1/31/2015 Getting Reconnected

January 31, 2015

Apparently it has been over one year since I lasted posted to this blog. This is because of all that I was going through with the final illness of my husband, and then his death on 6/27/14. I then went through a regrouping process, spending much time in prayer seeking the Lord for guidance, direction and protection. The blogging scene has changed since I last posted, so now I also have to get up to speed with changes that have been made.

From the answers to my prayers, confirmed by suggestions and encouragement made to me, I now know that this next season of my life is to be devoted to writing. I will be bouncing back and forth between blog sites that, for right now include Healing of Multiple Sclerosis, and the Save Your Marriage sites, along with the Spiritual Renewal Ministries site. I might combine everything into a new site that ties in with my SandiCleary.com website. Time will tell how things will work out.

I will also be spending time updating and revising some of the articles and booklets I have written over the years such as, The Web of Addiction, EIBRUS FACTOR, Dear Amy and Michael, Healing of Multiple Sclerosis, and The Role of Marriage in the Kingdom of God. These booklets will be available for sale online, as well as the EIBRU FACTOR tee-shirts that will soon be available.

Both of my sons are now living in California, so the plan is for me to make trips out there a couple of times a year, with the first trip planned for this Spring.
I am conducting a Strengthen Your Marriage Class on Sunday evenings in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. That class is filled, so I will not give any more details, but I will post when reservations are being taken for the next class.
My plan is to alternate my time between posting on the blogs, and getting booklets and pamphlets updated, along with the counseling and workshops that I continue to do.
Is there anyone reading this who would want me to expand on the topic of EXPECTATIONS based on the article I wrote entitled EIBRU FACTOR. Please let me know. You can read the EIBRU FACTOR by clicking here: I am still learning how to add links. Until I get this figures out you could type in your subject line http://spiritualrenewal.com/insights/the-eibru-factor or go to spiritualrenewal.com and click on the INSIGHTS TAB and scroll down to EIBRU FACTOR. Thank you for your patience with me as I learn how to do this.
With each post, I plan to leave a little “Food For Thought” tidbit. So here is the tidbit for this post:
“Every word that is spoken to you, and every action that touches your life, as a Christian, is you being put to the test. You can choose to respond in a way that will be pleasing to the Lord, and bring Glory to His name , or in a way that is pleasing to satan, and leads to unrest, anger, conflict, sadness, or despair. Choose this day whom you will serve.”

12/25/13 Significant Insights from 2013.

December 26, 2013

 

             As I have been reflecting on the year 2013, I realize how blessed the year was for me, in spite of the major adjustments that took place, because of my husband’s health situation.

            I came to realize that when the Lord puts a call of service for Him on a person’s life, there is the assurance that the Lord will provide all that is needed to live out that call, when the instructions given, are followed.  For me that meant spending ten years acquiring a working knowledge of God’s Word, then following the practice of submitting the ministry call on my life to the Lord to be led by Him, specifically asking for His  Wisdom, His Knowledge,  His Insight and His Understanding to come forth, as needed, during a counseling session or a workshop. Counselor training, etc.,  

            Living out that call on my life also means I have to faithfully submit my Will to the Will of God, and keep myself under subjection to those in spiritual authority over me,  whether they were in support of the ministry call on my life or not.  The Lord made certain, over the years,  that two of the pastors of the church where the Lord sent me,  put their blessing on phases of the ministry, starting with the blessing of one pastor,  when the incorporation of South Shore Ministries was complete,  which included the thrift store ministry, and Operation Fresh Start, and then ultimately the second pastor put his blessing on all phases of the ministry including the counseling, the Overcomers Fellowship Program, the workshops, seminars and retreats.  Those pastoral blessings sustained me through thick and thin, and served as a reminder to me that the ministry call on my life has been ordained by the Lord, especially when people rise up to challenge  me and what I am doing. .   

            The testimony of my life is that I learned that With God, nothing is impossible, and Nothing is Impossible with God.  I learned to just do what The Lord says to do in His Word, and to stop doing what The Lord says not to do in His Word.  Anything the Lord instructs in His Word, He enables it to be possible to obey those instructions.   The ministry call on my life is to show people how to bring their line in line with God’s Word, as opposed to trying to have God’s Word line up with the situations and circumstances that develop in a person’s life, from not having their life lined up with the truth of God’s Word.  Not everyone is willing to do whatever it takes to line their life up with the truth of God’s Word.  But for those who choose to do whatever it takes, they ultimately enjoy the blessing and the simplicity of a life that is filled with love and peace and joy

             There are two concepts I learned this year that ended up being life changers for me.  The first one is on Conflict Resolution.  I wrote an article on that concept which is now the final Action Review of the Overcomers Fellowship Discipleship program. 

             Then, as this year was coming to a clos, I learned the stark reality about carnal Christians, and the fact that it is impossible for carnal Christians to acquire spiritual insight from God’s Word, but because they are led by their own Will, instead of being led by the Holy Spirit, they make up themselves, what they want God’s Word to mean, thus losing out on the spiritual insight that is granted only to those who obey the truth of God’s Word, with the first step of obedience being to make the total and complete Surrender to God of every aspect of their life.  The Surrender to God article is under the Insight tab on the front page of the spiritualreneal.com website.            

            One of the sad realities of a ministry call is the delusion that people have of people with a ministry call on their life., and even on people professing to be a Christian.   In this delusion, people lose sight of the fact that we are all as filthy rags, capable of the highest good, and the vilest evil.   What prevails in our own life is based on where we choose to set our minds – on the highest good, or the vilest evil.   Our interpersonal relationships are also based on what attributes we focus on in others – ranging from their highest good, to their vilest evil.   We cannot see in another person what is not activated in ourselves.  So, if we suddenly see a side of another person that we never saw before, and are shocked by what they now see that they did not see before, it only became apparent because we recognized and attribute that we have within ourself, usually trusting that no one will ever see the dispiciable side of us.  

           Our role, as Christians is to build others up,  by focusing on that which is praiseworthy about them, as we are instructed to do in Philippians 4:8.  No where in the Bible are we instructed to focus on the not so praiseworthy attributes in others. 

When I am focused on the downside of another person, I have slipped into the delusion that my sin is better than their sin, when in the eyes of God sin is sin. Since I don’t want people focusing on my downside, I very quickly make a change in my thinking to get refocused on that which is praiseworthy in others, which keeps my heart filled with love and peace and joy.

            During 2014, I plan to develop a scripture-based workshop on overcoming abuse and domestic violence and breaking the  “habit”  of abuse and violence in relationships.

Let me know if you want to schedule to participate or to host this workshop. 

11/14/2013 Update on My Husband

November 14, 2013
What a couple of weeks it has been. Chuck was not eating or drinking and I was trying desperately to figure out what to do.  We would get him to the hospital and they would put him on an IV to rehydrate him,etc., and when we would take him home, it would be back to the same routine of him languishing in bed all day, eating only a spoonful of food here and there and taking a sip or two of water or glucerna, with no interest in doing anything, or visiting anyone, or having anyone visit him, or watch TV.  We got to the point where we wondered if he was coming to the end of his life.
One of the participants at the Friday night Overcomer’s Fellowship that meets at my house, is  Catholic male nurse,  Each week I would pick his brain to find out from him, from his experience at working at a nursing home,  if there was anything we could do, or any medication that he could be on to get him back to life.   On Friday I asked him if there was a medication, or supplement we could get for him to stimulate his appetite.  He told me of a medication.  Then he said, “But here is what you really should do.  You should lay hands on him and pray for him the way you do for each new person who comes to the Overcomer’s meeting”.  WOW!  I never considered doing that.  Of course, I have been praying for him and asking others to pray, and we pray for him at each meeting, and at church, etc., But it never occurred to me to lay hands on him and pray for him the same way I pray for any new person who comes to the Overcomer’s meetings, based on the instructions given in Mark 16:18.
On Saturday, when he finally stirred a bit late in the morning, I laid hands on him and prayed this prayer, 
“Our Dear Heavenly Father, I lift Chuck up into the palm of your hands.  I ask you to put a shield of protection around him that no evil can penetrate.  I ask you to anoint him afresh with your precious Holy Spirit, and to fill him to overflowing with Your Love, Your Peace, and Your Joy.  I ask you to put Your Healing Hand upon him, and heal him from the top of his head to the tip of his toes.  and to let him know that You are with him, and that You will never leave him or forsake him”, or words similar to that.  That is all I did, and then I went about my day.
A few hours later, as I routinely do, I asked him if he would like to go to Sandi Pointe for dinner. This is one of his favorite restaurants, and it used to perk him up to go there, but lately he tells me he is not hungry, he has no appetite,  and does not feel up to going, and that it is too much of a hassle to get ready.  To my surprise, however, this time he said “okay.”  So I encouraged him to start getting ready in about an hour, which  he did.   The three of us went out to dinner, and he ate more at that dinner than he had eaten all week.  My son, was baffled.  He wondered what on earth happened.  He said the difference was so great that it seemed as if it was divine intervention.  Then I remembered the prayer, and told him, perhaps that is exactly what happened, and then told him I laid hands on him and prayed for him earlier in the day.
Of course, we wondered if the recovery would continue. I called  son, Charles, from church and asked how things were going.  He said everything was going well, that Chuck was eating a full breakfast and leaving nothing on his plate.  WOW!  Then we were scheduled to go out to dinner with friends, but I had no idea if we would be able to do it, so son, Charles put him on the phone and I asked him if he was on board to go to dinner with the Cioffi’s.  He said yes.  
When the time came, he got dressed.  We went out to dinner and he again ate a full meal.  We came back to the house for coffee and dessert, and he ate the dessert.  By the time the evening was over, he was snacking on this and that and the other, and ended up eating more in the last two days then he has eaten in the past couple of weeks.  Praise the Lord!
Tomorrow, Monday, I have to take him for a blood test, then the visiting nurse will be coming to change the dressing on his toe removal wound, then the physical therapist will be coming on Tuesday, and then he has a visit with his primary doctor, another visit with the visiting nurse, then another visit this week with the physical therapist. and then next Monday should be his final visit at the VA hospital in Wilmington to see the toe removal surgeon.  
Prayers that this healing momentum continues are MUCH APPRECIATED. 
Thank you for your prayers, 

10/15/2013 Dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High

October 15, 2013

Posted on October 15, 2013by 

In a previous post I wrote about dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High to avoid Domestic Violence.  What does it mean to dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High?  It simply means to obey the Lord’s instructions.  All of the Lord’s instructions are “If you do this, I (The Lord) will do that for you.”  I call them “IF you do’s, ” because no one HAS to do anything, but if I ask for The Lord’s blessing, guidance,  direction, protection, help, provision, then I have to do as the Lord instructs me to do.

James 1:5 says, “If any of you need wisdom, ask of God, and He will give you  wisdom freely and abundantly and without reproach.  So, if I am in a contentious situation with anyone, I can simply ask God what to do, and then obey the answer He gives me.  For example, the answer I might hear in my spirit is to “Be still and know that I am God”, Psalm 46:10.  So the first instruction I need to obey is for me to “Be still,….”

When I read  Psalm 91,  I can remind myself after each promise that I am doing as the Lord has instructed me.  I can read in Psalm 91:3, “Surely He will deliver me from the snare of the fowler,” and then say, “Because I am obeying God’s instruction to “”Be Still.”   I can then go on to read, “and from the noisome pestilence,” and then remind myself, “Because I am obeying The Lord’s instruction to, “Be Still.”  When I get to verse 5, “I shall not be afraid of the terror by night”,  then remind myself, “Because I am obeying God’s instruction to “Be Still.”  I can go all the way through that Psalm reminding myself after each phrase that the promise is for me because I am obeying the Lord’s instruction to me to “Be Still.”  By the time I get to verse 10, I have the assurance that as long as I am abiding in the Secret Place of the Most High and trusting in God, and obeying His last instruction to me, as it pertains to my prayer for what to do about the situation at hand, and am being still and knowing that God is God, I have nothing to worry about.  No evil will befall me.  It is as simple as that.  The difficult part is believing that it is that simple.

Perhaps when you prayed and asked the Lord what to do about eruptions of violence in your home, the Lord whispered in your heart to, “Focus on that which is praiseworthy in your spouse, and let your spouse know you appreciate those praiseworthy attributes.”  If you have difficulty obeying the Lord’s instruction, as it pertains to focusing on the praiseworthy attributes in your spouse, then you will know that you have had your focus on the not=so-praiseworthy attributes so much and for so long, that you have become blinded to the fact that your spouse does have praiseworthy attributes. At this point you might want to read a book such as Don Gossett’s book, There is Dynamite in Praise, so you can learn how to redirect your focus.

For more information on this concept, also consider going on the spiritualrenewal.com website and clocking on the Insight tab and scrolling to The Role of Marriage in the Kingdom of God, and reading that article.

Sometimes a domestic violence situation has gotten so far out of hand that one spouse or the other, or both,  feels in danger for their life.  I will address what to do about that in an upcoming post.

10/14/13 Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto

October 14, 2013

A year ago I decided to find out if a person my age could learn how to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.  I bought the music, with an accompanying CD, hired a teacher, and began to practice note by note, measure by measure, line by line, page by page.  I played an excerpt from the First Movement as a solo at my church on August 11, 2013.  The plan is to continue practicing and then have a video taped of the entire Concerto (all three movements) before the end of 2014.  This practicing is doing wonders for my brain and cognition.  I highly recommend that everyone learn to play an instrument, no matter what your age. 

Mozart Clarinet Concerto

October 14, 2013

Thank you to all of you who prayed me through this solo I performed on August 11, 2013. Thankfully Paula Dollarhide slowed down the accompaniment, which enabled me to play it at a slower pace so it was not as much of a disaster as it might have been.

10/14/2013 EIBRU FACTOR

October 14, 2013

As I continue to elucidate on the topic of Dealing with Domestic Violence from a Biblical Christian Perspective, I want to address a significant issue that causes strife in relationships, and that is the EXPECTATIONS that people put on others, that God never promised would be fulfilled by anyone on this earth. It is not that the Lord does not have people on this earth help us, but when we put an expectation on people, as if they are a paid employee, hired to do what we tell them to do, that is where we can  into challenging relationship difficulties. Please read the article below entitled EIBRU FACTOR. It illustrates the cycle that leads to underlying distress:

The EIBRU Factor©

(Pronounced i bru)

E – EXPECTATIONS There is no promise from God that ANYONE on this earth will do, say, or think, what I want, or think, I need them to do, say or think. There are only COMMANDMENTS from God of what I am to DO, SAY, or THINK, and PROMISES of what GOD will do in response to my obedience to His Word. When I put EXPECTATIONS on others, I put them, and myself, in bondage.

I – INTOLERANCE When others don’t live up to my Expectations, I become intolerant, consciously or subconsciously, hoping my intolerance will make them meet my expectations.

B – BITTERNESS When being intolerant does not cause others to meet my expectations, then I become bitter, hoping my bitterness will motivate the person I have put in bondage to meet my expectations.

R – RESENTMENT When the Bitterness doesn’t lead to the desired expectation from another, then I get filled with resentment.

U – UNFORGIVENESS When the Resentment doesn’t work, then I become Unforgiving. By now I have the entire Bitterness, Resentment and Unforgiveness cycle working full time in my life…all stemming from EXPECTATIONS of OTHERS that God never promised me.

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10/11/2013 Dealing With Domestic Violence From a Christian Perspective

October 11, 2013

An issue that I deal with frequently in counseling sessions is the trauma of domestic violence. At one point I wrote a Blog on this issue, but then got sidetracked with other projects and was not able to respond to the comments from people, some of whom understood what I was endeavoring to convey, and others who were appalled at my article.
As I read through the comments, I realize I need to give more explanation from a Christian Biblical perspective.

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Something happened…

July 21, 2012

Something happened recently that I have never experienced before in an Overcomers meeting.   Since we are in the process now of “going global” with this program, I want to figure out how to handle this kind of situation, so it gets incorporated into the meeting instructions, and included in the video of “How to Lead an Overcomers Meeting” that is going to be included in the leader’s manual.  

The way we handle the Open Forum part of the meeting is to first look up the word in the regular Webster’s dictionary.  Then we ask the questions we would like answered on the topic.  Next we look in the concordance for scripture verses that include the topic word.  Then we go around the room and each one reads their verse and extracts the concept that is being given right in the verse pertaining to the word. 
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9/22/11 Baptism in the Holy Spirit

September 22, 2011

Excerpts from sermons on the Baptism in The Holy Spirit by John G. Lake.

If Jesus Christ had been crucified, and there had been no resurrection, His death would have been without avail, in so far as the salvation of mankind is concerned. Or if He had risen from the grave in resurrection, and failed to reach the throne of God, and receive from the Father the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the purpose for which He died, and for which He arose, would have been missed.
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