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|Sat, December 13, 2014 at 8:12 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those
who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Nowhere is the sovereign grace of God seen more clearly than in Romans 8:28. Just being able to make that statement begins with the acknowledging that God knows what He is doing. He is not only all-powerful, all-knowing He is also sovereign. Even when disappointments, pain and tragedy strike, we can trust God to know what is best for our good.
Disappointment, pain and tragedy recently came like a flood. It all began two years ago when entering the bedroom of our home and found my husband not breathing. His heart had stopped. I call 911 and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the Para-Medics arrived. He was rushed to the hospital and in seven days he was dead. My entire life literally changed. We had been married only seven years. All of our plans and dreams were shattered. Life as I knew it; suddenly became meaningless as if a moment in time had vanished.
In the midst of the grief process of the loss of my husband; six months later, a long time sister in Christ and dear friend died of cancer. We had just returned from West Africa from a short term mission trip when the pain in her left arm was diagnosed as myeloma. Our ministry had great plans to support a clinic for women in Senegal, West Africa. My friend who had retired planned to return in a few months to assist in some work in the clinic.
Approximately a year later; after faithfully serving ten years in a local church and four years as the President of the Women's Ministry; I suffered unjust public betrayal from the respected leader. It was as if the life was suddenly sucked out of me. I could not believe what going on in my life. I said, Lord you know I love You, I know You love me. I love and believe Your Word and I trust You; however, Lord, I am hurting. It does not feel good and I don't even like what is going on. I am just saying; Lord what are You up to in my life.
Then I heard Your voice!!! I heard You say; your problem is my Child, you don't know My plan. I never said all things would be good. I assured you in my Word all things would work together for good as described in two ways: those "that love God" and those "who are the called according to My purpose." Nor is the assertion made that every event in itself is good, but only all things as they work together.
So why are you complaining? My child, you are out of order and in sin. You see my child, when you whine, complain and have a pity-party about your life and the lives of my children; your complaints as ultimately against Me. Your complaints are against what I am doing in your life, and it is not always for you to understand - just accept my plan and stay in my perfect will and TRUST ME!!!
My child, allow Me to share My Word with you from the Message Bible in Romans 8:28-39 (Paraphrase). "That's why you can be so sure that every detail in your life of love for Me is worked into something good. I knew what he was doing from the very beginning. I decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Me along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. You see the original and intended shape of your life there in Him. After I made that decision of what My children should be like, I followed it up by calling My people by name. After I called them by name, I set them on a solid basis with Myself. And then, after getting them established, I stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what I had begun. So, what do you think? With God on your side like this, how can you lose? If I didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for you, embracing your condition and exposing Myself to the worst by sending My own Son, is there anything else I wouldn't gladly and freely do for you? And who would dare tangle with Me by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for you - who was raised to life for you - is in the presence of God the Father at this very moment sticking up for you. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between you and My love for you? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill you in cold blood because they hate you. You're sitting ducks; being picked off one by one. None of this should faze you because Jesus loves you. You can be absolutely convinced that nothing-nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable-absolutely nothing can get between you and God's love because of the way that Jesus, My Son our Master has embraced you." So why are you complaining and having a pity party? Shut up and Just trust Me.
You my child must have My point of view, as it is presented in the Scriptures, in order to appreciate the glory of the universe. You would like to know the reason for your pain, trials and even suffering. However, because I am Sovereign God, I don't always reveal it to you. My child, I have good news for you. It's not up to us to figure out what My plan is for you. Because I am God, I do not make a mistake and you cannot improve upon My plan. As your Father, I reserve right to do what I chose to do in and through your life for My glory.
You part is to bow our knees before Me, trust Me, and to accept My plan for your life. I have a purpose for your life. Just accept it and to experience the new thing that I am doing in your life. Because I created you for My purpose and glory, I want complete control of every area of your life. When you accepted Jesus Christ as you Savior and Lord, you relinquished all rights to your life. It is no longer your life. You belong to Me and I have a perfect plan for your life. I love with and everlasting love and whatever I allow or design especially for is for your good. I don't want you part time; I want to be full-time in your life. I died for you and I must be President and CEO, not just resident.
You can be so sure that every detail in your life of love for Me is worked into something good for you and My glory. I have given you a hint in My Word in John chapter 15; of what can happen even when we can't see how. I have said: "I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. If there is no pruning in your life, there will be no fruit.
You see my child; I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out and My plan is to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope in Me. Every disappointment, every pain or tragedy is an opportunity to demonstrate My power through you. My sovereignty always brings assurance and peace.
Father God, this is my prayer:
Gracious and Eternal Savior, I praise you for being a loving and Sovereign God. Father God, my answer is 'yes to You. Yes to Your will and yes to Your way. I say yes to your plan for my life. Father God, I will obey You; whatever You want me to do. I will serve You, I will live for You, I accept Your plan for my life even before I know it.
Father God, now I come to You in my pain and brokenness that You may heal me; that You may make me whole. I come to you in our "dis-ease" that you may me well. Help me to open to You the deeps of my life to You that you will be able to work your purpose in and through me for Your perfect will, wholeness, and conformity to the image of Christ. I embrace every conflict, every problem, every struggle; that through them. In them You will expose my needs, my weaknesses, any self-reliance or hidden sins, that I will be refined and enriched for Your glory.
Father God, I chose to develop a biblical perspective on the problems and painful situations in my life. Knowing this, the process will help in understanding the purpose of pain and trials that will drive me to a total dependence on You alone. Father God, I find comfort in knowing that You is in control of my life and Your response to me will reveal more of Yourself to me. You revealing more of Yourself increases my faith and capacity to trust Your promises through the times when I do not understand Your purposes or Your ways. Thank You Father God for showing me when I view my circumstances in light of God's character instead of God's character in light of my circumstances, I come to see that You are never indifferent toward me, and that You uses trails for my good so I can be more fully united to You.
Father God, I am overjoyed that You cause all things to work together for my good and for Your glory. I thank You for each difficult and humbling situation in my life; for each painful and breaking or cleansing process. Thank You that I can be still and know that You are God of the universe and has everything under Your control. I can restfully depend on you and embrace Your strength, joy and yes, Your peace. I thank You in advance for each opportunity to see You work, in Your time, as You work out Your plan for my life.
Stir my heart, stimulate my mind, have your way with in me. Thank You for whatever You use to humble me. To perfect my faith and produce the soil of my heart for the fresh new growth You and I desire and to see in me. Father God, thank You for allowing the momentary troubles and trials that are producing for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all as I keep my eyes focused on You. For all you are doing, for all you are going to do, I give You praise and thanks, in Jesus' name we Pray - Amen.
|Tue, December 9, 2014 at 8:43 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
This book will grip your heart as it provides prescriptions for the physical, emotional, and spiritual blockage that hinders the Source of life which flows from the heartbeat of God. Who you are and everything you do flows from your heart. Consider the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis that can help you to keep your heart on the right course. Barbra believes that the Holy Spirit is the only Person in the world more fascinating and more powerful than the human heartbeat. Filled with over 40 years of valuable nursing experiences, research and data, along with Barbra's own life and ministry experiences, she shares how the heart correlates to spiritual truths about life, relationships, and God's love
|Tue, December 9, 2014 at 8:20 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Guard your heart more than anything else because
the source of your life flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23 (GW)
I recently had a very painful foot surgery. One of my main concerns after the surgery was protecting it from anything that would hinder the healing process. Considering the pain I was experiencing; guarding any movement that caused me any unnecessary pain or distress, was my first priority. After getting home from the hospital; I learned immediately how important elevating and proper positioning my foot helped in preventing any additional discomfort.
Guarding the heart is much like guarding my foot. The heart needs guarding because of its natural bent as part of our fallen nature. Just like the human heart is vital to our human existence; the spiritual heart is vital to our spiritual condition. Scripture teaches us the real issues of life are spiritual and the source of life flows from it. For that reason, the heart is mentioned close to one thousand times in the Bible, depending on the context and the version used. It is used metaphorically, depending on the context; referring to the mind, the will, and the emotions. It may refer to the person as a whole, the total inner person, or to the sinful nature. The heart must be guarded because it is the wellspring of life and determines the course of your life; what we think, say and do. Whatever is in your heart will come out in the way you talk and act. Whatever the heart loves, the ears will hear and the eyes will see. Whatever is in the heart will ultimately come out of the mouth, Matthew 12:33-34. As Children of God we must be careful to have "sound speech that cannot be condemned", speech that's gracious and "seasoned with salt." Colossians 4:6, NKJV.
The heart needs guarding because we do not naturally think or look like God does. I must be careful what I allow to come into my ears. The apostle Paul warns us in Ephesian chapter 4 to beware of "obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. Whatever I allow to enter my ears will ultimately influence my mind, my heart, and my decisions.
What the eyes are allowed to see determine good or bad results. Outlook determines outcome. We all have some vision before us that helps to determine our values, actions, and plans. However, we would all be wise to emulate David who said, in Psalm 101.3, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes." Walking the path of life; we must look to Jesus to keep the path of life that postures our faith. We must not look back or go on a detour.
As we are guarding our hearts; we must evaluate what we do say and see. Proverbs 5:21, tells us the Lord is looking. He looks at only at the heart. He looks at what the heart is producing. Consider your ways; life is too short and too precious to be wasted on the temporary and the insignificant. If we're walking in the way of wisdom, God promises to protect our path, direct our path, and perfect our path.
Gracious and Eternal Father, thank You for always at work in the heart Lord, I commit my works unto you, and ask you to establish my thoughts and direct my steps. Let my heart beat only with your desires. Deliver me from all wrongdoing and fleshly desires. Keep me under your faithful, loving, and warm wings of love. Father as I look to You, please continue to protect, direct, and perfect my path. I praise you, for being my Father, Savior, Deliverer and King.
In the precious and preeminent name of Jesus.
|Tue, December 9, 2014 at 8:16 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
New evidence confirms that regular exercise can affect multiple systems in your body as well as your life span.
We have known for a long time that exercise is key to good cardiovascular health. However, the benefits of physical activity extend to other components of good health that may surprise you. Recent studies have shown an association between exercise and a decreased risk of diabetes, dementia, and bone health and even an increase in life expectancy.
A study published online November 19, 2012 in the journal Menopause found that walking 6,000 or more steps a day was associated with a decreased risk of diabetes, metabolic disease, and cardiovascular disease in middle-age woman.
In the study, women between the ages of 45 and 72 wore pedometers and recorded their numbers of steps for seven days. Those who took 6,000 or more steps per day were less likely to be obese or to have diabetes, metabolic disease (a precursor to diabetes) or heart problems.
"Six thousands steps corresponds to about three miles" says Polly de Mille, RN, RCEP, CSCS, USAT, an exercise physiologist at the Weill Cornell-affiliated Hospital for Special Surgery. "This is consistent with American Heart Association guidelines for the amount of exercise needed for good health. Taking 6,000 steps a day on a regular basis also should result in musculoskeletal and psychological benefits."
|Tue, December 9, 2014 at 8:06 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
It was a Wednesday afternoon before leaving my office. I was dreading going home and facing the emptiness and silent that permeated every room. I was not looking forward to another long night. I was basically okay at the office; I could close my office door when I needed a moment to grieve, compose myself and return to the busyness of the work day. It was very different at home.
It all began several years ago when tragedy, pain and sadness came in my life like a flood. As I entered our bedroom calling my husband to come to dinner and he did not respond. I went over to him to wake him up, and found he not breathing. Oh Lord, this can't be what is going. Being a registered nurse and working in critical care for over 30 years, I immediately went into auto pilot. I called 911 and beginning administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the Para-Medics arrived. It was as if I had been sleep-walking and waking up from a terrible nightmare; however it was very real. It was as if a moment in time had vanished, the beginning of a life as I knew it never to be the same again.
From that moment, my entire life literally changed. He was rushed to the hospital and from the beginning and end, I experienced seven of the most painful and perplexing days and nights of my life. As he took his last breath, the past seven years and the times we had shared together literally flashed before my eyes. He was gone forever. We had been married only seven years and all of our plans and dreams were shattered.
I was extremely tired and feeling so alone this particular Wednesday. As I entered our home, I had a suffocating feeling of just the anticipating of going into our bedroom. I knew I needed God in an extraordinary way that day. I knew He was with me and I was giving Him praise and thanksgiving for all of the miraculous things He had done in and through my life.
Walking down the hall to the bedroom, I stopped immediately in the hallway. It was as if God placed His hand on my shoulder. I immediately cried out to the Lord. I simply said, God I need you!! I need to sleep and I need some relief for the emotional pain and emptiness I feel in my heart. Although I know you are with me, I miss my husband so much.
My groan was different this time It was a cry of desperation I felt in the depths of heart and soul. I can relate to the cry of King David had sleepless nights when he penned Psalms 18:6, when he said; "In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears." David cried out to the Lord, and the Lord heard him. David slept peacefully.
His residing presence through the Holy reminded me that I can count Him. In my groans which I could not find expressions; it was in that due time I become conscious of His presence and power. At that moment, the manifestation and experience of the blessing of His presence ushers me into victorious praise.
What made the difference? The assurance of God's presence and answered prayer brings praise. It is easier to sleep peacefully when we have full assurance that God is in control of circumstances. His presence does not mean an ending of the many difficult situations or the craziness of life problems and pain. It is the assurance of His presence that brings tranquility and quietness of in the face of the deafening winds of life, knowing of His ever presence.
You may witness others seemingly handling the circumstances of life with ease and confidence. You may ask yourself, what is wrong with me? I challenge you to view the circumstances of life from God's point of view, in order to appreciate His presence and glory in your life. You would like to know the reason for your pain, trials and even suffering; however, because He is Sovereign, He reserves the right not to always reveal it to you. As your heavenly Father He chooses to do in and through your life as He pleases for His glory. It's not up to us to always know His plan for you. Just know He does not make a mistake and you cannot improve upon His plan.
In the midst of tragedy, pain and disappointments you can trust that God to know what is best for our good. You also can experience the awesome presence of God in your praise by trusting Him with a kingdom mindset and a heart of faith. God's is able to be released to bring forth joy in the midst of the difficult situation.
His presence in my praise allowed me to develop a biblical perspective on the problems and painful situations in my life. Knowing this, helped me in understanding the purpose of pain and trials which drove me to a total dependence on God alone. I found comfort in being reminded that God was in control of my life. The manifestation of His response to me will revealed more of Himself to me increasing my faith and capacity to trust His promises through the times when I did not understand His purposes or His ways.
God revealed to me that when I view my circumstances in light of His character instead of His character in light of my circumstances, I come to see that He is never indifferent toward me, and that His uses the difficult circumstances of life for my good so I can be more fully united to Him.
When you experience His presence in your praise, He will reveal more of Himself to you, increasing your faith and capacity to trust His promises through the times when you do not understand His purposes or His ways.
Your needs will vary from time to time. The same urgency and intensity may not be felt. However, when we bring our needy lives before His mighty presence we find acceptance and help when we come face to face God in sincere praise and worship,
The almighty God, our Father invites himself into our company; he offers to sup with us. "Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!" Psalm 95:2 (RSV) There is a blessing in committing your days to the Lord. Conclude your praise and worship with an act of personal commitment, promising God to follow His direction seeking His comforting presence throughout each day and be blessed,
|Tue, December 9, 2014 at 7:58 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Barbra is passionately and eternally devoted to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a Certified Biblical Counselor, Adjunct Instructor for Christian Research and Development, conference speaker and Bible teacher, Barbra has an unrelenting commitment to the expository teaching of the Word of God and the veracity of His Word.
She is Founder and CEO of Heart Expressions Ministry, a ministry devoted to discipling women to live lives expressing the heartbeat of God. She is currently working on her first book project "Every Beat of My Heart" sharing prescriptions for the physical, emotional, and spiritual blockage that hinders the Source of Life, which flows from the heartbeat of God. Barbra is a partner with PG3 Ministry, a ministry designed to encourage the honest expression of emotional struggles. The PG3 ministry is instrumental in helping people experience the power of God's help, hope and healing by dispelling mental health myths with biblical perspectives. She is president of the Royal Ambassadors for Christ a Christian outreach ministry involved in reaching the lost for Christ. She traveled to Senegal West Africa in 2007, as a missionary and representative of the RAFC.
Barbra is the host of the Barbra Gentry Pugh Show where she provides a wide range of information to assist in bringing balance and wholeness of the body, mind and spirit. In addition, her show introduces and supports Christian business and professional women entrepreneurs.
Barbra received her Bachelor's Degree in Human Services from the University of Detroit. She received her Masters Degree in Christian Education from Michigan Theological Seminary, now Moody Theological Seminary - Michigan. Barbra is a member of the National Biblical Counseling Association (NBCA), the Lydia Circle of Business and Professional Women and Women Who Inspire.
Barbra has worked as a Registered Nurse for over 35 years. She has worked in various areas in the field of Nursing as Assistant Director of Nursing, Director of Nursing Education, and Critical Care Nursing. Barbra currently works as a Clinical Coordinator, consulting / supporting individuals who are dually diagnosed. Barbra was married to the late Robert Pugh and has two children Anthony and Portia.