The Past

Healing from Your Past

Self-ForgivenessPremium Content

An alcoholic woman told me, "My dad was always drunk and in and out of prison." She sniffled and continued, "I hated him for that. Now I'm doing the same thing to my family." She leaned over my desk, sobbed and said, "I can't forgive myself."

A drug addict told me he couldn't forgive himself because his use left him with short-term memory loss and in financial ruin.

Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished." John 19:30 He never said it is finished except for alcoholics and other addicts.

Do you identify with them? What is at the root of this lack of self-forgiveness?

Maybe you've done something awful. You asked God for forgiveness and He forgave you (1 John 1:9). However, you think you need to punish yourself anyway. God doesn't need your help. Jesus paid the price in full for your forgiveness.

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Feel too far Gone to Claim His Promises?

Do as thou hast said. 2 Samuel 7:25

God's promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; he intended that they be used. God's gold is not miser's money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see his promises put in circulation; he loves to see his children bring them up to him, and say, "Lord, do as you have said. We glorify God when we plead his promises.

Do you think that God will be any poorer for giving you the riches he has promised? Do you dream that he will be any less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine he will be any less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said

"Come now, and let us reason together,
saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool."

Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, "This is a precious promise, I wonder if it is true?" but it goes straight to the throne with it, and pleads, "Lord, here is the promise, 'Do as you have said.'"

Our Lord replies, "Be it done to you as you desire."

When a Christian grasps a promise, if he does not take it to God, he dishonours him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, "Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, 'Thou hast said it;'" then his desire shall be granted.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Job 42:7 MRSV
After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job was a righteous man, a man who loved and served God with all his heart and might. He was a man who had prospered in an earthly sense, owning many flocks and having twelve children. He also was a man blessed with good health. All of this God allowed Satan to take from Job. Job’s life went, in a matter of days, from being comfortable and happy to being alone and miserable.

There is a saying: Bad things happen to good people.

Traumas and Addiction (Workshop Transcript)Premium Content

Obie-Host: "Welcome to our Workshop on Trauma and Addiction. We will be discussing trauma, abuse and as well as addiction. Would someone like to open us in prayer?"

"Yahweh, thank you so much for the freedom we have to gather together in fellowship with you and each other - Thank you that Yvonne is giving us her time to teach us -Holy Spirit open our eyes and ears - that we may see and hear what you would impart to us today - Have your way - may your will be done. Amen"

Obie-Host:"Welcome everyone to the Workshop on Trauma and Addiction - our leader today is Yvonne Ortega. She has credentials as long as my arm, as well as personal experiences in everything she talks about. Yvonne, please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself."

"Hi you all! Thank you for having me. It is a blessing to share with you all. Yes, I have credentials, but, I've also learned through the school of hard knocks.

Trauma refers to situations in which a person is rendered powerless and great danger is involved. The situations involve death and injury or the possibility of death and injury.
Those events evoke a state of extreme horror, helplessness, and fear. They are events of such intensity and magnitude they would overtax any human being’s ability to cope.

Such events can be childhood physical abuse or sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and rape, natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and tornadoes, car accidents, war and combat, and a life-threatening disease. Just as the body can be traumatized, so can the psyche.

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Taking the First Step: You Have the Key

You look ahead with such despair
and feel all hope is gone,
for life has been so difficult
already you feel worn.

But living life in happiness
is not so hard to do,
first make somebody happy
and joy will come to you.

But if you fear rejection
of love you have to give
and fear to reach your hand out
you'll never learn to live.

The first step is the hardest,
just take it and you'll see
that life is worth the living
for now you hold the key.
~ Ruth March 1978

Who is Your Hero?

I recently heard a surprising, thought-provoking response to that question. A critique group gathered to practice their public speaking skills. They challenged each other to do a two-minute impromptu talk answering the question, “Who is your hero?”

The last speaker began with an attention-grabbing opening line: I am my hero.

Sounds a bit self-centered, doesn’t it? I wondered immediately whether the guy had trouble getting his big head through the door.

But his explanation made a lot of sense. He’s right, and I really admire the unique look at a common question. Based on his thoughts, here’s my take on myself as my own hero.

I’m a Hero?

Are You Trapped Behind an Open Door?Premium Content


I saw a catchy phrase yesterday that summarized the way I seem to live a good deal of my life: trapped behind an open door.

A story’s told of Houdini once being challenged to escape from a jail cell. After he was placed in the cell and left alone, he removed a thin strip of metal concealed in his belt and began working at the lock. But no matter what he tried, he couldn’t unlock the door.

The great magician had been tricked, because the door was never locked. All he had to do was open it, but his belief that the door was locked was sufficient to confine him.

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Serve Him Today, Release the Problems of Tomorrow

Hebrews 9:11-12
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

I find myself so focused on things that, in the long run, probably don't matter. John Wesley writes:

The Adversary uses Fear, God Enables Us to Overcome

Abba...I know that our adversary loves to use fear to try and get to Your children. He will use all kinds of fear in an attempt to cripple us and interfere with our kingdom work. I thank You that none of these things change Your love for us...for Your love is not based upon our performance...or upon whether or not we are still afraid in any areas.

The adversary wants us to be afraid of many things:
that You will reject us (although You said You would never leave us or forsake us)
that we are somehow not good enough (which we actually aren't...but that does not matter)
that You will not meet our needs (although we have food, shelter and clothing and tend to mix our needs up with our wants)

How To Escape The Roller CoasterPremium Content

No matter where you are, you look around and, sure enough, there you are.

Do you spend a lot of time and energy trying to be somewhere other than here-and-now?

I’ve noticed lately that my inner life seems to be a roller coaster. Past experience tells me that the valleys will eventually outnumber the hills, and when that happens I’ll settle into a low spot. Unless I take some sort of evasive action, my natural tendency toward depression will drag me into the shadows.

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