Do You Cover in Love?

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There is a particular nature or way of being that comes from the spirit of God. I dare to call them characteristics. Sometimes I think we forget we are God’s expression on this earth and our manors are not precisely what they can be. Of course, every person has a choice as to what character they want their conversation to follow. We can follow God’s characteristics or be unempowered and follow the human ego part that creates chaos instead of contentment.

One thing about God’s nature is the idea of covering. God covers. In the story of Adam and Eve, when they were naked in the garden due to their own choices, God created a covering for them. God created clothing that gave them the better things in life despite their intentions. The best they could do in their ego-self was to find fig leaves. God gave them clothing of animal skins that protected and covered. In the story, God’s act shows a character that covers, has warmth and guards with love.

Adam and Eve need not be exposed for their transgression. They already felt repentant enough, yet God took their guilt and shame along with the half-hearted way to cover their “sins” and replaced it with what is better and more protective. God’s forgiving character and the loving manner is one we should display daily. Covering someone instead of exposing them to coldness comes from real love. Exposing loved ones to others’ bitterness by our tongues only brings shame and guilt upon oneself. Remember, we reap what we sow. If we cover instead of exposing and if we truly love instead of operating from ego, our lives will be blessed with the goodness that God promised in the garden of Eden.

I suppose we all have to ask ourselves what we truly deserve. Is it reaping hot coals upon our heads or shivering in the cold, or do we deserve to be covered with the warmth of forgiveness, protection, and light?

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

JenineMarie.com

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Characteristics of Love: Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs (Forgives) and MORE!

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I’m almost at the end of my series on love as it is described in the bible. I think this one is harder for most people than the rest, but it sure is not hard for God. Love keeps no record of wrongs. This means true God-love forgives, but more than that. It also means that true love forgets as well. Aren’t you glad that God is not sitting somewhere with a list of all of the things you are forgiven for but He does not forget? Aren’t you glad every time you mess up God does not bring up all of the times you messed up before?

Real love that does not come from human ego does not keep a list of what happened 10 years ago or even longer. True forgiveness is also forgetfulness. When we love someone we forget their past transgressions and keep on loving them. It’s alright to have different opinions and agree to disagree. What I am talking about is when one person wrongs another. Love forgives them and then forgets it. This happens even if there is no settlement of the issue. Love endures FOREVER. Love endures strife, disagreement, disappointment, and even the most hurtful things that can come up in human existence.

If you think this is hard then maybe turn it around. How do you want love to be when you mess up? We all want forgiveness and forgetfulness. We want second chances and even more. Where love resides we want the important parts of love to endure forever and the rest to fall away. It’s called healing, oneness, kindness, compassion, understanding, and wisdom. It takes maturity to have this kind of love. It gives us all something to strive for. To love freely without condemnation is the greatest gift ever. To continue to love when rejected, torn, and hurt, is God’s way.

We all lose our way. We anger, we have upset emotions and our hurts are exposed for anyone around us. That’s actually a good thing. Nothing heals when hidden. Jesus said the truth sets us free. That works with everything. Forgiveness sets us free. Forgetfulness sets the other free. What kind of love would you like to embody?

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

When We Love Others It Should Open Their Hearts Not Close Them

IMG_20170904_140736_219Not long ago I had a deep prayerful conversation with someone who has deeply touched my life. I think this person by far has been the strongest and yet most humbled I have known. We talked about who deserves Christ, the love of God, and how the Body of Christ is supposed to be “as one” just as Jesus is one with our Holy Father. There is no doubt we have a dysfunctional family but we are family none the less. Yet Jesus prayed we be one.

The oneness Jesus spoke of is not just one church body within an organization but through the whole Body of Christ. Yes, we fall short of that for sure. If we are ever supposed to achieve what Jesus asked for then we have to let down our guard, open our hearts, and allow bridges to be rebuilt where they have been torn down. We will never do this if we treat one another as an inconvenience.

Bottom line, lack of forgiveness is at the root of our demise. So many are unwilling to forgive or to allow their inner hurts to be revealed. Unfortunately, the only way to be completely be set free from inner hurts is to expose them, let God heal them through Christ, and choose to love even when it is hardest. Healing begins this way, and oneness begins this way as well.

I understand it is hard to look at the truth when we think it might be an imposition upon our lives. Maybe it will expose something we don’t want others to know about. Unfortunately God knows it all anyway and eventually it will all be exposed in the light of Christ. We might as well expose it now and get it over with. Sometimes we think of our own self instead of the other side of someone else’s issues. How many people could we heal if we would just allow them into our hearts enough to converse with them, get to know them, and understand them, like Jesus did?

It grieves my heart that we are so burned in our souls that we burn others when they try to touch us. Sometimes we even burn ourselves. Can we ever reach the point of maturity where we can let down our guard enough to give others the benefit of the doubt that they might be great people? Maybe they made mistakes. Maybe we ourselves made some too. We all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory. Are we too self centered that we deny Jesus His one prayer to the Holy Father before His crucifixion? He said, “…that all of them be one, Father, just as You are in Me, and I am in You…” John 17:21.

The Lord instructed us all to pray for our enemies. Although, often who we consider to be our enemies are not enemies at all. Praying for someone is the most loving and excellent thing to do. This does not mean, “Get them Father”, but “bless them Lord”. In all honestly, we break one another’s hearts. That is a given. We do this because of our own wounds. Our wounds push away instead of cover like Christ. This should not be, yet it is a reality within our Christian faith and the Lord’s Body.

Thankfully, the Lord always knows the intention of our hearts and when they are good, he acknowledges the goodness within us. So, keep on praying for those who oppose you, who have hurt you deeply, who have lied to you, and who have cast you off. Your heavenly Father knows your heart, has felt your pain, and will heal you because of your obedience. He loves when we build bridges instead burn them. This does not mean we take disrespect. We can pray at a distance. But it does mean that God can work miracles through our prayers with good intentions. He loves us with an everlasting love. That means all of us! He never treats us as an inconvenience, never lies to us, never blocks us when we reach out, and never stops loving even when we fail Him.

None of us deserves His love and yet He gives it lavishly. We should be grateful for what we have in Him and for what we have in one another. Maybe some day we all will. Until that day, we keep on praying without ceasing, because it still remains the most loving thing any person can do for another.

In love and healing

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries

800-421-1765

 

Freedom from Guilt and Shame

canstockphoto11547372-300x199It’s a miracle that we get through this life as an intact person when we are attacked almost daily with the haunting of the things which have occurred in our lives. It’s not just about the things which have happened TO us, or things we have done to others, but even more about the way we handle the aftermath. Honestly, we often treat ourselves much worse than others have ever treated us. It’s sad when we do this because it is completely unnecessary. We live in a society that fosters more insecurity and self hatred than one person could even consume in a lifetime. Our hope is that we do have relief from the effects of what happens around us in Jesus.

Regardless to how things transpired; whether someone did something to you or you did something to someone else, you don’t have to live with two of the more devastating life draining conditions we humans tend to take upon ourselves. The two that I am speaking about are guilt and shame. First let me clarify what these two things are:

Guilt:

Guilt is where we take upon ourselves condemnation for something we have done or perceived we have done. Guilt attacks our “right standing“, or righteousness.

Shame:

Shame is when we take upon ourselves condemnation regarding how we see ourselves as a person. Shame attacks our identity. It steals from us the truth about “who we are and whose we are”.

One of the key words here is “condemnation”. When we are in Christ Jesus there is no more condemnation in our lives. He has sacrificed already for our forgiveness.

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”

The Real Accuser:

So who was it that really told you that you are guilty and should suffer shame? Don’t think this dilemma was your original creation. We have an enemy who is the enemy of God. This enemy is Satan. The thing you need to know and remember about this enemy is that he is the liar of all liars and has no power. Jesus is the one with all of the power. Satan just wants you to think he has it. If we look at the situation from the end we can see where Satan really stands. This is Satan’s position. He is conquered and powerless!

Revelation: 12: (9-11) “And the great dragon was hurled down—the ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and  of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God. They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”.

As you can see, Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus tells you that you are saved, free, and forgiven. These are the edifications that come from your Savior. These are the things that come from the Holy Spirit; the spirit of truth. So who are you going to believe? If you want forgiveness and to walk in right standing then ask Jesus for it! If you want to be reminded of whose you are then ask Jesus to reaffirm your position with Him! There is no reason to walk in any guilt or shame in this world. They are lies that come from the evil one and they are NOT your position or identity! Let Jesus wash you with his love and forgiveness. Let Him be your “truth” because He IS the truth.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

As you can see, all that is asked for is a confession. Jesus is faithful and will forgive us when we are in need of it.

A Prayer for You! 

Dear Jesus, Please reveal to me any wrong doing on my part and forgive me for my actions. I confess those things to You now. Forgive me for not walking in the truth and for being harder on myself than I should. I release to You now, any thoughts of guilt regarding actions I have done or have perceived to have done. I also release to you any beliefs that place shame upon me. This is not my identity! I ask You to remove them completely from me now. Help me to see myself in “right standing” and also to see myself as a recipient of your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I am Your child; a child of the King. I accept no other description within my conscience. Thank You for loving me and for allowing me to walk in freedom! Amen and amen!

 

Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Walking free with you,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching

800-421-1765

 

 

 

Throw Out the Trash! (This Has a Surprise)!

cover1009-photohedI never knew how much junk a person could accumulate until I was faced with the task of moving it. I mean, how can one person collect so much stuff in such a little time? One time I sat down and counted how many times I had moved in my whole life, and I think the resounding number came to 27. Can you believe that? Who moves 27 times in their lifetime? Sometimes I think God wanted me to move just so I would sort through my things. I always seem to think I will need it one day or I might use something again. This might be true, but in all honesty, if a person does not touch something for at least a year it is not worth saving. Not to mention someone else might need what we don’t. Not everything is valuable stuff though. Sometimes its just added unneeded weight that will ultimately make a move a nightmare. Why do we save things so easily anyway? I mean, we really can’t take it with us, can we?

Have you ever thought about how you might be doing the same thing with life experiences and difficulties? Do you tend to hang on to a bunch of trash from the past and even the present? Don’t you wish a big old dump truck could pull up one day and just collect all of your inner trash for good? If only you could  pull it all out, gather it in a ball, dump it into a dumpster, and wave good bye as the truck drives away. That way there is no heavy load to weigh you down when you encounter the rest of life. But, it is not all that easy, is it? Just like the accumulated junk we tend to save in our homes, we also tend to save junk in our internal caves and canyons. Its only a matter of time when the mounds of stagnated emotion and experience will tend to pour out into present life. Eventually life becomes bogged down with the muck and mire from the past and God begins to call for a troop movement! Are you at that point when past garbage begins to seep through your pores so much that you can’t seem to get anywhere in life? Don’t kid yourself, it will happen if you don’t begin to sort and dump. Sometimes we tend to even get used to our past trash and we just let it sit comfy on the same couch as our present experiences. Anyone smell burning rubber? Darn it, I do! That would be your friends running in the opposite direction! Before you get your feelings in a huff here, think about it. If life is not working out so well right now, no matter what you do, maybe it is time for a little moral inventory. Believe me, it will help to clean out your life if you work on it. Here is the clincher though; you have got to want it bad enough to make the move and continue to sort and dump. How bad do you want your life to become lighter and a bit easier? Maybe you would like a fresh start. We all need that sometimes.

Let me give you some things to jump start your process.

Start with what should be the obvious. Who have you truly not forgiven? Be honest here! No one is watching accept God and He knows anyway. Now ask yourself; do you really want to drag this person into every single argument, every single missed opportunity, every single relationship, or even lack of one? Yep, UN-forgiveness can cause you to lack relationships too! Think about this; how much power do you want to give this person who is so hard to forgive? If you take inventory and realize you still drag them around then evidently you want to give them too much power. Did I hear you balk at this? Come on darlin’ you know you are holding on if you still feel a sense of anger or disruption in your mind space, not to mention your life. Dump it gal! Dump it now! How about this, write the person’s name on a piece of paper, and tell that person they are forgiven for whatever transpired between you.  Then crumple it all up and give it the royal flush! You can forgive their actions and still love the person. Although, bottom line, if they are not good for you give the spiritual wave good bye. If they were meant to be in your life, God would have them there front and center. Finalize this and repeat after me, “Dear God, I forgive _____and today I let them go into Your hands”.

How about your past mistakes? Have you forgiven yourself and let go of the things you wish you could have done better? Did you know that hanging on to your past mistakes can hinder you from achieving some of your fondest goals? Let’s get rid of that little road block right now! God wants you to be successful! Lets chip at the wall here, “Dear God  forgive me for ___________ and help me to forgive myself. I release that experience into Your hands right now”.

This is a great beginning!

If you truly want to experience the kind of freedom God ordained for you to have, then dump the trash as often as you can remember. Your life will change! Guaranteed!

From one dump along to another,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

http://jeninemarie.com

** Photo credit: North Coast Journal