Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Study with Me Chapter 1

Hi Ladies, we had some good insights and revelations already just on the intro. We are going to learn so much. Chapter 1 is picking up where the intro left off with a war in our minds. So before we get into this lets Pray:

Father we are gathering again today to learn more of your word. Help us to put your word to use in our lives. Reveal to us what areas of our lives need to change, give us strength and courage to face and change them. In Jesus name Amen.

Right off we see that Mary has strongholds, and it shows us how these strongholds came about. They were built little by little. Now look at the strongholds that you identified in the Intro. Were there thoughts that you meditated on over and over. Did you have the attitude "Well Bless God I will never......? Okay we will go on! :)

Now lets go on to John he had issues of his own. He was passive & non confrontational. I liked where he said he hoped it would just work itself out. Yep, that used to be me. Head in the sand, if I don't look at it, it doesn't exist. NOT! His stronghold of "I'm going to lose anyway in the end so why even start anything" was a stronghold that was birthed in me during my 1st marriage. Which in turn enabled more abuse to occur.

A big part of these mindsets again goes back to Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, Stop there for a minute. Now right off the cuff - we say we aren't and maybe we aren't but lets dig real deep for a nugget. What part of this world do we let in? In Mary's case to fuel her fire it could have been as simple as male bashing jokes about lazy/domineering men that make women do everything. Repeating these offenses into her spirit making the strongholds in her grow. Now for John, he already had a feeling of inadequacy, so his might have been listening to friends or co-workers talk about nagging, pushy wives that are never satisfied. What we feed in our lives will grow. Now lets finish the scripture: But be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Two things here #1. We have to renew, rebuild and remodel our minds, and what is the blueprint of that remodel? It is Gods word! #2. To Prove the good, or acceptable, or perfect will of God. (I know we are or should be striving for the perfect but one step at a time. We are works in progress right?) Okay now God gave us everything when Jesus died on the Cross. Gods will is His word. He gave us free will to do what we want. So if we want what He wants (His will) then we need to line ourselves up with His word.
John 8:31-32 If you abide in my word you are my disciples indeed. (32) And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!
There is time in our lives we need to face these giants. Be honest with yourself and with God. Is there a thought or thoughts that you have allowed to dominate you or your behavior?

My pastor did a sermon one night about offenses and bitterness. He said we have those times we will let it go except this one little offense that we want to hang onto. It's our pet - our friend. He said we can even name it. Here Fluffy Fluffy Fluffy, come here. We pet it and hug it. It's ours and we can keep it. It was so funny because it's true, there are things we want to hang onto and not give up. So what mindsets and strongholds are we hanging onto that we need to give up to the Lord. (Remember the truth sets us free)

Only you know what strongholds you have and what they have created in your life. There may be some major repair work for the demolishing they have created. It may take time, and patience and tears. But always know that God is on your side. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

This chapter gave us some things to really think about, as we seek to be more and more like God and we are cutting those bad spots out of our lives. Again reflect on yourselves and identify areas that may be strongholds in your life and mindsets that don't line up with Gods word.

I'll leave you with a couple of scriptures: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (nkjv)
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you because he trust in you (nkjv)

Father help each of us as we dig deeper in your word reveal areas the need healing and pruning. I thank you we have all come together here for your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Well Ladies what are your thoughts on the chapter and my comments.
Be Blessed,
Lynn

23 comments:

debrah said...

Hi All:
Well I read through chapter 1 and then I did the study guide...while reading the scripture and re-reading chapter 1 to answer the questions I was in tears...some it was not a new revelation for me...but it was different somehow...one of my strongholds is that I need to know where the boundaries are with others...when I don't know the boundaries I tend to stay close, not move, become paralyzed for fear of being abandoned...just left to wander on my own...another stronghold is feeling that I am not being heard and that I better speak quickly or I will waste the time of someone who didn't want to hear what I had to say...also as far back as I can remember I saw most relationships/circumstances as scripted/cause-effect...I say/do this-they say/do that...My husband was the first person I met that didn't fit the scripted pattern I had lived by...He was and is not easily(at least for me)to predict...I think that is a good part of the reason I fell in Love with him...He is refreshing to be around...I confess that I liked the control and predictability of the scripted "life"...but I wasn't very much alive...I would have a life with basic security in place so I could be adventurous in other areas of my life...dare devil w/ a safety net...It is scary to be out there without a safety net...I know that all my security is in Jesus...I just need to live believing that and resting in His Control, Protection and Security.
I think that's enough fer now...
In His Love,
Debrah

JnL4God said...

Debrah
You gave me a blast from the past. I used to struggle a great deal with people pleasing. So when you say scripted that is what I thought of in my life. I would always say what I thought they wanted to hear even if it wasn't what I wanted. And I felt more comfort being everyone elses puppet that trying to figure out who I really was. When I finally grabbed on to Jesus and stepped out in faith to be what He wanted me to be it was scary but great. Each day I get stronger and bolder and find new things out about myself. I found in my life the more honest I can be with myself and God about what I feel the more He can mold and use me.
Thanks Debrah for your thoughts they were good.
In his Love,
Lynn

Plant Lady said...

Good Morning Ladies,
Still haven't got the book but I'm here with ya! For me, there's not so much people-pleasing, but rather the desire to have a good reputation with them. I guess, in a nutshell, my stronghold is "protecting my reputation." I do not say what I think people want to hear, I sometimes just don't day anything, which can be worse! I have had times when an issue at church need me to "take a stand", but to "protect" my reputation, I remained silent. God dealt with me on my silence and I was forgiven and since then, when those types of issues arise, I have been vocal. I have come to realize that when you take up the cause of Christ, He protects your reputation.

Worry use to be a stronghold, but "PRAISE GOD", He delivered me from it. There is still times when I am "concerned" about a particular thing or another, but it is not the same feeling for me.

Security is another issue for me.
Having to know that I have "enough" resources to carry me through some unforseen financial need. I must admit, I never have feared being homeless, or hungry,(because of family).

I found myself asking "Why can't I rely on my Heavenly Father more that I do my earthly father?" I know my Heavenly Father loves me so much more that my earthly father does and will provide all that I need. I hope you are undertanding what I'm trying to say. I know the answer to the question, the enemy has that over me and I want to be free of it!

Well, that's all for now.

Great so far!

Plant Lady

Karen said...

Good Morning all,

Debrah, Lynn and Plant Lady, thanks for sharing so freely. I can relate to Plant Lady's feelings about security and worry (and the need for love). This were big strongholds for me when I was younger, and sprang from my first marriage (and if I am to be honest, my teen years too).

I was freed from the security and worry stongholds when I was first divorced and raising two young girls as a single mom. I was constantly worried about everything. I had no safety net. But the church I was attending had a class on Christian finances (Larry Burkette series) and I took it. The verses from Matthew 6: 25-27 spoke directly to me:

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

I began to tithe even though I had no money. And God provided in the way of unexpected bonuses, tax refunds, raises... All at exactly the right time.

The strong hold "need for love" was broken by two other verses that reached out and grabbed me:

John 15:15
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you

John 15:9
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

I remember that I am chosen to be Jesus’ friend! He dresses the meadows, he feeds the birds, and they aren't his friend! I don't worry any more. I still feel like I have a HUGE need for love, but I realize that no-one on earth can fill it. It is my "God shaped hole" and only He can fill it.

My strongholds now are that I am not good enough (I think I wrote something about that the first day). I am my own worst critic and there is a perfectionist bone (pretty big) in me. So, I am on to learning that I am not perfect and that is okay. It's tied to the love thing, so I am definitely still a work in progress.

Thanks again for being so transparent here. I am learning a lot with you all!

Blessings,

- Karen in CA

Plant Lady said...

Karen,
I, too, share the story of tithing. When I first started, I would sit at the dining table, crying over the very small amount of money, knowing that it was 10% or my income for the week. Bills seemed overwhelming and I struggled with the concept "give and you will receive". I felt as though I needed all that money to pay some bill or another. Looking back on it, I don't know why it took me so long to just "Trust". That's what God really wants anyway, right?

One particular story happened around Christmas. I had a particular bill that was overdue and no money to pay it. God provided $100 and I was happy!
They announced at church that a special offering was going to be received the next Sunday - a birthday offering for Jesus! I had the money for the bill, yet I felt that I needed to give. What a struggle! I finally yielded and gave the entire amount in the offering and the "floodgates of Heaven" were opened for me. Peace came as well when I yielded. It's all about trust, isn't it?

Blessings~
Plant Lady

Karen said...

That's a great story Plant Lady! And yes, it is all about trust and faith. Seems so simple doesn't it, but it really takes practice.

-Karen

debrah said...

We do tithe and have seen the blessing of the Lord. what I am wondering is are there any new testament scripture regarding tithing? I really never felt the need to look that one up before but for some reason when reading this...I was wondering what the new testament had to say about it...perhaps because I am also working on knowing what/why you believe...
Be Blessed,
In His Love,
Debrah

Karen said...

Hi Debrah,

The subject of tithing is MUCH debated and just for clarification, I did not intend my posts to focus on tithing per se', I wanted to focus on the "worry" and "God providing" parts as they relate to my strong-holds.

Thant being said, this is a good link that sums up the issue with respect to what the Old and New Testaments say about tithing and giving.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/rossuk/giving.htm

and here is another one that talks about bilical stewardship:

http://www.allaboutgod.com/biblical-stewardship.htm

Bottom line, I believe that all that I am and all that I have comes from God. When I give of the gifts He has given me (time, talent, and money) I am honoring Him and He will reward those who are faithful with what they have been given (Matthew 25:21 paraphrased).

I hope that helps!

- Karen

debrah said...

Thank you Karen...I agree all that I have and am belong to God, comes from God and is His to do as He pleases...I am not sure which blog I visited a few months ago that had some really great post and what they believe/why they believe...I checked the book out of my library (haven't read very far yet...) but I have been hit with that old favorite ...did God really say...in the past and know that to get tangled up responding on my thoughts rather God's word is lacking in wisdom...It really never occurred to me to question "tithing"...Thank you for those links...It's funny but I expect a surprise when reading them...it seems at times when I think I am looking for one thing in God's word I see that the Lord had a ready answer for me on something entirely different...any way thank you.
In His Love,
Debrah

JnL4God said...

Hi to all of you,
Sounds like you are having some real good talks and I really like the fact that as we identify our strongholds I think it actually breaks down one that we all may have a little of. Does Satan ever try to tell you that you are the only one dealing with (?) and no one will understand or like you if you admit it?
I may be wrong but doesn't that fit in with every strong hold we have?
Basic instincts of survival is divide and conquer. If Satan can keep us all apart we become weak, but coming together in unity with God we are powerful.

Good going Ladies,
With Love,
Lynn

Plant Lady said...

Hello again all,

I finally got the book! I just got back from the bookstore a few minutes ago. Mr. Plant Lady and I went straight to the bookstore right after the Wed. night service, which was our monthly fellowship meal and devotional.

I finished the introduction and am half way through Chapter 1. I will finish it tonight and maybe be able to go into Chap.2 also.

Have a good evening and I will talk to you tomorrow.

P.S. By the way, a New Testament (Acts) verse says something about selling ALL you have and giving to the poor, doesn't it? That's 100%!
Just a thought.

Blessings~
Plant Lady

Plant Lady said...

It's me again,

Yes Lynn, he tries to tell me that all the time. But the first thing in Joyce's book says that Satan is a LIAR! We all know that, don't we? Why is it so hard for us to realize that about ALL he says?

Plant Lady

debrah said...

Hi All:

Plant Lady thank you for the reference in Acts...there are some things I do just because they are right to do...for most I can and do know scripture I can stand on...as I said before for some reason it never occurred to me to find scripture on tithing...it was just a fact of life...thank you all for your help.
Have a restful peaceful night...
In His Love,
Debrah

JnL4God said...

Hello
I sent Sallye an email today has anyone heard from her? She hasn't commented yet. Well the rest of you have zoomed through. When will you be ready to go on to Chapter 2? Like I said Sallye hasn't commented yet and there were a couple other people that said they wanted to start. However they can of course go at their own pace and start anytime. So let me know if you are ready to go on to Chapter 2.
Plant Lady I'm so glad you got the book. Yeah!

Thanks everyone for your participation and great comments.
Lynn

Plant Lady said...

Lynn,
I'm ready anytime! It's a very interesting read.

Plant Lady

debrah said...

Hi Lynn:
Plant Lady let me know we are proceeding to chap. 2...I will read it tomorrow morning...I am so glad that you are doing this study.
In His Love,
Debrah

Nicole said...

Hi Lynn,

I heard you were going through The Battlefield of the Mind. I have skimmed through that book a time or two but never sat down to read the whole thing. I have been thinking about doing that lately, and then I heard about your study. I hope I can still join in? I will not be able to buy the workbook at this time, but I do already have the book.

Nicole

rusty'swife said...

Lynn,

Sorry I have running a little behind. I have read Chapter 1 and found alot to think about. I am working on this and the biblestudy on Carmen's blog. So there has been a lot to digest and think about.

Sallye

rusty'swife said...

Ok all here goes.

Chapter One Notes.

Love what Joyce wrote on page 17 of the book "Before she met Jesus, she was miserable and hopeless, now she's just miserable." I think so much is rooted in how we view or Savior and our Father. I am a big beliver in discipleship and discipline. I believe that when some one makes a profession of faith, that we should hand them a Bible and an accountability partner. So many people get lost and confused when they are allowed to wander on their own. You wouldn't alllow your 3 year old in wal-mart alone, so why would you allow a baby Christian to wander alone? According to the story that Joyce uses both partners in the marriage are christian, but they are undiscipled and undisciplined. No one stepped in and offered to help, or to even pray.
I love how the comments have discussed not just what was in this weeks chapter, but real things that are strongholds to each of us, like the titheing, and yet we are afraid to discuss it, because it should be something we should already know. I am dirt dumb when it comes to alot of things. But have learned if I don't know, ask, and ask again, till I get the answer that I know God has prepared for me. So getting back to the issue that Joyce was discussing. Both in this marriage have an unhealthy view of their God, it's based on the physical and not the spiritual. We have to base everything we see on the Word. Word that is living and breathing and sharper than a two edged sword. And if your not taught how do you learn, except by watching those around you, and if they are unhealthy, they will make you sick too.

Sallye

rusty'swife said...

Ok ladies need some heavy duty prayer please. I have about 80% of the proof that husband has renewed an internet affair that started back in June. We were separated for a short span of time over this. He came back and told me it was over. Well looks like it's not.

Sallye

Karen said...

Salley,

You and your husband arein my prayers.

Be blessed,

Karen

JnL4God said...

Sallye,
I am praying for you both. I'm so sorry. E-mail if you want. I'm here for you.
Lynn

SKY4KAT said...

Hello from a late joiner. I finished reading Chapter 1 today-wow. I have lots of thoughts.
We are in a battle, every minute of every day and at times it seems so subtle that I forget I am even on the battlefield until a land mine explodes under me.
I have identified several strongholds in my life but the biggest and deepest root that I am constantly facing is "Is God sufficient for me?" I would like to say that He is but my behaviors and actions say other wise.
I am in process of learning to believe and trust that:
God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I know this to be true in my head but struggle to accept it in my heart. I still want to be in control. Its all about trust. Surrendering my will and coming to the end of myself.
As someone had said in one of their comment, it is through experiencing trust that we obtain and learn to trust.
Thanks everyone and I"m on to read Chapter 2.