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Archive for August, 2018

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

From the time we rise until the moment we exhale sleep’s first breath, nearly 50,000 thoughts will have tracked through our minds. Of those rapid-fire notions, 80% are negative. Repetitive. Even bordering on obsessive.

Our minds are landmines pockmarked with negativity and habitual skepticism–self-sabotaging sink holes that entrap us in an unhealthy, joy inhibiting mindset that blocks blessedness and hinders happiness.

We tumble into the black hole of comparison, worrying whether we’ll ever be as smart, put-together, or beautiful as the woman in the mini-sized yoga pants at the gym or the young mother whose makeup is as perfect as her smile.

Clambering from one hollow only to trip into the next, we desperately seek love and approval like a small child lost in a department store searches for her mother. Our efforts to earn the notice of others, though, fails to satisfy. Instead, they clutter our minds with silent recriminations.

If I’m successful she’ll tell me I’m important to her. Why doesn’t he love me? I must not be good enough.

I know. I’m a self-confessed-personal-critic and reforming people pleaser. You, too? Perhaps Martha was one of us. Consider these passages.

“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 MSG)

How many of us effectively set aside our plans, problems or performance? With 50,000 thoughts cluttering our minds with to-do's-and-haven't-done's, a woman like Mary is relatable. Understandable. Confined by her view of performance… Click To Tweet

While we may all wish to be the Mary in the story, how many of us effectively set aside our plans, problems or performance? With 50,000 thoughts cluttering our minds with to-do’s-and-haven’t-done’s, a woman like Mary is relatable. Understandable. Confined by her view of performance comparison, she’s overwhelmed by the day’s demands and longs to be worthy of love and approval.

Flustered and frustrated, Mary prods Christ, perhaps hoping for praise or recognition of her efforts to serve him. Yet Jesus reassured, “Only one thing is essential.”

Serving Christ and others? Important. Futile worry? Unnecessary. Embracing the Word? Essential. Click To Tweet

Serving Christ and others? Important. Futile worry? Unnecessary. Embracing the Word? Essential.

Our happiness, Friend, resides in Christ–the Word eternal who was present in the beginning and who has no end. We can forgo all of the non-essentials from the One thing–a relationship with Jesus.

 

Let's cleanse our negativity with his truth. Capture our thoughts and transform them to reflect his promises. Invite the joy of relationship with the risen God into our hearts . Click To Tweet

Let’s cleanse our negativity with his truth. Capture our thoughts and transform them to reflect his promises. Invite the joy of relationship with the risen God into our hearts that we might begin to grasp the happiness we can begin to experience even now–without concerns about comparison or earning love and approval.

We already know that when the Father rest his gaze upon us, He sees Jesus’ beauty and incomparable perfection. Because of him, we are loved and accepted into heavenly arms.

As Philippians 4:8 (MSG) exhorts, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me [Paul], what you heard and saw and realized.”

 

Mind Over Negative Chatter Challenge 

1. Record 3 positive occurrences, circumstances and thoughts you had each day this week. Consider sharing them in the comments section or on my Facebook page, Tammy L. Kennington.

2. Share 9-10 meaningful photos throughout the week. Photos could include anything that brings you joy–family, favorite places, mementos.

3. At the end of the week, reflect on the ways in which the positive, recorded thoughts and/or images impacted your happiness and life experience.

4. Share this challenge with friends and family!

 

 

 

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Hello, friends! Welcome to this Thursday’s post. I’m taking a short break from our current series, ‘If You’re Not Happy and You Know It’ to introduce you to my friend, author Debbie Kitterman.

The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement, Debbie’s newest book, stretched and stirred both my faith and understanding of the Holy Spirit.  Whether you’re a conservative evangelical Christian longing to know more about the transforming power of the Holy Spirit or a Foursquare Christ follower already certain that prophecy exists for the church today, Debbie will invite you into a deeper relationship with Jesus. 

To be entered in a drawing for a complimentary signed copy of Debbie’s book, please share a comment with the group.

Peace and grace,                                                                                                                                      Tammy 

PE Jesus Showed us embrace Lifestyle  (1).png____________________________________________________________________________________________

 The evening teaching session had ended when the women’s ministry leader asked if I would spend a little time doing ministry.  As I was looking out into the audience this young girl caught my attention.  When I looked at her, I saw a picture of her standing at volleyball net. So, I asked her if she played volleyball.

Immediately, she snapped “NO! I don’t play volleyball.”

“Are you sure,” I asked?  I went on to explain, “when I looked at you I saw a picture of you standing at a volleyball net.”

“Nope, I don’t play volleyball, you’ve got the wrong person.” She responded as she folded her arms across her chest.

“Oh, ok. “Well, I guess that picture wasn’t for you. Do you mind if I still pray for you?” I asked.

She responded by shaking her head no and I moved on to minister to the next person.  I didn’t have time to really process it during the moment, because I still needed to minister to others. Later that night, I went to bed thinking about the young girl and the clear picture I had seen.

The next morning at breakfast, a group of ladies asked me to sit with them. Upon sitting down, one of them leaned in and whispered, “The girl last night – the one you asked if she played volleyball.  She plays every Friday night.”

What?!? I wanted to shout but instead, I turned my head, so I could look her in the eye and asked, “How do you know this?”  The lady went on to explain in a whisper that she was the young girl’s mother and she wanted to apologize for her daughter. She was sorry she had lied about playing volleyball.  She went on to explain her daughter was afraid and embarrassed to admit playing volleyball because she wasn’t sure what else I might “know.” I asked where her daughter was and if she would be willing to talk to me.  I assured her I didn’t know anything other than she played volleyball.  I explained, it was one of the ways God likes to encourage others. God wanted the daughter to know He was real and He knew exactly who she was.

This is why I wrote the book, The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement.

PE What Authentic Relationship Is

There is a lot of misunderstanding around the gift of prophetic encouragement and because of that it scares people or makes them uncomfortable. I get it.  There has also been some misuse of this gift too.  However, the spiritual gift of prophecy is to be approachable!  Jesus was approachable, and we are to be approachable too. Everyone needs encouragement.

The daughter agreed to talk with me and as I sat with her and her mom, I explained that God was only trying to encourage her.  Because she later let me pray over her, I know why God showed me the picture of volleyball.  He really did want her to know He knew her.  Why?  Because she doubted that anyone saw her.  She felt overlooked and inconsequential.  However, God wanted her to know that was not the case.  There are several Scriptures that spoke truth straight to the lies she was believing.  God had me share them with her that day and I challenged her to find more truths in God’s Word.  One promise I shared say was:

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…” (Genesis 28:15a NIV) 

The message to her that day, and to all of us is: “God Sees You!” Paul talks about the gift of prophetic encouragement is in 1 Corinthians 14:  It’s purpose is clear.  To encourage, comfort, and strengthen those who hear and receive it. And, it’s for ALL!  This is a gift, that Paul tells us to eagerly desire.  It is a necessary gift.  It is a gift that can change the world and atmosphere around us.

Buy “The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement” here: https://amzn.to/2N3wcPO

To get Pre-order Bonuses go here: http://debbiekitterman.com/gift-of-prophetic-encouragement/

About The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement: Hearing the Words of God for Others

“The gift of prophetic encouragement is a necessary gift, one that the Church is in great need of during these last days.”—from the foreword by Wayne Cordeiro, president, New Hope Christian College; author, The Divine Mentor

The book clears away the confusion about the prophetic gift today, pastor and ministry leader Debbie Kitterman reveals the good news about the gift of prophecy in this practical, powerful book: We are all prophetic because we all have direct access to God. Prophecy is an ordinary part of the Christian life. In fact, it is God’s way for us to encourage and strengthen the Body of Christ.

So, open your ears to hear God and break out of your comfort zone to deliver His messages to those who need them most. Act now—His words can’t wait!

Prophetic Encouragement is Full of powerful testimonies and practical application, this book will help you break out of your comfort zone and embrace a lifestyle of encouraging others–just as Jesus did. You will learn how to deepen your relationship with God, open a direct line of communication with him, and share his words with others.

 The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement  is completely unique in challenging believers to be the gift of encouragement others need today.  This book is written to give an interactive experience. Here are the book’s features:

  • Teaching on the gift of prophetic encouragement
  • Activation Prayers and Activation Exercises to take you deeper.
  • Testimonies that will build your faith and increase your boldness.
  • A profound foreword by Wayne Corderio
  • Chapter questions for personal study or discussion

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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com

Follow Debbie Kitterman

Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram :: Pinterest :: FB Ministry Page :: LinkedIn :: Google+:: YouTube

 

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Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.  -Waldinger

We do not follow a list of do’s and don’t that lead us to heaven. No jot nor tittle of prescribed religion offers sanctification or eternal life.png

In a world of being ‘friended’ and ‘unfriended’, acceptance and belonging have been reduced to photos, Tweets and images of the best of our lives. Vacation spots and smiling faces. Highlights of proud moments, but little of what floods our hearts with everything that makes us human.

Yet loneliness and social isolation are heralded as the new international health epidemic, reducing life expectancy up to 29% for those in its grasp. Why? A multitude of reasons exist. The propensity to live crazy busy. Fear of being truly known. Failing marriages and even fewer heart-level friendships.

Made in the image of God, we are designed for relationship. For community. For sharing our deepest hurts and greatest joys with one another. For laughter shared over a cup tea and tears of companionship in times of loss.

Loneliness invites herself into their lives and ours... Click To Tweet

Married women. Single women. Women with homes filled with children and women with empty wombs. Women of every age, color and status. Loneliness invites herself into their lives and ours and embeds unhealthy thoughts and habits in vulnerable hearts and minds.

For some, sharp-tipped words prick our souls as we wonder. Will I ever be enough? Will I ever belong? Will I ever matter? Others of us battle depression or allow the demands of a full schedule to rise above the need for community.

You are a woman worth knowing.You are enough and you do matter.#nomoreloneliness#John3:16#toknowafriendbeafriend Click To Tweet

Friend, loneliness is a joy-stealing, heart-wrenching, life-altering burden. If she is your unwelcome companion, can I challenge you to take action? Step out of her shadow today and invite someone else to take her place. Call a friend you’d once known well and reconnect. Call, text or message that woman you’ve wanted to get to know.

You are a woman worth knowing. You are enough and you do matter.

Praying for you today,

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happiness. Joy. Blessedness. It all begins and ends in our relationship with Jesus..pngIt’s the American dream. The subject of Time magazine’s recent expose’. And Hollywood’s driving force lived out loud in a string of movie star marriages, breakups, and over-the-top living.

We pine for it in the same way a widow longs to be reunited with her spouse. The here-and-then-gone-again feeling of happiness. We search for it like we might a treasure buried in the sand, hoping the next marriage, new house, or upgraded tax bracket will soothe the cry of our hearts for something more. Searching for a salve to soothe the realities of the divorce papers strewn across the countertop, the prescription medicines filling our cabinets, or the anxiety skulking in the corners of our minds. We yearn for it and hold out our cup of need, “Just a little bit of happiness please. Fill it up.”

...the joy we’re searching for isn’t discovered in the pursuit of more toys, more money, or more indulgence.  Click To Tweet

Friends, the joy we’re searching for isn’t discovered in the pursuit of more toys, more money, or more indulgence. It won’t be found at the bottom of an empty bottle, a scorched credit card and pretty things, or in promotions and accolades.

Happiness. Joy. Blessedness. It all begins and ends in our relationship with Jesus.  Click To Tweet

Happiness. Joy. Blessedness. It all begins and ends in our relationship with Jesus. We may walk through the fire, wander in the desert, or stumble around the darkest valley and still hold to an abiding sense of blessing regardless of circumstance.

I kind of feel like life is like that 'whack-a-mole' game. I think I can catch my breath after some life jag and then something else pops up. Click To Tweet

A woman once commented, “I kind of feel like life is like that ‘whack-a-mole’ game. I think I can catch my breath after some life jag and then something else pops up.”

Have you ever felt the same way; as though a reprieve from all of the challenges and set-backs lies just beyond the horizon only to realize another fear inducing obstacle is poised to pounce in the distance between here and there? Desperately attempting to manage, you aim wildly at the hurt or heartache, hazard or hardship.

Once in a while, your dodging and parrying succeeds. A nuisance is eliminated. A potential problem avoided. But, most of the time? The issues resurface or something new thrusts itself onto life’s landscape.

Where is happiness in these situations? Is happiness even possible?

During the next several weeks, we’ll explore several keys to fostering joy and discovering happiness that extends beyond circumstance. Will you join me, friend? In the meantime, may I pray for you?

Father, we live in a world that would steal all of our joy if it could. We long for a taste of hope and know that you are the answer. Would you fill my sisters’ cup of need today with your love and faithfulness? Prepare her heart for today’s challenges and open her eyes to the beautiful gifts that surround her. Help us to seek you above all else and to exchange our burdens for Christ’s blessings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen

 

 

Faith_on_fire

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We are more than overcomers because of our faith.-Suzie Eller (1).png

I lay in the shared room, my teeth clicking uncontrollably as waves of pain radiated throughout my postpartum body . The anesthesia wore off as quickly as it was injected and now, with my son safely swaddled and tucked in the neonatal unit, I begged for relief. The sure precision of the doctor’s blade had etched a wide path across my stomach and broad, grey staples spanned what represented my infant’s gateway into the world just minutes before.

Certain the new mother was exaggerating her discomfort, nurses only responded to my husband’s swift intervention. Finally, a blessed dose of Something Wonderful delivered relief from the throbbing ache.

A faint line still tracks across my lower stomach, testimony to the excruciating pain I once endured. A symbol of both suffering and triumph.

Pain of any sort holds to a set of laws.

Law #1 Pain is Prominent

Whether pain’s root is physical or emotional, it raps loudly on the door of self-awareness and announces its presence–each pound of the fist a reminder of its determination.

An unwelcome guest, pain is a loud, unrelenting tenant who penetrates a heart, mind or body like a tick imbedded in tender flesh.

Jesus, who chose pain on our behalf, never denied or romanticized its existence. Instead, he confirmed what we already know. “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration”…

If he’d stopped there? Oh, the hopelessness! But, friend, keep reading.

“but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:32-33 Amplified Bible)

Because of Christ's death, love has already proclaimed the victory. Click To Tweet

Because of Christ’s death, love has already proclaimed the victory. The moment we move into eternity, we’ll exchange our robes of hurt, sadness and living-on-earth for those of joy, peace and Jesus-in-heaven.

Law #2 Pain is Passing

Even though pain may seem unbearable...the ache we feel today..will one day cease. Click To Tweet

Even though pain may seem unbearable and despite its unfavorable ability to create one shockwave after another, the ache we feel today or tomorrow or even next year will one day cease.

It may continue–for now–but we can tattoo God’s word on our hearts. Impress it in our minds. Immerse our souls in hope.

Scripture reassures, “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” (Revelation 21:4-5 MSG).

Law #3 Pain is Productive

Like a woman in childbirth, pain produces an end result. This, though, is something in which we a choice. We can determine how we’ll respond to our experience.

Will our endurance result in bitterness or compassion? Antipathy or faith?

Romans 5:35 (NIV) explains, “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

The Comforter dwells in us. When we invite him to minister to the needs of our spirit, the spirit within becomes apparent. Click To Tweet

The Comforter dwells in us. When we invite him to minister to the needs of our spirit, the Spirit within becomes apparent. He’ll guide us when we stumble. Intercede in prayer when we lack words. And, provide hope when we feel hopeless.

We can’t avoid the thrust of the proverbial knife in our lives, but our patient perseverance will lead us to a new life birthed in eternity. As teacher and author Beth Moore notes, “You can’t quit now. Your almost Home! Our time lines are an inch long against the backdrop of eternity. we can do this thing for the five minutes we’re here.”

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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