Tag Archives: repentance

The Family that Prays Together…

Yesterday marked one week into my recovery from back surgery. God announced His goodness by giving me a beautiful, sunny spring day to enjoy! I was so happy and excited! My twin young men cleaned off the umbrella table, and untied the chairs which had been stored for the winter, hoisting them effortlessly onto the back deck, so I could sit and breathe in the fresh, clean air. My daughter was suddenly more interested in her school books, which were filled with clocks, verbs, and Venn diagrams. She cheerfully grabbed her pencil, because we were going to have school outside for the day. I gazed at the breathtaking view of our backyard, thanking God as I soaked in the blooms on the pear and cherry trees. My favorite was the brilliant cobalt of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which will be barely visible when the trees become dressed in their shiny, green summer leaves. 

What a lovely day for my daughter to play on her swing set, and jump on the trampoline. It was ideal for my husband and me, as we walked down the driveway, for my first outdoor excursion since the surgery. Perfection! NOT! … Because Christian families who pretend that everything is perfect and merry all the time are… well, quite frankly… lying. For suddenly there was strife and squabbling, unexpectedly, out of the beautiful deep blue. There was anger, pride, rudeness, and a black cloud where the sun had been shining only moments before. And then from Mom (yeah, that would be me) there were some not-very-nice-words,  and no… not the tears! There can not be tears from Mom; she never cries in front of anybody! She learned it years ago… people don’t care about you… so do not let them see your tears! For if you do, ferocious wolves will rip you to pieces! But suddenly I didn’t care that they saw the tears. I knew I was hurting inside and out; and I needed to cry, even though the tears made me vulnerable to… (oh no!)… REJECTION!  Brave, courageous, strong Mom, had succumbed to a sobbing, inconsolable mess of… tears

But this time, I recognized the attack for what it was… a spirit of strife. I also recognized the lies: The day was NOT ruined, my family was NOT going to let me deal with this alone, this was NOT my family from childhood; so my precious family here at home was NOT going to make fun of me or be mean to me for crying, and the devil was NOT going to ruin this day for my family or me! I pondered the truths: This is my family who supports, encourages, prays for; and loves me unconditionally. This is my family who helps me run my blog: proofs and edits my drafts, rescues my computer crashes, updates my computer, gives me ideas, creates special images, poses for my photos, and patiently gives me tons of time… while I write my blog! This is my family, and they support my ministry, as I do what I love! They are on board with me, and I am on board with them! We are in it together

We gathered for an amazing dinner; one of my all-time favorites; chicken tacos and chocolate chip cookies, which had thoughtfully been prepared for us by my sweet friend, Rita. We told the devil to “Get out of our home, and off of our property, in the name of Jesus.” You see,  even my little girl has the power and authority to tell the devil to get lost. Why? Because we are God’s children and we have… privileges

Because we recognized the evil spirits, which had come to do battle on the land God gave us, we were prepared to fight. We repented of our sinful nature, asked God and family members to forgive us, and repaired some issues which needed to be dealt with, so that our bond will remain unbroken, and more closely knit than ever. We are a family unit, which God has put together for a reason, a purpose, and His calling. We cannot afford to ignore the fact that there is a spiritual battle each and every day, with the intention of destroying each one of us, and ripping our precious family apart. That old saying; “The family that prays together, stays together,” is true! It’s our family… and it can be your family too! We are a force to be reckoned with, a bond which is to remain unbroken, because God is our Father, and we are His children. 

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9 New International Version). This verse applies to marriage, but it applies to our children too. Because, when it comes time for them to leave us and create their own families, we will also be grateful for the ones God has chosen to be a part of our lives, and we will fight for them too. Hence, our strength in numbers will be even greater, and there will be even more love to go around! 

Pretending everything is perfect isn’t doing anybody any favors. But knowing who is at the center of your family, and keeping Him there… IS! The rest of the day was filled with the sweetness of apologies, forgiveness, relief, comfort, laughter, laughs, cuddles, and hugs! We also repaired something that had broken down in our family… a way of communication which was, in actuality, hurting everyone. But it wasn’t something that could just simply repair itself. It is something that requires the never-ending mercy, grace, forgiveness; and unconditional love of Jesus Christ; who is alway invited to our table, and welcome in our home. For we are children of God! 

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).


#knowyourrights  #eliminatestrife #childrenofGod #Jesusbemycenter

Blog posts directly related to this series on surgery and healing:

When You’re Sick, God Shows Up… Because He’s Already There!

The Unexpected Joy of Rest

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Narcissistic Abuse? There’s Hope!

Have you been abused by a narcissist? You’re not alone! Really! If you would like some links about narcissism, please message me, and I’ll send you some helpful information which relates to your specific situation. Narcissistic people all act the same way, and do the same things. This is because they are all pretending to be different (and false) personalities. They are also all involved in self-worship ( idolatry) when they should be bowing down before The Lord God, with humble, repentant hearts. Visit The Silver Lining blog, and learn how to do spiritual warfare against selfish, self-centered people. Find out how the battle the spirits at war against you! Learn why it’s so important to pray for your enemies! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 New International Versions).

If you are, or have ever been the victim of a narcissist, you already know the damage, detriment, and destroying which occurs as a result. But the silver lining is NOTHING compares to the life-changing truths, love, and protection which GOD has for you! Also, with JESUS, narcissists are powerLESS to ruin your life! Not only that, but YOU have the POWER and AUTHORITY in Christ Jesus to go forward, heal, and follow God’s amazing calling for your life! “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:31)?

Only Jesus can heal the deep-rooted pain inflicted by a narcissist it. Only God can reveal it! Visit and subscribe to my blog, The Silver Lining, and type ‘narcissism’ in the search tab. It’s just a fancy word for the sin of extreme self-centeredness. It will give you a head start, and hope in Jesus, towards healing and turning your life around; you will finally begin gaining your freedom in Christ! Learn how God can pick up your painful broken bits and pieces, and put you wholly (and holy!) back together again, by giving you the joyful life He meant for you to have in the first place! Why? Because God Loves YOU! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).

I invite you to ‘like’ The Silver Lining Facebook page, so you won’t miss a single post. From there, you can easily invite your friends to join.In addition to my blog posts, my Facebook page contains crucial content by other Christian authors on the topic of narcissism. There are also more encouraging uplifting posts on a variety of topics to bring you light on your darkest days. Let’s share beautiful bits of The Silver Lining on Instagram too! I hope to see  you there! May God bless you as you pursue Jesus, and search for The Silver Lining! 💙

 

Fifty Darker Shades of Sin… Sexual Abuse is not a “grey area”

By Angela Royse Pelleman

Formerly published as “God’s Scriptures on Sexual Abuse are Written in Black and White… Not Grey”

Confusion and Lies  

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be exposed to unwelcome previews for the pornographic movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, right before Valentine’s Day, it’s déjà vu, two years later, with Fifty Shades Darker.  Though pain, abuse, and trauma are weaved through this vile book and movie, which sadistically glamorize a sexually abusive relationship, the devil has managed to convince readers, movie viewers, actors, and producers, that they need another dose of more sin and darkness. I cringe just typing out the titles, which were aptly chosen for material so “grey” without love, and  so “dark” with evil. 
I pray my words will honor God, and convict the hearts of many: male and female, young and old, Christian and non-Christian; from making the shameful sinful, regretful mistake of viewing what should actually be an X-rated movie, which can do x-amount of damage in too many ways to count.

Original, complete article below:

As God quickly gave me words and verses to share, I started wondering: Do they really know that’s it’s wrong, and why it’s wrong? To me, it’s obvious, but it may not be obvious to those who are lost or confused, or to those who have been taught to believe lies. Even Christians can be blinded by the lies of the world. “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf” (Isa. 35:5 New Living Translation).
This may be a “gray” area in the minds of some people, but God speaks to us, in scriptures, from pages that are black and white. The words of Jesus can be found in red. God hates sexual abuse. His word says, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure” (Prov. 15:26 English Standard Version). If God’s word says NO on a particular issue, then God doesn’t want His children involved in any way, shape, or form. That includes reading books and watching movies about it. Walking down an ungodly path, leads people into temptation. “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires” (James 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible).

“No! Sexual abuse is not okay!” I want to scream it. Neither is emotional, verbal, physical, or spiritual abuse. Usually, several of them are tied together, as they are in this movie. My hope is that people will not change their minds because of what I have to say about violence and porn, but what God has to say about it. Maybe lives will be changed for the better. Maybe lives will be…saved. 

Sin and Sensationalism

Is our world so broken, that the newest form of sensationalism is the sexually abusive relationship? Yes; God already knew it would happen: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Tim. 3:2-4 New International Version).

A sin is a sin, and the devil is a deceiver. He knows that people will think it’s okay to watch a pornographic movie, if it has an acceptable R rating and is being shown at a public movie theater. The devil also knows that people get their ideas about love from the fallen world around them. Lies can be found in books, movies, commercials, and magazines. They all shout out the lie that sex is love.

God says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28 NIV). When people view pornographic material, they are inviting sinful thoughts to surface. This can lead to further sin. Why jeopardize the chance to have a fulfilling, godly relationship, based on love? “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:27 NET Bible).

Sex and Abuse

When sexual abuse gets added into the mix, and it causes even more chaos and confusion. Sexual abuse is not love. It is the opposite. Sexual abuse is hatred. It is a sin. Sexual abuse is unhealthy, damaging, and evil. It is a lie to believe that it’s romantic to dole it out. It’s a lie to believe one must take it, in order to prove love. It’s a bold-faced like to believe love can be found in a sexually abusive relationship.

Sex without marriage already causes damage. God’s laws are in place to protect us. God intended sex to be an intimate act of love, within the confines of marriage only. The marriage bond is sacred. God says this: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4 English Standard Version). Sex forms an intimate bond between a husband and wife, and it’s one way for them to express their love toward each other. In fact, it is so special, that the couple can create a baby together. 

If God does not approve of sex outside of marriage, then He certainly does not approve of an abusive sexual relationship. God also does not approve of sexual abuse within a marriage. He gives clear instructions about how men should treat their wives: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5: 25-28 NIV).

Temptation and Thievery

Anything in opposition to God’s commandments, is sin. The devil is at work, enticing people to sin. He does this subtly, through entertainment. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and also have it to the full” (John 10: 10 NIV). These are the words of Jesus. The thief is the devil. The devil steals virginity, innocence, childhood, and peace. He kills by inflicting pain, turning people against each other, and he will do whatever he can to kill hope, faith, and joy. He destroys purity, marriages, families, and lives. He is a tempter. One vile way the devil does this, is through sexual abuse. He also seeks to deceive people into thinking that certain situations aren’t so bad. The devil is a deceiver and a liar. Only Jesus can redeem and restore the beauty that is lost, and bring new life.

The comments in favor of this book and movie, are excuses to sin. Erotica is not valuable literature. It’s a fancy word for “porn.” It’s sexual fantasy. When the graphic sex and violence are removed, there is nothing left. When a man degrades a woman, he is saying she’s worthless. This is a lie from Hell. God created women to be loved and cherished. In a sexually abusive relationship, lost souls are being led down a dangerous path full of manipulative lies. These souls are being damaged.

Reality and Redemption

Why on earth would it be okay, then, to watch a movie with a selfish, sadistic, narcissistic, sexual abuser as the star? What is entertaining about watching women be demeaned, mistreated, battered and abused? How does this give glory and honor to God? It doesn’t. Death would be a better alternative for the character from Shades of Grey. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6 NIV). These are the words of Jesus, in red. If someone thinks that is harsh judgment, it can be discussed him. Jesus is real man, a man without sin, and he can take it. In fact, he already did. He took it all, for you and for me, when he died on the cross. He died for girls and boys who are, and have been, sexually abused. He even died for the abusers.

God’s people can be forgiven their sins. Even sexual abusers can be forgiven for atrocities that would otherwise land them into the pit of hell. Why does a sexual abuser, get a chance to go to Heaven? If an abuser asks Jesus into His heart, God lets him in. Why? It’s because Jesus already paid for the sin! He took the punishment for you and me! It’s a gift! God loved us all enough to send His own son, as a living sacrifice, to die for each and every one of us, so that we could live with Him eternally. Hell is not a place anyone wants to go. The devil may buddy up to some people here on earth, but he’s a deceiver. He’s making promises he doesn’t intend to keep. But God does keep his promises, and He has every intention of fulfilling every single one of them for His children.

The Silver Lining

God wants a clean, pure relationship with His children. God forgives all sins, only through His son, Jesus Christ. To receive eternal life, a person must ask Jesus to come into his heart, while acknowledging that he is a sinner, and that Jesus died for him. This is an act of faith, and God calls every man and woman to receive His gift. Since we have to wait until he comes, he offers healing to those who have suffered the pain and agony of physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NIV). Jesus understands suffering. He willingly suffered for our sins.

Prayer

Dear God, please forgive your children when they struggle with temptations. Please give them wisdom and discernment. Heal those who are hurting and damaged. Fill your children with your Holy Spirit. Give them eyes to see the truth. Turn your children away from evil, and into the arms of Jesus.

Reflection

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8 NIV). 


Black and white bible page with words of Jesus in red and life-saving verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

How to Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive Eternal Life!

Who is Jesus?

God is our perfect Creator. However, when sin entered the world we became fallen, sinful, and imperfect. No sin is allowed to enter Heaven, so we cannot make it to Heaven on our own.

Because God loves us, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to become a living sacrifice for our sins. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He took our punishment. He took our place, and would have died for you, even if you had been the only one left on earth. After three days, God raised Jesus from the dead. This miraculous resurrection means Jesus is alive!

Jesus offers salvation to each and every person on earth, so we can live in Heaven with him forever. He offers this great gift, because of his great love for us! To receive this gift, we need only to accept it. When we accept Jesus Christ, we become born again. With a repentant heart, we begin our relationship with Jesus. When we make a decision to invite Jesus into our lives, The Holy Spirit comes to reside within us, and our names are written in God’s book of life for eternity.

Prayer of Salvation:

Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe you died on the cross for my sins. Please come into my heart today and forgive me of my sins. Cleanse my heart. I want a relationship with you. I’m choosing to follow you, and leave the ways of the world behind me. Thank you for sacrificing your life for me, so that I can receive eternal life, and live with you forever in Heaven. Thank you Jesus, for loving me!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

New International Version

 

The Gossip Track…It’s A Train Wreck!

(from a series related to narcissistic abuse)

Gossip is a long train of lies hitched onto half-truths, sprayed with graffiti, speeding its way down the rough, bumpy track. Who knows where it’s going? It’s dangerous, but it seems like everyone wants to jump on board, and it can cost people their lives. It’s not easy to slow it down, but if you’re willing to be the caboose, you can put an end to it.

The bible says, “In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines” (Prov. 18:17 New International Version). It’s astonishing how many people are willing to believe lies and settle for a one-sided story, without asking any questions of the other party. Why? It’s because gossip is a selfish sin. The listener wants to be perceived as loyal and is expecting something in return. It may be attention, money, status, job ranking, or the love and friendship from a relationship based on insecurity.

It’s just as sinful to eat up gossip, as it is to spread it. Participating in gossip is tempting, but it becomes deeply ingrained, skewing thoughts, and blinding the listener to truth. Gossip festers, causing people to believe lies for a long, long time. It destroys families and friendships, while eating away at your spiritual life. It may be years later that the truth comes out, causing righteous anger and sadness. People will grieve over the lost relationships that God had intended for us to enjoy.

Many people believe they have a “safety net” around them if they have a close friendship with a gossip, but they are in more danger of being betrayed, because they believe they are safe to share secrets. No one is immune from gossip, and those who participate will eventually get burned. If someone gossips to you, she or he will gossip about you. If we hear negative information, out of line with someone’s character, do we accept it, or ask the gossip why we’re being given the information? Do we ask for the other person’s version of the story, or sit back and enjoy the gossip as a sweet dessert? After all, the bible says, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” ( Prov. 18:8). 

Are we willing to give up valuable friendships because of a story that may not even be true? Do we question why we keep a gossip as a friend? Some people feel powerful when they have access to inside information. Yet, the listeners are being used as fuel to make the gossip feel important. The gossip basks in the attention. Of course, the gossip also omits any crucial pieces of truthful information that would place him or her in a negative light. In extreme cases, a gossip is found to be a narcissist: entirely self-centered, self-absorbed, and selfish, purposefully using gossip as a vicious weapon to manipulate and control people. This allows a narcissist to turn friends and family against each other, so they will all depend on the narcissist as the most important person in their lives.

There’s a difference between someone warning us about an ungodly person who could cause us harm, versus downright gossip which causes us to lose our positive view of a good and godly person. Or, maybe we’ve been given a first impression of someone we haven’t yet met. When given information, we should ask God for discernment about the situation, and pray about it. We should ask why the information is being shared with us. It may feel uncomfortable at first, because people expect us to participate in gossip. We can be bold, without being rude, by asking precise questions: “Why are you telling me this? Where did you get your information? Do you agree with what you are telling me? Why don’t we go together and ask this person for his or her side of the story?”

Even Christians can get weak, and fall into the trap of “subtle gossip.” An example of this is when just enough details are given about a situation, but the name of the offender is purposely left out, so as to avoid “gossiping.” Sometimes the name is mentioned, because So-And-So “needs prayer” (or someone needs prayer because of something So-And-So did). Self-pity comes into play and subtly works hand in hand with gossip. People’s sympathies naturally lie with the person voicing sadness, so they miss the fact that the offender is probably hurting too, maybe even more. The offender may have even been forced to create boundaries for a situation others don’t see. This is further isolation for the person being gossiped about. Wise people remove themselves from gossip.

Christians can especially be deceived when gossip comes disguised as “concern” for a brother or sister in Christ. Gossip is actually concern for oneself and one’s own reputation. Upholding one’s false self, becomes more important than keeping the confidence of a fellow Christian, or making the necessary amends to improve the relationship. An example is when someone visits other family members, stating “concern” for an adult child or a sibling. Even real concern is not a free license to gossip. Is this person’s life in danger? Or, is it just someone with whom the gossip has a rift? Gossip is a big, red flag. If you find yourself in between two friends or family members, and only one of them is repeating negative, “concerning” things, while the other says nothing, you’ve been given a huge clue as to whom to really be concerned about…the gossip.

People also deceive themselves by believing they are only telling “one or two people.” This is damaging, because those two close people each tell their two close people, and then those six people each tell other people. Even if, like me, you’re not a math genius, you can tally up the large number of people who shouldn’t have access, and who are likely misinformed. Just as in the childhood game Telephone, the gossip’s story has sifted through several sources, with facts added onto, twisted, and turned around, and even omitted. How can this be okay with God?

The bible says gossiping ruins friendships. It does. It causes division and makes us unable to trust our friends. We feel isolated, abandoned, and rejected. These spiritual strongholds are not of God. Feelings get hurt and hearts get broken.” A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” ( Prov. 16:28)

If you can’t keep a friend’s confidence, do your friend a favor; admit your weakness, and ask her not to share private information with you. If you are trustworthy, appreciate it as a gift from God, and honor Him by keeping the confidence of others. Trust is revealed when people share information that stays between you and God. There are only a few situations in which a trust must be broken. However, situations involving suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or sexual or domestic abuse are still not reasons for gossip. These are situations where wisdom and discernment must be used to involve the fewest number of people possible to gain the greatest amount of spiritual and professional help. One must use proper disclosure by seeking out a trusted spiritual advisor in authority, such as a pastor, or other respected individual, known for caring and keeping the confidence of those they lead towards Christ.

Are you a gossip? The silver lining is in repentance.  You can ask God to forgive you for gossiping. If possible, and if necessary, ask forgiveness of the person you have betrayed. If you participated in gossip (including listening to it) say you’re sorry and ask forgiveness of the person you talked about. It may be scary to admit to someone that you gossiped about him or her. God understands this. Ask Him to remove your fear and cleanse your heart. Take along a trusted friend who cares about both of you. But make sure you are the one to apologize. You may find that the person you gossiped about is actually relieved, and grateful to have a chance to clarify the situation and be heard. Stick with the issue at hand. Even if your friend does not forgive you, God does. God says you are forgiven, and He can make good out of a bad situation; He can heal hurting hearts, and redeem lost souls along the way!

If you are the one hurt by gossip, and your offender does not apologize, you can still forgive him or her in the name of Jesus. This will make you feel lighter, and it will free you from anger and bitterness. Give Jesus your pain. He can take it. He already took it at the cross for you!

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” 

Psalm 63:3

 

(Photography includes model trains exhibit at the Brunswick Heritage Museum in Maryland.)

Christians and Candidates:  Voting for Your President

The Silver Lining is meant to uplift and encourage, so it will not be a place for political debate. However, I want to encourage you to pray, and fast as God calls, before you go to the polls to vote in this crucial election. Our new president could bring hope, healing and continued freedom for the United States of America, or instead bring catastrophic consequences for our country, which cannot be reversed. 

Voting in good conscience, calls for seeking a godly, Christian candidate. A selfless, wise, compassionate problem solver who puts himself under God, instead of above Him, is someone who has our country’s best interests at heart. King David was a small boy, a shepherd, with whom God was well pleased. God chose David to be the king of Israel. God passed over the men who were tall, good-looking, and older. Instead, God chose a lowly shepherd boy with a heart after His own! 

 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 New International Version).

David killed his gigantic enemy Goliath with only a slingshot and a stone! No one else would come near Goliath. But young David went forward with confidence in His God. He even shed the armor that King Saul had given him to wear in battle! It was too uncomfortable! That day the vast army of Philistines turned away and fled in fear; their giant was conquered, and they were terrified. 

“Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground” (1 Sam. 17:49).

King David was the father of King Solomon, who is still the wisest king who has ever lived! King David’s lineage included Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, God’s own Son. Jesus is the greatest king who ever lived; he was resurrected from the dead, and still lives today!

The bible gives us the best example of characteristics we should be looking for in a king, when we are given the responsibility of choosing one. Who would have imagined that a quiet boy, tending to his sheep, would have become God’s choice for a king? It shows what one is capable of becoming, when he allows God to both lead and fight his battles.  

As Christians, we have a responsibility to come before God, bowing our heads in repentance, asking forgiveness for having followed the ways of the world. We need to pray for wisdom and discernment, so that we can vote for the best candidate to take care of us and our country. We should remember that our country was set on a godly foundation, and God’s laws have not changed today. 

Jesus came to bring us a new covenant, which made the first one obsolete (Heb. 8:13). He became a sin offering for us, through his death on the cross. He is the sacrifice for our sins, which is why we must receive him and ask forgiveness for our sins. This new covenant can be found throughout the New Testament of the bible. If we want God to grant favor on America, we need to vote for a president who is willing to put God first, and obey His covenant, which will result in protection and peace for our country. 

No president, not one king, will be allowed to rule over us, without passing through the hands of God, and first receiving His permission. This means that our new president will only become our president, if it is God’s will. Sometimes this is hard for us to understand, but God has a much greater plan, which we are unable to see. 

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1).

Still, God promises that if we fast and pray, he will heal our nation. This means He will hear us and answer our pleas for a good, godly president if His people come together and ask Him!

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

And we will have peace that no matter what, we will have done what God has asked us to do. And if we are God’s children, he will watch over us and protect us, no matter what lays ahead. 

Ask Jesus into your heart. Repent. Ask Forgiveness. Pray. Fast. Vote. Go in peace. God bless you, and God bless America.  

 

Stolen Candy Bar…Conviction or Condemnation?

Have you ever stolen a candy bar? Have you ever sinned by doing something you weren’t proud of, and struggled afterwards with guilt, anxiety, shame, fear, and self-condemnation? Even Christians, who know they are forgiven in Christ, will struggle with negative emotions, when they’ve sinned. That’s because the enemy is hell-bent on destroying us.

Condemnation comes from the devil. This voice is nagging and annoying, and you’ll try to run away from it. This voice screams, and beats you down, while trying to break your spirit. This voice says things like: “
What a loser…you stole a candy bar…you really did it this time…what a good-for-nothing worthless thief you are…why can’t you be more like your brother…you’re such an idiot…you should feel guilty…you’ll never amount to anything!”

Conviction comes from The Lord, God. This voice has great power and authority, and you won’t want to ignore it. This voice gently restores, and builds you up, while encouraging you to be more like Jesus. This voice says words like: “You have broken one of my ten commandments by stealing a candy bar…you’re my child, and stealing hurts others and yourself…you need to pay for the candy bar…ask the store owner for forgiveness…he will see Jesus in you…I can use you, even in this situation, to bring others to Jesus…I’m not giving up on you…I forgive you…I love you.”

What a vast difference! Scripture says that through Christ Jesus, we are forgiven for ALL of our sins: past, present, and future. However, this isn’t a license to sin, or to steal candy bars! When we repent, God’s forgiveness reminds us that He is a loving God. It gives us an opportunity to grow closer to Him, while building upon our relationship with Jesus Christ.

We can make things right on the surface, sometimes, by going back to the store, and paying for the candy bar. But that’s not always possible or necessary, and in some cases, it’s not even wise. If you renounce the devil’s condemnation, in the name of Jesus, you can focus on God’s conviction, and on what He wants you to do about the situation. In doing so, God can help set you free from sin and bondage. Learning how to forgive yourself and others, leads to freedom and victory through Jesus Christ!

We also have authority, in Christ, to renounce those very same lies that insist on trying to hover around, even after we’ve confessed, and received forgiveness. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 New International Version).

“ ‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool’ ” (Isa. 1:18 New Living Translation). Forgiveness makes the devil cringe. He will try to lie to you, so hold fast to the truth of scripture: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Now, that, brothers and sisters in Christ, is freedom!

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If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

Gossip, Lies, and Slander? No worries! God has Your Back!

by Angela Royse Pelleman

The bible tells us we shouldn’t be concerned when others gossip about us.  When others slander us behind our backs, telling lies, it’s so good to know that God has our back!  We can trust in Him completely, because He is Truth, and it will eventually come out.  Those who belong to the Lord don’t have to be discouraged, because when people slander you for walking in truth, you will be set free.  The bible says you will be blessed for it.  “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”  (Matthew 5:10-12 New American Standard).

One day, I sat down specifically looking for bible verses that prove God protects us from slanderous lies.  Immediately, I discovered an email from a spiritual sister who does prayer drawings each day.  She draws, while praying, and then writes her devotion based on the image God has provided.  I opened my email that day to find the perfect verse sitting in front of me:  “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.  Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.  Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.  For I am the Lord, you God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’ ” (Isaiah 41: 11-13 New International Version).

My spiritual sister had been given a drawing of a jester; her devotion was about fools, and how we are not to contend with them.  God has a sense of humor, and confirmed His message, when a co-worker showed up at her door in a silly jester hat she had just made.  Bells and all, she modeled it from the doorway, as my spiritual sister finalized her devotion!  My sister had even prayed her message would reach “someone specific” that day, and that it would be verified.  I was that “someone specific”.  The devotion’s message contained a warning; contending with foolish people robs us of our peace.  God wants us to have peace.  I’m so excited about the freedom that this brings!  This knowledge takes all kinds of stress off my plate!  It means I don’t have to do anything at all, except to trust in my Father God to take care of it for me.

If you are anything like me, your first reaction to gossip, lies, and slander, is to defend yourself.  I used to jump to this immediately.  “Lie about me?  I’m going to set you straight!  I’m going to email you right back and tell you like it really is.  Then, I’m going to call all my friends and family members and tell them what you just did to me, and make sure they know the truth!  How could you do this?  It needs to be fixed…right now!”  No, it doesn’t.  Yes, your name is out there.  Yes they are talking about you.  Lies are told, and your name is being slandered.  The bible itself says, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends”  (Proverbs 16:28).

Perhaps God is allowing this trial, because someone along the way needs to learn a simple lesson: If someone is gossiping to you, then they are gossiping about you.  Everyone gets hurt at some point, and we are all blind until God opens our eyes.  Perhaps healing is needed in someone else’s life, and God has given you the strength to handle it.   Perhaps you need growth in this area yourself.  Sometimes a few hearts get broken along the way. God offers a wealth of advice and warnings throughout the book of Proverbs, in order to help us avoid getting involved in some of these situations.  When things are not our fault, we can take comfort in the fact that God will take care of it at just the right time.

You can get all worked up about it, and lose sleep over losing friends, or you can turn it all over to the Lord, and let Him take care of it all in His perfect timing.  It may be that He’s filtering out “friends” who do not know how valuable you are to God, or “friends” that are unhealthy for you.  Perhaps some of these people are not your “friends” at all.  God may be doing His work through some of these people and you, to accomplish a higher purpose for His glory.  He will not leave you behind while doing this.  He will lavish you with blessings.

Jesus was insulted, spat upon, beaten, and ultimately killed.  He did not deserve it, but he accepted God’s will, because he knew it would give us a chance to be saved.  He loved us that much.  Can we do the same? Even though people sinned and treated him terribly, he overlooked his mistreatment, and still loved, healed and prayed for all sinners.  That means you and me.  “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments” (Luke 23:34 English Standard Version).

When you are slandered, follow God.  God gives boundaries.  Boundaries protect our well -being.  We should pray for people who hurt us, and love them in a Christ-like manner, but we do not have to accept or tolerate behavior that is bad or abusive. “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25 New Living Translation).  People who lie and gossip are angry.  Get away from them, before you become trapped in their webs.  “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard, or swindler.  Do not even eat with such people” (1 Corinthians 5:11). It’s clear that it is acceptable not to communicate with people who slander you.  This is not unforgiveness. In fact, it is obedience to God, and He will protect you and bless you for it.

Jesus also used silence as a boundary.  He knew that his Father, God, would take care of him:  “Then Pilate asked him, ‘Aren’t you going to answer?  See how many things they are accusing you of.’  But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed” (Mark 15: 4-5 NIV).  You are not obligated to answer questions involving slander.  It gives you more free time, and it is liberating for your spirit when you realize you don’t have to do anything at all, except leave it to God!   The bible says so!  “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14 ESV).  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me!  “You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.  These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself.  But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you” (Psalms 50: 20-21 ESV).  Jesus knows all about it.  That’s because he went through it too.

God gives many opportunities for people to ask forgiveness for sin and to truly repent.  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful ad effective” (James 5:16 NIV).  The bible gives clear instructions on how the church is to deal with unrepentant hearts.  The book of Matthew, chapter 18, clearly outlines what should be done.  Until then, boundaries must remain in place.

When there is true repentance for slander, lies, and gossip, there comes a change within a person, a desire to be more like Jesus.  It is possible for a person to change, and turn her life around.  Until God shows you without a doubt, that a person has repented of slanderous behavior and is now living life with a true, Godly change of heart, as difficult as it may be, do not remove the boundary.  “Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28 NAS).  Take comfort in the fact that God is the ultimate boundary, and He’s in charge.  All we have to do is follow Him.

A 33-year-old drawing created by Angela when she was in sixth grade. The blonde girl in the foreground is observing three girls in the background. Sadly, two girls are gossiping about the third girl behind her back.

© 2014 Angela Royse Pelleman – The Silver Lining