About Larus Press

LARUS PRESS is a Christian-based ministry that publishes books, blogs and other written material. Our mission is to inspire and empower believers, to deepen their spiritual growth and to fulfill their unique identity and purpose. We accomplish this through written material, which reflects and illuminates Biblical truths. Subscribe to the free weekly newsletter Soaring Post at www.laruspress.com/about. The primary purpose of Larus Press is to encourage, enrich, enable, educate and equip readers for the purposes to which God has called them. "Larus" is Latin for gull - a symbol of survival and freedom. Larus Press offers promotions and advertising to self-published authors with missions compatible to ours. On-line prayer counseling, speaking engagements are just a part of what Larus Press offers. Sarah Tun's Books on Larus Press: FREE TO BE (in collaboration with Essence Publishing) is a personal growth book, a guide to inspire readers to find their self-esteem through personal reflection, prayer and a deepening relationship with the Holy Spirit. Find it on Amazon (http://amzn.to/17ZJfWe or http://amzn.to/ILsVE2 ) and Smashwords ( http://bit.ly/15Ocez9 ). The preschool book THE FAITHFUL PRINCE inspires families to encourage children to walk out their budding faith with courage and confidence (release date 1st June 2014)

From My Will to Holy Spirit Will

My strength or Holy Spirit Strength

“…I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 20:17)

We have surrendered our life and our will to God. We want to utter His prayers and do His works, based on His will and not our own. Jesus said we can move mountains if we have faith. Bathed in prayer, we can walk in the Spirit and not in the Flesh.

But how can we be certain we are praying the prayers of the Holy Spirit? How do we pray God’s prayers and not our own? Is there a ‘ceiling’ above which our prayers do not rise, unless they are prayers inspired by the will of the Father?

I’d like to suggest a strategy that works for me, to help me be ‘less of me and more of God’ in my day-to-day walk.

1) ‘He who waits upon the LORD shall renew his strength’ (Isaiah 40:11)

As I wait in a quiet place I find God joins me. As I make room for Him, he shows up to inspire and to lead me ‘beside still waters’.

2) ‘All scripture is God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

As I sit, reading and re-reading a passage of scripture, those words become alive, guiding me and inspiring me. Through the Word of God I hear the Will of God on a daily basis.

3) ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength’ (Philippians 4:13)

Expecting God to speak or to move through my prayers and my actions creates in me humility and hope. I can’t make Him do as I please but I can expect Him to respond to the prayers and intercession He has anointed me and inspired me to pray.

4) ‘Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness’ (1 Chronicles 16:29)

When I pray in tongues, when I sing or dance as led by God’s encouragement and freedom, I begin to lose myself in worship and adoration. When that happens I am beginning to enter into a private place with the LORD where He draws me close, speaks to me and leads me in His way everlastingly.

5) ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ (Matthew 7:7-8)

Breakthrough comes when we wait, spend time with God’s Word, expect Him to come, and worship Him. This is not a formula but a promise.

If we want to ‘live and move and have our being’ in Him, we need to commit our way to Him and He will give us the desires of our heart. Meditating with Him will draw our desires toward Him and His will can be done on earth in and through us, His surrendered servants.

More Blogs on our Christian Walk can be found at:

small logoMy website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
Subscribe to our free newsletter, Soaring Post, with issues every Thursday to equip you for your spiritual walk.

 

Decluttering your mind will yield freedom and fruit in your life and ministry

Decluttering our minds:

In this revelation of himself, he <Jesus> is showing you the importance of knowing where you come from, where you are going, and who you are. It’s one of life’s greatest tasks, to gain clarity on all these matters, because your work, your relationships, and your entire life will be shaped by that clarity. (from Worknet, Geoff Shattock, Issue “Son of Man 19”, January 19th 2015)

Clutter is the enemy of the mind.

Henry David Thoreau said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify.” He lived nearly 200 years ago. What would he make of the clutter that arises out of the gooey mass of internet and social media?

I am learning to declutter. In one sense it has been a single decision and I aim to adhere to it stubbornly. In another sense it is a process which may take some time. But I can already see rewards that are coming from it. More time to write, less stress, more quality time with family.

I have a mug that has a1950’s style image of a housewife in an apron and wearing a big smile. Her coiffed hair is perfect. The caption reads, “A clean house is the sign of a wasted life.” Well, be it a clean house or a clean inbox the result is the same: industry for its own sake does not yield ultimate satisfaction. Fulfillment comes from running the race set before us as individuals, creating, exploring, endeavouring to fulfil our calling, our purpose in life. Perhaps for some, but I believe it is for relatively few, that purpose is met through being tidy.

Reducing or eliminating entirely the ‘unnecessary’ is a first step in decluttering our minds.

As I read So You Want to be Like Christ by Rev Charles Swindoll, the content of the book triggered in me the following list of ways to avoid clutter:

1) Work on one project at a time.

2) Finish what you start.

3) Know your limitations.

4) Start with a clean slate – even if that means letting go of some unfinished work or great ideas. Take a fresh start instead of playing catch-up with incomplete tasks or ideas.

5) Be an expert on YOU. An expert is simply someone who has been through the fire, has come out singed but alive, and smarter than he was before.

6) Set your face like flint and focus – looking forward (not back) to your goals and objectives, taking on one at a time.

If you want to be changed, you have to go beyond the revelation of what you want to be. You have to set your face like flint and go forward, focused and determined to be changed, different from who you were in all things, and changed into who you recognize you need to be. Real change is recognizing a new perspective, taking it around the corner with you, and not looking back.

I quote from Swindoll’s book, “Too much clutter in your mind leaves insufficient room for devotion to Christ.” (pg 39) Too much clutter prevents progress. To grow we need to move forward with a pure heard and a clear and focused mind.

So, even before working on our projects, let’s spend quality time – on a regular basis – with God. He’ll enable us to choose which project, and where to start. And more than that, He’ll remind us what the project and all of life is about. Then our work will be purposeful, fulfilling and enriching for ourselves and for those around us too. For with God, all things are possible. Our experiences, our lives, our relationships will be richer for our involvement with and surrender to Father God.

Extra Post: New Man – How to live the New Person we are in Christ… Permanently

maitouline lighthouse croppedThe New Man. What is the ‘new man’? How can I walk in the new man every day, all day, forever? I’m saved by grace, but don’t I have to work hard to be a Good Christian? The answer is simply, “No, you don’t.”

“Give me back my stuff,” said Jesus to Author and Prophet Graham Cooke in a personal encounter.

What is stuff? Stuff is the anxiety, worry, anger, hostility, fear, bitterness, resentment…. Stuff is all of the negative thoughts and feelings that are not a part of the Kingdom of God. They are dead, as dead as Jesus was on the cross. And they belong to the Old Man, the man you were and the man I was before accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. The old man is dead (Romans 6:6). The new man lives (Ephesians 4:22-23) and we can allow him to reign in us, by the power of the blood of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit.

We can discern the thoughts and the feelings of the old man versus those of the new man easily enough. Negativity is from the old man. Whatever is not holy, heavenly, delightful, life-giving is not the new man’s thinking or emotion. The fruits of the Spirit which are: love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, self-control, are linked with the thoughts and feelings of the new man.

When Jesus died he took all of our stuff, so that we wouldn’t have to carry it anymore. When we fall into negative thought or emotion, we are taking back what Jesus died to overcome; we are taking back the stuff he died to have, so we wouldn’t have it anymore. He wants us to live in the new man, and let him keep the stuff of the old man.

Although the old man rises up inside of us, we don’t have to allow what is dead to be resurrected. We have the authority and the power to reject the dead man. It is not true that it is a part of us.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Recognizing the old man as dead and that his negative emotions and thoughts are not actually a part of us is an understanding that comes to the transformed mind. We are no longer ‘dead’ in our sin. Saved by grace, we have access to the thought-life and emotional life of Heaven.

The old man, as cited in Romans 6:6 is, “crucified with Him,that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

Continuing, “For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:7-11 NKJV)

Meditate on this. Allow it to sink into your mind and spirit, to transform you from the inside.

Paul’s reference to sin includes thoughts and emotions that are not life-giving.  They are dead, just as we were dead before we knew Jesus. And we do not have to accept them as a part of us any longer. Instead, we choose to turn a corner and to walk full of the newness that life with Christ offers.

The new man is described as, renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” and we are to ‘put him on’ (Colossians 3:10). Now, “The new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24 NKJV) is described as, “as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:12) is the person we have become through salvation, whether or not we realize it. We no longer need to walk in the futility of our minds but we have a new mind. Saved by grace we no longer live in despair or darkness except by ignorance.

Becoming Christ-like isn’t about wrestling with our bad habits to overcome them so we can behave more “Christian”. Becoming like Christ is living in the new mindset we’ve already been given supernaturally. We are not only saved by grace, but we are also sanctified by grace. And so let us with this information, walk in the new man, leaving behind the patterns, habits and trappings of the old man. Let us run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1) with joy, peace, faith and love, knowing the old stuff is false and the new is our true identity, already accessible. We are alive in Christ. So, let us help each other to walk in that new life, knowing the old has passed away and the new is here to stay.

Studies in the world have proven that we will often manifest what we expect. Let us expect a life free from strife, filled with joy, and moving toward the Kingdom of Heaven which has come down to Earth and has already saved us from sinful selves so that we can live in the freedom of our true selves, free to be the people God created us to be.

My favourite scripture is this:

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14

Ready: Take time to unclutter your mind and discover who you are in Christ.

Set: Choose to be resolute. Trust and surrender is letting go of hard work and doubt. It is tenacity at it’s best. It is hope and faith in action.

Go: With faith and focus like flint and with a face to match, I’m going forward in the knowledge and love of Christ, to be the new man, full of God’s grace, truth, hope and joy. Please, will you join me?

FOR THIS AND OTHER POSTS PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: www.LarusPress.com/category/larusblog and sign up for the free week,ly newsletter too.

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Larus Press: Christian-based books, blogs and literature, to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.

Endings: Accepting Transitions and Change

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (C Dickens A Tale of Two Cities)

Psalms“For everything there is a season, And time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Everything has its time: there are times in life when things are new, and there are times when some things must end.

I’ve just moved to Spain and have been writing about “New Beginnings” on my blog: http://sarahtunexaminelife.blogspot.com

But with new beginnings there are, inevitably, endings too.

How do you come to terms with the discovery that the way you’ve thought or interacted for years needs to change? When your dearest friends are far away, and you’ve few new folks in whom to confide, how do you pray, live, love through that?

The seed is faith. No matter what you may think or feel, it is the Spirit and our spirit, working in harmony, that is the reality. When everything seems in flux, faith is our bedrock.

Recently, I felt pretty low. I didn’t even feel like praying! But faithfully, I took out a Psalm each day for a week and read through it, allowing myself to reflect a bit at a time on what the psalmist was saying.

“In You, O LORD, I put my trust…” (Psalm 7, 11, 31, 71 – verse 1) empty chair

And do you know: even when you can’t see in front or behind, when everything is new and nothing familiar, when excitement wanes and you want someone close to say, ‘Here I am, for you’ and no one is there, do you know you don’t have to drum up positive feelings? Nor do you have to wallow in misery. Simply, allow yourself to be right where you are – physically, emotionally and spiritually – and wait. You might want to make only a few decisions – none other than what to wear or what to make for dinner – and wait. Tell the LORD what’s on your heart and mind- and wait. Ask Him for your deepest need, even if you don’t believe He’ll fulfill it – and wait.

God hears. God restores. God fulfills.

pic onlyI’m in a different place than I was a week ago. God answered my prayer, it’s true. But it isn’t in the answering of the prayer that help comes – but so much more in the waiting.

God bless you. Have a merry Christmas month and see you in 2015!

In the meantime, I welcome comments, thoughts, sharing.

 

 

Parenting an Intelligent but Willful Child

Do you always feel confident as a parent? Or, have you ever had the feeling that your child is smarter than you are? Do you find yourself arguing with him and he is running mental circles around you?

Have you asked yourself the question: How do I parent my intelligent but willful child?

Well, there is no need for fear, shame or self-doubt. Your child, no matter how bright he may be, or thinks she is, has less wisdom, less maturity, and less experience than you have.

If you are ever tempted to doubt yourself as a parent, remember: God has selected you for this child and he needs your guidance.

Children will manipulate if they can.

Take note: No matter how clever your bright child argues, you have the wisdom of the God who is the Creator of the Universe, you have the maturity that life’s responsibilities has given you, and you have years of life experience, all of which trump your child’s abilities. And lest there be any arrogance attached to his/her abilities, remember: these are God-given gifts for God’s purposes.

My nine-year-old son, who is bright, tends towards seeking control. This is his primary weakness and he regrets arguing, manipulating and dictating. Although he is changing slowly, his attempts at tyranny continue.

If I argue with him, we get nowhere. My authority comes, not from winning debate, but from my confidence and my role. Direct confrontation does not work.

Remaining detached from my emotions – ignoring how he can wind me up, for example – weakens his attempts to draw me into argument. And teaching him right from wrong and fearlessly drawing from God’s Word convicts him, provokes him to think, and removes authority from his debate. We have discussed the first commandment with a promise: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)

Does your child seem to have somehow, in her intelligent mind, come to believe she who wins the argument is right? Instead, when I keep a sunny face, don’t get riled, and stand firm on consequences, I seem to be keeping me sane and to be helping her to learn her place.

In my case, perhaps because he’s growing up as an only child, it’s easier for him to remain self-centred. As his parents, my husband and I have sometimes substituted ourselves as the siblings he needs to play with and negotiate with during game playing. Maybe this good intention has blurred the boundaries for him. Or perhaps he’s just predisposed to being a dictator.

The key is, he’s loved, he knows it and is gradually learning that growing up means giving love as well as receiving it, and that intelligence is a responsibility, not a mechanism for winning and getting one’s own way. It mustn’t be easy being 9 in a world of adults!

But neither is it easy being the parent of a quick and determined child.

A lot of prayer goes into raising a child. And the child God gives you will be a challenge, especially as you want her to grow into the person God has created her to be.

God has given you this child, and you are the ideal parent for him. God chose you, just as he chose Moses to lead His people into the Promised Land. Moses had doubts about himself and so might you. But as you stand fast, avoid head-butting competition, and trust that God has provided you with the gifts and abilities needed to raise a God-loving, God-fearing, respectful child, you will prepare your son or daughter for all life brings.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he grows up he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

For I have told him [Ely] that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. 14 And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” 1 Samuel 3:13-14 (bold = mine)

There is plenty of scripture that will help your child to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and will teach her the path she should go. Age appropriate theological input is one component that God provides for us as parents to use, to help our children learn and draw closer to God, and stay close to family. See in particular, Colossians 3:12: Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper]”

Here is input from SENG (supporting emotional needs of the gifted).

See you next month, 1st December. In the meantime, if you found this helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend? I’d like to expand the readership network for Life from the Lighthouse.

And why not send in a comment or anecdote of your own particular experience, so that others can benefit from your insight and experience. For, ‘How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.’ Psalm 133

 

Helpmeet – husbands and wives helping each other

Is it only that wives are meant to help their husbands? Are men called to help their wives?

It isn’t commonly viewed as scriptural, but I believe husbands need to be a helper to wives just as wives are called to help their husbands, if we are all to fulfill our callings and to experience personal fulfillment too.

In the 21st century, while there is still evidence of chauvinism, it is pretty much established to be socially incorrect to be so. Whether it’s women putting down men for not being sensible about child care, or men putting down women for shortcomings, it is taboo to do so in most Western circles today.

Scripture is relatively clear on this when it comes to marriage and sums up the spousal relationship this way:

‘Men love your wives, wives submit to (or respect) your husbands.’

The full version is found in Ephesians 5:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord doesthe church. 30 For we are members of His body,[d] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[e] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Now you can identify many ways that a man can love his wife. I believe being a helper to her is one of them.

Now the help meet/help mate/helper part comes from Genesis 2:

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Whatever translation you choose to enjoy, what I want to draw attention to is that men need to be helpful in order to achieve all God has them to do. And so do women.

Both spousal partners need to know they are loved and respected by the other. Sometimes the LORD God calls us into the unknown, and the only support we have is from our spouse; sometimes, simply showing faith in our spouses is incredibly helpful to them and it’s what they need in order to accomplish God’s calling. Sometimes our spouse is the sincere friend who tells us like it is, or encourages us when we feel defeated. Always, we need to be able to rely on the love and support of our spouse. For, when that is in tact, we can feel the confidence to move the mountains the LORD allows in order to grow our character and to fulfill His calling.

Fulfilling the call of God is a challenge that invigorates, inspires, nourishes and engages us in life; a sense of purpose gives us the perseverance to carry on through the difficult times in life. But the love of the one nearest to us gives us the courage and hope to persevere, even when all else fails. Each of us has a call in this life. We who are married need to help the spouse we’ve chosen to fulfill his/her call just as much as he/she needs to help us to fulfill ours.

Alan and ISo, I ask you and I ask myself: Am I being a helper to my spouse? And, am I open to receive help when it is offered?

Grace to give and to receive is valuable – and to be valued. Love and grace are closely linked. So let us love one another and be gracious, helpful and kind, so that in all things we mirror the love God has shown us, so that the world will see our love and God will be glorified.

Grace and peace to you in your life, marriage and all relationships.