Discernment

How is Your Spiritual Heart Health?Premium Content

God has been teaching me His way concerning heart health. The condition of my physical heart mirrored the state of my spiritual heart. Through a physical and spiritual heart catheterization He exposed blockages, which left untreated, would be my certain physical and spiritual demise. He exposed areas of my heart that were still wounded and thus divided. I suspect I am not alone in this process.

According to the parable of the sower, Jesus teaches that It is from our hearts that we gain all spiritual guidance and understanding.

"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop" Luke 8:15 NIV.

"All valid spiritual direction comes to us through our heart-the seat of true knowing and our "eyes and ears" in the spirit. If we discern the "will of God" it is through our heart. Knowing our true identity and destiny is achieved through our hearts as well." "Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You", pg.67, published by Shepherd's House, Inc. revised version 2000.

As a direct result of these remaining heart blockages, I was no longer able to fully hear, retain, or re-produce a good crop from the word that had been so wonderfully planted in my heart for decades. The ability to correctly discern, know and understand Papa's will or my true identity and destiny as Papa's beloved son were being robbed from me. In this state, my capacity for joy was weakened. Of course my loved ones were profoundly affected by my heart disease as well (which of course there has been profound mercy and the amazing grace of forgiveness).

When your heart has blockages, your core identity becomes at best skewed and can even lose touch with reality. You are less able to live from the new heart Jesus gave you as your birthright. You even can end up not behaving or acting like who you truly are-an adopted child of God. Probably the most devastating part of this condition is being blocked from enjoying Christ in your heart. He-of course, will never leave us or forsake us-but our intimacy with Him can be diminished.

I am being so transparent about this in hopes to impart the courage for you to ask Papa to search your heart and know truth in your inner most parts, as King David did. This is why he was "called a man after God's own heart."

The single goal of heart healing is to

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How To Love The Man You Married

Do you love the man you married? What is a priority in your marriage? Is it doing whatever you want by living the way you want and getting what you want when you want it? Or do you and your husband both agree or disagree on important issues and problems that affect the marriage? When we disregard our husband’s protection and decisions for us then we are basically living our own life. This surely doesn’t mean that a husband has the right to disregard his wife’s feelings either and do whatever he wants. It works both ways.

Do You Reject Your Husband's Feelings?
When we get married, we’re not daddy’s little girl anymore. Well we are, but we now have a new responsibility-to be a good wife to our husbands. When we get married our life is now with our husbands. Most men want to be respected for their position as the man in the marriage. Loving your man is regarding him with respect and reverence just because he is your husband.

I do realize there are many good wives out there who treat their husbands with respect, but I think there are just as many who don’t. Loving the man you married is not about getting your way all the time. It is not rejecting your husband sexually or in any other way. Just because a woman doesn’t feel like having sex doesn’t mean she should deny her husband. This works both ways too.

Are You Respecting the Man You Married?
Respecting the man you married is not constantly nagging and complaining to him over minor issues and circumstances going on around the home because you feel the need to control or have power over him. Some wives do this often and don’t even realize they are doing it. Husbands don’t even realize this is happening. Then we wonder why our man strays from the marriage. Is it because we are devaluing our man’s position in the marriage? I should think so.

When you feel yourself wanting to gain some aspect of control over certain issues, stop and ask yourself, “Is this really worth arguing with my husband over”? Take a deep breath and relax. Understand that there are, and will be, many, many things you do not have control over. The more we believe that we can change something to fit our needs better, the more we get disappointed when nothing changes.

Christianity in Early A.A.? Absolutely!

Where to Find "the Rest of the Story" in A.A. History Sources

My dad (pen name: "Dick B."; main website: www.DickB.com) and I have spent the last 25 years researching A.A. history, and the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early Alcoholics Anonymous-particularly in Akron and to some extent in Cleveland. As you may know, in many parts of the United States, Christians involved with A.A. (and other 12 Step Fellowships, such as N.A. and C.A.) often get "yelled at" for talking about Jesus or the Bible at meetings (and sometimes even for talking about God!) Why? Very simple. Because the vast majority of members of 12 Step Fellowships today either don't know about the Christianity in early A.A.; or they don't like the fact that it was there, and in some cases are even trying to suppress the facts of its existence. What should a Christian involved with A.A. and/or other 12-Step Fellowships (such as N.A. and C.A., in particular) do?

You may want to practice answering the following three questions relating to your attending 12-Step Fellowship meetings:

1. Are you sure God put on your heart to go to a particular meeting?

2. If yes, are you sure God put on your heart to say something at that meeting?

3. If yes, are you sure you know what God wanted you to say at that meeting?

Think back to meetings at which you have been "yelled at" for talking about God, His Son Jesus Christ, and/or the Bible. If you can't answer "Yes" to the three questions above, why are you surprised that you got yelled at? Rom 8:31 (KJV) states: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" The key, then, is to make sure God is "backing your play," by making sure you know and are doing God's will. And not merely "trying to do the right thing" or "faking it 'till you make it"! (And see, for example, Eph 6:10-17.)

The Sea in the Ship is All Wrong

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2


There's an old saying: "The ship in the sea is alright. The sea in the ship is all wrong. The Church in the world is alright. The world in the church is all wrong."

Everything you and I believe as Christians flies in the face of our post-modern culture. We believe in a God who has made His existence known to everyone (Romans 1:18-22) despite the strong denials of man. We believe in a God who has communicated to us in clear terms in a book called the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). We believe in absolutes, for we believe in a God who is Truth Himself, and who tells us what is right and what is wrong. We believe in the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16, 17) who said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me." John 14:6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the way to God and the only way to God, and we deny that He is merely a way, a truth and a life, and one of the ways to God. Understand that we do not say this because we believe our opinion is greater than someone else's, but because Christ Himself said this about Himself, and we believe His claims are valid, trustworthy and true... We believe too that if Christ is not THE way to God, then He is a liar, and not even one of the ways to God. Jesus Christ is either who He claimed to be, or else He is a fraud, or perhaps a lunatic. But what He could never be is merely one of the ways to God. If we take His words with any seriousness at all, then we have to admit that His own claims deny this very possibility.

I Have No Idea Where I am Going (Prayer)

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

Signs of Spiritual Attack

We have a very real enemy, Satan, who wants nothing more than to destroy our lives, our thoughts, our walks with Jesus (John 10:10). He, along with his hoard of demons,
roams the earth, seeking ways to wreak havoc on God's kingdom (1 Peter 5:8).

Many Christians seem to be blindsided by Spiritual Attacks. When it comes to a spiritual attack, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs for survival:-

1. Loss of spiritual desire.
The goal of any spiritual attack is to turn you away from what God wants to do in your life. That is why the first warning sign of attack is a loss of spiritual desire.

Consider the Consequences

Have you ever wished you could be somebody or have something? Of course! It’s within every human heart to dream, to wish, to fantasize about what might have been. The problem is, we often don’t become, don’t have because we haven’t paid the price. Even more importantly, how often do we get ourselves into a situation (because our wanting) without first understanding what it will cost us? And then, in the midst of everything, we regret where we are but are so enmeshed, we can’t extract ourselves.

Desire without knowledge is not good,
and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.
Proverbs 19:2 NRSV

"Desire without knowledge..." To want something without understanding what it will cost. The Lord Jesus taught about this very plainly:

"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?"Luke 14:28 NASB

Are You Experiencing True Guilt or False Guilt?Premium Content

We must differentiate between true guilt, and false guilt. Listen to how Paul differentiates between the two:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness; to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.2 Corinthians 7:10-11


Before we investigate these types of guilt, I would like to give you an overview.

  • 1. True guilt. Corinthians calls this Godly sorrow in the NIV, or sorrow that is according to the will of God in the NASB.
  • 2. False guilt. Corinthians calls this worldly sorrow in the NIV, or sorrow of the world in the NASB.
    Within false guilt I see two categories:
      a. Deliberate pretended guilt.
      b. Imposed guilt. This is guilt that we, the world, and other people impose upon ourselves.
  • Let's explore.

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    Presenting Our Children with ChoicesPremium Content

    The one who begets a fool gets trouble;
    the parent of a fool has no joy.
    Proverbs 17:21NRSV

    Foolish children aren't born, they're made... by their parents. As Americans, we are so brainwashed with certain ideas, often we aren't even aware that we are allowing our children to raise themselves, rather than taking the constant responsibility to teach them as we should. Recently, on the Wrightslaw web page (a service for parents who have children with disabilities), an Indian child specialist commented about how American parents ask their children, rather than simply telling them (or compelling them). In other words, we give our children choices, as if somehow having options is a teaching tool. (In fact, there are teachers that teach that way in the classroom, often to the downfall of education.)

    Presenting options to a person assumes that the person can

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    Are We Wise Enough to Discern Truth from Falsehood?

    Proverbs 17:16
    Why should fools have a price in hand to buy wisdom,
    when they have no mind to learn?


    When I was growing up, we had "altar calls" often in our church. The point wasn't necessarily to call sinners to salvation, but rather to allow the saints to reflect on their own sinfulness and to seriously repent. We don't see altar calls as much these days. I marvel at the television teachers that are popular, the ones that promote the kind of feel-goodism that attributes our problems to psychology or dysfunction or habits or circumstances and that speaks little of sin.

    The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

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