Friday, February 12, 2016

All Tied Up

Back in the day, family and church spoke about the dangers of premarital sex: pregnancy. And believe it or not that was about it. Oh yea, we were told by our church leaders  that sex outside the confines of the marriage bed (husband and wife) was not pleasing to God--sin. But for some reason (Somebody say, "Inquisitive minds wanna know.") that did not prevent teen pregnancy within even the walls of our "sanctified" churches and homes.  There was some (not a whole lot) discussion about STDs while matriculating through school. So, my primary takeaway as a young girl was simply, "don't embarrass yourself, your family and your church by getting pregnant."
No one spoke about how opening this Pandora's Box, eating this Forbidden Fruit would cause  a person to be "all tied up"--binding you up in a "soul tie." Someone failed to talk about the impact of having multiple sex partners would have on the soul (your mind, will and emotions).
A soul tie is "a tying, joining of two souls together."  Here's a definition I really like: "A spiritual/emotional connection you have to someone after being intimate with them, usually engaging in sexual intercourse; to the point that when you want to be rid of them from your mind and life, even when you are far away from them and out of their presence, you still feel as if they are apart of you and apart of you is with them; causing you to feel fragmented--not whole; as if you've given up some of yourself (intangible) that cannot be easily possessed again."

Sex is much more than a mere physical act. An ungodly soul tie is a fusing together of two souls in an ungodly, unhealthy way through the act of sex, which can occur in heterosexual relationships as well as homosexual relationships.
Have you ever felt like you just couldn't get "so-and-so" out of your mind? You kept running back to the relationship even though you knew "so-and-so" meant you no good? ...even though you were giving more than you were receiving? (I think many have taken Acts 20:35 out of context right here.) When soul ties are present, it's highly likely that you could be in a current marriage and long for a previous relationship with someone else. Why? Your soul is still tied to that other person (or persons). Sex has tied you to "so-and-so's soul." Soul ties steal from you. They can prevent you from focusing on the important priorities and goals of life. Soul ties will keep you chasing a pipe dream--"so-and-so will one day marry me;" "so-and-so just needs more time;" "so-and-so will leave his wife/significant other for me next year." Soul ties will cause you to settle in life. They will cause you to have a lower view of yourself due to the shame, guilt and secrecy involved.
While in a soul tie, you begin to rationalize your behavior.  You seek to please another person rather than the real lover of your soul--God.  God takes second seat to the one(s) you're tied to in your soul. You think you're so in love that truthfully, you and God, become secondary when it comes to making this person happy. Take a moment and think: Who's putting in most of the work?  Does "so-and-so" place as much value on you?  What about "so-and-so's" relationship to God? (Now, that's an entirely different topic: Settling for Being Unequally Yoke. And you know I'm telling you the truth.) You're sacrificing too much.  You deserve better.  You deserve God's best.
You must see yourself as God, your loving Father, sees you. He thought you were to die for (John 3:16). Agree with God and stop settling. Agree with God and get your mind, will and emotions...your self-worth back. Daddy God will untie you, if you're willing to be honest about your past and/present lifestyle. Tell Him (He already knows and loves you no less) your story of giving so much of yourself to so many people. Repent--make a change in your mind and behavior. Seek out others to whom you can be accountable (no more secrecy) and who will walk with you to deliverance and through full freedom.

Let's pray:  Father, we come to you today and we open the full details of our life to You. Heal us from our past and present poor decisions and the consequences of those decisions we currently find ourselves in.  We bring all sex partners to the foot of the cross and trust You for deliverance and freedom.  We receive your unconditional, unfailing love, healing and wholeness in Jesus' name. Amen.

Pastor San

Thursday, March 14, 2013

DEAL with IT & be HEALED from IT

Life has a way of serving us issues that weigh us down. You know what I mean... Relationship issues, bad choices and decisions issues, low-no-self-esteem issues, my money's funny issues. Well, I've got sure-fire answers for you. There's no way you can abide in the Word of God and it not change you. As I studied the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25 - 34; Matthew 9:20 - 22; Luke 8:43 - 48) up close and personal, manifested healing took place in my life. Following are a few healing tactics I gleaned from this woman:
  1. Your Posture: You must come to the end of your rope. You must get to your wits end. I mean just burnt out--no other options. You'll know you're really desperate when you're willing to do whatever it takes to get your healing. Desperate times requires desperate measures. If what you were doing worked, why are you struggling with this issue? You're broken, allow Jesus to fix you. When you are truly desperate, you will drop it like its hot. You remember (hopefully, you remember. My younger sisters, Use your Holy Ghost imagine...); like I was saying, you remember the game "Hot Potato" we use to play. The item was so hot that we had to get rid of it. The issue that's plaguing you, has robbed you of your peace, self-image, joy, etc.--get rid of it by kneeling at the feet of Jesus and trusting Him to heal you. How low can you go?...get low, get low.
  2. Your Attitude: You must have a change of attitude. Get your mind out of the gutter. Stop thinking and focusing on negativity (Philippians 4:8). Commit to become a woman of expectation and anticipation of God's best in your life.
  3. Your Perspective: This speaks to your outlook; your slant on life and circumstances; how you see things in life. Can you envision yourself healed? Laughing again, giving of yourself freely again, loving life and people again, trusting again? Whatever that looks like, it's within your reach.
  4. Your Extension: You will have to press pass and through some things and people. You will have to take a risk. Be courageous. Go pass what's comfortable.
  5. Your Family: You must be willing to endure and embrace isolation and separation. If you've always got to have someone around you; validating you, your ideas and opinion--oh boy...not wise!! Some issues should be between you and God--alone.
I'm a witness that God still heals and makes whole.

Be A Blessing,
Pastor San
Christian Harvesters Fellowship
Follow me on Twitter: @cfulwood

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry X-Mas

This world's system is constantly trying to dictate and set standards for us.  Thereby, many times, twisting, diluting, polluting, contaminating--okay, I think you get the point--the standard God has set for us.  And it's no different during this very sacred time of the year...the commemoration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life." (John 3:16).  So, I think the spirit of giving that is so prevalent during this season is refreshing and great.  Giving should express concern, appreciation, love, devotion and so on.  If that be true, we don't have to wait until Christmas to give...right?

Back to my point....

But as believers of Christ, we can't ever lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas.  We must not allow anyone or anything to push Christ (X-Mas) out of our Savior's birth celebration.  These are the types of things that take away the true essence of Christmas:
  • The guilt of not being able to purchase those ideal gifts...some of which you won't remember exactly what it was that you bought so-and-so by Valentine's Day anyway...LOL!
  • Over extending your credit lines and ending up paying for this year's gifts well into the next Christmas season...not funny at all
  • Buying others gifts because they bought you one...and then you got the nerve to give that special gift to someone else later in the year...hoping it wasn't the person who bought it for you...LOL! (now, you know I'm telling you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, God help us all!)
I know this for certain:
  • It really is more blessed to give than it is to receive
  • People that love you will continue to love you---gift or no gift
  • Cutting up a credit card or two may help your budget
  • You can share Jesus---He's still the most precious gift of all times
My prayer is that you spend lots of time with family and true is too short--the bible says it's like a vapor--to spend with fake ones.  May you laugh a lot as well--the bible says a merry heart does good like medicine.  Share the love of Jesus Christ in practical ways.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Be Blessed,
Pastor San
Christian Harvesters Fellowship
Follow me on twitter: @cfulwood

Friday, November 25, 2011

Got Faith?

Luke 22:31 & 32
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” NIV

Life has its way of throwing curve balls when we're least expecting. If you're willing to be honest, you've experienced some times in your life when you could say, "If it ain't one thing, it's another." Or "When it rains, it pours."  I'm a firm believer that while God does not send or cause these "issues" in our lives, He does allow and permit them.  So, in light of the fact that our all-knowing (omniscient), all powerful (omnipotent) and all-present (omnipresent) God has permitted these not-so comfortable experiences, what should our posture be?  We do agree that Satan is not slipping one by or over on God, right?  If we agree on these simple, but important principles, then what is God up to?

I'm not speaking to those who are purposefully leading and living unproductive, reckless lives.  But this is meant for those who have made a conscious decision to surrender the lordship of their lives to God and find themselves in rather uncomfortable and unexplainable places in their lives.

I won't pretend to know all the purposes and plans of God.  But He has given us His Word to shed some much needed light--insight, guidance and wisdom.  In our opening passage, Jesus makes Peter and the other disciples aware that they will experience a time of testing and great trial.  I found this passage rather interesting in that Jesus doesn't mention having prayed that Peter and the others would not experience difficult times.  Instead, Jesus has prayed that their "faith" endures--does not fail.  Lesson #1:  Life will not be problem free.  Lesson #2:  Faith in God is the key ingredient to surviving.  Without faith, it's impossible to please God.

Why did Jesus pray this way?  I believe the answer is found in the latter part of the passage: "And when you have turned back ("converted" KJV), strengthen your brothers."  While in the middle of difficult experiences, our emotional radar is going haywire and sometimes all we can focus on is our pain.  But this passage clearly encourages us to hold onto our faith so: Lesson #3: We can be changed and Lesson #4: We can provide strength and encouragement to others. Through our own experience and transformation we can provide firsthand knowledge and assurance that the sun will shine again, the pain will subside, your laughter will be heard again, there is a full (joyful) life after tragedy...  Without hope in Christ and faith in His promises, we are men and women most miserable.

Life's experiences can make you bitter or better.  The three (3) Hebrew teens in Daniel 3, endured a fiery furnace...a furnace that was so hot that it killed the men that threw them in it.  But the young boys came out of their time of testing with not one strand of hair singed, their clothes untouched and not even the smell of smoke.  Let's commit to keep our faith intact and strong in God so we can be witnesses of His ever-abiding love and devotion.

Be Blessed,
Pastor San
Christian Harvesters Fellowship
Follow me on twitter: @cfulwood

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hakuna Matata

LOL!!!!  How many of you remember this original 1994 Disney movie, The Lion King?  I absolutely loved it!  There were many scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat, but this scene was my favorite.  Listening to it today, I found myself smiling and grooving to its melody and lyrics.

The phase, "Hakuna Matata" means "no worries." Simple, yet profound. It reminds me of the passage of scripture in Philippians 4:6-7: "Don't fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." (The Message)

You have a Heavenly Father who understands where you are...your situations and circumstances.  He desires that you know Him intimately and through this intimacy you become trusting children.  Children who are loved and provided for are happy and content with life.  Similar to Timon and Pumbaa--the characters above--footloose and fancy free.  You, too, can sing praises and dance before Jehovah Jireh, knowing He's going to meet every need--spiritual, emotional and financial--in your life.

As a final thought, I just cannot pass up verses 8 & 9 of Philippians chapter 4:

"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the-best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.  Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies." (The Message)

Look at your neighbor and say, "Hakuna Matata!" is so!

Be Blessed,
Pastor San
Christian Harvesters Fellowship
Follow me on Twitter: @cfulwood

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peace Is Your Inherited Right

Many words and experiences come to mind when I hear the word "peace."  I reminisce about a warm summer day in Florida at Grandma Delilah's house, drinking a cold glass of her fresh squeezed lemonade or sitting on the front porch of Grandma Corrine's on a cool winter afternoon in Georgia with the smell of burning oak.  When I think of "peace," words like tranquility, quietness and solitude all come to mind.

But can you attest that there are many times in this life's journey that your tranquility manages to disappear and you can't buy a cup of quietness for free?  Yet, you go about playing the part of being cool, calm and collected, but internally, you're a tornado--a time bomb about to explode.  You're anxious and stressed. You don't know what to do about your circumstances. The thief has stolen your peace.

God's Word is full of promises (Isaiah 53:5; John 4:27; Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7) that "peace" is part of our here and now inheritance--not some by and by...pie in the sky...some-glad-morning-type of promise.  We settle and live beneath our privileges when we don't know our citizen rights...our sonship rights.  Let's consider the promise of Matthew 6:25-36, where our Heavenly Father encourages us to seek His kingdom and His righteousenss rather than worry.  In a nutshell, in this passage of scripture, God is saying, "I've got you covered and everything that concerns you. I'm your Source."  There's no lack in God.  For by Him and for Him was all things created (Colossians 1:16).  All things are possible to those who believe.  Maybe therein lies the problem--our lack of belief.  Who's report are you believing?  We are to live according to what God says rather than what our five senses dictate. We are children of fatih (Hebrews 11:6).

I'm reminded of the time when there was a storm and Jesus began walking on the water toward His disciples.  As He approached the boat on which His disciples were, they became afraid.  Long story short, Peter challenged Jesus and asked if he could come to Him.  Jesus agreed and Peter walks on water as long as his eyes are focused on Jesus.  Peter gets distracted--as so many of us--by the wind and waves and begins to sink--as so many of us. But all is not lost!  Peter cries out to the Lord to save him and immediately Jesus saves him.  Your takeaway:  Keep your eyes locked on Jesus and live in expectation of His salvation in every area of your life!

I encourage you to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and agree with God in order that you may experience the peace He has promised.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 24-25

Until next week, walk in peace and be blessed!

Pastor San
Christian Harvesters Fellowship
Follow me on Twitter: @cfulwood

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Impact of God's Word

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  Psalms 1:3


While living amidst a time of volatility and uncertainty in our world, our God remains faithful to us.  You will begin to lose your footing when you lose your focus.  Your perspective is important.  I don't recommend or support pretending what you're experiencing is not reality.  It is.  I'm encouraging you to know that the truth of God's Word prevails over your reality. God's Word makes all the difference.  Obedience to His Word empowers you to flourish and produce.

If God speaks a thing, you can take it to the bank.  For He watches over His Word to perform it.  God's Word is quick and powerful.  It's sharper than any two-edged sword. The promises of God are Yes and Amen!  God esteems His Word above His Name.  Wow!  Now, wouldn't you agree that it's critically important to know God's Word?  In times like these, you need to know truths like:
  • God will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
  • God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)
  • God will keep you in perfect peace when your mind stays on Him (Isaiah 26:3)
Let's pray:

Father God, in Jesus' Name, we thank You for the Truth of Your Word.  We esteem Your Word higher than all else.  We place all our eggs in the "basket of Your Word," knowing You've got the whole world in Your hands.  We confess and believe that You're well able to take care of all that concerns us.  So, we cast all our cares upon You in Jesus' Name.  Amen.

Be Blessed,
Pastor San
Christian Harvesters Fellowship
Follow me on Twitter: @cfulwood