Learn Four Ways to Brace Yourselves From the Storms of Life.

In the past years, we have seen and heard of the massive devastation that hurricanes Harvey and Irma and other hurricanes have caused in the Caribbean and how hurricanes have affected areas in Florida and other states. Excessive rain led to flooding and winds that resulted in trees, debris, houses, cars, boats being thrown around. Residents have had to prepare for the storms by boarding up their homes and businesses, and seeking safety in shelters. But the worst was, the aftermath of the storms, when people returned to their homes and found  that they had lost everything and had difficulty picking up the pieces of their lives.  Although Massachusetts’ residents were not hit as hard from these storms, my husband and I got a taste of what an aftermath of a storm was. In 2018, my car was totaled when our tree fell on it and my husband’s car needed repairs. The following is a discussion of how physical and emotional storms have similar characteristics and the four ways that you can brace yourselves from the storms of life.

Characteristics of a physical or an emotional storm:

  1. You want to seek shelter from the storm
  2. Every storm has devastating effects
  3. There is lost from the aftermath of a storm
  4. You must pick up the pieces of your life after the storm.

Ways to brace yourself from the Storms of life

  1. Whether you have been through a divorce, a death of a loved one or still caring for a loved one, you have been through emotional storms or still going through a storm, and people do not understand why you are overwhelmed with life. The Almighty God is your shelter (Ps 91:1); He knows your pain, your weakness, and you can turn to Him to help you through your difficult times.
  2. The person who is not going through divorce, separation, the death of a loved one or  the caring of a loved one, has no idea what you are going through. You feel the devastating effects of your storm and may feel lonely, exhausted or guilty, but in turning to the Lord, you can receive strength and peace (Ps 46:1; Phil 4:7).
  3. You may feel emotionally lost by your divorce from a spouse or the death of a loved one, but God promises that He will never leave or forsake you (Deut 31:6). You may be tired from caring for a loved one, but God reminds you not to be weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if you do not lose heart (Gal 6:9).
  4. You may feel overwhelmed by picking up the pieces of your life, but by turning to the living God, you will be renewed; because God makes all things new (Isaiah 43:19).

How to Move On from Thinking of Your Past

What was your past like? Your past could have stemmed from situations such as domestic violence, chemical dependency, or emotional pain that have lingered and impacted your current life. To move from your past, you must know and understand your past, forgive those who have hurt you, and forgive yourself.

Understanding your past includes looking for reasons that you were in the situations. What got you in a domestic violence situation? Maybe you experienced fear that allowed you to stay in the situation longer than you anticipated. What issue or issues you were facing in your past that have contributed to your feelings of loneliness, anger, fear  or abandonment today?

Your current feeling of abandonment or loneliness may have resulted from the actions of your parents who had a problem with chemical dependency or by a parent who left the home intermittingly. Now, as a husband or wife who has experienced rejection for the same reason listed above, You find yourself not able to love your spouse. From your past examination, you found out that you have not forgiven yourself.

It is not too late to forgive the person/persons who have hurt you as well as yourself. Simply, go to God in prayer and ask him to forgive you for harboring unforgiveness in your heart against the person/persons who have hurt you. Also, ask God to forgive you for  blaming yourself for the mishaps. Matt 6:14 states that if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

 

I have written this article with the purpose of helping someone who may be suffering from emotional pain and wishes to go to God for relief. I have no background in medicine/ counseling and this article is not a substitute for medical treatment and/or counseling.

Joan M. Blake (Author)

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to live a blessed life

God wants his children to live a blessed life, but there are steps each of us must take to do so. These steps include reading and studying God’s word, praying and worshiping God, being thankful for the blessings God has given us, and loving others.

When we read and/or study the Bible, we recognize the many blessings that God has for us. For example, we learn that we are blessed with every spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Eph 1:3). Jesus came to set us free from sin; it is by grace that we are saved and not by our own doing, for grace is a gift from God (Eph 2:8). Because Jesus died in our place and rose again, He sits at the right hand of God as our high priest forever interceding for us (Rom 8:34). Jesus is our peace and hope (Eph 2:14; 1Tim 1:1-2); He came so that we can have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

When we commune with God through prayer and worship, we receive God’s blessings as He takes our burdens and comforts us (Matt 11:28). We also understand how much God loves us (John 3:16), how He is patient toward us (2 Peter 3:9) and how much He forgives us (Eph 4:32).

Our communion with God also leads us to be thankful for the many blessings that God offers us. We thank God for the little things as well as the big things. For example, we thank God for good health and strength, for food on the table, for a job so we can provide for our families and for the blessed life He has given us.

Lastly, God wants us to love and treat others with kindness. When we love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), God is pleased with our actions.

A blessed life includes reading and studying God’s word, communing with God through prayer and worship, having a spirit of thankfulness, and loving others. May God bless you.

 

 

 

God understands what you are going through

When you and I are going through difficult moments, some of us feel alone, hopeless, and wonder whether our problems can ever be solved.

We forget that we are not alone, for God is always with us (Isaiah 8:10; Ps 139:7-10; Ps 46) and He promises never to leave  or forsake us (Deut 31:6). Although He knows our difficulties (Ps 139:4), He desires to communicate with us.

We feel hopeless when we fail to activate our faith and believe God during our most difficult times; but God can, and will come through for us. He has done it for me after twenty-two years of praying and waiting for Him to heal my Special Needs daughter. While her healing is not complete, I have noticed positive changes  in her life. Most importantly, God has been working diligently on me and I thank Him for it.

God has not forgotten you; He has a plan for you (Jer 29:11). Be patient, pray continually, praise God, and give Him thanks ( 1 Thess 5:17) for what He has already done.

 

 

How to experience a healthly life style

To experience a healthy life-style  your mind, body, and spirit must be working closely with each other.

You need to understand who you are and what your purpose is in this life. Even with knowing  these truths, at times, your mind operates in doubt and it is a place where you need to visit often to understand if you are operating in God’s will. Understanding God’s love and relationship to you as a Father to a son or daughter, is crucial to your experiencing and fostering a healthy life-style and having a mind of peace, love, humility, confidence and strength.

The state of your body may tend to affect your mind. It is important to eat the right foods such as essential fruits, vegetables, lean meats, a gluten-free diet while avoiding junk food, to maintain a healthy life-style, to have a strong body, to have energy, to experience weight loss, and to have overall good health. Your body is a temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19) and treating your body well helps your mind and spirit.

Those three tiers, mind, body, and spirit, all interact. If your life is short of a spirit-filled life, I believe that your mind will not operate at its best and may affect your body. If on the other hand, you are experiencing a spirit-filled life, you are happy; you exhibit joy in helping and sharing your life with others. We conclude that having a healthy life-style must incorporate a healthy, mind, body and spirit.

The above views are simply my views and may not be the views of others.

How to be happy in the midst of your troubles

We are humans and it is not easy to smile or feel  happy when we are experiencing difficulties. I have learned over the years, that life is not always easy, and even if you are experiencing troubles, it’s better to embrace happiness than to feel sad over your life.

When you choose to embrace happiness, you are putting the anxieties of your life in God’s hands. In 1 Peter 5:7, the Bible states that we should cast all our cares on Him, for He cares for us. Jesus offers to give us rest if we would go to Him with our burdens (Matt 11:28-29).

When you thank God for all things, you are embracing happiness. The Bible states that all things work together for good (Rom 8:28) to those who are called according to God’s purposes and that we should be thankful in all things, for this is the will of God concerning us (1Thes 5:18).

Instead of exhibiting ingratitude, we can choose to be happy and to praise God for his infinite love, kindness, mercy, and faithfulness. He has shown love by forgiving us, kindness, mercy and faithfulness by providing for us, by healing us and by keeping us alive. Let us embrace happiness even in the midst of our troubles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forego your past and live anew

Foregoing your past and living anew is easier said than done, particularly for some who have experienced significant pain. But coming out of significant pain is a good thing especially when you have a bright future ahead of you.

I believe that one way of viewing past hurts is looking at what you have learned from your past experiences that you can bring to your current and future life. For example, if you have been accustomed to being taken advantaged of, look at the key signs for this behavior and do not be a victim again.

A second way of looking at your past is having the opportunity to become a new person in Christ and to be awakened to everything God has for you. Your past can never hold you hostage because you have obtained your freedom in Christ (Gal 5:1).

Thirdly, understand that because of your past, you have opportunities to help others in similar situations, since all things work together for good to those who love God and who are called to his purpose (Rom 8:28).

 

Three Reasons for not Having Regrets

 

Regrets about major life situations can have  negative effects on your current life, particularly when you are making changes and moving in the right direction.

The first negative impact is that you may tend to exhibit inner conflicts depending on what your prior situation was.

Secondly, you may lose focus and feel disconnected, not understanding where God is taking you.

Thirdly, you may forfeit the process of becoming that new “You” that God wants you to become.

I do not know your circumstances, but I urge you to allow God to do His transforming work in you. Be renewed by the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23), discard the old you and your past, and embrace that new person you are about to become (2 Corinthians 5:17).

In Christ,

Joan M. Blake (author)

 

How to climb over your mountains.

By Joan M. Blake author.

Does anyone have mountains they need to climb? I was praying early this morning when I visualized myself standing at the bottom of a large mountain and realized that I had a choice to make: either stand there or find a way to climb up that mountain. Since I will never climb an actual mountain, my visualization was metaphorically related to a mountain of life- issues that I face.

Let us discuss the preparation involved in climbing a real mountain, and see how those tools can help us deal with our mountains of real life-issues. Aiming to climb a mountain calls for getting the needed training to enhance strength and perseverance. Looking at a youtube Alpine training video, I learned that training includes weighted step up, weighted sit ups and side bends to help your legs, lungs and core.

Weighted step up improves your symmetry and balance, fixes muscle size imbalances and strength imbalances. Weighted sit up improves and strengthen your core muscles. The Dumbbell side bends work the muscles of the trunk, particularly the deep spine muscles, help contribute to a stronger core, reduce the risk of back pain and improve functional movements such as a serving a tennis ball or carrying a heavy object on one side of the body. It is recommended that the three workouts be combined and practiced three times per week, a month or two from your climb.

How can we translate the tools used in preparing for mountain climbing to the tasks of dealing with a mountain of life-issues that we face? In order to prepare, we need to step up to the challenges that we face by putting some things in place and establishing a routine of practicing. If you are facing financial problems, seek out a financial expert to help you plan, balance your budget, or pay off your debt. Put the tools that you have learned into practice. To obtain a new job, you must prepare yourself for an interview. If you are changing careers, you must prepare for that new career by going through a course of study. If you are having relationship issues, get help to deal with the issues at hand. If you are dealing with overweight, begin to plan healthier meals, do more walking, weight and strength training to put your body in balance.

While I have worked on exercising and eating healthy foods, I have found a few areas that I need to work on. I have to put aside more time to write in my journal daily. With respect to my books, I can no longer stay dormant, but I must put together, a marketing plan so that my books could get in the hands of more readers. In the case of Christian Resource Network, a non-profit organization that I founded, and which had been dormant, I need to plan ahead and establish programs to help people in need. Regardless of our issues, we need to move forward with inner strength. We can no longer worry about being at the bottom of our mountains, because according to Edmund Hilary, it is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.