Forgiveness and Healing

Hello and welcome back to the well, I am so glad you stopped in today! 

Have you ever been hurt by some one? Have you struggled with forgiving that person for the pain that they caused you? I realize we can all most likely answer yes to these two questions. So, let’s talk about forgiveness today. 

Have you ever been hiking and you reach a plateau? A place where you can rest and see where you are in relation to where you want to be or maybe where you are going? A place where you have level footing and can feel steady. I believe that our gracious and merciful God allows us to heal just like this, in plateau’s.  As part of the natural healing process comes forgiveness. Certainly, similar to healing, it does not happen all at once. It comes gradually with time, space and understanding. Wisdom has to come from something wiser than our own feelings about the circumstance that hurt us, from some place outside of the venue of the events reach. God has the ultimate view of everything, he sees it all and he tells us to not lean on our own understanding and to trust in him, and he alone will make our path straight. With that said, I can relate to what your next thought may be, yeah right, easier said than done! Well, yes, it is, and God certainly understands this, that is where time comes in. We have to allow ourselves to feel the hurt, and process it, stay in scripture and see and learn what the bible says about the pain you are feeling.  There is a wealth of resources available to us all, the bible tells us specifically to seek wise and Godly counsel. His word offers us comfort and truth, His Holy Spirit is here to speak directly into our hearts and minds the truth of God’s word. The truth about our feelings and this sometimes is done with the help of a counselor. I know to some, this seems to sound so simple and yet impossible to do. I have been there, there have been times when the only thing I could do was read a verse of the day. Maybe a short devotional reading. My prayers felt like they were going into thin air. I had to wait and continue in obedience in seeking the truth about what I was feeling, and then ask God to help me forgive the one who hurt me. This is not a simple or easy thing to do. I have also sought help sorting things out from a Christian counselor, and am much better for asking for help outside of my own perspective!

Like hiking to the summit of a mountain, it takes time. It’s not done in one day. You have base camps on plateaus. As you reach these plateaus look at them of places to gather yourself, to rest and regain strength in God’s word. I believe He allows us these breaks in the process. These breaks again allow us perspective, and the ability to see a broader view of where and what we are facing. On this path there are signs to guide you, there are others on the same path. You have a map. You have all of these things and more in God your father. He has given us his Holy Spirit to guide us and to heal us, to show us his path. In addition, we have His map in his very word! 

He has also given us community in which to hike this trail with. This can be your church family, someone in your work, and as in my case the help of a counselor. He has given us wisdom from his word and his Holy Spirit, He has never intended for us to walk alone. We have to decide to lace up our boots, and stick to the path! Like, I said before, it takes time… I have personally been on path and realized instead of being done with the process, I was sitting on one of the plateaus I spoke of, a place where I had level footing, I could see where I was, how far I had come with the Lord’s help. Most importantly, where I needed to go to continue on the path of forgiveness and healing. I was able to see a much better picture of the circumstance. Time had passed, I had begun to heal little by little, I had grown in strength and wisdom in the Lord. I had rested, and had time to pray and process my pain. Again, this is not a sprint, it is okay to take your time. 

I want to encourage you, DO NOT GOVE UP! Keep walking on the path, you are not alone! God is with you, and there are many who if you reach out and let them know what path you are on, they will come in and hike right beside you! I pray this message encourages you and inspires you to keep going and to know that you are not alone! 

Your Sister in Christ, 

Beth

You Are Not Obligated!

 Hello everyone, welcome back to the well! I am so glad you stopped in today and I have a Scripture for you from the living water of God’s word today! 

Today’s word comes from the book of Romans, chapter 8 verse 12. It reads as follows: 

“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.” Romans 8:12 NLT

Now as some of you know, Romans 8 is a powerhouse chapter in our faith, we learn so much as Paul lays out what living life in the Spirit means for us as Christians. It speaks of our sufferings, and how none of the things we go through on earth will even compare to the Glory God will reveal to us in Heaven! 

It speaks to us on our sin nature, this is what I want to focus on today. We all were born with a sin nature. As part of the curse that Adam and Eve brought on us in Genesis chapter 3, all of us have a sin nature. However, when we accept Christ and are baptized we receive The Holy Spirit. Our old nature is buried in the depths of a watery grave represented by baptism. We are made clean in the eyes of God as He now sees us through the blood of Christ. God knows we are by no means perfect, in fact He doesn’t expect that. However, He doesn’t want or intend for us to live as if The Holy Spirit is just a guide for when we think we need it either. God, as explained by Paul in Chapter 8 verse 12, tells us that we are NOT OBLIGATED to do what our sinful nature urges us to do. Did you catch this??? We don’t have to follow those urges that Satan himself temps our earthly body and minds with. We have a means in which we can combat these urges, The Holy Spirit of God that lives within us! This is huge to me, I have read this chapter many times and this literally leaped off the page to me and I feel that I am to share it with you today. 

What this passage and chapter 8 for that matter is saying to me is that we will still have urges and temptations, of course. There will be trials and many of them in this life. The important thing for us is, WE ARE NOT SLAVES TO THEM! Verse 15 Paul is continuing to tell us, that we were not given God’s own spirit to live as slaves who live in fear but rather, we were given The Holy Spirit when God himself adopted us and now we call him Abba Father! We are children of God, co-heirs with Christ himself. We are no longer slaves to the bondage of our former lives. We are free and we have the power of God living inside us! 

I know that temptation and urges come along and are powerful, Satan is a master manipulator, he uses the deep emotions God created us with and twists them into wicked plans and tries to convince us that they are feelings we can’t fight or shouldn’t fight. The word of God is clear on the area of temptation and urges, it says we will all have them but we do NOT have to act on them. We have a way out, in 1 Corinthians 10:13 Paul tells us of God’s faithfulness to us to not allow us to be tempted more than we can stand and furthermore, He loves us so much that He again offers us the way out. 

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 

His Holy Spirit that was gifted to us upon our confession of faith in Christ and receiving Him as our savior. We are not alone in these times at all. God is with us even in these trials of what feels right and what is right. Paul is telling us in Romans and in this passage in 1 Corinthians, God knows we are going to be tempted, even fall into sin. He doesn’t expect perfection. He is pleading with us to use the tools and the power He has given us, that is already in us, in our very grasp! Satan would have us believe every emotion and feeling, or as the NLT describes “urge” needs to be played out or we should do what we “feel”, this is not scriptural at all. In fact, in an earlier blog I shared that we are to test every spirit and feeling against the Knowledge of God. The bible speaks of this and it’s not just words in an ancient book, these are words to live by. To get ourselves out of the pit that Satan would have us live in, to have us live in misery to our old sin nature. We have no obligation to whatever our past sins were, drugs, sex, money, theft, lying, alcohol, there are so many things that can trip us up out there. We need to use scripture to fight with. The word of God is our sword, He has given us His very own armor! (Ephesians 6: 10-18)

Please take some time to read these scriptures for yourself today. Please ask God to fine tune your ears, your heart and your mind to His Holy Spirit and to show you how to get out of these traps of temptation, and how to overcome these urges to sin with scripture. God loves us too much to leave us here defenseless. We are not powerless, we are children of God and that means a lot! We have the Holy Spirit and God’s very own word, we have a Savior in Jesus Christ that defeated sin and death on the cross, this battle is now about obedience to God! We need to digest his word, eat it, sleep it, and pray it daily! 

Take care everyone and stand tall Sons and Daughters of God, HE is with us!!! We will not fail! 

Your Sister in Christ Jesus, 

Beth 

Bridges and Pathways

Hello again, welcome to the well today; I am so happy you stopped by for a visit. Sit down with me and let’s drink from the Lord’s word today. 

I wanted to talk a little bit about rules today. I know, this is not a fun topic but we have rules everywhere, why? I think of driving, we have rules of the road, speed limits, no passing zones, stop and go lights. We have guard rails to protect us from steep drops, and sharp corners. We have rules in sports, football, baseball, volleyball. We have equipment to protect us and a court/field laid before us in which we can play the game. We have spaces that are considered out of bounds, even in driving we have places that say wrong way, do not enter. We have bridges that take us over rough water and steep gorges. We have so many things guiding our every day that we don’t think much about, we just do the things we are supposed to. If we choose not to we have consequences to not staying in the safety of the rules. In sports, it’s a penalty that sets us back or turns the ball over to the other team. On the road the penalty can be harsh; a fine or ticket for not driving the speed limit or disobeying a signal. Worse yet and accident that can have dire consequences. 

God gives us rules to abide by in His word, these are for guidance to help us find safe passage through life and its many challenges. The things that God asks us to do and not do are not to take the fun out of life, it’s actually the opposite. By following his rules, he offers us the best of everything. Satan wants us to think that rules are made to be broken and that they are in place to limit our freedom. When we dig into God’s word we see that this is simply not true. There are a slew of examples throughout Scripture that show us the cause and effect of not staying in the safety of the rules.

Let’s go back to the bridge, we use bridges every day. Think about the bridge as how God gives us safe passage over and through what would be impassable or that would entangle, delay and distract us from where God has for us to go. 

 On a recent trip to North Carolina I drove through tunnels that were carved through the sides of mountains. Without this passage cut through the mountain, I would not be able to take the route I was taking. I would have had to take a route far out and away from my destination. It was safe passage through a literal mountain! This tunnel allowed me to drive through this massive mountain without the trouble of scaling it, or hiking over it. I sat in my truck and drove through it and marveled at God’s glory. As I continued to drive I went over many bridges that connected two far away land masses, beneath the bridges were beautiful water ways, some had glorious landscapes of trees and wetlands. I drove up and down and all-around mountain landscapes that allowed me to see the beautiful design God created in this part of the land. You see, God has boundaries and passage ways woven into his plan for us. If we abide in His word we get to see the glory of all he has for us. If we fail to adhere to the set boundaries, we end up in the wilderness of setbacks, impassable obstacles, a place with rushing water that delays his plans for us and can even sweep us far away from what God wanted and had for us. I saw the most beautiful things and was able to hike to breathtaking views. Yes, some of the paths were narrow and took a while to see what I was walking toward but staying on the path provided safety and I got to see the beauty in all the things God had for me on this trip! The same is true in life, if we abide in the safety of his ways we will see the glory he has for us in our lives. We will not be hindered by the snares and traps that lay in wait just off the path God has for set before us.

Stay safe and in God’s word loved ones, you are precious to our Abba Father and he wants nothing but the best for his children! 

“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” Proverbs 3:6 NLT

See you soon back here at the well. 

Beth 

Redeemed and Forgiven

Hello everyone and welcome to the well today, I am happy to have you all back! 

“ For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. “  John 3:16 NLT

I was journaling today and found myself being thankful for forgiveness from things I have done. As I allowed my thankfulness to really resonate, I began to think about what it truly means to be forgiven by Christ and redeemed. First, I looked the two words up and took note that they are both verbs. Both are action words, they speak of an action. Forgiveness means to stop being offened by something, to no longer find fault in it or to cancel it out. Redeemed, also an action word, means to compensate for one’s faults, to regain possession of something. 

I began to think over these definitions and how it applies to salvation, and our being saved by God’s grace. We are forgiven because of Christ’s death on the cross, meaning Christ literally took our place in sin and death. God canceled out our sin (Offenses) because Jesus died in our place and because of that, God no longer sees our sin. He sees us washed in the blood of Jesus. He sees Jesus in us and standing beside us and therefore redeeming us, or restoring our relationship with Himself, putting us back in the place He had planned for us as His children to be. He restored us by providing this path to give us back what was lost in the garden, we read about the fall of mankind and how sin entered the world in Genesis chapter 3. God in this act of love in John 3:16 sends Jesus to restore us and forgive our sins once and for all. For past, present and future sin. 

It does not matter what we have done, where we are at in our lives; God’s grace is here. You don’t have to wait for the right time or until you get things perfect to come to Him. You can come as you are, right where you are right now! He is truly waiting for you to talk to Him. Do not wait! Talk to Him now. 

I sit and am humbled by a love like this, our Father God loves us that much. If we really look at the bible we will see countless examples of God’s love and how He has and continues to fight for us, to keep us in relationship with Him. To ultimately get us to eternity with Him. I just wanted to share these thoughts today and say to the person maybe who is close to making a decision for Christ today; you will never know a greater love than that of God the Father through Christ Jesus. Who was willing to give His son as ransom for our sins. 

If you don’t know Christ as savior today, please read His words today and humbly ask him into your life, He wants to forgive your sin and wash you clean. He wants to restore you and welcome you back into His grace. 

May God bless you all and fill you with His Holy Spirit! 

See you next time at the well, 

Beth 

Holding every thought captive

For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.  2 Corinthians 10: 3-5

Welcome to the well today! I am thrilled to have you all here. Today my heart is reflecting on retraining our thought patterns. I guess what I’m saying is, I tend to think negatively toward myself. I’m pretty hard on myself and where I don’t expect to be perfect (Lord knows I am NOT) I do want to do my absolute best. I learned a little while back from a good friend that we have to retrain our brain, this is the process of taking the negative thought and holding it captive, ( 2 Cor 10:3-5) and standing it up against the truth of God’s word. You see, Satan uses our thought life to wage war against us. You recall in John 10:10 God’s word tells us that Satan is here to kill, steal and destroy… well, he will absolutely use our own mind to do just that if we do not take every thought, imagination, day dream or anything that will set it’s self up against the knowledge of God. An easier way to look at this for me is, anything I think that is contrary to what I know is against God’s plan for me. God doesn’t want me to call myself a loser because I feel like the work I did on a project wasn’t perfect. Nor does he want me to feel like I am unworthy because I did not get called to do a different project/job. God does not want us to think about things we should not, like Lustful thoughts, hate filled thoughts, unforgiving thoughts, things that go against what God says is the truth. The truth is I am a daughter of the most high King, and I am forgiven, and loved. There is truly a myriad of verses to support this. If you are looking specifically today for someone to tell you who you are in Christ, read Ephesians chapters 1 & 2. ( Yes,I did see the movie Overcomer and I’m using this, it is awesome!!!) 

 We talked about the armor of God a couple a days ago, it applies here also; the word of God is our sword and we have to know the word to use it. We have to keep reading, listening and finding ways to fill ourselves with it. This is how we get strength for the battle! 

To this point, we must take the negative thought captive, meaning hold it accountable, go directly to the word of God and see if that thought is biblical, if it is not cast it down and rebuke it with the word of God that is true! Tell Satan, this is a lie, this is the truth, recite the scripture and tell him he is not welcome here! Your heart, mind and soul belong to the Lord God and he is now before the throne of God and to take it up with your God, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords! Whoo Hoo…feeling the Holy Spirit up here in the well today!!! 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are not in a typical war, we are in a war with spiritual opponents, that will use our thought life and imagination to destroy us if we let it. This is a secret and private place we can all keep very secluded from everyone. No one but God knows our true thoughts. Give this part of your life to him, hold these thoughts captive and do not let them have place or dominion over you. Remember to take these things to the throne, this is the retraining, and yes, it will take time and practice. Nothing about retraining yourself is simple or easy. I can promise you to free yourself from the anxious thoughts, the negative self-talk, the lustful thoughts, whatever the lie is Satan is clogging your mind with, it will be worth it to rid yourself of this “stinkin thinkin” that Satan has tangled you up in.

I would like to offer this prayer for all of us, we are all guilty and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Father God, 

We thank you for your grace and unending mercy. We pray that you would guide us in the process of freeing our minds of these attacks that Satan throws at us. We ask for you to help us take these thoughts captive, to stand them up against your word, to prove them wrong and rebuke them in Jesus name! Father we ask for your help to stay in your word, to find the scripture we need and we thank you that when we don’t know what to say your Holy spirit intercedes for us. Help us to tackle this battle for our minds. Show us the areas that are our greatest struggle, help us to be aware of the traps in our television, music and entertainment choices. Help us to open our ears to hear you as you guide us. Forgive us where we have not been obedient in our thoughts. In Jesus name we pray, 

Amen 

I pray you all have a blessed day and I will see you next time at the well. 

Beth 

Running the race set before us

Hey everyone, thanks for joining me at the well today. I want to talk a little about a verse in Hebrews 12:1. It was my verse of the day, and it has really resonated with me all day. I feel like the Lord wants me to write this message to someone, so sit back and let drink in some of this cool living water our Abba has for us from the well!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. “Hebrews 12:1 NLT

I was not a particularly healthy child growing up. I was constantly sick and in and out of doctors’ offices all the time. Growing up, I did not ask a lot of questions except where is the food and can I go play outside! Through the years I would have bouts of sickness and fatigue that was debilitating, even as a teen and throughout my twenties. In my thirties  I had children, I figured this was normal! In all seriousness, it was not until late in 2012 after a knee surgery that I discovered and was diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Yes, that is more than enough for anyone, I was overwhelmed with new meds, a totally new way of life and a new reality I could not control and did not want to face. Discouragement, anger, and fear were my constant companions. I literally tried every vitamin, oil, diet, powder, you name it I tried everything promising a miracle. I did not get it. I got worse and had to start infusions, and giving myself chemo shots, more pills, and still the illness and pain was worse than I had ever felt. It was horrible. This has been a part of my story since I can remember, it now had a name. Auto-immune disease. Ugly as it was, I had the blood work and the symptoms and was laid out because of it. I thought my life as I knew it, my purpose was ruined by this diagnosis. By me not being able to physically and at times mentally keep up, work or even get out of bed some days.

So, what is the point of all of this you ask? My point is this, we all have a race to run, the way we think or plan is not always the way our race goes. We have all been called by God our Father to faith through Christ, to run our race and to endure to the very end. My race doesn’t look like others races, and yes, I have a disability, at times one that literally puts me in bed for days. That in no way excludes me from serving in the capacity I am able  or from sharing the good news of Christ! As I look over this passage today in Hebrews 12:1 and see the second part of the verse, that says we are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses, I cannot help but think of those who have gone before us , the champions of our faith, those who ran with endurance their races. Those who left it all on the track. This is where I get my inspiration, this is where I find my strength when I feel like throwing in the towel. The verse has three parts, in the first Paul challenges us to think of those who as I said finished their race, with steadfastness, and endurance. The second part is to lay aside the things that hinder us, sin. There it is, we have to take that sin off of us, the one bible I have describes in a text commentary running a race with heavy boots, and heavy clothes on. Runners wear next to nothing, they want to be light, not bogged down with things that only cause them to be slower. The third part to the verse is to run the race with endurance, that God has set before us. We have to endure, this is not a sprint, it’s a long race, it’s life. We can’t endure without fuel, without encouragement, this is why I believe Paul described the cloud of witnesses, those who we can look to for examples of how to live, how to endure, we look to those heroes of our faith to guide the way. We have to keep our eyes on Jesus and keep running, remembering to cast off the garments of sin and death that will only weigh us down and hinder our race, maybe even cause us not to finish.

 I want you to know that nothing is to small an act of service, a word, a testimony, nothing is too small to be counted toward building His kingdom! We need prayer warriors, encouragers, people to write, people who can listen to someone, to share a story, fold laundry, give someone a smile or a wave. All these things are important. Don’t let being limited stop you from serving the Lord. There is always room at his table! I have done different things at different seasons, there are times I act as a prayer warrior because I will not be able to do other things, so I want to reiterate this again, please don’t shy away from running this race and completing your race! There is always more to do for the kingdom, and we are all called to many different things. 1 Cor 12 describes the body of Christ, and it’s many parts. Sometimes we are one part and as the seasons of our life change our assignments can too. God will not waste one ounce of you in whatever season you are in. Trust Him! Talk to Him! Serve Him!

God bless you all, and thank you for being at the well with me today. I love you all and am cheering with our great cloud of witnesses!!! Keep Going, you got this, you are a child of the King!!! Keep fighting!!!

Beth

Hunting or being hunted

Welcome to the well everyone! I am so happy you have taken the time to stop in. It is a hot late August day here in Indiana, I don’t know where all of you are checking in from but around here that means: football season is starting, corn and beans are finally growing and hunting season starts in a few months. 

I look out back into the woods I can see the bucks and does feeding on the bean field in the coolness of the morning. I also watch as they come back in the evening right before sunset when the sun this time of years sets a little earlier with each passing week. The beautiful warm orange and bright magnificent pinks glow, God is showing us his beauty in these gorgeous sunsets! As I sit here looking across the bean field I am stirred by the thought of what I do to make my hunts successful.

Well first, I camouflage myself so I blend in my surroundings, in this case the woods, and the trees. I use a spray that also camouflages my scent as well. When hunting season opens I will either sit in the blind or up in the tree stand, elevated so I can see the whole area clearly. Camouflaged and leaving no trace that I am there so the deer will be unsuspecting. I get up early before the sun comes up and take my place, I sit quietly, not moving or making any noise. I stay alert and pay attention to every noise, and keep watch all around. I have my weapon on safety but in a ready position so I can take the shot when I see the deer. Deer are quiet and you have to be ready, they can hear and smell very well. One wrong move or not being ready means no meat in the freezer! 

Prior to this fall, I have used trail cameras to see the path that the deer take, I have observed where they are on our grounds around what times. I have taken great care to study the deer, there habits and schedules. 

If we think about it, is this not how our enemy hunts us. Looking at us studying our moves, our habits. Looking for a weak spot. He looks for the perfect spot to wait in hiding to strike and take us down.  Doesn’t he camouflage himself so well that often times we don’t know he is there, seeking us out. I have read a lot about spiritual warfare over the years and I know we have to be keen observers all around us. Listening and watching, being still…quiet and paying attention. 

We can turn the tables on Satan and take a new approach and instead of being his prey, we can do as 

1 Peter 5:8 says “Stay Alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 

We can search him out and identify the areas in our life that he is trying to get us to fail at, to fall into temptation. We have to keep our weapon (GOD’s WORD, our sword) on the ready. We can’t have it ready if we don’t know it. So, let’s get some target practice in and start memorizing those scriptures! Scripture is to Satan as my .308 is to the deer, it will take him down!

We have to get ourselves up in that tree stand, elevated to a higher position to see the battlefield better. We do this by being in church, in small groups and most importantly in God’s word! Not just reading it but living it. We can disguise our scent by not being around the things that make us stink, if you have an area of sin in your life, talk to God, and get out of it. Wash that stink off with the forgiveness and grace God gives us freely. Satan isn’t attracted to the scent of God, just death and sin. So, spray on some of God’s grace and forgiveness and last but not least, the camouflage, well, in this hunt, we are called to put on our Abba’s armor! His full Armor, every single piece. Because we are not just being hunted by Satan, he wants to kill, steal and destroy us in any and every way he can. Physically, mentally and spiritually. (John 10:10)

This is found in Ephesians 6: 10-20. The Lord tells us to put on the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace. (I wear boots, these do the trick too!) Take up our shield of faith and put on our helmet of salvation and to use our sword, our weapon, which is the living word of God himself! 

I’m sure some of you probably have not really heard this analogy of the armor of God before, that okay too. I’m from the country and we do things a little different out here lol! The truth of God’s word still is here, it’s that we have to not let Satan have such an easy hunt. We don’t make things hard for him if we are rolling in the dirt and not reading our bibles. If we are not using the model God gave us, the map is laid out through scripture. We have to use it. 

Thanks for listening to this different view of hunting and being hunted by our enemy, also thanks for joining me at the well today. I pray you all have gained some insight into the ways we all let Satan track us. Most importantly, how we can evade him in the armor of God and how we can keep him off our scent by getting out of and staying out of the things that make us stink! 

See you next time at the well, 

Beth 

Abba showing off for you at the well tonight! 🤗🥰🤟🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻