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HOW TO ABIDE IN CHRIST


Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 16:24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and abide in me.”


Jesus' was preparing to return to heaven and He was instructing those closest to Him how to remain in His presence even in His absence.   During His three years of ministry Jesus had repeatedly told His disciples to follow Him, but His words in Matthew 16:24 were a much more spiritually intimate phrase: “Abide in Me.”

In my twenty-seven years of ministry I’ve met a lot of well-meaning followers of Jesus who, for whatever reason, have failed to step into and bathe themselves in the fullness of these words. They may go to church, Bible Study, attend extracurricular faith-based activities, and seek to live a moral life, but they fail to have a personal, intimate relationship that Jesus was referring to when He asked His disciples to abide in Him.  Unfortunately, these are often the same people who frequently fall away from their faith because “it didn’t work for them,” or live a religious life of legality wrapped in bondage rather than a spiritual life of freedom. 

The Greek word for 'abide' is pistis, and it has a very special meaning.  It is to dwell or commune in Christ or His presence.  It's not a flippant command to attend church, pay tithes, read your Bible, live righteously, and go on with life.  All of those are good and commendable, but Jesus was talking about taking the necessary time and energy to sit in His presence and ponder His Word, seek His heart, petition for His wisdom and will, and to even sit in silence before Him in anticipation. In a world  and time that is unfixed with motion it has become against our nature to be still and quiet for more than just a few moments.  We've become addicted to busyness. Silence is no longer golden, but for many fearful and  lonely, and something we must desperately fill.  Does sacrificing our need to fill the silence require self-denial as Christ requires? Certainly so, and more. 

Jesus was asking His disciples (In Mark we read, "When He had called the people unto Him, and His disciples also, He said unto them"; and in Luke, 'He said to them all, "If any man will come after Me..."'), to deny their whole selves; all their natural motives and impulses, so far as they came into conflict with Christ.   I wish I had a dime for every time I've heard someone tell me over the years that they didn't have time to sit before the Lord, to read the Bible, or pray.  In response, I've asked them if they've had time to watch television, be on Facebook, read other books, meet with friends for coffee, or do other extracurricular activities.  The truth is we make time for things that are important to us. We deny ourselves of time and money in one area of life so that we can have it in another, and where we spend our money, time and energy will give us a good indication of where our priorities lie. 

Look at the beauty of abiding (dwelling) in Christ in John 15:4-11:  


 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."


First of all, let me point out that the word abide appears nine times in those verses! Reread that passage and put the word 'dwell' in the place of the word abide and hear what Jesus is saying to you!   Do you hear the heart of God?  He desires you to know Him and be known by Him!  For this kind of intimacy to occur, you must learn to sit in His presence, to be still before God, to ponder on His Word, to seek Him, and be transparent before Him. 


In closing, I want to share a truth with you about vines and branches.  For a graft to be made for the new stock to abide in it permanently, a cut and wound must be made  in the vine to make an opening to receive the graft. Such has been done for us to have a relationship with Jesus.  It was at the cross that Christ was mortally wounded and where we, as sinners, are given the opportunity to be grafted into the Vine. It is only when we partake in His death by dying to ourselves  and our sin nature and joining in His life and the likeness of His resurrection that we become partakers of the life and power that are in Him. This is the first and most important thing we need to understand in order for us to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. 


METAMORPHOSIS: GOD'S GIFT OF TRANSFORMATION


When we hear the word “metamorphosis” we often think about butterflies, but did you know that its meaning comes from the Greek word morphoo, which means “the inward and real formation of the essential nature of a person?" Entomologists, scientists who specialize in insects, recognize two basic forms of metamorphosis: complete and incomplete.


In the complete metamorphosis, an insect travels through all stages of growth, starting with conception, on into adulthood, and finally becoming a butterfly. During this process, it is not unusual for an insect to undergo multiple changes in physical form ~ both inside and out, but initially always from within. In a complete metamorphosis, the function of the newborn insect is to eat and grow until it becomes an adult and can reproduce.


In an incomplete metamorphosis, the insect develops only partially, never realizing its full potential. Extending this metaphor to Christianity can be helpful. Without Christ as our Savior, we can never develop to our full potential because that cannot happen until we evolve into the image of Christ. We can’t do that if our sins are not covered by the blood. He shed on the cross.

There is a parallel biblical comparison to incomplete metamorphosis called ‘metaschematizo’, which means ‘to change one’s outward form’. ‘Metaschematizo,’ however, does not alter a person internally. The Key Word Study Bible describes the difference between morphoo and metaschematizo in this way:


If one were to change a Dutch garden into an Italian one, this would be metaschematizo. But if one were to transform a garden into something wholly different, as into a baseball field, it is ‘morphoo’ ~ to change in complete form.


‘Metaschematizo’ is most commonly observed in modern medicine’s approach to healing. There are many tools, techniques, and books utilized for the purpose of healing and transformation, but they are merely band aids to a dying world. They cover the wound, but the wound only heals on the surface, while the festering continues underneath. Complete and perfect healing, as well as transformation, comes from one place: the cross of Jesus.


In his book, Winning the Daily Battle with Satan, Ray Stedman (1917-1992) makes a very important point about the world’s attempt to change individuals:


“What are the usual methods of human reform? ...they are legislation, education, and an improved environment. Every problem we face is usually approached by using one of these reforms, if not all three combined. Legislation is law ~ the attempt to control the behavior of the outward man. Law alone can do nothing to alter the inward man. It does not change the basic nature of man but merely restricts him under certain conditions.


“Education is one of the worst so-called remedies. Education does not change the core of a man or woman ~ it only makes him or her more clever, and potentially more destructive.

“An improved environment does not change a person either. When you take a man out of the slums, for example, and put him into a nicer environment, you do absolutely nothing to the man himself. In a little while he’ll make that new environment the slum as well.


“This is not to say that these reforms have no value. But let’s not make the mistake of thinking that these reforms will lead us to...transform human nature and the inner human being.”


I spent years in therapy as a result of childhood abuse and self-inflicted abuse as an adolescent and young adult. I’ve read many self-help books and attended hundreds of secular seminars on how to attain healing, peace, and joy. In doing so, I eventually functioned in a somewhat healthy manner in a dysfunctional world. Nothing I tried, however, brought even a glimpse of complete healing in any area of my life. Metaphorically speaking, I even moved from a Dutch garden to an Italian garden, but I sensed there was something more ~ I just didn’t know what.


When I became a believer on November 2, 1993, construction began from within and continues today, transforming a garden overrun by weeds into a temple where the Holy Spirit resides. Although the remodeling is not yet complete, the Holy Spirit is the contractor that oversees every step of the building process. The goal is that the temple within will ultimately reflect the image of Christ.


There is one place we can find true transformation and that is at the foot of the cross in prayer. Metamorphosis does not occur on its own; we must pursue God’s will by pursuing Him. Who better can bring about real, lasting change than the One who created you in your mother’s womb for such a time as this, who set you apart for a specific and special purpose, and knows the will He wants to accomplish in your life?  The Creator and King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that's who. 



Betrayed With a Kiss

“Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them:

‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’

Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him.”


“One of you will betray me.” Can you imagine how shocking those words must have sounded to the twelve disciples, sharing the Passover meal with Jesus? But for one disciple, the shock was the greatest. After all, Judas had watched Jesus perform miracles firsthand. He saw lives transformed before his very eyes. He was on the boat when Jesus walked out to them on water. Judas stood beside Jesus as He delivered those in bondage from demons. Our Savior had chosen Judas to be an extension of His ministry, to be an example of godliness, never giving him any reason for such treachery, yet it happened ~ Judas betrayed Him for a mere thirty pieces of silver.


Countless men and women have also experienced such disloyalty in their own lives. Perhaps your Judas was a friend who carelessly revealed a confidence, a husband or wife who left you for another, or a trusted adult during your childhood who took advantage of your innocence. Regardless of the traumatic event, betrayal is one of the most heart wrenching of all offenses, because only a trusted friend or family member can betray you; a stranger cannot. You can only be betrayed by someone you have allowed into your heart. And if a betrayal does occur, you must give it over to the Lord for healing, because the scar of betrayal can cut so deep that it refuses to allow you to ever trust again. In turn, this can lead to feelings of ambivalence, bitterness, emotional withdrawal, fear, and an inability to accept love from others.


THE ROOT OF BETRAYAL

Betrayal often feels a lot like rejection. When someone you love has turned away from you and betrayed your trust, it is not unusual to feel cast out or thrown away as worthless and not worthy of respect. In fact, ‘reject’ means to be set aside, and that is exactly what someone does when they betray you. They set your best interests aside for the sake of themselves or others.


Furthermore, disloyalty separates you from a person you thought you could trust and love. Consider the woman who, as a child, was sexually molested by a relative. This betrayal of trust and the spoiling of one’s innocence tears away at previous healthy relations. This is equally so for the husband whose wife forsakes him for another. Joining herself with another forces a separation of what God anointed as “one” and poisons the relationship, which causes an emotional and spiritual separation.


WALKING THROUGH HEALING

Sometimes the healing of such a wound can be as painful as the offense that caused it. Many people resist the healing process because of the pain that is associated with it. After all, being betrayed is hard enough, but having to face it a second time can seem unbearable. And it will be unless you turn to Christ.

One of the first steps towards healing from betrayal is understanding. Consider this: rejection, duplicity, unfaithfulness, and betrayal are all things we do to Christ when we sin. When we finally grasp the truth that we are not unlike Judas or even Simon Peter, and that we, too, have turned our back on God through our own sin, then we are able to see our betrayer in a much different light - as a sinner himself.


It is not unusual to categorize the one who has harmed us in one of two ways: saved or unsaved. Actually, there is another type of person that we often forget and they are exactly like us: saved, but a work in progress. In Philippians 1:6 the Lord promised that those who He began a good work in us will carry on until the day of Christ’s return. If we claim this promise for ourselves, we must also accept it as a promise for the believer who has hurt us. Let me explain.


When you became a believer, you accepted the fact that you had previously lived according to your own terms, betraying the ways of God. You agreed to give your life over to Him for the sake of righteousness, which is a life-long process. Equally so, it is a process for everyone else who receives Christ as their Savior. And once you are able to view others as Christ does - as sinners like yourself, you can begin the process of healing. It’s not easy, but it’s a start.


If the person who hurt you is an unbeliever, this is no excuse to withhold forgiveness. Their inability to understand God’s ways does not release you from your responsibility as a Christian to forgive just as you have been forgiven. But be sure to keep this in mind. Many people believe that if they let go of an offense against someone, they are in essence, signaling acceptance of the transgression. This is not true. Forgiving someone means you are regaining control of your life by releasing them from their sin against you, just as Jesus did. It’s a free gift; it can’t be earned. But forgiving someone does not mean you must subject yourself to their betrayal a second time. The Lord admonishes us to be wise, and nowhere in Scripture are believers asked to be doormats. If the other party is unrepentant, do not subject yourself to continued abuse simply because you’ve begun the process of forgiveness. Second, forgiveness begins the process of taking the root of hatred and bitterness out of our hearts which brings healing and freedom to us. 


The next step is to take your grieving heart to the foot of the cross for healing. Depending on the depth of the betrayal, you may have to repeat this several times. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it took me years to work through the betrayal of the trusted adults who assaulted me. The reason for this is because betrayal of any kind can affect multiple areas of your life: emotional, mental, physical, and even spiritual, so there are many facets to the healing process.


Tell God how this betrayal has hurt you. Throughout Scripture God is shown as a compassionate, loving Father who wants to heal our wounds and provide comfort in the midst of healing. He already knows what’s in your heart, but when you share it with Him, it frees you from the bondage of betrayal. Once this is accomplished, accept His unconditional love and healing. Some people ‘nurse’ their pain because they thrive on the attention they receive from others. They feel righteous because they were betrayed, and they prefer to harbor grudges. Keep in mind, as I mentioned before, that we are all guilty of betrayal.


Next, as you walk through the process of healing, encourage others who have been harmed to do the same. This builds a healthy sense of self-worth and will help others overcome betrayal in their lives. Continually point them to Christ as you yourself clings to Him for continual healing and guidance. As a result, your life will reflect the full promise of restoration available only through Christ.

HITTING ROCK BOTTOM


I was recently at lunch with a group of women I'd met at a conference where I'd shared my testimony and taught about God's redemptive power.  As we chatted over grilled chicken salads, the ladies shared concern about a mutual friend of theirs that had an alcohol addiction. They were frustrated with their many attempts to help her because she’d been on and off the wagon of sobriety so many times that it had become a cycle of defeat instead of a celebration of liberty.


As I sat listening to the conversation one of the women at the table said words you often hear anytime someone struggles to overcome addiction: “She just hasn’t hit her rock bottom yet.” One of the other ladies must have noticed that I raised an eyebrow, because before long she was asking me what I thought it would take for their friend to finally break the cycle of alcoholism in her life.


Over the years we’ve all heard the expression ‘Rock Bottom’ haven’t we? It epitomizes someone who has lost everything that is of any importance to them, and it implies that it's a place of surrender.  If you’ve ever sat in a 12-Step meeting or worked with people in a counseling environment like I have you hear the term frequently. Rock bottom looks different for everyone.  For some of the people I've met over the years it’s when they found themselves alone in an empty room with a loaded pistol in their mouth. For others it's been when they lost a marriage (or two) or lost custody of their kids.  For a friend of mine who was a physician, she lost her license, reputation, marriage, and custody of her son.  For others it's been losing their savings and childhood home from a gambling addiction, their job, or their health.  The devastation of addiction is relentless, and historically, always leaves its victims and family emotionally, mentally and physically exasperated.


But what exactly is rock bottom and who says it has to be the end and not the beginning? In Webster’s Dictionary, a rock is defined as anything suggesting strength or stability. Bottom is defined as the part on which something rests. If we took these definitions literally, ‘rock bottom’ means to be resting on a strong, stable base. That doesn’t seem like such a hopeless place now does it? Certainly not if you have faith.


The Bible often refers to Jesus as the Rock in our lives. There is a parable in Matthew 7 about a man who built his house on the foundation of Christ. Verses 24-27 state: 


Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had it’s foundation on the rock.


If you take both the Dictionary’s definition and the Bible into account, hitting Rock bottom is actually a place we all want to be isn’t it? While it may be the end of yourself in reference to your flesh and require humility, there’s nowhere else to go but up! That makes me question what you are building your life on; sinking sand or the Rock?


For me, it doesn’t take long to look back over my life and see where my own best efforts have gotten me.  Maybe we need to look at the words differently from now on. Choosing to hit rock bottom on a daily basis could be hitting our knees in surrender to God's will.  If we do it on a daily basis, then it won't become a catastrophic event down the line after we've lost everything that's dear to us.  


Making the choice to surrender your life to Christ daily is part of living a genuine intimate walk with Christ. Make it a discipline along with doing a spiritual inventory every morning in your quiet time of prayer and reading the Word of God (the Bible).  Simply put, a spiritual inventory is a time of reflection where you ask God to show you where, since you last met with Him, you have sinned against Him and others.  Believe me, He is faithful and He will show you! Writing the things down that He reveals to you is important.  Ask His forgiveness and for His strength not to repeat them, and for the Holy Spirit to convict you when you are headed into sin.  He will do that as well.  


I encourage you to write down what God shows you for a reason.  Scripture tells us in James 5:16:  "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."  


  Be wise.  There are spiritually safe places and people to do this with.  If you have an addiction I highly encourage you to attend Celebrate Recovery (www.celebraterecovery.com), where they have breakout groups on just about every addiction you can imagine.  There is confidentiality, sponsorship/mentorship, and great opportunity to grow in Christ. In addition, I believe every Christian believer who is serious about their walk with Christ needs to have an accountability partner(s) in their lives.  An accountability partner is not just a friend who will listen to you gripe about your life, but will ask you the hard questions about your spiritual walk, they will challenge you, encourage you, and pray for you.  This is not a fly-by-night relationship, but a committed relationship.  I've had one of my accountability partners for 25-years and another for five.  Accountability partners are not relationships built on condemnation and judgement, but on love in Christ.  


When you see someone "hit rock bottom" or have a major moral failure/discretion in their life, you need to realize something.  It didn't sneak up on them and happen overnight.   There were hundreds of small compromises and "minor" discretions and moral failures that led up to the falling from the ivory tower.  Having an accountability partner(s) in your life asking you the hard questions and developing and working on your intimate relationship with Christ daily along with taking a spiritual inventory, will help you live a life of freedom and joy.  


To give you an idea of questions an accountability partner would ask, I've given you a list below.  Feel free to adjust as necessary.  Something you need to know about accountability though is this:  Accountability is only as effective as you are honest.  Find someone you can be transparent with, someone you can trust.  Someone who will encourage you and pray with and for you.  I talk with one of my accountability partners once a month (she lives out of state - she's been with me 25 years), and the other daily.  We are accountability partners to each other.   


Accountability Questions

(These sound very formal, but when you're in a relationship and you get used to asking them, it's very natural and I typically just talk about them as part of our conversation, so the questions rarely have to be asked)


• Where are you reading in the Bible right now and what is God speaking to you through it?

• Tell me how you are doing in your prayer life. What are your biggest challenges?

• Have you guarded your ear and eye gate from inappropriate materials? Have you been entertaining any inappropriate fantasies in your thought life?

• Have you had any relationship with a member of the opposite sex that could be viewed as compromising?

• How are your relationships with the significant relationships in your life? Have you spent quality time with and given priority to your family?

• Have you been living with integrity in all you say and do inside and outside the home?

• Are you representing Christ well in and outside the home?

• How do you feel about yourself spiritually and your relationship with God?

• Have you been living generously, paying tithing?

• How are you cultivating your relationship with your mate/significant other spiritually?

• Is there anything you are hiding in your heart that you don’t want to share?

• How can I pray for you?  









From Breakdown to Breakthrough

          As spring blows in summer I’m seeing more and more motorcycles on the road, which always remind me of the accident I was in at nineteen. If I think about it too long, I’ll become nauseated as I recall the gravel violently ripping open my skin from head to toe and embedding itself in its place. After my 5’8, 135-pound frame came to a bloody heap thirty feet away I passed out from the relentless pain that consumed my body as if it were on fire. It was so excruciating that the morphine the ambulance crew and ER staff administered was incapable of even touching the pain.


Have you ever had pain like that? Not just physically, but emotionally? You know what I’m talking about – the kind of disappointment and pain that is so deep and wide that it’s a chore to even breathe; the kind that makes you fall asleep crying and waking up crying; the throbbing, numbing kind of agony that leaves you feeling as though you’re living outside of yourself and you wonder how on earth you’ll get by for the next few minutes, let alone the day? Looking back, the external agony I was enduring at that time paralleled the internal pain I was going through.


I was raised in a home where my parents were forced to marry after my father raped my mother at gunpoint. As such, my mom entered a marriage wrought with violence, fueled by alcohol, and justified by prejudice. As the only girl, and with my father’s panache for violence, driven by underlying rage, and insatiable power and control, I was abused in every way imaginable by him. In spite of what he was and did I craved my dad’s love, believing that if he loved me it would make me complete, filling the canyon-size void within me. His rejection and the subsequent pain were no less painful or consuming than the agony I went through in the motorcycle accident; they were just internal wounds instead of external.


Covered with a blanket of shame from the childhood abuse, I attempted suicide for the first time at twelve years old. When I wasn’t successful, I rebelled against everything and everyone; I quit school, became sexually promiscuous, jumped head first into drugs and alcohol, and didn’t look back for years to come. At nineteen, I'd been married and divorced, had two children whom I’d abandoned, had an abortion, had tried to commit suicide numerous times, and was facing time in the Idaho Department of Corrections. No one expected me to become little more than a statistic, but God had another plan, intervening in a way that only He could. Years later, at the tender age of twenty-five, I was introduced to Jesus and welcomed Him into my life.


Before I became a Christian however, I’d been to therapist-after-therapist, read countless self-help books, attended groups, tried various religions, studied counseling in college to try to figure myself out (didn't work), and just about everything else you can imagine to get well and fill the gaping wound within. While some of those attempts eventually brought some healing, I was never able to acquire complete healing. Essentially, they were like putting a Band-Aid on my wounds, protecting them from bleeding into my everyday life and the lives of everyone around me. They helped me to cope well enough that I could get by, but every time I had a nightmare or something triggered a memory from my past, the Band-Aid was unexpectedly ripped off and the wound beneath would come open and ooze out the poison that was slowly killing me and hurting those around me. What I needed the world could not give me.


After I’d been released from the hospital for the accident, I was required to go back to the hospital daily for physical therapy. Every day for months I was made to sit in a large vat of hot water and soak my entire body. After about thirty minutes the nurses attending to my wounds would take a plastic brush with soft bristles, scrub off every one of my scabs, remove them from my body, and clean the wound. This caused them to bleed profusely. Afterwards, they would apply an ointment called Zinc Oxide and wrap my injuries in extensive gauze. Of course, because the wounds were reopened, I bled habitually. I’m sure I looked like something out of a horror movie. The purpose of this procedure was to heal my body in such a way that the wounds left no scars.


Eventually my body healed enough that I could care for my own wounds, and I was encouraged to continue the “hell bath” (as I referred to it), and continue to apply the Zinc Oxide and wrap my injuries. I continued this procedure for a year – except in two places where my wounds were the deepest: my knees. While my entire body is free from scars to this day from the accident, I still have two half-dollar-sized scars on both my knees. These scars are a result of my foolishness. You see, I got tired of the pain, became lazy and stopped applying the Zinc Oxide and let those two places heal on their own. Apart from the proper procedure and the application of the Zinc Oxide they scarred.


One day not too long ago, while I putting on a pair of jeans I noticed the two scars on my knees for the first time in years and God reminded me of something He taught me shortly after I became a born-again Christian in fall of 1993 that has remained with me for 27 years: that if I surrendered every broken and wounded part of my body, soul and spirit I’d receive complete healing – that is, healing without any residual scars. As I looked at the scars on my knees (of all places), where the wounds I endured from the accident were the deepest, the Lord showed me that it is only on my knees that I receive complete healing from His heavenly Zinc Oxide: The Holy Spirit. It is only when we seek to heal ourselves or apply the world’s answers to healing that we have residual scars.


I have suffered extensively in life from both the actions of others as well as my own choices, but I can tell you today that I can look back and see each one and feel the pain. Matter-of-fact, it’s like looking at the life of someone I once knew instead of my own life because of God’s healing and redemptive power in my life. God also desires for you to allow Him to come into the broken places in your heart, mind and soul, and let Him bring healing. No doubt you have experienced the Band-Aids of the world and know first-hand how incompetent they are. While they may bring a measure of healing, they cannot provide complete healing; only the One who created you can re-create you in His perfect image and bring healing in every area of your life.


I want to stress a couple of important things for you to consider before you allow God into your life to do a healing. First of all, you need to count the cost. Sometimes the healing of a wound is more painful than that which caused it. Such was the case in many areas of my childhood as I sought God’s healing. There were times when He had me soak in His Spirit for days so He could come into those wounds, lance them to allow the poison to come out once and for all, and for healing to take place. Do you know what the most agonizing part of that process was for me? Trusting Him; trusting Him enough to give Him the wound of mistrust that had been brutally seared into my soul by those who stole my innocence. One of the most profound stories of healing for me in the Bible is found in John 5:6 where Jesus asks a man who is sick, “Do you want to be healed?” He was asking the man to count the cost of healing, which first and foremost requires surrender, followed by trust and belief in His power to heal. This is known in the Bible as faith.


Next, I want to tell you up front that healing for deep wounds takes time – give that to yourself as a gift from the Lord. This is not an excuse to remain idle, but to learn to lean on and trust Him as you grapple with the cause and residual pain of what you’ve endured or are going through. There will be times you grow tired and wonder if healing is really happening or will come. The answer is, “Yes!” God promises to heal those who come to Him (Jeremiah 29:12). One of my favorite verses that came out of those years of healing that I literally clung to with every essence of my soul is Proverbs 3:5:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.


There are a couple of words I want to point out in this verse. Do you see the word ‘all’? Do you know what it means in Hebrew? It means ALL. EVERYTHING. Did He make that clear enough for us? ALL. Then there’s the Hebrew word ‘understanding,’ which in this verse literally means ‘intellect.’ So, lean not on your own intellect…in other words, your own knowledge or wisdom, or that of others.


In closing let me assure you that healing deep hurts are to me a lot like having a baby in the sense that there’s a whole lotta pain, but a lifetime of wonderful that follows. When you surrender your past, present, and future to God wholeheartedly and you allow Him to do the healing it’s going to be painful and it’s going to take time, but let me tell you that an eternity of wonderful will follow and you’ll live a slice of that here on earth if you trust Him with all your heart. The most beautiful thing that has come out of the suffering I’ve endured is a closer relationship with the Lord – a relationship outside of suffering that I know that I would have never sought out on my own. Thus, looking back, although I don’t understand all the reasons God allowed specific things to happen in my life, I trust Him, knowing and believing in faith that Father knows best.

24 Ways You Can Know You're Maturing Life & Spiritually


1)      When red flags in relationships stop being red flags and start     being deal breakers.

2)      When you learn that saying "yes" to people (enabling them) who are in patterns of addiction or unhealthy behaviors is hurting them (and you), not helping them.
3)      When you start listening to the discernment of the Spirit instead of ignoring it.
4)      When you stop allowing other people to cross over your boundaries.
5)      When you begin to have friends in your life who inspire and encourage you, not drain or discourage you.
6)      When you stop "performing" for the approval of others/your self-esteem stops being dependent on whether or not others like you.
7)      When you stop apologizing for and taking responsibility for other people's behavior.
8)      When you start taking full responsibility for your own behavior instead of blaming others, minimizing or justifying it.
9)      When you stop allowing the past to determine your present and dictate your future.
10)      When you stop making excuses for current habits/behavior/sin.
11)      When you stop giving other people "power" to control your emotions by their acceptance or love (or lack thereof).
12)      When you begin to cut/limit toxic people from/to your life.
13)      When you stop letting your feelings run your life.
14)     When you surround yourself with people who will be brutally honest with you and who love you enough to ask you hard questions about how you're living your life/treating others.
15)      When you are the same person behind doors that you are in public.
16)      When your 'yes' is 'yes' and your 'no' is 'no.'
17)      When your identity is no longer found in someone or something outside of Christ.
18)      When you stop seeing yourself as a victim to something that happened to you, and begin to see yourself as a victor who is overcoming in Christ.
19)      When you stop trying to punish yourself for your past mistakes/sins (those/that one(s) you think was so horrific you can never forgive yourself for), and stop trying to be your own Savior, and finally accept Christ's sacrifice as full payment for all your sins, and live by His grace.
20)      When you have boundaries that are non-negotiables no matter who the person or circumstance is.
21)      When you stop saying, "It's okay," when someone hurts/sins/harms you. It's okay not to say, "It's okay!" Harming or sinning against another person is NOT OKAY. An alternative could be, "I was really hurt by what you said/did. Thank you for apologizing. I forgive you."
22)      When you are willing to call your behavior what it is (small or big), take full responsibility for what it has done in your life and that of others, and make restitution.
23)      When you realize that FORGIVENESS is LESS about freeing the person who harmed you, and MORE about freeing yourself from the bondage of  hatred and bitterness.
24)      When you finally realize that religion isn't about a building and rules, but about having a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus and subsequently living a life full of blessings and joy as a result.


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THE HOMELESS MAN IN NYC WHO TAUGHT ME ABOUT GOD


     I was in NYC recently and stayed in a hotel downtown that looked over a busy street bustling with flower shops, a high-end restaurant, and various other top-name hotels. Despite this, I noticed there were homeless people almost everywhere I turned. One man in what I assumed was his twenties specifically caught my eye as I people-watched from the view of my room. At night he sat up against the storefront of a flower shop, but in the early morning before shop owners came and shooed him away, he searched for food in the piles of trash bags that had been left out. When people began to fill the streets, he'd lay out his backpack smack in the middle of the sidewalk, lay his head on it, closed his eyes and fell asleep. I was struck by the fact that people passing by wouldn't even look at him, but walk by, step over, and around him essentially as though he didn't exist. My heart broke for him. Let me tell you why.


     I have a son, Paul, who is thirty-five who is mentally ill. What you don't know is that when he was eighteen, he had one of many psychotic breaks, hitchhiked across America, was homeless for six months, and ended up living on the streets of NYC. It was only by the miraculous hand of God that he survived and was returned home safely to me. 70% of homeless people are said to be mentally ill, many of whom are Veterans, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


     Needless to say, the homeless young man I'd been watching reminded me of my son. One night I went over to this young man and introduced myself. From four feet away I could smell him. His long, brown curly hair was matted to his head and flies swarmed around him in the heat. His clothes were not only dirty, but worn and torn, and his long, broken nails were caked with dirt. His shoes were coming apart at the soles and didn't have laces, and he wasn't wearing socks, which I'm sure contributed to his smell. I've got to be honest. Smell is my strongest sense and I don't handle foul odors well, but all I could think about was the fact that he was somebody's son, and even more importantly, a child that God created and had a plan for in life.


     I found out his name was Aaron. I asked him if he was hungry and he said yes. I told him to come with me and he obediently followed as we walked 100 feet over to the only restaurant I knew of - the top-named one across from my hotel. It was expensive, but I didn't care. I wanted to feed Aaron, and I didn't know where else to go. Aaron looked at me and then looked inside the window at all the men in suits and the ladies dressed in outfits that likely cost more than he'd eaten in a couple of years. "I can't go in there," He firmly proclaimed. "Yes you can," I answered, "You're my guest." He shook his head adamantly. "Look at me!" Aaron answered as though I hadn't noticed he was homeless and looked strikingly different than those inside the building. "Look at them!" he said pointing. I smiled. "It doesn't matter," I assured him. "You don't have to get cleaned up to eat at a table."


AND.THAT'S.WHEN.IT.HIT.ME.


     Isn't it true that we feel the EXACT same way with God? We feel ashamed, dirty, guilty. We are living lives of filth. Maybe lives that aren't reflective of being the new creations He's made us to be. Lives that reflect who we used to be; our hair is matted, our clothes are dirty and smell, and the odor of sin is penetrating our lives. We hear the call of God in our hearts and we feel the yearning of His Spirit drawing us unto Him, and yet we believe the lie that we have to WAIT...I have to stop smoking....stop sleeping with...stop lying....stop cheating or stealing...stop gossiping and slandering...STOP - fill in the blank - FIRST, before we answer His call, before we start reading the Bible or going to church, or spending time with THAT Christian who might ask us the hard questions about our life spiritually, BEFORE, I cry out to Him for help, strength, mercy.


     Let me tell you the truth: GOD WILL ACCEPT YOU JUST AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. But know, He loves you too much to leave you there! Answering His call, going to church, reading your Bible, and hopefully spending time with other believers will encourage, inspire, and challenge you in your faith to walk in a personal relationship with Christ, and give you the strength and knowledge to walk in righteousness.


     Aaron wouldn't go into the restaurant with me, so I went in and bought him some food and brought it out to him. We sat outside on the sidewalk while he ate it and talked. People starred at me and they starred at him through the window and they probably whispered about us too, but I didn't care and I don't think Aaron did either. There will ALWAYS be people in your life who will try to tell you that because of your past, or because of what you've done or haven't done, you are not fit or holy enough to enter the throne room of God.   But our Father in Heaven didn't send His Son for those who didn't want or need Him, but for sinners like you and me, who are covered in the muck and mire of our sin and need to be washed by the blood of the Lamb.  There is absolutely no where in the Bible where God says, "Clean up your act and then come to Me and I will extend My grace to you." Nowhere. Instead, in Isaiah 1:18, it says: 

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, 

they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.



What Your Past Has to Do with Your Hope



          Hope is one of the most important virtues that needs to be developed and nurtured within us. Most people associate hope with the future; I hope I get to…I hope this happens…I hope…fill in the blank; the answers are endless. But the truth is, hope has less to do with our future than it does with our past.  

From the worlds point-of-view, hope is seen as a wish. The problem with this is that our wishes aren’t always aligned with God’s will for our lives. In the Bible, hope is the confident expectation of what God has already promised and the strength and power of His faithfulness. When we hope for what He’s promised, we can be assured that He is going to give it to us. But how is hope formed in the first place and where do we get it?


          We build hope within ourselves (and others – I’m thinking our kids here) as we experience difficult circumstances in life that we endure and overcome. When we go through tragedy, trauma or circumstances that challenge us and we are able to work through them and get to a place where we find ourselves in a safe, thankful state, we arrive at a place of hope. When that happens repeatedly in our lives, we come to expect an end to our pain or difficult circumstances, and develop the virtue we call hope – the expectation that good will come eventually, no matter how bad things are right now.


Faith and hope are not the same, but they work together. By biblical definition, faith is the combination of two crucial, foundational components: belief and trust. You absolutely can’t have one without the other. In other words, you must both believe in God and His Word to be true and trust in God and His Word to be true in order to walk in faith in your life. Faith is always initially defined by experiences we have. For example, if you grew up believing that you can’t trust men because they are all abusive, then it would be difficult for you to have faith in men as an adult. Faith, however, can be changed, and should always align with God’s Word. Faith is crucial to having hope because you must believe and trust God and His Word in order to hope in them, right? If your faith has been damaged by others, this may be trying, but that is how faith grows, by clinging to Christ for your strength and renewal of your mind. While the Bible tells us we are all given a measure of faith, it also tells us to build our faith (Romans 12:3). We do this by exercising or using it by holding God to His Word. God is faithful to do that which He promises. Faith in God and His Word always enables us to be able to hope for God’s promises to be fulfilled in our lives. Just think about Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who

love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


          All of us have some hope to fall back on from our past if we look for it. Think about things you’ve overcome. How were you able to endure those circumstance? Through God’s strength and power? Through professionals He endowed with wisdom and expertise? Through medication He led man to create? Through the extraordinary power of His Living Word? Through others that He sent into your life? How has He used what you’ve gone through for His glory? Has He enabled you to minister to others? Have you been able to sympathize with a group of people you otherwise wouldn’t have? Has He drawn you closer to Him? The questions and answers could go on forever.


          Another thing that will build faith and hope in your life is a journal or prayer list. If you kept a running list of prayer requests that God answered in your life it would be miles long. We do this at our home with our kids and I bet God answers a minimum of 30-40 prayers a week! You probably don’t even realize how much God is moving in your life daily if you don’t keep a watchful eye on it. Writing it down and seeing it on paper everyday will astonish you.


          Often, when we’ve gone through difficult childhoods we feel as though we can’t trust or put our hope in anyone but ourselves. However, this leads to a great deal of frustration and loneliness. When we decide to trust in God and finally put our hope in Him, there are some incredible promises in Bible that we can relish in. Some of those include:


Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”


Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”


Romans 8:24-25: “For in this hope we are saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”


          As you think about my words today, ask yourself what you have to lose in putting your hope in God. You’ve done it your way. How has that worked for you? Isn’t it time you gave it over the God and let Him work in your life? Isn’t it time you trusted and hoped in Him?  


"When you let guilt and shame make decisions 

for you, you're making the wrong choice."

Leslie Montgomery

Problematic Prayer

     I read a CNN interview this week with a presidential hopeful regarding his faith. Politics aside, he said some things that about God and the Bible that really startled me for someone who referred to themselves as a Christian. One of the most glaring things he said was that apart from saying ritualistic prayers, he didn’t pray because he found it “problematic.” His perspective is that prayer is only about asking for things and since God already knows what we need, what’s the point? This view eliminates the entire point of prayer, so I wanted to take a moment to discuss the issue as I’m sure there are others who see prayer in the same light.


     I’m sure you’ve heard some people talk about praying as if it’s like breathing for them. For others, it’s a chore. What’s the difference? A lot has to do with your perspective about why you pray and what you pray for. Prayer is not just about asking for things. We pray for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it’s about developing a relationship with God. It’s a quiet place where we share our hearts and seek His. But doesn’t God already know what we think or feel? Absolutely, but something unique and special happens when we take the time to personally share it with God. One is that we are humbled. When we share our needs, heartache, and dreams with God, we are admitting to both ourselves and to Him that we can’t get or overcome them apart from Him. Prayer is also a form of obeying God (Luke 2:36-38), serving Him and the needs of other people. This is called intercession. In Philippians 4:6-7, God commands us to pray, telling us not to “be anxious about anything,” but “with thanksgiving, present your requests” to Him, and “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Who doesn’t want that?


     There are a lot of wonderful promises in the Bible associated with prayer that I can personally assure you are true. One is John 15:4, which says, “Abide in Me, and I will abide in you.” The word ‘abide’ means to dwell. To dwell in God is to be in His presence. You do that in prayer and that can be done with words or in meditation (silence), where you focus on a specific verse or characteristic of God. Another verse is Hebrews 11:6, which says that God is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him.


     Let me tell you that there is no greater love or joy on earth that you will find than that which you will experience in the throne room of God. If you are willing to press in and through any resistance that you may initially experience as you begin to incorporate prayer in your life on a daily basis you will experience a freedom you’ve never had before. If you need more help in this area, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be praying for you as you take on this incredible endeavor! I assure you – you’ll never be the same again! 

What our customers are saying

"When other people judge you, it really says 

more about them than it does about you." 

Leslie Montgomery

THE MIRACLE OF YOU

YOU ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT.


     Do you know you have overcome great odds to be conceived and born? Consider this...At first you’re nothing more than a cell, far smaller than a pinhead, beginning to stir at the command of Your Creator, literally, your Father in Heaven. You and your parents don’t control it. It is the divine handiwork of God and only He has the power to shut it down or let it grow. If you’re reading these words, He obviously blessed your conception. You are not here by accident.


The ‘chance’ of you happening, out of four hundred million sperm connecting and penetrating a healthy egg (generally one out of approximately 150), is less likely to occur than a person winning a world-wide lottery, yet it took place. You are not here by accident. You are a miracle - - a divine, unexplainable miracle.


Once the sperm and egg connect, your parents’ genes blend. Your conception is on such a minute scale that it is impossible for your mother to feel it. But her body knows. It stops producing ripened eggs. Her uterine lining miraculously changes and becomes thicker, thus preparing a healthy, safe place for you to grow. You are not here by accident.


     Thousands of genes connect and work together to form your physical characteristics; your sex, eye color, diseases, handicaps, and immune system. You are not here by chance, but rather a planned, purposeful growing baby that God has anointed for His purpose. Your genetic make-up is decided by God instantaneously. Everything about you is orchestrated. You are not here by accident. You are a miracle.


     Cells divide and the amniotic sac develops. Another cluster becomes the placenta, and within six weeks you are an embryo. You have a neck, a head with rudimentary eyes and ears, a brain, and a beating heart. You have a bloodstream, a digestive system, kidneys, a liver, and tiny buds that will become your arms and legs. In your innermost being, God has knitted you together (Ps. 139). You are not an accident. You are a miracle.


     Your spine develops and you become a tiny being cradled in a warm, soft bed of tissue that God created for your transformation. In another week you have nostrils, lips, and a tongue. Your first teeth have even started to develop. What were buds a week ago are now arms and legs. You are not an accident. You are a miracle.


     Within a month, your organs and features are complete, but they will continue to mature. One out of three fetuses do not make it thus far; they miscarry or are aborted. But you were not one of them. You made it. You are a miracle. You are not an accident, but part of the Creator’s plan. He has a purpose for you. He wants you to experience life at its fullest. He desires you to accomplish the plan He has prepared for you. You are a miracle.


     The umbilical cord circulates blood between you and your mother’s uterus. Sustenance is passed back and forth between you. The placenta nourishes you and excretes your waste. You and your mother are two in one. Her body functions for both of you. You exemplify God’s greatest creative masterpiece (Genesis 1:26-28). He purposefully protects your every stage of development (Is. 46:3-4). God has given you as a gift to your parents (Ps. 127:3-5). You are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image (Ps. 139:13-16). Although the world can explain your conception, they cannot explain how you are formed (Ecc. 11:5). You are a miracle. You are not an accident.


     You continue to grow and mature in form. You breathe, kick, sleep, and cry. You suck your thumb and float about like an astronaut in space. You stretch, turn, and recognize your mother’s voice, tone, and mood. You can hear, see, feel, taste, and learn. You even dream. You respond to your mother and she responds to you. You are not an accident, but a miracle.


     Within months you are ready to make your entrance into the world. You are eager and excited. Every day of your life is ordained, written in your Creator’s book (Ps. 139), and He commands your presence into the world. It is time for you to fulfill the plans He ordained for you before you were formed; plans for good and not for evil; plans to give you hope and a future in Him (Jeremiah 29:11-12). You are a miracle, a chosen child of the King, the Almighty, all Powerful, Majestic Creator of the world. You are His child. You are sanctified, set apart for a specific purpose. You are not an accident. You are a miracle.

What our customers are saying

"What we tell ourselves internally 

we are destined to become externally." 

Leslie Montgomery

What No One Will Tell You About Abortion Except Me

     Let's take God out of it. Let's take politics out of it. And let's lay all the cards on the table and be brutally honest.


     First of all, six years before I became a born-again Christian I had an abortion, so I understand why a woman may choose to abort a child, and I've also experienced the aftermath of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual pain that follows. This does not make me an authority on the topic, but I do feel it gives me a right to be a voice regarding it. But let's even take ME out of it.


     Between the chasm of pro-choice and pro-life crusaders, there's a woman in agony. Research has shown that PRIOR to having an abortion, 59% of women who end up having an abortion suffer from one or more mental health disorders. The top five include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, impulse-control disorders, eating disorders, and for suicidal ideation. To put that into perspective, there are 40,883,000 plus abortions world-wide EVERY YEAR. 59% of that number is over 24,120,970 women who have pre-existing mental health issues prior to having an abortion (World Health Organization (WHO); HHS Public Access, Abortion and Mental Health).


     To add fuel to that fire, research has found the following statistics AFTER a woman has aborted her baby:

90% suffer damage in their self-esteem

50% begin or increase alcohol and drug use

60% report suicidal ideation

28% actually attempt suicide

20% suffer full blown post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

50% report some symptoms of PTSD

52% say they felt pressured by others to have the abortion

(HLI Reports; Abortion and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)


     Abortion is the ultimate two-faced Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; it promises you relief from your situation, then turns on you afterwards, overshadowing you with a blanket of guilt and shame that continually threatens to smother you. Why such strong emotions post-abortion? Because EVERY woman who has an abortion knows she's murdering a baby - regardless of what she says - it's just that her desire to rid herself of the "problem" far exceed her internal conviction/conscious that tells her that she's killing her child. Thus, to avoid facing this fact, she justifies it by saying it's not viable and it's just a wad of tissue, among other excuses. Who wants to admit that they murdered a baby? She uses these excuses because it gives her a barrier between her and the onslaught of guilt, shame, regret, and judgement that she's trying to keep at bay. The problem is that these emotions (among others) don't go away - she internalizes them and they eat her alive.


     So, what can we do about this? In one study, 83% of women who had aborted their babies stated they would have kept the pregnancy if they had been encouraged to do so by one or more other persons, and 84% would have kept the pregnancy under "better circumstances" (HLI Reports). That means that we, as the hands and feet of Christ, need to make ourselves accessible to women at risk, to encourage and support those who are grappling with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy and provide assistance in any way we can. Post-abortion, we need to be accessible to share God's truth: they are loved by God, that they can be forgiven and set free from the aftermath of the decision, that their child is in the arms of Jesus, and that God has great plans for them. The truth is, the majority of women never hear those truths. Often, from pro-life groups she hears, "You murdered your baby; how did you expect to feel?" From pro-choice groups she's told, "It's your body, and it was your decision. It was just a piece of tissue, and there is no reason to feel bad." Neither of these responses help a woman find any internal relief or healing. Thus, we MUST be compassionate and loving both pre and post-abortion, opposed to being judgmental and accusatory.


     Many times, as Christians, we can appear to be rather self-righteous and judgmental towards specific sins and therefore be unapproachable and harsh, which is not a reflection of Jesus, but of our own flesh, and it keeps a woman from seeking Jesus - often making her run in the opposite direction. We forget that prior to our own conversion we too were immersed in sin and facing God's eternal judgement. We forget the grace, compassion and love He extended to us so that we might have freedom from the guilt, shame, and regret of our actions. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to do that we must reflect those characteristics to others - regardless of what they've said or done in their lives. So, be love. Be grace. Be compassion. Your behavior may be the only Bible someone ever reads. Make what they read in you and your actions a true reflection of Christ and His Word. 

What our customers are saying

"When I wake up every morning I ask myself, 

'What can I do today to be the best godly 

woman, wife and mother tomorrow?'"

Leslie Montgomery

WHEN BREAKDOWNS BECOME BREAKTHROUGHS

     In the darkest, most difficult times of my life I've cried out to God to rescue me, to deliver me from the circumstances. When going through the fire all you want is out of the heat! But looking back over my life and the many trials I've endured I can clearly see moments of God's grace, God's power, and spiritual growth as I clung to Him in desperation.


     Life is hard and times of trial and testing are inevitable. The Bible tells us that it rains on both the just and unjust. While God can rescue us, He often allows us to go through them for our own good and for the sake of our relationship with Him. It is during these times that we are humbled, stripped of pride, and recognize that we don't have the power or ability within us to save ourselves. Trials and tribulations reveal our desperate need for God in our lives.


     Throughout the New Testament of the Bible, the Apostle Paul addresses the body of Christ about the trials and tribulations they were going through. Never once in any letter does Paul pray, "Lord, take away the affliction that they're going through." Instead, he prays, "May you see your way through it. May you grow by leaps and bounds. May the Lord look upon your response and say, 'Worthy! Now that is a worthy member of My kingdom.'"


     I don't know what you are going through right now, but God does. While I can pray for you and perhaps meet some of your practical needs, I cannot take your trial out of your life. Neither can you. Instead of fighting the difficulty, being angry with God for what's happened/happening, and drowning in hopelessness, turn to God and allow Him to meet you right where you are. Ask Him to give you His strength to endure and persevere. Request that He provide you the people and tools to face the trial head-on, and know in confidence and in expectation that He will answer your prayers.


     If you do this, there will come a time that you are able to look back at these trials and see His miraculous intervention and your progressive growth in Him. If you chose not to do this, but fight against the difficulty, remain angry and bitter, or focus on blaming others and God for your trial, there will be no looking back, because you'll continue to remain in this state permanently. It's a harsh reality, but true. I don't know about you, but I chose clinging to God and experience His peace that can be found in the midst of the storm.


     Remember, always keep your eyes on the Prize and your feet on the Rock and you will not falter.

What our customers are saying

"If fear is everything, then God is nothing.

If God is everything, then fear is nothing."

Leslie Montgomery

GRIEF

The Sorrow of the Soul

     Grief is an intense, emotional suffering caused by personal loss, and a universal human experience through which we all must pass. It is God’s way of helping us react to the tremendous shock of death and it’s emotional aftermath. Reactions to loss include feeling helpless, empty, fearful, angry, guilty and restless. All of these feelings are normal to the grieving process and acceptance. When experiencing the loss of a loved one, the following suggestions may help us work through the heartache and loss.


• Allow yourself to experience the loss, but not to dwell in it for long periods of time.

• Continue to assure yourself that you will survive.

• Be gentle with yourself and give yourself time to heal. Recognize that you will have ‘good’ days and ‘bad’ days.

• Get lots of rest during this time, but don’t become lethargic. Stick to your schedule as much as possible with time out to rest your body, spirit and soul.

• Keep decision making to a minimum until you’ve been able to work through some of the initial shock and pain.

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t already have one, build a support group of friends and family to walk through this transition with you.

• Reaffirm and stay grounded in your beliefs. Keep in the Word of God and allow Him to nurture and heal your loss.

• Eat! Keep your health up during this time. Decrease junk foods and increase protein to help keep your energy level up.

• Keep a journal. Expressing your feelings on paper can be beneficial for release of tension, anxiety and pain.

• Heal at your own pace. Everyone experiences mourning differently. Do not conform to others expectations of when you should be through grieving.


     In some ways, no one is ever completely delivered from the sense of loss, so ‘getting over it’ should never be the goal, but instead, learning to deal with it on a day to day basis. Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult, and it’s not unusual for the person grieving to feel as though their experience is unique. But there are other believers who have survived through the same experience. Even Jesus mourned at the death of Lazurus (Jhn 11:35). Jesus said: ‘Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted’ (Matt. 5:4). Stand on His Words and expect comfort as you seek God healing during this time of loss.

What our customers are saying

"As long as you continue to play the victim to the self-inflicted chaos in your life, you'll never experience 

what it truly means to feel free in Christ." 

Leslie Montgomery

Facing Terminal Illness Head-On


“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15)


     Jacqueline and her husband Rob were looking forward to the birth of their eighth grandchild. Rob had just retired and he and Jacqueline had plans to travel and become more involved in the lives of their children. They had been waiting for this time for years, and finally their dream was a reality. It was an exciting time, however, when the doctor diagnosed Rob with heart disease, their joy turned sour. Like many individuals facing terminal illness they felt alone and angry at God. Where was He during this time? How could He allow this to happen? Their plans suddenly faded, and their hope diminished.


     At the point of initial prognosis from a professional, the stages of grief begin. Life changes immediately, and despite an individuals faith and belief in God, changes and adjustments are inevitable, and everyone involved realizes that their lives will never be the same again.


     Successively, though not necessarily chronologically, the sick individual and family members experience the stages of grief:

• Denial (“This can’t be happening to me/us/our dad.”)

• Anger (“Why me, Lord,” or “My husbands such a godly man.”)

• Depression (“There’s no hope.”)

• Bargaining (“Lord, heal me and I’ll do whatever You say.”)

• Acceptance (“May God’s will be done.”)


     These feelings are not experienced once and then forgotten, but return again and again as the individual and family walk through the stages of the illness. They are normal characteristics of grieving and must not be suppressed, but expressed.


     It is vital during this time that the spouse of the terminally ill patient find someone to talk to about their feelings, changes that are occurring, and decisions yet to come. This person should be a trusted friend or loved one who can help you make wise choices and be a strong support. Additionally, if you haven’t already, look into your community to see if there is a hospice agency. These agencies specialize in providing reinforcement to patients whose diseases are considered terminal, and to their families.


     Most of all, remember that you are not alone, that God is close to the brokenhearted. He has not forsaken you during this time. Call on Him for strength, wisdom and direction. It is His desire to walk through this with you. You can face this tribulation with His supernatural power. Do not hide your pain from Him, but rely on Him to sooth it with the healing balm of Gilead.

What our customers are saying

"When controlling people can't control you, they try

to control what other people think about you."

Leslie Montgomery

Truth and Tolerance

     On the surface, the word “tolerance” appears as a benign manner of getting along with people who are different. The traditional definition of tolerance means simply to recognize and respect other’s beliefs and practices without necessarily agreeing or sympathizing with them. But today’s definition is vastly different. The traditional definition of tolerance considers every individual’s beliefs, values, lifestyle, and truth, as equally valid. Because the new tolerance declares all beliefs equally valid, Christians will face increasing pressure to be silent about their convictions, because to speak out will be seen as an intolerant judgment of others’ beliefs and lifestyle.


     It may be difficult to speak the truth in today’s climate, but Jesus said, “The truth shall make you free (John 8:32). Pursuing truth in this context means countering the new doctrines of tolerance. It means teaching children to embrace all people, but not all beliefs. It means showing them how to listen to and learn from all people without accepting everything they  say. It means helping them to courageously but humbly speak the truth, even if it makes them the object of scorn or hatred. Christians must always remember that the Apostle Peter said, “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).”

What our customers are saying

"If Jesus was walking the earth today, He would not be picketing abortion clinics, spewing hatred towards homosexuals, or pointing fingers and condemning people to hell. He was known as a 'Friend of sinners.' He wasn't afraid to address sin and say it was wrong, but He said it in love with a message of hope and reconciliation in Him. That being said, He'd be with the woman who has had an abortion; with the homosexual; and with the gossip, liar, adulterer, slanderer, and other sinners saying, 'I love you. Go and sin no more.'" 

Leslie Montgomery

Jealousy, The Jaundice of the Soul

     The client sat across from the counselor, tears running down her face. In between sobs, she told her story. “He was whispering on the phone in the other room with the door shut. My mind went crazy wondering who he was talking with and what they were planning. In my mind I visually ran through the women in his office, quietly putting my ear to the door to hear the conversation. Then I heard him say he’d call to confirm the time in an hour and hung up. I was furious! I stormed into the room like a raging bull, screaming at him, confronting him, telling him I knew he was having an affair. You can imagine how humiliated and stupid I felt when, after an hour of me interrogating and accusing him, he hit redial and the travel agent confirmed his plans to take me away on a weekend trip to San Francisco for my birthday.”


     The grip of jealousy will strangle the life out of the strongest relationship. It is a bitter feeling of hurt and hostility that, without care, can become one of the most powerful obsessions of human life. Jealousy is a fickle feeling, and is the hidden root of other motives (such as fear) that influences our thoughts and actions. Scripture tells us that fear involves torment ~ and it is torment for the jealous individual who must remain in control of their mate out of fear of abandonment. Religious leaders murdered Jesus because of jealousy that led to fear (Matt. 27:17-18).


OVERCOMING JEALOUSY

• Remember that twenty questions will breed jealousy, not relieve it.

• When it comes to trusting your partner, don’t resort to the pessimistic path.

• Developing your self esteem will help you set healthy boundaries for yourself in relationship with others.

• Don’t allow your thoughts to dominate your emotions and behavior. Take every thought captive and take them to the foot of the cross, then leave them there.

• Work through any childhood relationships that may have stimulated or induced the jealousy you are currently experiencing.

• Realize that you cannot control your mate’s actions, thoughts or behavior. Turn them over to God and allow Him to work in their lives, remembering that it’s not your job to police them.

• Spend time with God, soaking the pain and fear you experience in assurance that He will give you the strength to overcome irrational jealousy.

What our customers are saying

"When you refuse to forgive yourself for something 

you did in your past, what you are really saying is that 

what Jesus did on the cross wasn't enough for you, 

that you have to be your own savior and punish yourself for your sins. Personally, I'm not willing to say that." 

Leslie Montgomery

The Pain of Loneliness


“Loneliness eats into the soul.”

A Jewish Proverb

    

     ‘Please pray that God will help me overcome my loneliness.’ The request comes from many believers who have raised families, retired and been active members in the body of Christ. Loneliness is one of “the most universal sources of human suffering,”1 and is a breeding ground for sadness, depression, anxiety, restlessness, self-pity and the deterioration of self-esteem. In other words, it can be immobilizing.


     Being alone and being lonely are not synonymous. Loneliness is the result of broken relationships. Aloneness is the lack of, or estrangement of relationships. Before the creation of Eve, God told Adam that it was not good that man should be alone (Gen. 2:18). In turn, Adam noticed that there was no helper comparable to him. Like all of us, Adam desired to have fellowship with another human. His ‘aloneness’ was fulfilled with the creation of Eve.


     ‘Loneliness’, on the other hand, becomes evident in one’s life when a relationship break occurs. In our lives, loneliness occurs when there is a separation or divorce, death of a friend or loved one, estrangement from family, or in the worse case scenario, for the unbeliever who lives life separate and isolated from God. Loneliness is a feeling of dissatisfaction with the quality or quantity of a relationship with others, ~ specifically with Christ, then friends, family & colleagues.


     Recovery from loneliness is not always long and tedious. It can begin by seeking God’s wisdom, guidance and dependence in these difficult circumstances. In addition, some of the following suggestions may help you overcome loneliness.


1. Develop a spiritual social network. This can be done by attending a Bible study that is appropriate for your age, likes and interests.


2. Develop one or two relationships from this network into confidants and friends.


3. Realize that we are never alone as believers (Prov. 18:24; John 15:15).


4. Learn to stand on God’s promises, allowing them to be your foundation. In doing so, you are climbing the stairs to freedom.


Loneliness is a battle you can win. The brokenness we experience in loneliness is an invitation by God for the restoration of relationships. Using loneliness as motivation will transform your relationship with Christ and other loved ones in your life.

What our customers are saying

"It's not your responsibility to control or change the 

opinion other people have about you. In fact, it's 

impossible to do so. Instead, consider God's 

perspective: You are a branch of the True Vine, 

a new creation, justified and redeemed, a fellow 

heir with Christ, a saint, righteous, sanctified, 

forgiven, chosen,  holy and blameless, and sealed 

with the Holy Spirit of promise. Now go live your 

life in accordance to that definition and 

it won't matter what others think about you." 

Leslie Montgomery

RESENTMENT

The Bitter Truth

     Her name was Naomi, but after the death of her husband and two sons, she asked to be called, ‘Mara’, meaning bitter. She believed that God had dealt harshly with her and accused Him falsely for her emptiness and loss. By focusing negatively, Naomi became bitter and could not see the blessings in her life. Such is the case with all believers who look outside themselves for someone to blame for their current or past circumstances. The truth of God’s Word is evident to to everyone who has contact with them: a bitter root bears bitter fruit.


     The Bible describes bitterness as being in the root of the soul, the by-product of intense animosity, characterized by cynicism and ill will. Like rattlesnakes that are cornered, bitter believers become so frenzied that they bite and poison themselves against the body of Christ and God Himself, creating a wall of resentment that separates themselves from the grace and power to overcome.


     A resentful person is infectious and highly contagious, manifesting pain through gossip, slander, sarcasm, self-pity, cruelty, arrogance and an unteachable heart. In some cases, bottled-up feelings eat away at individuals until some become emotionally crippled and physically ill. Their ability to function is impaired, which diminishes their effectiveness. In turn, they often have difficulty sleeping, coping with life’s everyday trials, and dealing effectively with others, all the while their faith in Christ deteriorates.


     God understands the challenge of forgiving those who hurt us. He does not forbid the believer to feel the result of a wrongdoing. He does however, set up two guidelines for working through pain and anger inflicted upon us by others. One, He tells us to keep clear of bitterness, spite and hatred. The second, check daily for unresolved malevolent feelings. Both are accomplished by walking in continual forgiveness towards those who have harmed us in the past, present and future. God’s plan calls for all Christians to suffer. While this reality is sometimes difficult to accept, the truth remains that grace for life’s circumstances is dependent upon Almighty God, who allows trials as a means to draw us closer to Him. Moving forward against overwhelming adversity builds perseverance, character, wisdom and intimacy with Christ. Without the grace of God, the results of bitterness are devastating, as it erodes joy, poisons peace, sours love and reaps unforgiveness in the lives of all it touches.

What our customers are saying

The body of Christ will become more effective in 

achieving God's will when we stop trying to be 

politically correct and focus on being biblically correct.

Leslie Montgomery

5 Secrets to Maturing in Christ

     I have to admit something. I long to be like the Apostle Paul who was mature in his faith, but have been more like the disciple Peter. Not unlike the disciple, I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth so much that I have ‘Size 10’ tattooed on my tongue. Over the years of my repeated folly, the Lord has taught me a few things about maturing in my faith that I’ve incorporated in my daily life that have forced me to grow in Christ. Here are five of them:


1. Practice walking in faith (belief + trust). If you look up the word faith in the Greek language you’d find that it represents two words, both believing in God and the Bible and trusting them. Whether we’re faced with a sin or stronghold or going through a storm in life we are all faced with either having faith (belief + trust) or unbelief + mistrust. The word faith demands action, so you should be able to see faith in your life or that of others if you’re really believing and trusting God.


2. Learn the real meaning for forgiveness (giving & receiving). I can tell someone is maturing in their faith when they are actively working on forgiving those who have harmed them as well as taking responsibility and asking forgiveness when they hurt others. When someone is the perpetual victim and can’t see the error of their ways or just want to talk about those who have hurt them instead of working through their pain, they’re usually stuck in immaturity and attention-seeking behavior.


3. Discipline, discipline, discipline. If location increases the value of real estate, then discipline increases maturity. It’s easy to forget that the Bible is the living Word of God; it has power and we need to partake of it daily to grow and mature in Christ’s image. I encourage people to read for quality instead of quantity. You can read the Bible in a year so you can check it off your list and understand none of it, or you can read a chapter and spend the day chewing on its knowledge.


4. Find spiritual accountability. It takes humility and a real desire to grow in Christ to ask another believer to hold us accountable to our walk in Christ, but if done correctly it can help you grow faster than most anything. The danger? Becoming offended or not being honest with your accountability partner. Find someone who will faithfully pray for you and who is willing to ask you the hard questions in life that we shy away from sharing.


5. Do a daily spiritual inventory. The armor of God gets a lot of attention when it comes to battling the world, the enemy, and our flesh, but I use it as a spiritual inventory as well. When I put on the Belt of Truth I ask myself where, over the last 24-hours since I did my previous spiritual inventory if there is anywhere in life I’ve been less than truthful (little white lies count!) and where I may have received lies such as believing something about myself, others, or the world that’s not true.


I ask myself a series of questions about each piece such as:

• Helmet of Salvation: Salvation literally means ‘Christ like,’ so I ask myself if my life has reflected Christ in all I’ve said and done, then repent as needed.

• Feet Shod with the Gospel of Peace: Have I shared the Gospel of Peace at every given crossroad as led by the Holy Spirit?

• The Breastplate of Righteousness: Where haven’t I walked in righteousness and not protected my heart?

• The Shield of Faith: Faith is trust + belief, so I challenge myself to point out my areas of weakness and work on them after confessing unbelief and mistrust in God.

• The Sword of the Spirit: The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (the Bible) is powerful and effective and cuts and separates truth from untruth. The Holy Spirit convicts, teaches, reveals, heals and oh, so much more through the power of the Word of God. Have I been standing and walking in the Truth found in the Bible? Have I been using it to speak over the lives of others?


Now it’s your turn. How do you challenge yourself to grow and mature in Christ?

What our customers are saying

It is in the waiting on God that we grow dependent upon 

Him. It's where faith grows and humility is found. It's 

where we realize there is a God and we are not Him.

Leslie Montgomery

INFIDELITY

Burning Bridges From Both Ends

   He was a passionate man, one of God’s chosen. When he spoke, people listened, knowing words of wisdom would flow. He was compassionate, understanding, loving, patient, and a warrior, both in and out of prayer. He turned ordinary words into psalms and chords into music as his enemies came crashing down around him. He was bold and courageous ~ a man after God’s own heart, a conqueror in every definition of the word, except when it came to a woman named Bathsheba, with whom his lust was overwrought, pushing him over the edge into adultery.

 

     Overall, the general trend of King David’s life was spiritual, as with many other men who, for reasons unclear to many, have stepped aside from years of dedicated years with their spouse to partake of the forbidden apple; a woman other than their own.


     Some suggest that infidelity is an impossibility after being married for long periods of time. However, statistics show that adultry affects all age groups and has more to do with culture and upbringing rather than age and length of union with a spouse. Adultery is woven throughout the fabric of our culture. From television shows such as ‘NYPD Blue,’ ‘Melrose Place,’ and ‘Sisters,’ to the pages of our daily newspapers, infidelity is all too common.


     Unmet emotional needs appears to be another major downfall. Often, when one marries, they subconsciously hope that their spouse will be able to fulfil emotional needs that have gone unmet by their family. In doing so, they set their partner up for failure. Upon realizing the spouse doesn’t encompass their every need, many individuals often begin to believe that they didn’t really love their spouse, or have ‘fallen’ out of love.


     According to Dave Carder, author of the book Torn Assunder, “The most important motivator of any affair is the deep desire to be nurtured and loved unconditionally. That includes many components such as touch, attitude, playfulness, romance, sex, and appreciation,” all of which sometimes wane after years together.


RECOMMENDATIONS

• Cultivate your personal relationship with Christ.

• Set aside time to process major transitions ~ such events as retirement, income reduction, cross country move, health crisis, or death make an individual vulnerable to infidelity.

• Initiate same-sex relationships, avoiding personal, intimate relationships with the opposite sex if you are married.

• Continually develop emotional intimacy in your marriage.

What our customers are saying

Shame says you are the sin, the bad or wrong you committed and it's not of God. It leads you down a road of condemnation and self-hatred. Conviction on the other hand, comes from God and leads you to repentance and restoration in Him. Don't confuse the difference. One will keep you in bondage and the other will set you free.

Leslie Montgomery

What our customers are saying

"Jesus said, "You are My friends IF you do whatever I command you." The problem in the body of Christ 

today is that we've given a far higher place to privilege 

as a child of God than to duty. We have not considered 

implicit obedience to Christ as a condition of true discipleship. The secret thought within our hearts that 

it is impossible to do the things God requires of us (and therefore it shouldn't be expected of us), and the lie 

that God is "tolerant" of our sin, have frequently robbed both precepts and promises of their power in our 

lives. Therefore we have settled for spiritual mediocracy, 

all the while complaining that we are unhappy with 

our relationship with God, as though it's His fault."

Leslie Montgomery

Understanding Depression

Depression is like a violent storm that inhibits ones soul, bringing havoc

to every part of a victims life. It’s torrential rains pierce the heart

and drown out hope, flooding the mind with thoughts of helplessness.


     Depression is debilitating, and it is said to affect twelve million people in the United States. To make matters worse, it is one of the most under-treated medical illnesses within the prison system.


     Depression is more than just the occasional bad mood that everyone experiences from time to time. In contrast, it is like a violent storm that inhibits one’s soul, bringing havoc to every part of a victim’s life. Its torrential rains pierce the heart and drown out hope, flooding the mind with thoughts of helplessness. And while depression often manifests itself by lack of pleasure rather than a presence of pain, it’s debilitating none the less to those who suffer.


     Studies have shown that individuals are more prone to depression at certain times of life and for different reasons. Divorce, sexual problems, a limited work horizon, personal disappointments, separation from family (especially children), unresolved grief and past abuse are the most prominent issues that cause depression. Death of friends and family, physical or mental limitations, and thoughts of a limited future behind become significant factors as well and women are twice as susceptible to falling into depression than their male counterparts.


     The word depression comes from the Latin word depressus, which means “to be pressed down,” that is, not up to your usual bounce. Feeling overwhelmed, hard-pressed and a loss of hope can occur without any apparent reason, although current research supports the belief that environment, biochemical changes, and genetics may be part of the reasons behind this culprit. Medical problems such as thyroid abnormalities, female hormone fluctuations, diabetes, vitamin B-12 or iron deficiencies can enhance sadness. Abnormalities in the brain’s management of hormones such as serotonin and epinephrine can also bring on overwhelming feelings of doom and gloom. So, what can you do about it?


     First and foremost, it is vital to see a physician to rule out any possibility of medical problems. It's important to note that some women who have used drugs and alcohol excessively in the past, have difficulty "coping" without them and sometimes need an anti-depressant to help stable them as they deal with the emotional adjustments that inevitably come with sobriety. In most cases, depression doesn’t go away simply by ignoring it. Matter-of-fact, without proper care, it can consume the individual caught in its web. It is reported that depression is responsible for an estimated seventy percent of the country’s 30,000 people who commit suicide every year, so it's not something to take lightly.


     There are other ways to help yourself move from depression into joy. Exercise, limiting fried foods, and attending activities outside of your home and with others will help you. Isolation will only feed your already existing feelings of hopelessness. The most important aspect of walking through depression and getting to the promise land of healing is reliance upon God every step of the way. Even though a person suffering from depression may blame God or feel like He’s absent from their pain, He’s not. 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 tells us; “…In our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead…on Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us…”. Scripture also tells us that without vision, men perish. Our Creator must be at the core of our focus, for only He knows what unique needs our bodies require for healing. Thus, He can be the compass leading you and your physician in your journey of healing.

What our customers are saying

"Some people are so obsessed with being 

'right' on a specific issue, that they close 

themselves off to hearing the truth about it." 

Leslie Montgomery

Obesity: Battling the Middle-Aged Spread


     I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, but as I get older, I notice that the infamous middle-age spread becomes more of a battle. I’m not the only one that struggles with weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, and researchers have found that people who are overweight at 40 are likely to die at least three years sooner than those who are not.

In addition to the danger of a decreased life span, excess weight saps your energy, increasing your risk of just about every major disease, including; high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, breast, uterine and colon cancer, and gallstones.


     Before you exclude yourself from the category of being obese, consider that the bedroom mirror or bathroom scale are not sufficient tools to identify obesity. The best way to determine if you are overweight is by defining your body-mass index (BMI), which is a measure of weight relative to height. This is how you can determine yours:


1) Calculate your BMI by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703.

2) Divide your answer by your height in inches.

3) Finally, divide your answer again by your height in inches.


     If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, that’s considered healthy. For men, a desirable BMI is 22 to 24; for women, 21 to 23. If your BMI is 25 or higher, you’re considered overweight, and if your BMI is 30 or higher, you’re obese. Keep in mind that people who are very muscular will have a high BMI without the associated health risk.


     If you need to lose weight, crash dieting is not the answer. Basically, there are three components to weight loss. First, is the emotional and spiritual component. Researchers have found that the root cause of overeating is an the attempt to meet emotional needs such as unconditional love, significance, and security. Cognitively, food feels like it nurtures us, giving us a sense of control, and a false belief that we are not being deprived. This pseudo-comfort dissipates as soon as we consume our fill of food, often leaving us feeling unloved, out of control, and empty. Obviously eating is not the solution for emotional starvation; Christ is our answer.

    

     Begin all lifestyle changes with prayer. Whenever you feel the urge to eat and you know you’re not hungry, seek God’s comfort. Pray and ask Him to show you clearly the difference between emotional and physical hunger, and act accordingly. Keeping a prayer journal where you can express your emotions freely may help you let them go and turn them over to God.


     Next, is the consumption component. Every 10 years after age 50, we need approximately 100 fewer calories a day to maintain the same weight. Because of this fact, most Americans gain about 10 pounds per decade after their twenties. Sometimes, this is caused by a change in the speed of our metabolism.

Most of the calories we consume (60 to 65 percent) go toward keeping our hearts beating, maintaining body temperature, and other essential bodily functions. But often, we engulf more than our body needs. To find out how many calories your body needs to fuel these tasks, calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).


1) Convert your weight into kilograms by dividing by 2.2

2) Multiply this result by 0.9 (women only)

3) Multiply the result by 24


     This is how many calories you need a day without allowing for physical activity and exercise. If you are active or work out, you’ll need 30 to 50 percent more calories. If you don’t exercise or find that you’re not active, you are likely taking in more calories than your BMR, and are gaining weight.

The final component to weight loss is physical activity. Studies have found that most people who watch their food consumption but don’t exercise eventually gain back their excess weight. The Surgeon General recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on all or most days of the week.

 

     One reason exercise is so crucial to health is because it helps preserve muscle, and the more muscles you have, the more calories your body will use up. Researchers at the University of Alabama found that middle-aged adults who work out with weights three times a week for six months build enough muscle to raise their resting metabolism by 80 to 150 calories a day - the equivalent of a 20- to 40- minute workout. But you don’t have to look like a professional body builder to meet your goal. Elastic resistance bands, water aerobics, walking, or hiking can provide enough resistance to build muscle strength.

Overall, we must remember that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and were never meant to be abused by excessive consumption of food. Making sure we are well fed spiritually will enable us to distinguish between our emotional and physical hunger.

What our customers are saying

"If you've never questioned why you believe 

what you believe to be true regarding any 

issue, your beliefs are not your own." 

Leslie Montgomery

Contact Us 

Have any question about the blog you just read? Feel free to contact us via email. We’ll do our best to help you.  


Please contact Leslie's assistant,  Jenny at [email protected]

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