Monday, February 10, 2020

It Doesn't Hurt Anymore

“Why the pain, Lord?”

I love it when a book begins with a question and then proceeds writing straight-forward, honest answers about resolutions and tactics to handle some of life’s hardest issues. Dr. Murrell did not disappoint.

A loaded question, but one that is fully examined.

“God can heal in many different ways, including through His word. My prayer is that as you read His word through my message, your heart will be touched, and healing will take place in those areas where you have hurt for such a long time. As God heals you, I ask that you, in turn, minister comfort and healing to others.” Dr. Arvis Murrell

All of us have stood against adversity, resentment, bitterness, anger, loss, and pain. We’ve wondered who we are in the midst of life’s struggles. Can we conquer and overcome? Arvis breaks down these complex issues and wraps God’s word around them like a salve, a healing balm, to readjust our thinking, and encourage us to make our plans with God and move forward.

Page to page, I picked up valuable gems on how to face issues and circumstances, pain and misery, along with doubt and stress. The author achieves this with relatable, engaging commentary about her own struggles and how she reached deep into God’s word to heal.

Truthfully, how do you adequately review a book that is so chocked-full of inspiration and truth about human frailty and God’s love, grace, and mercy? Maybe it’s by sharing some of Dr. Murrell’s own words from her book.

“We often give our circumstances too much power. Rather than take control of our situations, we allow our circumstances to control how we think and act . . .  I had to learn how to keep myself calm by not putting so much attention on small stuff, rather to focus on kingdom things and let the main thing be the main thing.” 

“Paul put it this way: ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. S
et your affection on things above, not on things on the earth’. (Col. 3:1-2)"

"Here we are encouraged to ‘set our affections on things above’. We are to put our attention on what God is doing, not on what others are doing. Focusing on others can cause feelings of outrage as people are not capable of satisfying us. But focusing on God has a calming effect."

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.’” (Isaiah 26:3)"

“God wants to bring us out of bondage and make us vessels of honor. For it is not His will for us to perish.”

“I could not quit on God because He did not quit on me. Even when the road got tough, I had to keep traveling. God has a plan for my life, and He has one for you, too”

“Remember, your setback is God’s setup for your comeback!”

Beautiful reminders of God’s mighty love for us. He can use every circumstance we face to His glory.”

Hopeful words from the back cover of the book, “If your painful past is holding you back, It Doesn’t Hurt Anymore will shed light on deeply rooted scars. Start anew today. Be relieved from the pain, break free from the shadows, and move forward to reclaim the life God has chosen for you.”

Rev. Steve Baran, President-National Christian Counselors Association, states, “The pathway to Freedom, Forgiveness and Fullness of Life is found through a personal relationship with Jesus! The necessary steps one takes on this journey are eloquently outlined in this book as the author shares God’s amazing transformational experience in her life.”

It Doesn’t Hurt Anymore: Release the Past and Embrace Your Future encouraged me to live life beyond circumstances, beyond everyday chaos and disappointment in order to live fully and empowered in Jesus Christ. 

God bless you,
Angela Beach Silverthorne
Living Life Through Faith

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Attitude Change: Fighting the Right Battles

For weeks I’ve been unsettled. If you and I were talking, I’d have to share with you all the circumventing things that were going on inside my head and pressing on my heart.  I’d have to confess that these things were disrupting, keeping me unable to focus.

I’m concerned about so many things. My prayer list grows. Family. Friends. Associates. Prayer for people suffering. Cancer. Sickness. Depression. Addiction. Job loss. Anger. Aging issues.

I’m very concerned about our country and the hateful attitudes of our people in government positions.

Well, I could go on and on, but that’s not why I’m writing. It’s not what’s unsettling that I want to share. It’s what I’ve learned in the process of going through this disturbing time, a time when I felt unable to sink deeply into the healing power of prayer and worship.

One morning I stopped my Bible study midway, realizing I wasn’t fully invested, hadn’t even comprehended the last three paragraphs of my reading. I sat back and looked at my open Bible and study material. This was usually the time I prepared for the day. Preparing for the day is crucial. Who knows what could change or happen in the course of twenty-four hours? The secret to being prepared is to receive the life-changing power of God’s Word and to fully be engaged in this sacred time. When I realized I wasn’t fully engaged, I stopped. 

That’s when I remembered a piece Jonathan Cahn had written. I quickly found it and reread it twice. It was a total attitude changer! I was fighting the wrong battles.

Here’s Jonathan Cahn’s article: The Battles You Win By Not Fighting
“George Washington was not only America’s first president but the victorious general of the American Revolution. Yet, most people don’t realize that Washington spent much of the war not fighting or advancing — but running away.
It was because he knew that he was in no position to win. And if he fought those battles which were a losing proposition, he would end up losing his army and thus losing the war. So he waited until the right time and the right battle to fight. And he ended up winning the war.
The enemy wants you to fight the wrong battle—to fight self-centered battles, to strive with others, to spend time defending yourself, to strive after things of this world which have no importance in the age to come. He knows when you fight these battles, you’re guaranteed to lose the war.
You don’t have to fight every battle, in fact, you have to NOT fight every battle. You have to let go and withdraw so that you’ll end up being victorious and winning the war!”

Not fight every battle?

That’s right.  I don’t have to fight every battle, not mine or anyone else’s. But I do need to be prepared to battle the right battles. BE PREPARED. 


Because we know Satan is fighting to ruin us and destroy our faith. 

So how do we prepare for the battles? 

For those times when you feel distracted, discontent or discouraged, first STOP.

Remind yourself that life is a battlefield. You have to believe this to even begin preparing for battle. Preparing empowers you to defeat Satan and live in the spirit of peace and joy – freedom from those outside forces that seek to disrupt your precious time with Jesus.

Here are the three things to keep your mind centered and prepared to fight the right battles in life.

     1. Fight the right battles by abiding in Christ.

Abiding in Christ means to remain, continue, and stay close to God. Staying close to God means getting to know Him. In the New Testament, we get a very up-close look at Jesus, His responses, and His love for mankind.

God’s Words empower. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He used the precious words of God to ward off Satan. These same words can be used when we need power over circumstances and choices. Use God’s Words; they cannot fail.
One way to be empowered by God’s Word is to learn scripture. Find a verse or two or three to memorize. When you feel your spirit is being attacked, use those verses to ward off Satan. God’s Words strike terror in Satan.

“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” (1955 BGEA)

     2. Fight the right battles by abounding in Christ.

Abounding in Christ means to be filled with Christ in all we do, say, and accomplish. As we abound in Christ, we are filled to overflowing with the love of the Father and show that in our actions and ministry to others. We are fruit bearers – love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

“A faithful man will abound with blessings.” Proverbs 28:20

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more.” Philippians 1:9

Abounding in Christ is an act of consciousness. We must fill ourselves with righteousness in order to fight the right battles in the right timing.

     3. Fight the right battles by adhering to Christ.

Adhering to Christ is to stay attached, stick to, cleave, and rely on Him. We must believe, trust, and realize that without God we can do nothing. The battles in life are real. Who would want to fight them alone?

It is through prayer that we stay adhered to the Father. If you ever saw the movie, War Room, you realized the power of a praying woman. Prayer is our communication to the Father who hears every word, even those wordless prayers when we are too full to know what we need to pray for. Few of us conceive the Divine, the Holy, the Spiritual because we cannot phantom beyond our chaos and confusion, the moment-by-moment experiences and crises. But we have resurrection power. We have the power to stop the swirling mass of anxiety by praying.

Pray for God to intercede and settle your spirit to hear His still, small voice, and to help you seal off yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s issues in order to sit profoundly in His presence . . . just you and the Father.

2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

I can tell you I would rather boast in my suffering that the power of God is in me than wrestle to navigate life without Him.

Jesus’ love for us is eternal, and so is His grace. He wants us to cast our burden on Him. We were never meant to fight life’s battles without Him. Prayer is our direct link to the Throne Room. Tap on it daily. This is how we fight the right battles, through adhering to the Father in prayer.

“Millions of Christians have stopped believing that we are at war. No urgency, no watching, no vigilance, no strategic planning. Just easy peacetime and prosperity. We have so domesticated prayer that it is no longer in many lives and churches . . . We simply must create in ourselves and our churches a wartime mentality.”  ~ John Piper

Thank You, God, for the hope You give us,
the hope that sustains us,
and the hope that keeps our eyes focused on You!

With all the mess we see in the world, our only hope is in Jesus Christ. He offers us peace in the storm and joy in the morning.

Abide. Abound. Adhere. Be prepared!

Blessings to you always. I’m praying for you,

Living Life Through Faith, one day at a time!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Summer Reading: Books That Change Lives

Unimaginable has changed my life. Finally a book that puts some sense into what I'm seeing going on in the news and in the world. I've been on a downward spiral wondering what in the world was happening to people. Lies upon lies spouted on TV. And no one seems to truly notice or care, deliberately bouncing lies off lies. But Johnston puts what's happening today into a framework. He shows us the world before Christianity and the aftermath. He talks about the men and women who shaped philosophies that are still cropping up today. After showing us what our world would look like without Christianity, Johnston throws light on the ever-increasing effects of a world with Christianity.

I'm for ever grateful for the author's attention to detail and the historical facts that have pushed us where we are today. Frank Turek stated, "Jeremiah Johnston takes you on a sweeping ride through history to reveal how Jesus Christ infused our lives with goodness in ways you many never have imagined. I can't recommend this book highly enough." Well, neither can I!!

Wow! I've been praying for God to empower me, to move me to get out and do His work. God delivered. He laid Boltz's book in front of me and said, "Read!". 

All the struggles I felt had no answers were clearly dissolved as I read one chapter after another. After I finished the book, I felt equipped to meet Boltz's challenge. "I invite you on a journey to use words to speak into the very fabric of your life, the spiritual realm, and the world around you. These words are all the tools for you to align your faith and create your inner life as one full of courage and hope." Read and watch how the God of breakthrough wants to show you how to break the things that hold you back from the fullness of life God wants you to have.

Jonathan Cahn also talks about the power of breakthrough in his devotional, "The Power of the Bikor".  In it Cahn states, "No matter what you're going through, no matter what the problem, what the obstacle, what the situation, no matter what, you've got the power to break forth and breakthrough."

Learn to breakthrough to see what God needs you to see and do in your life. I challenge you to read Shawn Boltz's book, Breakthrough!

Five teachings of Jesus often missed, ignored, or rejected.
Gary Miller has caused a giant shift in my faith walk. I've been studying scripture for years. I attend church and listen, truly listen, Bible in hand, to the pastor. I am a student wanting to learn all I can about my Savior.

After reading this book, I realize I am a novice, needing to go back and reread the Bible, looking at scripture with a new lens - the lens of truth and awareness.

What did Jesus really say about obedience to the commands of Jesus; the true meaning of grace in our lives; Jesus's primary focus for us; Jesus view on divorce and remarriage; and His view on wealth.

I want to know what Jesus said about how I'm to think, act, and process His words to enrich my life and the lives of others. We all need to understand these truth that are often misunderstood.

I will reread Miller's book many times. The book may be small, but it is powerful, even life-changing.

"Not what you think . . ." That intrigued me. "Might be nothing we expected yet everything we need." That made me buy the book. Why? I'm almost 70 years old. I have children and grandchildren who are questioning what the Bible says. I question it, too, but I trust and believe what it says even when I don't understand it all. 

But I have conversations with younger people who question without faith. The jacket on the book peaked my interest further, "The Bible is seen by many contemporary readers as intolerant, outdated, out of step with societal norms at best, and a tool of oppression at worst.In this earnest and illuminating read, Michael and Lauren McAfee honestly wrestle with the relevance of this ancient book in our modern world and raise a few questions of their own."

The very things the authors mentioned as troubling about the Bible to millennials and generation Z, I hear voiced by the younger people in my family. I want to understand the issues they are dealing with or at least be open minded enough to listen if I get the opportunity to have a discussion with them. 

So I read the book. I cannot tell you how my eyes were open, how my faith was strengthened, and how the strength of my faith that offers grace, mercy, and love is exactly what our younger people need as they figure out their faith journey in a world that is ever changing and complex. 

All ages will appreciate the authors fresh perspective and thorough investigation in sharing the issues that all people are facing, young and old alike, and how they can navigate through these issues. You will certainly appreciate their candor and honesty about the questions they have had. I love the invitation that they repeatedly offer to readers - seek for yourself what the Bible says, then make up your own mind what you want to do with Jesus and what He offers. Let it be a personal choice, not one gathered on the internet or from a group of friends who may or may not have encountered a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ, the Lord.

God bless each of you! May God speak to you in ways that astound, motivate, and encourage you to do and be all you can in His power, grace, mercy, and love,

Links for books:


Breakthrough: Prophesies, Prayers, & Declarations:

Jesus Really Said That:

Not What You Think: