don’t forget, ring your bell at 3pm on wed. , the 28th! to let freedom ring!
Scary , hunh? Watch and pray, will ya?
People, wake up!!! This is Bible prophecy coming to PASS right before our very eyes. Collapse of the food chain= famine. Cashless society= Mark of the Beast. Surveillance society= control of the whole worlds population. We need to get right with Jesus and receive the power of the Holy Spirit to get us through the next few years.
Come together people, participate, vote voice your perspective. Why, because the opposition is together and not only voting but taking action on and against your/our freedoms rights and personal lives!
The Renewed Heart should be:Prepared to seek God – (2 Chron. 19:3; Ezra 7:10; Ps. 10:17)
2 Chron. 19:3,” There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.”
God recognizes what is going on in and around His children. A renewed heart should recognize that from time to time and in certain circumstances the Holy Spirit will make Himself known or felt inside of you, and sometimes, like a loving parent, the experience may not be pleasant; but it will be right and just and also founded on truth and the love of Christ and the Father.
The story in 2 Chron. 19:3 tells us of how God rebuked Jehoshaphat for his alliance with Ahab; it also demonstrates His divine [fairness] He recognizes the renewed condition of Jehoshaphat’s heart and commends him for making certain adjustments in the city that is founded on God’s will.
The characteristics of the Holy Spirit are revealed in many ways. Correction or rebuke can be felt or realized during or even after one has gone through something, but one thing is for sure, when He is in residence, you, the Temple of His Spirit will know that something special has happened to you!
The significance for those who are developing their hearts for God is the issue of service, doing Christian work; believers must realize that a renewed heart is geared and driven towards service. Jehoshaphat was not an idle leader, he may have gotten himself tangled up with the wrong crowd (Ahab’s camp) but when we think about it, one of the reasons why we need a counselor and a constant companion is because humanity tends to get itself tangled into perplexing and downright dangerous situations from time to time. We can sometimes find ourselves in over our heads in the different endeavors of our lives.
Jehoshaphat was busy running a kingdom and he was mindful of his stewardship over God’s empire! He was in battle when God eliminated the negative influence from his life. Have you ever found yourself in a battle and miraculously it seemed as though God was in it with you and that He met your need that gave you victory in your conflict?
When we are busy with our lives this scripture emphasizes greatly the importance of staying mindful of our obligations to Christ by the instruction of His Holy Spirit. Actually, the fact that our hearts are renewed is a sign to us that the Holy Spirit is in the midst of our battles. So, for those Developing their Hearts for God take comfort from the Holy Spirit that is why He is there! The Holy Spirit is our comforter. He will make it easier for you to be strong and courageous in any and all of your tests and trials.
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”
Ezra had his mind set on finding God’s will for himself, and doing it! He had a plan for helping people grasp the Word of God and apply it to their lives, all by teaching it to those who will in turn teach it to others.
Every day that believer’s wake up we must decide how we plan to act out (that day) our peculiarities to the world. What I mean with the term peculiar is that the concept from the Hebrew perspective means that we are “God’s very own.” Therefore, a plan of intent should be applied to our lives daily to represent that distinction.
This is important because of our tendency to operate on an automatic mode. People in general are usually bound or constricted by habits; routines that tend to become our norm. Therefore, we should begin by setting our hearts to learn the Holy Bible, to break habits.
Emotions are also problematic; studying the Bible means indoctrinating ourselves by not just to be able to quote our favorite scripture verses, but by truly understanding its implications. Also, we must be determined to do what is implied in scripture; sometimes by persistence to overcome the flesh when it gets in the way. Most importantly, teaching it by example or educationally, is a requirement of all believers.
Lastly, Developing Our Hearts for God is exemplified in and can be accessed in the book of Ezra. We cannot go wrong when we study God’s Word; He will tell us what He wants by showing us His interactions with the ancient Hebrews, how they responded to His call and His follow up to their compliance or lack of it.
We are delivered from…
Romans 8:7 (NLT),” 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.”
The scripture verse is self-explanatory, our human nature, thoughts attitudes, feelings, traditions etc., cannot and will never be in accord with God’s will without His presence in us through Christ!
Carnality is the ‘sinful nature.’ “Hostile” as it applies here simply means we are willful for ourselves, we are not created capable of godliness. Our past depicted in scripture is the testament to the [lack of obedience] factor regarding God’s will. The phrase “It never will” stresses the hopelessness of humanity’s existence without God; we are born in iniquity and sin and therefore we are spiritually hopeless, in essence, “we will never obey God!”
“Notes for Verse 8, Verse 8. So then — nearly equivalent to “And so.” (T)hey that are in — and, therefore, under the government of the flesh cannot please God — having no obediential principle, no desire to please Him.”
-A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments.-
I firmly believe that believers need to examine themselves regularly because of our sin nature. Scripture says that we cannot change our nature to something that is pleasing in God’s sight without His grace and mercy upon our lives. This fact is what sets us apart from the world, we believe!
We believe that our nature constitutes judgment upon us! We believe that confession of our nature’s influence opens the door to forgiveness through repentance. And we believe that turning away from individual sin’s as we become aware of them washes us of that sin and signifies a transformed life by the blood of Jesus!
Finally, I believe that such a change can only begin by study of the Word of God, commitment to the principles that are established in the written Word and obedience to them, guided by the Holy Spirit and alongside of the preached Word in fellowship with other believers; then we can say we are “Developing Our Hearts for God.”
Hansom and bright!
he heard things differently than most…
My diversity group discussion involved three participants myself making four. They are Mindy, Scott, and Sheri.
Mindy is twenty-five years old, the youngest of five. Raised by 2 parents Irish and Italian. They are a middle class family where their mom used home /natural remedies for sicknesses rather than store bought medicines. They were/are very close to one another.
Family, says Mindy “is a major thing” with her family, she say she still calls her mom when “something happens.” In her household her mom is the disciplinarian, she grew up with her brothers playing sports with them, riding bikes, playing out in the woods, she says, that she doesn’t understand how ” the ladies can stand each other” doing feminine things or just spending time with each other rather than with boys.
Scott is forty- five years old, and the oldest of four. His sister is his best friend. He grew up with both parents in the home. His mom past away from cancer when he was 14 years old, and she did not tell anyone about her illness until later in its progression. His family is Irish Italian also, but ” mostly Italian. He remembers they would have dinner together once a week. He was the only sibling to go to college in his family, his two brothers are military or once were. Scott is married to his husband of four years, his husband has a doctorate degree and Scott is getting his masters. He tells the story of how he was present at his sisters giving birth to one of her three kids as an example of how close he is to her. Scott was recently made director of an out patient mental health clinic where he has worked for a while.
Sheri is 27 years old, she is the 2nd youngest of five siblings. Her two oldest siblings are from a different father. Both of her parents have been and are still in the home. Her mom is the primary caregiver, her dad is of German-Italian descent, her mother is Greek. She says that her dad had a “slight” mental problem when they were growing up; consequently there was a lot of fighting I between her parents. Her parents divorced when she was in her adolescent years as a result of his absence she views herself as Greek because for example, they keep the Greek holidays in their home.
Sheri has a seven year old daughter that she is raising with the help of her family, and also because she has been separated from her child’s father for five years. Similarly, she has a favorite sibling; she says that “her youngest sister is her best friend.”
Raising children in the Multicultural American Home
As we were discussing our family backgrounds and topics such as child rearing came up, it struck me that all four of us were raised in two parent environments, but today as we/they raise our kids things are not so cut and dry.
Scott and his husband are raising their children. He remembers that his father was stressed trying to raise four children after his wife passed. And what we concluded is that guys are basically ill equipped to raise children on their own. Another point that is specific to Scott’s family is that his dad “gravitated” to his two brothers and is closer to them than he is to Scott who is gay and Scott’s sisters. Also he notes that his brothers are becoming his dad in their mannerisms and habits. They drink, and are philanderers and basically just like his dad regarding relating and being a family “man.” Mindy says that she feels lucky to have had both parents in the home as she grew up.
Questions regarding relationships came up like, are relationships disposable? Are men and women today prepared for commitment? Sheri says, ” couples need a sense of identity first, before committing to a relationship and then trying to identify who they are.
Confidentiality in relationships in our view is of the utmost importance, and ” honesty in the moment is an absolute essential! The group consensus was that when you meet someone or are entering into a relationship beyond dating that one should” tell them what your responsibilities are right from the start so that they know!
Cultural competency in counseling
After learning these cultural similarities and differences of my class mates, and fellow Americans, I have determined that my own assumptions are applicable in some of their situations. The most obvious one is two same sex individuals rearing children, boys in particular. My bias is stems from the idea that adults model behavior and cognitive functions for the children.
I am sure that I have been mistaken but, I always believed that if two men raise boys, then one or both of the children would probably be homosexual. My biases revolves around the idea that what society views as taboo, a gay man may or does consider normal; particularly male-male physical contact/intimacy.
In adolescents and self image, the psychological self involves impulse control, emotional tone, and body image. The social self involves social relationships, morals and vocational and educational aspirations. Our coping self involves our mastery of the world, psychological problems, and adjustment capabilities. And finally our sexual self which deal with feelings and attitudes about sexual matters.
These perspectives will obviously shape and influence family perspectives. My problem in this paper is directed towards sexuality of gay parents and presumably heterosexual children. I do realize that when all of these factors are operating together the likelihood that one perspective to influence behavior ( gay) is at as much of a disadvantage as when heterosexual-parents raise their children and end up with a homosexual child.
But in the back of my mind I still hold the prejudicial perspective of parental influence being a dominant one. John w. Santrock, (Child Development, 12th Edition,2009) says regarding gay- lesbian- bisexual parenting that opponents to this parenting style say “it is harmful to the child’s development.” Contrarily though, “researchers have found few differences in children growing up with GLB parents. They are just as popular with peers, no difference in adjustment, and mental health, also an overwhelming majority are of heterosexual orientation, all of which nullifies my biases.
Another important issue in gender influences is “cognitive developmental theory of gender, and gender schema theory. CDT states, “children’s gender may occur after they think of themselves as girls or boys. Gender schemes say, gender typing emerges as children gradually develop schemes of what is appropriate or not as male or female…a schema is a cognitive structure a network of associations that guide an individuals perspectives. Through gender schemas children are internally motivated to perceive the world in accordance with their development (development, 366).