Posts Tagged ‘backsliding’

Is there anything we can do to keep our feet from slipping?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the one who holds his hand.
Psalm 37:24

I love this verse; it is so encouraging; it settles my heart into a deep peace with the Lord. When we fall we are not hurled headlong… but is there anything we can do to keep our feet from even slipping? Let’s study Psalm 37 for an answer.

Open you Bible to explore Psalm 37, a spiritual warfare psalm from start to finish. As you read, put it into spiritual context by seeing the “enemy,” the “wicked,” and “evildoers” as not people, but as forces of Darkness, Satan and his demons. See the “land” as territory in your heart. Recognize that the battle is for that territory in your heart.

“Don’t fret” is a repeated theme. “Fret” (or “worry” in the NLT) is charah in the Hebrew, and it means “to blaze up with anger or jealousy, to burn, to be incensed.” Remember our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12). In verses 1and 2 of Psalm 37 we are commanded not to waste our time and energy blazing up with anger, for their time is short (Rev 12:12).

So what do we do with our energy instead of being incensed? Go on to verses 3 through 6 for the answer… and I’ll let you continue prayerfully through Psalm 37 from there. Let me know what God shows you through this psalm – and if there is anything we can do to keep our feet from slipping.

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~ * ~

Celeste Li, M. D. is the author of
Triumph Over Suffering: A Spiritual Guide To Conquering Adversity
She is active member of Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens Florida.
Celeste teaches a course in Triumph Over Suffering and serves in Christ Fellowship’s Ministry for the Suffering.

Which way will you go?

Monday, November 4th, 2013

We are always moving closer
Or not
To people, to dreams, to God

Standing still is not an option

Mindlessly repeating society’s overarching mantras
Some move along a path
Deeper and deeper in world of consumption, entertainment
Big Macs

Corporate ladder invites
Road to success brightly lit
Millions aching to get launched

All moving away
Losing sight of star eclipsed by flash
Running past streams with healing powers
Missing signs for way of salvation, forgiveness, renewal

Yertle the Turtle’s got nothing on these

It’s moving day
Which way will you go?

~ Roadrunner

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Copyright 2000-2013 by Roadrunner
Used by Permission
See more at:http://furtherreaches.com

Even After All of Your Mistakes, God Still Loves You

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

“I’ve made mistake after mistake in my life,” Pete told me. He hung his head. “I don’t blame my wife for leaving me.”

“As human beings, we make mistakes, but that doesn’t change God’s love for us.”

“You said that to make me feel better. Didn’t you?” Pete continued to stare at the floor. Out of the corner of one eye, a tear trickled down his cheek.

I handed Pete my Bible and asked him to read Romans 8:38-39. He read it but said nothing.

After a minute, I said, “God loves you, Pete. Nothing, absolutely nothing will separate you from his love.”

“Even my poor choices? My anger? The pain I’ve caused my wife and children?”

“That’s right.” I asked Pete if he wanted to pray before he left my office.

He nodded and told God he was sorry for his sins. He asked for forgiveness and thanked God for his love. Pete left my office with a smile.

Dear God, please help me understand how much you love me. Amen.

Application:  In what way will you acknowledge God’s love for you this week?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
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Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

How Can We Keep from Falling?

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Psalm 37:24: “Though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

When my son was learning to walk, I would kneel a short distance from him and encourage him to come to me. I would smile and clap my hands as he took each step. If I thought he might fall, I would reach out to take his hand in mine.

The Lord is our heavenly father. He stays close to us and upholds us with his hand. He doesn’t want us to fall just as we don’t want our children to fall.

When we do our best to walk with the Lord, he delights in us. He wants us to succeed. He encourages us as we do our children.

God knows we aren’t perfect and will stumble at times. However, he doesn’t disown us or give up on us. He is with us to keep us from falling.

On one occasion, my son felt he had disappointed me. I could see the sadness in his eyes. I looked at him and said, “You are my son, and I am your mother. I love you. Nothing you say or do will ever change my love for you.”

My son cried and never forgot those words of love. God loves us, and nothing will stand between him and us. Let’s not forget his promise that he will uphold us with his hand.

Dear God, I stumble at times. Thank you that you uphold me with your hand. Amen.

Application: In what situation will you allow God to uphold you with his hand this week?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

The Silent Sermon

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.

Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.

After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.

Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The Pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave; he slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon.” I shall be back in church next Sunday.”

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Copyright, 2000-2013 by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Is it Time for a Spiritual Spring-Cleaning?

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Ephesians 4:24: “Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Since I was a child, I remember every spring my mother and aunts would clean out closets and drawers, wash the blinds, and clean the carpet and drapes. They referred to their work as spring-cleaning.

The Bible talks about spiritual cleaning, which can be done during any season of the year not only in the spring.

My mom used to tell me that we couldn’t buy new clothes or other new items until we eliminated the old ones.

It’s the same way in our spiritual life. Before we can “put on the new self,” we need to “put off [the] old self” (verse 22). We throw out those old things that don’t go with our new life as Christians.

According to Ephesians 4:25-31, the old things are falsehood, unwholesome talk, giving the devil a foothold, stealing, grieving the Holy Spirit, bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and every form of malice.

When we spring-clean in our gardens, we pull out the weeds, rake the fallen leaves and make room for the new flowers to come in.

When we do spiritual spring-cleaning and put off the old self, we “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We bloom in godliness.

What does it mean to put on the new self? According to Ephesians 4:24-32, we tell the truth and build others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen. We work with our own hands that we may have something to share with those in need. We are “kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave [us].”

Dear God, please show me the things from my old self I need to put off. Amen.

Application: What will you put on this week that goes with your new self?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVCAll Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Have You Become Derailed?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

We have a model train with special Christmas-themed cars. It’s a fun holiday decoration, but one of the cars tends to derail frequently. The train still moves along its path, but the derailed wheel makes the journey sort of bumpy and noisy.

It’s normally not a big deal. Stop the train, get the wheel on the track, and it’s back to smooth rolling. But if you don’t pay attention, eventually the derailed wheel topples the whole train onto its side.

I noticed over the weekend that my own journey has become bumpier and noisier than usual. I’ve missed a couple of blog deadlines. Indoor training’s been inconsistent. Little stuff on the to-do list piles up. I find myself distracted by small tasks.

It’s like during the past couple of weeks a wheel has slipped off the track.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever noticed things seemed slightly off, for no apparent reason, and life’s just not clicking as it should?

Most problems start small. We wander a bit off course and it doesn’t seem like a big deal. So we let it go, because the bumps aren’t that bad, and suddenly we’re tipped over in the ditch wondering what happened.

I’d rather avoid words like discipline, habit, and accountability, but those are the rails God uses to help me stay on the path. The noises and bumps are warnings that I’m wandering off course.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead. Monday’s a good day to acknowledge a derailed wheel and get back on track.

How aboutyou?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

The Secret of Your Safety in the Midst of Temptation

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

“Satan has desired to have you–that he may sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you–that your faith may not fail.”
Luke 22:31, 32

What a scene does this unfold!
Satan tempting–Jesus praying!
Satan sifting–Jesus pleading!
“The strong man assailing”–“the stronger than the strong” beating him back!

Believer! here is the past history and present secret of your safety in the midst of temptation! An interceding Savior was at your side, saying to every threatening wave, “Thus far shall you go–and no farther!” God often permits His people to be on the very verge of the precipice, to remind them of their own weakness; but never farther than the brink! The restraining hand and grace of Omnipotence is ready to rescue them, “Although he stumbles–yet he shall not be utterly cast down.” And why? “For the Lord upholds him with His right hand!”

The wolf may be prowling for his prey; but what can he do, when the almighty Shepherd is always there, tending with the watchful eye that “neither slumbers nor sleeps!”

Who cannot subscribe to the testimony, “When my foot slipped, Your mercy, O Lord, held me up!” Who can look back on his past pilgrimage, and fail to see it crowded with Ebenezers, with this inscription: “You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling!” My soul, where would you have been this day–had you not been “kept” by the power of God?

“Hold me up–and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117

John MacDuff, “The Faithful Promiser”)

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Are You Running Aimlessly?

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

1 Corinthians 9:26: “Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.”

“Help. I’m running in circles.” Have you ever said that? I have when I’ve run errands all day and haven’t finished.

“I’ll never get done. I feel like I’m beating the air.” I’ve heard people say some version of that, and I confess I have too. One day I put piles of paperwork on the floor in my dining room and living room. In the middle of the process, a friend and her little girl came over. I said, “Please step around the papers.” The little girl gasped and said, “What happened?” I laughed and said, “It may not look like it, but I know what those papers are. I will finish them and put them away today.”

The Bible says we “do not run like a man running aimlessly” and “do not fight like a man beating the air.” So what’s going on when we feel that way? I’ve noticed when I feel that way I need to spend more time alone with God in prayer and Bible study. I also need more time in praise and worship of Almighty God.

When I do those two things, God shows me what my priorities should be. He lets me know what I need to do that day and what can wait. He warns me about taking on more than I should.

God also reminds me my citizenship is in heaven. So is my home. My reward awaits me in heaven. I sometimes forget that. Can you identify with me?

If we live as though we believe those truths, we’ll be able to face death as Paul did and say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). We won’t have run aimlessly or beat the air. Hallelujah.

Dear God, help me not to run aimlessly. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to avoid fighting like you’re beating the air?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Copyright 2010-2012, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Jesus And Weed Control

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Yesterday (How can we do “weed control” in our own lives?) I talked about my take on weed control based on The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9).

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. (Mark 4:7)

Jesus is pretty clear about the devastating impact of weeds. They stunt healthy plants and prevent them from living out their purpose. Even the best seed, planted in fertile soil, produces no fruit when weeds are unchecked.

Following Jesus requires a weed-control strategy.

Seems like lots of Christians focus on weeds. They’re all about what’s wrong—with the world and other people. They’re known mostly for what they oppose, what needs to be prevented or outlawed. The weeds are evil and must be eliminated immediately—at all costs.

If you focus primarily on killing weeds, you lose. Weeds are incredibly persistent and resilient. They grow in the most unlikely places and inhospitable conditions. There are always weeds, and they always return. And even if you banish them temporarily, all you’ve done is kill weeds. You still don’t have any grass.

We cannot eradicate weeds from our lives—or the lives of our kids. We can’t pass enough laws or build enough jails. There aren’t enough fences, parental controls, and firewalls.

Every “weed killer” spawns tougher, more sinister new weeds. The culture is pervasive and persistent. Insulating ourselves from the “weeds” is a losing battle.

Weed-killing creates a lot of impressive activity, but it’s a quick fix reaction to a much deeper problem. It’s like painting rotten wood. You’re only covering up the real problem.

I think we’re a weed-killer culture. We fill jails with drug offenders, but drug use increases and fuels powerful, dangerous criminal enterprises. We abolish slavery, prostitution, and child abuse, but 15,000 children are trafficked into the U.S. each year for these purposes.

Jesus’ weed-control guidance focuses on growing healthy turf. He talked mostly about how to live an abundant, healthy life. Like thick turf, people with deep roots and mature, rich lives leave little space for weeds.

When Jesus explained the parable to His disciples, He told them which weeds were most insidious and dangerous.

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19-20)

“The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things”—those are the weeds in our own yards.

Grow full, abundant, thick turf and pull the weeds in your own yard.

I think that’s His weed-control guidance.

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Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com