their sins.

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Blessings to you.

A Fist Raised in Anger

11342215-a-man-angry-over-the-whole-world-is-screamingIn going through some of what the Lord has spoken to me through the years I ran across one writing from last year and it made me think about how we get so angry at God and tend to blame Him for those things that have hurt us or things that have gone wrong in decisions we have made.

For many years I blamed God for not stopping the abuse I suffered from my family and later for an abusive marriage and, just to be honest, for a lot of things. The abuse I suffered within my family was not my fault, I thought God was supposed to stop it. He’s all-powerful so how come He let it continue for years?

I didn’t need the Lord in choosing my first husband! I had decided the man was good-looking, I was twenty-seven years old and ready to settle down, and this guy was fun to be around. I learned very quickly after the “I do’s” that he was an alcoholic, a womanizer, and wife beater. That may not have been the man the Lord wanted me to marry so why didn’t He say, “Stop! Don’t marry him!” Maybe He kept quiet because my anger slammed that door in His face and the fist was raised and maybe He had and I ignored Him.

I am convinced that those that vehemently claim to be atheist’s have turned their back on God because of hurt, rejection, abuse, or something else that happened early on or at some time in their life that they felt God should not have allowed. The fist flies up and suddenly “there is no God!” They have rejected the all-powerful One and have deemed themselves god. They claim there is no God yet their god is Satan.

We can blame God for those things that are not our fault and blame God for the poor choices we make. Some have felt “led” to do something, thinking God is the One leading them only to learn later it was either our own soul or the enemy that was in the lead and yet we blame God. “If it wasn’t you, God, then why didn’t you stop me? You knew it was going to turn out like this.” or “You knew what they were going to do and yet you said…..”

We humans, some of us anyway, are quick to shake our fists at God instead of focusing on His will and trusting that even if we mess up He is there to bring us through. He knows what we are going to do, think, and say before we even do, think, or say anything! His love is so great, His grace so abundant that maybe, just maybe He lets us make the mistakes so we will eventually learn to turn to Him about all things. Some of us have to learn the hard way and I’m more than sure, being one of those, that the Lord is more than willing to let us have our own way. And in having our own way, not seeking or following God’s will we have allowed the enemy access.

So let me share His words that I found that caused all this deep thinking:

“The Almighty God which art in heaven sees all that is within heaven and earth and even beneath the earth. His Grace is poured out for all who will accept it yet there are those who refuse and will even blasphemy His name. Those who love Him have the assurance of an eternal home with Him and those who reject Him shall see the fires of hell for all of time and beyond.

God’s love goes beyond human understanding and it is a shame that although He gave His only begotten Son for the sins of all mankind they reject that shed blood. It is a shame that the enemy of God has such powerful influence in men. It is a shame that so many have turned fists to heaven and swear by their own gods. Their god is self. If they refuse the Son of God there is only one alternative and he has been on the prowl more so now than ever before because he knows his time is short.

Those who follow the Son of God must stand strong and bold. They must watch for the ploys of the enemy and not be sucker-bunched by those who follow the enemy. For if they do not follow God through His Son Jesus Christ they are following Satan. They may not realize their self-righteous attitudes are those coming from Satan but they are. I pray to My Father that all will see My light and that none should perish. I come to the Father with love for all even though they reject and defy Me.

My children, you must be strong. You must focus on Me day and night for the times are about to change and things are not as they have been. My strength I give you if you will follow in My footsteps and let Me lead you through the turmoil. Trust Me as you have never done before. Pray for the lost but do not compromise My truth for any. Many shall belittle. Many shall call you atrocious names and throw the fiery darts so as to turn you from Me. That is the fiery darts of the enemy. Put on your armor and stand firm!
I am the Almighty I Am. Go with my love, joy and peace for I am with you.”
Given by the Holy Spirit 8-7-15

~~~~~

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Blessings to you.

Unhealthy Soul Ties

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February 3, 2016

SOUL TIES

Sex is a tridimensional experience: spirit, soul, and body. Anytime you have sex with a person you bond with them. Dr. Daniel Amen writes in his book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” “Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neurochemical changes occur in both their brains that encourage limbic, emotional bonding. Limbic bonding is the reason casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level. Two people may decide to have sex ‘just for the fun of it,’ yet something is occurring on another level that they might not have decided on at all: sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not. One person, often the woman, is bound to form an attachment and will be hurt when a casual affair ends. One reason it is usually the woman who is hurt most is that the female limbic system is larger than the male’s.”

This is what we call soul ties. Sex is like gluing two pieces of wood together and the next day ripping them apart. Of course, wood from the opposite board remains on each board. A piece of your sex partner (the good, bad, and ugly) stays with you (and vice versa) for the rest of your life. You can only imagine what it looks like when you bond with multiple partners.

Unhealthy soul ties are often the ramifications of having partners that you create a life-long bond with through a sexual encounter(s), but with whom you only have a short-term relationship with. The bond (soul tie) remains long after the relationship is over, leaving both sexual partners longing for wholeness.

THREE REASONS UNHEALTHY SOUL TIES TAKE PLACE:

1. People are misinformed and therefore convinced that sex is strictly a single-dimensional, physical act with no emotional or spiritual connections. Yet after sex they find themselves mysteriously longing for the person they may not even like.

2. A person (usually the woman) gives him or herself sexually to someone expecting that the intensely intimate act of intercourse would create a bond that would lead to deeper levels of commitment in their relationship. But soon she discovers that her sexual partner was taking advantage of her need for intimacy and used her vulnerability to get laid. Of course, this leads to a person being emotionally and spiritually bonded to somebody that they deeply resent!

3. Two people commit to marriage and therefore surmise that the covenant vows are only a formality. So they live together and enjoy a sexual relationship outside of a life-long commitment. But later they decide (for whatever reason) that they don’t want to live in a covenant relationship and eventually break up. They usually don’t realize how deeply they have wounded each other as their souls are ripped apart, tearing the very fabric of their being in the separation.

I understand that there are hundreds of other reasons why unhealthy soul ties take place, but I am simply trying to give you a few examples.

7 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE AN UNHEALTHY SOUL TIE:

1. You are in a physically, and/or emotionally, and/or spiritually abusive relationship, but you “feel” so attached to them that you refuse to cut off the connection and set boundaries with them.

2. You have left a relationship (maybe long ago), but you think about the other person obsessively (you can’t get them out of your mind).

3. Whenever you do anything – make a decision, have a conversation with someone etc., you “feel” like this person is with you or watching you.

4. When you have sex with someone else (hopefully your husband or wife), you can hardly keep yourself from visualizing the person you have a soul tie with.

5. You take on the negative traits of the person that your soul is tied to and carry their offenses whether or not you actually agree with them.

6. You defend your right to stay in a relationship with the person that your soul is tied to, even though it is negatively effecting or even destroying the important relationships in your life (husband, wife, kids, leaders, etc.)

7. You have simultaneous experiences and/or “moods” as the person your soul is tied to. This can even include sickness, accidents, addictions etc.

1 Corinthians 6:15 – Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”

THERE IS HOPE

There is hope if you find yourself in an unhealthy soul tie. You can never fall so far that you can’t be restored. New life is available to you by simply repenting and asking Jesus to forgive you. Forgiveness restores the standard in our lives, and you can live in freedom and hope again.

For more on this subject, check out my book Moral Revolution.

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~~~~

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Blessings to you.

His Glory, Not Mine! – Testimony

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In 1997 I was leading a support group for women who had been sexually abused as children and also publishing the Angels by Grace Magazine. I wrote this article for that magazine for the April 1997 issue.

The healing the Lord has accomplished since this writing is staggering! It is amazing how the Lord will use our pain. There is hope for healing! Trust Him. He will bring you through. 

When I read the testimonies that are given from women and men that have endured the hurt, betrayal, and loss as children, I cry. I feel that pain so very deep inside and wonder how any of us have survived such atrocities. I thank God for the healing that He has done, and is doing  within me and so many others.

There are a couple of testimonies that have been offered for Angels by Grace that have mentioned my name. I feel so humbled that the Lord has used me to offer up His hope before others. If I had been asked about the love of God just a few short years ago I would have either snarled out some caustic answer or turned and walked away. Not knowing that Christ was working within my life I would have clenched my teeth in absolute anger at the very thought that God loved me! How dare anyone tell me what I thought were lies! God could not have loved me. He could not have died for my salvation. For you see I thought it was God who not only told my Dad to abuse, but sat beside me and laughed while it was happening! How very wrong I was. I have asked Christ for His forgiveness so many times for my ignorance of who He is and He has forgiven me every time I cry out to forgive me again.

Therapy brought me through the times when suicide was thought to be my only alternative to stop the torment of memories and the sense that nothing could stop the pain of those memories. Much to my surprise I have learned that it was not God who was sitting beside me laughing back then, but the devil himself! I have learned that God was crying the same tormented tears of hurt and pain, betrayal and loss of innocence that I cried about then, and sometimes cry about now.

These past few years Christ has shown me that He is the One who sits in the Angel Group Support Group and says the words of encouragement to those hurting souls. I know that it is Christ that these women see who offers hope and healing, who’s understanding is given because if it were really me, the human called Sue, I would probably be asking as many questions as the others in the group.

I don’t always have the answers to difficult questions, like those that we struggle with on occasion about why did He allow it to happen? Why didn’t He stop it? I, like so many others, do not have the answers. I have to believe what Christ tells us in the Bible, that He is love, that He does not sit and laugh at our pain, that He is faithful to complete the good work He started in us. And like so many others, I still hurt, I still cry, and I still run to Christ like a child running to daddy. ( A daddy that did not hurt me.)

Reading the testimonies of these healing people has humbled me before the Lord. I am amazed constantly that He would not only take my pain and use it to help others, but that He has chosen me to work through. I’m the one who could not mouth His name because of anger directed at Him. Yet, when I sit within a room praising Him, acting like I’ve got it all together, these women thank me for what they see before them, the healing that they see that has been done within me.

Please know that I am grateful to the Lord who has done the work. I am grateful that people look at me and find encouragement. But what you are seeing is Christ within me. You are seeing Christ at work through someone who continues to sin. And I thank Him every day that He is the One who heals, restores, and is the life within me.  He is the One who shows us that abuse is wrong, that we need others to encourage, that groups are a must for those of us who need a shoulder to cry on, someone who can share our deep pain and laugh with us when we jump for joy over some accomplishment or area of healing that we have found victory over.

He is the Power that lights the way and we are the lamp stands that He will use. Healing cannot be done alone. We need Christ, we need others to encourage. Even if you are still within the walls of pain you also can help others. A kind smile, a simple pat on the shoulder goes a very long way when someone feels cold inside.

Let Christ use you as His lamp stand. For it is His light that brings us through those dark and scary places. It is He that sits amongst us and tells us, “Healing is a process. Don’t give up. Hang in there. Been there-done that.” Christ is faithful to bring you through the pain. Trust Him for He is the One who is faithful and true. He’ll prove it was not He who hurt you. That it is His will for you to be all that He created you to be; loving, happy, and whole.

Now I cry tears of gratitude and love for the healing that He has done for me and for the healing that I know He will do for you.

~~~~~

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Blessings to you.