Friday, February 17, 2017

You Can't Do It Naked by Kim M. Snyder -- A Book Review

About the Book: 

END YOUR EMOTIONAL STRUGGLES
Do you struggle with depression or anxiety, have relationship difficulties, or are you consumed with negative thoughts of self-worth or fears?
Are you tired of fighting the same emotional battles over and over?
Do these struggles leave you feeling frustrated, exhausted, and defeated?

LEARN HOW TO WIN THE BATTLE
What if I told you there is a scheme designed to distract you from overcoming, and this deception keeps you from becoming empowered and having an abundant life?
The battle is spiritual; so are the weapons, and you can’t fight your enemy unprotected.

THIS POWERFUL AND EYE-OPENING BOOK WILL . . .
- Identify the real enemy and expose the schemes you are truly fighting
- Transform yourself into a powerful emotional warrior
- Teach you how to become fully clothed in the armor of God
- Teach you how to live in freedom and abundance
- Teach you what you are truly fighting

CHANGE YOUR LIFE -
Exchange your emotional struggles for a life of freedom, empowerment and abundance!


About the Author:

After years of being a licensed professional counselor, Kim has discovered a powerful method of counseling to move clients quickly from struggle to abundance. Encouraged to write a book exposing the real enemy and root of people’s struggles, Kim hopes this book will help and encourage others to become clothed in victory and conquerors over their own emotional battles.

Kim received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. Kim has a private practice called “The Power in Parenting,” where she helps individuals overcome emotional struggles to become empowered warriors, fully clothed in the Armor of God.

Kim is a wife, mother, and grandmother, collecting many life experiences along the way.
Kim is also an author and public speaker.

To learn more about Kim Snyder, MS, LPC, or her webinars, speaking schedule, or counseling, please visit her website at www.ThePowerInParenting.com.


My Review:


If you're looking for a book to increase your knowledge about spiritual warfare, look no further.  With its shocking title, You Can't Do It Naked, peaks the reader's interest from the very beginning and carries it through until the last page.  What I enjoyed most about the book was that Snyder went beyond simply naming and explaining the pieces of the armor of God.  She described the battle that we're in, the enemy we face and even the battleground on which we are fighting.  Reading through the book was like attending a spiritual boot camp.


I also enjoyed Snyder's B.E.A.R. acronym, which stands for Beliefs, Emotions, Actions, Results.  This gives the reader an easy-to-remember guideline for standing guard against the enemy.  If he can cause us to believe something that isn't true, our emotions will be adversely affected.  This then carries over into our actions and the results of those actions.  It's a process, and if we can remember that and be wary about what we believe, we will be able to stop the devil in his tracks.

Overall, I found this a very enjoyable and educational read, and I highly recommend it.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Do You See a Weed or a Wish?

Whether we enjoy life or simply endure it boils down to one thing:  perspective.  How we view our circumstances--both good and bad--determines how we act and react in our daily walk.  We have a tendency to focus on the bad.  We put a magnifying glass on how things are "supposed to be" according to our own warped view of how our lives should play out.  But, how many times do we stop to examine the things that did work out in our lives when, according to all the evidence, shouldn't have worked out at all?

For example, I have--on multiple occasions--tried to create a financial budget for our family.  According to all the "experts," creating a budget helps us to stay within the bounds of our financial state and even save money in the long run.  There's only one problem:  every time I budget, the numbers end up in the red.  EVERY TIME!!!!  Yep, when I enter in how much we make and how much we spend on essentials like tithe, groceries, gas, utilities, mortgage, etc., the math simply doesn't work.  Yet, "somehow" the bills get paid.  According to the budget, it shouldn't work; nevertheless, it does. . . time and time again.

What about that one in a million opportunity that seemed to fall in your lap?  By all odds, that shouldn't have happened, but it did.  What about the cancer that disappeared when the doctors had given up all hope?  What about the people who have walked again when the specialists stated that they were paralyzed for life?  What about the miracles we see every day?  Why isn't our magnifying glass focused on them instead of our troubles?  One word--perspective!

It's a lot like looking at a dandelion.  No doubt, in a just a few more weeks, we'll have about a million of them in our yard.  So when I look out across the property, what will I see--a million weeds or a million wishes?  You've wished upon a dandelion, right?  It's a lot like making a birthday wish instead of blowing out candles, you blow all the little white fluffy things (my scientific term) off the dandelion in a single breath.  If you place a child and an adult in a field of dandelions, you'll undoubtedly see two opposing reactions.  The adult will turn up his nose and possibly even sniffle a little if he has allergies.  The child, on the other hand, will pick a "flower" and blow.  Then do it again and again and again, each time accompanied by a chorus of giggles.  Who is enjoying the experience and who is enduring it?

The Bible says we are to have child-like faith, and I believe that, when it comes to our perspectives, we will do well to be more child-like.  See the good, not the bad.  Examine all the times that things worked out better than anticipated instead of the times they worked out worse.  Magnify the pleasant things in life, not the troubles.  Focus on the wish, not the weeds.

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. - Psalm 119:18
SaveSave

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Fear and Love Don't Mix - A Repost

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. - I John 4:18

No fear in love?  Hmm, that's an interesting and rather convicting thought.  If perfect love casts out fear, and we're still worried or afraid, what does that say about us?  It says that either we're not loving God like we should or that we're not secure in His love for us or possibly both.

As I thought on that this morning, I had an epiphany.  My worry and fear are not indications of my lack of trust in God's character or His abilities.  I know God is good.  I know He is able to meet my every need.  I've seen Who He is and what He's capable of.  So, when I let fear get the best of me, it's not because I'm untrusting of God's character or ability.  It's because I'm not trusting in His love.  Think about it, if we believe that God truly loves us the way He does, we would know and understand that He would never do anything to hurt us.  We would appreciate that everything He does for us and everything He allows to happen to us is for our good and will benefit us in the long run.  Right?

But instead of trusting in His love and care, we wonder.  We wonder why He would love us.  We wonder what we've done to deserve such love.  And because we feel so lacking and undeserving, we begin to doubt that God could really love us THAT much.  And from there, we question everything that life brings.  Why is this happening?  Where is God during these hard times?  Doesn't He care what's happening here?  And of course, the classic, If God really loves me, why would He allow this to happen?

Did you catch that last one?  If God really loves me.  If God really cares.  Do you see the doubt?  Do you understand the confusion?  We're not secure in our circumstances because we're not secure in God's love.  If we were, according to the Bible passage above, we would have no worries or fears.  Instead, we would be trusting in the One we love to treat us as one that He loves.  Does that make sense?

For me, this is a breakthrough because it has opened my eyes to the area of my life that needs "fixing."  I need to work on my love--both the giving and receiving.  I need to spend more time with my Heavenly Father, for He is love.  And I need to get it through my head (and even more so through my heart) that God loves me.  Not because of who I am or what I've done but because of who He's making me to be.  He sees the finished project, and my past, present and future are all safe in His hands.  He loves me, and everything He does is proof of that love, even if it may not seem like it at the time.

SaveSave

Monday, February 13, 2017

Medium, Not Rare

I bet when you read that title, you pictured a nice, big steak sizzling on the grill or maybe a thick, juicy hamburger.  Are you hungry yet?  Well, sorry to ruin your drooling, but this post isn't about grilling or even food, for that matter.  It's about people.  To be more precise, Christians.  And if you really want to boil it down, it's about us.

The word "medium" denotes a middle ground.  It's not small or large; it's somewhere in between.  In the case of food, it's not well-done or rare; it's in between.  Ah, the land of in between.  Are you familiar with it?  The children of Israel were.

In the story of their deliverance out of Egypt, they declared--not once or twice, but multiple times--"Oh, that we were back in Egypt." Why, oh why would they want to return to a life of slavery? Honestly, it's because they were content with the middle ground.  True, things in Egypt weren't great, but they could be worse, right?  In the wilderness, they didn't have a clue what was going on.  At least in Egypt, they knew what to expect.  So, when faced with the choice of a life of slavery or a life of uncertainty, they opted for Egypt.

I'm sorry to tell you this, but we're guilty of doing the same.  We, too, can be lulled into the contentment of the middle ground.   Think about it for a moment.  Are there changes in your life that you know you need to make, but there's really not enough incentive for you to make them?

The job isn't the best, but it could be worse, so you stick it out.

Your health isn't where you know it could be, but it could be worse, so you continue down the road of unhealthy eating habits.

Your marriage isn't all it could be, but overall, things are working, so you don't do anything to rock the boat.

You feel the Lord calling you to take a step of faith, but the fear of falling keeps your feet firmly glued in place.

Do any of these sound familiar?  They do to me.  Somewhere along the way, Christians have adopted the philosophy of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  And while that sounds good in theory, it's Biblically incorrect.  John 10:10 tells us, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Life more abundantly!  Not life that's not too bad but could be better.  Not a ho-hum existence.  Not an endure-it-but-don't-enjoy-it kind of life.  Christ came that we could have life more abundantly, but it will require some work and decisions on our part, and I think that's why we're content in our discontentment--because we're not willing to put in the time, effort and faith that's required to make a change.  After all, the perfect job is not likely to fall in our lap.  Ideal health won't simply come to us; we have to eat right and exercise.  Our marriages won't improve unless we spend time on improving them by setting aside time to be together with our spouse and communicate with one another.  And that step of faith?  Well, if God pushed us off that precipice of uncertainty, it wouldn't be a step of faith, now would it?

Now, before you throw something at me, let me say that putting time, effort and faith into these things won't make all our problems go away.  In fact, it may even open the door to new challenges.  That's just life, but the point is to move forward in faith and stop being content to sit in the middle.  No, we can't necessarily change the circumstances, but we can change our attitudes in the midst of those circumstances.  We can decide that we're tired of being slaves to convenience and knowing what to expect and we're ready to step out in faith and follow wherever God leads.

Yes, there are far too many Christians happy with the medium, and for that reason, being medium is not rare!  Be unique.  Live the abundant life that God has promised you, and don't look back.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. - Revelation 3:16