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Guest post

Forming Foundations, Freeing Fears, Finishing Forgiven

Guest post with Pastor Arlyn Rusche

Manuals, Instructions, Directions, Expectations – all-ways in which we seek to set in place “how-to” elements. 

Whether a new piece of furniture, a new device, or a new job, there usually is some form of a manual, set of instructions/directions, or expectations.  These are established to help guide us as we put items together, utilize the devices, or engage in a particular line of work.  Sometimes, the challenge can be how not to get so wrapped up in “how to do something” that we miss the experience of owning the products/devices or the opportunity to use our gifts. 

“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me’ (Luke 10:40)” #guestpost… Click To Tweet

Martha’s efforts to essentially “form the foundation” for Jesus’s visit by making sure all preparations were set in place, Martha became overwhelmed.  She was frustrated that her sister was sitting at Jesus’s feet instead of assisting with the preparations. 

Do we often focus so much on the “preparations” that we miss out on the event itself?

“Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, ‘you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her’ (Luke 10:41-42)”

It may appear our role in this life is to form the foundations and getting everything in its place.  Yet, Jesus confirms for Martha that there is something better than the worries and concerns of setting the foundation.  Just as Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, we are called to let go of our fears and worries and surround ourselves in Jesus’ presence. 

Jesus has laid the more substantial foundation for us, and that cannot be taken away.

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14)”

Our foundation in this life has been formed not by our own efforts, but by God through Jesus Christ.  As we sit with Jesus, the fears and darkness inside of us are set free, and we experience the fullness God desires for us.  Finally, we are redeemed through Christ’s death and resurrection, and in the forgiveness of our sins, we finish our lives, not as an ending but the beginning of a new life with God that will last for an eternity.

May we seek the Lord as our foundation builder.

May we seek the Lord to experience freedom from our fears.

May we seek the Lord to finish this life forgiven and redeemed.

About the author: Pastor Arlyn Rusche is an Ordained ELCA Lutheran Pastor.  He currently serves as Associate Pastor of Worship & Family Ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church in Chambersburg, PA.  In his free time, he enjoys working out, learning about wellness and music.  You can follow him on Instagram: @activefaithfearconqueror or Facebook: @ArlynRusche

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Guest post

Removing shame from broken family relationships

By Denise Pass and Shelley Singh

Removing shame from broken family relationships happens in our daily lives as we live with one another. How we treat one another reveals whether we are honoring or shaming our family members.

ShameRX:

There is no shame in being an imperfect family, God loves families through broken relationships. #Shamerx #Shameoffyou @TheDenisePass @ShelleySinghAuD #healingbrokenfamilyrelationships. Click To Tweet

Scripture:

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” —1 John 3:1

As I obediently prepared tea for my mother and my visiting aunt, I did not think twice about the process. Tea has been a family tradition in our home for as long as I could remember, and I learned quickly how to prepare tea for my family with their quirky desires.

As my aunt watched my tea preparing ritual with close scrutiny, I realized she had her own opinion about the process. As she began to unleash her distaste hastefully, I found myself protesting to defend myself.  I ignored my mother’s warning look from the corner of my eye.

Shame Reducer: Think Before You Speak

Before I could open my mouth again, my mother asked me to come outside the house to talk with me privately. As we stepped outside, I got a mini lecture on being respectful to elders even if I did not agree with my aunt’s methods.

Although I adored my mother, I felt the internal struggle of familial conflict that each family faces at some point. I felt the strained tension hanging in the air and I took a breath and nodded silently. I did not want my mother to feel ashamed of my rebuttal to my aunt and decided to proceed peacefully.

Shame Reducer: Humbly value others above yourself.

Healing family ties is not about reacting but facing feelings.

When you are accused or feel a strong emotion with a loved one, it is easy to get carried away by intense emotions. Yet, God calls us to recall His truths to use as instruments of healing in relational conflicts. Family relationships are delicate and as we process our emotions through God’s steady love, it is possible to resist the urge to react harshly.

Shame Reducer: Pursue peace, not saying your peace.

God can teach us how to be a peacemaker in our family.

Although our flesh wants us to be reactive, God calls us to be peacemakers. When family conflict arises, we can take hold of that peace, slow down and surrender our reactions. As we grow in becoming peacemakers, God’s heart… Click To Tweet

God desires healthy, whole families.

It can be hard to face the shame in broken family relationships; particularly when others can see this brokenness so vividly.

God loves imperfect families.

As we constantly apply principles like forgiveness, grace and release bitter emotions, space for the slow growth of healthy, whole family relationships will begin to take root and eventually, blossom.

To read more about the shamerx blog go here and to read about seeing deep ministries, go here

To order Shame off you book by Denise Pass, you can order it here.

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Guest post

Healing from the shame of a failed marriage

By Denise Pass and Shelley Singh

Scripture verse: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147:3

I stared down at my empty index finger. It did not seem fair. I felt dazed and confused at the loss of my broken marriage.  The heaviness seemed to hang over me wherever I went and felt as heavy as a ton of bricks.

Indeed, this breakup before my first anniversary could not be real.

Yet, it was. I had no idea how to begin to pick up the pieces of my shattered life and dreams. God is patient with us during times of grief, reminding us, He provides the strength to take small steps forward with a peaceful reassurance that waters our weary souls.

A failed marriage is a season, not the end of a life

A broken marriage may seem like the end of life, but life is composed of seasons, including valleys.

Shame will attempt to stick when a marriage breaks down, yet God's redemptive power has the final say in our lives. #ShameRX @ShelleySinghAuD @TheDenisePass Click To Tweet

Truth brings transformation and wholeness

Exposure to God’s word began to help me develop slow transformation by renewing my mind and breaking thought patterns that attempted to derail my hope.

Processing the pain will break patterns of shame

There is a time and place to process grief so that shame cannot gain a stronghold in thought patterns. God ‘s grace, comfort and truth will be our biggest weapons in fighting the onslaught of lies that shame tries to entrap us in… Click To Tweet

If you have suffered from the heartache of a marriage that dissolved, know that God is still writing your story, so shame off you!

To read more about the shamerx blog go here and to read about seeing deep ministries, go here

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Guest post

A Christmas reminder

By Manisha Enoch

Haven’t we always longed for a true friend? Each of us feel the need of that one person who we could share our heart out with and enjoy our time and resources. Somebody who we could always rely on and somebody who would understand us, our situation no matter what. Well we do have a friendship that is offered to us, a reliable one, where our friend is always there in our need and so is our friend indeed. GOD is our friend, Yes indeed He is. Seems far-fetched but its true!

We are privilege to have friendship with GOD, we made for friendship with our FATHER. To have an intimate relationship with Him is one of our greatest joys! To experience his friendship is a joyride that helps us to get to know Him from GOD our master to GOD our friend. GOD’s WORD encourages us to accept JESUS not just as our redeemer and saviour but also our friend.


No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). This honour that has been bestowed upon us as transcended from a journey of Christ as our Master to Christ our friend. This is the privilege that we have that JESUS has called us friends. To be called his servant is beautiful, but to be called his friend is overwhelming. GOD’s Word says that JESUS calls us friends.

We do expect for our friends to prove themselves to us, we don’t just make friends and call them like family for nothing.

JESUS gave us the greatest proof of all, he proved it on the cross. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Click To Tweet

To look at his sacrifice, to understand the depth of what he did for us will bring us to an understanding of how faithful a friend he really has been, his compassion for us and that he is irreplaceable as a friend. To save his friends, he went through the circle of fire, to save his friends he paid their debts.

How beautiful is the heart of JESUS that he died for his friends!
We love and honour His friendship, we do not take Him or his sacrifice casually. We want to always love and adore this friend we have in JESUS, we want to magnify his finished work.

We want to acknowledge his acceptance of us, despite of us being undeserving. We want to always be grateful for his grace! We now enjoy his affection and authority.

He knows us better than we know ourselves, and he loves us more deeply than anyone else ever could. We are closer to his heart than anyone has ever been to ours.

So let’s water our friendship through communion. A medium where we experience Him and everything that he has done. In that very medium lies so much. A welcoming, a conversation, a relationship, a developing ongoing love, an understanding and an acceptance.

Oh, what a friend we have in JESUS, always lifting our spirits, never a dull moment with HIM. If we are drawn in the failures of this world, he strengthens us and turns our sorrows into joys! His love is not conditional and HE’s the friend who’s there till the very end!

To read more from Manisha’s blog, from her ministry house of authority, Mumbai, India, please go here.