Discernment

What is Wisdom and How do We Acquire it?Premium Content

We know there are a lot of broken, miserable, angry, sad, frustrated, married couples who are not living their marriage in the "ways of the Lord". Every day they trudge in their daily routine barely able to take another day. When we are going through such issues in our marriage, such as being married to an abusive alcoholic, or married to a unfaithful man or woman we only see as clear as our feelings will let us see. This is not enough to repair damage done to the marriage.

We have to go beyond our feelings and emotions and try to understand what is happening in our marriage so we can do something about it in the spiritual way and not through how we are feeling about it. It's difficult to do but it is what NEEDS to be done. If we continue in our own perspective by "how we are feeling" we truly do not grow spiritually and we stay within our own private little world of emotions.

This is where wisdom comes into the picture. As scripture says, we have to throw off everything that hinders us or lay aside every weight that is keeping us from seeing clearly so we can win the race; this includes how we are feeling, which may be ill will and resentment towards our spiritually sick spouse and other loved ones. Feelings are ok to have, we need to experience our feelings, but we also need to recognize when our feelings become stumbling blocks in our growth with God.

    …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

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Accepting God’s Discipline Takes Great FaithPremium Content

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7

The saying, "you can't have your cake and eat it too is an old saying but very true."

On the same token, spiritually we can say, "You cannot live in the kingdom of heaven and continue to be a slave to your desires or "serve sin" as apostle Paul puts it.

We have to run the race marked out for us and it is not ALWAYS going to be easy. Apostle Paul even says we must keep our focus on Jesus Christ at all times.

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Am I an Alcoholic? (Self-test #2)

Also see: Self-test #1
The sub-questions are designed to help shed light on the basic question. Read them only if necessary, but don't count them separately. What will eventually happen is that you will have a discussion with yourself; this is only an outline to give your conversation some constructive direction.

This survey was written by recovering people. They had the same questions while they were still drinking or using and probably came up with the same answers.

They survived and so will you. But there needs to be a starting point, and question No. 1 is as good a place as any ...

Are You Willing to do What is Right?

Isaiah 5:20 (NRSV).
Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Over the years, I have learned to try to analyze my thoughts and actions, to discover why I think the way I do or act the way I choose. I say "try" because I’m not always successful at doing it. I am greatly influenced by the society around me, a society which isn’t trustworthy and which, if I were wise, I would ignore when it comes to making choices.

I look back over my life and see many places where I should have made different decisions, where I could have made better choices. I see so many times when I have been (and still am) self-indulgent rather than obedient to God's will. Just this morning, I read a snippet written by a dear Christian sister. It said, "Will I cooperate [with God’s plan] despite emotional pain?" Will I take the hard road?

Telling Others about Your Eating DisorderPremium Content

When deciding who to tell and who not to tell about your eating disorder, realize that this is a personal decision. You can take time to make the decision that's best for you. And remember to go to the One who knows you better than anyone to help you. Trust the Lord to lead you in this decision.

Whether it's your parents, siblings, children, other relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors or others who attend your church, the decision of who and who not to tell is a matter that deserves great care. Why not pray about this decision and see how God leads you? He knows what's best for you even if you aren't sure of it yourself. He knows who will be supportive. He also knows who may not be supportive, but who you might have a learning and growing experience with by disclosing your eating disorder.

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When is it Right to Trust Other People? (Part 2)Premium Content

See Part One

One of the hardest issues for many people, especially in today’s society, is to know when to trust other people. What I am about to write comes from the books, Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, and Safe People by the same authors. It is what I have learned along my healing journey, and I can assure you that I am by no means anywhere near the end of it. I believe healing is a lifelong journey. I highly recommend reading ALL of their books. Believe me when I say they have an endless supply of good Christian books that will help you grow and mature both spiritually and emotionally.

Many people teach that we are to trust nobody. After all, look what it gets us a lot of the time. Girls, boys and women raped because they trusted somebody enough to simply speak to them. Now, not every encounter is a bad one, but we cannot guarantee that any meeting will be a safe one. Who is willing to risk their life on a chance meeting?

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Have you ever said "no" to God?

After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. Genesis 22:1-4 NRSV

Have you ever said "no" to God?

As many of you know, my husband and I are in the process of moving into a beautiful house given to us by the Lord. Moving in and unpacking a container we packed up two years ago, discovering things we’d forgotten that we had. It’s like meeting old friends again, finding the things we’d lived with for a long time and then suddenly didn’t have for two years. In many ways, a warm reunion, finding a place to put each thing.

Making Choices

Romans 6:16-18 NRSV
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

The Lord has been talking to me a lot lately about how I make decisions. There has been instilled within me a strong Puritan work ethic: God only helps those who help themselves. And while I do believe that Christians are commanded to work and to work hard (and often), I think that my own worldview has been corrupted with the idea of American self-determination.

Romans is an interesting book. Of all the books, this is the one that is the least personal. All of Paul's other epistles are letters written to churches with whom he had personal relationships, but the letter to the church at Rome was written to people he had never met. Thus, Paul takes the time to outline the doctrines of Christianity. In essence, this--even more than the other epistles--is a book of the Bible written to us for this time, a church which Paul never meets and a church which desperately needs the anchor of correct Christian thought and practice.

The Decisions You Make are ImportantPremium Content

Some people are indecisive, their favorite color is plaid! You ask them if they have trouble making decisions, and their response is ? Well, yes and no."

I think our outcomes in life reflect-- to a significant degree -- our self concept. To put it in a simpler way, life generally delivers what we confidently expect. And those expectations flow from our decisions.

So, in a way, your decisions define you. They show how you really view yourself, your self concept, at a subconscious level. Think about it, each decision provides a way for you to express who you are to the world.

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Is Your Church New Age, Emergent, or Christian? Premium Content

For decades authentic Bible-believers have watched - and battled - the slow advancement of paganism inside the Church. This phenomenon is surely becoming much more pronounced today. Right under our noses, there is now a bold blending of holy faith with demonic influence. This synthesis of two opposing worldviews is nothing short of a satanic strategy meant to blur and twist the distinctions which separate real Christianity and New Age beliefs and activities.

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