SOPHOMORE SLUMP ~ Tonya Brown

SOPHOMORE SLUMP ~ Tonya Brown

God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

2 Timothy 1:7 MSG

I attended a small college in Indiana. I was born and grew up in the Hoosier state. I never really ventured very far from my home, so the college I selected was only seven miles from our house. (My single act of fearlessness was choosing to live in a campus dorm with a roommate I’d never met.)

As a freshman I attended general education classes, had nearly perfect attendance, and accumulated a decent GPA. My second year I took more classes related to my major, but started cutting classes and my grades declined. I questioned my purpose and looked for options. I’d hit a slump in my progress—the infamous sophomore slump.

These memories surfaced as I thought about this post. Let me explain. My input involves looking at a topic through the lens of the third gift listed in Paul’s letter to Timothy concerning matters of ministry.

The version I’m most familiar with translates sensible as self-discipline. Who in their right mind wants to read a blog about self-discipline? Or write one, for that matter.

So I looked at how different versions of the Bible interpret this verse into my native tongue using Biblegateway.com The original Greek word translates as discipline, sound mind, sound judgment, self-discipline, and sensible.

One original Greek word translated into five different English phrases. I settled on sensible as my word of choice, but wanted to know what word Paul selected when he penned his letter to Timothy.

This time I traveled to blueletterbible.org. Using Strong’s Numbers I found that G4995 is sophronismos. (Which explains why my mind drifted back to my sophomore year of college.)

Digging deeper, I looked at its root words. In addition to all of the expected definitions, I found some interesting twists that helped illuminate the meaning for me: restore one to his senses; to hold one to his duty; self-disciplined in one’s freedom.

These definitions brought me full circle. The slump my sophomore year was a result of my inability to hold myself to my duty. I needed to be restored to my senses. In exercising my freedom of choice, I’d lost sight of my calling. Entering college I declared elementary education as my major. It wasn’t until I hit the slump that I came to my senses.

My calling was to secondary English. I lost sight of that goal because I listened to others tell me all the reasons why I shouldn’t pursue my passion.

In future posts my goal will be to remind us to be sensible in our God-given freedom to choose.

Recommended Reading: To Be Told by Dan B. Allender, PhD

This nonfiction book explores God’s design for your life and how you can make sense of it by understanding both the hope and heartache that is your story.

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A Fearless Kind of Love ~ Kim Dent

A Fearless Kind of Love ~ Kim Dent

 

For God did not give us a spirit of fear

but of power, of love and of a sound mind.    

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

 

“Fear is not from God… We need to exercise faith over fear…

There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear.” I’ve heard so many quotes, scriptures and sermons encouraging me to stop being fearful, I’ve almost drowned it out.

 

Why does God consistently tell us “do not fear”? I have a hunch it’s because “fearful” is our fleshly mode of operation. I know it is for me. Power, love and a sound mind are traits that do not come naturally for me. These gifts are imparted to us by The Lord and, like all gifts, they must be opened in order to enjoy them. Today let’s consider opening the gift of Fearless love and what that may look like.

 

I have struggled with the scripture in 1 John 4:8 (NIV) There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear… Mainly because I have felt fearful in love! I bet you have too. I have been fearful of not being “enough” to keep the heart of the one I love. I have been betrayed by beloved family members and, no doubt, I too have disappointed and hurt loved ones. But the root fear that hides behind all of these scenarios is the ultimate fear of losing love or worse—not being loved at all. Can you relate?

 

I read the words; God did not give me a spirit of fear and I remember that I have a cunning enemy who wants only my destruction. Fear is not of God. I see that fear is keeping me from living authentically, connecting wholeheartedly in my relationships and thwarting my ability to give and receive love… even love from God. I recognize that my heart and soul— the core of my being, have fallen into a state of neglect where fear has had the upper hand. My fear will continue to keep me bound up until I Release it to Jesus for transformation.

 

I need Restoration! An impartation of God’s truth and love to heal the wounds that keep my fearful heart locked down tight. I don’t want to live in fear. I want to love wholeheartedly and courageously. I want to open and enjoy the gifts available to me!

You too?

 

There is hope for our neglected and fearful hearts! His name is Jesus and He is the Lover of our souls—no matter their state of disrepair! He longs to impart a divine, fearless kind of love to us. God alone can accomplish this heart work in us, but it will require some action on our part.

  1. Recognize your heart wounds and your need for healing.
  2. Release your healing journey to the Holy Spirit.
  3. Be Restored to live the abundant, courageous life God designed for you!

 

You can go to Jesus right now and ask Him to begin a heart renovation in you! He longs to spend time with you, but He is a gentleman and will not come

un-invited.   Will you let Him tend to and care for your heart?   Will you allow Jesus full access to the secrets of your precious soul and let Him begin the adventure of soul-deep healing? The choice is yours but if you do, you will be moving toward living abundantly and purposely within the Fearless Love He has for you!

 

Until next time, love fearlessly my friend!

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Caring for the Heart “Power” Perspective ~by Diana Asaad

Caring for the Heart “Power” Perspective ~by Diana Asaad

Luke 21:34 (NIV) “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.

 

Power Perspective: What does caring for the heart really mean? Well, no simple answer can be found, partly because God gave us each a unique heart, with distinct needs, so there is no one size fits all solution. There are however clues and direction that can be found in the Bible. I do think that the verse above has some rare evidences that can begin to bring clarity. Take care that your heart isn’t weighed down, with all these worldly things that make no eternal difference. Too often, we want the power to control our circumstances, that we disregard that true strength comes from releasing our hearts to their Creator, the magnificent Maker that so lovingly, orchestrated every nuance of our being. Instead of being lured by the trap of this world and shouldering all of our cares, lets bring them to the One our heart has been searching for all along. Jesus.

 

Relatable Resources: One particular blog that I follow and enjoy is Ann Voscamp’s www.AHolyExperience.com She has a way of shifting perspectives that I often need, I think you will find her words valuable.

 

Applicable Advise: Although our hearts can become easily troubled and overly encumbered, we are not alone. First, invite Jesus into your heart; whatever the state. He longs for nothing more than to embrace the confusion and love you to wholeness. Trust Him, He knows what He is doing. And you won’t surprise Him with your mess. He’s got this covered. Secondly, know that we are here to encourage and support you however we can. You are not alone. We are a tribe. A tribe of distorted, misshaped, beat-up, bruised, and healing hearts, connecting for the greater good. Drop us a line. We’d love to help… info@CFTHwomen.com

You are loved…sweet sister.

Diana

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CFTH Women from the Inside Out ~ by Tonya Brown

CFTH Women from the Inside Out ~ by Tonya Brown

My newest favorite movie is Disney Pixar’s Inside Out. As a fiction writer I’m familiar with little voices inside my head, so I was drawn to the film when I first viewed the trailer. If you haven’t seen this movie, I give you permission to watch the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seMwpP0yeu4 right now. Just be sure you come back here when it’s over.

I can relate to the main character, Riley, because I’ve been uprooted a few times. I, too, started out in the Midwest and sometimes miss the familiar. My son loves pond hockey, and we put pepperoni on our pizzas not pineapple and broccoli.

And her emotions? I have similar voices in my head. Not only did I have Joy insisting she be in control, I also tried to insist that other people keep Joy in their forefront.

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Are You Living and Loving Wholeheartedly? ~ by Kim Dent

Are You Living and Loving Wholeheartedly? ~ by Kim Dent

I remember a time in my life when the secret shame and pain of my heart refused to be stuffed down anymore. I was a young mom with a husband and two young daughters. Outwardly I was the picture of a woman who had it all together. PTO president, beautiful home, great husband, well behaved kids—most of the time, friends and family whom I loved and who loved me. But inside, my heart was a shambles.

You see, I harbored the dark secret of childhood sexual molestation since the age of five years old. I had never told a soul and like most abused children, I harbored a deep sense of “being bad”

I reasoned that I could handle this secret…I thought that I could simply forget about it and magically all the shame, confusion and fear that entered my heart so long ago would simply “go away” It would be as if it never happened.

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