What Makes Us Resilient?

If you look at the current research, here are five of the most common factors of resilient people:

  • They are resourceful and have good problem-solving skills.
  • They are more likely to seek help. 
  • They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and to cope.
    • They have social support available to them. 
  • They are connected with others, such as family or friends.
    • Brene’ Brown – The Gifts of Imperfection

I believe and know from experience, a great source of resilience is rejoicing! Instead of dwelling on what has gone wrong and thinking about what is not right in our lives–when we start rejoicing and praising God for who HE is and all HE has done for us we become resilient.

“ “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NLT

 David found himself in a situation where he needed to be resilient. His entire army had turned against him.

David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6  NIV

There will be times in all of our lives when we will feel as if we are alone surrounded by the enemy. As David did, we must remember who our God is. We must remember what our purpose is and mostly we must remember God’s Word and promises to us. No matter where you are right this moment, God has not forsaken you. His Word says, 

for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” Matthew 6:8

Psalms 5:11 NIV

 “But let all who take refuge in you be glad;

    let them ever sing for joy

Spread your protection over them,

    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”

Matthew 5 & 6 Thoughts

Which is worse:

An alcoholic or a gossip?

A murderer or an adulterer?

Think about it. Seriously, think about it. Is one sin greater than another?

Acts of kindness are easier to do when we gain recognition and praise. 

Would we keep doing services for others if no one knew what we were doing?

Prayer should be from the heart not shallow repetition.

Prayers should be honest and sincere.

 Fasting should be a private time of self-sacrifice done quietly without drawing attention to yourself or public notification.

We should seek to please God in our giving and in our fulfilling of God’s purpose in everything  we do.

Jesus wants us to live happy and feel blessed with whatever we have because we should choose eternal values over earthly treasures? What does that mean? — We should be more concerned about Godly issues than keeping up with the Jones’.

Which is more important to you material gain and how people see you financially or how God sees the true intent of your soul?

Is it a sin to be rich? NO!! Abraham, David, Solomon all were—-and God used them. How you allow money and possessions to affect your relationship with God is the key. God must always be the true ruler of your heart—not the love of money.

WORRY

Do you ever worry?

Worry may:

  1. Damage your health.
  2. Disrupt your productivity.
  3. Negatively affect the way you treat others.
  4. Rob your day of joy.

Worry immobilizes you, but concern moves you to action.

Time spent planning for tomorrow is wise, but time spent worrying about tomorrow is 

time wasted.

Have faith in the God who created the moon, the stars, heaven and earth. He is more 

than able to supply all your needs.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 5: 34

Dig Deep – Authentic Living

Based on a study of The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene’ Brown, Ph.D.

  1. Get Deliberate.
  2. Get Inspired.
  3. Get Going.

How do you get deliberate?

  • Make up your mind – I am going to live authentically!
  • Set being authentic as a goal.
  • Be determined to stand your ground.
  • Be consistent and persistent.

How do you get inspired?

  • Read books that educate you.
  • Memorize scripture and quotes that encourage you.
  • Ignore negativity and naysayers.
  • Associate with people who love life and others.

How do you get going?

  • Forget about the past.
  • Look straight ahead.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Ready, set, GO!!!!

Cultivating Authenticity

LETTING GO OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK

The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene’ Brown , Ph.D.

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

Is being authentic with yourself a challenge?

Do you ever find it hard to embrace who you are?

“Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving–even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.”

I started having some serious medical issues in my forties and was later diagnosed with an incurable neurological condition. I was prescribed several different medications and treatments. I began to gain weight, not just a little weight—a lot. Over a year and a half I gained nearly 80 pounds. I felt so ashamed of myself. I would hide in our home and not leave. I didn’t want anyone to see me. I was afraid of what they would think and say. I was still me inside, just struggling with a debilitating disease. I had no reason to feel shame. I realize that now, but only after I committed to Wholehearted Living. I had to choose to be true to myself and to not live in shame or fear.

“Choosing authenticity is not an easy choice. E. E. Cummings wrote, ‘To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself—means to fight the hardest battle which any being can fight—and never stop fighting.’ ‘Staying real’ is one of the most courageous battles that we will ever fight.”

So what do we need to do to be authentic?

  • Don’t sacrifice who you are for the sake of what other people think, it isn’t worth it.
  • Have the courage to disagree without being sarcastic.
  • Be honest genuinely and politely.
  • Don’t just attack and criticize others, have compassion with firm boundaries.
  • Remember who you are and what your purpose is!
  • Let go of trying to be everything to everyone.

Matthew 5: 1-12

The Message

 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Matthew 4 Highlights

1, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

2. He fasted for forty days and forty nights.

3. During Jesus’ fast when He was hungry, weary and alone in the wilderness Satan tempts Jesus three times.

4. Satan tempted Jesus in three main ways:

5. Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting for 40 days, but he chose not to use His divine    power to fight against Satan. Jesus used scripture. (The Word of God is powerful when spoken by us when temptations come).

6. After hearing of John the Baptist arrest Jesus moved to Capernaum beside the Sea of Galilee.

7. Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven (God) is near.”

8. Jesus called brothers Peter and Andrew (fishermen) to follow Him, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people.” He called brothers James and John, also fishermen.

9. Peter, Andrew, James and John immediately left their jobs and followed Jesus.

10. Jesus begins his ministry teaching, preaching and healing.

11. When word got out about Jesus’ powerful teaching, preaching and healing large crowds came to see Him and followed Him.

Little Christ

Author-Andrea Haynes

Sunday morning, every Sunday night, every Wednesday and with all of the youth events growing up. I mean I even had a mother who made sure God was talked about, preached about & sang about BUT I still didn’t personally know him. Just of him. Just like you can go to a sporting event multiple times each year and know certain facts about it. Facts like how many teams play, how many innings there are, the task of certain players, but never really know how it all works/is played.
Oh friends, it’s a complete black and white, day and night difference once you do truly know Him. I have been by far the “perfect” Christian- if there is even such a thing. Do you know where the term “Christian” comes from? It comes from the Greek word christianos meaning “Little Christ.” It was meant to be a mockery of Christ followers back in Bible times. As in “look, there’s the ‘little Christ.’” But what non-believers meant as an insult became a blessing for billions of people. What a perfect term for us Christ followers! Little Christ. Perfect because that’s what we should be seen as, Little Christ, as in seen as “just” like Him. Made in His image. Our character refined to be like His. A continuous reflection of Jesus.
So when I say I was “by far the perfect Christian” I mean I was not behaving as a Little Christ. The complete opposite actually. Behaving the exact way the enemy wanted me to; building walls to separate me from my Father. BUT let me tell you EACH time God draws me back in, it’s like an instant switch is turned back on; aka the light of God is back on the inside. Instantly knowing right from wrong again thanks to past knowledge and the gentle nudges from the Holy Spirit.
Each time I don’t know why I even left. There is such a sweet, sweet peace in His presence. A peace that NOTHING else can match. No man, no woman, no friendship, no hobby, no drink, no pill, no drug, no job- NOTHING. However, that’s what the enemy wants us to think. That those things will help fill that void. He wants to build up walls and keep us occupied with anything other than the one thing that will truly fill that longing. What we are actually yearning for is a personal relationship with God. Don’t get me wrong relationships are important. I mean the Bible even says “it’s not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18 NIV) BUT the most important relationship we need to cultivate is our relationship with the one who should mean the most in our lives- God. 
If we have a strong foundation, relationship, with Him, then it helps all of our other relationships bloom. Including the one with ourselves. Just like most flowers can’t grow on rocky foundations neither can our relationships. Don’t get me wrong; there are some flowers that can grow on rocky foundations, but they have shallow roots, low water needs, & low nutrient needs. That’s not us friends! With shallow roots, they can be easily ripped up and blown away. We need DEEP, unshakable roots.
We need TONS of water. Did you know our bodies are made up of 60% water? The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. So we literally need water to survive. The kind you drink and living water. Jesus says in John 4:14 “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Fulfilling nutrients are also a must for us. And nothing can fill us up like Christ. He fills us with the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). There are no other fulfilling nutrients like the ones Christ gives. I mean He is the bread of life (John 6:48)!
I pray today that we will all seek Him. Seek to truly know our Father. The one who sees every single flaw, every single mistake, every time we fall down, every scar that we made ourselves or others gave us BUT loves us anyway. The one who sees us the same way He did when He formed us in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). I pray you come to know Him on a personal level. A closeness that fills the void, heals even the deepest scars, breaks the chains that hold you down and makes it where you can finally breaths again. 

Shame Resilience/What Does Shame Look Like?

The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene’ Brown, Ph.D.

 The four elements of shame resilience: 

  • Name it. 
  • Talk about it. 
  • Own your story. 
  • Tell the story.

Story is about worthiness and embracing the imperfections that bring us courage, compassion, and connection. If we want to live fully, without the constant fear of not being enough, we have to own our story. We also have to respond to shame in a way that doesn’t exacerbate our shame. One way to do that is to recognize when we’re in shame so we can react with intention.

 GUILT definition from the Cambridge English Dictionary, a feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you have done something wrong, such as causing harm to another person.

SHAME definition from the Cambridge English Dictionary, a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. If something is described as a shame, it is disappointing or not satisfactory.

Cruelty is never brave—it’s mostly cheap and easy, especially in today’s culture.

Matthew 3 Highlights

  1. Almost 30 years had passed since the events of  Matthew 2.
  2. John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus preaching “repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”  Isaiah 40:3
  3. John was completely different from other religious leaders. They were greedy, selfish and sought the praise of people.
  4. John wore odd clothes and ate strange food. He lived differently to show he was not like the other religious leaders.
  5. Many people from all over came to hear John the Baptist. Possibly out of curiosity but, when they heard him speak they confessed their sins and he baptized them in the Jordan River.
  6. John was not afraid to denounce the Pharisee and Sadducees in public.
  7. John the Baptist proclaimed  the truth of God’s Word without fear.
  8. John told of the coming of Jesus “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
  9. Jesus came to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist.
  10. As Jesus rose up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. A voice from heaven said,

 “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

Difference Between Shame and Guilt

The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene’ Brown Ph.D.

“What’s the difference between shame and guilt? The majority of shame researchers and clinicians agree that the difference between shame and guilt is best understood as the differences between “I am bad” and “I did something bad.” 

Guilt = I did something bad.

 Shame = I am bad.

In the book “Changes That Heal,” Dr. Henry Cloud describes how Adam and Eve first felt shame:

“Without grace, Adam and Eve felt shame: when they heard God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, they hid from him. When God called out, “Where are you?” Adam explained that he was hiding because he was afraid (Gen. 3:8–10). Shame and guilt had entered the world; human beings were no longer safe. After Adam and Eve cut themselves off from a relationship with God, they also severed their connection to grace and truth, for those come through relationship with God. 

“Shame is about who we are, and guilt is about our behaviors. We feel guilty when we hold up something we’ve done or failed to do against the kind of person we want to be. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, but one that’s helpful. When we apologize for something we’ve done, make amends to others, or change a behavior that we don’t feel good about, guilt is most often the motivator. Guilt is just as powerful as shame, but its effect is often positive while shame often is destructive. When we see people apologize, make amends, or replace negative behaviors with more positive ones, guilt is often the motivator, not shame. In fact, in my research, I found that shame corrodes the part of us that believes we can change and do better.”