Spiritual Health Physical Health Lesson 1

Spiritual Health / Physical Health

     When our body is in pain or we are sick, we cannot function to the best of our ability. This will even interfere with our relationship with our Lord. You may question your own faith if you are sick long enough. Others may cause you to question your faith as well and make you ask yourself, “What have I done to deserve this?” Read Job and you will see that his friends did not come to comfort him, but criticized him. Even His wife at one point told him to curse God and die. Not something that is very encouraging. We come together to encourage one another to edify each other and to share the love of Jesus with each other. We are many parts but we belong to one body. Our individual bodies need attention too, and that is what these lessons will be about. For scripture does tell us our bodies are His temple.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

John 2:21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.

1 Corinthians 6:19( ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

We need to take care of our body, and we do this by seeking wisdom and applying what we learn to our life. Our body belongs to God we are its care taker.

James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Romans 12:1 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Matthew 4:4 (ESV)4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

We need to feed our body and our spirit. We feed our body food and our spirit His Word.

Proverbs 4:20-23 (ESV) 20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

We need to continually feed on the Word of God. If we do not we grow spiritually weak. We also need to have fellowship with other believers.

Hebrews 10:25 (ESV) not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

If we do not feed our body properly we make it weak and it becomes easier for it to become sick. Today we shall focus on protein. This is a nutrient that if we do not continuously feed on we lose because our body does not keep it stored. It is used by the body and needs to constantly be replenished. Just as our spiritual muscles are weakened by neglect our body suffers if it is neglected as well. Our muscles need protein. We also need to exercise our muscles. This does not mean we have to lift weight and become body builders or athletes. If water does not move and no fresh water comes into it the water becomes stagnate. This water is then useless and it stinks too! If we do not keep our body fed and moving it too will become stagnant and worthless.

Now meat is one way of getting protein, but beans are an excellent source of protein as well and they also contain fiber which is good for our body as well.

Canned
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup
 
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 6

Calories 218

 
% Daily Values*
Total Fat 0.7g 1%
  Saturated Fat 0.18g 1%
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g  
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.06g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 922mg 38%
Potassium 739mg  
Total Carbohydrate 39.74g 13%
  Dietary Fiber 16.6g 66%
  Sugars –  
Protein 14.47g  
 
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 10% Iron 26%

Boiled

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup
 
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 134

Calories 312

 
% Daily Values*
Total Fat 14.85g 23%
  Saturated Fat 1.978g 10%
  Polyunsaturated Fat 7.263g  
  Monounsaturated Fat 4.819g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 414mg 17%
Potassium 609mg  
Total Carbohydrate 34.13g 11%
  Dietary Fiber 8.3g 33%
  Sugars 1.24g  
Protein 11.82g  
 
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 6% Iron 13%
What’s New and Beneficial About Black Beans -Recent research has shown that black beans provide special support for digestive tract health, and particularly our colon. The indigestible fraction (IF) in black beans has recently been shown to be larger than the IF in either lentils or chickpeas. It has been shown to be the perfect mix of substances for allowing bacteria in the colon to produce butyric acid (Role in Digestion Humans have this acid in their digestive tracts, too, and it is one of many stomach acids that helps break down food for energy. The colon also produces it as a byproduct of some types of fiber digestion, particularly oats and raw bran. Many experts say that this acid is the main reason human gas and flatulence smells bad in so many instances.)

 

Now we should begin exercise with learning to stretch and to breathe.

We all breathe but it is what is called shallow breathing. Just like our muscles need protein, it needs oxygen as well. Deep breathing increases the oxygen our body needs. Breathing deeply can also calm the body and lower blood pressure.

When we practice deep breathing exercises, the breath helps to remove toxins from our vital organs and promote improved blood flow throughout our body.

Check this out with yourself right now.  Turn your attention to your breathing. Do you see anything moving? If the answer is no, you are likely taking shallow breaths. Where there is stress, there is usually shallow breathing. The good news is that with very little effort, deep breathing can become an easy and unconscious practice.

 

First, sit upright in a comfortable position, with your hands on your knees and your shoulders relaxed. Now, in your mind, make a conscious decision to focus on your breath. Close your eyes and exhale completely. Your lungs first need to be empty in order to allow you to inhale fully and deeply. Slowly breathe in through your nose for a count of five. Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen. If it helps, picture your lungs expanding with air as you breathe in. As your lungs expand they push down on your diaphragm causing your belly to expand. Once you have taken a good deep breath in, hold in your breath for a count of three. Then slowly exhale the air out through your nose while counting to five. At the end of your exhale, hold once again for a count of three. Take another slow breath in through your nose, again counting slowly up to five.

Remember to breathe deeply down into your belly and let your belly expand as far as is comfortable. There is no need to force it.

Repeat this deep breathing exercise 5-10 times, which should only take a few minutes.

When you do this deep breathing exercise, expect your mind to wander. That is what the mind does.  When you notice this, simply bring your attention back to your deep breathing and begin your count again.

If you practice this deep breathing exercise on a regular basis you will notice that it becomes easier to focus on your breathing and eventually you will notice that you regularly breathe deeply without having to think about it at all.

We can also use this time to meditate on a scripture of your choosing. You can replace counting with a scripture.

Now we should stretch

Let’s learn a stretch we can do while sitting.

  1. With legs wide, slowly curl your spine forward, dropping your torso toward your thighs.
  2. Allow your head to relax and your hands to reach down toward your feet. Hold for 20 -30 seconds and slowly rise back up. You can increase time as you become more limber.

This stretch will elongate your spine and increase blood flow to your head. Use caution when you first rise from this exercise. You may become dizzy, this is why this a good exercise to do while seated.

Proverbs 18:21 Power of life and death are held in the tongue.

Proverbs 18:21  ESV  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

     A few years back I had come to realize that my speech was ugly and hateful. I had so much anger and resentment over the abuse and wrong doings that had happened to me were controlling me. I always felt the need to protect myself and the slightest wrong would allow me to justify to myself, a reason to retaliate. I did not have the physical ability to do harm but the words that came out of my mouth were as damaging as any physical damage a person could do. I had no intention of forgiving those who had hurt me. Then one day I heard the words spewing out of my mouth like lava from a volcano and realized that it did not matter how long ago I asked Jesus into my life, I had not learned to forgive as I had been forgiven. If I did not learn how to forgive all the hatred and bitterness of forgiveness would destroy me and anyone I cared about. I learned that forgiveness was not an emotion that I needed to feel, but an action I had to do, so that I might find peace.

     I started keeping a journal and decided that I had to change how I spoke. Going to church alone was not going to make the necessary changes I needed to make. So every day I had to make the decision to speak words of life, encouragement, healing, praise and thanksgiving. This was not an easy task, and I failed many times, but I wrote down my failures keeping myself accountable. When I blew it and let anger or any other negative emotion raise it’s ugly head and spoke harsh and hateful words, I confessed to Jesus, repenting and giving Him thanks for His grace. I also knew that I could not do this on my own, so I searched His Word and submitted myself to His will. I knew the days of demanding my own way had to come to an end. I am no where near perfect but I am thankful that He is transforming me into a woman that is pleasing to Him, and that it is His Word that gives me the direction that I need.


A few of the scriptures I have focused on are
Proverbs 18:21, Proverbs 15:4, Psalm 141:3, Psalm 34:13
1Peter 3:10, the book of James, but some specific verses are 1:26,
and 3:2-10. Search the scriptures for yourself, because there are so many more than these few. God can change you if you allow Him to.

Forgive (Matthew 6:14-15)

Forgive prison guard

If you do not forgive, you are only sentencing yourself to prison. So forgive and receive the freedom that forgiveness brings.

Many feel that to forgive means to forget. That is not true. If you forget, all you have done is forgotten. Forgiveness takes place when you know the wrong that has been done and you show mercy and do not hold it against the one who has wronged you. This will not undo the pain and hurt that was caused by the wrong acts of the other. It just means that you are no longer carrying the burden of being their judge. Forgiving someone that has wronged you also does not mean that they will change or even be sorry for what they have done, and that you will continue to let this other person hurt you. You are free to love and be healed. What they do with the forgiveness offered to them is up to them. Some may ever think that they have ever done anything wrong. Your forgiving them will not change this. Still forgive them and pray for their salvation, so that they can experience the One Who came to forgive all who will receive Him, Jesus Christ the Author of Love and Forgiveness!

Winter Blues

bluejulie (1)

I am not going to be discussing colors, even though blue is in the title of this writing. Winter Blues, SAD(seasonal affective disorder) is something too many people suffer from, and for those of us who deal with depression on a regular basis this time of year is or can be more difficult to deal with. Most people do not recognize this is happening to someone they know for multiple reasons. The person who deals with depression or Winter Blues may be very good at wearing a mask and concealing what is going on inside, end even when asked they simply answer ‘I am fine, or I am okay’ even when they know they are not. They either do not want to burden another with their problems or they do not want to come across as weak or less of a person. This list goes on as well, but hiding it or ignoring it will not make it go away. I know I have gone through all the extremes when it comes to dealing with my own depression. The thoughts that float through my mind especially during this time of year even scares me. I am afraid of the day where I will give into my depressed thoughts. Yet I have continued to fight and keep pressing forward in hopes of a day when I will not feel the dark suffocating force that I feel when depression outweighs my peace or joy. How can I have peace or joy? For one I have learned that peace or joy can be in me in spite of my circumstance or how I feel. It is the calm assurance that no matter how dark and hopeless things are, it is not over and I will be okay. Unfortunately this is not how I feel on most days. Yet this is what keeps me going. I look to scripture for encouragement, as well as people who are supportive and understanding. These people do more than just listen to me, or just sit with me when I do not feel like talking. They don’t pretend there is nothing wrong, but they are compassionate and loving without being overbearing. They do not try to fix me but they walk with me and offer me a hand when I am down and need help getting back up. If I pretended everything was okay and hid my inner battle from them they could not do this. Yes it may seem that I am making myself vulnerable and weak, but it takes a special strength to open up and let the right people in. Depression, blues, anxiety, anger, etc… make us want to keep people at a distance if we even want to see people at all. By doing this we are only letting these things control us instead of us controlling them. I want to live free from these disabling emotions. To do this I have to make a choice daily not to give into them, some days I do good, and there are days when I fail and I let them overcome me. But I do not give up. Not because I did it all on my own but because of Scripture, prayer and people who love and pray for me. Then my important source of comfort and encouragement, Jesus, who died for me to show me how much He loves me, for the Holy Spirit He sent to me to be my Helper and Comforter. (John 14:26 (AMP) 26 But the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name[in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.) He is the One who is always with me even when I am alone. Loneliness is a companion of depression because when I am depressed or Blue I feel cut off, disconnected, even when I am in a crowd of people I can feel all alone. To help me deal with this feeling I focus my thoughts on Jesus (Who is the Word made flesh. John chapter .) I think about His words and how they tell me of His love, His peace, His Joy, and His victory for my life. I will not say this is easy but if it was not for His love and His Word I would not be here today sharing a part of myself with you today. I have bad days, it does not mean He does not love me, but it does mean that I am not going through the bad days alone. I like how the church (that is you and me who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior) is compare to being His Bride. Then I think of the wedding vows ‘For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, never to part’, and how this applies to our relationship with Him. He never gives up on us He hangs in there with us when life gets ugly. Do not let the Winter Blues get the best of you. I know depression is overwhelming and you may feel like you cannot go on and there is nothing you can do, but don’t give up. Say a prayer, even if it is only these simple words, “Jesus Help!” Then talk to someone and find help.

Here are some scriptures  and links to encourage you included are a link to Web MD and to the Mayo Clinic. I am not a professional but I am a person who has fought depression and PTSD for many years and I am doing better with help. I hope these will help get you started.

a link for scriptures on the Holy Spirit as Comforter and Helper  http://www.openbible.info/topics/the_comforter

a link for scriptures on depression  http://hopefaithprayer.com/scriptures/against-depression/

Philippians 1:19(ESV)  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

links on depression and Winter Blues

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/seasonal-affective-disorder

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Take off you mask.

  Years of working in bars and restaurants taught me to put on a mask. The reason was because that customers do not want to be waited on by a sad, depressed, angry or bitter, waitress. So no matter how I was feeling, I had to cover it up with a happy mask. Concealing how I felt because I was there to do a job, and you will not get tips when you appear miserable. Even when I had to serve customers who were rude abusive, or vulgar, I had to laugh and put a smile on my face, and be pleasant to them.

Now the same can be said about people in church. I had heard the term ‘Church face’ and I thought it was an appropriate description. We cover up what is really going on inside because we are afraid of being judged or rejected. We also do not our faith to be questioned. (This does not mean when you are struggling with emotional or other issues you have lost faith, it just means you are human and we have our weaknesses that we individually have to deal with.) Yet one reason for fellowship is so that we can help each other. It is like the wedding vow, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, and for better or worse. The church is the bride of Christ. We are His body, arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes and ears, the list goes on. When we put on our masks to conceal our true feelings, our frustrations, our disappointments, etc… We are closing the door on receiving the loving help we so desperately need. God said it was not good for man to be alone. This was not just for a man and woman to be married. We need each other. Scripture tells us if two are walking and one falls into a ditch the other is there to help them out.

We need to take off our masks. I know that it is scary to expose ourselves and be vulnerable, but it is in our weakness that God is the strongest. One of God’s blessings in my life are the people He gave to me to be my true friends. These are people who I can be real with. They have seen me when I have been at my worse. When I have been so angry that I was intolerable to be around. When I was too depressed that I did not want to go on. They have listened to my screams,and let me cry till there were no more tears to fall. When I have felt that all hope is lost, they have sat quietly, showing great compassion. They do not try to fix me, or tell me what I am doing wrong. They show me they love me by just accepting me as I am. Many times they just sit quietly and listen. Their presence alone giving comfort. When they speak, they use words of encouragement. They never doubt my faith, but remind me that they know how strong my faith is, and that Jesus loves me at all times, just as they do.

I thank God for these friends, who have let me remove my mask without any fear. I can be myself with them, no masks, no pretending. God uses these people to hug me, and hold me, and to speak words to encourage and heal me when I am hurting more than I feel that I could bear. If you take off your mask you will find there are people already in your life who God has blessed you with. who will do the same for you as my friends have done for me. You won’t know these people till you take off your mask though. So take off your mask and see truth. See God’s amazing love for you.

Self Portraits Bible Lesson

drowning

Self Portraits / Julie Sheppard

A lesson on how we view ourselves and how God in His Love and Word can transform us. How we see ourselves, and how others see us can be completely different. Then there is how God our Heavenly Father and our Creator sees us. How do these views reflect the other is what this is part of what this lesson teaches.

Taking a good luck at ourselves is not easy for most of us. We can look into a mirror and see our reflection but this is not all that we are. God created each one of us individually and He knows our hearts, our thoughts, and everything else about us. He created each of us with a purpose. We are beautifully and wonderfully made. Each one of us is His masterpiece. Most of us do not see this though. I admit that I do not see what God sees, but through this study, I hope we will have our eyes opened, and that we see who and what were created to be. We are His daughters. We are His chosen, and we are His bride.  Not forgetting the men, they are His too. But this study is especially for us women, because we do not usually see ourselves in the best light. It is time that we see ourselves in the Light of Jesus, which He shines favorably upon us.

The worlds view of women has taught us that we to fit a mold to be seen as beautiful. TV shows, movies, magazines, and fashion has reinforced this view into our own way of thinking. We are not only of putting each other’s down, we also put ourselves down. If a person doesn’t fit our view of what we think they should be or act, we often criticize gossip and make jokes at the others expense. We may be nice to their face, but slander them behind their back. Let us break this terrible behavior. We are called to love each other. The Word even tells us to go a step further, and to love our enemy! But how can we love, if we do not love ourselves? It is okay to love yourself, because God created us in His love, to be loved.

Now take the time and see who you are created to be. In the first part of this four part lesson, we will make a self portrait of ourselves. You do not have to be an artist to do this. This exercise is to be fun and an opportunity to be creative. This is not a pass or fail exercise. Paints, pens, pencils and crayons are usual art supplies, there is also pictures from magazines etc… that you can make a collage. This is an opportunity to show off your creativity, and to take a look at ourselves in a new way. When you have completed your portrait take some thought and think of a scripture(s) or a person in the Bible you can relate your portrait to. You can write as many scriptures as you would like. One thing if you want to get something more than an art lesson be honest with yourself as you do these lessons

Lesson two The second lesson is not going to be much different than the first lesson except this portrait will be one to portray how we think the world sees us as. We may say we do not care about what others think of us, but if we are honest with ourselves we do care. Sometimes this can cause  our view of ourselves to diminish. This can keep us from doing what God has called us to do, because we are afraid of being judged, this can also cause us to harshly judge others out of this fear. (Strike first) So this lesson is to get us beyond that fear of being judged and criticized. Once your portrait for this lesson is done, think of someone in the Bibles who makes you think of this portrait. Then ask yourself does their story reflect how you feel you are seen by others? Discuss with another if they see you as this portrait or not.

Lesson three The third part of our lesson is to do a portrait of one of your sisters. Names will be put into a bag and each one of us will pick a name from this bag. This is not an easy exercise, because of how we may feel that we are viewed.  Yet one rule to this lesson is we will not be tearing each other down. This is a lesson in how we can build each other up. To show your sister the beauty she may not see in herself.  Here we will also learn some truth about ourselves we didn’t know about before. This will also reinforce that we do not need to fear judgment and criticism. Just as in the previous lessons choose a scripture or person in the Bible who reflects this portrait of your sister. If you are not sure of what this portrait should look like pray and let God’s Holy Spirit guide you. You may even choose you scripture or biblical person first. Remember to build your sister up. Make sure to stay away from all things negative.  Remember the saying a picture can speak a thousand words? So let us watch our words. Speak LIFE! When you have completed this portrait and added the scriptures or person from the Bible present it to your sister. In this you will both be blessed. Discuss the reason for your choices in making this portrait.

Lesson four; The best lesson is for last. This portrait is how God our Father sees us. His view of us is so much better than what we see ourselves as.  It is time to see ourselves through His loving eyes. Allowing Him to open up our eyes to see the beauty of His creation. Now in this lesson you should have no trouble finding scriptures detailing how He sees us. Not only should this lesson help us to see the beauty in ourselves but in each other. Then we can learn to be more encouraging, lest critical, and to let go of our fears. Learning to see ourselves through His loving eyes. Now complete your last portrait. Once you are done let us discuss how has your view of yourself changed through these lessons? Do you see yourself as being loved? Do you see how beautiful you are? Do you see your value? Do you see how important you are?

If you choose to do this study please let me know. I would love to see your portraits  and read what you have learned and if there are any lessons you learned that you would share to help another.

Forgive me

My prayer.

For anyone I have hurt with my words or actions, I am sorry, please forgive me.

For anyone I have judged in anger I am sorry Please forgive me.

For anyone I tried to control, boss or try to manipulate to get my own way, I am sorry please forgive me

For those I did not help when I was able to I am sorry please forgive me.

For those I refused to listen to who needed to talk I am sorry please forgive me.

Father in Heaven I am sorry for every time I have withheld the love you gave me from another and refused to forgive, help me to forgive and please forgive me

For anyone I had not forgiven I am sorry I forgive you and hope you can forgive me. I ask God to bless you with His love and mercy.

 

Forgiveness is a two way street. You cannot expect of be forgiven if you are not willing to forgive. Jesus taught us that forgiveness is love. We need to be accountable for our own actions. My sin is not greater or less than any other persons. Our sins nailed Jesus to the cross. He paid the debt so we could be forgiven. So as we have been forgiven we need to forgive.

Cracked Pots Bible Study

God uses cracked pots / A study in imperfections made perfect
Julie Sheppard

To the world a cracked pot is useless. It is broken and has no purpose. If you were to pour water into it, the water would flow through the cracks. So we can ask how can God use a cracked pot? We look at ourselves and we become our own worst critique. We see all that is wrong. We look at our past and see all of our mistakes. Yet God sees more.
God uses our imperfections and makes us perfect because He is perfect.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
These 2 verses make me think that being a cracked pot is a good thing. Why? Because that I am cracked all that was wrong within me is released and poured out at the feet of my Savior Jesus. It also means that because I am empty He can use this broken vessel to let His love and grace flow not only into me but through me so that what He gives me pours into the lives of those I come in contact with.

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman Matthew 7:37-39Ref — Mt 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9; Jn 12:1-8 7:41,42Ref — Mt 18:23-34
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,
38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet,1 he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,a and the other fifty.
42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet,2 but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45 You did not give me a kiss,3 but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
46 You did not put oil on my head,4 but she has poured perfume on my feet.
47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”5
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you;6 go in peace.”7

Here in Matthew you see a woman who had a poor reputation that humbles herself at the feet of Jesus. The tears pouring from her eyes cleansing the feet of Jesus.

Mark 14:3-9
3 And being * in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat , there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenarda very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said , Why * was this waste of the ointment made ?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 And Jesus said , Let her alone ; why trouble ye * her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she * could : she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever * this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she * hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Mark writes that she broke the box of oil and poured it on the head of Jesus.
Both scriptures mention being poured, but do you see the importance of the box being broken?
It took breaking the box to release the oil it contained.
Now for those of us who have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He lives in us. It is His Light that shines through us. So He uses our imperfections to shine His Light of love through us to reach others who are lost and broken.

Can you think of ways that God uses your flaws to do something for His good?Cracked Pot

Continuing to make changes in me (Words)

Proverbs 18:21 ESV Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
A few years back I had come to realize that my speech was ugly and hateful. I had so much anger and resentment over the abuse and wrong doings that had happened to me, I was allowing it to control my behavior. I always felt the need to protect myself and the slightest wrong would allow me to justify to myself, giving me a reason to retaliate. I did not have the physical ability to do harm but the words that came out of my mouth were as damaging as any physical damage a person could do. I had no intention of forgiving those who had hurt me. Then one day I heard the words spewing out of my mouth like lava from a volcano and realized that it did not matter how long ago I asked Jesus into my life, I had not learned to forgive as I had been forgiven. If I did not learn how to forgive all the hatred and bitterness of forgiveness would destroy me and anyone I cared about. I learned that forgiveness was not an emotion that I needed to feel, but an action I had to take, so that I might find peace. I started keeping a journal and decided that I had to change how I spoke. Going to church alone was not going to make the necessary changes I needed to make. So every day I had to make the decision to speak words of life, encouragement, healing, praise and thanksgiving. This was not an easy task, and I failed many times, but I wrote down my failures keeping myself accountable. When I blew it and let anger or any other negative emotion raise it’s ugly head and spoke harsh and hateful words, I confessed to Jesus, repenting and giving Him thanks for His grace. I also knew that I could not do this on my own, so I searched His Word and submitted myself to His will. I knew the days of demanding my own way had to come to an end. I am no where near perfect but I am thankful that He is transforming me into a woman that is pleasing to Him, and that it is His Word that gives me the direction that I need,
A few of the scriptures I have focused on are
Proverbs 18:21, Proverbs 15:4, Psalm 141:3, Psalm 34:13
1Peter 3:10, the book of James, but some specific verses are 1:26,
and 3:2-10. Search the scriptures for yourself, because there are so many more than these few. God can change you if you allow Him to.

Broken and Torn

Broken and torn
Never again to be worn
Black and blue
is not my best hue
Trust is broken
Empty words spoken
Eyes
Vacant
Empty
No cure
No longer pure
Damaged beyond repair
there is no hope here
No one can help
what is done is done
My life is gone
heart pumps
blood flows cold
never to grow old
broken and torn
Never again to be worn

© By sheppaja On 6/9/2009 3:37:09 PM

I had written this poem a while back while I was still dealing with the aftermath of an abusive marriage. The view I had of myself only mirrored how I had been treated. From childhood into becoming an adult I had been abused. I kept finding myself in bad relationships, only two had actually been physically abusive but the others still did their damage. I didn’t realize it at that time that I had for most of my life felt I deserved what happened to me. Abuse warps the way we think and how we look at ourselves. We live in in fear and doubt plagues our minds, we are prisoners in our own minds. What has helped me to stop this way of existing(I call it existing because you are not truly living when you live like that) was Jesus reaching out to me. Through His Word He told me who I am, and who I am to Him. He taught me my life had purpose, and it wasn’t to be anyone’s punching bag(verbally or physically). He has a better life for me. Yes I still have troubles and face trials and temptation but I have Jesus to walk with me each day no matter what the day holds. When I look into the mirror using His eyes I see a better person than who I used to think I was. I have a lesson that is good for anyone who has doubt, unbelief in themselves, feels they deserve to be treated poorly,,this list can go on and on but the point of the lesson is to transform how you see yourself to how God sees you. I had titled the lesson self portraits. I will find it and post it and hope that it will help anyone who looks at themselves the way I used to look at myself. The freedom I found in letting the love of Jesus into my heart has definitely changed me for the better. Yes I still have bad days and get down on myself but now I don’t stay down because He is always there to lift me up. If you feel broken and torn turn to Jesus and let Him in. Look for my lesson, “Self Portraits”, hopefully it won’t take me too long to find.