Your 2 Basic Motivators in Life

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As I walk with people, I have noticed an obvious, LOUD truth.

There are 2 basic motivators in life.

Fear         or             Love.

Knowing this fact can change everything in how you view life.

Fear is darkness, love is light.

 

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (Jesus) – John 10:10 – NLT

 

When we align ourselves with the thief, we align with fear. If something is stealing, killing, or destroying you, it’s not from God.

When we draw near to Jesus, through His Word and through listening prayer inviting Holy Spirit to flow, our hearts will heal and grow in God’s love, and our minds are renewed in His truth.

 

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” – 1 John 4:18 – NLT

 

If you are walking in fear, you are believing a lie about who God is for you. Confess and nail the lie to the cross, breaking all agreements with it. Ask God for the truth instead. (If it is a deeply rooted lie, ask God to show you the root. It could be generational.)


How do you know if you are walking in love?
Read 1 Cor 13 and put your name in place of ‘love’ and see how it feels. If you are not feeling peace as you read it, do not beat yourself up. Simply confess to the Lord and ask for more of Holy Spirit. Love is a fruit of Holy Spirit, and not a fruit of striving.


Ask God:

What is my motivator? Fear or love? Where is my focus – on You God or my circumstances?

What am I believing about you God or myself or others that is causing me to walk in fear? Or to walk in love?

(In understanding other people…) What is behind that person’s behaviour? Fear or love? How are you inviting me to pray for the person who is walking in fear?


Prayer: “
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are the Prince of Peace. I fix my eyes on You and not on the wind and waves around me. I invite you to live within me and to increase Your presence in every area of my life. I choose Your peace to be my ruling power. Release Your heavenly angels to minister to me. Holy Spirit, come and fill me and seal me with your rest and peace. Amen.”

For further help walking out of fear, I’m happy to help.

Merri Ellen Giesbrecht, Life Coach & Spiritual Director 

My journey as a Christian Life Coach and Spiritual Director in Canada

person-walking-on-the-mountain-pathMy journey so far as a Christian Life Coach and Spiritual Director in Canada has been FAR FROM BORING.

Each day I feel like I’m walking the Emmaus Road with Jesus and my clients. 😀

I was recently asked how I got into this journey…

Throughout my life I have noticed that people have come to seek my perspective.

When I was resting from 10 years of institutional church pastoral ministry, I remember people coming to bless and encourage me. However, soon the conversation would shift. We would crack open God’s Word and bam – tears and healing would occur… in my guests! I could not believe it…

(Tears and healing happened for me too …often just the day before …because I too had been pressing into the Lord. I often wondered if God’s presence was simply lingering and they would step into that too.)

It definitely was an encouragement to see that when we are weak, God is strong.

(I had been recovering from a nervous system crash due to some trauma and so I felt pretty wimpy.)

On the very last day of my 2 years paid rest leave (it took that much time to walk and talk again normally), I told God, “Thank you for your incredible provision (of healing and His presence). I’m ready for whatever you have next.” I sat on top of a hiking hill path sitting on a rock in the sun with the Lord when I said that. It was a Good Friday. 🙂 Then, I turned back down the hill and ran into a couple who God had introduced me to years before. We hugged and prayed for each other. Just days later they invited me to join their ministry team as a Life Coach and Spiritual Director.

God sends me people who need guidance spiritually and in the natural (practical strategies). I have taken my training in numerous places – like a smorgasbord of tools to use. Yet, mostly what I rely on is my own relationship and experience with Holy Spirit and testing it according to God’s Word. Knowing Him personally and knowing His Truth has always been the key.

Each person who I meet with is on a unique path.

Psalms 143:10 was a key passage shared in our recent staff meeting…

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.

God’s spirit leads us for each person we walk with. His wisdom, mercy, grace, and compassion for each of my clients impacts us both every time.

If you’re looking for a Christian Life Coach and Spiritual Director in Canada, or across the border, to discover what firm footing He has for you too…

Learn more about my coaching services at: www.merriellen.com and where you can read testimonials.

What is Church?

I recently came across this powerful illustration on church. This comic book is basically a short introduction to a much longer conversation. If you’re a Christian who’s only experienced today’s institutional form of church, you’ve probably got several lingering questions. For instance, what about pastors? What about sermons? What about baptism, spiritual authority, the Lord’s Supper, and tithes?

In September of 2017, nearly 150 supporters came together to produce this comic book…

church-comic.png

Read the comic online for free here: http://www.unchurching.com/comic

There are also some powerful articles and blog posts on the growing movement towards BEING the church and building God’s kingdom. Could God be moving us towards being ONE body under the Headship of Jesus to answer His prayer in John 17?

Ready for a paradigm shift? 😉

Related: Francis Chan – Why the Megachurch can’t be the goal of the future

What Changed for Me? (Ashes to Beauty)

images-2Friends recently asked me what changed in my life this past year that brought on so much blessing, healing, and crazy adventures of delight and joy in Jesus.

I’ve been pondering this…

“God, why have you shown such grace and mercy?”

I have seen God do some INCREDIBLE things.

(This summer, I watched God bring on 70 physical healings (from torn ligaments, clenched jaws, scoliosis, injured necks, sprained ankles…) in teenagers I was sent to lead, along with hearts surrendered to a new full life in Jesus!)

…On top of this, I have the joy of leading people through inner healing sessions with Jesus and getting a front row seat to Him doing mighty things! Adults and teens in depression, anxiety, and addiction are experiencing deep healing by hearing God’s voice.

Every day I come home from work, I feel like I just saw Jesus perform another miracle.

How did this all begin to happen?

I look back…

Less than a year ago, I had the unfortunate job of confronting a man who’s behaviours negatively impacted multiple families including his own. Jesus helped me realize that his patterns of behaviour towards me and others were out of fear (which leads to manipulation and control, and in this case emotional and spiritual abuse). Yet, in order to break this cycle of fear, I chose to confront him in love.  Jesus strongly put it on my heart that I was to pray over the man for him to know that God’s love is greater than our fear. (Yes, this sounds humanly impossible to pray over a such a person. Only by the power of God can you do such a thing for someone who hurt others. I take no credit.)

The man wept, but only in sorrow. (Read: “5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman to learn the difference between sorrow and repentance) I left in peace with a strong boundary, and I moved on… ‘dusting off my feet’.

I had no idea what would come next…

God is SO good.

For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit gives you mighty power, love, and sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7  

There are basically 2 motives in our lives for why we do what we do…

Fear.

Or love.

Since that day, my health (in all aspects) improved like crazy. LIKE CRAZY. Could it be that walking in boldness brought on more of God’s power? …and more of His love and sound mind (and authority).

It appears the act of confronting someone in love and peace, seemed to immediately cut off the word curses once spoken over me and released healing and power flowing out to others like a bottle uncorked. (Confronting an abuser took lots of guided help. Do not try this on your own.)

Would you like God’s power, love and self-control to become ‘uncorked’?

Questions for you:

Is there someone in your life who has hurt you?

Invite Holy Spirit to come… and then…

Ask Jesus: “How do you see this person? How do you feel about this person?”

What He will show you will blow your mind! God wants to loan us His perspective on people and situations in our lives.

Ask Jesus: “What are you calling me to do, if anything for this situation/person?”

What Jesus shows you can transform the place you are in.

Share it with trusted advisors to pray with you.

Whether you are called to confront someone, or simply pray a release over them…,

Jesus waits for us to be ready to step into His resting place in order to blow us away with what He wants to do next…

Like I said to the teens I was ministering to this summer… “Are you ready to get wrecked by God’s mind blowing love?!” 😀

Check this out…

Paul Prays for Love to Overflow

14 …I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.

17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.

18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.

Ephesians 3:14-20  (TPT)

Jesus invites you to lay down your burdens at Jesus’ feet for Him to handle.

Then, walk forward in freedom and get ready to watch God do some mighty things!

(And if you have burdens that won’t go… and you need a life coach/spiritual director, feel free to contact me directly. I would delight in walking with you to Jesus’ freedom gift for you too.)

Blessings! 🙂

Recommended Reading: 
“5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman

Life After ‘Church’?

Since stepping away from traditional church and pastoral ministry, my journey has taken me on a sweet adventure. God has led my family away, not to find membership at another institutional church, though we had visited many and were warmly invited by many, but rather to take note of what God is up to… outside of the box.

He is doing a new thing…!

(Resource below…)

God is amazing.

We are enjoying a rich time. My family and I are involved in a growing disciple-making movement it appears. I’ve got 4 discipleship groups right now I’m leading or co-leading. We are also enjoying street ministry (simply offering to pray for people) and feeding the homeless. We have seen people come to Christ and getting physically healed of various illnesses. My favourite was an older man healed of serious back pain in Jesus’ name. The look on his face! Or the conversation I had about Jesus’ view of women (using the story of the Samaritan woman at the well) after I was asked about being a female pastor. 😀

(Just had a thought… Being a woman sharing hope on the street is somehow a more acceptable thing in some circles than being a woman sharing hope on a stage behind a pulpit. Strange…? Yet, I’m having more fun on the street these days!)

For us, it has been life on life led by Holy Spirit. No pressure, no rush… I just wake up in the morning, ask God what He has planned, linger with Him in the Word and in prayer, and then go. (I work on the side as a Life Coach and Spiritual Director and have recently been invited to partner with another ministry.)

There are eleven people I only met this year just walking my dog, or going to a coffee shop, or brought to meet me with a friend. God is on the move, on the street, and in our homes. The running joke at home is that I take forever to get a few groceries. I keep having some incredible conversations with people. 😀

Below is another resource that helped me digest, reflect, and embrace this new chapter for ourselves of intentionally being the living church (which takes less energy then we were used to in the past. Although, when I look at the list above of what we are doing, it’s much bigger somehow! That’s totally God. Not us!)

We love the Church! And God uses institutional churches. But, if you’re struggling with confusion within an institutional church, church politics, meetings and meetings and a lack of fruit, and you’ve wandered from institutional church to institutional church, but you love Jesus perhaps more than ever, this help may be like a breath of fresh air…!

LAC-ads

Life After Church (Audio Download)
We are in one of the most dramatic reorganizations of the structure of THE Church ever in human history. That is because the King is on the move and there is a dramatic next chapter coming. This album is one perspective from researcher Arthur Burk on where the King is going and how we can live this transition season for fullest effect. You ARE in a transition. The question is whether you will transition well and be part of the new move of God, or will be caught short…?  ***Sneak peek:

5 basic reasons people leave the church:

  1. Abusive authority.
  2. Community is found outside church. Church then became just a ritual.
  3. Leadership was hired on credentials rather than anointing and gifting.
  4. Money going to consumer comforts and an old building rather than outreach. 
  5. No clue why you left?? You just did and don’t know why.

God is raising up a new army. We are seeing the merging of the Fathering Movement and Church in the Marketplace coming together, merging into one stream. As we head into multiple ticking time bombs, God is getting ready for it.

In the light of church history, we are getting ready for something really big.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MOBILIZATION OF THIS MAGNITUDE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST EVER IN CHURCH HISTORY.

The Life ‘After Church’ signs are:

·         Decentralization- there is no human leader.

·         Design based, as each one of us dominates a small niche in our area of expertise.

·         People have learned to hear God directly for themselves (not relying on a pastor).

·         You don’t need structures, you can move NIMBLY, as Holy Spirit leads.

We are privileged to be in this season, to be a part of something so big it will rewrite human and church history. Each of us have been designed for this season, for such a time as this…  Learn more…

Unlearn in Order to Learn how to Disciple?

13 million people in 12 years through a disciple making movement?!!! (A few people in the Word started it all.)

This morning, I got to group Skype with a missionary on the other side of the world and hear how fast the Gospel is spreading. He had to unlearn things in order to learn how to truly make disciples.

I loved that he said some of his best leaders are women! 😀

What is a disciple making movement? Here’s one way to explain… 🙂 

Jesus Longs for His Church to Come Alive

I loved reading a book over the weekend written by a pastor who was told he needed to leave his institutional church in order to protect his health. Today, he leads a movement that has reached multiple countries.

Below is a quote from his wife excerpted from his book:

set free butterfly

“The Revolution is happening – it’s happening all over the world.

We are in a Reformation.
Acknowledge it or not.
Be a part of it or not.

Jesus longs for his church to come alive, to become a living, breathing organism. He longs for us to be in a real, live, intimate relationship with Him, regardless of others – and then in real, live relationship with our families – earthly and spiritual.

And, He’s begging us to come alive, be who we are as individuals, alive and free in Him, telling the world who and what He has done for us…

The enemy accepts that Christianity is in the world… but if he can just contain us, keep us from contaminating others, there’s little to worry about. If he can contain us in buildings, then the world will not know the truth and few will be set free. But what I saw in Kenya, I also see in America and other parts of the world.

The virus is leaking.

The Reformation of the 21st Century, led by the Holy Spirit, is taking Christianity out of containers into the open spaces of the neighborhoods and nations of the world.”

(Brooks & Roger Thoman. Simple/House Church Revolution (Kindle Locations 137-141). Download and read for free at: https://www.simplechurchrevolution.com)

He writes on his website: 

“In time, we began to see that this ‘paradigm shift’ (from institutional church to disciple making movement) was preparing us to train leaders in the multiplication of disciples, simple churches, and leaders.  …we saw tremendous fruit as disciples could quickly reproduce disciples and churches…

God used a dark season of our life to birth new purposes that were far above and beyond anything we might have dreamed on our own!”

(Learn more at: https://appleseedministry.com/about )

Supernatural Mothers

Godnurtures

God nurtures us. Image source: Today’s Christian woman

Oh, this weekend of Mother’s Day… I have always noticed that this day and Father’s Day carries with it special supernatural meaning because we are called to be family (and when that doesn’t happen, there’s deep pain.)

I pray more folks are adopted into loving community this weekend because they experience El Shaddai (“well breasted one”) because God nurtures us. I believe motherhood is a gift – whether you are a biological mom, or adopted mom, or a spiritual mom. Every woman has the potential to be like a healthy mother to others. I believe moms are created in God’s image. So, when you are rejected, unloved, that is not from God. I pray instead for healing and hope if this feels like you.

You are loved.
Love your people,
whether they are blood line or not.

Questions:

  1. What women in your life have been the hands and feet of God in His love and compassion? Take time to honour them, thank them, pray for them, remember them…
  2. What woman (or man) in your life, is God calling you to ‘mother’ (or ‘father’) on His behalf? Take time to ask Him who and what that should look like…
  3. Take the time this week to do that. Carry on the journey of Titus 2 intentional mentoring.

What Does Your Anger Look Like?

angry
How good are you at your anger management?
Where would you be on this scale…?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Anger Ladder ~ by Dr. Ross Campbell

1) Pleasant behavior;
2) Seeking resolution to the conflict;
3) Focusing anger on the source only;
4) Holding to the primary complaint, not to peripheral issues;
5) Thinking logically and constructively;
6) Unpleasant and loud behavior;
7) Cursing;
8) Becoming angry at someone else who is a bystander instead of at the source of the anger;
9) Expressing unrelated complaints;
10) Throwing objects;
11) Destroying property;
12) Verbal abuse;
13) Emotionally destructive behavior;
14) Physical abuse; and
15) Passive-aggressive behavior.

We should all strive to achieve the first 2 rungs of the Anger Ladder.
Which is ‘1’ ~ Pleasant behavior; & ‘2’ ~ Seeking resolution to the conflict; Dr Campbell suggests that we find out where we are on the Anger Ladder and move up one rung at a time.

The worst way for anyone to handle anger is through passive-aggressive (or PA) behavior. In PA behavior, a person uses indirect means to get back in anger at another person — for example, procrastinating, stubbornness, intentional inefficiency and “forgetfulness.” The person acts in these ways to provoke anger. A PA person refuses to accept responsibility for his or her own behavior.

Note that PA is at number ’15’ which is worse than ’13’ ~ Emotionally destructive behavior; & ’14’ ~ Physical abuse; because it is not easily noticed.

Note: Dr Campbell did mention a “16” which represents Homicidal attempts, homicidal threats and homicide which is worst but it’s not covered in the scope of his book  ‘How to Really Love Your Teenager’ (Amazon afflink).

After 2 unsuccessful attempts at mediation with someone who has hurt me in the past and looking at the scale above, I can see why trying yet another time is unwise. A person seeking true reconciliation should demonstrate the first two rungs on the ladder, and not 7, 9, 12, 13 and 15. I have forgiven and moved on, but see that for reconciliation to occur, honour and respect and sincere apology must happen. Forgiveness and trust restored/reconciliation are two different things. Sigh. I pray that they can also find the inner healing in order to restore their own broken relationships within their biological family.

How are you doing at expressing your anger? For deep inner healing, I recommend the following process…