“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will only love themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.”
II Timothy 3:1-5 New Living Translation

Since April is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month I thought we should take a look at this pervasive issue.

Current statistics show that every 10 seconds a child is abused in the United States. Five children per day die from child abuse in our country. This is out of control. As Christians what do we do? Pray of course for the children in our care but is there something more we can do?

I believe most abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional or neglect, stems from perpetrators who were abused themselves. The saying HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE is sadly all too true.

Growing up in an abusive environment, even as a teen I feared having children of my own someday because I did not want to take out frustrations on my children. I felt I couldn’t trust myself. Praise God, as I got older I got some good biblical counseling to help me heal from my own abuse and by the time I had the privilege to become a step-Mom, I could love our daughter without any inappropriate behavior on my part. I thank God for the healing and that I was able to cultivate a healthy loving relationship with her.

Have you experienced neglect and/or emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse? Have you ever told anyone?

Sometimes it becomes our normal and it’s hard for us to see it.

We need to be proactive and examine our own hearts and lives for anything abusive we have experienced ourselves. Without receiving healing, any damage incurred will eventually come out of us in unhealthy ways. Don’t wait for that to happen. Take action now to receive healing from God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If it has happened, ask for forgiveness and then get your help and healing.

Also, when you have been abused and find healing only then are you able to recognize and step in to prevent abuses in others. You can spot controllers and boundary busters easily and with the Holy Spirits guidance call the offender out on his or her behavior. Some abusers will stop abusing if they are aware that others are watching.

Abusers need help to overcome their own damage. Ministering to abusers to get help can be very difficult but remember, they are also loved by our great God. Helping one abuser to heal and renew their mind can spare some child somewhere future abuse. It may even save a life.

Survivors of abuse never escape unscathed. There are various effects of abuse including; physical injury or illness. Conditions such as diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, headaches, gynecological problems, hepatitis, stroke and heart disease are more likely to occur in victims of child abuse. The mental health of abuse victims is ravaged by personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, dissociative disorders, depression, anxiety disorders and psychosis. Suicide, dependance on drugs and/or alcohol is also an elevated risk for those who have been abused.

So strive to become as healthy as you can be and protect those around you who the Lord has placed in your care.

“The Lord is close to the broken hearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
Psalm 34:18 New Living Translation

 

 

Shine on. . .
karan k

A good place to begin your healing process

 

Do You Need A Reminder?

Lovely Reminder

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” Romans 8:25 New Living Translation

The other Sunday I found myself struggling through my work day. On the PA Turnpike the toll collectors work 3 out of 4 weekends every month. Weekends are the busy traffic times so everybody works. Somehow after 29 years I have not managed to accept working weekends. I still dislike it. It feels like the rest of the world is out to play and we toll collectors are helping them on their way. Wah. Wah. Wah. Realistically, I know every job has a few negatives and I must accept it.

Besides the work related wound licking, I’ve been fighting for weeks on a personal level with strung out emotions. I function everyday but my FLURISHING feelings are just not able to push through to the surface. I know they are there because nothing has changed in my life. I remain a child of the Most High and nothing negative has touched my life. I should be enjoying all the goodness He gives.

But instead, I seem to be tired all the time and lack desire and motivation. I cannot get a handle on it. I must push myself to do everything: push to get out of bed; push to pack my lunch for work; push to go to work; push to go to gym or workout at home; push to cook supper; push to write or read anything. The only easy thing lately is going to bed.

yawn. . .

 

Some may accept this as their Modus Operandi but I do not want to live like this under a constant cloud of depression. I detest it. I want to be free to FLURISH again so I keep praying, trusting, believing that this dark cloud will lift by the grace of God. I know He’s been faithful in the past and I’m sure He has a lesson for me to learn while I slog through this difficult season.

So I continue collecting on the job this busy Sunday afternoon and a man in his forties pulls up and asks if I need something to brighten my day. Not wanting to sound as pathetic as I feel, I shrug my shoulders and smile. He reaches over and hands me a dozen beautiful red roses.

He saw hesitation on my face and explained that he had a blind date in the city. He bought flowers for her but she never showed up. He was disappointed but thought someone should get some joy out of the flowers.

I received the roses as a caring reminder from Jesus, through the hand of a stranger,  that He loves me even when I feel weak and struggling. I took them home and my husband set them up in a vase where I can see and enjoy them daily.

Are you weak and struggling too? Be encouraged, His love for you remains! Look around for His reminders.

“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .
karan k

Blown Away

 

“So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and then delivered to us by those who heard Him speak?” Hebrews 2:3 New Living Translation

Yesterday I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. The wind was brutal but the sun was shining. It felt good to feel the warmth of the sun and be pushed about by the strength of the wind. As I walked around the block, I noticed everyone’s bagged newspapers were blown out of their driveways. Ours was completely MIA. Some people feel these free newspapers are a nuisance and create more trash. They don’t even bother to pick them up to dispose of them properly. I like receiving mine every week and was disappointed that it had flown the coop.

I continued walking around the block three times, four times, five times etc., until about the ninth time I noticed a patch of common ground between the homes that had four newspapers strewn across it. I continued walking and the tenth time I noticed a fifth paper laying in the street near the four others in the common ground. I decided to pick it up since it could have been ours and didn’t belong in the street.

As I carried my treasure back to our house I thought to myself, these papers must have been stuck in this common ground area during my entire walk. Why had it taken me nine passes before I even noticed them?

Likewise, ever find yourself driving somewhere and after you arrive you have no recollection of the drive? You’re lost in thought, distracted, preoccupied with something seemingly more important than your surroundings. In this condition we miss things that are right in front of us. It’s a common occurrence but a dangerous one.

It’s also dangerous in the spiritual realm. Like those local freebie newspapers, the Good News of the Gospel is free to everyone but many in our society are not interested in the “free news”. They think our culture is already cluttered with too much Jesus news. They want to discard it as worthless just like the newspapers blown around my neighborhood.

It can be easy to slip into that same mindset swirling all around us. Pulled into thinking that suggests the Free Good News is too restrictive, false or no longer needed in this world geared toward humanistic belief systems and lifestyles. We may think we’d never ever consider discarding the precious Word, but do we neglect it and let it lay on the sidewalks of our mind behind all the pressing business of our day?

We must guard the living message of the Gospel of Christ to be effective for the Kingdom. It is the true power behind all that we do as believers. We must keep it close, pure and fresh in our hearts so we may encourage each other as times grow rough. So we may hand the Good News out freely whenever opportunity arises and hope is needed.

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You.” Psalm 51:12 New Living Translation

Don’t let the winds of life blow away your time in the Word but rather be blown away by the Good News of the Word.

 

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1 New American Standard Bible

Shine on. . .
karan k

Read Hebrews chapter 4, just 16 verses of insight

 

Easter Morning Musings

Ever think of how the Trinity was involved during the passion of Christ? At Christmas time we are given more specific information of the Trinity’s activity.

“The angel answered, ‘THe Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.’ ” Luke 1:35 New International Version

 

Thirty-three and a half years later, this same Son of God is nailed to a cross. Where was the power of the Most High and the Holy Spirit? I believe they were right there with Jesus because this was the plan all along. The Father’s love for us was so great that HE desired to make a way for us to escape not only an eternity in hell but also eternal separation from Him. He sacrificed His Son and in essence Himself to take our place, so we would have the hope of an eternal relationship with Him. (John 14:2&3)

Because God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son are one, I believe they all felt the pain of the cross although perhaps in different ways.

“Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed His last.” Mark 15:37 Compare with Matthew 27:50 “Then Jesus shouted out again, and He released His Spirit.” Both verses from the New Living Translation.

Was the Holy Spirit shouting/crying out in pain through Jesus?
(see Romans 8:26)

“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?'” which means “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34b New Living Translation

These are the only recorded words from Jesus on the cross in these two gospels. If Jesus felt abandoned, I wonder if the Father felt more intense grief at this time as He felt and saw His Son, who was also one with Him, dying?

We will have to wait for heaven to reveal all the answers but I believe the entire Trinity suffered during this excruciating sacrifice. Any experience affects each person of the Godhead. Likewise, early on the Sabbath they, each member of the Trinity, rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory at the reality of the resurrection!

The power of sin over mankind was forever obliterated by the precious blood of Jesus! Because of His willingness to take our place, we can be free! Let’s celebrate anew!

 

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!

May you FLURISH like there’s no tomorrow!

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” II Corinthians 13:14 New International Version

Shine On. . .
karan k