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Stirring The Deep


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Sticks and Stones: The Power of Words

Sticks and Stones: The Power of Words

Who do you give “authority” to? 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Above is one of the most popular childhood rhymes that needs a little dissecting, because most of us have been corrupted, damaged, and lived a life of pain because of the words of others, words spoken by those we gave and still give “authority” to.

People speak and act according to how they are not according to the object of their words and actions.  Yet, far too often we’ve internalized the damaging words and actions of others. And God wants to free us.

There are many forms of this truth, but let’s take someone lashing out at another.  When someone delivers a verbal barrage of negativity, it’s about them not the recipient. The problem is most people own other people’s words when it aligns with concepts spoken to them in the past by “authorities”.  When someone lashes out then the recipient thinks something is wrong with them or it’s about them, when the painful delivery has nothing to do with them. How a person acts is all about them; not the recipient. But if their actions and words line up with what an authority figure in their lives spoke, especially a parent or an influential figure of their childhood, they will believe it and internalize the other’s baggage making it a part of who they are.

For example, if someone lost the car keys … I could call them an idiot for being so careless, or not even say a word but in my mind think what an idiot for being so careless. Either way, they would feel the condemnation because people respond to what we give off, not just our words. Matt 5:28 OR I would know we all do forgetful things, help them find the keys, and develop a strategy so they won’t lose them in the future. Consider the impact of the two responses on the recipient. The first would probably make them feel bad about themselves because most people incorrectly own others negative reactions toward them, especially if it was in line with what an authority figure said. The second would be uplifting and helpful.

The greatest impact of this dynamic is with children, which we all were at one point so consider what “baggage” you’ve owned from others. With children, the parents usually have the greatest authority in their lives, what they say the children believe without question and own it as their truth. Whatever they say, the children believe and manifest in their lives. If the parents said they were a loser, then that is how they will grow up unless or until they have a higher authority tell them differently at some point. This is just what children do, they believe their parents.  Children don’t have the experience to realize that how their parents speak to them is about them and not the child. They don’t have a more powerful authority in their lives to tell them otherwise. Calling a child a loser has nothing to do with himself, and everything about the parent, which at one time it had nothing to do with that parent until he heard it from his parents and so on. This is an example of how sin spreads like cancer, because most people own other people’s baggage. 2 Timothy 2:17

You see how lies are passed along. How faulty frameworks about who we are formed. We all grow up with lies by owning others’ baggage. Lies make a train wreck of our lives, but Christ came to rewrite our lives and who we are. He came to show us who we truly are; beautiful, bountiful, blissful, boundless, bold, beloved, and blessed. What we believe we manifest. Many are manifesting the pain of others because they took ownership of their pain by believing their words. Christ came to set us free. John 8:32

As we mature spiritually, we realize that God is our authority, therefore we listen to what He says. When we do listen to Him, our framework changes and we learn that all the negativity spoken to us was about the speaker’s pain and baggage, and had nothing to do with us. If they were different and didn’t have their own bondage they would have never spoken that way to others. This understanding of their bondage is key to forgiveness and love that covers a multitude of sins.

Words are incredibly powerful when they come from someone we’ve given authority to. Who we give authority to dictates our life, because authority manifests belief. What we believe in we create as our reality.  If we give someone authority, then we trust what they say and make their words are truth. Consider the authorities in your life, parents, doctors, PHDs, field experts, spouses, friends, political talking heads, and religious leaders.  What kind of path have they led you on? This isn’t blaming, but taking responsibility for what we hold as truth and who we’ve placed as authorities in our lives who shouldn’t be.

If you still have misplaced authorities, it’s time to dethrone them. Psalm 1:1 THE authority in our lives should be God. Others can confirm what He tells you, but He should be THE authority – because He will speak ONLY truth to you. When He is your authority, you are on the path to tremendous freedom. Freedom from all others’ judgment, opinions, comments, and actions. Thus, freedom from others’ pain and bondage. Freedom from the lies. Freedom to be who you were created to be, someone magnificent because that is the kind of creator God is. Freedom to live a new life and a new reality. We are simply covered in the mud of lies so that is all we can see of ourselves. As mud washes off, God’s truth washes us clean. Putting people as authorities in our lives is putting our lives in the wrong hands. If you truly want to live free, then your authority must be God.

Consider Jesus did anyone alter what He thought and knew about who He was? No. He knew the Truth and His authority was God.

So as long as people are putting others in authority who shouldn’t be the lies spread generation to generation. Misplaced authority manifests false beliefs, and false beliefs manifest a life of suffering and bondage. Our beliefs determine our lives.

Instead of owning the baggage and lies of others, find your identity in Christ and respond with love. In love, tell them it’s not acceptable and look beyond the surface to that bound soul from which came such anger, bitterness, resentment, pain, self-pity, blame, criticalness, and judgment. They need deliverance too. They need love. We all do.


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Another Lost Life, How Many More?

Another Lost Life, How Many More?

 

Another lost life, Chelsea King, how many more until we make the changes that will make a difference?

Along side many other San Diegians, last week my husband and I searched for Chelsea. Out for a run after school, she never returned home. While we were out searching, another search team found her shoe that was the key the authorities needed to find the shallow grave where her battered 17 year old body laid. Abducted and murdered. John Gardner, who’s DNA was found on her clothing, was arrested. It was incredible to see how many people were giving their time and energy to search for this young girl. We yell at each other in traffic, cut each other off, hold a me-first mentality, but when worse came to worse – we were willing to help each other. But we need to do more and to act sooner. We need to understand how we all are connected and the influence we each have on the society as a whole.

Who is responsible?

I kept thinking about this question and how it falls onto us all . . . here are some of my thoughts.

John Gardner seems to be the one who is directly responsible – but what struck me very intensely – he doesn’t stand alone in Chelsea’s death and others like her. We are all connected. We all influence one another, and this truth is something we don’t seem to be getting. Though John Gardner is clearly mis-wired in his head and is under investigation for a horrific act that the majority of society wouldn’t do; we, society, have created a breeding ground that feeds minds like his. When we feed our thoughts, then they grow, strengthen and become reality. Society feeds sexual perversions and sexual degeneration in many ways that not only supports what he did, but damages many “normal” minds as well.

Who is responsible? Knowing we are all connected and influence each another, there is a network of thoughts and behaviors that help foster minds like John Gardner’s. . . in my opinion here are some of them in which you can see the connection between them. And I found actions of my past (and not so distant past) fall among them. When I considered how I’ve played a part in something so horrific, the gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ who born my sin hits hard once again.

Who is responsible?

Everyone involved in the pornography industry – from actors, to camera men, to buyers of the magazines. The pornography industry is one of the most destructive entities. When people give attention to porn, it is like pouring acid on their minds altering the way they think and feel toward others. It doesn’t value or respect men or women. It’s communicating how men and women, especially women want to be treated. And for those who let their thoughts settle onto the images, the feelings created provoke them to action. They what to engage in similar behaviors because of the feelings it creates. But those feelings are without love and therefore destructive. The feelings lack respect, and are full of selfish domination. What it is creating in someone is a monster who doesn’t act out of love but lust, greed, and domination. Once you open your mind to thoughts without love, you are inviting in all sorts of evil.

Who is responsible?

What about the parents who led their children to those types of lifestyles? A girl I know used to be in the porn industry. Growing up her dad had Playboy magazines laying around the house. What message was her father sending her? Not that this was the only thing that caused her to do what she did – but it probably played a part. Our actions make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.

Who is responsible?

What about those who dress to create lust, those who willing gaze at them, and those who have promiscuous sex to be loved and accepted? Beyond Playboy, when men gawk at scantly dressed women, what message is it sending to women, wives, girlfriends, and daughters? It says that to be loved and accepted, this is what they need to do, this is who they need to be to some degree. So that is what we see happening. First, we see women and many young girls dressing in the next closest thing; short shorts, skirts even shorter, and plunging necklines. What message does that send to men? What thoughts does that provoke and feed? Women and girls dress this way to get the attention of men. Do they really understand what they are communicating? Second, they have promiscuous sex because they feel this is what they need to do to be love and accepted – to be like those images men so desire. Now many don’t consciously think this – but it is what is happening on a subconscious level.

Women and young girls partake in these acts when their self-esteem is low, but engaging in them actually just makes their self-value lower because these acts counter respect. Though they may have a temporary high of being “liked” it’s a like that doesn’t come from respect and love – therefore not the type of “like” we want but one that destroys. Seventy percent of our communication is unspoken. Take away the words – what are these women and young girls really saying? They are saying I have no self-esteem, if this is what I have to do for you to like me I’ll do it regardless of what it does to me and others. Yet, the world fools them into thinking that doing these things is strong and powerful. But the messages these women and girls are really sending are what the John Gardners of the world feed upon.

One note on dress, it’s not about being a prude. You can look great without dishonoring yourself or others with your dress. Bottom line, everything we do should be grounded in love – including our dress. Our dress should be about respect and love – loving yourself, other women and men. There is place to dress otherwise – for your husband when it is you and him. But otherwise, when dressing to create lust in men, to pull their eyes away from their wives and girlfriends, and to devalue yourself by showing your desperation all you really create is pain and damage to yourself and others, not love.

Who is responsible?

Where do all these fashions come from in the first place and who is promoting them? What about the media – television shows, music, and celebrities who feed these images and ideas that scantly dress is a glorious thing, that promiscuous sex is desirable, and that women want to be dominated and treated like crap. The list can go on and on. We are all connected. We all influence each other in a tremendous way. Do you see how this is all connected? Most of people’s actions aren’t one day good then another bad – it is a gradual process as the wrong thoughts are fed.

The problem in society is a lack of true love. What happened with Chelsea is one of the many destructive behaviors that occur when we turn our back on God’s way – because His ways are true love. When we go against Him, following our wayward desires then all we create is destruction and pain. And society often supports this waywardness. It has re-labeled what love is and in doing so has labeled what is death as life and what is life as death. Society is creating a place that is growing all sorts of perversions filled with pain and death – spiritually and physically. May we open our eyes so that we cease being fools to its hideous endeavors in giving into its deception because we are killing our children – literally.

Who is responsible?

Yes, John Gardner is, but look at how society supported his thoughts to manifest into what they did.

If you are tired of hearing about lives like Chelsea, then examine your life. See how you are contributing to this breeding ground that society has created to feed thoughts that are destructive to us all. What are you influencing? What do we not stand up for? What are you creating in others with your actions? It is a very sobering reflection – it as been for me. In examining the ways I’ve dressed, the attitudes and ways of life I’ve supported, and so on, I can see my destructive contribution. We each influence the whole and it starts with our thoughts. Our thoughts are everything. They create our reality. 1 Corinthians 10:24

A note to the women and young girls, I believe we hold the biggest part in making a difference. Imagine if we acted differently how different this world would be? Our relationship to men is to be symbolic of our relationship to God. Our relationship to men and women is to be about true love. We need to be connected to God so that we know what is truly love, because He is love. Without Him all we create is massive destruction. We need to show that love in our actions – in how we treat our souls and bodies.

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Where to focus – A Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Where to focus?

A Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

With a background in psychology, I’m fascinated with why people do what they do including me. I believe seeking understanding of ourselves and others is tremendously valuable because a deeper understanding leads to compassion and true love.

However, this past week God taught me an important lesson — to have a more acute awareness of the conversations, circumstances and people that pull me into a mindset where I’m focusing on the flesh instead of the spirit side of me.

It is a temptation for me to dive into the whys of my life hoping that understanding will spawn a change for the parts of me I don’t like. The first step of change is knowing what needs changing. And to understand what needs changing we need to know the source of the problem. However, what I learned is summed up in Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”

In Christ we are a new creation. It is an incredible gift because, we have a new spirit connected to God that breathes new life into our bodies. Romans 8:11 We no longer strive to live by our flesh or self-will (those things which are behind) but by God’s will (those things that are ahead). Children of God desire God and His ways, but there’s a part of us that pops up unwanted and unexpectedly driving us against God’s will instead of along side. This part of us that is contrary to God’s truth and wisdom is referred to as the old man, old nature, carnal nature, flesh, self-will, and carnal mind. Though we have God’s spirit dwelling within us, remnants (sometimes huge chunks) of our carnal nature remain as long as we live in these flesh bodies. Once we are born of God, we get a bad case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, because our self-will co-exists with His will in us.

This duality creates an internal conflict in our souls. It is the pressing affliction of a believer. We want to do one thing but we do another. What I don’t like about myself stems from this flesh-life. Paul talks about this internal conflict in Romans 7 -8. He doesn’t say to try to tame, repair, or fix it. Instead we are to reckon ourselves dead to it and alive in Christ. Romans 6:11 In other words, we need to focus on our spirit that is of God. We need to push forward mentally in our spirit life. What we focus on grows. At any one time we are either focused on the flesh or the spirit. And focusing on the flesh (our will and wisdom) breeds death and focusing on the spirit (God’s will and wisdom) brings life. Romans 8:6

What I learned this past week – was how easily this flesh focus can slip in and I need to have a deeper awareness of those things (conversations, circumstances, and people) that pull me into that carnal mindset. This carnal part of us is corrupt and always will be. It has a focus contrary to God’s ways and wisdom. I don’t need to waste my time talking or thinking about it because I can’t fix, repair or tame it anyway. I’ve learned that it is what it is – so why dwell on it? God has set me free from it – so why live in bondage by focusing on it? He has given me a new life to focus on and seek understanding in.

Because of this duality of flesh and spirit, at any one moment we are either operating in the flesh or in the spirit. Which one is dominating affects everything; how we think, speak, act and feel. When we operate with a flesh mind we are fearful, overwhelmed, frustrated, discouraged, hopeless, depressed, jealous, judgmental, critical, and selfish. Our trust has shifted from God to ourselves. We aren’t living in God’s truth and promises that He is our provider, protector, defender, comfort, rest, freedom, peace, power, and life.

As I draw close to God, discerning when I’m in the flesh verses the spirit is becoming clearer. In the flesh, I feel burdened, frustrated, discouraged. I become self-focused, withdrawn and ineffective in my life. Those emotions are flags that my focus is on the flesh and it is time to pray asking God to pull me out of my mind trap. It can be difficult when I give into the carnal mind to get out of it. When I try on my own I run in circles, but when I cry out to God He always brings me out.

Our focus is to be on the spirit and building it up in our lives which we do by stirring the deep. Stirring the deep (spending one-on-one time building intimacy with God through His Word) nourishes our spirits enabling us to live from the spirit and not the flesh. It empowers our spirit and that is one of many reasons we need to dive into the Word daily. And we have to look out for those traps that ensnare us to focusing on the flesh. We need to be aware of those triggers, times, circumstances or people that tempt us to be in flesh-minded because they can pull us down to a carnal mind of fear, bondage, and pride. We need to flood our minds with God’s truth so that in those moments we have given ourselves a choice through awareness of whose voice we are going to listen to. Ephesians 4: 22-24

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Our Minds’ Focus

Our Minds’ Focus

What do you focus on? What are the default thoughts that fill the spaces of your mind? Is it worrying about the future or reliving the past? Is it about you, a self-focus and self-analytical mindset? Is it about others, their needs, desires, and wishes? Is it a combination?

God has been showing and teaching me about what consumes my thoughts – and for me on top of worrying about the future it was mostly a self-focus, how I am being received by others, what others think of me, what I need to improve, etc. It is hard to admit because it is so selfish, but it is true and that is why God is giving me some powerful lessons in the matter. When I first realized this I assumed I needed to focus more on others. So that is what I prayed for – for God to rewire my brain to attune outward instead of inward.

But this weekend, He showed me that wasn’t His desire either. He wants me to be spirit-focused. To be in the moment, not the past or future, and focused on His spirit’s guidance, not me or anyone else.

Many of our thoughts go through our brain unnoticed. Before God shined His light into this area of my life, I wouldn’t have thought this about me. The Spirit provides a second pair of eyes searching our depths. We start to see ourselves in ways we never have before because we were never able to before.

This attunement is what Jesus exemplified. He had a singular focus which was to do the will of His Father. God called Him at times to attend to others (Luke 4:43) and at times to attend to His needs (Matthew 14:23). But regardless, Jesus was focused on God, His leading and His will. (John 6:38)

This is to be our focus. If we are self-focused or focused on others, we miss out on what God desires of us in the moment. We no longer live for ourselves and what we deem important, but we live for Him. (2 Corinthians 5:15) That means He is the object of our attention. When we tune into Him, He takes care of all of our needs and we are able to love others by giving them what they truly need, not what we think they need.

So what does this mean in a practical sense? It means when we are facing issues or problems we seek His help and wisdom not the world’s. When we are standing in line at the grocery store, we aren’t worrying about something else we are we in tune to the spirit’s prompting to the needs around us. When we are with family members we aren’t focused on us and how we feel or busy trying to please them, but we give ear to the spirit as to what our next word or action might be.

How do we change our mindset, the very way we think that is hardwired in us? We abide in Him, fill our minds with His truth, and ask Him to rewire our minds to tune into Him. Like all things it is His work in us, not ours. It isn’t about efforting a change. It is about yielding to His workmanship, waiting on His perfect work and timing and following wherever He leads.

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