HOW TO DEAL WITH LOSS

lossA few years ago we hit hard times and had to cut down expenses. I cut back our TV service which meant we lost all but about 5 channels. My roommate Jane said, “Carolyn, I gotta tell you, I’m really having a problem with getting less channels. I miss not having baseball.” At that moment I realized that the loss of anything is like the death of it and as long as we live on this earth, grief and loss are realities. So how can we deal with them in the most positive way?

 

Trying to ignore the loss of something or someone is just as devastating as letting ourselves get overwhelmed by it. It’s better to face the loss head on and admit to it. We especially need to acknowledge our emotional reactions, speaking them out loud, even writing them down; to answer the question, “How do I really feel about all this?” Most people know we have to give the grieving process time before we can move on.

 

Sorrow is universal. There’s plenty of studies on it, but still much to be learned about how it works, how long it takes, and the effects it has on a person. The one thing we do know is that it’s a process and it varies with situations and people.

 

We can see from the Bible different examples of grieving. Signs included tearing one’s robe, weeping, having disheveled hair, putting dust and ashes into one’s hair or shaving the hair or beard. Other indications of sorrow included wearing black or sad-colored clothing, removal of ornaments or neglect of person, fasting or abstinence in meat or drink, and wearing sackcloth. Sackcloth was made of goat or camel hair and was course and uncomfortable.

 

All of these reactions are manifestations on the outer man, of what is being felt on the inside. One Bible dictionary said that men were generally more silent in grief and women more vocal and demonstrative.

 

The grieving process hasn’t really changed much over the years. Just one example I can think of is female friends who’ve done something to change the style or color of their hair after a divorce. I don’t know if it’s even a conscious decision or an extension of the inward, inherent grief reaction.

 

In the Bible, the days of mourning also varied. In the case of Jacob, it was 70 days (Gen 50:3). In Saul’s case, only 7 days (1 Sam 31:13). In Moses’ time the official period of grief was 30 days.

 

For everyone there comes a time when the grieving must stop; not the memory but the extended deep sorrow and negative effects on everyday life.

 

When Moses died and the allowable 30 days was over, God told Joshua it was time for him to get up and get going. I think that a lot of times we need someone with insight to help us get going too, to wake us up out of our grief and get us to move on before the sorrow destroys us or makes us someone nobody wants to be around.

 

I know I needed a push when my dog Spike passed away. I was so sad I couldn’t see getting a new dog and had convinced myself that I couldn’t get one because of our old cat. My friend Miki kept pestering me with pictures of rescue dogs that needed homes and I kept pushing the idea away. Then my roommate Jane rescued an abandoned starving chihuahua from an alley by our house. We made two failed attempts at giving him away and finally got the message: “Keep the dog!” My time of grief was supposed to be over and God was working through insightful people, forcing me to move on.

 

When God pushed Joshua, it was a new thing for him. Moses was gone and now he had the responsibility to lead God’s people. I’m sure it was a little intimidating. Any time we have to embrace something new, after losing something we loved, it’s hard. But we don’t have to do it alone. God told Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).

 

When we lose our loved ones, our homes, our jobs, our 150 channels, it’s normal and it’s right to grieve those things.

 

The most positive response to loss is to recognize and face the loss head on, acknowledging it for what it is and letting all the corresponding emotions come to the surface and come out. Then lastly wake up to know the loss has opened up an opportunity to seek and trust the Lord to fill the gap.

 

In Isaiah 48:6 God promises He will show us new things, hidden things that we’ve never known before. “I have shown thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.”

 

We put our hope in God and the Lord Jesus Christ, that when the grieving process has run its course, there will be something wonderful and new to enjoy. And one day all grief will be gone.

 

“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Rev 21:4). What an amazing and awesome promise to all who have chosen to believe and accept Jesus Christ as Lord.

 

***HAPPY NEW YEAR***

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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CONFIRMATION IS AWESOME

I was grinding on some fiberglass sculptures. It was really hard work; there was lots to do and we were in a rush to get the project done. I was taking it way too personally, like I had to get it all done by myself and I was stressing out. There were only two of us working on it and my partner was feeling sick, so he wasn’t able to work as quickly as usual.

 

My arms were getting so sore from grinding and I noticed that my shoulders were super tense. I had them raised up by my ears in a tight and pinching way. Mentally and emotionally I was worrying and stressing out, questioning whether I could keep this up. Was this going to end in total failure?

 

Then I remembered the scripture we repeat every morning in prayer, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off they shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing” (Is 10:27). Instantly I let my shoulders ease down and the thoughts rolled in: “This is not my responsibility. I am a worker, not the one in charge. The burden is off my shoulders.”

 

For the rest of the day I continued grinding and the whole time my physical shoulders were at ease, relaxed. At the end of the day, the painting boss came over and told me he was sending all his guys over to help with the grinding so we could get the project done on time. It was amazing. I quietly thanked Jesus for what happened.

 

From that time on I noticed that I stopped the mentally stressing and my shoulders stayed at rest. The few times I started to hunch them up, I quoted the scripture again and they instantly released.

 

To literally have my shoulders relax back down from being hunched up around my ears, was a sign—a confirmation that I was truly released from all the stress.

 

In the next week and a half of work there were more opportunities to get stressed out but my shoulders weren’t hunching. I had a physical confirmation that I was free mentally and emotionally and it was GREAT!

 

As Christians we should be expecting righteous signs and confirmations. The Bible tells us that when Jesus gave instructions to His 11 apostles to preach the gospel, “they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following: (Mark 16: 20).

 

We often just hope we’re doing the right thing and never really ask for the Lord to confirm it. Here it says that He confirms. We have a relationship with our Lord Jesus where we can ask Him to kindly confirm. And here it is in scripture saying that He is totally able and WILLING to do it! “He confirms with signs following.” Isn’t that so great?!

 

As I was thinking about Christmas coming in a few days, the Lord showed me that even Mary needed to get some confirmation about what the angel told her about having the Christ child. She went to visit her cousin and sure enough Elisabeth confirmed the angel’s words with a prophecy over Mary, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb…that the mother of my Lord should come to me” (Luke 1:42-43).

 

Mary believed in her spirit but it was only after Elisabeth’s confirmation that Mary got her soul in line and in her entirety really truly believed. “And Mary said, ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord” (vs. 46). Her mind, emotions and decisions were now settled and in solid agreement. (Read Luke 1:26 – 56).

 

The Lord Jesus confirmed that the work burden is off my shoulders. He gave me the physical sign of releasing those tight shoulder muscles. Mary, the mother of Jesus, got a confirmation in the form of a prophecy from a relative.

 

Jesus Christ is our personal Lord and a master at life. He knows that being human we often have difficulty in believing the awesome things God has for us and that we can greatly benefit from confirmation.

 

It’s my prayer that in this upcoming year our relationship with Jesus Christ becomes more intimate. I pray that as we do our best to live and preach the gospel, we will be asking Jesus for true confirmation as we go. I pray that we will receive more of the deliverances and healings in spirit, soul and body that we need and desire. And I pray that we will enjoy our discipleship and our freedom in Christ more than ever before.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

Have a Merry Christmas

 

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GATHERING TOGETHER

I listened to the woman on YouTube speaking about the second coming of the Jesus Christ. She taught from the book of Revelation about what the people on earth would be enduring after all the born again believers are gone.

 

We are told several places in the Bible that no man knows when that day will be.

 

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:16-17).

 

This woman’s teaching struck a note with me and I thought: If Jesus came tomorrow there would be turmoil and anyone who was not a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ at that time would still be here. That means people we know—neighbors, friends, family members, store owners. Most of them would know that we are Christians, so with the chaos, they could end up at our house. Since we don’t take anything with us when Jesus comes for us, all our stuff is left.

 

Would there be blankets for them? Water? Food? But my big question is: What would they find in my house that would be spiritual food to help them to turn to Jesus and receive eternity in heaven?

 

What’s in your apartment, house, dwelling? If Jesus came tomorrow, would there be a Bible? Some good teaching on your computer? Books that would help them to find the truth about Jesus Christ?

 

Or would there be lots of extraneous things that wouldn’t really be that helpful?

 

Proverbs 15:6 says, “In the house of the righteous is much treasure.” 1 Corinthians 1:30 says we are righteous. So what kinds of treasures are in our house?

 

I remember several years back I looked around my house at the pictures I had on my walls. I had Jesus in my heart, but I didn’t have much on my walls that indicated my love for Him. So I changed that.

 

Let’s take an inventory of what’s in our house. If Jesus comes soon, we want to leave something great for those left behind.

 

John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

 

Revelation 22:20 “Surely I come quickly. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

 

Love, Carolyn

 

Find more great keys to living in the “now” with the Lord Jesus Christ in your everyday life. WINGS: A Journey in Faith: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=aps&keywords=WINGS%20Carolyn%20molica&linkCode=ur2&tag=jmbcsds-20&linkId=XQMVLVZYNBLYAGEM

THE MOCKINGBIRD AND THE PIGEONS

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I watched my one-legged mockingbird chase away several bigger pigeons. It’s like he didn’t even know or care that they were greater in number and more than twice his size. And the pigeons flew away. It’s like that with us spiritually. When we get to know our Lord Jesus Christ, we don’t need to have any fear about getting rid of the spiritual pigeons. If we can truly, from the bottom of our hearts, do what the song says, “I surrender all,” we are on a path to greater freedom and victory than we’ve ever known. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

 

Jane and I pray and read our scriptures each morning. When we come Luke 5:5 and read the phrase, “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net,” I look up at the picture across from me of Jesus and the children and say to myself, “Jesus I’m letting out all the nets.”

 

It doesn’t mean every day will be a happy one; but I do know that I will have another portion of His truth and that’s worth everything.

 

Each day we end our prayer time with, “I can hardly wait to see what You have for today.”

 

Surrendering all to Jesus Christ, the Lord of our lives, is not a flippant act. It means you open yourself up to see some of the bigger pigeons in your own life as well as those in other’s lives. But the great thing is that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom 8:37).

 

My eyes have been opened in the past 7 months to new spiritual truths and where to find them in the Bible: things like Legion and the cause of mental disorders, Agag and the influx of witchcraft (it’s a lot different than you might expect), and Balak, the demonic power that tries to stop us.

 

This is worth listening to. It’ll give you answers to some of those tough questions. It’s all in the Bible, but sometimes we need someone to open it up to us. Just get past her flesh and listen to the truths she exposes.

 

Part 3 is on Legion, Part 4 is on Agag and 5 is on Balak. This will change your life.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSBqSRx4ZAQ

 

Love, Carolyn

BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND AND HEAL INJURIES TO OUR HEARTS AND SOULS

BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND AND HEAL INJURIES TO OUR HEARTS AND SOULS

When we get tired or stressed or feel needy, we fall into old traps that we know aren’t good for us. We want to spend too much money, we drink too much, we tell little lies, take things that don’t belong to us, fall prey to sexual instincts: all things that God has lovingly already told us are dangerous to us and harmful to others in the end. Why is it we desire to do those things that aren’t good for us?

 

Romans 7 tells us the dilemma and the answer. The dilemma is that even though our spirits got perfect when we got born again, our souls didn’t. Our soul consists of the way we think, our emotional responses and the decisions we make on a daily basis. The healing of our souls is a miraculous PROCESS, not an instant thing. Even though we are Christians and have asked Jesus into our lives, we come to the table with many soul wounds that need healing.

 

For instance, I used to be a bit of a thief. I took small items from work: things like paperclips, a roll of tape, a writing pad. And don’t act so shocked. I know many of you have done the same. My rationale was that I’d used my own supplies from home sometimes so the company owed me. But stealing is stealing. Why was I tempted to take things that didn’t belong to me? Where the heck did that come from? Definitely a glitch in my soul.

 

That temptation came from when I was a teenager. When I started at a new school as a 7th grader, most of the girls had more than I did. I never felt poor growing up until I compared myself to these new girls. I started stealing coins from my dad’s change dish.

 

Then Sheila, also poorer than the other girls, showed me how to steal makeup from the Woolworth’s store. It made me feel good. We’d steal clothes too. But when I stole four bikinis and hid them under my bed, my mom caught me and I had to personally take them back to the store and tell them I’d stolen them. It was devastating and I stopped stealing for a while.

 

But the trauma had already made such a wound in me that if the right circumstances came up, the scab was torn off and the wound opened up. It hadn’t really been healed. The hurt, the feeling of lack was not resolved. When I felt deprived or cheated it was a trigger that tempted me to take something for myself, “because I really needed it.”

 

I am totally healed of that now and let me tell you how, so that you too can begin to get healed of some of those soul wounds too—those things that the Bible says are not good, but you do them anyway.

 

The answer is in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. It’s the miracle-working power we already have in us but we have to use it. It’s in the Greek word for “power” used in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.” The Greek word here is “dunamis.” In the online Strong’s Concordance you see that in the definition is “power for performing miracles, and moral power and excellence of soul.”

 

It takes a miracle from Jesus to totally heal our soul wounds, give us true moral power and excellence of soul. Everyone knows that as hard as we may try with our five senses to stop a bad habit, it will eventually stick its ugly head up again and again.

 

Moral power and excellence of soul doesn’t happen automatically, even for Christians. We have to call it into our everyday lives. We do that by first believing we’ve received it through the power of Jesus Christ in us. It’s a gift of healing. We can never live a holy life by pious acts. We can only have excellence of soul by letting Christ Jesus heal our wounds.

 

Once a wound is truly healed it’s like a scar. If we poke at a scar, there’s no feeling. We may have the memory of the source of the original trauma or the sin committed, but the hurt is gone and the consequential inappropriate actions.

 

When I was tempted to take something that didn’t belong to me, Jesus told me and I told myself, “You don’t need that. You have excellence of soul.” I repeated to myself several times in this temptation and others, “I have excellence of soul. I have excellence of soul.” And it works. I believed in the soul-healing miracle-working power of my Lord Jesus.

 

We can change our lives one soul wound at a time by applying the DUNAMIS miracle-working power of the wonderful resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

 

If you’d like to know more about soul healing DUNAMIS power, check out these scriptures. These are just a few of the many.

 

Luke 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

 

Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

 

Acts 4:33 “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”

 

Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

 

Romans 1:4 “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

 

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:14 “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.”

 

2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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HOW TO SAVE RELATIONSHIPS WHEN THE GRUMPIES HIT

I worked a lot of long hours the past few weeks and the other morning I was grumpy and crabby with my roommate Jane. Until we train ourselves otherwise, we often take out our frustrations on those closest to us. We figure they love us and will put up with our bad behavior. But what about when they don’t?

 

“I have feelings too,” she said. “When you do that, it makes me feel bad. You said mean things to me and I didn’t do anything wrong.” Well it cut like a knife to the heart, but my immediate response was to get all defensive and instead of apologizing right away, I got even angrier. I think we get the maddest when we know we’re wrong. No one wants to be wrong. Why couldn’t she just have ignored it?

 

But she didn’t. She confronted me and that was the right thing to do.

 

How many times have relationships fallen apart because stabbing words have been ignored rather than confronted? The hurt turns into a festering, decaying puncture wound that may appear to go away, but only gets buried for a while and never really gets healed. Finally all the little punctures and cuts connect and the resultant rotting wound is nearly irreparable and the original source of the problem is some distant fuzzy memory.

 

The source of my anger, for instance, had nothing to do with Jane, and I think this is often the case. Something becomes a trigger and we bring emotional responses from an incident in the past into the present when they don’t belong there.

 

Learning to act right is a constant process. Peter tells us, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).

I was glad Jane confronted me. She made me see my sin and I felt bad about it. She didn’t deserve my wrath. We talked. She understood that I was acting out of the past and was lashing out at something totally not related to her. I told her I was sorry. She forgave me and I determined to act better.

 

Sometimes after we get confronted with our sins, we get all down on ourselves and pitiful, but the Lord is not one for pity parties. He says, “Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed” (Heb 12:12-13). This is a really important point.

 

When we get lovingly confronted with our wrongs, we need to choke down our pride and straighten up our ways so that our relationships can be healed. If we don’t do this, the scripture says we are lame and could be turned out of the way. If we value our relationships we don’t want to get turned out of the way.

 

After our incident the other day, neither one of us carried any residual bad feelings and went on to have a great day. Our friendship is peaceful and richer because of the honesty, boldness and transparencies we share.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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