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Wednesday, 05 November 2014 00:00

Preventing Stressful Holidays

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It appears that the day after Halloween officially kicks off the Christmas season.  Since I love Thanksgiving, I hate how it gets cheated!  I don't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, giving it it's rightful honor.  Turkey is almost sacred at my house--ask my family. It's a tradition that for me has wonderful memories from childhood family reunions and a closeness that will never leave my heart. Of course, as a child it was seen through very rose colored glasses, which is okay....and as it should be. 

Friday, 10 October 2014 17:55

Freedom from Domestic Violence

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Freedom from Domestic Violence


Throbbing head, clenching muscles in the stomach, hands shaking, she paces the kitchen, watching out the window for any sign of his return.  Kids are at school, thank God, but the storm is brewing.  There appears to be no way out.  Finances are stretched to the absolute max, and some bills aren’t going to get paid this month. Parents are threatening to step in because they don’t like the looks of the situation.  One teacher called to report worries about the youngest, who is crying and withdrawing at school.  There’s nowhere to go.  Friends are afraid of him too.  Relatives will try to take over and cause him to really go ballistic.  Shelters are there, but what will that do to the kids?  And where would the dog end up?  There are no more tears to shed, no more idealistic dreams that he will stop.  His lame promises from the last blowup are a caustic memory now.  And, in the impending storm on the horizon, she knows that no matter what she says or does, it will be all her fault, and he will do whatever he wills.  She cannot change the course of his rage, his attitudes or behaviors.  It is hopeless.


October is a month that focuses on domestic violence.  People who have never experienced it, do not understand it.  The comments people make to women are ridiculous.  It is not simple.  There is not an easy fix. Yes, she probably made some bad decisions along the way, (besides hooking up with him), but nothing constitutes abuse.  Nothing.  The reality is that she will hear the constant drum of “if only,” or “you should have” which beats menacingly in her ears night and day.  She will hear it from him, but she will also hear it from family, friends, church family, neighbors, her own children, and finally from herself.  Guilt and shame, mixed with fear, feed a rising tide of hopelessness in her soul.


Educating the public on this topic is critical.  The jokes, the passing sarcasms, and the defense of “provoked” men is unconscionable.  There is never a justification for abuse. Mature, responsible adults can find help.  It’s out there. Life is tough. Life is stressful, as is marriage and parenting. Jobs are difficult, and being jobless even more so.  Add addictions to the mix and the help needed becomes more intense, but there are resources for help in all those areas.  For the men as well as the women. It’s a matter of choice.


Years ago I was that abused woman.  The agony of failure and hopelessness was overwhelming.  Today I look back and can hardly recognize myself.  God saved me from myself, and my abuser.  This is not about “religion.” It’s about a God Who loves deeply and directs your path right into the answers to the hard questions.  He heals. He changes situations supernaturally.  He had a stalker mysteriously apprehended and taken out of state.  He opened doors of opportunity for school and work that before appeared nonexistent. He brought peace to my weary soul.  I don’t call myself a survivor.  I have scaled heights so much higher than merely surviving.  God has healed me, taught me, moved me to a deeper understanding of myself, of others, and of Him, that transformed my life.  It can happen for anyone who seeks Him. Programs and shelters are wonderful.  I support their work wholeheartedly and have been employed there.  Resources are gifts never to be ignored.  But the bottom line is a Savior Who doesn’t just rescue, but heals completely, transforming the thinking, leading to a secure, confident identity, making fear a thing of the past.  It isn’t an overnight  miracle.  There are steps to freedom. Those steps are the best you’ll ever take.


If you are in an abusive situation, please call your local DV shelter or program and start those steps to freedom. Contact me if you would like to talk with me or for me to pray for you.  Your life can change. There is hope!  I care. Others who work in the domestic violence field care very much. Never believe the lie that no one cares or that you have to stay where you are. Do it today.  You can begin with a fresh start and have people who have walked a similar road there to go forward with you. Do it now.  I am praying now for you to have the courage to make the call or send the email.  You can do it!

 

Friday, 10 October 2014 00:00

Freedom from Domestic Violence

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Throbbing head, clenching muscles in the stomach, hands shaking, she paces the kitchen, watching out the window for any sign of his return.  Kids are at school, thank God, but the storm is brewing.  There appears to be no way out.  Finances are stretched to the absolute max, and some bills aren’t going to get paid this month. Parents are threatening to step in because they don’t like the looks of the situation.  One teacher called to report worries about the youngest, who is crying and withdrawing at school.

Thursday, 02 October 2014 15:30

The God of Angel Armies

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The God of Angel Armies


I know Who goes before me; I know Who stands behind

The God of angel armies is always by my side

The One Who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies is always by my side.

"Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies)" Chris Tomlin


The God of angel armies.  Can you envision angel armies?  It is a glorious picture.  Don’t think of cute little pink cupids.  Envision mighty warrior angels, large, winged giants, powerful, muscular, fierce and glowing with the anointing of heavenly ordination.  If we could see the spirit realm with our earthly eyes, we could not even bear it.  Yet, those armies are here with us.  They are surrounding you and me all the time.  They are working on our behalf.  They are standing against the demons who are set to destroy us and providing a divine protection that not only is beyond our imagination, but we take it for granted, not appreciating the sheer magnificence of it.


Jesus Christ is called the Captain of the host. A "host" in the Bible is an unseen army, invisible to the human eye that surrounds the throne of God. It is an angelic host. (2 Kings 6:17; Psalm 148:2; 103:21) Christ said twelve legions of angels were ready to defend Him. After Joshua and the people of Israel crossed over the Jordan and before they assaulted Jericho, Joshua had this strange encounter:

Once, when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him, drawn sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked him, “Are you one of us or of our enemies?” He replied, “No, I am captain of the Lord’s host. Now I have come!” Joshua threw himself face down to the ground and, prostrating himself, said to him, “What does my lord command his servant?” The captain of the Lord’s host answered Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.—Joshua 5:13-15

The host of angel armies surrounds us.  The Captain of the host is in control.  Whom shall I fear?  No matter what befalls us, when we call out to the Captain, He speaks and the host obeys, moves into action on our behalf.  Their empowerment results from worshipping around the Throne.  We must do likewise.  Become empowered by worshipping at the Throne.  Live as though we are surrounded by a host of angel armies who act on the command of Jesus Christ Himself.  What could we ever fear knowing that?  One day we will see it with our eyes. I long for that day.

 


Thursday, 02 October 2014 00:00

The God of Angel Armies

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I know Who goes before me; I know Who stands behind

The God of angel armies is always by my side

The One Who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies is always by my side.

"Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies)" Chris Tomlin

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:31

Spiritually Prepared?

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 Spiritually Prepared?

Absorbing news stories in this critical hour of history can be quite anxiety-producing. I believe that those of us who minister to others are moving into a season where we will be confronting fear, stress and anxiety as never before. At the moment, we encounter those who have chosen to live in denial, trusting that nothing will ever really change for the worse, that it's all bluff. Then, we meet those who are watching and waiting for that big bad thing to hit and are not sleeping, eating antacids like snacks, and fighting depression.  Even most Christians I talk with fall into one of those two categories.  

If we have studied the Bible, we cannot doubt that all those Biblical prophecies of old are now playing out before our eyes. Anyone who discounts that has not studied or is just choosing to be in denial for their own peace of mind.  Whatever the case, the Holy Spirit has been prompting many, many of us now for months to get spiritually prepared for some harder days.  Even as I am totally in agreement with this, I sometimes stop and ask myself what spiritual preparedness really means.  It's a subject that I'm praying over quite often.  

In the days ahead, you, as a believer, as a leader, as a minister, will come face to face with helping the hurting and fearful to be spiritually strong in the face of turmoil. We must be sure at this point that we are walking in the Spirit, daily in the Word, praying fervently and exhorting one another in the faith.  We must be in a continual state of confession and repentance, so that our hearts are pure before God. This is not the time to slack or shrink back. We must be the strongest we can be in order to minister to others in times of great discouragement.

I've been told that spreading doom and gloom is a downer and nobody wants to hear it.  I will agree that it's not a fun, happy, feel-good topic, in light of what is coming in our nation.  However, if we obey the Lord and determine to be the salt and light in a dark world, we won't just wake up one morning in that darkness and be super-powered saints ready to conquer it all. This preparation period is a daily, step-by-step process of building our strength and resolve, getting the promises of God deep into our spirit, so that we will be ready to offer hope to the hopeless.  Do you feel ready to take that on?

The good news is that God's promises are true and eternal.  He will protect and guide us in the worst of days. The key is to know how to follow His leading, hear His still, small voice, and to stand with faith on His promises. We learn and teach that now, so that when times are really tough, we've got it going already and it's working in and through us as we go. Maybe you should pray about discipling or mentoring some who are younger in the faith?   Please pray about these things and do not be one who chooses denial.  You are needed now and will be needed even more when the darker days arrive. It's like a sports team training and preparing for that big, big competition.  We must be in shape spiritually, trained, fine tuned and on high alert so that as the Lord imparts instructions, direction and encouragement, we will be receiving and obeying to the fullest.  Our truest test of our Christianity is coming soon.  Some are already suffering for their faith.  Let's take this seriously and be prepared. Hundreds in your own world will be looking to you for answers, comfort and encouragement.  We must all be sure we are up for the job.

Scriptures for Encouragement:
Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.

1 Corinthians 9:25
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

2 Timothy 2:5
Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor's crown except by competing according to the rules.

James 1:12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

1 Peter 5:4
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Resources for further study:

Are we spiritually prepared for the days ahead?http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-growth/18564-are-we-spiritually-prepared-and-fit-for-the-days-ahead  

Leaders Preparing the Church for Trying Times:  http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/church-leaders-preparing-the-church-for-trying-times-11582957.html  
 
Hope is Alive Ministry:  www.hiaministry.org  

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 00:00

Spiritually Prepared?

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Absorbing news stories in this critical hour of history can be quite anxiety-producing. I believe that those of us who minister to others are moving into a season where we will be confronting fear, stress and anxiety as never before. At the moment, we encounter those who have chosen to live in denial, trusting that nothing will ever really change for the worse, that it's all bluff.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 19:32

The Heartbreak of Estranged Adult Children

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Estranged?  Seems like an unusual topic, but unfortunately it's not.  Since beginning Ministry Minutes a few months ago I have had contact with at least five people who are hurting from the loss of their adult children.  By loss, I am referring to children who have chosen to, in effect, divorce their parents and break off all communication. This has been called a silent epidemic, with numbers growing daily.  As I did some internet research, I found literally thousands of sites discussing this topic. 

There are undoubtedly times that it is healthy to do such a thing with good reasons backing the decision. Where there is abuse, addictions or other situations where people are unsafe, it is recommended to distance onself at least temporarily, until some level of resolution is reached.   However, in each of the situations I have encountered recently, the parent has done nothing abusive and in most of the cases has no idea why this situation is what it is.  They were not even offered an explanation to contemplate. 

Some of these parents have made every effort to communicate, make amends for perceived wrongs, and tried to use mediators or simply sit down and work things out.  In each case, the adult children refused to try to find any common ground.  The pain and heartache these parents are suffering is deep and tragic. The bond between parent and child is strong and in a parent's heart, can never be severed without leaving a bleeding wound inside.  When grandchildren are involved, the pain is multiplied. 

What counsel can I offer?  I certainly offer compassion and prayer.  It seems that either the adult child has been hurt and chooses to stay angry and unforgiving, or they are simply self-focused and maybe even narcissistic. "Generation ME  has never known a world that put DUTY before SELF, and believes  that the needs of the individual should come first" -Bobby Conner. To refuse to make any effort at reconciliation indicates a big problem within themselves.  Blaming parents for every negative aspect of their lives, perhaps they are simply refusing to grow up and be responsible adults.  It's easier to blame.  There are no perfect parents.  Sometimes it takes becoming a parent to begin to realize the complexity of child rearing and appreciate the human frailties that enter into the process.

Many times parents of adult children have difficulty in cutting the cord.  They will demand daily calls, visits or other involvement that crosses healthy boundaries.  Adult children need their space and to be shown the same respect as any other adult.  Advice on child rearing or any other aspect of life should be given only when asked for, unless your child has given you that permission to speak into his/her life at any time.  Some do have that type of relationship and it works fine.  It must be a mutual agreement.

Seeking God in prayer moves one in the right direction, which hopefully will lead to finding a path of communication that works for all parties.  Talking through issues can shed light where confusion has reigned. Compromises are inroads to making a win-win situation for everyone. 

If you are ministering to someone grieving the loss of their child's relationship, consider suggesting a mediation meeting with an objective, outside party or someone they both respect and trust.  If they reject any effort at all, the parent will have to find a way to let it go. This is extremely difficult, but making peace with the situation is important.  If the parent knows they have done absolutely everything possible to make things right -- to no avail, there is at least the peace of knowing that the choice lies with their child. 

If you are that adult child reading this, I beg you to go to the Lord and really ask for His help to forgive, to consider the pain you're bringing to your parents, the damaging effects of denying your children grandparents, and your own need for inner peace. The decisions you make will have lasting effects on the generations which follow you.   In the increasing darkness of this world, family relationships are critical.  That support system which provides a rich history, an intricate interweaving of love and connection, is a legacy that cannot be replaced by anything else.

If you are that parent, hold fast and trust God.  Prayer has moved many mountains and as your child matures, there is always the hope that he/she will return to you.  In the meantime, find your peace in knowing that you have given it your all, your best shot at keeping the door open.  We never know what God is working out behind the scenes, and sometimes it takes time.  If you have done something you regret, confess it to God and leave it with Him.  If you have asked His forgiveness, you have it.  Consider the Serenity Prayer and ask God to give you peace in knowing you have done all you can do.  He has a way of bringing His love and other people into your life who can help to fill that void.

Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Scriptures for Encouragement:
Psalm 34:17-20 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
1 Cor 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Prov 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Prov 11:29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
Joel 2:25 I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten.

Resources:
Parents of Estranged Adult Children: http://www.dovechristiancounseling.com/Parents-of-Estranged-Adult-Children.html

How to Bond with Estranged Adult Children: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/bond-estranged-adult-children-14695.html

Does Generation Y have too much Self-Esteem?http://aspeneducation.crchealth.com/articles/article-entitlement/



www.nancysview.com

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:00

The Heartbreak of Estranged Adult Children

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Estranged?  Seems like an unusual topic, but unfortunately it's not.  Since beginning Ministry Minutes a few months ago I have had contact with at least five people who are hurting from the loss of their adult children.  By loss, I am referring to children who have chosen to, in effect, divorce their parents and break off all communication. This has been called a silent epidemic, with numbers growing daily.  As I did some internet research, I found literally thousands of sites discussing this topic. 

Tuesday, 08 July 2014 01:52

10 Characteristics of False Teachers

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10 Characteristics of False Teachers

 

The Bible says that a great deception, or great apostasy will come on the land before the return of Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) It is here! The sad fact is that most of the “elect” or those who call themselves Christians, have no clue that they are being led astray by false teachers. (“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.”(Matthew 24:24-25, NKJV). They assume that because some teacher has thousands following him/her, that they have to be teaching sound doctrine. Most also have not taken any time to lift that possibility up to the Lord and ask for His insight and discernment. If you ask for His warning flags, He will give them. Don't assume anything.

 

Here are a few signs for evaluating false teachers:

 

1) More attention is focused on them and their ministry than on Christ. When men or women value their titles highly and continuously speak about their anointing or what they have accomplished, they are not humble servants of God.

 

2) They will ask you to do something that compromises your beliefs or sway your beliefs to fit their theology. You've always believed a certain scripture to be true, but suddenly the teacher has given a meaning that leaves your spirit unsettled. It's taken out of context of what the passage was teaching and used to try to invent something new or change some behavior or attitude.

 

3) They will de-emphasize the divine nature of Christ or the divine nature of the Bible. If a person does not believe the Bible is the holy, divine, inspired Word of God, then nothing else they teach really matters. It becomes a “bless me club” of cafeteria style doctrine, choosing verses and making up their own theology to tickle men's ears. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Tim 4:3

 

4) They will urge believers to make decisions more based on human judgment and popular culture's acceptance (political correctness) than on God's Word and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We have a difficult path but Jesus said the world would hate us. (Matt 10:22) If all the worldly, popular folks adore us, we're most likely not standing on the truth of God. Godliness sets a high standard.

 

5) They will use emotions to lead people into decisions and actions. Emotions are manipulated by beautiful music, repetitious lyrics and a crowd mentality where it seems that if everyone else is into the flow, it has to be right, or has to be the Holy Spirit moving. Wrong. Satan masquarades as an angel of light. False signs and wonders can create false beliefs which lead to disaster. (Mark 13:22) Research indicates that some churches resemble cults, using mind control techniques. http://www.phinnweb.org/neuro/brainwash/

 

6) They will declare a secret knowledge that God has given them, often a new revelation on a scripture or doctrine that they must share. These new revelations are often a total twisting or misuse of scripture. They will offer their secrets to hungry believers at a cost, usually for books, DVDs, conferences, etc. This usually includes an unbalanced focus on prophecy and spiritual warfare.

 

7) They are highly skilled in public speaking, influencing with an appearance of love, compassion and usually reminding listeners of their anointing. It is superficial. Due to the sometimes demonic powers involved, seekers might “feel” something spiritual pushing them, leading them or creating a mood. It doesn't ensure it is the Holy Spirit of God. Occultic powers can influence easily if one is open to them.

 

8) They feed that craving to go deeper that believers often have, by offering a more sensational and entertaining worship service. People are impatient to wait on the invisible work of God within the heart. They will chase after leaders seeking one experience after another, looking for manifestations.

 

Generally, these manifestations are purely entertainment. There is no sign of transformation in the believer's life. (Matt 7:15-20)

 

9) They will teach just enough good and sound teachings to lure the hungry believer in, but then put their new twist on it which moves into the very unsound teaching that damages people's lives.

 

10) They play to those who think they are mature, but in truth do not know the Word of God. Many Christians never study the Bible in depth, only read trendy books, watch DVDs or follow popular teachers on television. These people are easily manipulated.

 

We should never assume any supernatural experience is from God. Yes, some are; but many are not.

 

Satan imitates God's work and many teachers are deceived themselves. This is why it is critically important to pray much, study the Word by chapters and books to get the full context of the meaning of the scripture, and let the Holy Spirit be your true Guide. Pray for a sharper discernment every day. Do research to learn more about the foundational beliefs of those you follow. You may be surprised.

 

There are dozens of scriptures about being deceived. The Lord gives us so much freedom to make our own choices, but He desires that we walk circumspectly, always alert and watchful, listening for His voice of direction. We want to be considered a part of “the remnant” or those who are faithful to His original truth despite apostasy and opposition. Among people professing religious faith, the remnant is a relatively small minority. A sobering thought for sure.

Welcome to my website!

"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" "Masked in Deceit,"  and Faith's Illusions are all available now.  Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit and Faith's Illusions, Christian novels, are available from Amazon. All books are offered in ebook versions as well.  I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites.  Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.

 

 

My newest book:

faith illusion coverfront

Have a blessed day!
 - Nancy

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