The Gift of True Friendship

58227da52ba860fe8510f9be725df51eOne Saturday I was out shopping  with my husband in our new area here in Texas. The store was pretty busy and I was frantically looking for something with baby Jesus on it for our Christmas decorations. All of a sudden I began to notice something. The store was filled with women and most of them were coupled with one friend. There is nothing like a fun friend to shop with, right? I think I could spend hours shopping, then have lunch, and shop some more.

It’s not about the shopping that makes it so great. It’s about the company of a true friend. There is nothing quite like it. Its about the laughter, the tears, the understanding, the sharing, and the caring. Every woman needs that “one friend” that always stands out against the others. You know the one I am talking about. It’s the friend who hears your voice sounding down on the other end of the phone and says, “I’m coming to pick you up and we are going for coffee and anything chocolate!” That one person who “gets you” more than any other ever could. It’s the sisterhood that nothing can sever no matter what is going on in life. She laughs with you and hurts in her heart when life has thrown something nasty at you.

Her love and caring go beyond space and time. She can be far away and you know she would be there in ten seconds if you ever needed her and you would do the same for her. You can tell her your deepest secrets, she knows the faults you carry, and can count all of the victories you have experienced.

You have been there for each other. Bad hair days are not a huge deal, and neither really cares if you put make up on today, or if you look like something the cat drug in because you cried yourself to sleep. You feel one another’s prayers, hold each others heart in yours, and automatically know if the other is not doing well without even being told.

You laugh at the same jokes, have several inside jokes that no one else understands, and can tell one another’s stories because you have listened to them over and over without tiring of them.

The spirit of true friendship is a gift from God. Sisterhood is a love that goes beyond any other type of love. It’s like a warm fuzzy blanket when the world has been much colder than we ever hoped for and like that first cup of coffee that opens our eyes with the new dawn.

If you have a true friend like I just described, you are a fortunate and blessed lady! If you don’t then I pray that for you right now. God bless the gals whose hearts go with us where ever we go!

Proverbs 17:17 

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother/sister/friend is born for a time of adversity.

2 Kings 2:2 

“Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So THEY went down to Bethel.”

In Love and Friendship,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Do You Need to Be Set Free From a Controller?

canstockphoto11547372-300x199Control is not the same as command. A person who is in command of their life is one who knows their boundaries and expresses them. A commanding person is like the general of their own life. That person knows what they want in life and knows what they don’t want, so they let others know what is acceptable and what is not. The commanding person stands at the gate of their life and they will allow those through the gate that will respect, honor, and value them as a person even if they disagree. This also means that if there are those who will not respect them as a person then the gate is shut. They might still love them, but their actions are not allowed through the gate. Yet, command never seeks to manipulate someone to do things their way in order to get through the gate. It loves people as they are as people, but does not accept their behavior.

Control seeks to manipulate people to do things their way. It is a spirit that attaches itself to a wound that says, “I am not enough,  I do not have enough, or I will lose what I have”. So, what happens is the person has evil spiritual influences that say, “My way or the highway, or “you will be punished if I don’t get my way”. A controlling person has unreasonable boundaries. This spirit will state, “If you don’t do things my way then you are not acceptable as a person and you must be punished”.

You can always tell when there is a controlling situation because people around them who are being controlled are afraid to cross their decisions and controlling actions. Control feeds on the FEAR of others. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you are respecting a controlling person by doing their bidding regardless to how close to them you might be. A controlling person does not live to get respect, they live to get their way and impose it upon others.

A spirit of control is a hard one to get someone to release. The inner wounds below the surface need to be addressed and healed first. Once those are released then the controlling spirit is weakened and then they can be spiritually cast away.

How do you know if you are being controlled?

  1. Are you unhappy when you feel you have to succumb to someone else’s needs and desires?
  2. Does this person keep you from family and those you love because they don’t accept them?
  3. Do they have your best interest at heart and not just their own?
  4. In order to get their way do they have to put someone else down or start gossip about them?
  5. Does this person act out of love and protection or hatred of other human beings?
  6. Are they selfish in their quest for money or power?
  7. Will they take what they want with no regard to your feelings or reputation?
  8. Do they make you feel comfortable and happy around them or nervous and self conscious?

A person with a controlling spirit will get rid of you if you stand in their way of what they perceive is their own happiness. This is an illusion. It takes a lot of energy to keep up controlling behavior. So that person will try to recruit others to control with them. Usually this is done by putting someone down or trying to discredit another.

How do you break free? 

One way is by telling that person the truth about themselves. I know it will be most likely be met with hostility, but the truth is what sets people free, not enabling their behavior. Another is by keeping your distance until or unless that person decides to release their wounds and release that controlling spirit. Sometimes it takes a person to hit the bottom in life in order for them to see this. Many who are controlling are so afraid of losing things that they hold onto them too tightly. FEAR controls their life and they don’t even see it!

Romans 16:17-18Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting”.

Titus 3:10Reject a factious man/woman after a first and second warning,

Keep in mind, you are not hating the person, but rejecting their actions. Some people we just can not have in our lives because to be in them will cause chaos. God wants you to walk in peace and that takes wisdom! We all need to be the gate keepers of our own lives. Not everyone out there is someone you can trust! So please do not trust a controlling person! It will cause more problems in your life than you can imagine.

Pray for the person instead. Pray for them to get a breakthrough healing and a deliverance from that controlling spirit. Forgive them of their deeds but do not accept their actions back into your life unless they have truly changed. Walk in wisdom. Love the person from afar because love is a spiritual and delivering power. Pray for your own healing for the things that have caused you to allow their control in your life and ask for deliverance from the weakness and fear you have had. Then STAND in your own God given power!

Dear Jesus, with your authority I release those who are being controlled by someones wounded heart and controlling spirit. Heal their wounds that cause fear and deliver them from the control and manipulation of others in Your mighty name! Deliver and set free those who control and show them what it is to command instead! We love You Lord and are grateful for Your delivering power! amen

Walking free,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching

Do you need healing and deliverance prayer concerning control?

800-421-1765 (leave a message for a prayer time to be scheduled)

In Your Defense: Have You Been Wronged?

Rev Jenine MarieI’ve been thinking a lot lately about what happens when others do us wrong. I think if you live on this planet you have been in that situation a time or two (or maybe more). We can be so strong while getting through hard things in life but our hearts still can be so very fragile. It’s hard to even explain why we are that way. Have you ever tried to just get over something to find that it almost feels impossible? I am talking about a situation where you have confronted the issue, given it to God, written in your journal, meditated on solutions, went to hypnotherapy, talked to well meaning friends, got your hugs from family members, or cried your last tear. If the issue has been devastating enough you have probably tripled this list of things you have done to get over it all and let it go. Maybe you have even worked on forgiveness, which is the most honorable thing to do. It can be hard though. I completely understand.

Sometimes I think to myself, “If only that person would be sorry for what they did”. Or maybe, “Things would feel better if that employer got what is coming to them”. These are things that might never happen or it might just take a long time. Going to God and forgiving and asking Him to take the pain, heal it, and help us to move on, is a great solution. I know people though, and I know we take back everything we give to Him and go just “one more time around the same old mountain”. This does not happen every time but it happens a lot. What is it that keeps us tied to situations that were devastatingly hard on us or we were really given the short end of the stick? What about that love relationship that ended up to be nothing you thought it would and your heart was ripped to pieces?

I took some time to pray and ask God what would have made some situations I had in my life a little easier to get over. I really had to dig into the spirit a bit to figure out what would have made things better during those hard moments. Certainly talking to those who care has always helped. There is no treasure in life quite like a good and compassionate friend who will listen and love us through our words and our hurts. Yet, there was something else that came to me that I know really helps when situations are hard to let go of. I came to this conclusion:

When people let us down and do very mean things to us it really helps if someone wisely stands up and defends us.

Of course this can’t occur in every situation, but for those that it can happen for it really is healing when others give us a defense. I worked at a commercial bank a long time ago and my manager really was putting the stress on me. I had to walk away from my job and my life suffered because of it. I move onward but it really bothered me every day because I felt no one understood. Then a phone call came one day and I was told that a co-worker came to my defense before management. She made her case so well that everything that came against me was revealed. I never went back to that employer but I healed a great deal that day! What really made a huge difference is someone came to my defense, and truth was aired out! The truth always sets people free!  I know God had a huge hand in that one because the whole burden lifted from me immediately!

If you ever want to really heal someone who has endured something very hard, then stand up for their character, and tell the truth about them. Defense is something that is so very Godly and so very healing. You need to be brave and also wise as well. First make sure it is a can of worms that should be opened and it won’t cause more issues for the person you are defending. If you can, get their permission first. We need to be wise stewards of our loved ones situations and confidential information. I guarantee you though, if done right, you will be a breath of fresh air for someone who has been really harmed in life. God defends us as His children. He knows he whole truth about every situation. His word says to see wrong doing and do nothing is to condone it. Keep in mind that sometimes being a good listening ear is the door way to  a great healing for someone. Yet, there are times, if we are given the green light, when defense is a real healer and brings a settling into a hurting person that helps them move on with life.

Can you think of times when you wish you had someone to defend you when done wrong? I pray GOD Himself will be your defense, but that He will also send someone special to be your “defense attorney” in that situation as well. We all need a solution that settles our hearts and lives. I hope for you freedom and also opportunities to be the liberator!

In Your Defense,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching

http://jeninemarie.com

 

 

 

Woman To Struggling Woman

single-parent-2aI remember having a neighbor who was a single mom of a couple teen aged kids. I could feel the stress without even knowing her because I was a single mom with five kids in years gone by. It is not an easy position to hold in this world. Single mothers get battered by society a great deal. People don’t always know this because we don’t always talk about it. I know I didn’t talk about it too much because I did not want to be judged for mistakes I knew I made and times I knew I fell short. Life was hard enough without any added judgement stress.  It’s a struggle. Anyway, the neighbor I am speaking of was obviously in a struggle all of the time and I know most of us could hear her struggle from across the street and down the block. Her lights were on from early in the morning until late at night and I wondered if this woman ever slept at all.

I also heard the neighborhood speculations, criticism, judgements, and scorn that people placed upon her. I felt bad to hear about it, and even worse, that I did not have the courage at the time to do something that might have helped her. I often watched her with her children rushing them into the car, yelling for them to hurry up or they would be late, or sometimes warning them to do something or some consequence was going to occur. I heard over and over from fellow neighbors what an abusive person she was and how horrible it must be for her children.

In Comparison:

Not long ago in Texas there was an incident where a bunch of teens were throwing stones at police officers because of outrage concerning a recent racial issue. Our local news station broadcasted a woman who had recognized her son in the crowd, I think attempting to throw rocks at police officers. The reporter and camera swung over to this “mad mama” just in time to catch her grabbing her son by the scruff of the collar, screaming and yelling at him, threatening him ultimate punishment and pushing him along to get him home. Anyone watching this scenario knew that young man was going to catch holy heck the moment he got home! The praise that went out regarding that mom was massive! The feeling was that there would be one less young man that society was going to have to worry about, either now or later on in life, because his mama made sure his discipline was fast and strict. She won the admiration of many. Oh there were scoffers too, but mostly admiration.

Here’s the question…

I had to wonder what the difference was between that mom who went to physically grab her son and the neighbor woman I had who basically was doing the same thing. Before I go further, I want to say, that in no way shape or form do I ever want to imply that abuse of another human being, especially a child, is alright. What I do want to say, is that we do not know or understand what is going on in another families situation. We don’t know what single mothers are going through and we do not know what is going on with the children or teens merely by speculation. The Bible tells us that we “know in part”. This means every situation, when it comes to people, has hidden things just like God has hidden mysteries. We can never properly discern a distant situation and say we know all things about it. We can not even discern all things close to us and say we know  everything. People have hidden things in their hearts and only God alone knows those hidden things.

We have wounds, scars, issues, confusion, and more. So, how can we not have compassion on those who obviously are struggling? Women who are mothers and have to care for their children alone are already scarred by the things she has had to suffer that caused her to be a single mother. She also carries scars from the things that society also will cause her to suffer just trying to get through every passing day and make it to the next. Single mothers are brave human beings. We get up earlier than everyone else because we are the ones who get everyone started. We go to bed later because we are the ones who will make sure things are safe for everyone to lay down to rest. We prepare for the next day,  create strategy for the future of our children, and fight the continual battles that come at us from every single direction. We work harder than anyone can imagine with very little recognition along the way. Then the even harder part is we do it fighting the rest of the world all the way.

I wonder if anyone thought of my past neighbor as a hero? I wonder if anyone ever thought of me as a hero? I did not even know that I was or that I am. I do now.

Ladies, part of being powerful is remembering to empower each other by acceptance, assistance, and understanding. Granted, these days when we offer a struggling single mother assistance we might get our head chewed off. I think it can be expected. After all, look how society probably has judged and made it hard for her. I know, because I remember the neighbor families who talked about the woman I lived near. I also know because I heard the whispers that went around about myself from neighbors when I was in that position. If we ever want to see women surpass the pressures we go through in this life, we have to learn to not press one another down. Bottom line, we have to see ourselves in each other, because we are one another. Our situations might not all be the same but we all have one. We were made by God with the same job to do and we were also meant to help one another while the men went to battle the forces and feed the village in centuries past.

Think about how much easier life can be if we choose willingly to lift one another up, help each other succeed, and give understanding to one another in our struggles. Can you imagine a world that much easier? I know I can. A thought to ponder….

Sincerely Yours,

Rev. Jenine Marie Howry

** Photo Credit: ThinkStock Images/Comstock Images/Getty Images

 

 

 

Truth and Acceptance Without Judgement

It can be easy to go through life with a judgmental eye and see fault in everything we see. The problem with this is we end up not loving anything at all. Our lives become dis-empowered and filled with dissension. A heavy cloud of continual judgement brings grief to the soul. If you are not a believer of this reality try going through life for one full day and pick apart everything. An experiment of the negative is enough to show anyone what zaps our power and love more than anything else.

Adding truth to our lives is important. If it were not for truth about things we would not be walking in reality. No one faces a giant without knowing the truth of a situation. So, where do we draw the line when truth is not exactly positive? We can learn to walk with acceptance of what our circumstances are without judging it one way or the other. A person can actually act as an observer about life and know, or report, the truth of a situation without feeling the need to condemn it all. Acceptance is empowering because once something is accepted we can deal with it in more of a mater of fact way. We can’t judge it and make it negative and feel empowered through it.

In God’s eyes “all things work together for good” so if we want to walk in that truth we need to learn how to activate acceptance in our lives and situations. Quiet contemplation with God on His truth regarding our journey will bring ease on the path.

If you want to be empowered and confident in the things you do, then learn the art of  acceptance in all things and then work through them one step at a time. Judgement will inevitably bring failure in the midst of things and certainly not a good attitude about them. To walk in acceptance of the truth is to walk in love. So love yourself today and don’t judge the truth, the process, or the outcome!

I pray for you to walk an empowered and confident life today! Laugh, cry, pray, and gather to pray. Don’t deny the truth of what occurs in life but embrace it all, knowing that the outcome will be for your good!