Scenery Change

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

 

This world is full of people who need a change of heart, especially those in a culture of racism.  It seems impossible they could ever change their heart from hate to love.  I came across a news story where this very thing happened.

 

In this news story, there is a man named Michael, who was a Neo-Nazi.  He went to jail and was released on probation.  An African-American woman, named Tiffany was assigned to be his probation officer.  She said she wasn’t there to judge him, but to help him.  Tiffany noticed he still had a Nazi flag hanging on his wall.  It was the first thing he would see in the morning.

 

As she established trust with him, she told him to get rid of the flag and put happy faces on his wall or something more positive.  She said the flag will only keep the hate in his heart.  The amazing thing, he listened to her suggestion and he changed.

 

Michael said the smiley faces gave him motivation to work and be productive.  He said her friendship gave him the love and support he needed to change and see people differently.  Due to her support, he removed or changed his Neo-Nazi tattoos.

 

As I watched this news segment, I thanked God for using this probation officer to change this hard heart.  This change only came from the Holy Spirit.  If this man could change, anyone could change.

Here is the news story on Michael and Tiffany:

 

When we ask God into our heart, we will think and act differently.    Jesus came to redeem us from our sins.  In that process of redemption change happens.  I know when we give our hearts to God, change is inevitable.  If Jesus is Lord of your life, allow that change to happen.

 

And sometimes we need a scenery change, even when we know the Lord.  The enemy will attempt to keep us inactive in doing things in the name of the Lord.   My friend is writing a book about her testimony.  Her testimony will bring so many to Jesus.  The enemy gave her so much distraction, she wasn’t writing at all.

 

I saw her desk where she writes.  She has a window to look out but there is no real view.  I asked her what type of scenery she likes.  “Water”was her response.  Then, I thought about the story about that man who changed his heart and remembered I had a 2018 calendar of Hawaii my parents gave me.  So I gave it to her.  She said she loves looking at it and even wrote for a few hours that day!

 

Sometimes a change of heart/scenery is needed to get past that difficult point in life.

 

Lesson Learned: Let’s allow our that change in our heart, so we can change and ultimately bring Jesus to others.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for trying to do everything ourselves.  Give us ears to hear, eyes to see and a mouth to speak.  Let us hear your instruction. Search my heart and change the areas where we need.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Is the Intention to Heal or to Hurt?

“Gracious words are like honeycomb sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

 

It is very easy to react negatively when someone is rude.  I admit, I fly off the handle when someone tries to back me into a corner with their words.  My defenses go up and the claws come out.  However, I have learned this never works towards anyone’s benefit.

 

The last few months have been difficult since my car accident.  The concussion I sustained from the accident has had its lingering effects.  I received a phone call from an insurance claims adjuster representing the responsible party.  It was not a good conversation.

 

The insurance adjuster accused me of lying about the severity of my injuries that I sustained from the accident.  I was not happy with the treatment that I was receiving.  While I realize that this is the method of operation by most insurance companies, I also have the same insurance company as the person who rear-ended me.  So my auto insurance was fighting me.

 

I complained to her supervisor about my treatment.  She was standing by her employee and said, they have to ask these questions.  I said, “She could have asked me the same question but in a more appropriate tone.”  Also, I requested a new adjuster.  The supervisor said they would not change the adjuster.  So I mentioned that I consulted with a personal injury attorney, who knew of this adjuster and was happy to take my case.  The supervisor replied, “We will get you a new adjuster.”

 

That conversation made me realize when we deal with conflict, it seems that we don’t want resolution, we just want a fight.  We want our voices heard, show the person that they hurt us and to reciprocate.  

 

I know I will be in battle for a proper resolution for my case.  But I know this.  I need to be persuaded by Godly wisdom instead of their bullish intention to close the claim quickly.  And listen to The Holy Spirit for the right words to say.

 

Lesson Learned: In times, when we do need to battle, the end result should always be to seek resolution.   I intend on using words that heal, not hurt.   

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for carrying on a fight instead of seeking resolution.  Holy Spirit, give me the right words to say when I am in conflict.  Quell my emotions from getting the best of me.  Help me see the whole picture and be brave to do the right thing.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

No Need to be Dismissive

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

 

As Christians, it is eluded that we should be modest and humble.  We need to be giving constant glory to God.  It truly is all about Him.  However, when God trusts us with a gift, we should be bold to use it and be confident, He blessed us.  Many times, we become dismissive of our gifts.

 

My daughter was invited to her friend’s birthday party.  I saw the birthday girl’s grandmother and went to say “hello”.  We were talking about Instagram and mentioned how I tried to “follow” her.  She didn’t recognize me by the Instagram Account name, Anointed Courage.  I confirmed it was me and she accepted my request.  Then she asked, “how did you come up with the name Anointed Courage?”  I could feel a sinking feeling deep inside my stomach.

 

There were feelings of embarrassment and flat-out fear.  I started to stumble in my explanation.   But I heard the Holy Spirit say, “do not be dismissive about your writing. Be bold and sell it!”  So, I told her how I started a blog and wanted it to be a source of encouragement. I explained how I came up with the name.  I knew the courage it would take to start writing publicly and how it would take more than my strength alone, it had to come from God.

 

She was so excited and told me that she loved the name and that I was brave to publicly write. In other times of explaining my blog to others, I made my blog seem like it was no big deal. Especially, because I was not a famous writer or have a huge following on social media.

 

One has to believe in what they do with all their heart, soul and mind, even if the world doesn’t accept it because God gave them a gift.   God will always finish what He has started, even if it takes longer than what we expect or want.

 

Later that day, I saw on Instagram this picture my friend @rolanddenzel posted.

My hope is no matter the doubt or criticism one receives for taking a risk, it is better to try than to not.

 

Lesson Learned:  Whatever the dream that God planted in your heart: pray, work and listen to Him.  And do not dismiss your talents.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me Lord for doubting you in using me.  I pray that our gifts be revealed and you show us how to further these talents.  May we always be humble in the success but be confident in these gifts.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”