FEELING STUCK? 5 TIPS TO BE FREE

FEELING STUCK? 5 TIPS TO BE FREE https://beckielindsey16.com/2017/01/31/feeling-stuck-5-tips-to-be-free/

Ever feel weighed down, like your feet are stuck in the mud?

Ever been in a difficult life situation with no end in sight?

Maybe you’re there now.

Perhaps you’ve been in debt for several years. Or maybe it’s your marriage, your teenager, your job, or ailing parents, a bad habit you can’t seem to break, or (fill in the blank).

Whatever the situation, I think we can all agree: being stuck at some point, seems to be a part of life.The big question is: How do you get unstuck?

FIVE TIPS TO GET UNSTUCK

1. ASK QUESTIONS

  • Did I create this situation with my choices, my attitude?
  • Did life circumstances put me here?
  • Could God have allowed this situation?
  • Is this feeling or fact?

Many times answering these questions loosens our stuckness.

Did I create this situation with my choices, my attitude?

If your own sin, bad attitude, or poor choices got you INTO your situation, you can reason that you can also get yourself OUT of the situation.The first step is admitting to God you messed up—repentance. Remember, repentance means to turn away. We must turn away from what got us stuck or we’ll be right back in the mud again. The next step is asking God and others for help.

If it’s a bad attitude that is making us feel stuck, we must exchange the negative thoughts with positive ones. An attitude of gratitude is freeing. When my attitude gets stinky, I like to take time and count my blessings by literally numbering as many of them as I can think of. Another thing is meditating on the goodness of God’s word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

Did life circumstances put me here?

Life circumstances can change in a heartbeat. We didn’t ask for it and we didn’t approve of it. IT just happens. Think about Joseph from the book of Genesis. One day his jealous brothers decide to get rid of him by selling him into slavery. As a slave, his master’s wife tried to seduce him, then lied and told her husband Joseph tried to take advantage of her. Consequently, he is sent to prison! But Joseph did nothing to create or deserve what happened. And yet, what happens next leads us to our next question.

Could God have allowed this situation?

While Joseph was in prison, the Lord helped him and was good to him. He even made the jailer like Joseph so much that he put him in charge of the other prisoners and of everything that was done in the jail. 23 The jailer did not worry about anything, because the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful in all that he did.” Genesis 39:20-23

God allowed Esther to be in the King’s harem, David to be hunted by King Saul for several years, Daniel to be in the lion’s den, Paul to be beaten and in prison on several occasions, and for His only son, Jesus to be crucified. But God also loved and was with each of them. Furthermore, God has a plan and used even what was evil to be used for good!

And God is with you too. Perhaps you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Maybe God is using this situation to grow you closer to Him and stronger in your faith. (see Esther 4:14)

Is this feeling or fact?

Feeling stuck doesn’t necessary mean you truly are stuck. Feelings are fickle and don’t always tell the entire truth. The inability to get unstuck may feel very real, but in the end, it’s just a feeling. For this reason, it’s important to remind ourselves that feelings are not always fact.

Try to look at your situation more objectively. Talk it over with God and with a few trusted friends. Perhaps the situation is not that bad at all.

2.FACE YOUR FEARS

Whatever we fear tends to limit us. Many times when we are faced with the unknown, fear can be crippling. We simply would rather remain where we are than risk change.

If we want to get unstuck, we must face our perceived fears. Facing our fear requires courage. But let’s not get hung up on what courage truly is.

Courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It means coming  face to face with your fear and saying, “You may be big, but my God is bigger and He has given me all that I need!”

Imagine what we could do if we truly believe God’s many promises? Let’s start now.

—Do a search using the internet to find one or more of God’s promises.
—Write it down.
—Meditate on it.
—Say it aloud.
—Say it often.
—Ask God to make it real and applicable in your life.
—Then look for situations that require you to use it.

That’s how it works, my friend. You will need to be tested with something that seems scary in order to exercise your new God-sized courage! Don’t miss the opportunity. Don’t let fear rob you of it!

3.STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

While comparing ourselves with others is a natural part of the human condition, it can be detrimental to growth. If we are feeling stuck, comparing ourselves to other people and their accomplishments only serve to drag us down. Besides, we are not to compare to human standards, but to God’s. (2 Corinthians 10:12) God made each of us unique and has plans for you and only you.  

4.AVOID BLAMING OTHERS

Blaming someone else will contribute nothing to the solution of being stuck. In fact, it contributes to our “stuckness”. Although blaming others is another natural human response —think back to Adam and Eve—it’s not a helpful one.

It’s best to look within first, then to God.

5.MOVE YOUR PHYSICAL BODY

We have all heard, often ad nauseam, the many benefits of exercise for our physical and mental heath. I’m about to get a little scientific to prove this point. Now, don’t check out on me. Please keep reading. I read an article on Fast Company that helped me understand the impact physical exercise has on the brain. Here’s an excerpt:

If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress…To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.

Exercise is something I used to avoid, especially when I was in a rut. But I have found the benefits far outweigh my excuses. I used to think, “I’m just too busy to go for a jog/walk right now.” Now I think, “The most productive thing I can do right now is to get out and move.”

Finally, when feeling stuck it’s so easy to focus on ourselves. But one of the hardest lessons to learn in this life is: it’s not about us. It’s not our story. We are a part of a much larger story, which we are not in control of. We must trust that God knows what He’s doing and will lead us as we seek Him and His will.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33


I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.


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CONDEMNATION VS. CONVICTION: How do You Tell the Difference?

Condemnation Vs. Conviction https://beckielindsey16.com/2017/01/24/condemnation-vs-conviction-how-do-you-tell-the-difference/

It amazes me how I manage to go from praising the Lord while singing along with Christian music in my car, to yelling at the person who cut me off—almost simultaneously. But sometimes I react and then regret.

Then the second half of the scenario plays out like this: the driver who angered me speeds on by oblivious to my plight as the music begins to fade into the background and finally disappear. Now I’m left with an onslaught of negative, harassing thoughts like, What kind of Christian are you? You’re such a phony!  A loser. “Real” Christians don’t have short fuses like you! When are going to get better with this issue?

A lot of believers hear condemning thoughts, and some even think it’s God. My friends, that is a LIE!

God will NEVER tell you what a sorry loser you are.

I can prove it to you, too. Take a look at what Jesus had to say:

“ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ” (John 3:17)

As Christ followers, we must be able to discern what we are hearing in our minds: conviction from the Holy Spirit or condemnation.

Listen, this is super important because many of us waste valuable time wallowing in condemning thoughts that center around self. This is a major tactic of the enemy to keep us focused inward rather than upward, on God and outward, on our mission to a lost world in need of hope. We cannot offer hope to anyone if we have lost hope ourselves.

Condemnation renders us out of commission to accomplish the Great Commission.

WHAT IS CONDEMNATION?

1: CENSURE, BLAME  2:  the act of judicially condemning.

Condemnation comes from Satan. It is an attack designed to accuse and tear you down. Revelation 12:10 refers to Satan as the accuser of the brothers and sisters.

Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you’ve messed up. But the biggy is this:

Condemnation shows you the problem without offering a solution. 

The Bible tells us “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

WHAT IS CONVICTION?

The Bible refers to conviction as godly sorrow. We will feel grieved in our spirit, but that grief leads us to the Father.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10

Condemnation says, “You’re such a failure!” Conviction says, “Come to me and I will forgive you.”

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;   therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18

The Holy Spirt will convict us when we sin. And that is a good thing because sin is a problem. Sin separates us from our holy God. Conviction feels a bit like an uncomfortable separation. A godly sense of sorrow. Along with godly sorrow comes the hope of forgiveness an opportunity for teaching and correction.

Satan will condemn and guilt, showing us the problem. God lovingly convicts, showing us the solution that leads to repentance. I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded of this…a lot. My prayer is this article served as a reminder of God’s wonderful nature to convict, forgive, and correct.

CONDEMNATION
Guilty
Depressed
Ashamed
Accused
Blame
Shows only the problem

CONVICTION
Godly sorrow
Teaches
Hope
Points to the Father
Helps
Shows the answer

 When we mess up (and we will) and the thoughts begin (and they will too), we must train ourselves to STOP and ask, Is this teaching me and pointing toward forgiveness? Or, is this accusing and showing me only the problem?


I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below.

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BIBLE STUDY TOOL BOX

BIBLE STUDY TOOL BOX https://beckielindsey16.com/2017/01/17/bible-study-tool-box-2/

Sometimes even Christians need help reading the Bible.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to start reading the Bible more regularly?

It’s mid-January and now is about the time many of us start to lose steam.

I want to encourage you to hang in there! Even if you missed a few days.

Many times, all that’s needed (besides commitment), are a fresh look and some practical tools. Well, you’re in luck! Below is an article that I hope helps you stay the course with your Bible reading goals. But first, let’s discuss the elephant in the room.

Why is it so hard to read the Bible?

I mean, most of us really want to —yet we don’t keep a consistent reading plan. And when we do open it, we’re sort of lost. Allowing the pages of the big book to fall open randomly, we search for a morsel of something useful, reducing God’s Word to something like a fortune from a Chinese cookie.

Or perhaps we may know some familiar scriptures extracted from memory in times of need that we sprinkle like fairy dust in hopes of a changed situation. Psalms and Proverbs are great for that. But deep inside, we yearn. Surely it’s supposed to be different than this.

Wherever you are at in your journey with the Lord, a fresh look at what the scriptures truly are can help.

If we’re going to get anything out of Bible study, we must throw away our misconceptions and preconceived notions. Be open to learning what the Bible is really about. Are you ready?

What the Bible is NOT

A rule book
Mythical fairy tales
Complex book of cryptic prophesies
Two separate stories: the Israelites in the Old Testament. Jesus and the church in the New Testament

What the Bible IS
A story about God, life, and His people

We must approach the Bible as a story—a true story in which we are a part of, and hasn’t ended yet. However, if we attempt to read the Bible as a typical story, we may likely become confused and frustrated.

“The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne–everything–to rescues the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece of the puzzle–the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.

You see, the best thing about this Story is–it’s true.”  Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible

Something to remember before reading the Bible is to ask God to help. He wants for us to draw close and gain understanding.

Beckie’s Bible Study Tool Box

Here’s a convenient PDF of The Tool Box. Just click and print! Beckie’s Bible Study Tool Box.

A Good place to begin is by getting familiar with the Bible. Here’s how:

Once we embrace that fact that the Bible is God’s story, it helps to get our bearings. What I mean is the “setting” —WHERE the many stories from the Bible take place. Before diving into reading, it may help to take a look a map to see just where these events take place.

Another helpful tool is a timeline. You know, like back in school when studying ancient history and the prehistoric eras? I’ve included some websites I find highly useful below.

  1. Maps And Timelines

https://a.openbible.info/geo/maps-big/all.jpg

From Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?oe=UTF8&msa=0&ie=UTF8&mid=1uR5a0eI379UMHAtfhCjiJcJIlYQ

TIMELINES

http://www.eindtijdinbeeld.nl/EiB-Download/chronologische%20timetable%20of%20the%20Bible.pdf

Overview of the Bible Reading Plan

http://www.ligonier.org/blog/get-basic-overview-bible/

2.Chronological Reading Plan

I know many people who have read through the Bible in one year. Perhaps you’ve started this program. My husband and I have done this together. It was great to finally read the entire Bible. But you know what? There were still things that confused me. Once major hurdle for me was that if one sets out to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, it is not in order. I finally found a one year plan that put the Bible in order of events how they occurred.

Although the Bible is not in chronological order, this plan is an outline of how to read that way.

http://static.esvmedia.org/assets/pdfs/rp.chronological.pdf

3. Bible Studies.

Nothing takes the place of reading the Bible on its own. However, you may find a study useful to help bring more understanding.Here are a few studies I recommend for beginners or even the seasoned Christian.

Seamless: Understanding the Bible as one Complete Story by Angie Smith

seamless Bible studyhttps://www.amazon.com/Seamless-Understanding-Bible-Complete-Member/dp/1430032308

Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry T. Blackaby
Experiencing God studyy 
https://www.amazon.com/Experiencing-God-Knowing-Doing-Workbook/dp/0805499547

4.Online Resources and Commentaries

I recommend reading through passages and meditating on what the Holy Spirit reveals before anything else. Once you’ve done this, looking to those who have dedicated their education to theology is quite helpful. There are many great resources out there, especially with the convenience of the internet. Below are a few of my favorite.

BibleGateway
https://www.biblegateway.com/
(@BibleGateway & @BibleGatewayApp) is your rich social and personal connection to freely read, research, and reference Scripture on your desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone . . . anywhere; in more than 200 versions and more than 70 languages! Its simple yet advanced searching capabilities allow you to quickly find and compare particular passages in multiple Bible translations based on the keywords, phrases, topics, or Scripture references you have in mind. You’ll be inspired and encouraged – whether reading with your eyes or your ears (audio Bibles) – as you rely on Bible Gateway for all your Bible reading needs.

Blue Letter Bible
https://www.blueletterbible.org/

Our mission is to facilitate in-depth study of God’s Word through an on-line interactive reference library continuously updated from the teachings and commentaries of selected pastors and teacher who hold to the conservative, historical Christian faith.

Bible Hub
http://biblehub.com/
Search, read, and study the Bible in many languages.

5. Bible Study Apps

Uversion App picolivetree_app_Icon-retina

Here’s a link to The Top Ten Apps

http://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2013/05/top-10-bible-apps-bible-apps-ios-android/

What did you find helpful?  Do you have any questions? Please comment below.