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Wednesday, February 12 2014

This year, my husband and I are going out for an “un-valentine dinner” the day after Valentine’s Day. 

 

Flash back to the beginning of our marriage...

Husband:  “Valentine’s is a made-up, trumped-up, exploitive Hallmark day.” 

Wife (that would be me):  “If you were just more romantic and loved me more, you wouldn’t feel that way.” (Fight ensues, tears flow, and wedge is built.)



Flash forward to this year...

Husband:  “Every weekend is Valentine’s for us.”

Wife (that would be me):  “You are right!  Let’s boycott Valentine’s Day this year and deliberately stay home.” (Laughter ensues and bond is strengthened.)



What in the world happened in the last 10+ years that changed our way of thinking and our pattern of relating?

Simply put, God’s healing!...Following God’s ways, sacrificial love, healing of heart and mind, and believing and living out His truths makes every day Valentine’s Day.  If Valentine’s Day is about letting your loved one know that he/she is known, appreciated, loved, and special, then everyday as a Christian can be Valentine’s Day!   And, it can be whether you’re married, divorced, single, or widowed. (I do agree now with my husband that it is a trumped-up day, which can make people with no significant other feel very insignificant.)  Once we receive God’s amazing, unconditional love for us, then it becomes easy to share that with our loved ones!

By all means, if you feel led, celebrate Valentine’s Day this year (or join us for “Un-Valentine’s Day” if you want), but remember your Maker and Creator sends you His valentines EVERY day of the year!  It doesn’t depend on someone else (though that is icing on the cake); it is about you and your Heavenly Lover!

 

“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!” (Song of Songs 1:15)

 

You are fearfully and wonderfully made and extremely and unconditionally loved. Let Him woo your heart and bask in that love! No one will love you like He does or take better care of your heart!  May He give you the grace to receive!

 

"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us."   (St. Augustine)

 

How about you? What are your feelings about Valentine's Day?

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, February 08 2014

I love my job!

Some people wonder how I can sit and listen to people's problems, the atrocities of life and the effects of evil all day long; day in and day out for the last 29 years without getting depressed, burned out or overwhelmed.

BUT, that's really not what I do.  As a Christian counselor, who uses the Holy Spirit as the great counselor, I get to watch God at work each day.  The problems are just a launching pad for the God of the impossibilies to show up and act on behalf of the person.  And not only that, I get to learn, grow, and be healed right along with my clients!  (Shhhh, don't tell, or I might not get paid!)

Recently in a session, a client made the comment,  "Well, I guess God can use me. I'm not that bad."  As a result, God led me to share Psalm 139 with her.

You have searched me, Lord, and know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

God knows us.  God is thinking about us.  God understands us!

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

God is involved in our lives and created us not only uniquely, but purposefully!

Relating this scripture in a personal way allowed her to see that God had made her unique for His purpose and reason.  How incredible to think that he knows her that deeply and intimately!  Isn't it amazing that God thought her up to be 'just who she is' for Him (and the same is true for you and me)!  He does all this for His glory and enjoyment, and her fulfillment.  Wow!

As I continued to share, I said out loud, "I've always questioned why verses 19-22 are in that Psalm?"

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!  Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn't I hate those who hate you?  Shouldn't I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.

Why did David have to break into this love letter with a diatribe on hate, evil and slaying the wicked?  It just seemed distasteful to me.

Yet, knowing God had a purpose, I kept asking why?  That day God gave me the 'why' as I prayed for my client over Psalm 139.  Out of my mouth, unbeknownst to me, came the answer...

"Thank you God, that no evil and no enemy can steal from her what You have ordained."  Which means no evil can take away her true identity in You (God) or steal Your (God's) purpose for her life.

That was the 'why"!  What a HUGE Revelation!

There will be evil that tries to steal or destroy what God has ordained for us to have!

As I continued to pray; MORE revelation from verses 23-24!

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Evil CANNOT steal our true identity or our life purpose, if we allow God to renew our hearts and minds.

As a counselor, I know that it's not the problems that define us or change the course of our lives.  It is how we deal with the problems, and what we believe about them and ourselves that set the course.  We have choice in that!

Healing, wholeness and freedom is the intent God has for all of us. We are to walk in His everlasting ways, and bring Him Glory here on earth through being 'just who He made us to be'!  He is more than able to accomplish this if we let Him!

Oh, how I love my job!  As God was healing my client with His truth that day, I was getting uplifted, encouraged and edified!  Nothing can separate us from the love of God and His purposes for us.  My faith grew as He spoke His truth deeper into me that day.

How about you?  Do you believe what He says in Psalm 139 about who you are and the purpose for your life?

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 12:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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