Sunday, 29 November 2009

'How to overcome traumatic life events'

Life very rarely ever runs smoothly, that's just a plain fact, whether it is problems at work, problems relating to financial problems, the death of a friend or family member or some other unexpected sudden occurrence. However, some people seem to be able to deal and get through traumatic events much easier than others.

There is nothing weak about those who bounce back, they are simply able to adapt to situations better than others when faced with adversity. People who are able to adapt in traumatic situations usually have certain factors in common, these are the ability to deal with stress more easily, the uncertain and feelings of anxiety. Emotional pain and sadness is something that we all have to face at sometime in our lives and some will have to face it more often than others. In order to prepare you better to deal with trauma and overcome it here are some tips to help you understand the process a little better.

A certain amount of grief is to be expected when a traumatic event occurs. Grief is usually expressed by a feeling of numbness, the inability to carry on your day-to-day activities, continual thoughts of the problem or deceased. Sleep problems, feelings of guilt and feelings of extreme sadness are all normal feelings. Abnormal grief is considered when you have feelings which longer than a period of 6 months. Feelings could include excessive clinginess, extreme highs and lows, continuing depression and thoughts of suicide.

There are many ways you can develop your ability to face traumatic situations, these include:
Making friends or being with close friends during your time of need. No one who has suffered a traumatic experience should be alone for any length of time. There is no shame in asking a close friend or other family member to be your confidant during this period and close friends and relatives should indeed realize this and be there for you without you having the need to ask.

It is also important to remain busy during this period of time; if you have too much time on your hands to think about your situation then this will only extend the grief and worry you are feeling. Although you might need to take a break for a couple of days or a week at the most, don't just sit about and brood during this time. Set out goals for your future looking towards the more positive aspects in life. Although at the time you might not be able to find much good it is important to remember that you won't always feel this way. So force yourself to set out goals and work towards them during hard times.

Try to keep a positive outlook and go about daily routine without changing anything. Do the same things such as shopping, cooking and cleaning, remember to eat at regular times and take time out to be with friends too. During the particular tough times remember that time does heal if you allow it too.

Love Rev.Bola A. (30.11.09)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

'What It Means To Be Born Again'

Why then, must we be Born Again? 

1.First God created (birthed) man in His own image, so man was created (born) originally pure and good like God. Man was in the beginning clear from every sinful blot.
2.But, although man was made in the image of God, he was not made (created/birthed) immutable. He was created able to stand, and yet liable to fall.
3.He fell from his high estate. He "ate of the tree which the Lord had commanded him, Thou shalt not eat thereof."
4.By this willful act of disobedience to his Creator, this flat rebellion against his Sovereign, he openly declared that he would no longer have God to rule over him.
5.He would now be governed by his own will, and not the will of God that created him.
6.He would now not seek his happiness in God, but in the world and in the works of his hands.
7.God had told him before, "In the day that thou eats..." of that fruit, "…thou shalt surely die."
8.Accordingly, in that day he did die: He died to God, -- the most dreadful of all deaths.
9. He lost the life of God: He was separated from Him of whom, his spiritual life consisted.
10.The love of /for God was extinguished in his soul, which was now "alienated from the life of God."
11.He fled from the presence of the Lord.  He endeavored to "hide himself from God among the trees of the garden:" (Gen. 3:8)
12.He lost both the knowledge and the love of God, without which the image of God could not subsist
13.He was deprived of this, and became unholy as well as unhappy.
14.He had sunk into pride and self-will, the very image of the devil; and into sensual appetites and desires, the image of the beasts that perish.
15.And in Adam all died, all human kind, all the children of men who were then in Adam's loins.
16.The natural consequence of this is, that every one descended from him comes into the world spiritually dead, dead to God, wholly dead in sin; entirely void of the life of God; void of the image of God and of all that righteousness and holiness in which Adam was originally created.
17.Every man born into the world now bears the image of the devil in pride and self-will; the image of the beast, in sensual appetites and desires.
18.Hence it is, that, being born in sin, we must be "born again." Hence every one that is born of a woman must be born of the Spirit of God.

How must a man be born again?  What is the nature of the new birth? 

1.The precise manner, how it is done, how the Holy Spirit works this in the soul, no one even the wisest of the children of men is able to explain. Even though,
   you may be as absolutely assured of the fact, as of the blowing of the wind.
2.When an adult Heathen was convinced that the Jewish religion was of God, and desired to join therein, it was the custom to baptize him first, before he
   was admitted to circumcision. And when he was baptized, he was said to be born again; by which they meant, that he who was before a child of the devil was
   now adopted into the family of God, and accounted one of his children.
3.A man cannot "enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born:" -- But they may spiritually.
4.A man may be born from above, born of God, born of the Spirit, in a manner which bears a very near analogy to the natural birth.
5.Before  a child is born into the world he has eyes, but sees not; he has ears, but does not hear.
6.He has no knowledge of any of the things of the world.
7.We do not even give the name of life. It is only when a man is born, that we say he begins to live.
8.As soon as he is born, be begins to see the light, and the various objects with which he is encompassed. His ears are then opened, and he hears the sounds.
9.He likewise breathes, and lives in a manner wholly different from what he did before.
10.While a man is in a mere natural state, before he is born of God, he has, in a spiritual sense, eyes and sees not.
11.A thick impenetrable veil lies upon them.
12.He has ears, but hears not; he is utterly deaf to what he is most of all concerned to hear.
13.His other spiritual senses are all locked up.
14.He is in the same condition as if he had them not.
15.He has no knowledge of God; no intercourse with him; he is not at all acquainted with him.
16.He has no true knowledge of the things of God, either of spiritual or eternal things.
17.Though he is a living man, he is a dead Christian.
18.As soon as he is born again of God, there is a total change in all these particulars
19.The "eyes of his understanding are opened''.
20. He sees the light of the glory of God," his glorious love, "in the face of Jesus Christ."
21.His ears being opened, he is now capable of hearing the inward voice of God, saying, "Be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee;" "go and sin no more."
22.He is now ready to hear whatsoever "He that teaches man knowledge" is pleased, from time to time, to reveal to him.
23.He "feels in his heart, the mighty working of the Spirit of God;"
24.Not  in a gross, carnal sense as the men of the world stupidly and willfully misunderstand the expression; though they have been told again and again.
25.He feels inwardly sensible of the graces which the Spirit of God works in his heart.
26.He feels, he is conscious of, a "peace which passes all understanding."
27.He many times feels such a joy in God as is "unspeakable, and full of glory."
28.He feels "the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit which is given unto him;"
29.All  his spiritual senses are then exercised to discern spiritual good and evil.
30.By the use of these, he is daily increasing in the knowledge of God,
31.Of Jesus Christ whom God hath sent, and to all the things pertaining to his inward kingdom.
32.And now, he may be properly said to live: God having quickened him by his Spirit,
33.He is alive to God through Jesus Christ.
34.He lives a life which the world knows not of.
35.A "life which is hidden with Christ in God." God is continually breathing, as it were, upon the soul; and his soul is breathing unto God.
36.Grace  is descending into his heart; and prayer and praise ascending to heaven:
37.By this intercourse between God and man, this fellowship with the Father and the Son, as by a kind of spiritual respiration, the life of God in the soul is sustained;
38.And the child of God grows up, till he comes to the "full measure of the stature of Christ."

Researched, compiled and written by Rev. Bola A. (27Nov2009)


Sunday, 22 November 2009

'Family Matters'

'The Cosby Family' - PrayerArt by Rev.Bola A. (Nov'09)

The area of family is no doubt one in which the potential for acts of commission or omission to have a deeply felt and lasting impression is possible. Indeed family opens us to vulnerability, and yet also offers us one of the greatest opportunities for learning spiritual lessons of love, appreciation, gratitude, humility, and forgiveness.

The subject of family is indeed a very sensitive one. Be it in our relationship with a marital partner, a parent, an off spring, or a sibling; when the going is good, it feels very good, but when the going goes bad, it can often feel agonizing. A family that is not built on a steady and solid spiritual foundation, with God at its center, is a very shaky one and prone to experiencing problems.

Just as the individual needs to be God centered, in order to survive the perils of this world, so does the family. A family that prays together, stays together, and the devil is the family's greatest enemy. The devil is against unity in families, and uses all manner of ploys to undermine family love and unity. God is the light and foundation of any family, and we need Him to maintain that constant flow of family love.

The Bible states: 'Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone'.
None of us are without error in our relationships, as we are all at different stages of our spiritual growth. I know in my attempts to flex my spiritual muscles, and grow as a spiritual being, that I have certainly erred in my familial relationships. I also know that as much as I love members of my family, some of them have erred also.

We learn by our mistakes until we become completely Christ like. It is important that we understand this fact, in our experiences with family members. We must recognize no one is perfect, and we are called to forgive and receive forgiveness for past mistakes. This does not mean that we have to condone abuse, or continue to enable toxic or addictive behavior.

What we are called to do, is to wish one another well, pray for one another and affirm the very best of spiritual, mental and material being for all our family members. We can honor our family members by wanting for them, what God what's for them, and holding them within that positivity and light in our own hearts, even when we may disagree with some of their activities.

We need to be vigilant of the kind of thoughts and feelings we are harboring in our minds and hearts about are family members, and ensure that they are uplifting, Christ like and positive ones. It does us no good to harbor unresolved negativity, and resentment about our family members or indeed about ourselves for that matter.

We also need to harbor positive uplifting feelings and thoughts about ourselves in relating to other family members, and not permit another family members negativity to bring us down as well. We can always ask for God's help and support in dealing with our family members, and He will guide us in what to do at all times.

 By Rev.Bola A.(copyright: 23Nov'09 - ARR)
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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

'When Feeling Low And Nothing Seems To Work'

Here is an immediate visualization drill you will be able to execute when you detect yourself feeling negative and critical about yourself, and nothing you do appears to be working. If you apply this on a constant basis, it will release you from the negative images straightaway, and prevent them from spiraling out of control into a lasting ailment.

Start out by picturing yourself as though you were standing or sitting externally to yourself. As though you were side by side to yourself, observing yourself as you sit at the computer. Make it elaborate – determine the color of the clothes you’re wearing, the color of your hair, your stance, the look on your face.
Overlook any “defects” in yourself that you might usually find. Now loosen up, unwind, and feel tranquil as you observe yourself.
Play with this image a little, possibly placing the soundtrack of a tune you enjoy in the setting (in your mind, that is), possibly modifying a few of the colors.

Make it a really pleasant scene. Envision yourself quietly grinning. Only see your perceived positive traits, and discount the negative ones. Proceed to amplify your positive side. In every day living, you probably find defects in yourself and exaggerate them out of all proportion in your head. Now do the equivalent thing on your positive traits. Blow them out of all proportion and concentrate on them. Just go with the course and play with the image till you are as good as it gets.

Next, compare your present impression of yourself with the first image you made at the commencement of this exercise. Make the concluding image more potent. Notice the differences in the way you’re feeling presently, compared to when you began. Hold the fresh image as the one you’d wish to see yourself as. Practice and play around with this drill whenever you find the opportunity, or whenever you are feeling particularly weighed down and would like to buoy up up a little. This is an uncomplicated and helpful way to make yourself feel better.

By Rev.Bola A. (19 Nov.09)
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