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Sunday, December 31, 2023

Prone to Wander

Sunday, December 31, 2023 @ 5:07 PM

One of my favorite hymns is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I love the poetic lament of a one who seeks God fervently, but is deeply aware of his/her own sin. My favorite lyric from the hymn is “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.”

I don’t know that there’s ever been a truer lyric written that expresses how I feel toward my tendency to wander. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was walking through the mall with my mom and older brother. One of the first stores we walked by was a toy store. We were very poor and I didn’t have a ton of toys at home. I remember loving Care Bears and Cabbage Patch kids. A lady at our church made me a homemade Care Bear. It was not the same. At any rate, we stopped for a moment to watch this toy dog do somersaults at the toy store. I was enamored. This battery powered pup flipped and flipped and barked. It was pretty cool. I am not sure how much time passed, but by the time I looked up, my mom and brother were long gone. I ran toward the center of the mall screaming for my mom and crying. I didn’t intentionally stay back and leave her side. I would never have done that. I was a super obedient child. And yet, here I was, with no clue where my mom was. I wasn’t even sure which store she was there to visit. I knew the mall well, and found my way to the information center in the middle. I sat there sobbing, fearing the worst. She’s left me here and now I am going to be shipped off to a foster home or orphanage like Annie the orphan. Perhaps that’s a little melodramatic, but I was definitely a fatalist in my younger years. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I could see my mom approaching. I felt awful. I felt like this was my fault. I was sure I would be in trouble.

We tend to get caught up in the stuff right in front of us and allow our communion with God to get farther and farther from us. I’m a “good” person. I’m a “smart” person. I do the “right” things. It is easy to go about my business and look as if I am walking closely with God. It is easy to start a journey with Him, close enough to hear His whisper “we’re going this way now, follow closely” and then at some point, I see something spectacular. I have to pause and enjoy this, take it in. Slowly, as God continues to move, I am still stuck, maybe even wandering further toward the shiny sparkly distracting objects. By the time I realize how much time has passed, I feel the distance between us. I feel how far I’ve wandered.

I love the Bible, because there is a commonality among all humans in that we tend to be foolish and we tend to behave pretty similarly as every human before us. The patriarchs (fathers of Judaism – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) are no exception, especially in their tendency to wander. Often when we learn about the patriarchs in the Old Testament as kids in Sunday School, we are given the impression that these are super faithful men that we should emulate. We aren’t often taught about their humanness, or their failings. That’s unfortunate. It can make faithful following of God seem unattainable.

Recently, I was reading the account of Abraham to my boys and was struck (again) with how repeatedly Abraham wanders off course and forgets what he has been told by God. Early on in the narrative of Abram/Abraham (God changes his name when He establishes His covenant with him), Abram and his wife Sarai/ Sarah travel to Egypt to avoid a famine (Ge 12). Sarai is a beautiful woman and Abram decides it’s probably better if people think she’s his sister so they don’t kill him to take his wife. So, he tells his wife “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you” (Ge 12:13). She does. Pharaoh notices her and “takes her into his house.” This is colloquial for Sarai became one of his concubines. God had plans for Sarai and Abram, so He struck Pharaoh and his house with a plague. Pharoah kicked Abram and Sarai to the curb after rebuking Abram for lying about his wife. Abram goes on to spend some time with Lot, receive God’s covenant that he will be the father of a great nation, circumcises himself and all of the males in his household, has a son long after his wife’s ability to bear children, but only after he and his wife try to “help” God by having Abe conceive an heir with his wife’s maidservant. Then after Sodom is destroyed by God, Abraham settles in the Negev, where he once again decides that he needs to save his own skin by sacrificing the truth and his wife. He tells the king of Gerar, Abimelech, that Sarah is his sister. The king takes Sarah as his wife. God didn’t use plagues this time, he gave Abimelech a dream, revealing the true nature of Sarah and Abraham’s relationship. Abimelech is unhappy with Abraham, rebukes him and sends him on his way.

Abraham’s son Isaac would do the same thing with his wife Rebekah, saying she was his sister to keep himself safe. When danger presents itself and fear sets in, Abraham has trouble seeing how God is going to work it out. He’ll just help God. I mean, it’s not like God has spared any miracle or blessing on Abraham, so why does Abe feel like God needs his help? Why is it so easy to wander from the truth, from communion with God, from God’s promises for us and spin a web of our own design?

We do the same thing don’t we? As a single woman in the church, I had very little faith I’d find a man who loved Jesus like I did but wasn’t super socially awkward or strange. I blame church singles groups for my lack of hope. I was always trying to help God out when it came to finding me a husband. I wandered far off in the toy store of singleness in an attempt to make sure that His promises to me were fulfilled. “Don’t worry God. I got you. I’ll find him…” It didn’t look like very far when I started, but by the time I turned around, I was no longer walking in His path. As a result, I’m sure I missed a lot of what He would have liked to have shown me and I know I failed to rest in the assurance of His faithfulness to me.

As a married woman, I often tried to “help God” with my husband. So many things that he just needed a little help with. My voice is so much more effective than the Holy Spirit’s. I mean, I’m sure with just a little more “encouragement” (nagging) my husband will want to go to the 6:30am men’s group, lead a Bible Study and volunteer as an Usher. (That’s what being the spiritual leader of our home means, right?) Nope. Sister, if this is what you’re doing…begging your husband to be the spiritual leader so that you feel permission to follow God in a certain way. Stop. Just follow your Jesus. Your husband has his own journey with Jesus. You can’t make that happen. Get out of the way. Let them have their own journey just like you need to have your own.

God helped me see that He is a much better Father to my husband than I am, and that the more I focus on my walk with Him, and less on my husband’s, the more my husband can focus on Jesus and the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t need my help. He is the “Helper.”

But, sometimes we wander big, don’t we? Sometimes we take big steps way off course and find ourselves in a pit. We look around and all we see is the space. The space between where we went off course and where we find ourselves now. The space between us and God. The silence in that space is often times painful. We long for His voice and often feel unheard and untended to. Maybe you’ve been in that space, in that pit, maybe you’re there now and someone has told you that that space is your sin and you need to repent…that God is far from you because of your sin.

Paul tells us in Romans 4 that it was Abraham’s faith that made him righteous before God, not his good works (clearly). Sister, Brother, friend – God is not near to you because you are really good at being good. God is not far from you because you didn’t obey the rules. Every time you sin, Jesus does not climb back up on that tree and die again for these new sins you’ve committed. All sin, for all time, is paid for – once and for all. You are covered in the blood and your faith has been credited to you as righteousness. God does not flee from you when you sin.

If you are saved, the practice of repentance isn’t for absolution, it is for your sanctification. Repent. Turn around, find your way back to Him. Move in the direction of His voice. If you don’t hear it, go to the last place you did hear it. Do this not because if you don’t He will abandon you, but because life is better with Him, on His path in His way...because it is the cry of our heart to be close to Him and walk with Him. And frankly, it is what He longs for also. He gave His life for it.

If you are feeling far from God, if you’re experiencing what feels like His silence, I’d invite you to close your eyes. Imagine the most peaceful place you can find in your mind. I envision a forest filled with cedars and pines, moss hanging from the branches, a stream off in the distance. The air is crisp and wet. The ground soft with rotting leaves and moss beneath my feet. Where is your calm place? The beach? A mountaintop? The desert? Find that place. Close your eyes. Imagine the smells, the sights, the sounds...activate all of your senses as you build this place in your imagination. Take a few deep breaths. Now, find a place to sit. Invite Jesus to this place. Can you envision Jesus? Are you willing to invite Him to sit with you in this place? If it’s been a while and feels hard, I’m sure He understands. He’s gentle. He doesn’t force Himself. What do you need to say to Him? What do you want Him to know? Take a few moments, say the words, cry the tears. And now, listen. Spend some time in this space. Even if it’s quite, just notice the tenderness of God.

You, beloved, are so precious. You have been pursued and held close to His heart. He has never been more than a breath away. Nothing you have done or could do would ever cause Him to abandon you.

“Jesus sought me when a stranger

Wandering from the fold of God

He to rescue me from danger

Interposed His precious blood…

Oh, to grace how great a debtor

Daily I'm constrained to be

Let Thy goodness like a fetter

Bind my wandering heart to Thee”

-Come Thou Fount

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Self-Taught Christian Anxiety Management Course

Wednesday, December 27, 2023 @ 3:36 AM

10 Full counseling sessions-step by step
Self-Taught Christian Anxiety Management Course

This structured and comprehensive self-taught Christian anxiety management course is designed to guide you through a transformative journey, incorporating Biblical principles into each session.
The used approach aims to empower you with a range of coping skills, self-awareness, and a personalized plan for managing anxiety in various aspects of life.
Remember to approach each self-homework assignment with an open heart and a willingness to learn and grow in your faith journey. If you encounter challenges or have questions, consider seeking guidance from a Christian Counselor.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Descubre el Bienestar Integral: Tarjetas de Terapia del Dr. Remy Nelson para Afrontar y Aliviar el Dolor Emocional, Mental y Espiritual

Sunday, December 3, 2023 @ 8:36 AM

Las Tarjetas de Terapia del Dr. Remy Nelson son herramientas poderosas diseñadas para ofrecer apoyo emocional y guía en el proceso de enfrentar y aliviar el dolor. Las tarjetas están diseñadas para ayudar a manejar el dolor emocional, psicológico y espiritual. Aquí hay algunas maneras en que las Tarjetas de Terapia pueden ser de ayuda en el proceso de lidiar con el dolor:

Afrontamiento Emocional:
Las tarjetas contienen mensajes y afirmaciones que pueden brindar consuelo y apoyo emocional. Pueden ayudar a cambiar la perspectiva sobre el dolor, fomentar la resiliencia y proporcionar recordatorios positivos para enfrentar los desafíos con una mentalidad más fuerte.

Mindfulness y Relajación:
Las Tarjetas de Terapia pueden ser utilizadas en prácticas de mindfulness y meditación. Al enfocarse en las afirmaciones y mensajes positivos de las tarjetas durante la meditación, se puede lograr un estado de relajación que contribuya a reducir la percepción del dolor.

Reflexión y Autoexploración:
Las tarjetas invitan a la reflexión y autoexploración, permitiendo a quienes las utilizan explorar sus pensamientos y sentimientos con respecto al dolor. Este proceso puede ayudar a comprender mejor la naturaleza del dolor y a encontrar maneras más saludables de abordarlo.

Empoderamiento Personal:
Al utilizar las Tarjetas de Terapia, las personas pueden sentirse empoderadas al tener herramientas que les permitan enfrentar el dolor de manera proactiva. Las afirmaciones positivas pueden fortalecer la mentalidad y cultivar una sensación de control sobre la experiencia del dolor.

Apoyo en Sesiones Terapéuticas:
Los profesionales de la salud mental, como terapeutas y consejeros, pueden incorporar las Tarjetas de Terapia en sus sesiones para proporcionar apoyo adicional a aquellos que enfrentan el dolor. Las tarjetas pueden servir como punto de partida para discusiones terapéuticas y estrategias de afrontamiento.

Conexión Espiritual:
Para aquellos que buscan apoyo espiritual, las Tarjetas de Terapia también abordan la dimensión espiritual del dolor. Pueden ayudar a encontrar consuelo a través de afirmaciones que resuenen con las creencias espirituales individuales y fomentar una conexión más profunda con la espiritualidad.

En resumen, las Tarjetas de Terapia del Dr. Remy Nelson pueden ser aliadas valiosas en el proceso de gestionar y aliviar el dolor al abordar no solo sus aspectos físicos, sino también los emocionales, mentales y espirituales. Ofrecen un enfoque integral que busca fortalecer la resiliencia y fomentar el bienestar en medio de los desafíos del dolor.

Tarjetas de Terapia

Therapy Cards: Nurturing Well-being Through Dr. Remy Nelson's Therapeutic Wisdom

Sunday, December 3, 2023 @ 8:23 AM

Welcome to the transformative world of Dr. Remy Nelson’s Therapy Cards - an exquisite collection of Cartes de Thérapie and Tarjetas de Terapia designed to guide you on a profound journey toward mental well-being. Immerse yourself in the power of therapeutic affirmations and messages carefully crafted to address anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and the common struggle of not feeling good enough. With 64 unique cards in each deck, these cards are your daily companions on the path to healing.

Unlocking the Power of Therapy Cards:
Dr. Remy Nelson's Therapy Cards are not just flashcards; they are gateways to self-discovery and resilience. Integrate them seamlessly into your daily routine – draw a card in the morning, afternoon, and just before bedtime. Contemplate the messages, meditate, pray, and repeat the affirmations to set the tone for your day and promote better mental health.

Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Rituals for Improved Well-being:

Prioritizing Mental Health: Cultivate a habit of focusing on thoughts and feelings that align with better mental health.
Self-Care with Therapy Cards: Internalize the messages, practice affirmations throughout the day, and witness the positive transformation in your overall well-being.
Targeting Specific Mental Health Challenges:
In a world that rarely pauses, Dr. Remy Nelson’s Therapy Cards offer a sanctuary for mental health. Individuals, therapists, counselors, psychologists, and social workers can harness the power of these cards to address specific challenges and therapy goals.

Empowering Group Therapy Sessions:
Therapists can utilize Therapy Cards in group settings, fostering a sense of community and support. Encourage reflections on card topics to facilitate behavioral changes and a shared journey toward healing.

Art, Journaling, and Creative Expression:
Unleash the artistic and journaling potential of Therapy Cards. Express your thoughts creatively - draw, write, and use colors to symbolize the progression of challenges from their worst to resolution.

Mindfulness and Meditation:
Integrate Therapy Cards into mindfulness practices. Read a card, meditate, relax, and let go. Allow the therapeutic wisdom to guide you to a state of profound mindfulness.

Family and Children's Well-being:
Therapy Cards transcend individual use. Families can embrace the therapeutic journey together, using the cards to foster coping mechanisms, navigate emotions, and strengthen bonds.

Embark on a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and well-being with Dr. Remy Nelson’s Therapy Cards. Illuminate your path to inner harmony and make every day a step toward a healthier, more vibrant life.

Therapy Cards

Cartes de Thérapie

Tarjetas de Teerapia