The lies

We are each unique. Each one of us is uniquely made with no two people being repeated ever since the beginning of creation. God gave us all our personalities, our minds, our emotions and all these things combine to give us our own experiences and perspectives on everything which although they may bear similarity to others, could never be duplicated in precisely the same way ever. I look at this truth about me and am in awe of God for doing all this. It makes me feel loved and known. It also brought something else to my mind. I’ve been in this zone lately of hearing the truth behind the lie. Truly, I have been on to it for a long time like a dog with a bone. I have probably been looking for the truth to lies ever since I realised that for every lie there is a truth but it seems to have taken a different form lately. I feel like not only am I seeing the truth but the reason we need that truth. This is where our uniqueness comes in. I was listening to an encouragement on the radio this morning where a man was taking about this very thing. As he was speaking and I was contemplating what he was saying the thought of how much people tend to isolate themselves came to mind. Then I started thinking about all the ways that people push other people away from themselves or block relationship with each other. Then the lies began to come. You are alone in the world. There is no one like you. No one out there understands you. You’re weird. All the dirty, filthy lies. See they are effective because they take a truth from God, in this case that we are all beautifully unique, and it twists it into a life destroying lie. It’s the very truth in it that gives the lie strength and power and the lie comes in to finish the job and destroy. We feel a connection to the truth in the lie and therefore we acquiesce to the rest of the lie. We give this lie permission to exist in our hearts and mind. This is where we also begin to see how very important and valuable this truth of uniqueness is to us. Why? If it wasn’t valuable then Satan wouldn’t attack it so much. This is a key to getting free from lies.

I believe that we feel a connection to the truth because God is truth. He created us so the truth is in us. One of the reasons for that is so we can stay connected to Him. This is the beautiful part. The God of all creation wants to stay connected to each one of us. This is why it’s important to first see the lies that we believe. Then to see past them to the truth about what God says and then apply it to our lives. Now we come to the reason we need the truth in this case. We all need the truth but what is the specific need in this case? We all need to know that we are a created being. Here’s my thought process; the lie is that we are alone, this lie is built on the fact that we are created uniquely, that means that we are created, therefore we need to know we are created. We need to know we are created so that God can be put in His rightful place in our lives, so we can live in communion with Him and live the abundant life He intended for all His children. Do you know your Creator? I challenge you to begin a relationship with the One who loves and created you. Want to know how? You can leave a message in the comments or I can be reached at jen@jentrudeau.com.

As always, I pray this challenged you and facilitates a change in your thoughts and actions.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. I love feedback.

Goals

Goals is used as a statement word in this world today. This generation has created many of these types of words that are spoken alone and encapsulate an entire philosophy wrapped up in one little word. It happens because it works. In this age of texting where people want to convey their message with as little typing as possible, which resulted in the advent of abbreviated text speak, combined with the very, very short attention spans of people results in every word potentially being a sentence or whole essay in itself. So when I say “goals” most people already have a broad picture forming in their minds. In fact a whole movement, which this generation also has an affinity for, full of feelings and thoughts and actions rises up with the mention of that one word. Ok, Jen, what’s your point? I believe that we can get too much of a good thing and no I’m not talking about donuts here. I’m talking about our plans, our ideas, our goals for our lives, our families, our careers. We can get so caught up in doing what is right that we lose sight of what is most important, our relationship with God and HIs opinion on what we are doing with this life he has given us. Listen, I’m not saying any of those things are bad. It’s good to love people, to work, to go to church, to take care of our families, to give to the poor, etc. There are lots of good things we could all be doing with our time and resources. My concern is that we look at an aspect of our life, judge it to be good and therefore it passes the “do it or not” debate and proceed directly into doing said thing without any further consideration. I’ll share with you the scripture that made me think about this and maybe it will shed a little more light on what I am talking about.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”         2 Corinthians 10:4,5 NKJV

This verse is not only intended for thoughts or actions that war against you, plague you, torment you but applies also to anything that may look like a good thing but if allowed to have free rein in your life without periodically assessing can end up causing a range of effects in your life from distracting you from other important things in your life, to distracting you from God’s plan for your life to the extreme of separating you from a relationship with Christ. We can exalt things so much in our minds and hearts that these important things end of coming before God in our lives and often we have very convincing justifications as well.

Take for example how some married women feel about their children and how they end up prioritizing them over everything else in their lives. Now, it is good to take care of our children. It is important that we prioritize their care over other things in fact but that is not permission to let our children become the center of your universe. There are many consequences to letting our affection for our children get out of hand and it will be to the detriment of our marriages, our friendships and even have a negative impact on the very children we care so much for that can follow them for the rest of their lives.

How often do we immerse ourselves in a plan, a goal, a good idea or cause? We can get so caught up in planning, imagining the next steps, what’s coming next, what we have to do or how it will go that we take over and don’t even consider consulting God. Or maybe there’s something that we have been eagerly anticipating and waiting for what seems like forever? We can be so relieved that this longed for thing has finally come that in the thrill of finally receiving our hearts desire that we forget all about what God wants us to do now or what to do next, never mind thanking Him. We forget that He is the one who makes all things possible. We get caught up in the “busyness” of it all and remove God from the picture. I need God in my life. Without Him I get distracted, I get confused, I am ineffective, I am unloving and get lost in my life just to mention a few of the reasons why I need Jesus. So, if I get caught in this trap of the good things in my life I will not have the one thing I need most and that’s God.

How do we avoid this trap? A good place to start is to assess your life. Are there things you are doing or things that are important to you that you haven’t submitted to God? Next, be thankful Thankfulness put s few things in motion for you. It acknowledges God for His goodness and His provision. This puts your circumstances in the proper perspective. Once you’re in that head space, it follows that if He gave these things to you that he would probably have a plan for you and these good things. Probably a plan that would blow away anything that you could come up with on your own and one that would be exceptionally more effective. I encourage you to submit all you do to the Lord. If there are things that you haven’t done that with yet, maybe there are wounds there that you need to get taken care of first. Lack of trust is a big one but that’s another topic for another blog.

I pray that this was a thought-provoking entry. I pray that you encounter your Creator today and that He rocks your world. Yes, that can happen every day!

Please let me know if this is something you have struggled with in your life or about areas that have been strongholds for you in the comments below. If you have any feedback, please share it in the comments. I truly do value feedback as an essential part of growth and community.

If you have ideas for future blogs please comment.

 

Nope

There are some things that people believe that need to go. Yes, this is just my opinion but this is my blog so there’s that. But seriously, I think it would clear a lot of life problems if some of these things were removed from our lexicon and from usage all together. In fact, I think this will be an occasional series because there are a few of these popular misunderstandings going around that I feel the need to talk about. The one I’d like to talk about today is the idea that everything happens for a reason. Sounds good doesn’t it? It makes everything so much easier to handle. It gives everything a reason, especially the bad things, which makes a lot of people much more comfortable with their lives and helps them move on when those bad things happen. So, you might be thinking, just leave it alone. Who carres if people say that? It might be true, jut let it go. Nope. It just isn’t true. Sometimes things happen for no good reason. In fact, one of the problems with this misconception is that there is this implication that there wasn’t just a reason for that thing to happen but it was a good reason. Unfortunately, bad things happen to all kinds of people all the time. I’m not fatalist. I’m not saying that only bad things happen but if you need to get through life pretending that they don’t happen at all then you will have a hard life.

The other problem with believing that everything happens for a reason is that it leads people into the process of trying to figure out why that thing happened. That may sound like no big deal. In fact, this may be something that you do so often that it never occurred to you that you might not want to be doing that. Why is this a problem? Well for starters, we probably don’t ask God why but instead try to reason it out. This is not a good plan. We also come up with all kinds of untrue, faulty reasons especially when we do this in a time of hurt. Actually these rationalizations that stem out of a hurting heart and mind can actually keep us tied to the pain of the incident that caused the pain.

It bothers me most when I hear Christians say everything happened for a reason. You really believe that the loving God that you say you believe in gave that little baby cancer, for example, for a reason? Or even if you don’t believe that God did it are you saying that you do believe that there was a good reason that this child got sick and died? It’s hard, it’s terrible and painful but there may not have been any good reason that it happened or any reason at all. It may have been just a bad thing that happened. I think the reason people do this is that they need to understand or to make sense out of terrible things. I understand the drive to understand everything but sometimes there aren’t answers and I think we rob ourselves of true healing when we cover over pain with misconceptions or busy our minds with trying to figure things out.

Christians tend to tie this misconception closely with the idea that God will bring good out of the circumstances which they get from Genesis 50:20. This is another verse that people misuse which I will talk about in a future post. It’s true that God can make good come out of any kind of situation but that does not mean that there was a good reason for that bad thing to happen.

It may sound like I’m splitting hairs here but I don’t agree. I think it’s important to think about how we are thinking especially if we find that we keep having the same problems in life without any change. The cause is often if not always rooted in stinking thinking and we exacerbate the issue when we share these misconceptions with other people through niceties filled with false beliefs.

I pray that this was a thought provoking post. I pray that you encounter your Creator today.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below, I value your feedback!

Are there sayings that you have taken out of you lexicon after realizing how faulty they were? Are there things you hear other people utter that make you cringe? Let me know in the comments.

Chosen

“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,”                                                                                          Ephesians 1:4 NKJV

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”                                                                                                                                   John 15:16

I used to read these scriptures and others in the “we are chosen” vein and wonder, if we are chosen before the foundation of the world so before anything existed let alone us then how can there ever be anyone that ends up not saved? Forgive me if it sounds terribly naïve but it was something that always stumped me when I would come across those kind of scriptures. But today, like the good Father that He is, God untangled that spiritual knot. I was reading my morning devotional on YouVersion. No, this is not a plug, they don’t even know I exist. I just love the YouVersion bible app, use it a lot and highly recommend that you use it too. The plan is called “Keep your love on: Connection” and it is intended for married couples. The reading today was about how we need to have a “I choose you” perspective instead of a “You choose me” perspective. I’ve been married for a little while and I have 4 children so I have already learned that love is a choice and cannot be founded on feelings alone but this perspective goes a bit deeper than that. I had never seen it that way before. I agree with the writer of this bible plan and it made me think about a few things. This “I choose you” perspective fis not just important for me to live by but for there to be a successful, healthy long term relationship both sides would have to live by this perspective as well. This lead me to think about the verses I mentioned and how God can and did choose us but that we still have a choice to make because for there to be success both sides need to choose the other. If we don’t choose to have relationship with God then we are choosing to turn away from the opportunity that Him choosing us presents.

This further lead me to realise that I have been mostly riding the tide of other peoples love or tolerance of me in my life. I wasn’t usually the one doing the choosing but instead letting them choose me which left me in a bad position and vulnerable to the other persons ever changing feelings. I would inevitably feel rejected and protective of myself if I began to feel that their feelings were waning at all and if they didn’t leave the relationship than I would. I see now how this “I choose you” perspective really is rejection repellant. It protects you from being at the whim of another persons feelings because you are always the one choosing to be in relationship. Now just to be clear, I did not say that it is protection from being hurt. I realise that making the choice to be committed is no guarantee of commitment and care from the other person but there are no guarantees in this life. Pain happens and that’s one of the many reasons I need God. What this perspective does protect you from is you protecting yourself which can limit you from experiencing relationship, keep you in the victim mentality and keep you from growing in your relationships. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get in my own way anymore. I’m grateful for this new perspective and look forward to seeing how it affects how I do relationship in the future.

 

Side note: this perspective is not meant for those who are in abusive situations. Although I have seen circumstances turn around through one faithful spouse, I do not condone abuse. If you are in an abusive relationship I recommend that you seek professional help immediately and do not use anything I have said as a reason to stay in a situation that is dangerous for you or others.

 

I pray that this made you think differently today and that you encounter your Creator today.

If this impacted you, puzzled you or made you think please leave comments or questions below or on my Open Up FB page. I am a firm believer that feedback helps me grow and challenges me. Thank you for reading.

Freedom

In my last blog post I referred to this verse:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me [a]to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are [b]oppressed;

I would like to use this verse to highlight the mission of Jesus on the Earth and one that He still fulfills in our lives today. To do that I am going to use the KJV of this verse.

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” KJV

 

Typically I won’t use this version because the language is hard to digest which can be an obstacle to receiving the message but in this case the NKJV makes it difficult to see the distinct aspects of Jesus’ mission.

Ok, let’s break it down. Before I begin it is important to notice that Jesus is appointed to do all these things, that the Spirit of the Lord or Holy Spirit (the third person the Trinity or the Godhead) is also on Him to help him accomplish all that Jesus has been given to do on this earth.

Jesus was brought here to take care of all our needs:

  1. To preach the gospel to the poor. This aspect speaks to our need for knowledge of God. This is the first thing mentioned because it the most important aspect of His work. Everyone needs to know the gospel which is the good news that there is a God, He is good, He loves us and has a plan for each one of us. This is an extremely over simplified version of the gospel and I highly recommend that you read the full length version supplied to us in the bible.
  2. To heal the broken hearted. This aspect speaks to our need for emotional healing. It never ceases to amaze me that the Creator of the Universe cares about my little, old heart. Jesus came to take care of any obstacles to us receiving all that He has for us and that includes emotional baggage. I don’t think people realise how much the emotional baggage we hold on to or tolerate in our lives holds us back from freedom.
  3. To preach deliverance to the captives. This aspect speaks to our need for salvation. Strong defines deliverance as freedom, pardon- deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission. Captives is defined as a prisoner of war, that is (generally) a captive. We are in a war with a very real enemy, Satan. Anyone who is not submitted to Christ can easily become a prisoner of war. What Jesus did on the cross brings the potential for us all to receive deliverance, forgiveness, liberty and remission.
  4. To recover sight to the blind. This aspect speaks to our need for physical healing. God even cares about our physical healing. We can get so caught up in what is happening to our bodies that we lose all perspective on life. It is totally understandable. There are many horrible things that can happen to the human body and God wants to deliver us from them all.
    “Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” NKJV                                                                   Not only will this relieve us of our suffering but it gives God opportunity to reveal Himself to you and others on this earth so we can all see His heart and His amazing power.
  5. To set at liberty them that are bruised. This aspect speaks to our need for a God that is bigger than us and our problems. Liberty and deliverance have the same meaning; freedom, pardon- deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission. The definition for bruised is to crush. How many times in your life have you felt crushed under the weight of problems or stress or people in your life? God sent Jesus to take you out from under whatever is crushing you today, to free you from the things that are pressing on you.

 

I pray that this helped you think differently and draws you closer to the Word of God. I pray that you encounter your Creator today.

 

Tapestry

I have a friend who inspires me all the time towards all sorts of things. I’m very grateful for her in my life. She reminds me to live in the moment and make the most of that moment because you’ll never get it back, which is something I need to reminded of regularly. As we all do, she has struggles and one of them is making major life decisions. Maybe this is something you struggle with so I am going to share what I shared with her this morning. There is nothing personal or revealing in it because it’s important to me to protect her privacy (and that of all people close to me) and protect her heart.

Here it is:

If you struggle with making major life decisions or maybe any decision at all I think it is because you are over focused on your strand in the bigger tapestry of life that God is weaving. Have you ever learned to crochet? If not, I have included a picture of what I am talking about for visual illustration. When you first learn to crochet you must do a row of single crochets to begin with. You might be picturing your life as that row of single crochets. As happens when you are first learning, you make mistakes and might not notice so when you get to the end and look at your work you see the mistake need to unravel the row (or at least part of it) and start over. If you imagine your life as a single row of crocheting then it is easy to see how even one mistake can ruin what work you have done. Well, there are many more strands in the tapestry then just your strand. God put you among many strands. There is your strand and there is God, so right off there is 4 strands (the God head makes 3). Then add to that your parents, siblings and extended family. Add to that friends and church family (if you go to one), co-workers and then all the people you cross paths with in the tapestry of life. You can make mistakes. Not only will they not unravel your life but you can step back after making those mistakes and see that the overall plans of God are still in tact, still functioning and still beautiful.

If you are someone who is sitting there reading this and take issue with what I wrote because you don’t have all these people in your life and therefore think that it doesn’t apply to you and therefore is not relevant at all. Well, the problem might be that you don’t have people in your life. Maybe you need to go outside your house and change that. Maybe then you’ll see things differently. I will always promote community with all its potential for problems and hurt and screw ups. I will still encourage having people in your life because with all the potential for pain there is equal potential for love and growth and life. In fact, I think that once you embrace God’s plan for your life which includes others, the potential for pain decreases and what pain does occur becomes not only manageable but in itself becomes potential for helping others with their pain. Which might make you realise that it may not have been a screw up at all. Ok, I’m done preaching now.

As always I pray that this made you think and that through it you encounter your Creator.

It’s Time to Fly

I was out the other day and I saw a boy wearing a shirt that said,

”Pack lighter, go further.”

I feel that this is a word to the body of Christ. I feel like we are in a season of emotional and psychological healing for the purpose of growing, accomplishing our given purpose on this planet, just basically going further in Christ. In order to go further we need to lighten our load, so to speak. Do you feel like the same bad things keep happening to you? Do you feel like you keep going through the same cycles in your life over and over? Or like everyone is against you and you never get a break? I know how you feel. I used to have all of these thoughts and more. These kind of thoughts are alarm bells to your brain that there is unhealed hurt from your past that is being relived over and over through faulty thought patterns, pain filled reflexes masked in protective habits and false beliefs. This is your baggage. It is what is weighing you down, dragging you down through life. I used to dread so many things. All kinds of things, from little things like waking up in the morning, making phone calls, or texting someone to bigger things like making friends with someone new, speaking in public or starting a blog used to fill me with stress and anxiety. I never realised that I was always assuming the worst would happen if I stepped out. I didn’t realise that in my attempt to protect myself from the pain of the past I was preventing myself from experiencing the joy of the future. And all of this because there were things in my heart and my mind that were not healed, things that I might have even assumed were healed or that had just been there so long that they became part of the background noise in my head.

I once read that time doesn’t heal anything, it only makes the pain bearable, but time doesn’t even do that. Let’s say you experience something that affects you deeply and you refuse to deal with it at the time, for any number of reasons and then move on with your life, filling your time so you don’t have to stop and acknowledge the hurt. Over time you grow accustomed to the pain to the point that it is part of your normal. A lot of people do this only we don’t relise that we are missing out on the fullness that the bible speaks about because of the thoughts and actions that grow out of this unhealed hurt. It’s like a wound that doesn’t get proper care only to have a bandage slapped on it, never to be looked at again. You don’t have to be a surgeon to know that good can never come of ignoring that wound. It will fester, grow larger and deeper affecting not only the area where the wound occurred but eventually the whole area around the wound. This all sounds very depressing because it is depressing. A life spent in this unhealed zone leads to  broken relationships, mental disorders, addictions, memory loss, sleep disorders and even physical aliments, disease, and I dare say, even cancer. But alas, there is hope! We have a God who created us who sent His only Son to heal the broken hearted.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

Luke 4:18 nkjv

Imagine, the God of the universe cares about your heart. Not only cares about your heart but wants to heal it! And that is only one aspect of the purpose of Jesus’ mission, a mission He is still fulfilling. In other words it didn’t stop when He died, He still accomplishes His mission because He lives. This is the key to freedom from all oppression. This is the key to healing from our hurts and our wounds.

Do you have a relationship with the amazing healer? Would you like to? It is quite easy to begin what I think is the most important step into a future of health, growth and prosperity.  Say this simple but profound prayer with all of your heart:

Dear Jesus,

I want a relationship with you. I’m sorry that I have not come to you and tried to do everything in my own strength and understanding. I confess that the salvation that You offer me is free and You did all that needs to be done already for me to receive salvation. I pray that you forgive me of all I have done that has taken me far from you. I need a Saviour. I need You in my life. Come into to my heart and my life. I commit my heart to you as my Lord Jesus.

If you have said this prayer, Yay!! Welcome to the body of Christ and the beginning of an amazing journey of understanding, healing and joy. I highly recommend that you get yourself connected with a local church that is bible based and Holy Spirit filled. In a local church you will find community. Community is the next vital step in the journey of healing. Community is God’s idea and He put us in it to sustain us, teach us, heal us, provide us with protection and support that you can not attain by yourself. I specify a local church because you need to it to be reasonably accessible and something that you won’t have too many obstacles to your attendance. I also recommend actually going to a physical church. I know that in the era of technology that it is easy to access all kinds of sermons online and there is definitely a place for them in the life of a Christian but it cannot be the only “church” you attend. You need to be immersed in a group of people that you feel you belong to and that surrounds you in order to experience the abundance God has planned for you. Does that mean it will be perfect? No. Is there risk involved with being in community? Yes. But that’s another blog for another day.

I pray that you found yourself thinking differently through this blog and pray encountered your Creator.