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RESTORING LIFE FOUNDATION Restoring Lives from Adversity to Destiny Issue 2

Its easy to be deceived Freedom from Procrastination Even at night my conscious instructs me Come Closer

Wisdom Women 7 Ways to Gain Momentum Gaining Momentum Through Embracing Change Perseverance

Letter from the Editor:

Welcome to our second edition of the Restoring Life Foundation magazine, we are so pleased that you have chosen to take the time to join our community of online readers. We hope that the contents will uplift, inspire and motivate you to grow in God grace, moving you closer to the goal of your upward call in Christ. The theme of this edition is linked to an important event in the Women’s calendar: The International Women’s Day Gender agenda – Gaining Momentum theme. This day is commonly considered as a time for celebrating the role of women, their development and the unique place they have in the world. It is also an opportunity for us to focus on our desired movement onwards and upwards. This edition greatly emphasises gaining momentum by identifying the thing we can do to gain momentum in life, these are applicable to varying extents to women who live as Christians and those that do not. We have borrowed wisdom from some notable Christian women and have included some of their ideas on how we can take strides in advancement, we have reviewed change, and offered some strategies for beating procrastination. Our plan is to include some coaching tools in each addition, this edition contains tools that focus on deception, perseverance and includes an article on the resource “Beyond Broken Families”. Throughout the process of gathering articles for this issue I have met with and shared time with some great women of God. We particularly want to thank all those who contributed as well as those who have inspired the various articles in this edition including Rev Pearl Dyer, Claudia Mondesire, Kathleen McNear Smith, and Rev Helen Azer. It is our hope that you will blessed, and in some way find new ways to gain momentum in your life and walk with Christ.

In t Women s Wisdom P6-7 P14-16

Even at night my conscious instructs me


Desperate to be clean.


this issue 7 Ways Momentum




Its easy to be



Come Closer P28


Gaining Momentum Through Embracing Change


Discipleship Gathering Momentum



Sisters, I can't consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call . Philippians 3:13-14

Women s Wisdo “Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” Joni Eareckson Tada “Be faithful in small things because it is in that your strength lies.” Mother Teresa


“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.” Helen Keller When we underestimate ourselves and downplay our own significance in our own minds and in the minds of others, we embrace invisibility and fail to do justice to our many gifts and abilities. Kate Coleman “If you do not plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to Him, then don't begin, for this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of citizenship, a change of governments, a change of allegiance. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it is not for you.” Kay Arthur If you dare to step out in faith and be transparent, I believe you will find the bridge that leads you into a more liberated life. When you wait upon the Lord your strength is renewed. You are not in a powerless position; you are in a position of being empowered. Juanita Bynum

om “Champions have the courage to keep turning the pages because they know a better chapter lies ahead.” Paula White “I have learned that we rarely look like the destiny inside us... Even if we construct our own pretty little life maps with neat road-side attractions and flag waving finales the Holy Spirit has greater plans for us. Faith in God allows us to tap into our true destinies and realise what is already ours.” Yolanda Adams “Positive minds full of faith and hope produce positive lives.” Joyce Meyer

“Do not allow the whispers on the outside, to pick at the trauma you've had and give you an infection. Guard yourself from those who aren't helping you to overcome. If you have to be by yourself, do it. You have to remove any obstacle in your life making it hard for you to live the life you were predestined to live”. Serita Jakes “if you stick it out and are willing to endure the nerve-racking struggles inherent in the process, you will do more than you ever thought possible. You have the power—and favor—of God on your life to finish. You just have to decide to get it done.” Diana Hobbs

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Its easy to be deceived Its easy to be deceived if you want to To have truth distorted and covered up with lies. Its easy to carry through life much distortion For untruths to be seen through rosy eyes. Its easy to fall prey to the fowler To slip into the trap and still not care. Its easy to become bamboozled To breeze through life quite unaware. Its easier to stay in your comfort zone Than it is to admit you’ve got it wrong. The weak take ease in their unreality But In Christ our mistakes can make us strong. TAKE THOSE THOUGHTS CAPTIVE

2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT "We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

RENEW your mind TRANSFORM your life Recognise the belief that is unhealthy

Evaluate the impact its having

Notice the usual triggers Expose it as a lie Watch out for it trying to pop up again

Does what you think line up with what God’s word says...? This lie affects this aspect of my life.... Who, what, when, how does this usually get triggered...? Agree with God that this is not true and repent for believing it. The next time this lie shows up squash it with the truth immediately, the following scripture will help...

Don't become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect. Romans 12:2

7 Ways to Gain Momentum Over the years since I began Coaching, prayer ministry and facilitating workshops, I have noticed that some things come up again and again as being key to breakthrough and thus precede gaining spiritual momentum. Here below are seven ways to gain spiritual momenTrue Repentance One of the biggest things that hinder growth is the unwillingness that some Christians have in accepting responsibility for the things that they have done wrong. The sad thing is, this is an age old problem that we can see had its origins in the Garden of Eden. Denying complicity for sin, blame shifting and finger pointing are not only a divisive way to manage our relationships, but more importantly keep us from the source of our forgiveness, the presence of God. Break the sin-confess-sinconfess cycle, remember true repentance is seen in word and deed, a changed life and a going in a new direction, anything else is a poor imitation. Scripture tells us that “people who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). This mercy is found in God’s promise of forgiveness and cleansing from those very sins that would separate us from Him (1 John 1:9)

Being truly repentant means recognising your rebellion against God and not just wanting to escape the consequences. True repentance, brings great release as God cleanses you gain momentum.

Heartfelt Forgiveness Forgiving others can sometimes seem to be the hardest thing we are asked to do in our Christian walk, women seem particularly inept at releasing others into their forgiveness. Forgiveness is a door opener to healing of spirit soul and body. It breaks the links that imprison us and creates incredible momentum. These wounds from the past can continue to imprison us if we don’t release the assailants into our forgiveness and the wounds to God for His healing.

God is acquainted with grief and close to the broken-hearted, therefore freely you have received forgiveness, freely give.

Identity In Christ Really Understanding who you are In Christ, accepting and connecting to the uniqueness of our identity In Him can be breathtaking. Many women struggle with living a secondary life: the life of mother, wife, fixer, organiser, or peacekeeper. Whilst each of these roles are important to her, the family unit, and the body of Christ, woman was created for so much more than this. There is royalty in ‘dem bones,’ along with power, authority and purpose in God. You are shaped and chosen by Him. Connecting to who you are in Him means never envying the who of anyone else, and even more important never denying the workmanship of God in you’.

Do something great, be the best you, you can be.

Learning Self Control My boys were in a fight recently and I asked the older of the two what happened. His brother had cheated in a game they were playing and he said he just lost it. I was sorely disappointed by the display of the lack of self control and chided him with the fact that throughout his life he can expect people to annoy him however it will not give him permission to ‘lose it’.

Listening to God If you are in any kind of relationship you will understand the importance of a two way communication. Can you imagine a marriage or business relationship where only one party does all the talking and the other does all the listening. That would not make for a healthy relationship. What is true in the natural is also true in the spiritual. In your relationship with God who is doing all the talking and who is doing the listening. If you are the resident chatterbox, barely breathing between, list, request, thanks and amen’s; then stop. If the creator of the universe takes time to listen to you, then surely when He is talking the least you can do is listen to Him. But not just any kind of listening. When Noah listened attentively, God told him to build an Ark which saved him and the entire human race. When Abraham listened to the voice of God he stayed his hand from slaying Isaac, Moses defeated the Egyptians and all their evil powers, Joshua destroyed the wall of Jericho with a shout, Daniel closed the mouth of Lions, lepers were cleansed, the dead were raised, kingdoms overthrown and people saved.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28 vulnerable and exposed to the enemy. Self control is a fruit of the spirit, all fruit takes time to grow. In the same way that Hezekiah built up the walls around Jerusalem brick by brick, you too can build self control little by little, situation by situation. Throwing the proverbial dolly out of the pram or ‘losing it’ can be a real display of spiritual immaturity. If you struggle with your responses seek help to resolve unhealed emotional wounds. Don’t allow others to control or trigger your emotional responses, or give a foothold to the enemy.

Knowing your purpose Taking thoughts captive By far the most important area for gaining momentum, has to be surrounding the area of our thought life. Our soul houses our thought life and is the bridge between our spirit and body is a hotly contended for battleground. Whilst all the above tips are important for gaining momentum it is impossible to succeed in each of those areas without managing your thought life. We do this through taking those thoughts captive to see if they line up with the word of God. The more aware you are of the things that take up space in your mind the more you will be able to take the necessary steps to implement change and gain momentum. Take time out each day for reflection, understand what scripts appear to be playing in your mind, where they don’t serve you or the path you

If you don’t like the scenery that is approachWrite the vision make it plain that those that hear it ing you its time to change your course, that starts with changing the way you think. might run with it

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You were shaped for purpose, just like the Eagle who catches the wind when you begin to live in your purpose you too can soar above the storms of life and keep focussed on the target, goal and purpose of your life. When passing through the airport for any kind of Travel not only is your luggage checked but so is your person. As you go through security the staff and detector device are set to flag metal objects that might pose a danger during the flight. Going through the airport, The metal detector will emit a sound to alert airport staff to the potential problem it is up to staff then to investigate further to ensure that it is safe for the passenger to travel. Having a vision that encompasses the purpose that God has given you, puts you on high alert to detect, those things that make your spiritual journey safe and those that make it unsafe. Knowing the reason why you are here puts you in the empowered position of knowing what you should allow on your journey and what you should not.

I recently heard a story of a disillusioned young Muslim woman living in the Middle East who was meeting with a Christian man to examine and discuss the Bible. Ayah had questioned the value of being a faithful Muslim, for the images of a sensual paradise danced in her mind. The rewards for faithfulness found in her holy book the Quran and the prophets writings in the Hadith, did not invite, nor even tempt her to be a good Muslim, for what was she to do with 72 virgins. As she earnestly began her search for truth, she clearly saw that this reward might appeal to, men. However, she could not connect this picture of a sensual paradise with something worth pursuing; as such she regularly mulled over the question “what does a woman stand to gain from such an paradise?” Very soon this Christian Man Moustafa and Muslim Woman Ayah both “What does a committed to weekly meetings in a coffee shop woman stand to in town. As they consumed quantities of coffee gain from such they would diligently examine the scriptures. an paradise?” Reading, thinking, discussing and excavating the contents of the Bible, like a diamond merchant might drill through the soil. hoping at any moment to uncover Ayah’s illusive prize. Their rousing discussions centred for the most part on the list of questions that Ayah would formulate as she read the Bible in between their visits. Through them she steadily began to gain greater understanding of the Bible and was beginning to compare its claims with those of the Quran. After they had been meeting for some time this young man informed his Muslim friend that he was making a two week visit to the United Kingdom and therefore would be unable to attend their regular discussions. Whilst Ayah could do nothing about this, she secretly was quite frustrated at the prospect of waiting two weeks to get answers to her questions for the book in the Bible they were about to begin studying.

Soon after her friend left, Ayah eagerly began devouring the contents of Romans, mired by unfamiliar terms, her frustration displayed the clarity she desired. That night, she prayed for understanding, calling on the God of her friend, stressing that if He was real she would like him to explain the contents of the book of Romans which she had already began reading whilst her friend was away in England. That night she had a dream during which a man garbed in ancient attire visited her; this knowledgeable scholar dug deep into the book of Romans and uncovered the mysteries of the book, he spoke to her in great detail, such that she was able to gather extensive insight into the deep meanings of the book. On Moustafa’s return from the United Kingdom he arranged to meet with his friend over the customary coffee, expecting them to discuss the book of Romans in response to her list of questions, in much the same way as they always had. To his astonishment her knowledge of the book of Romans was far superior to his, when asked about how she had obtained such deep insight she relayed to him the dream and the man who had explained it all . Following their discussion Moustafa asked Ayah whether she had any questions, thinking that she would have none. She had but one “who is Paul?” for the man who visited her said that was his name. Ayah’s perseverance and passion paid off, not only did she get the answers she was looking for but, God rewarded her desire for truth by sending the disciple He used to write the book in a dream to explain it all.

Here are five promises found in scripture that you too can hold onto as you seek truth, wisdom, knowledge and Gods direction for your life. 1.) If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for ask ing. James 1:5. God desires His children to operate in His wisdom, for those that also desire it, He invites them to simply ask. 2.) "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7. In this scripture we are re minded that there are many ways for us to find answers, asking, seeking and knocking. 3.) You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13. Although David was not perfect, he was called a man after Gods own heart. For he sought the LORD passionately. Like Ayah one that adopts such an heart attitude will be rewarded. 4.) Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3 This is a definite Yes and Amen kind of scripture in which God assures the caller an answer, but not just any kind of answer but one in which He reveals mysteries. 5.) Remember God sometimes goes to extreme lengths or uses unusual ways to get our attention or instruct us. In the past He even gave a donkey the ability to speak to a man who was so consumed by material gain, such that he s t u b bornly pursued a course that God strictly forbade. ( Numbers 22:28) We s e e in scripture as with Ayah, how oftentimes He uses dreams. I will bless the

LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. Psalm 16:7

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Come Closer

Come Closer Come closer all ye that labor and are heavy laden Come closer and I will give you rest Rest from worry ,rest from strife Come closer to Me, and cast your cares on Me For I care for you My yoke is easy My burden is light Come closer to Me I Am your heavenly Father I will comfort you Come closer and worship Me When you lay awake at night with thoughts of defeat racing through your mind Worship Me and I will instantly be there to comfort you I Am waiting for you to call I will supply your need for comfort Come closer My Beloved, Come closer I Am waiting for you I love you I love you You need not be afraid I will never leave you, nor forsake you I AM waiting to comfort you come closer

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“Is it ever acceptable for a person to come to Christ, be saved by God, filled with the Holy Spirit and stay the same?�

Gaining Momentum Through Embracing Change

Through discipleship coaching and ministry we have the opportunity to meet numbers of people in the UK and abroad in need of change. In the course of our interactions it quickly becomes apparent that some are passionate about change and desire to be released from their harmful patterns of behaviour, whilst others are resigned to the fact that ‘this is the way they've always been’

and as such they do not really trust that in the end change wound come. Occasionally we operate in an environment where the transformations occurring in the lives of some, creates an atmosphere and impetus for change, this then acts as a catalyst in the lives of others. It’s always great when that happens..

To keep our faces toward change, and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate, is strength undefeatable .

Helen Keller

The question I want to pose is, ‘is it ever possible for a person to become a Christian and not change?’ Or ‘is it ever acceptable for a person to come to Christ, be saved by God, filled with the Holy Spirit and stay the same?’ My response to those questions would have to be a big resounding NO! The scriptures everywhere shout out change, this is not just about the change on peripheral issues or of moving spiritually from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God; but the daily significant choices that causes the life of the Christian to express their new ownership, these changes result in real dramatic personal differences in a person’s personality, experience and life.

Everything that we stood for up to that point of salvation was based on our position of being disconnected from God, His power, and His wisdom. Our personality and choices will have reflected that - our faithless life. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God, hence decisions made by us before coming to Christ were faithless. Consequently although on face value they might have appeared to be good, they would not have pleased God nor brought Him glory.

In Coming to Christ we need to recognise the new thrust of our personality should be to grow in the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13) and in His likeness which is the heart of sanctification. A static or sedentary life is devoid of that abundance that Christ died for (John 10:10) it is the thief that wants to steal that life.

Life is impossible without growth and growth is tantamount to change. Life is impossible without growth and growth is tantamount to change. In light of this our goal should be to avoid the status quo mindset of stagnant ‘human beings’ which suggest that we have arrived, but focus instead on the concept of ‘human becomings’, seeing the potential and seizing the opportunity to become.

We can experience major personality change as we throw off the decision making patterns of the past operating with the new data, a Kingdom Mindset, rectifying the choices from the past and moving into a glorious new future. Operating with a Kingdom mindset is possible, you don't have to be stuck with the life you have nor the poor choices you have made, can you teach an old dog new tricks. No one can cling to who they are at present and hope to become like Christ, he must either choose the his past ways , decision making practices or the path not tread in failing to choose he nevertheless makes a choice.

Procrastination is a thief of time’ or so the saying goes, but why do we procrastinate; what are the hidden messages behind the delay, and what can we do to avert the diversionary tactics? Procrastination is not laziness as some might As a writer and speaker procrastination can assume, but a putting off today the things that sometimes lead to a last minute panic and late need our attention. We can sometimes use nights hammering away at the laptop. This procrastination as a quick fix to alleviate the has been especially difficult during times of discomfort surrounding approaching a task we writing papers for courses at the same time as need to do, but don’t have the desire to comjuggling other aspects of work and home life. plete, this occurs even when delay creates a Despite the fact that the internet has so many pain. The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is great things, it is also one of my biggest time defines Procrastination as “putting off intenthieves. With so much information readily available at my fingertips if I am not careful it can easily consume more “Only put off until Procrastination is not a modern time in a week than I might like tomorrow what day problem for mankind, it can to admit. you are willing to be traced back to biblical times, die having left unand Jesus cautions us in Matthew Pablo Picasso is quoted as saying done” 5:23-24 to go and not put off be“Only put off until tomorrow what ing reconciled with the brother who you are willing to die having left unmight have something against us. Likedone” While “God has promised forgiveness wise Ephesians 4:26 warns us to resolve our to your repentance, He has not promised toanger immediately so that the sun will not set morrow to your procrastination.” (Saint beforehand. These two scriptures highlight Augustine) none of us know the time or the the problems that can occur when we delay hour of our death, so this should be a stark acting on an important issue, especially as warning to each of us, not to procrastinate. Ephesians identifies the foothold that the enemy can grasp in our lives when we give way to putting off resolving sin.

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There can be many reasons for PROCRASTINATION, below

Fear of success Jonah 4:1-3 Jonah delayed not because he feared failure but because he feared success. His heart was hard towards the Ninevites, he did not want God to save them, he desired that God’s wrath be meted out upon them and was angry when God forgave them. Although God had been merciful to Jonah, he did not want that same mercifulness to be available to the repentant Ninevites. Some years ago in a meeting I heard a testimony of a woman who had a longterm disability. Her husband had become her Carer and had worked hard to ensure that all her needs were lovingly met. Following prayer, heaven broke through and she was instantly healed. This woman had been well and truly loosed from her affliction able to stand and walk things she had not been able to do for many years. Sometime over the course of the day her joyous husband made a passing remark about her returning the favour of service to him, her face fell and became downcast.

Over the weeks that followed this woman’s health slowly degenerated until she was fully reliant upon her husband again. Success for her equated to service to her husband this she did not want to do. Sometimes success can be as daunting as failure, particularly when success means coming out of your comfort zone. God wants you to grow up that means stretching towards the goal that is set before you. Apprehending the success little by little can help with the adjustment to change, this may be one of the reasons that God planned for the Israelites to take the land little by little, and this approach can be adapted to any situation that fear of success

Fear of failure Numbers 13:31 When we think about the Israelites not entering into the Promise Land ‘fear of failure’ springs to mind. The giant inhabitants were enough to scare off even the bravest amongst them. What we see though, is those that looked to the size of God in their situation and His leading in their life were not deterred by the challenging circumstances of the giants living in the land. The Israelites lacked a vision of the vastness of God, however, through seeing God in their situation Caleb and Joshua received the blessing and the inheritance. When our fear of failure results in procrastination, we too have a lack of vision as it pertains to God. Do not let fears of failure hold you prisoner; remember Christ came to set you free; therefore challenge the lie of ‘If I never try and fail, I can always comfort myself with the thought that if I tried harder I would have succeeded.’ But rather when faced with giants in your own life remember “...If God is for us, who can be against us?”Romans 8:31.

Feelings of inadequacy Judges 6:15 When Gideon saw himself through his own eyes, he saw a man who was least within a clan of weaklings. Looking through natural eyes, we too can also see our failures and frailties. God’s antidote to Gideon’s plight was to assure him of His presence and victory. The LORD said to him, "I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man." Judges 6:16 NLT. Gideon was able to overcome his sense of worthlessness as God showed confidence in him, but also promised to empower him to overcome the enemy. You are who God says you are; try to remember that, by believing in God Gideon became that mighty warrior God created him to be: For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 Do you need to begin to see yourself in the right light?

“You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again."

Keys to fighting procrastination As Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying has "You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again." Therefore to beat procrastination Confess and repent of it as sin, for this hinders you from walking in the will of God. If you think procrastination is not sin. Remember that ‘everything that does not come from faith is sin’ Romans 14:23. Take note that ‘there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven’ Ecclesiastes 3:1. We can make our plans, but submit to ‘the LORD who determines our steps’ Proverbs 16:9 NLT, steps recognising that his word will not return void. Fight fear of failure with the truth that God is for and with you Know your identity in Christ, let the truth about who He says you are break any feelings of inadequacy. Take the ground little by little Exodus 23:30 The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.

“I should have guessed that I cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.�

Desperate to be clean. Sexual purity is an area that so many Christians struggle with, and it's an area that so many, particularly in leadership fall. I have come to realise that sexual or any other sin is never really about the act itself. So excess with food, alcohol, drug abuse, gambling, shopping, pornography, work, relationships, etc are but a means to an end for the person struggling with its effects. The core of the issue is an heart seeking to resolve emotional, mental and or spiritual challenges by putting their hope and seeking release in places other than God. For some these behaviours point to an insatiable lack deep on the inside for others its a diversionary tactic to cope with the pain; whilst the explanation may come across as simple getting free and staying free is a journey that calls for finding and knowing The Way, The Truth and the Life.

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Whilst these are all heart issues , no one really does these things consciously thinking that it will satisfy their heart, but that’s the power of the delusion. Through the enemies scheming he subtlety tempts by creating the temporary release, but that is all that it is - temporary. Once you have bitten that piece of fruit, the strategist then switches position from tempter to accuser, and so the cycle

begins, 1.)Temptation, 2.)Falling, 3.) Guilt, Shame, 5.)Confession 6.)Repentance.


The voice of the enemy differs at each stage of the cycle, it goes from wooing and enticing for which I picture a angelic creature almost like a fairy granting wishes; to a deep and sinister howling voice of accusation. I have worked with many victims of the sexually promiscuous, who often times give themselves or their families over to the beast that consumes the soul. Many with this insatiable appetite for sex spill over into our church communities, impacting church life, marriage and threaten family stability. When this occurs those who fail to seek help for their problem, often pass blame, or deny their actions, which in the long run makes things worse. Scripture tells us that God weighs the heart, and that God desires truth on the inwards parts, the trouble with failing to take responsibility is that if your problems are caused by everyone else then we will never be able to truly see our heart as it is before God, neither can we own the power to change.

If you are ready to start living free, take back the power from the enemy. 1) Recognise that the issue is not food, alcohol, drugs, sex or anything apart from your heart needing to be rescued. 2) Ask God to show you your heart, its wounds and its sin, and look at it. 3) Give God permission to be your heart surgeon. Take some time and space for Him to talk to you. 4) Find someone to partner with you; this is literally a fight for your life. It is easy to pick off a lone soldier but we are part of a body for a reason. A cord of three is not easily broken. 5) Get some support is an excellent starting place. 6) Make meditating on scripture a way of life start with 2 Peter 1:3 His Devine power has given us everything for life and godliness. © Pokerman | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Gathering Momentum

What does gathering momentum through discipleship mean, who is gathering momentum, how can this be achieved? Having referred to Philippians chapter 3, I noted that the letter was written by Paul, to Christians living in Philippi, Greece, while in prison.

Discipleship and Suffering He was concerned that their faith, and love for one another should not fail, as they too may have been facing persecution

The prison setting flavours much of the opening chapter and even earlier on, as Paul faces possible martyrdom, so he writes positively of being with Christ beyond death, (1:23) yet he feels that he still has important work to do among the churches that depend upon him. The final few verses of chapter 1 summarise this letter and its message, which states that the church must stand firm as a united fellowship, persistent in its faith, even when Christian believers come into conflict and suffering. The unity of the church will only be sustained by patient humble care 2:1.4.

Imitate Christ

Paul also urges the Philippians to copy the attitude of Jesus shown in the “Christ Hymn”, which says “Christ emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness, and being found in human form, He humbles Himself, and became obedient to the point of death - even death on the cross. (2:7-8) This passage stands out for the eloquence of its language, and for the far reaching claims about Jesus Christ. Jesus being the exact representation of God is so closely associated with God, that in worshipping Him (Jesus), believers in effect worship Him (The Father). This hymn also contains some of the profound words of praise and faith to be found in the whole of the New Testament. Paul’s discipleship was well sustained, and here we can see that he gathers momentum with the ability to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

Christ Followers The word discipleship means to be a follower of Christ, and if we want to be disciples, we too should follow the example that Christ has set for us. He accepted the lot of humanity, and became obedient to death on the cross. This model of humility and triumph is offered to oppressed and distressed Christians for them to copy, and to trust. So what of Christians today? Are we able to follow the footsteps of Christ? Perhaps yes, but with great difficulty. There is a positive advice in chapter 2, and warnings of dangers in chapter 3.

Gather Momentum Gracefully Paul values knowing Jesus above everything else in life, and presses forward to eternal hope. His own pilgrimage closely matches what was said about Jesus, that glory comes through sacrifice. “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings by becoming like Him in His death” (3:10). Is this possible for us latter day Christians to take this stance too? Let’s hope that the answer is “yes” and hopefully in this way we too can gather momentum gracefully like Paul did, through belief, and the acceptance of Jesus.

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