Exodus Israelites Explain How To Take an 11-Day Journey in 40 Years!

Could it be that you've been going through this lesson for years because your negative mindset won't let you graduate yet?

I really want to wrap my mind around this thing about how important it is for us to have the right mindset. When I hear about the Israelites being lead out of Egypt by Moses, it frustrates me! The journey from Egypt to Canaan, was an 11-DAY JOURNEY! These people took 40 YEARS TO GET THERE! Most of the DID NOT GET THERE! Why you ask? Because of their mindset. They had a negative mindset. They were ungrateful, fearful, whiny, and idolatrous. Have you ever seen a more ungrateful bunch of people?!

These people were suffering in Egypt for about 210 to 400 years. It was believed to be 400, but research says,

“Our sages explain that the countdown of 400 years began with Isaac’s birth. G‑d’s promise does not refer to Egypt by name, rather to a “land that is not theirs.” As soon as Abraham had a child, his seed were subjected to living in lands that were not theirs—including Canaan which wasn’t “theirs” at the time.

Isaac was sixty years old when Jacob was born, and Jacob was 130 years old when he went down to Egypt. This means that 190 of the 400 years elapsed before the Israelites arrived in Egypt. So the Israelites were in Egypt for a total of 210 years.”

God was nice enough to hear their prayers for at least two centuries and a decade for a rescuer and deliverance from their oppressors. He chose to use Moses. Moses should have been slaughtered like all the other baby boys his age, but God spared him so that he could deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. God was even so kind as to allow Moses to be raised by the very Egyptian royalty that he was going to be going up against!

As Moses performed plague after plague after plague to convince the Egyptians that he was not playing about the power that God possessed that could destroy them, the silly Egyptians had hardened hearts towards believing God. They suffered so many avoidable hurts! Had they just listened when Moses first said, “Let my people, go”! There didn’t have to be any frog plague, locust plague, and death of the first born plague. Had they done what was right the first time, things could have been resolved without all the damage. When God tells you to do something, it’s best you listen the first time around. Don’t wait until He sends ten plagues your way before you get your heart broken and submit to Him. If God tells you to let that no-good man go, don’t wait until you hear of rumors of him cheating on you, hear about him cheating with your best friend, have him clear out your bank account, have him ruin your credit, have him give you a STD, have him leave you for another man, and have him break your heart. Listen up front! It’s for the best!

So anyways, as the Israelites left Egypt, the Egyptians changed their mind (foolishly) about letting the Israelites go, and they decided to pursue them and bring them back. God wasn’t going to let that happen. Even though God knew that many of the Israelites would want to go back during the journey, He cared so much about them that He protected them. God parted a whole sea for these people! Imagine how trapped they must have felt at first. Behind you, you see your torturous past; and in front of you, you see an uncertain, unknown, and possibly dangerous future. But you must look up! God is with you! You thought you should give up and turn back to the past you know rather than the future you don’t know, but God knows the plans He has for you! Believe me that if you are on His side, they are good plans. There are women who are being emotionally and physically abused by their live-in boyfriends and husbands. They know the past sucks, but they are accustomed to the torture. Some would rather stay there than to begin dating again and to risk finding true love, but they don’t have to decide the entire future for themselves. They can look to God, and He will make the future less daunting and lead them to a healthy, loving relationship.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

So my God (the same God I serve today) parted a SEA for His people. For those of you who have been to a beach before and that have seen a large stretch of water, imagine seeing a clearing in the ocean going as far as the eye can see. Now I don’t know how far across the Reed Sea is, but it’s still a pretty big deal! This is not just a children’s bible story about a fairy tale God. This is the self-same God that we serve this day. He’ll do the same for you and me!

Malachi 3:6 – For I am the LORD, I change not

FROM WIKIPEDIA –
“The Reed Sea (or Sea of Seaweed, Sea of Reeds), was the name for a large lake close to the Red Sea, which has since dried up due to the Suez Canal. It was in Egypt, specifically in the Suez valley next to the Sinai Peninsula, and north of the Gulf of Aqaba.”
(There is a common misinterpretation that the Reed Sea is the Red Sea.)

“In the Biblical tale of The Exodus the phrase Yam Suph refers to the body of water that the children of Israel crossed following their exodus from Egypt. The Hebrew name literally means “Sea of Reeds.” Some scholars thus understand the term to refer to some marshy body of water rather than the “Red Sea.” Nonetheless, the fact remains that this same phrase is also used to denote the body of water referred to in 1 Kings 9:26, which is clearly part of the Red Sea: “And King Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-Geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Reed Sea, in the land of Edom.” Eloth, or Elath, was the name of a seaport on the northern shore of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba.”

So back to the Israelites’ ungratefulness! Their prayers were answered, but they complained so much that they made a 250 mile journey take 40 years! I hear that the trip can range from an eleven-day journey to about a month’s journey depending on how much you take a break to eat and sleep. Two million people are supposed to have went on the exodus. The bible says there were 600,000 men. They were probably all married so that is 1,200,000, and they more than likely had at least 1 child per couple. So about 2,400,000 embarked on this journey. Of those people, ONLY 2 made it to the promised land. Joshua and Caleb made it because of their faith, belief, and grateful attitude towards God. No one over the age of 19 made it except for those two. People gave birth to more children on the 40 year journey who made it to Canaan, but only two of the original crowd made it.

WHAT JOURNEY IN YOUR LIFE IS TAKING YOU SO LONG BECAUSE OF YOUR WRONG ATTITUDE?

Some people believe that God is the one who wanted them to take that long, but I believe that it was their negative mindset. There are people in the world who respond very differently than others do when they go through a crisis. When some women unfortunately lose a spouse, they will never recover for the rest of their life. Some women can get married a year later. Some people can lose a job and never apply again. Some people will be fired from a job they worked at for 40 years and will get right back in the market looking for work. Some people are thwarted by the loss of a limb, and some people will get a prosthetic device and do the most extreme sports that I would never do! Some people are diagnosed with cancer and lie down and resolve to die, but some people like Lance Armstrong will race marathons and win! Some couples have experienced the totally devastating event of losing a child to a miscarriage or an accident, and they will never try again. Some couples experience miscarriage three times and continue to try again.

FROM WIKIANSWERS

Exodus 13:17 – When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.

Also, God wanted to teach His people about Himself and his laws. This also took up time. But as referred to above, the major delay by far was because they doubted God’s power and showed cowardice.”

I’m not dare going to judge anyone’s circumstances because I have never went through either of those scenarios, and I praise God for it daily. I may go through them or some similarly devastating ones if I keep living long enough, but I know that it is important to keep a positive mindset. What a waste of life! These Israelites could have enjoyed so many blessed years in a promised land flowing with milk and honey! They could have enjoyed bunches grapes that it required two men to carry. They could have dwelled in an amazing place, but they never got there because they were ungrateful. They were rescued from slavery, but they didn’t like to walk in a desert? SHUT UP! If you had asked my ancestors to choose between walking a month’s journey or staying in slavery until they died, the overwhelming majority would have said, “See ya, Old Dirty South!” They would probably praise God because of His goodness and grace in hearing their prayers regardless of how long He took. But not these Israelites.

When you are untrusting of God, He may make you take the long way to your destination. You could be there in eleven days, but because you are so scary and don’t trust in God enough, He will take you the “Punk Route” which will take much longer. Suppose you wanted to get married at age 20, but because you were not serious about doing the work it takes to be a good wife or husband, your marriage is postponed. I admire cultures from India. These young women are taught from a young age how to cook, clean, be chaste until marriage, and respect men. Therefore, they are ready for marriage at a younger age. Now even though some of them may not feel developmentally mature to be a wife, they are ready.

In America we want to depend on our mommies and daddies forever, then we want to eat out all day, we are messy and unkempt, and we want to sleep around. We also have a problem respecting men. We say, “I’m not about to submit to man!” The bible said to do it, and men have obligations to us too! Men want to be childish and sow their wild oats, and they want to be children and not get a job to support their future wife and future kids. We seriously need to grow up mentally in America and get over this prolonged childhood that many Americans go through. And we wonder why we get married at 32 for men and 25 for women on average in the United States and why it 24 for men and 19 on average for women in India. Marriage is on the forefront of their minds, and they have long-lasting marriages. What you do not respect, you will not attract.

God will not bless you with things that you are not ready to experience. Some people want to do this, that, and the other, but because they look at their circumstances and limits rather than at God and His unlimited power and faithfulness, they end up taking the long trip. I don’t want to get married at age 40! I pray that God prepares me mentally and emotionally this year!

Not only did my God (the same God I serve today) deliver them from severe oppression, He also provided BREAD FROM HEAVEN! Imagine walking in a desert and seeing slices of Wonder bread falling for you. You did not sow that bread so you should not have reaped it, but God takes care of us like He does for the animals in His creation. God will take care of you! He will not ask you to embark upon a journey where He could not supply your need. He even provided them a cloud and some fire to lead them. He will be your Jehovahjireh even when you act a fool!

Exodus 13:22 – He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Matthew 6:25-26 – Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Deuteronomy 32:16-20 – They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

Don’t build up idols when you don’t feel God. He’s there just as He was when He sent the plagues, as when He opened the Sea of Reeds, and as when He let manna fall down from heaven. How do you begin to doubt the same God who has been there for you so many times in the past? My mother would be insane to doubt God now when as a child, He healed her from Sickle Cell Anemia! Even if He does nothing else for her for the rest of her life, she knows that there is no cure for GENETIC DISORDERS! Cancers can be removed with chemo, radiation, and diet change, but you can’t change someone’s genetic code unless you’re GOD! What loser can see a split sea, know that it was God, and then melt together their earrings to make a fake calf?

It is so sad that these people never lived a good life. They were in bondage for so many years, and they died never seeing the promised land. How dare they pray for so many years for something and then not even appreciate it! Don’t pray to God for so many years about something if you can’t follow through with it – even with God’s help! Don’t pray to my God for 5 years for a wife and then give up when the times get tough. Don’t pray to my King for a job, when you are lazy and want to quit when the times get tough. Be careful what you pray for. Make sure you have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into when God decides to answer.

We need to learn how to Praise Him In Advance. Sometimes you can’t wait to praise God when the battle is over. You know why? Because no matter where you go, there will always be another battle. You can’t wait. You have to praise him in the midst of your storm just as David did so many times in Psalms. It’s like this. They were fortunate enough to know what would happen in the end of their journey. They KNEW they would have milk, honey, grapes, and freedom. In life nowadays, we don’t have as many specific prophecies. We don’t always see God do things as amazing as parting seas and raining down heaven bread. But these people saw God in a big way, knew where they were going, AND knew God was faithful to perform. The ONLY thing stopping them was their fears (trust in their enemies more than in their God), ungratefulness, idolatry, and complaining. If God told me that I was going to get a brand new Ferrari with a drop top with Lamborghini doors in just eleven days, I’m going to be GRATEFUL, I’m not going to worship the devil instead, I’m NOT GOING TO COMPLAIN, I’m not going to let my enemies scare me off from getting it, and I’m definitely going to do all that I can not to postpone it!

When there is the fear of the unknown in front of you and the familiar pain behind you, you don’t have to choose from this quandary. There is always another way out. LOOK UP!

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Dear Procrastinators, Sometimes It’s Now or NEVER

Why wait until New Year's to begin? There's nothing magical about January 1st!

Heights of great men reach and kept
were not attained by sudden flight
but while their companions slept
were toiling through the night

We humans make things so much more difficult than they have to be. People want to lose weight, and they want to wait until New Year’s to make another unsuccessful resolution to lose 10 pounds. If you don’t have the motivation to do it now, what makes you think you’ll have it in 1 – 12 months? It’s not a big grand theory to lose weight. It’s simply a matter of using common sense mathematics. 1 + 1 = 2. If you know that an average-sized, active woman should consume 2,200 calories a day, and you eat three value meals at McDonald’s, then you know that you have surpassed your caloric intake to stay a healthy weight for that day. Now if you consume 5,200 calories a day and exercise off 3,000 calories, then you are fine. But you know if you don’t work out that you will gain the weight! Stop being so deep! You don’t need a profound plan to start on this date at breakfast time. You can start losing weight December 29th during lunch. Why you got to wait to January 1st?!

We want to make up plans to leave a jerk boyfriend or girlfriend. No plan needed. Ain’t nothing to it but to do it! We want to think of a way that won’t hurt feelings. Guess what? Break ups hurt period. We say, “I’ll wait until after our anniversary. After his birthday. After Valentine’s Day.” Why not now?! It’s not that deep. We want to write out pro and con lists. We want to consult with all of our friends. If dude is a jerk or if your girlfriend is a jerk, then leave! Kick him to the curb! Do it now! Like Dr. Phil says, the only thing worse than being in a wrong relationship for a year is being a wrong relationship for a year AND a day. Now is the time! I believe in tact, but I believe that if your boyfriend or girlfriend are just wrong for you, then no amount of tact can fix that.

CME Saints. Christmas-Mother’s Day-Easter Saints. “I’ll get saved next Easter. It’s time for me to finally turn my life around.” Why wait until Easter? Do you have any idea how many people were going to wait until Easter to give their lives to God and then died the day they decided to wait until Easter? Or died the day BEFORE Easter? The devil wants you to keep procrastinating. If he knows you’re going to die January 15, he’ll encourage you to hold off until Easter to get saved because you are a CME saint. You may not have that long. People who are not spiritual believe that there is a 50% chance that you will die tomorrow and that there is a 50% chance that you will not die tomorrow. But you never know. As Christians, we believe that on one day there is a 100% chance that you will die, and every other day there is 0% chance that you will die because God is in control and already has our death date set. Even if he moves it 15 years down the road as He did for King Hezekiah, there was still a 100% chance that King Hezekiah would die on a certain date. So if you think as a non-spiritual person, there’s a 50% chance that you could die tonight. Do you have time to wait until next Easter? You may or you may not. Do you really want to take that chance? It’s not that serious of a matter that you have to think about doing it. But it is very important that you give your soul to Christ. What’s so important in your life that you can put off eternal salvation for another second or for another 12 months? Don’t try to fix your life up first because there is no way that a physical and sinful body can make itself righteous and spiritual without the Holy Spirit. People say that they want to get out of a gang first or dump their fornication partner first. If you could make yourself right on your own then you wouldn’t need Christ! Come to the altar with your sins. He will take you as you are.

Men who want to sow their “royal oats.” You make me laugh. Royal oats. Ha! You want to wait until you’re 40 to settle down with a wife and to have kids. Those kids will have your back thrown out when they get 6 and want to play ball! Quit goofing off, and be real men! Sowing your royal oats will have you reaping STDS, unwanted pregnancies, and baby mama drama. You need to stop making it such a big deal. Ask God to help you to prepare to be a husband and father and stop making it so profound. Of course, marriage and family is nothing to be taken lightly, but with God on your side, you can get some responsibility to do things God’s way. If you want to have sex, why not have it with your wife? Do something fun the moral way. If you sow to your flesh, you will reap corruption.

I am very into orderliness. I’m not a stickler for disinfectant, but when it comes to a room looking neat, I got to have it! My friends say I’m a neat freak/OCD. So when I come into someone’s house and their home is a mess, I get slightly upset when they say, I was going to clean my room, but I ran out of time. If you put aside that TV program or two or three or four, then you’d have AMPLE time to hang up clothes, put clothes in the hamper, put papers and books on a shelf, put dishes in the dishwasher, etc. etc. I promise you the room refuses to clean itself, and it usually gets messier. CLEAN UP NOW! My sister always says, “I’ll clean up when I finish this exam.” Her room is still a filthy mess a semester later. If you have time to go shopping, then you have time to clean up. People act like throwing clothes in a hamper needs a schedule. JUST DO IT. Get off the couch, walk to all the dirty clothes, pick them up, and place them into the hamper. It takes seconds to put dirty dishes in a dishwasher. This is not a deep revelation. This is not a Rhema word from the Lord. Just put the laptop to the side. Stand up. Now walk to the stack of papers and books. Then put them on the book shelf.

The same goes for people who are in college. I used to put stuff off forever and a day. Yes, college courses and school work are more mentally demanding than cleaning up, but I do declare that a college education is the single thing that people will spend THOUSANDS of dollars on and will not even want to get all they can out of it. We make our cars worth what we put in them and then some. We’ll wear our clothes out of style. But when it comes to college, we’ll spend thousands upon thousands and then decide to skip class and stay in bed. Just get up and get out! Even if you fall asleep in class, you can sign the roll and get an idea of what class was about. People want to be doctors doing surgery on me and my friends, but they want to skip class and cheat on tests. I don’t want to working on me with that kind of dedication! I bet you’d get some motivation if your boyfriend was coming over even after you only slept for three hours the night before. I bet you’d get up for things that cost you little to nothing, but we want to make attending class a profound matter. Just get up! Just drive to the library and get the book! Just open your laptop and start typing! Ain’t nothing to it but to do it! Don’t write out a schedule or a to do list. Don’t do THAT. Just do IT! People put more effort into a to do list than they do in doing the actions listed on the to do list!

Don’t talk about applying to college on Saturday. Just do it today! Then find some financial aid! Don’t talk about looking for work tomorrow, just get your butt off that couch and drive around and apply tomorrow. Because gas is high, join a job search website and apply that way (that’s how I got my job). Don’t talk about fasting and dieting next week to lose weight. Fast and diet now! Don’t talk about exercising starting first thing in April. Start March 26th! (What’s the fascination with certain dates and holidays when it comes to procrastinators? What’s so magical about the first of the month or the first of the week? Today has just as much opportunity for success as January 1st!)

Don’t talk about reading the Bible more and praying more starting next Sunday. Put away the computer and pick up the bible or begin to pray now. The devil want you to wait because he wants you to be at a standstill. He doesn’t want you to progress. He wants you stagnant; God wants you prosperous. If you are a lazy couch potato who is 30 years old living with your parents, it’s because you weren’t applying to enough jobs. I called and applied for about 40 agencies before I finally was blessed with a job. Had a given up at agency 38, I’d have been unemployed to this day!

Satan’s Personal Soul-Fishing Tips

Satan is fishing for you. Have you been biting his bait?

God is amazing in that He teaches us amazing lessons about life through everyday life experiences. We have something to learn from the parables of reaping and sowing. We have something to learn from having a stable foundation on which to build a building. We have something to learn from fishing.

Ask any fisherman what it takes to catch a fish. He’ll say he needs a couple of things. He needs bait. He needs a hook. You can’t have one without the other. If you have just the bait, the fish will snatch the worm and dip out. If you have just the hook on a string, no fish in its right mind will just hop on hook and say, “Beam me up!”

Ask the devil what he needs to snatch a man’s soul. He’ll say he needs a couple things. He needs bait. He needs a hook. You can’t have one without the other. The devil knows your flavor, just as a fisherman knows that fish like worms and bugs. A fisherman would be insane to put a bottle of lotion on a hook and cast it into the sea waiting for to catch a fish. The fish might look, and it will swim around the bottle looking for its worm. The devil is much the same way. He knows if you like tall, dark and handsome men. He knows if you like blond-haired, blue-eyed buxom babes. He wouldn’t send me an overweight, short man because I don’t go for those types of baits. But he knows Mistye likes tall men who are in shape. Those are the types he might send on a hook for Mistye.

I’m not saying that every opportunity, man, or woman who looks like your type is hell-sent, but you should beware. Because THE DEVIL KNOWS YOUR FLAVOR.

So back to the fish. The fish is hungry. The fish may even be desperate. But the fish is chilling in the pond looking for food. Then he spots the bait. It looks like a worm, it wiggles like a worm, and low and behold it even tastes like a worm! It must be a worm right? It’s like a hungry man walking through the desert after a couple of days desperate for food and water. And after walking for a while, he spots a nice table spread with an assortment of soul food, sweet tea, lemonade, and water. He runs for it! He doesn’t stop to ask himself, “Hey now, Bob. This is just too good to be true. There are no tables in the desert and all drinks would have evaporated.” But he’s just so desperate that he doesn’t even take the time to ask himself the probability of something this good coming to pass. I mean even the Israelites leaving Egypt to go the promised land had to eat bread and drink water sent from God Himself! But he’s so desperate that he goes for it. Just as a dumb fish for a worm on a hook.

Notice how the fish has to be hungry to go for the plastic worm. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:7 that “the full soul loatheth a honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Some people are so desperate for an experience that they go for anything. Some people are so bored with their God-devoid lives that they live every day looking for the next high. But God is a constant high. Get to know Him and you won’t have to go looking for the next woman to bed, the next blunt to hit, the next crime to commit. Many Christians are so full of God, that the bitter things remain bitter and they have no interest in them. I am not perfect, nor have I arrived to my spiritual apex, but I can say that most sins do not interest me in the least. My soul is full with God. But to people and fish with hungry souls, they are desperate for anything — even the artificial things of life.

But back to the fish. Had the fish looked closer and waited awhile, he’d have seen that there were literally “strings attached.” Yea, the worm looked real, but it had a long string that it was dangling from. The same with you people. If you had waited just one week, you’d have seen this person’s true character. You’d have seen that he was married. If you had waited at least six months before marrying so and so, you’d have seen he was crazy possessive and mad jealous. If you had waited 3 weeks, you’d have seen all those HIV medications in the medicine cabinet. But you were just so desperate and hungry for love and sex that you rushed into things. If it looks too good to true, make sure it good and true. Sure, God can bless you with some pretty amazing things that seem too good to be true, but so does the devil. For my readers who like the light skin, curly hair, light-colored eyes type, I know of friends who’ve been enraptured by that bait, and who been regretting it for years. Don’t get so caught up in your “pretty, little bait” to the point that you neglect reason.

Now some people catch fish just for the heck of it. They do it for their love of the game and throw the fish back out. But some people catch fish for to eat. The devil is like the latter. He doesn’t want you for a minute; he wants you for life and then for eternity. He wants to make your life a living hell and then he wants to take you to hell. Once he gets you, he will not let go unless you get Jesus involved. Jesus is the grace you need to get you off of that hook. Many people fell in love with their pretty, little bait and bit the bait. The fish will squirm and try to swim in the opposite direction, but it’s too late. If it was a hook you could get off of, then it wasn’t much of hook. The devil uses the best hooks and baits. He’ll bait you with “it’s just one hit” marijuana; and he’ll have you hooked on drugs for life. He’ll bait you with “just one sexy wo(man) and have you hooked on sex and stuck on Valtrex for life. He only wants you to take a little bite because just that bite might have you hooked for life.

Fortunately, we serve a God of grace and mercy. Grace can more simply be defined as God letting the good happen to you that you do/did not deserve to happen to you. Mercy can be defined as God NOT letting the BAD happen to you that you do/did deserve to happen to you. Some of my readers should have been “burnt” from that one night stand with their pretty, little bait. Some of my readers should have overdosed on that pretty, little bait. Some of my readers should have been incarcerated for stealing that pretty, little bait, but God showed them mercy. God is just so good to us, we don’t even understand how hooked we should have been by now. We really should appreciate Him. Look in the jails, and ask the imprisoned what their pretty, little bait was. They all have/had one. Ask the crack addict and the alcoholic. You’d never be an alcoholic if you never took a drink. But God can help, heal, and deliver you. Not everyone gets healed because plenty of people die from diseases, but it’s worth the try and more than likely, you will get great results depending on your faith. God will even give you grace for the results of your hook if you do not have the faith to get healed.

Many Christians say that we give the devil too much credit, but I say we don’t give him enough in some instances. The devil is wiser and more intelligent than we think. Arguably, very cold-blooded killer in the history of the world was led to do what he or she did by this fisherman named Satan. Perhaps every child rapist, every thief, and every liar was led to do what he or she did by the this fisherman named Satan. We need to be vigilant of this adversary. He is very cunning. Never forget that.

But also never forget that your flesh can take much of the blame. Just as Adam and Eve let their flesh’s desire — and not just the serpent’s temptation — for this mysterious fruit lead them to deliberately and knowingly disobey God, your flesh may lead you to do certain sins. Sure the devil will tempt you with bait, but notice how he only sends certain bait to certain people. He knows that not everyone likes sex, but he knows who does so he will tell them certain things to encourage them to listen to their flesh’s desire. The fish’s desire or appetite for worms led him to go for the worm. Horny wives and husbands have a lust for sex that leads them to commit adultery. Greedy people have a desire for money that leads them to embezzle or connive to get money the unethical way. Everyone is not a money-hungry person, so the devil knows he can’t tempt them with that, but many people (especially Americans) are very greedy for food, so he may tempt them to commit gluttony (overeating). Some people have a desire to always feel a high or an adrenaline rush. They may get a rush from doing extreme sports and doing daring, dangerous acts. So he may tempt them with drugs that cause a euphoric state. The bait changes for the individual. The devil is not omniscient, but he has ways of finding out what your desires are. Once he does, he’ll send your pretty, little bait package and wait for you to open it and act. It’s up to you to choose!

The fish has a choice when he’s in the water. He’s hungry. He likes worms. He eats worms. But he still has a choice. No one forces the fish to put it’s mouth on the worm. He does it 100% of his own accord. He can’t blame the school of fish he hangs out with. He can’t be mad at the fisherman and his son enjoying a nice Sunday on the lake. He can’t blame the plastic worm that fooled him. He can only blame himself once he gets his head chopped off, gets his scales skinned off, and gets fried in the frying pan.

You too have a choice when you’re in the world. You may be desperate for that swig of whiskey. You like to drink whiskey because of how it makes you feel. You drink whiskey all the time. But you still have a choice on whether or not you will drink it today or tomorrow or ever again. No one pulls your head back, forces your mouth open, and pours the bottle down your throat. No one forces you to get behind the wheel of the car to drive home after the party. You do it 100% of your own accord. You can’t blame the salesperson behind the counter at the Spirits & Wines store on the corner. You can’t be mad at the bottling company who sent it to the store. You can’t blame your friends who peer pressured you to chug. You can’t blame the bottle. You can’t be mad at the single mother of three who is driving down the same street you happen to be drunk-driving on. You can only blame yourself when you kill the mother after you drunkenly swerve in her lane, when you get charged with murder, and when you gets life in prison.

This scenario goes for sex, drugs, fighting, stealing, gluttony, greed, etc. You can’t blame anyone but yourself. You are not defenseless from your pretty, little baits. You are not a dumb fish. You have a very efficient brain. If you have enough sense to get through all of those steps, you have enough sense to say, “Yes, that is very tempting. Yes, I did it yesterday and everyday before then. Yes, I want to do it now. But, no, I will make a different choice today. Don’t let the devil get you hooked! Remember that God and Jesus loves you!

Eve & the Forbidden Fruit: And You Say A Little Compromise Never Hurt Anyone?

The whole world descended into rebellion and death all because one person COMPROMISED

I was watching a Dr. Charles Stanley program the other day, and it was really eye-opening for me. He was speaking of Compromising Christians. Do you compromise for a friend or family member? Are you trying to please men or God? I’d rather have the favor of God than the favor of some weak men and women who live for the devil!

Here are some ways that he mentioned how Christians can compromise. One will not go to hell over doing of these things, but they do not please God.

Purchasing lottery tickets
Drinking something other than wine in moderation
Listening to dirty jokes

I do not believe that a Christian who engages in these activities will “lose his salvation” so to speak, but I do believe that they are on their way towards serious risk if they do it and are not careful and rethink what they are doing. If you spend all your money on lottery tickets, you are probably idolizing money more than you are worshipping God. I hear of many people who win at lotteries and in casinos that become so greedy! They engage in drugs and arrogance, and their lives are usually a mess by the end of it. They call it “The Curse of the Lottery”. The bible says that it’s easier for a camel to enter into the eye of a needle than for a man who puts his trust in his riches.

For those of you who drink beverages other than wine, you will not lose your place in heaven. But if you continue, the devil will tempt you to do more and more of that drinking. When you drink, you lose your good sense of judgment. I have plenty of friends who engaged in fornication as a result of a night of alcohol and marijuana. They woke up with plenty of regret and sin. One of my close friends almost died of alcohol poisoning. They felt so guilty that they would sometimes neglect going to church (sometimes a few hours later) because they didn’t feel like being condemned. That’s just what the devil wants you to do. You can repent in your own bedroom, but you’ll be more convicted to repent in the church.

Dr. Stanley mentioned that if you are at work, and people start sharing off-color jokes, you should just walk off. If they ask, “Where you going,” you should say, “I’m not into that kind of stuff.” If they say, “Oh, you’re one of those church people. You think you’re better than us,” you can say, “I don’t think I’m better than you, I’m just not into that kind of stuff; I’m into JESUS.” Unless those co-workers are atheists or Satanists, they’re going to shut up! I worked at a restaurant back in Knoxville with about 5 atheistic managers. We were all close (I was trying to proselytize them), so they would jokingly say things around me to test me. One manager would say, “Hey, Mistye. How’s Jesus nowadays?” And I would say, “He’s the same yesterday, and today, and forevermore!” TOUCHE! After a while, I would say, “I’m not supposed to be throwing what is sacred to dogs and casting my pearls before swine.” You may say, “Weren’t you afraid of getting fired?!” I know that God’s wrath can do a lot more than a manager’s wrath!

My stepfather is also an unbeliever. He says he believes in God, but not Jesus or the devil. That means he believes in neither God or Jesus because you can’t get to my God without first going through His son. He would try to test my knowledge and question why I believed in what I believed. But you have to study to show yourself approved! I have won every discussion I’ve gotten in with an unbeliever. They end up trying to change the subject or walkaway.The truth is able to divide lies like a double-edged sword. I could care less about what stepdad says! I love him, he pays for my gas, and he has been kind to my mother, but his opinions are unimportant when it comes to ANYTHING regarding morals. He says that as long as I’m not killing people, I should be able to watch whatever I want on television because life is too short. I said, “Not whatever I want. That’s something the devil tells you.”

I used to think it was okay to do heavy petting. It is not! We think purity means not having sex. Hogwash! Purity means keeping your body pure for God and for your husband/wife. I’ve heard of Christians who did not so much as KISS their fiancees before the wedding day AT the altar! That’s purity. If you’ve erred, God can wash you over with the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. I’m not a physical virgin, but I am a mental virgin, and I’m not ashamed to say it because I believe THAT MUCH in the ability of Jesus’ blood to wash us white as snow! I’m wearing white on my wedding day! 🙂 The reason I disagree with making out and heavy petting is because it usually never stops at just making out. Very few sexual encounters happen without serious kissing first. I’m slowly going more towards no tongue kissing either because some people are not physically strong enough to just stop there, and you shouldn’t be testing your body.First, it starts out a tongue kiss, then touching, then inappropriate touching, and then sometimes it ends in regretful, God-hurting sex. It disappoints God, and it makes God sad when His creation disobeys Him. I know that most unmarried Americans my age and older are not virgins because everyone gets tempted. We are humans. But once we are aware, we ought to know the line of pleasing God and displeasing God, AND WE MUST NOT CROSS IT AGAIN!

I have come to think that if I will not do the act in front of God, Jesus, and my guardian angels (who are always with or inside of my heart), then I shouldn’t be doing it. Would you buy a lottery ticket if God was waiting in the car? Would you make out with your boyfriend or girlfriend if Jesus was sitting on the couch next to you? Would you order a beer at the bar, while your two guardian angels are floating above you in that smoky club? Well let me tell you this, God is omnipresent meaning He is everywhere at the same time. There is NOTHING that you can hide from God. Jesus dwells in your heart. Your guardian angels are with you wherever you go. The Holy Spirit is in you because your body is His temple! Don’t let them be in and around you in all that smoke!

I can pretty much guarantee you this, the people you are compromising for are not impressed with you. They think you are spiritually and mentally weak-minded. They say, “Alright, girl! Drink that vodka!” But in their heart, they are saying, “I knew that Jesus stuff was fake. All Christians are probably just as fake as she is.” If I wasn’t saved, I bet you wouldn’t be leading me anywhere with a blunt in your mouth! Do not cause possible or new Christians to err in the faith.

If the only reason you are compromising in some areas is to put off rejection from your family and friends, then you are not listening to the words of Jesus. He told us that we would suffer persecution for His name’s sake. If you are not being persecuted, then you are probably a Closet Christian. Get out of that closet and let people know you are a child of God! Let your light so shine before men that they may see your works and glorify your father which is in heaven. Sometimes, if you are so close to God, He will make even your enemies be at peace with you.

The people that you are trying to impress don’t care about you. I believe that more girls lose boyfriends because of having premarital sex than girls who gain boyfriends from having premarital sex. I have read many accounts and reports that say that males lose respect for females who put out. Few men will spend cash (for a ring) for a cow when that selfsame cow is giving out free milk twice a day! I wouldn’t pay for water bottles when there is a water fountain wherever I go! Think ladies! Of course a guy will say, “I love you” to get sex! They are thinking with the wrong head! What wouldn’t you say to a robber who has a gun to your head? Men will tell you anything when they are sexually aroused. They will say they love you, and some really lame, young guys will say, “If you love me, you’ll have sex with me.” If you love him, you will not dare put his soul at risk for eternal damnation for one night (or two minutes) of passion! That’s how I weed out the good guys from men who don’t have a relationship with God. The second a guy says, “Let’s have sex,” I IMMEDIATELY know that he has little to no respect for God, his own purity, or mine. If a man doesn’t respect his own purity, why would he give two cents for a thought about yours? If he and God don’t talk all the time, then he probably didn’t get the memo that fornication was not pleasing to God. It’s better to pluck out your eye and enter into heaven with one eye, than to enter into hell with both eyes! This is in the bible, guys! I’m not saying men should castrate themselves (all my guy readers just winced), but it’s just to show you the severity of sinning.

So basically I am saying that Christians should not compromise a bit! You are on top of a hill of righteousness, and the second you step over that apex, you are sliding down a dangerous slope towards hell. When you step over that boundary to compromise, there is no more upward ground and there is no level ground, it just goes downhill from there. Fortunately, many people will catch themselves because of God’s grace and will repent for backsliding, but, unfortunately, many will not catch themselves, and after a night of drinking and driving (which there is not commandment against in the bible), they will wake up in the horrid, unspeakable torturous depths of hell never to leave. Those who stay behind that safe line of uncompromising relationship with our God, will end up in heaven.

It is grace that saves us, but the law keeps us aware of the do’s and do not’s of life. Some people look at the bible as “The Book of No-Fun”, but it’s far from that! Ask the prostitute on the street how much fun she’s having because she didn’t have to read this book of no fun. After you ask her, ask the crackhead, the alcoholic, and the little girl who had sex with a boyfriend who left her and spread rumors about her to the school. Ask the guy with incurable herpes how much fun he’s having. Then ask dude who’s got life in prison how much freedom and fun he’s having? Ask the preacher who chose to forget the bible verses on adultery how much fun he’s having when his church finds out and leaves the church. There is NO FREEDOM OR FUN outside the bible. It may appear that way at first, but I assure you, it will catch up with you. God will take you back like the prodigal son because He loves you so much, but sometimes you don’t get the chance to repent. If you are strung out on drugs, you probably don’t have the mental capacity to think about church and repentance.

Compromise usually starts out with ignoring the leading of the Holy Spirit. The second He tells you, “don’t do it,” you must listen! It’ll sound like your conscience saying, “You know you should flip past that channel, you know you shouldn’t answer that booty call, you know you shouldn’t drink that drink.” It’ll tell you as soon as you entertain that wrong thought. I’ve ignored it plenty of times, so I know what it sounds like! It’s a small voice to me, but I hear it clearly. It has kept me from so many regrets when I choose to listen to it.

The devil just wants to engage you in a conversation. Before he has someone to buy and offer you a drink, he first has to get you to get your guard down with talk like, “Just a little won’t hurt. Jesus drank wine, so you can definitely drink a beer which is less alcoholic than wine. Grace saves you, remember? Not following the law. Where in the bible does it say that listening to gangsta rap is a sin? You can masturbate; if God won’t give you a wife or husband, then He will surely let you do this until then. She deserves to be cursed out after what she did to you. If you don’t jump in that fight for your friend or family member, then they’ll think you’re a punk.” We rarely do things impulsively. Most people who are not mentally disabled will have a mental conversation with themselves before buying things, before starting out on a to do list, and before engaging in compromising situations. Remember that is how Satan tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden. God gave Adam one law in the beginning, and he couldn’t follow that one! And it all started out with ignoring God’s leading and entertaining the thoughts of the devil. All he wants is a conversation. After all, a little conversation never hurt anybody…

God’s Glory Revealed Through My Dental Work

There's a reason teeth function as they do...

If you’ve ever seen me laugh, you’ll notice a mouth full of silvery fillings. I’ve been to the dentists to get work done around several times in the last year and a half. 3 root canals, 10 cavities, and thousands of dollars later, I’d say I’ve learned some things.

Everyone who reads my writings knows that I love an extended metaphor. I look at everyday things and situations and see what kind of message God could get through to us through them. I’m a firm believer that God’s creation tells of His glory and the way He has designed the world to operate.

I’d like to compare a tooth to each of us. We’re all living organisms. I used to think that it didn’t matter what I ate or what my dental habits were because I really thought that teeth were dead just like hair. But we ladies know that while hair is dead, it can still get damaged with split ends because of us not taking care of it.

So we’re the teeth, and the way we eat is like the way we live. High fructose corn syrup from sodas and sugary candies and desserts can be likened to the sin we choose to participate in. We CHOOSE to eat candy and not brush just like we can CHOOSE to tell a lie and not repent. But in some cases, much of the damage comes from not repenting of the sin as opposed to the sin itself. Some of us have a sweet tooth, and it doesn’t mean that we’re going to die because it. There are some sins you won’t die from, but you definitely need to repent of them before you begin to engage and worse behaviors.

I love chocolate, ice cream, cake, sweet tea, and soda. But when I was younger, I did not like to floss. I didn’t mind brushing, but I HATED flossing. It was too much like work. I wanted to get on with my day, and flossing was only holding me back. I would brush my teeth, but I was unaware at the time that there was sugar lurking between the teeth and eating away at my enamel trying to get to the pulp of my tooth. When I smiled, my teeth looked white, so I assumed it was all good. But the enzymes that come from our saliva interact with the carbohydrates in the sugar we eat, and they make something like an acid that eat away at our teeth slowly but surely. Much like how some sins can eat away at our souls slowly but surely.

We may do something wrong, but if things look alright afterwards, we’ll just forget about it. Like if I choose to take five quarters from a rich neighbor for a bottle of orange juice, I know that it won’t hurt him. He’s not going to miss a $1.25 at all. And I know that I’m not rich like he is AND orange juice is good for me. So after the juice goes down, I forget all about it. I wasn’t caught, and I don’t feel any guilt because dude’s rich. I figure he’d probably give it to me if I asked, so it doesn’t matter. He might even have given me more money than that. So I go on about my business without repenting.But stealing is stealing. There’s no way to dilute that truth.

So it is with flossing. If things look good on the outside, we feel okay about our sin. But we don’t know that justifying that particular theft may lead us to justify us stealing more money from rich people. We’ll start saying, “He’s rich! He won’t miss me taking his $5.00.” Then it could go up to $20.00 and $100.00. Next thing you know, you could possibly justify stealing a car with no guilt because the guy might have five cars.

The reason I first went to the dentist after about 8 years or more of not seeing one, was because I noticed a black dot on one of my teeth, and it hurt. I knew it was a cavity, so I was going to the dentist to get the black dot scratched off because I couldn’t get it off myself. I actually tried to get something pointy to dig it out with. Ha! I had no idea how serious it was. I had no idea that the black dot was not the problem. The black dot was signifying a more serious problem going on. Make a long story short, the dentist dude found out I was going to need a root canal because of an abscess tooth. I felt so bad because needing a root canal is a totally preventable situation. Some people who got AIDS from consensual sex feel bad because they know that in their case AIDS was 100% avoidable. I know it was just a tooth, but I felt so sad that I had hurt my own body like that. I didn’t want to loose my tooth!

The dentist asked me about my eating habits and dental hygiene. I told him that I do love sweets, but that I brush. When he asked me if I flossed, I told him that I seldom flossed. I felt like a little kid being told by a man how to floss. I was like, “I’m grown! I know how to floss!” I just didn’t want to, and because of it, I eventually had to get the root canal.

Not only did I have to eventually get a crown for the tooth, but it was not cheap! Dental work is expensive. If someone doesn’t have enough money, they can just pay about $25-$50 to get the tooth extracted (pulled out totally from the root). I didn’t want a gap in my mouth, so I paid the price to get the work done.

When we do sins and don’t deal with them appropriately, meaning we don’t confess them to God and stop doing them (repent), we will have to pay the price. It will be death or other consequences. You can lose the tooth, or you can pay the price for the bad stuff you chose to chew on and not repent of. Dental work is awful. I hate it! They put painful shots in your mouth, they put this big dam in your mouth, and they take radiographs (which is like an x-ray), where they have to put this thing in your mouth that feels like a razor. You have to sit there for hours with this stranger playing around grinding away at your teeth while you slobber all over yourself. Then you have to pay him big bucks for torturing you. I had no insurance so it was no discount for me.

Keep in mind, I thought I had ONE cavity. They found about thirteen. I needed three root canals. So I got three crowns too. Then after the radiograph they find out I have 7 extra teeth behind my gums!

What that meant to me was that sometimes when you go to professionals, they can uncover some stuff you never knew was a problem. It reminded me of repressed memories. I never knew those teeth were back there, but they are, and the dentist said that in about a year or so, they’d really be bothering me. So I have to get them all extracted. The extra teeth are not my fault; I had nothing to do with them. But I will have to take responsibility for them.

Some stuff happens to people as children that they have no responsibility over. They are born into a bad family or go to a bad daycare or school where people exploit them. Their little minds are not able to cope or process what has happened, so they repress that memory. But when they get older, God knows that they can handle it, so it becomes time to face it. The people who are responsible for the bad will more than likely not care to fix it, so the person has to be responsible to get it handled. It’s not their fault; but it is their responsibility. If they choose to ignore it, then it will definitely have a bad impact on their life in the future. They say that in most cases at about two years after a person has a child, the issues that they didn’t face as children usually resurface to wreak havoc until they choose to deal with them through therapy or spiritual intervention.

This is the last that I’ll share of what I learned about our spiritual lives and teeth. People tell me that I have a pretty smile. If you look at me head on, my teeth look all straight and white, but if you look from the side or inside, it’s not so! My teeth are not straight, and inside there are a lot of silvery and enamel colored fillings. To relate that my spiritual life, there are a lot of things that I have gone through that were not easy for me. But God got me through them all. And there’s no residual pain! My teeth will never look or be the same, but with the fillings, they’re much less likely to get cavities again. I also know now that I need to eat better, drink more fluorinated water, and FLOSS! If you see me smiling wide and walking down the street, at first glance, you’d think I had decent teeth. You’d think I never had a care in the world. But if you got close enough, you’d see that there’s a story behind the glory!

Self-Sabotage: The Strange Fears of Love, Success, and Happiness

Doubt your doubts! Success, love, and happiness are on the other side of your fear!

There are three fears that I find the strangest. There are SO many phobias known to man. There’s no limit to phobias because as soon as a new one appears, they just add it to the list. There are some very strange ones like geniophobia – fear of chins, consecotaleophobia – fear of chopsticks, anablephobia – fear of looking up, and one of my person favorites, zemmiphobia – fear of the great mole rat. (these people fear that giant rats are plotting against them.)

But even with all those peculiar ones, I find three in particular even stranger than that. They are the fear of being loved, the fear of happiness, and the fear of being successful. I believe the fear of success, love, and happiness are even more common than the well-known fear of death, fear of failure, and fear of being disliked and disapproval.

I love this quote by Marianne Williamson:

“Our biggest fear is not that we are inadequate
our biggest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
we ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us,
and as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

From what I’ve read in different books, I feel as if the main reason people fear success is because they fear people resenting them because of it. People fear being an outcast NOT because they are disapproved of because of being a failure; people fear being an outcast based on being disapproved of for being A GREAT SUCCESS. I believe that just like plant seeds, we have potential to become as big as even a huge sequoia tree. But if we’re afraid of being a great, big sequoia, we’ll stunt our growth at the size of a bush or a blade of grass in order to fit in with others and make them happy with us. Let yourself grow to the full-size that God put in you to get to!

In middle school, I had some friends who didn’t do very well in school. I always did well in school, so the teachers asked me to be in the advanced program. But I didn’t want to leave my friends behind, so I stayed behind. I could have learned so much more and done better in college perhaps from the advanced learning, but I didn’t want to be an outcast. Even with people now, I oftentimes downplay my intelligence and skills so that they won’t resent me. I know that most people can appreciate others’ success, but haters do exist. I don’t let people know all of what I know because I feel that they may think that I think that I’m better than them when that is so not the case.

Next, from what I’ve read and witnessed, there’s the fear of being loved. Many people unknowingly have this fear. People with this phobia will test their girlfriend or boyfriend to see just how much they love them. For some reason, some people deem themselves as unlovable or at least unworthy of love, so when some guy or girl comes around professing their quote unquote love for them, they proceed to prove the boyfriend or girlfriend wrong and to prove their negative self-view as correct. Even if the significant other did love them, they make sure to scare them off with tests so that their self-view is secure regardless of how wrong and negative it is.

For example, some women will pick the DUMBEST fights with their guy, and if he lets them win and don’t argue back, then they say, “He must really love me!” But because they are still convinced that no one could possibly love them, they find another test the next day. You’d be amazed if people told you the type of things they did to test people. Some men will cheat on their girlfriends with some they both know and make sure that the girlfriend finds out about it just so that they could know if she did love him by sticking around.

Of course, we know that testing people like that is very dysfunctional and that no self-respecting guy or girl would hang around to continue in that dance of dysfunction. I learned that no matter how hard you try, you can’t prove to someone that they are lovable; they have to find out for themselves by knowing how much God and Jesus love them. When you begin to internalize that God loved you so much that He gave His own Son to die for you, you slowly start to realize that, “Hey! If the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and the Originator and Embodiment of Love loves me, then SURELY I must be lovable! I’m going to start believing people when they say it unless they prove it otherwise!” One way you can tell if you think you’re lovable is if you can look in the mirror and say with 100% certainty and with a smile, “I AM LOVABLE!” Some people can’t even look at the mirror and look themselves in the eye and say that and others can’t do it without crying.

I learned from books I’ve read that some people fear love because they think that they may lose it in a dramatic way. They may fear that the person will die soon, that the person may betray and hurt them, that the person may humiliate them by leaving them, and/or that the person may be pretending to love them when they really don’t. You also may fear that if the person you’re in a relationship with REALLY knew who you were, they’d run screaming in the other direction. You may fear that if she or he knew your ugly childhood, your dysfunctional family, or your weaknesses, downfalls, and imperfections that they would stop loving you. So instead of all that risk, you may just decide to avoid love all together. So when you do meet someone that you could potentially be happy with, you may find little silly reasons to rule him or her out. You might say silly things like, “He has bad teeth, his feet are ugly, I don’t like dudes with long hair, she’s too tall, she’s too cheerful, etc., etc.”

All of these little requirements and standards for your boyfriend or girlfriend are really just subconscious ways to keep you single – to keep you from getting hurt and to keep you from being loved because, to you, being loved is risky and is against what you believe that you’re worthy of. This dynamic is also in play when women purposely or unintentionally choose bad men to date because they honestly feel that in their heart no one can really love them. So they think that an abusive, unfaithful man is what their unlovable self deserves. I noticed that girls who have good, loving dads in the home tend to go for good, loving men. But girls who have abusive or dead-beat dads tend to go for the same type of men. They learn at a young age that either no man can love them OR that every man has to treat them right because how things were with daddy.

And the last strange fear I mentioned is fear of happiness. This also applies to love and success sometimes because love and success add a lot of happiness to people’s lives. Some people fear happiness because they fear that as soon as they begin to really experiencing the joys and highs of it, something terrible will happen. I read that they believe that if they just stay unhappy, when they get that scary phone call that a loved one has died or that so-and-so has dumped them, they have no high point to come crashing down from because they are already on that low point. They fear happiness only because they know that happiness will not always be. Life is not all good or all bad. So they feel that if they celebrate too much of the good, it’ll make the bad feel even worse.

If you’ve always been poor, then you don’t have to worry about losing your job or going through a recession. But if you allow yourself to become rich, you can lose it all! If you have no close friends or family members, you don’t have to worry about getting hysterical upon the news of their death because you never had any strong and happy feelings for anybody in the first place. You would think that people would want to experience as much happiness as they can while they can, but that is not always the case. Some people are so used to being abused as a child that they never allow themselves to feel happy because they knew the abuse was coming sooner or later. How easily could you rejoice in having a report card with all A’s and E’s if you knew that when you got home, dad was going to be in his scary drunk mode and that mom was going to beat you senseless for no reason?

Some people self-sabotage when they feel themselves getting too happy. They have “happiness anxiety”. When they feel too comfortable with a boyfriend or girlfriend, they may pick a fight. They aren’t used to happiness! They’d rather feel unhappy without the anxiety than to feel happy with anxiety. Anxiety is arguably the worst feeling to have, and people do whatever they can to get rid of it – including sabotaging their happiness when it comes to romantic love, a good job, a great friendship, etc. Anxiety is fear of something that poses no immediate or serious threat, but fear of the unknown is one of the scariest fears. So some people will consciously or subconsciously ruin any chance of happiness because it gives them the creeps. They are in control as long as the sabotage their chances at happiness.

If we lived in a normal world, we wouldn’t have those three weird fears. We’d be glad about being successful. We’d be so happy to have all that potential just waiting to express itself in us. Imagine if Michelangelo had feared success because his dad or classmates or brothers might get jealous of him and begin to resent him? We’d be missing out on all his beautiful artwork. The same goes for athletes, singers, dancers, and actors. What if Michael Jordan didn’t play as well just so that his teammates wouldn’t think he was a show off and so that he wouldn’t make the other teams feel like losers? You can’t dumb yourself down or make yourself average just so that jealous people can be happy with you. You’ll please those fifteen people of your family and friends at the expense of pleasing millions of potential fans and admirers, not to mention pleasing God by fulfilling the big purpose He placed in you to fulfill!

If we lived in a normal world, we’d love to experience being loved. We’d realize just how lovable we really are. Babies in normal homes are loved unconditionally. All they do is puke, defecate, urinate, cry, scream, eat, and sleep, and yet they are the favorite beings on the planet of their parents beginning at the first few seconds of their life or before they’re even born. They don’t have to do anything to be loved. And as they get older, they should know that approval and love are separate. A parent can disapprove of their child’s stealing behavior and still love them 100%. But for some reason as we get older, we begin to make our “lovability” dependent on our approval rate; and if you are raised in a dysfunctional family with narcissistic parents, you’ll also probably have this tendency. But you need to realize that you are 100% lovable regardless of what you do or don’t do. Jesus died for us WHILE we were yet sinners, and He forgave His murderers AS they murdered Him on the cross! So this shows us that we are lovable no matter what we do. YOU are lovable. YES YOU!

If we lived in a normal world, we’d be happy to be happy! We’d live every day in joy until something bad happened. Then we’d recover from it and be happy all over again! But in this twisted world we live in, being happy is scary because it has a determining factor in how sad we can get. It’s like a bride refusing to be TOO happy on her wedding day just in case her groom gets cold feet and doesn’t show up. In a normal world, all brides would be ecstatic on their wedding day until the very second she finds out her groom isn’t coming; in a normal world, brides wouldn’t keep their happiness level at a 5 instead of a 10 just in case he doesn’t show.

So these are the three strangest fears to me. I believe that everyone has experienced them to at least some degree unless you were raised in a very normal, loving family. Realize that God created success, love, and happiness for us to EXPERIENCE THEM – not to RUN AWAY FROM THEM!
SUCCEED, LOVE, AND BE HAPPY WITHOUT FEAR!

Maybe That Last Argument WAS Your Fault [Core Fears]

Claim the blame then things can change.

Do you recall the details of the last serious argument you had? What sparked your anger? Was it the topic? Was it the way something was said? Or was it the person who you were arguing with? Here’s another question: is this an argument that you seem to have had before?

After listening to a Joyce Meyer guest speaker, I learned that most arguments we have are the same – meaning that we argue because of the same thing. Not necessarily on the same subject though, but on the same sensitive areas. These sensitive areas are also known as “core fears”.

A core fear is a cause of main recurring arguments. Many couples have about 85% or more of their arguments based on their core fears. Have you ever wondered why you seem to blow up over the smallest thing someone might say to you? They might have said a little joke about your hairstyle, and you might have snapped on them or ran away in tears. Why? Are you really that sensitive and insecure? Or is it that they stepped on one of your hidden “mines”- your hidden mine meaning your core fear?

Some examples of some common core fears are fear of rejection/abandonment, fear of being seen as incompetent/stupid / fear of failure, fear of not being liked, fear of not being noticed, fear of being detrimental to others, etc., etc. If someone triggers one of these core fears, you will get really emotional and/or start an argument with them. The other person doesn’t necessarily do it on purpose, but they do it just because they’re a human who is ignorant of your mines. They step on it unintentionally and then you blow up on them. If more people were aware of their core fears and discussed them with other people, then so many arguments, break ups, separation, and divorces could be prevented.

A personal example is this: Suppose you have a core fear of being seen as incompetent. Then suppose you return home with a test paper that you got a C on. Then suppose your boyfriend walks in the kitchen while you are in the dining room and notices the test paper lying on the counter and says, “Wow, Dina! I thought you said you studied for this test?” Your boyfriend could have been totally teasing you or meaning no harm. But if you have a core fear of being seen as incompetent, you might blow up and say, “I did study, you big idiot! You were there the whole time helping me study! Maybe if you hadn’t been playing all that loud music, I could have gotten more studying done!” And then the big argument begins. Now the argument will get especially heated if your boyfriend’s core fear is a fear of being detrimental to others’ well-being. If that was the case, then he would be so upset that he would say something else hurtful to you (but intentionally this time) that would make you again retaliate (and this time with a cause) against him! You two would throw out so many hurtful words that you might not even want to be together anymore.

But what if this scenario happened instead…

What if your boyfriend knew of your core fear of being seen as incompetent? So when he came home, he would have said, “Oh, you got a C on your test. That’s good sweetie! So what did you do today? And then you would have said, “Thanks, Hun. Today I ran a mile in the park because I needed to release some stress. I was really aiming at an A on this test because as you know, I was studying very hard.” And then he would say, “You did study hard, Sweetie. But I think that a C is still good.” So because the boyfriend knew his girlfriend’s core fear, he knew how not to detonate that situation into a big blow up.

But suppose he didn’t know her core fear, but she knew he didn’t know hers. If she was willing to be the bigger person, she could say, “That was very hurtful to me because I studied really hard for that test. But I’ll just do better next time.” Instead of attacking his core fear of being seen as a hindrance or as detrimental to someone’s success, she avoided an ugly argument while also letting him know that his statement was hurtful. This way, he knows not to do that again. No argument whatsoever. No chance at a break up.

The important thing is that we let our significant other know up front what our core fears or sensitive areas are. For example, let’s suppose your core fear is fear of abandonment or rejection. So if your boyfriend knows that, he will try to act in ways and word his sentences in such ways that don’t make you feel rejected. Like if he wanted to spend this Saturday with his friends and not with you as is the routine, he can say, “Baby, I know that we usually spend every Saturday with each other, but this Saturday Bobby is having a get-together with just the guys. I would love to spend my Saturday with you, and you know that; but I’m going to be with the guys. I’ll see later though.”

The way that statement was worded was very tailor-made for a person with a fear of rejection. I’m not saying that you ought to baby your oversensitive girlfriend or boyfriend. But I am saying that you should be respectful of those core fears because they are hard to get rid of. And if you love someone, you will not intentionally continue to trigger those mines. It will only cause distrust, resentment, discord, and break-ups. Treat others how you want to be treated. If you don’t want someone constantly stepping on your core fears (and we all have them), then don’t step on theirs. It really hurts!

Some other core fears or sensitive areas are:

– Not feeling validated for your feelings (no matter how irrational or wrong they may be)

– Being controlled

– Being belittled

– Being embarrassed in front of people

– Being ignored or not being acknowledged (if only at times)

– Being rejected

– Being seen as stupid

– Being seen as unlovable

The way that arguments get started because of core fears is this. When one person says something that stings because it triggers your core fear, you almost immediately go for a sensitive area of theirs. An example that we often see on comedy movies is this. Suppose a man insults his wife’s cooking in front of her family. Perhaps she really thought that her cooking was all that and suppose her core fear is being embarrassed in front of people. So she immediately attacks one of his sensitive areas which we know is very common for many men. She says, “Well you weren’t all that in the bed last night, so if you would do a better job in the bedroom, I might do a better job in the kitchen!” If his core fear is being belittled (especially having his manhood belittled) he will attack back and say something like, “Well, if you hadn’t gained so much weight, I could last longer!” And then she might counterattack upon one of her core fears of being seen as unattractive by saying, “Believe me, Sweetie, it has nothing to do with my weight. At least one of us is packing something of substance somewhere on our bodies!” These types of arguments happen all the time, and they destroy a lot of good relationships all because one or both persons didn’t communicate their core fears and understand the other person’s core fears

The guest speaker on Joyce Meyer compared it to a dance. He said that once one person triggered one core fear whether intentionally or not, the other person would intentionally or not trigger the other’s core fear. And then they would go back and forth hitting core fears intentionally. Couples need to know when to prevent or walk away from this dance of stepping on the mines.

It’s funny that this happens so often because many adults know how this works because they have children. They know which children have thick skin and which children are very sensitive. Michael Jackson was considered the most sensitive child of his family. Even though Joe Jackson was perhaps equally cruel or strict on all the children who were in the music business, Joe’s harshness took its greatest toll on little Michael. Parents know which children can hear a harmless comment about their grades or clothes and which ones can’t. I know of a family where there is a child who is considered the sensitive one. If her mom says that she doesn’t like her daughter’s outfit, she’ll likely go and change it. But if that same mother told her sister the same exact thing in the same exact way, she wouldn’t even think about changing clothes. Insults and offenses can roll off of one person’s back and sink into the another person. Some people are just emotionally stronger than others.

So how come these same adults don’t realize that the same dynamic comes into play with their significant other? If you are wise enough to treat your children differently based on their emotional sensitivity, then how come you don’t have enough sense to do the same with your significant other? The same sensitive woman or man you are dating is the same almost as that child they were years ago with their mom and/or dad. They may not be as sensitive because thick skin comes with age, but they still will likely have the same core fears. Core fears are something that God has to heal in us. Treat your significant other the same way their mother or father would treat them knowing each of their children’s sensitive areas.

That’s why I think that marital counseling is a beautiful and wise thing to do. I know that people didn’t need marital counseling back in the bible days, but we have so many issues in America that it seems almost imperative in order to keep an American couple from divorcing. Marital counseling can teach you about different love styles, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, core fears, etc.

So the next time you get into an argument, stop talking long enough to figure out if you are really thinking this person is a jerk who is intentionally hurting your feelings; or if you are just overly sensitive about particular things because of your core fears. Save your relationship if it’s worth saving!