Posts Tagged Dr. Jim Richards

In Stillness

Psalm 46: 10             KJV

Be still, and know that I am God.

This is one of those verses which I like and often quote from the King James Bible. It is also probably the one scripture that did more for my ability to converse with God than any other. To come to know God, I had to be still. The NASB version is very instructive on this verse. It reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” This rendering of the verse spoke loudly to me. I was very frustrated with my inability to hear God speak to me. It turned out that I needed to not try so hard. I just needed to be still physically and mentally, then I could and did hear him.

You have heard me mention Dr. Mark Virkler’s Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice and Dr. Jim Richard’s Heart Physics. Each of these are good tools for helping you calm yourself down so that you can hear God speaking  inside of you. My favorite tool of all is breathing. Yep, I said breathing. I have learned how to take a deep breath and clear the stress and anxiety from my mind so I can hear Him speak. Sometimes my mind is so active that it is like a pinball game inside my head. That is when I just need to take a deep breath and relax. In the beginning it might take me a while to settle but now I can usually notice a difference with one big breath. I also turn my mind to a picture of Jesus. Usually in times of busyness and chaos, there are lots of pictures and words running through my mind. So, I take a deep breath and perhaps picture Jesus seated next to a mountain stream. In a moment I join him there and the rest of the world slips away for a few minutes.

You will learn about journaling in the Four Keys. Check out, also, some examples of my journaling at http://www.bornofthespirit.today/learning-to-hear-directly-from-god/. Journaling is another good way to calm your mind. When you give your mind and hands something focused to do the chaos calms.

Once I could hear Father speak to me, our relationship began to change quickly. I began to recognize Him as a Dad every bit as much as God. From there I soon recognized His presence with me. More and more He became an integrated part of my life and more and more I yearned to have Him in every moment of my day. He and Jesus have become my friends. They are who I like to talk with. I point out my observations to them and they share their perspective with me.

As, I said, I have not arrived at the end of the journey by any means, but, becoming more intertwined with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has changed my life, as you would expect it would. I find I long for them even more because life with them is good. Life has stress but when you have best friends like Yahweh and Jesus, it sure helps. They fill me with their peace and take my stress. They take my judgment, replacing it with compassion. Living in them and with them is just better than life without them.

I have shared some of my journey to getting to know the Holy Trinity and how I am intertwining my life with theirs. I invite you to share your experiences and successes so others may find a closer walk with Jesus. Simply click the link below to share your thoughts. Thanks.

Thinking Clearly

Proverb 23: 7               NKJV

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

I cannot get this verse out of my mind so we might as well deal with it. Allow me to say, first, that there are several layers of this verse but I am only going to deal with one. That layer is that the thoughts of our hearts determine a great deal about us from our behaviors to our health.

God created a wondrous mechanism when He created us. The Human body is complex and wonderful. It is no surprise that God is the master healer because he created the machinery. He knows how it works. Therefore, we can find much wisdom for our bodies and our health in the “Operation Manual” He developed for us.

One of the things we are learning through modern medical science and quantum physics is that this statement from the 23rd Proverb is powerfully true and at a very basic level. The truth we are all trying to grasp is that the thoughts we have are imbued with the power to make themselves come to pass. Another way to say this is that the way we think in our hearts, the beliefs which we hold to be truth, will be our reality. If I think I get the flu every winter, then I am right. If I think I don’t get sick then, guess what, I rarely do.

If God knew what He was talking about when He had these words penned then we can change our reality by changing our heart beliefs. This is the essence of Heart Physics with Dr. Jim Richards. There is also a book by Dr. Joe Dispenza titled You are the Placebo and much more about the placebo effect and the power of believing.

If we can harness the power of our own minds and mouths, for that matter, we really can change our destinies and our health. I just imagine God saying, “There is healing for this” no matter the problem. Our emotions are impacting our health and everything around us. Our thoughts are controlling us and determining our future.

The question that keeps buzzing around in my brain is, “Father, what can we not do when we cooperate with you?” What if we really became intertwined with the Father. What if He became the Lord of our thoughts and our beliefs? If we could hear Him speak to us daily, what would He say to us? He might show us how to think about our bodies so as to promote healing. He would heal our emotions. He would teach us how to create the realities He planned for us by marrying our thoughts about us with His.

As we think in our hearts, so we shall be. I believe this. I do not believe or mean to say that we are the answer but I deeply believe that God in us, the integration of us with the Holy One, is the answer to everything. I do believe that our beloved and wise Father built into us the machinery for success at every level including good health. I am convinced beyond any argument that He intended and currently intends for us to be healthy. I am also convinced, persuaded, that His intent is for us to be whole in every realm of life. Whole – nothing broken, nothing missing. Could it be that part of our lack, our falling short of the glory He designed for each one of us, is in the beliefs of our heart? Perhaps we fail because we fail to jump into His arms and trust Him for completeness. What will He do for us if we let Him? Maybe a key to today’s verse, and ultimately to everything we need and want, is how a man believes in his heart about God. Maybe if someone could convince us that God is safe and from that point of beginning we could abandon our religious thinking and finally approach Him with all our baggage, we could become the transformed butterfly which He sees when He looks at us. Maybe we could finally jump into His arms and receive His abundance. We would forsake the pew for His lap. Communion would cease being a ritual and would be a meal shared in the presence of and with the Father. If we could have the thoughts about ourselves that the Father thinks about us we could, and would, be truly free.

I hope you will meditate on this verse. I pray also that something in today’s devotional touched you in such a way that you find new and more intimate avenues to your Father. I welcome your comments. Be Blessed my friends, and be whole.

Freedom

Galatians 5: 1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free.

I recently read How to Stop the Pain by Dr. Jim Richards. Though my copy of this book is highlighted throughout and hand-written notes garnish every chapter, there was one page, one paragraph that was so loud to my Pastor’s heart that I determined I must share it with you.

It is from this premise that Jesus came to set us free that Dr. Richards writes, “Following Him (Jesus) wholeheartedly is the safest life in the world. It has the greatest peace; it has the emotional freedom we all desire. To follow Him wholeheartedly, though, requires that we trust Him enough to apply His truth to our lives” (P. 94). Therein lies the rub. The freedom Jesus bought for us on Calvary is wrapped in the cloak of trust. If we put on this cloak and enfold ourselves in it we will absolutely be protected from the storms but how do we trust Jesus to the extent that we are willing to take those first tentative steps? For some people it comes from desperation. When we get ourselves in a deep enough mess, sometimes that is enough to allow us to make that leap of faith. Dr. Richards continues, “We must walk in love. We must discard our former way of finding safety and happiness and follow His teachings.” This requires us to do things differently and that can be a challenge.

Truthfully, most of us are not making cognitive choices about our interaction with the world. We just do what we have always done or what we were taught to do. This freedom in Jesus requires us to abandon our ways and live according to his ways. Even if we know the difference rarely do we make contemplative choices. We live according to reactionary patterns. It is possible, though, for his ways to become so ingrained in us that they surface without cognitive thought. In order for that to become our reality, though, we must spend quiet, meditative time with Jesus and with his word. It is not enough for us to merely read a chapter a day. That is good and fine but what we are talking about here is that word getting down in your heart. Whatever is in your heart will come out when faced with a situation. Many times we do not even have the luxury of thinking about our choices. Sometimes we just react and those reactions come from whatever we have sown in our hearts.

Truly the freedom that Dr. Richards encourages is from following Jesus wholeheartedly. As we spend time with Jesus, talking with him and listening to him, and as we observe him through the scriptures we gain a new reality in him. His ways become our ways and the chains that he came to set us free from fall away. There is freedom in Jesus. It is in trusting him and following him. It is in putting our feet in his footsteps instead of following the ways we have learned in the world. Knowing Jesus, not just knowing about him but knowing him is to know freedom. Trust him and be free.

Whiteboard

Ephesians 4: 22 – 24

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Dr. Jim Richards of Impact Ministries (www.impactministries.com) has a break-through program called Heart Physics. It is a powerful tool for moving forward in life, breaking through those things which have held you down and just generally improving the quality of life. One of the strategies that Dr. Richards teaches is to put off the stuff which is binding you and to put on the freedom which Jesus purchased for you. 

As Dr. Richards leads us through the put off and put on I often imagine myself wearing a robe like would have been worn in Jesus’ time. I see myself taking off my old robe and putting on a brand new one. You can get creative with your mind picture. Perhaps you see your old robe as beige to brown; maybe you notice the signs of wear, dirt and even some stains. As you begin to don your new robe, the one Jesus went and bought for you, you might see him taking it out of a box and holding it up for review. It is pristine white and even shines. Watch as he holds it for you to slip into. Together you wrap your body in that beautiful robe which almost looks as though it is made from white, white light.

We can change our old garment for a new one. We can exchange old images and beliefs for new ones. Heart Physics is a methodology whereby we can actually write truth on our own hearts. Most of us have been fed lies at some time or have believed something untrue about ourselves. In fact, much of what we once believed about ourselves has been eradicated by Jesus’ ministry. Therefore, one of the most powerful aspects of Heart Physics is that you can go onto your own heart’s website and erase what is there and rewrite the story. Here is a visualization I use for that process. 

Tabula Rasa is a Latin term which goes back to a Roman tablet which could be used for writing, erased and written upon again. You will see that it is understandable that Tabula Rasa is rendered “blank slate” in English. It is a philosophical term which has strong implications in Western Society but we can also use it as a spiritual device. I imagine my heart as a large whiteboard; perhaps it is 4’ X 6′. This is my tabula rasa. I watch myself approach the whiteboard which is covered with writing in many different colors. Then I watch as I pick up the eraser and erase everything that is there. I am left with a completely white board, a completely clean writing surface upon which I can inscribe whatever I want.

What would you write on the tablet of your heart if you had the chance? Would you draw a picture, write your name in different colors, or even post pictures of yourself as you choose to see you? Well, it is your board, do as you wish. Here are a few thoughts though. Get into your heart zone first. If you don’t know how to do this go to Impact Ministries’ website and discover Heart Physics. When you do see yourself standing before a completely white board, write truth. Write upon that board, which is your heart, what Jesus says about you. See yourself through the Father’s eyes and post that picture. Then under that picture write: redeemed, beloved, saved, restored, glorified, justified, cleansed, healed, renewed, full of grace, and so on. Go back every day and look at the truth about you. Keep adding to your board. Put up a second board if you need more writing room. Tape up a picture of Jesus and you together. Add fabric, color, whatever you want. Maybe you can see Jesus writing on it. Make it real, make it yours. Anytime anyone’s opinion or image of you, other than Jesus’, appears on your board, erase it. Oh how fun that may be. Have fun. Be creative. You are your own tabula rasa and you own all the crayons. Write your story!

Leadership 101

1 Thessalonians 5: 11

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

I wrote in the spring on Hebrews 3: 13 which reads, “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Over these last four months God has been showing me, increasingly, how important it is to be an encourager. Additionally, He has shown me that encouragement is one of Jesus’ leadership traits. Before this year I would likely not have included encouragement in a list of leadership traits. I would have been wrong. The Lord is showing that in order to become the leader He has ordained you to be, you must embrace the responsibility of encouragement.

Encouragement, as we see from today’s verse, builds a person up. A large part of leadership is building up others. All too often our model of leadership is in the correcting of others. I found an amazing quote in a book I am reading. The book is Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Dr. Jim Richards. Dr. Richards wrote, “As leaders we have assumed people didn’t really want to move forward. We have blamed their lack of faith. We have questioned their commitment. We have told them they needed to try harder, pray more, cry out to God, and a plethora of other ‘spiritual gymnastics.’ But the truth is we have never given them the right key.” In other words, when people are not succeeding at the level we are or at the level we think they should be, we question their motivation, their commitment and even their faith. Richards points out that most often those people simply have not been given the appropriate tools for success.

As ministers, we can certainly be guilty of this. Our parishioners’ lack of success is a negative reflection on us. If we do not have an answer then we can easily blame the lack of success on their faith or their commitment. Perhaps, though, if the student is not learning, we should inquire of the teacher. I admit to being challenged by this passage from Dr. Richards because I want to be the leader God called me to be. Bit by bit I am learning that only comes with the power to encourage others. We must become builders of people. 

Yahweh, our Father, has called every one of us as a builder of the kingdom. The Kingdom of God, however, is not made of brick and mortar. It is not built of evangelical trips to the Congo. It is not even in the Holy Sacraments. The Kingdom of God is Yahweh’s people. Until we place a value on the building up of God’s people we will continue to miss the mark. 

Every one of you has been called to great things in the Kingdom of God. Don’t doubt it. Let us help each other to become all that God as ordained us to be. We can be the leaders, mentors and teachers who help people attain their highest ambitions. Let’s encourage one another in this pursuit.