Thursday, February 26, 2009

From Parent to Child

I gave you life, but I cannot live it for you,
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn,
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to Church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honour.
I can advise you about friends, but I cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I cannot build your reputation.
I can tell you about alcohol, but I cannot say NO for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can't prevent your using them.
I can tell you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make your morals.
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God's Family.
I can Pray for you but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you Eternal Life........


Patrick Atkinson © 1978, 2003

The older I get the more I realize this to be true, but the good news is that we have a God that is big enough to do all these things for our children. Our responsibility as they get older and we have done all that we can do, is to pray for them. Someone gave this to me the other day and I just had to share it. When they are little we do all we can to instill Godly values and train them up in God's ways but as they get older we need to let go and trust God with them and all that we have put in them. It has been my experience that although it doesn't always happen when and just how we had imagined that God is faithful to His promises and will bring them back and do above and beyond what we could think or imagine.

Proverbs 22:6 (New Living Translation)

Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Extreme Makeover Inside and Out

On March 14th a group of Life Coaches will be presenting a Women's Conference called:
"Extreme Makeover" from the Inside Out"
This is a first and will probably be a very small group of attendees. The theme is Transforming our lives from the inside to the outside and will include both teachings on inward change and outside change.
The group will include:
  • Carolyn Reynolds (my life coach) : Her teaching is called "Soften My Heart" and is about your heart being open to God and fellowship with him. She will be speaking on putting down pride in our lives and living a life of humility.
  • Charlyn Thomasson Her teaching is called, Look at My Shoes
    We don’t need to look far to see a makeover. All we have to do is flip through a magazine or turn on the TV. Most people enjoy seeing a woman gain confidence from a makeover…a total makeover from her hairstyle all the way down to her shoes! There’s a God given desire of the heart to experience a transformation. Is there a connection between my inside makeover and an outside makeover? What does God say about outer and inner beauty? We will examine these questions as we have some fun learning style tips which suit your personality, lifestyle, and budget.
    "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27
  • Kathy Cunningham (that's me) - I will be teaching: How to Grow a Seed of Hope: Life is hard. Life is messy. How do we keep hope alive and growing in our hearts when difficulties and disappointments are all around us. How do we move from hopelessness to hope, from discouragement to encouragement. Learn the seven essential elements of growing hope in your heart and spirit even in the most difficult of times.
    "And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us." Romans 5:5
  • Kathy Green - : Kathy's teaching is, "Singing in the Rain." Kathy is a single mom who has overcome many obstacles both inside and out and will be sharing how God did an "Extreme makeover" on her.
  • Cathy Fox: Cathy is in transition in life and is going to teach on: TAKE A STEP-
    Whether the wind is at your back or not Stepping into a new season or a new opportunity takes courage and vision. The path to : new things may be a narrowing road where you find some options are not available any longer, leading you to the open doors that are swinging wide for you as you approach them. The path you take may not be greatly traveled by others, yet the most rewarding path of all. Don't allow the noise of new circumstances cause you to cling to things that would better serve you by being left behind.
  • Natalie Kane: Natalie works at A Woman's Place Ministries and is a consultant for Heartbeat International: Natalie will be offering "Reflections" throughout the conference.
Please pray for us and for God to send those who need to hear these messages. A better view of the flyer is on my Web site at
To see each of the Coaches profiles go to
and click on the state of Florida.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Get Over It" Part II - Healing the Angry Heart

Here are some guidelines to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry and heal an Angry Heart.

1. Make a choice not to overreact in anger:
This is a conscious choice and decision. You must set your heart and mind to change, to turn from an old way, pattern or habit and allow the Word of God to transform you.
At first this will be a deliberate, almost mechanical decision you will make to in response to each and every situation you encounter that angers or upsets you.

"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live"
Deut 30:19

2. Allow yourself a chance to step back from what has happened before you react:
You must answer the question, "Why ?"
What is it about this encounter or situation that upsets you so much? Is it a control issue? It is a fear issue? is this an unresolved hurt issue? Do you feel violated?
Sometimes the reason is obvious but sometimes you need to slow down and take a closer look at what the real issue is.

"Do you see a man/woman who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him" Prov. 29:20

3. Take Responsibility:
Be responsible and own up to your good and bad responses. You can't blame your personality, family or circumstances. Humility is an crucial part of taking responsibility. Humility deals with your part without worrying about anyone elses part. '

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's might hand, that he may lift you up in due time"
I Peter 5:6

4. Learn from your mistakes:
This is the natural progression of taking responsibility. When we take responsibility for our mistakes, we are in a position to grow.

" For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again." Prov. 24:16

5. Forgive, forgive and forgive:
Forgive those who have hurt you. There are no except clauses in this. Again, another conscious choice and decision. We are forgiven the way we forgive. When we don't release others through forgiveness, we find it difficult to release ourselves.

"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Matt 6:12

6. Step out of the way and make room for God.
When the situation still seems hopeless after you have forgiven and done what is necessary to reconcile, then you are in a position to step back and say as David said, "May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you" I Sam. 24:12
We will live in frustration and anger if we think we are ultimately in charge.

We can choose to live a life without regret, without fear and without dragging along the chains of our past but it does take awareness, the 'hard work of change' and most of all the Word of God in our hearts.

Recommended Books on Anger:
Be Angry But Don't Blow It! by Lisa Bevere
The Anger Workbook. by Les Carter

Friday, February 13, 2009

How to "Get Over It!" Part I

This is Part I of the conclusion to the "Anger" series. I can tell by all the comments that everyone is loving this subject.
What do we do when anger overcomes us? We have discussed, "What caused the Anger" and "When that Angry feeling turned into Sin", so now we need to "Get OVER it" - Why? Because as we saw - the anger is hurting the angry person more than everyone else, plus it is what God has commanded us to do.

If it is a situation that needs to be talked about or confronted we go to scripture for our answer:

"If another believer sins again you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back." Matt 18:15

Now, how you approach this person has a lot to do with the outcome.
  • Confront with LOVE (that means, Be Nice)
  • Use "I" Messages (I felt hurt when you.......)
  • Use the sandwich approach. (I appreciate so many things about you but I felt hurt when.....happened but I value our relationship enough to work this out)
  • Doesn't Work? Then you have done your part so...."Let it Go" and forgive.
Remember who the enemy is.........Satan
  • He encourages us to remember the pain.
  • To hold it in and not release it
  • The longer the offense goes unresolved the more deep seated it becomes.
  • Satan is the accuser of the brethren
  • he wants to consume our joy, our peace, our rest and our health
  • Satan will catch the scent of offense like a lion detects blood.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. Prov 4:23 (NLT)

"Be Careful! Watch out for attacks from he devil, your GREAT enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour." I Peter 5:8 (NLT)

Next Post: Part II How to Get Over It.....Healing the Angry Heart.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

When Anger Becomes Sin

Let's look at the anger cycle from the feeling of anger to it becoming a sin.
  • Ready - Feeling
  • Aim - Thinking
  • Fire - Acting
When the "feeling" begins - stop and ask yourself, "Why am I feeling like this?"
Let's go back to Cain:
  • Cain Blamed Abel for God's disapproval
  • Cain felt anger
  • God asked him "why" he was angry
  • God already knew but He wanted Cain to acknowledge it
  • Cain never dealt with the real issue of why he was angry
Cain was in the ready position (feelings) he was angry - but he hadn't taken aim or fired yet. God tried to warn him. God gave him an opportunity to think, but he didn't listen, instead Cain allowed the anger to become sin.

To successfully deal with anger we must always first honestly answer the question God asked of Cain, "Why are you angry?"

Anger is the result of four other emotions:
  • Hurt
  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Injustice
It looks like this:

Someone offends you
You feel one of the above emotions
This turns to the feeling of anger
You begin to think about what to say to them
You begin to tell others about the offense
You feel uncomfortable around that person now
You begin to distance yourself from them
You now have resentment toward them
Anger has now become Bitterness

The bitterness is now too uncomfortable to hold in so you may lash out or gossip or withhold relationship in an effort to punish them. Unforgiveness can creep in which leads to broken relationships, destroyed trust and deep roots of resentment.

The thing most people fail to realize is - the person who is most hurt when we get to this point is the person who is angry. It is exhausting to live with anger and bitterness.

This is what the word says we should do:

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31,32

Next Post: What is the Solution? How to Heal from an Angry Heart.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Causes Anger?

First, let's look at a few facts about "Anger":
  • Anger occurs everyday in most people in some form
  • is a common God given emotion
  • is a feeling that is aroused by a real or supposed wrong
  • Studies have proven that most of us develop our anger response as small children.
  • There is a fine line between anger and sin
  • We have permission to be angry but not to the point of sin.
"Be angry, and do not sin" do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

Jesus was angry at the money changers in the Temple. John 2

When was the last time you were anger? What makes you Angry? How does it show up in your personality? Think about these questions as we look at What Causes Anger.

Anger is an emotion of self- preservation in which you are standing up for one of three things.

1. Personal Worth: Anger is ignited when a person perceives rejection or invalidation.
Question to consider: If you are angry do you feel like you have been rejected or invalidated in some area of life or by someone in your life?

Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? ..........sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. " Gen 4:5-7

Essential Needs: When our needs are not addressed or validated the result is emotional turmoil. We feel hurt and angry. Unmet needs may be the need for affection, love, belonging, communication, someone to care, security....
Question to consider: If you are angry is there an unmet need that is causing it

David's son Absalom is an example of anger over an unmet need. 2 Sam 14:23-25

3. Basic Convictions: We become angry when our fundamental convictions are ignored or not respected by others. These convictions can be moral but may be based on personal beliefs and personality such as a very detail person's convictions can be disrespected by a person that puts no attention to detail. Or the way a person treats another person may go against our basic convictions.
Side note: Being right can sometimes lead to being wrong..

Question to consider: if you are angry is someone or something ignoring or not respecting your basic convictions?

Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the month he did not eat, because he was grieved at his fathers shameful treatment of David. 1 Sam 20:34

As you go through your week and you find yourself feeling angry or offended, ask yourself which of these three areas are causing this anger. It's ok to feel anger, it is what you do with that feeling that causes it to become a sin or not.

Next Post: When Anger Becomes Sin.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Old Patterns and Habits

Do you have any areas of your life that no matter how hard you try, how many times we determine not allow that particular pattern to be in our lives, it still creeps in. Have you prayed and memorized scripture and yet you find yourself back in that old habit again? It talks in Hebrews 12:1 about a sin that so easily trips us up (NLT). I do believe that due to our personalities, background and maturity we all have particular areas that we have to consistently stay on top of or they will overcome us. For some it is excessive worry, or it could be anger, or pride, or lying. The list could go on and on.

For me, the pattern, habit or sin that so easily trips me up is anger. When I was much younger the anger was evident to all around me, but through the years and hopefully some maturity it is an area that I have with God's help gotten under control. But, it is an area of my life that I have to be constantly on guard about. I have done so well in this area in recent years that I really was convinced that I had it conquered, I had been delivered and was quite pleased with myself. Recently in the last few months, I have seen this pattern or habit rise up again and although it has made me sad that I have not conquered it completely, it has been a reminder to me that we can never become so confident that we let down our guard in these areas that we know are struggles for us. The good thing is that when I get angry now, it doesn't look like it used to. It isn't so outward, more inward and I am very aware of it. I used to ignore it or excuse it due to my personality but now I continue to realize it is not an option and I must continue to strive to rid my life of it or at least turn it around very quickly.

So as a reminder to myself and others I am going to take the next few posts to talk about Anger. What causes it, when does it become sin and how do you heal from it and let it go.

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you." Eph 4:26

Scary picture! :)