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Gretchen healing heart - Page 3 Empty Re: Gretchen healing heart

Post  Admin on Fri 28 Feb 2014, 4:36 pm

[size=12.727272033691406]Christianity is a love story, a relationship unlike any other.[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406][size=12.727272033691406]-----[/size][/size]
[size=12.727272033691406][size=12.727272033691406]Just curious about something... who is that type of assembly of which [/size][/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Christ is referring to in the passage below? Who is so self sufficient, [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]wealthy, actively doing yet so nauseating to Christ?[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406]Christ [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]stands at the door and knocks, at The Church of Laodicea, whom He loves [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]but who has become quite self sufficient. They may be meeting together [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]because of Him but He is not part of their assembly, as other things [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]have become more important to them than Him.[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406]Christ is trying repeatedly to get their attention. Will they hear Him?[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406]"Behold, I stand (A)at the door and (B)knock; if anyone hears My voice [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]and opens the door, (C)I will come in to him and will dine with him, and[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]he with Me."[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406]Cross references:[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Revelation 3:20 : Matt 24:33; James 5:9[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Revelation 3:20 : Luke 12:36; John 10:3[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Revelation 3:20 : John 14:23[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406]"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Follow me on Twitter --> twitter.com/ HopePeaceQuotes[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406]TRADITIONS[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Do our traditions in church practice equate with Christ, and His commands? Or have we replaced His commands, and example, with 'traditions of man'?[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406]"So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, 'Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.'[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Mark 7 (Isaiah 29)[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406] [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Follow me on Twitter --> twitter.com/ HopePeaceQuotes[/size]


[size=12.727272033691406]HEART CHECK[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Do our hearts need a reality check? --[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]"And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” Mark 7[/size]

[size=12.727272033691406] [/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Follow me on Twitter --> twitter.com/ HopePeaceQuotes[/size]
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Feb 2014, 7:02 pm

{The Healing Heart} I Give You Mercy


Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy! Matthew 5

Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9

And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless. Matthew 12

And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you? Matthew 18

But Jesus refused to permit him, but said to him, Go home to your own [family and relatives and friends] and bring back word to them of how much the Lord has done for you, and [how He has] had sympathy for you and mercy on you. Mark 5

And His mercy (His compassion and kindness toward the miserable and afflicted) is on those who fear Him with godly reverence, from generation to generation and age to age. Luke 1

He answered, The one who showed pity and mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise. Luke 10


How many of us really understand the idea and action of mercy, both intelligently and from the heart?

Do we grasp the extreme importance of it in God's world and family?

How do we react, in thought, feeling, and word when we hear of someone who is struggling with either a serious
mistake or circumstances beyond their control?

Do we empathize, that is to remember our own experiences in similar situations?

Do we sympathize, that is to consider how we would wish to be treated should we be in the same or similar situation?

Or do we judge them, pass a judgment (false conviction) on them using a choice word that has little or no relevance or truth to it
because we haven't all the data involved in that person's situation?

The answer is empathize...we remember our own similar experiences and show the person mercy (unfailing
kindness, dignity, consideration, respect).

There is no acceptable reason for a born again Christian to behave in any other fashion, according to the
teachings of Christ.

The fear of rejection is a major reason why we let relationships die because of our choices and mistakes, for
we fear the judgment(s) of those we love or with whom we have a relationship of some kind. 

As Christians we are to accept with kindness, dignity, respect, and love all persons -- for we haven't walked in their shoes, been influenced by those persons wishing them harm (jealous or envy or pride), and/or carried their pains, heartaches and losses.

Today: choose mercy, admit to not knowing all the facts, and caring for others as you'd wish to be cared
for yourself.

And if you do know something that will ease another's pain, share it with them, so to give them hope and freedom from the

weight of the past. Christ did it, so also should we.


©2014 Gretchen Offord, Susannah's Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.
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Gretchen healing heart - Page 3 Empty Re: Gretchen healing heart

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Feb 2014, 5:47 pm

The Healing Heart} What did Christ mean?

"Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22,
Mark 12, Luke 20

It is wisest to look at Christ's words in context, in the original passage in which we find them.

Christ has been speaking about the kingdom of Heaven being like a feast or banquet, with the original invited guests
not attending thus others have been invited and have come. Some have referred to this as an analogy
of the Jews rejecting the Messiah Christ so the Gentiles have been invited instead.

But what of the person who was without wedding attire, who was unable to explain their reason
for attending, and who was force-ably removed? And what of Christ's comments that 'many are
invited but few are chosen'? Questions to think about...

The Pharisees (religious, upright and intellectual snobs) were apparently infuriated at Christ's comments
regarding the banquetso they have decided to trap Christ by His words.

So thus we encounter the comments Christ makes, in context:

"Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t 
swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?” 
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away." Matthew 22
([a] A special tax levied on subject peoples, not on Roman citizens)

Christ did not get trapped in the Pharisees' attempts to discredit Him. But what of His comments? So what is Caesar's, and what is God's?

As respects the first, do we give our 'caesar&# 39; what is due him? And what is that?

Paul notes this several times, as does Peter.

It can be money but it can also be honor, respect.

Do we give our 'caesar&# 39; these things? Do we give these things to God?

Paul said this: "Everyone 
must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, 
and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but 
in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are 
doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to 
punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of 
punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to 
those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in 
authority." Romans 13

And this: "Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone." Titus 3

Peter said this: "For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right...Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.Fear God, and respect the king." 1 Peter 2

If we submit to God, to each other (believers), then we must also submit to the earthly authority God has established.

If we resort, or lower ourselves, to name calling, malicious slander or libel (false oral and written commentaries, respectively) of those 'politicians&# 39; with whom we disagree about policies, we are thumbing our noses at God, or sinning against God. Sin with God is akin to high treason. If we are law abiding citizens, we wouldn't consider committing treason against our country yet when we blatantly disregard God's commands we are so doing against country, and God.

Yes, we are able to criticize policies, 'agreeing to disagree' with others, and to find a compromise so that wise choices are made to support people correctly. It is alright to disagree on policy, but to slander or libel (as hearsay or supposition or gossip), is seriously wrong according to God's Word.

To call government leaders names, to treat them as if they were vile criminals when there is no evidence of it, to defy reason and common sense by listening to people who slander and libel on a regular basis (even as they call themselves 'Christian&# 39;, and while making tons of money off of the negativity), thus polluting one's mind and heart....this contradicts God's commands.

Differing viewpoints makes the world go around, it is part of life and we can all learn something when we open our minds,
choose to listen, choose to 'agree to disagree' , and respect others.

It is the paranoia (hatred, arrogance, lies) that divides and prevents resolution to difficult situations.

It is murder, yes, when we assassinate one's character with our tongues (or typing, emails or websites, etc.) by slander or libel, and by such activities (attitudes, words) we are completely untrue to the God we as Christians claim to know and are not in a right relationship with Him, regardless of our church attendance (or, gasp, political affliation).

Give to God respect, and honor, while also giving to leaders respect and honor, even if we disagree with them. This is how
we respect and honor God.

Words to ponder...

©2014, Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
Follow me on Twitter --> twitter.com/ HopePeaceQuotes
Admin
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Gretchen healing heart - Page 3 Empty Re: Gretchen healing heart

Post  Admin on Sat 15 Feb 2014, 4:50 pm

{The Healing Heart} I Give You Mercy

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy 
and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their 
outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy! Matthew 5

Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9

And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless. Matthew 12

And should you not have had pity andmercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity andmercy on you? Matthew 18

But Jesus refused to permit him, but said to him, Go home to your own 
[family and relatives and friends] and bring back word to them of how 
much the Lord has done for you, and [how He has] had sympathy for you and mercy on you. Mark 5

And His mercy (His compassion and kindness toward the miserable 
and afflicted) is on those who fear Him with godly reverence, from 
generation to generation and age to age. Luke 1

He answered, The one who showed pity and mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise. Luke 10

How many of us really understand the idea and action of mercy, both intelligently and from the heart?

Do we grasp the extreme importance of it in God's world and family?

How do we react, in thought, feeling, and word when we hear of someone who is struggling with either a serious
mistake or circumstances beyond their control?

Do we empathize, that is to remember our own experiences in similar situations?

Do we sympathize, that is to considerhow we would wish to be treated should we be in the same or similar situation?

Or do we judge them, pass a judgment (false conviction) on them using a choice word that has little or no relevance or truth to it
because we haven't all the data involved in that person's situation?

The answer is empathize... we remember our own similar experiences and show the person mercy (unfailing
kindness, dignity, consideration, respect).

There is no acceptable reason for a born again Christian to behave in any other fashion, according to the
teachings of Christ.

The fear of rejection is a major reason why we let relationships die because of our choices and mistakes, for
we fear the judgment(s) of those we love or with whom we have a relationship of some kind.

As Christians we are to accept with kindness, dignity, respect, and love allpersons -- for we haven't walked in their shoes, been influenced by those persons wishing them harm (jealousor envy or pride), and/or carried their pains, heartaches and losses.

Today: choose mercy, admit to not knowing all the facts, and caring for others as you'd wish to be cared
for yourself.

And if you do know something that will ease another' s pain, share it with them, so to give them hope and freedom from the
weight of the past. Christ did it, so also should we.

©2014 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58987
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Jan 2014, 4:08 pm

{The Healing Heart} What it is, is...

We are often led to understand terminology with one, maybe two, definitions. But what happens when there are multiple definitions to an action?

My life has been a long study (observation, experience, education, helping others) in the realities of addiction. I have seen it be a substance that's used/abused/ misused, and also an activity, an attitude, a behavior...all ultimately leading to a lifestyle that hurts or destroys many people.

Most of us think substances when we hear the word addiction. But it is a very incomplete definition.

Addiction is a choice to manage something without dealing with it directly.

Substances are but a band-aid, of sorts, to manage something in our lives or within us, memories of the heart or mind.

We can learn to use substances from our families of origin or our family trees. Generational addictions are horribly destructive as they are not merely emotional in nature, but also physical and mental. They not only ruin one's life (healthy, positive outlook
and goals) but also one's relationships. Why? Fear, avoidance, denial (lying), guilt, shame are several of the factors involved. Our choosing addiction to ease our fears (or guilt, shame, etc.) will cause us to avoid responsibility and accountability, and to blame others not just once but repeatedly.

We can also learn to use substances to numb our own pain caused by traumatic emotional wounds from our lives (adulthood, youth and childhood). Substance use does another horrific thing: It stops emotional growth, thus when one starts using substances in their youth, their psychological development ceases until they cease using the substance.

Addictions can be to legal or illegal drugs, foods (sugars, sodas, caffeine, carbs, desserts, snack foods), besides alcoholic beverages.

Addiction is a consistent choosing of behaviors and attitudes that one 
knows are destructive but one chooses to avoid reality. Sadly, the time 
and effort it takes to deal honestly and bravely with reality is minimal
compared to the years one takes avoiding it by addiction. 

There are addictions to other things:

Control which is a feeble attempt to manage(avoidance) fears; 
Power which stems from feeling useless and abandoned; 
Pornographywhich stems from sexual abuse (sexuality is a very powerful drug); 
Gambling which gives a sense of power and worth; 
Work (business, careers) which makes one feel powerfuland of worth; 
Attitudes of superiority over others (racism, politics are two examples) which is rooted in low self esteem, powerlessness, and ignorance (lack of listening, understanding, and tolerance).. .The list goes on. Entertainment, religion, and computers are other means we use that can become addictions as well.

Fear leading to control causes us to manipulate others so to keep 
everyone behaving in ways which make us comfortable, but denies them 
their rights to individuality.

Addictions are our attempts to feel good, to compensate for feeling bad (real or false) about ourselves, our lives, our families. Addictions are such because we choose to NOT give them up despite evidence showing their destructive effects in our lives, and the lives of others in our circle of influence.

Substance use, or addiction, doesn't change our emotions, it just numbs them. But those emotions will come out in other ways -- sideways, and at things or others not connected to our reasons for using or doing in the first place. This is what is called 'passive aggressive&# 39; behavior. We learn to manipulate situations so that we feel good, but when we do so someone is
'thrown under the bus', discredited or devalued because of our selfishness to ease our own pain at their expense. 

Addiction is a very self involved activity, for it puts one's own needs ahead of others regularly, consistently, and for the long-term.

When one realizes one has an addiction, the first step is to give it to God, not blindly as if He will just magically erase it, its causes, and the hurt we have caused others over the years of our addiction. No, we give it to God as a means to help us understand why we have chosen to be addicted, and to give us strength to make honest amends.

Honesty is the first step towards healing the addiction, its causes, and the damage we have done to others. Our relationships are only as good as we are honest with ourselves and others.

Are you and your relationships worth that honesty? Is there anything in your life that you have chosen to continue to do even though you know (at some level) it isn't good for you despite your assumption that it meets your needs? Has it interrupted the communication between persons? Addictions block communications (both sides) in any relationship because of the fear of discovery.

God gives courage to face things, He will make you brave to make amends. The key is to choose honesty rather than the lies of addiction.

Trust Him, and honesty.

©2014, Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
Follow me on Twitter --> twitter.com/ HopePeaceQuotes
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58987
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
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Gretchen healing heart - Page 3 Empty Re: Gretchen healing heart

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Jan 2014, 12:21 am

{The Healing Heart} What it is, is...

We are often led to understand terminology with one, maybe two, definitions. But what happens when there are multiple definitions to an action?

My life has been a long study (observation, experience, education, helping others) in the realities of addiction. I have seen it be a substance that's used/abused/ misused, and also an activity, an attitude, a behavior...all ultimately leading to a lifestyle that hurts or destroys many people.

Most of us think substances when we hear the word addiction. But it is a very incomplete definition.

Addiction is a choice to manage something without dealing with it directly.

Substances are but a band-aid, of sorts, to manage something in our lives or within us, memories of the heart or mind.

We can learn to use substances from our families of origin or our family trees. Generational addictions are horribly destructive as they are not merely emotional in nature, but also physical and mental. They not only ruin one's life (healthy, positive outlook
and goals) but also one's relationships. Why? Fear, avoidance, denial (lying), guilt, shame are several of the factors involved. Our choosing addiction to ease our fears (or guilt, shame, etc.) will cause us to avoid responsibility and accountability, and to blame others not just once but repeatedly.

We can also learn to use substances to numb our own pain caused by traumatic emotional wounds from our lives (adulthood, youth and childhood). Substance use does another horrific thing: It stops emotional growth, thus when one starts using substances in their youth, their psychological development ceases until they cease using the substance.

Addictions can be to legal or illegal drugs, foods (sugars, sodas, caffeine, carbs, desserts, snack foods), besides alcoholic beverages.

Addiction is a consistent choosing of behaviors and attitudes that one 
knows are destructive but one chooses to avoid reality. Sadly, the time 
and effort it takes to deal honestly and bravely with reality is minimal
compared to the years one takes avoiding it by addiction. 

There are addictions to other things:

Control which is a feeble attempt to manage(avoidance) fears; 
Power which stems from feeling useless and abandoned; 
Pornographywhich stems from sexual abuse (sexuality is a very powerful drug); 
Gambling which gives a sense of power and worth; 
Work (business, careers) which makes one feel powerfuland of worth; 
Attitudes of superiority over others (racism, politics are two examples) which is rooted in low self esteem, powerlessness, and ignorance (lack of listening, understanding, and tolerance).. .The list goes on. Entertainment, religion, and computers are other means we use that can become addictions as well.

Fear leading to control causes us to manipulate others so to keep 
everyone behaving in ways which make us comfortable, but denies them 
their rights to individuality.

Addictions are our attempts to feel good, to compensate for feeling bad (real or false) about ourselves, our lives, our families. Addictions are such because we choose to NOT give them up despite evidence showing their destructive effects in our lives, and the lives of others in our circle of influence.

Substance use, or addiction, doesn't change our emotions, it just numbs them. But those emotions will come out in other ways -- sideways, and at things or others not connected to our reasons for using or doing in the first place. This is what is called 'passive aggressive&# 39; behavior. We learn to manipulate situations so that we feel good, but when we do so someone is
'thrown under the bus', discredited or devalued because of our selfishness to ease our own pain at their expense. 

Addiction is a very self involved activity, for it puts one's own needs ahead of others regularly, consistently, and for the long-term.

When one realizes one has an addiction, the first step is to give it to God, not blindly as if He will just magically erase it, its causes, and the hurt we have caused others over the years of our addiction. No, we give it to God as a means to help us understand why we have chosen to be addicted, and to give us strength to make honest amends.

Honesty is the first step towards healing the addiction, its causes, and the damage we have done to others. Our relationships are only as good as we are honest with ourselves and others.

Are you and your relationships worth that honesty? Is there anything in your life that you have chosen to continue to do even though you know (at some level) it isn't good for you despite your assumption that it meets your needs? Has it interrupted the communication between persons? Addictions block communications (both sides) in any relationship because of the fear of discovery.

God gives courage to face things, He will make you brave to make amends. The key is to choose honesty rather than the lies of addiction.

Trust Him, and honesty.

©2014, Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58987
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
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Post  Admin on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 5:46 pm

Noah was a drunk.
Abraham was too old.
Isaac was a daydreamer.
Jacob was a liar.
Leah was ugly.
Joseph was abused.
Moses had a stuttering problem.
Gideon was afraid.
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young.
David had an affair and was a murderer.
Elijah was suicidal. [and depressed]
Isaiah preached naked.
Jonah ran from God.
Naomi was a widow.
Job went bankrupt.
John the Baptist ate bugs. [and lived in a rural area]
Peter denied Christ.
The Disciples fell asleep while praying.
Martha worried about everything.
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once.
Zaccheus was too small.
Paul was too religious. [extensively trained, intellectual]
Timothy had an ulcer.
And last but not least, Lazarus was dead!
 
If God can use these broken men and women, He can certainly use 
you and me. All it takes is our willingness to be available and a 
commitment to obey.
It takes a whatever heart! In other words, we are willing to do 
whatever He asks us to do...even when it doesn't make sense... even when
we can't see the next step... even when the storm is raging!
-----
Heard in sermon recently...don't know about you but this is inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging!
Christ said He would 'be with us' (see Matthew 28, for one), but He didn't say He would 'go with us', as if He were tagging along. He doesn't 'go along' with us, as if to approve our plans.

His being with us says that wherever we go that's in step with Him, we'll
find Him along the way. His idea is for us to submit to His plan, His itinerary, His schedule and then as we go along we find Him.

Ref: Psalm 37, Proverbs 16, 19

~gretchen
Eye-opening! !
Did you ever realize...??
The psalmist was living in fear of his life, hiding from his enemies or from himself (denial of wrong doing). His praise comments come from someone weeping, sorrowful, grief struck. He goes from despair to encouraging himself with God's promises.

The Gospels were written as a documentary about Christ. Acts (The Acts of the Apostles) is also a documentary, and Paul's letters were written to believers, about believers.

Paul called believers 'worse -- "You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.  And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God's judgment when you do the same things? Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" Romans 2

Christ commanded believers to teach new believers all He had commanded them, and Christ gives a basic lesson on living as a born again believer in John 14-17.

Sometimes the eye-opening is worth investigating!©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 11:34 pm

O Holy Night.

Many are lonely, or missing someone, this time of year (because of traditional influences). So many things are emphasized, yet there is but one thing that really matters: the ultimate gift given.

Years ago I was introduced to Christmas Eve worship services, and they were so moving and beautiful. I also enjoyed very early morning Christmas Day services. But I found the experience of the Eve services to be something I wanted to continue, and thus I attend a local midnight mass in my small rural town. 

The sense of awe and wonder of God's incredible gift to us is something one can find in a 'midnight&# 39; worship service, for that is the reason all attend. It's certainly not convenient, and it is rather cold outside. But the warmth and fellowship the worshippers bring together seems a hint of the fellowship and warmth at the little stable in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.

If you are able, find a Christmas Eve worship service to attend, just to experience that awe and wonder.

Gretchen
Life Coach, Chaplain

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 9:34 am

{The Healing Heart} "I Think You're Terrific (with beaming smile)"


What would your response be if someone were to say this to you, including
the smile?

Would you be cynical, questioning the motive?

Would your insecurities (fears, doubts of self, or personal history) rise up and
contradict?

Would you think "Really? Me?"

Would you respond with starting a conversation and building a friendship, valuing
the unconditional acceptance?

Would you start that conversation immediately or wait awhile?


One of the things I've learned in my life is that our knowledge of ourselves which is
unknown by others goes a long way towards interrupting, if not defeating, positive connections with
others.

It is possible to think well of another regardless of their personal history, because simply
they are unique, one of a kind, and according to The Bible made in the image of God.
What exactly that means is still open to discussion but to me it means that God thinks
we are terrific, each and every one of us, regardless of what's happened in our lives.

He did, after provide a Saviour to make a relationship with Him possible and available
to every human. That tells me that God wants to have a relationship, a friendship with
us.

Imagine if we could have even a small portion of that kind of warmth, kindness,
hope and loyalty to share with others? How different would our relationships be!

When we can accept God's "I think you're terrific, with beaming smile" for ourselves,
then we can build a relationship with Him. Then we can share the experience of
acceptance with others, giving them inspiration and hope.

And what better time than this Christmas to be accepted, and to accept?

Like God, we too can make a difference for others! Let's go!


©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah's Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.
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Post  Admin on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 9:32 am

{The Healing Heart} Forgotten

One of the many interesting stories circulating over the past couple of days has been the
story about Nelson Mandela's 'forgive but not forget' attitude of heart & mind.

He determined to remember what had happened to him, as it motivated him to continue
his fight for the freedom of his country from the bonds of hate, anger, resentment,
arrogance, and self.

His perspective on forgiveness was different than the forgiveness related to relationships.
Mandela's forgiveness included not holding against those responsible the wrongs they had
committed but remembering so to find the means to stop those wrongs. That's social
justice.

In relationships, we find that knowingly or not we have wronged someone we care for
very much. It's part of life yet a hard process in which to enter because of the sense
of shame or guilt we might carry.

I think that forgiveness, the relationship and God types of forgiveness, is a process and it works best
when we 'pardon' the other party, releasing them from the obligation we think they
owe us (entitlement, perhaps?), and determining to make the relationship with them
better.

It seems that's God's perspective, in Psalm 103 and 139.

"It is forgiven, I have forgotten, it is buried in the deepest sea, I want a better relationship with
you because this event has broken walls between us, made our friendship and
relationship deeper and stronger,. I am here always for you."

Isn't that truly the love of God?

Isn't that truly how we should handle our relationship difficulties?

As God values us, as dear to Him and worth knowing, so also should we consider
others of the same value.

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah's Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

[Note: This devotional relates to singular events. Repeated or regularly occurring events (where
apologies exist but attitudes or behaviors don't change) indicate a
deeper problem of heart and mind of the hurtful party; consider your options carefully going
forward.]
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Post  Admin on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 9:09 pm

The Healing Heart} "I Think You're Terrific (with beaming smile)"

What would your response be if someone were to say this to you, including
the smile?

Would you be cynical, questioning the motive?

Would your insecurities (fears, doubts of self, or personal history) rise up and
contradict?

Would you think "Really? Me?"

Would you respond with starting a conversation and building a friendship, valuing
the unconditional acceptance?

Would you start that conversation immediately or wait awhile?

One of the things I've learned in my life is that our knowledge of ourselves which is
unknown by others goes a long way towards interrupting, if not defeating, positive connections with
others.

It is possible to think well of another regardless of their personal history, because simply
they are unique, one of a kind, and according to The Bible made in the image of God.
What exactly that means is still open to discussion but to me it means that God thinks
we are terrific, each and every one of us, regardless of what's happened in our lives.

He did, after provide a Saviour to make a relationship with Him possible and available
to every human. That tells me that God wants to have a relationship, a friendship with
us.

Imagine if we could have even a small portion of that kind of warmth, kindness,
hope and loyalty to share with others? How different would our relationships be!

When we can accept God's "I think you're terrific, with beaming smile" for ourselves,
then we can build a relationship with Him. Then we can share the experience of
acceptance with others, giving them inspiration and hope.

And what better time than this Christmas to be accepted, and to accept?

Like God, we too can make a difference for others! Let's go!

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.


"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart

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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 8:04 pm

{The Healing Heart} Forgotten

One of the many interesting stories circulating over the past couple of days has been the
story about Nelson Mandela' s 'forgive but not forget' attitude of heart & mind.

He determined to remember what had happened to him, as it motivated him to continue
his fight for the freedom of his country from the bonds of hate, anger, resentment,
arrogance, and self.

His perspective on forgiveness was different than the forgiveness related to relationships.
Mandela' s forgiveness included not holding against those responsible the wrongs they had
committed but remembering so to find the means to stop those wrongs. That's social
justice.

In relationships, we find that knowingly or not we have wronged someone we care for
very much. It's part of life yet a hard process in which to enter because of the sense
of shame or guilt we might carry.

I think that forgiveness, the relationship and God types of forgiveness, is a process and it works best
when we 'pardon&# 39; the other party, releasing them from the obligation we think they
owe us (entitlement, perhaps?), and determining to make the relationship with them
better.

It seems that's God's perspective, in Psalm 103 and 139.

"It is forgiven, I have forgotten, it is buried in the deepest sea, I want a better relationship with
you because this event has broken walls between us, made our friendship and
relationship deeper and stronger,. I am here always for you."

Isn't that truly the love of God?

Isn't that truly how we should handle our relationship difficulties?

As God values us, as dear to Him and worth knowing, so also should we consider
others of the same value.

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

[Note: This devotional relates to singular events. Repeated or regularly occurring events (where
apologies exist but attitudes or behaviors don't change) indicate a
deeper problem of heart and mind of the hurtful party; consider your options carefully going
forward.]
 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Dec 2013, 11:56 pm

{The Healing Heart} Your Spot

Did you ever wonder 'what is my place in this world?' No, not purpose, but place. As in role, function.

Did you realize you were born with incredible -- and unique -- talents and abilities? Some of those
abilities can be strengthened with training or education but for most people, in the right setting
they just bloom, flourish, and come to life. One way of saying it is that you have 'found your niche'.

This morning I attended a worship
service (one of the two I often attend). What got me thinking
this morning about our place as believers was that the spouse of the pastor read the sermon as the pastor was
unavailable due to illness. It reminded me that anyone can do God's work, not just the trained or educated.
All it takes is grateful obedience to God, a right relationship with Him, a heart that listens and cares, and the
determination to make a difference.

I grew up in a Christian home, attending actively a Baptist church and Christian school. When I committed
my life to God at 14 (sophomore in high school), I had a desire to be a pastor's wife, as a co-partner
in ministry. Nice goal to have in life, as the influences I'd had were very traditional -- the ministry was done
primarily by pastors, via churches (organized), and missionaries. 

It never occurred to me that each believer, in their own way and with their own talents, abilities, and God given
gifts (such as mercy, generosity, trust in God, Biblical understanding, wisdom [God's kind of common sense],
teaching, leadership, human understanding [knowledge]. ..), are the ones who do the real pastoring. Pastoring
is simply seeing the needs of others and meeting them, appropriately.

It isn't supposed to be the extremely trained or educated that does the work of Christ in caring for others. It
is us, the people. It is us in our daily lives who can share best the immense creative love of God, through
Christ, because of the relationship we have with God as born again believers. (John 3, 14-16)

For me, though I have abilities in leadership, I'm so happier using those talents in caring for 'the least of these'
as Christ commanded. We, as believers, are not supposed to
be isolating in our meetings (exclusive groups), but instead are
to be out and about, in the walks and avenues of life, meeting people and showering them with the same
loving kindness that God has showered upon us.

" 'For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger 
and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me,I was naked and
you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.'
Then the just and upright will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You 

something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You?And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You?'
And the King will reply to them, 'Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.' " Matthew 25

We meet together to worship God, then we spend the rest of the week sharing His love with those outside the worship
assembly. And then God does His part: He alone grows the numbers of those who become part of The Church (worldwide, unorganized) .
A number of years ago I revised my perspective (of a 14 year old who just wanted to share God's love & kindness, and still
does). As God works it out I'd rather be a co-partner in ministry but outside the church walls. It's the people who don't want to be 'in church' but want to know God who are the ones who Christ cares for the most...as they are the ones who have felt excluded, even rejected.

"He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with
grief and sickness." Isaiah 53

It's up to us to be out there, meeting them, listening to and caring for them as if listening to and caring for Christ Himself.

That's where our spots are --- out there. Let's go!

©2013, Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Nov 2013, 9:54 pm

{The Healing Heart} Happy Birthday!!
 Posted by: "Gretchen Offord [SGLC]" gretchjc
 Did you ever consider just how unique and special a birthday is?

Just as unique as you, as no one in the history of the world has the same fingerprints as you have, no one has
the same assortments of personality, talents, abilities, interests, goals, and dreams. No one has the same heart.

Age birthdays are often enjoyable but sometimes a struggle, as when the numbers seem to grow like a snowball
rolling down a hill. Major birthdays can be a time of reflection, allowing one to reassess their life and the plans
they have in it. 

21 is the 'now I am an adult', 40 is 'middle age' (it is said), 50 is 'wow' (no other words suffice). But what about 60?
It says I am determined to make those things happen that I wasn't able to do before now, things that were deferred.

It is also said that 40 is the new 30, 50 the new 40, and 60 the new 45. Works for me! It is always fun to be 'young
in heart'.

But do we realize that we have another birthday?

When we have chosen to believe on Christ as Savior, we are 'born again', meaning we now have a spiritual
birthday. It marks the beginning of our relationship with God through Christ (believe Christ, know God, John 3,
14-17).

I found God when I was nearly 5, in July 1967. It has been the most profound relationship in my life...to which I guess
I am putting an age.

I remember the date every year, thankful that I was able to find God and learn of Him...directly by Bible reading, and
many years in a solid Bible teaching church and school.

When is your birthday with God? Do you celebrate it?

Do you realize that it means as much, if not more, to God than you? He delights in knowing you, having a relationship
with you. You are the apple of His eye, a joy to His heart and worth the price paid for that relationship.

God cries when that relationship is estranged, when communication struggles or ceases. That relationship is His
highest priority. He cries when you hurt, when you are lonely, sad, discouraged, missing loved ones. He knows
your heart.

Today, if it's your birthday, age or spiritual, might I suggest a moment with God that celebrates the relationship?
And thanking God in that moment for being able to know Him? It doesn't take a big celebration, just a heart to
heart talk with Him, as He already knows your heart....He wants to share His heart with you.

Your personal celebration might include a special outing. I've always liked to go for long walks in the redwoods
to just think through things and talk with God. Or the beach, listening to the crashing waves. A moment of
celebration with God can be anywhere meaningful, where you appreciate Him in thought, and heart.

I know for myself, living in a very small town in rural northern California, there are few options for celebrations, no redwoods
or beaches (just a lot of focus on cattle), but that doesn't mean I don't remember to thank God for the opportunity to know Him. Whether I attend a worship service or worship mass just reminds me of the fact that God exists, and His heart's desire is to have a relationship with every person. I attend those services to honor Him, from a heart of gratitude.

So this 8th or 9th day in November, or whenever your day is, remember to tell yourself, and God: Happy Birthday!
And thank You!
©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
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Post  Admin on Sun 06 Oct 2013, 7:21 pm

{The Healing Heart} The Four Cylinders
It's fairly obvious when our car is running on 'three cylinders' , as the saying goes. It means that something
is amiss, the engine isn't running properly, it is 'missing&# 39; as a mechanic would say.

The necessary steps to take are easy: have a mechanic look at the engine to discern the problem so
a fix can be found and repairs made.

But...

What happens when we, as humans, are 'missing&# 39;, or running on three cylinders? It the problem obvious
to us or do we overlook the symptoms? When we grieve, do we spiritualize it (if we are of faith) or
minimize it intellectually?

Many have believed the adage that mankind is comprised of three facets: body, soul, and spirit. Perhaps
that is true but it is not complete, or accurate.

What has been said, with authority, that many have not seen is that mankind is comprised of four
facets: heart, soul, mind, and body. 

The heart would be where the emotions reside, and from which - a very good authority says - that behaviors,
even words, come from.

The soul would be the essence of a person, and spirit.

The mind would be the thought place, where thoughts come from and influence emotions and the
heart (i.e., 'thoughts of the heart').

The body is the physical part, the muscle, brain, bone, etc. of a person.

When one of these areas is not functioning properly, it could correctly be said that that person is
running on three cylinders, or 'missing&# 39;.

The key is to be able to discern the malfunction and address it properly so healing, or a fix, can 
be found.

Each of the four parts is distinct, and though separate is highly influential on the other parts as all
are interrelated.

A fix for one is not a proper fix for another. We cannot put a cast on a broken heart, for example.

Fixes for healing of the body vary greatly for fixes for healing of the heart, mind or soul.

I am reminded, and struck by, the powerful example of this diversity as displayed by Christ. As a
fully spiritual person but also fully human, He evidenced being spiritual (understanding the depths
of the supernatural) with being human, with a heart: He wept when faced with the loss of His dear friend.

He didn't ignore either facet of Himself. He embraced spiritual realities while also feeling the pain
of a loss.

Perhaps it is His example that can remind us to deal with our humanity so when broken, healing
can occur, and a fix can be found.

We can believe the realities of faith while also tending to our human side.

As a counselor (and chaplain), it is a difficult road to share the hope of the faith journey while also
helping others find their way as humans, to be both of faith and feeling creatures. 

Having been on my own journeys of grief and loss, I know the path towards healing, and closure, is
a process and takes time. There are always triggers in the future that can be hit that resurrect a
portion of the past pain. Facing the pain in steps so to relieve the pressure of it helps remove the
sting of it, but memories remain. When those memories are brought to the surface, a hint of the old pain can
occur. If one has found their own process and path in a timely manner those memories can be beautiful though
sorrowful. If one hasn't found that path, the pain remains and can even worsen with elapsed time, 
making the grieving process longer and more difficult, and spreading that pain from heart to body.

When the tears flow, or need to flow, find the solace and solitude you need to relieve your heart, and body,
of the pain inside.

It isn't weeping for the person you've lost (if that is the situation) but instead it is weeping
for your loss, what you are missing and are ideally learning to transition to life without their usual
influence. Thus, a difference. The ideal is not to get 'stuck&# 39;, as it is said, in the loss but go through
a process of transition, of learning to live life differently, and cherishing the person lost and the
memories of them.

Life does go one, and learning to 'treat&# 39; one's heart wounds properly is to be encouraged. Putting the wrong
band-aid on one's wounds only delays the healing process.

And the healing process not only helps you, but is something you can share with others, eventually.

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Sep 2013, 9:35 pm

{The Healing Heart} This versus That

Pride.

It denies making mistakes, avoids admitting failure or weakness. It is a poison in every relationship. Pride raises itself up as flawless, and finds excuses and reasons to maintain its self deception. Pride has no tolerance for others who disagree with it.

Pride often goes hand-in-hand with shame, for shame is a painful thing.

Shame cannot bear to look at oneself, because of the sense of humiliation for mistakes (wrong doing), or of 'wrong being'. It finds ways to numb,
or even self medicate, so to avoid feeling or seeing the cause of the shame, and thus to heal from it.

Shame, and pride, can be 'false&# 39;, meaning that they are inflicted upon a person as a form of abuse. Groups can do this sort of training to their members,
teaching them a perspective that is disabling to their healthy self esteem and relationships.

The healthy way to live is to admit that one has weaknesses, and to work regularly on overcoming those weaknesses so that pride (denial) and shame (humiliation) are not able to take root within one's heart and mind.

Having a loyal and trustworthy person to whom one can speak honestly, about one's weaknesses and even successes, is key to getting and staying healthy in heart and mind.

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching.

-------

Honesty.

It's the thing that heals, keeps one balanced, maintains good relationships.

It can be shocking, or painful at times but when balanced with kindness, respect, dignity, and love makes one - and one's relationships - better.

What's the poison that ruins relationships?

Dishonesty.

Mistakes can hurt a relationship, shatter trust, but two persons
determined to have a relationship will find ways to heal, rebuild trust, and maintain dignity & respect.

Healthy people choose honesty with kindness for themselves and others...they treat others as they'd want to be treated. They are honest with themselves, and seek to be honest in their relationships.

When dishonesty creeps into one's heart, mind, or relationships, it can be difficult to face the reality, but when one does, and others are there supportive of one's honesty, one finds true love, kindness, dignity, and respect.

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching.

"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Sep 2013, 9:58 pm

Honesty.
It's the thing that heals, keeps one balanced, maintains good relationships.

It can be shocking, or painful at times but when balanced with kindness, respect, dignity, and love makes one - and one's relationships - better.

What's the poison that ruins relationships?

Dishonesty. 
Mistakes can hurt a relationship, shatter trust, but two persons
determined to have a relationship will find ways to heal, rebuild trust, and maintain dignity & respect.

Healthy people choose honesty with kindness for themselves and others...they treat others as they'd want to be treated. They are honest with themselves, and seek to be honest in their relationships.

When dishonesty creeps into one's heart, mind, or relationships, it can be difficult to face the reality, but when one does, and others are there supportive of one's honesty, one finds true love, kindness, dignity, and respect.
©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching.
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching (Leadership; Mentoring; Counseling ) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Sep 2013, 9:55 pm

The Healing Heart} This versus That Pride.

It denies making mistakes, avoids admitting failure or weakness. It is a poison in every relationship. Pride raises itself up as flawless, and finds excuses and reasons to maintain its self deception. Pride has no tolerance for others who disagree with it.

Pride often goes hand-in-hand with shame, for shame is a painful thing. 

Shame cannot bear to look at oneself, because of the sense of humiliation for mistakes (wrong doing), or of 'wrong being'. It finds ways to numb,
or even self medicate, so to avoid feeling or seeing the cause of the shame, and thus to heal from it.

Shame, and pride, can be 'false&# 39;, meaning that they are inflicted upon a person as a form of abuse. Groups can do this sort of training to their members,
teaching them a perspective that is disabling to their healthy self esteem and relationships.

The healthy way to live is to admit that one has weaknesses, and to work regularly on overcoming those weaknesses so that pride (denial) and shame (humiliation) are not able to take root within one's heart and mind.

Having a loyal and trustworthy person to whom one can speak honestly, about one's weaknesses and even successes, is key to getting and staying healthy in heart and mind.
©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching.
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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Sep 2013, 9:38 pm

{The Healing Heart} Been Thinking About: Families
 Posted by: "Gretchen Offord 

What God says about family. 
Often we find ourselves as individuals born into families where similarities are the focus, thus leaving us baffled as to how to be the unique person we were created to be. And sometimes we are, by association, considered like our families when instead we are as unique as our fingerprints (no one else has the same prints as anyone else).

Yet God has provided some wisdom in helping us, as believers, to deal with our families.

One, as Christ discussed (Matthew 19, Mark 10), was being aware that following Him would likely cause us to give up many things, including some relationships. Note: Christ did say that to be His disciple one must be willing to give up all. Christ  said He is a divider (Luke 12), hard words to understand when we are often compelled by other passages in God's Word and our cultures to be family oriented. 

Another is one of The Ten Commandments - " “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20

And here is another - "Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,  ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’” Matthew 15, Mark 7

And yet another - "Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.  But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God...But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. " 1 Timothy 5

So as believers we are commanded by, and obligated to, God to care for our families, and others as they are in need, and we are to be willing to give up anything.

Something to think about...

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Sep 2013, 1:33 pm

GRETCHIN
How to Find Favor

"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart. [cherish them, memorize them]
Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.
For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.
Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.

By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens.
By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky.

My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them,
for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace.
They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.
You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.
You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”

Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.
Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.

Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways.
Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.

The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright.
The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.
The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!" Proverbs 3

"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Sep 2013, 12:00 am

How to Find Favor


"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart. [cherish them, memorize them]
Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.


Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.


Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.


My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.


Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.
For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.
Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.


By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens.
By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky.


My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them,
for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace.
They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.
You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.
You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.


Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”


Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.
Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.


Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways.
Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.


The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright.
The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.
The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!" Proverbs 3


"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Wed 21 Aug 2013, 2:11 pm

{The Healing Heart} Gardens
There is a child's nursery rhyme that asks the question: 'How does your garden grow?'

Considering that The Bible is not only written with, and to, an agricultural society, but also that Christ made specific
comments about agriculture in His spiritual growth parables, gardens and gardening are a vitally important analogy for Christians.

The most significant commentary on the negatives of gardening are mentioned by the author of Hebrews, speaking about
a 'bitter root'.

What is a root? Well, imagining a garden full of flowers, vegetables, etc., roots are those things that hide beneath the surface,
bringing up vital nutrients to the plant that is easily seen on the surface/earth.

Roots rarely if ever show themselves but the effects of them are clearly seen by looking at the plant.

A healthy root reflects itself by the healthy, vibrant plant.

An unhealthy, or bitter, acrid, poisoned root shows itself by a plant crippled, wilting, shriveled, small (poor growth), twisted
(lack of proper nutrition, or damaged).

What happens to the plant, and the nearby plants, when a root is bitter? They are ruined, poisoned, it's an utter disaster
for the garden. Though some plants might not carry the poison root, and appear only slightly unhealthy, they are likely
influenced by it. The plants that carry the poison root can be seen as unhealthy.

Now, consider systems or groups of people, such as families, or church groups. They are the same as a garden. Each
person is a garden and each group is a garden. Each influences the other in many ways.

Though hidden the roots reflect themselves in the people: their faces, attitudes, words, actions, behaviors, 

habits, traditions, and emotions.

Healthy roots reflect in healthy people: love, joy and peace bloom and blossom frequently, and with lovely fragrance. Kindness,
courtesy, respect, and consideration are common traits.

Unhealthy, or bitter, roots reflect in gossip, cold hearts, pride (self glory, no admitting of wrong doing), critical attitudes, self centered actions, 

selfishness (mine mine mine), greed, gluttony (me me me, more more more), religiousness (going through the motions 

of Christianity but without any heart change; head knowledge Christianity) , abuses, addictions (habits), stubbornness, 

rebellion, fear, anger, alcoholism (social, heavy) or other drug use, etc.

The author of Hebrews says that a bitter root poisons many. That is because that root is hidden but its effects are widespread.

How many of us have bought a lie that came from gossip? Or refused to admit wrong doing? Or hated another, showing contempt
for them with or without knowing their circumstances?

Bitter roots transfer hate, jealousy, envy, resentment, fear, paranoia, anger, contempt.... very much poison!!

Another sad facet of systems is families that have those bitter roots hidden deep within many of their kinfolk often mislabel those 

of their relatives that don't have the bitter root, thus condemning them falsely. Imagine trying to live honorably when others that 

claim to 'love' are destroying your character or integrity at the same time?

We can choose our associations, Paul said to The Church in Corinth, but we don't choose our families. We who have chosen
to honor God with our hearts and lives can often be misrepresented, and misunderstood, by the sickness caused by a bitter
root in our family systems.

We can choose to have the healthy garden yet be considered unhealthy because of the sin sick behaviors, attitudes, emotions,
etc. of our families.

No wonder Christ said families would be divided when one or some in those families would choose Him --- and the pain that
division causes can be horrible!

Today, check yourself. What garden is growing in your heart and mind? A healthy one? Evaluate your thoughts, words, actions,
and emotions; check your emails and texts: what is the common topic? What do you speak of most? Are you critical, or
heart sick over an unhealed bitter root in your family, or other group?

Go to God in prayer and ask Him this: "May these words of my mouthand this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, 

Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19

And this: "Search me [thoroughly] , O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. " Psalm 139

Choose a healthy garden: a healthy heart!

©2013 Gretchen Offord,  Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved.
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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Aug 2013, 3:05 pm

I cannot make a positive 
difference if I focus on negatives; I choose to be a positive force so I might leave a legacy of peace. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ 

I choose not to ignore the 
realities of myself or others but instead deal with such honestly, 
courageously, & compassionately. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ 

Today I choose to find the 
beauty in the world, overlooking the negativity, & be an 
encourager.. seeking to plant seeds of hope. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ  

Inspiration often comes by 
heart: seeing the needs of those around you..& determining to make a difference via acts of kindness. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ  

When am 'deep in heart', 
feeling the pain & grief of a memory...won&# 39;t ignore the memory but 
choose to go thru it bravely. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ 

Honesty can be jarring & 
painful but brings light into the darkness of deceit, fear. Courage 
faces; fear hides, truth heals. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ  

Denial is like using a 
band-aid on a broken leg...Better to admit to the real injury, get 
proper care & heal, than to avoid it. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ  

When you feel like giving in, 
thinking you'll never reach your goals..Look & see how far you've 
come..Check your list & smile. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ  

When things get boring, 
routine..Keep the focus on short term & long term goals...Keep 
climbing..you&# 39;ll surprise yourself. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ 

Some days it can be 
discouraging, the 'rut' ..Keep going, change it up as you can, variety is the spice of life & brings smiles. ~Gretchen Offord ©HPQ 

-------

{The Healing Heart} The Blues Brothers

The name, above, can bring a humorous reminder of a movie due of the 1980s, but that is not the concept of which I
refer.

There are two attitudes, emotions, conditions, even sometimes dis-eases that bring the blues to us.

Fear. Anger.

No not the momentary fears or indignations we feel daily.

Real Fear. Real Anger.

These two conditions are what we choose to live with over a length of time, sometimes a lifetime.

And either one, or both of these, can open the floodgates of negativity into our lives and the lives of those in our
circles of influence.

Worse is when we ignore or deny the existence in our hearts & minds of these two maladies.

Often in life we encounter situations that trigger a sense of insecurity or lack of safety (fear), or things that just make
us mad.

It isn't the momentary involvement of these types of fear or anger that are dangerous, but the choice we make to
allow them to continue to reside within us, over time or a lifetime.

They bring a heaviness of heart or mind, a sense of doom or gloom, or failure, they allow us to become mini volcanoes
emotionally.

And what they can do to our families over a generation or more is absolutely destructive, like a mudslide or unchecked
cancer. They just take out every possible positive and replace with a negative. They undermine relationships, allowing
gossip to run amok destroying the character, reputation, and/or integrity of others while the gossip vents their inner
pain (known or denied) to all willing to listen. This is like a 'root' , a hidden cancer that may seem normal on the surface
but beneath the surface is growing large and wreaking havoc.

How to evict fear and anger from your heart, mind, and life?

Admit either, or both, exists.

Choose to think positively (not idealistically, just realistically) , and seek the best in all situations (while not ignoring the
negatives). We become what we think, and feel.

Choose not to get angry but to consider the true feeling or thought behind the anger and resolve it, today. If left overnight,
it will go deep and though not felt as strongly will still be incredibly powerful.

Seek to daily walk through all fear and anger, leaving them all in the day when you encountered them.

NOTE: You become what you think, and feel.

©2013, Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved 

"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Mon 29 Jul 2013, 2:12 pm

GRETCHEN
{The Healing Heart} Forgiveness, defined

I was just watching some news commentary about someone' s (public administration) explanation of
their act of forgiveness to someone close to them who had seriously betrayed them and their trust.

One commentator in particular exhibited his complete lack of comprehension of forgiveness by his contemptuous, haughty
and bitter response to a situation that didn't even involve him. (This sort of thing is called judgment, or a judgmental
attitude). He made insinuations and criticisms that were not based on fact but on assumption, founded on his
negative attitudes.

It is obvious that when public forgiveness occurs, many struggle to comprehend it.

What exactly is forgiveness?

First of all, it involves two parties: one who has done the violating of trust, and the one thus violated.

If the first party is of a healthy attitude of mind and heart, they will seek out the second party and express
not only their regret for their actions, but will also seek to rebuild trust (otherwise the apology is mere words).

The second party forgives by understanding the 'why and wherefore' of the event that occurred, and influences
of others that contributed to the first party making unwise choices, and by giving the first party the chance
to rebuild trust, thus indicating the value of that relationship and the worth of the first party.

One must be 'sinned, or trespassed against' in order to qualify for the process of forgiveness.

If one has not be so wronged, then they haven't any opinion to offer of the situation -- they are not involved. If they
choose to have a negative opinion, they are portraying an attitude of judgment, reflecting an perspective of pride. And
they should not be considered by others thus listening to have any insights whatsoever for they do not know
the details of the situation.

Why forgive?

Well, it reflects a desire to value others, to admit we all make mistakes, and to consider that in order to have
relationships we must always be willing to listen when wronged and determine to build our relationships.

When forgive?

If we have been wronged, then we best forgive even if it is a daily process of understanding the circumstances
of the event, and realizing that the person who wronged us likely had faulty information that they based their
actions upon, thus they need to be heard. More so, if we have information that would help them forgive
themselves, and understand the reasons for their unwise choices, we ought to be heard by them so that
we can work through and promote healing from the hurt caused by the event.

Many times, the guilt or shame caused by the event contributes to walls that build up in the relationship,
no matter what stage it might be in, and causes avoidance.

Finding the courage to talk, and listen, and be listened to, reflects a desire for healing, and a maturity in
attitude of heart and mind.

Simply put, forgiveness is listening with the heart, valuing and finding worth in the other person, and making
the effort to bridge the communication gaps from hurt in the relationship.

Additionally, it is important to feel one's pain from being 'trespassed against' yet not transfer that pain to the 
other...they likely know enough pain of their own.

It is amazing what can happen when we take the time to listen, put aside our pride (and fears of being somewhere
in the wrong) and prioritize another person.

God does it for us every day. 

We must take what He gives us - forgiveness - and pass it on. Daily.

©2013 Gretchen Offord, Susannah' s Grace Life Coaching. All rights reserved
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Sat 06 Jul 2013, 10:47 pm

A cup of coffee...
 Posted by: "Gretchen Offord [SGLC]" gretchjc

Always worth a second, third or, better yet, daily read. A must READ - Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on the ground.

The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many 
others had done before.. "Leave me alone," he growled....

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I' ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

"What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..

"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I' m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"

The officer scratched his head. "That&# 39;s old Jack. He's been a fixture 
around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"

"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I' m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."

"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go 
in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.
"Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."

"This is a good deal for you, Jack" the officer answered. "Don' t blow it.."

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got
Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It 
was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had 
already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived...

The 
manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What&# 39;s 
going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this, is this man in 
trouble?"

"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.

"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business.."

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if 
you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled...... . "Sir, are 
you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the 
street?"

"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."

"And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"

"What business is that of yours?"

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."

"Oh."

The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She 
glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to 
join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"

"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I' m on duty."

"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"

"Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice."

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, "I' ll get your coffee for you right away, officer."

The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.

"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. "Jack, do you remember me?"

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."

"I' m a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out 
more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through 
that very door, cold and hungry."

"Ma' am?" the officer said 
questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out 
woman could ever have been hungry.

"I was just out of college,"
the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I 
couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had 
been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was 
February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked
in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."

Jack 
lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said.. "I was behind the 
serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for 
something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."

"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef 
sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to 
go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get 
into trouble... Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my
food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all 
right."

"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.

"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I 
started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered." She 
opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. "When you are finished
here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons...He&# 39;s the personnel 
director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll 
find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he
might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can 
buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet... 
If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."

There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he said.

"Don' t thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus...... He led me to you."

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways....

"Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.

"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle 
today, something that I will never forget. And.. And thank you for the 
coffee."

For the rest of us...

Pay it forward...do unto others as you'd have others do unto you, Christ said.

 
"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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