3 Tips to “Defunk”

Funk is not always an upbeat note!
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Allyna woke up one bright morning only to find herself in a “funk”. The rising slump had been sluggishly creeping in for a while but, with no solid apparent reason. A slim loss of passion, a slight decrease in focus occasionally, and a few new pressures. Nothing more than we all face. Yet, the recession felt more like a nose-dive into a pit of worthlessness this particular break of day. She went throughout her routine with the lingering concern hoping the feeling would dissipate. Unfortunately, it grew and really began to take root over the next few weeks. When someone would ask how she was her response was “I am well”; “Doing fine and you?”. You know…the common comebacks because she couldn’t quite pinpoint a real problem. Have you ever experienced this state? Are you familiar with the status?

I have had the pleasure of being there! To this day I probably can’t isolate any major reasons for every episode. However, I can attest to the fact that the wacky feelings are real and it definitely lacks any “glimmer or shimmer” nor resembles any upbeat music. So, what can we do when the mood strikes? Address it, call it out, deal with the elephant in the room.

Here are 3 “defunking” tips:

1. Replace the source! Go straight to the Lord. He knows you better than you know yourself. The Father is aware of your condition and He saw it coming way before you did. Confess it, hand it over, and claim scripture. Make no mistake, the enemy has been prowling and wants more than anything for this state of mind to be the key of destruction. He wants to drag you so far away from God that you forget He is your sufficiency. Dethrone him and send him back to the fiery pit from which he came.

Lord, I bring my entire being under your authority and I place my trust in you alone. Cut off the source of this unproductive mood and help me stand firm in your blessed joy. I will cling to your word and not my state of mind.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.    2 Corinthians 12:9

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7

Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies. Psalm 103:2-4

2. Change the view! Most of the time the funk is brought on by feelings related to self-reflection. Remember, we are continually fighting a battle against our sinful nature. So, slay that dreadful dragon with love for someone else besides yourself. Go out of your way to do something for others. Snail mail a short note with an uplifting message, pay for a stranger’s coffee, offer to babysit someone’s kiddos for an evening, pick up the phone and call that distant family member, pray for specific people with desperate needs… The main thing is JUST DO IT! It doesn’t matter how you feel, just reach beyond yourself. It changes the view and reflects God’s heart.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

3.  Release the funk! Just like an instant-pot, steam has to be released. So, go for a walk, run around the track, go hammer a few nails in a board, pump some iron, deal with all those weeds in the yard, etc. Whatever healthy exercise method works for you. Physically get it out of your system and release it to the Lord. Refuse to bottle up the feelings and emotions associated with an “out of sorts” mood. I’m not promising it will fade immediately but, I am saying that oxygen and hormones through exercise will stimulate the brain and aid in decreasing the negative state. As you get moving, the goal is to remove the unwanted guest. You can do it!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Then maybe enjoy some real funk!

Admiration for God

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Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)

Are you looking for a new way to praise the Lord? Come join in the fun over the next 26 days as we focus on the description of our Lord through the alphabet.

Each day you will be provided a list of words based on one alphabet letter. Think of other words you could add to the list. Then, use these words in your quiet time or family time that day by thanking God for being…(amazing, awesome, almighty)

Come join us on Facebook. We would love for you to add your words to the list everyday over the next few weeks. Let’s get started.

https://www.facebook.com/underHisAuthority/

Eternal Mindset of P.R.A.I.S.E.

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I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Holy Saturday – a day of mourning for the disciples observing Jewish Sabbath. The weekly events were nothing shy of a treacherous rollercoaster ride of emotions. Can you imagine how they felt? Defeated, confused, astonished, afraid…maybe even a close resemblance of a negative mindset leading way to skepticism of what was yet to come. Perhaps they had even forgotten about Jesus’ proclamation of rising on the third day.

How often does our own mindset leave us hopeless? In the midst of crisis, it is easy to fix our eyes on the surrounding issues and forget the promise we find in Romans 8:38-39. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The promises of God have the authority to align our frame of mind to an eternal attitude. An assuring view focused on the Father and the confirming love of Jesus.  

When we employ an infinite mentality, God is acknowledged as the reigning authority working in us and through us. We can acclaim to the fact that the Trinity is alive and well despite the pain and suffering we face. It fills us with hope and ignites the Spirit of God within us. This light in the darkness transports meaning and purpose into our circumstances. It conveys the message to fix our eyes on things above rather than wallow in a sea of self-pity and grumbling.

Grasping to an everlasting outlook and an interminable approach brings God praise. What a beautiful display of belief and trust in the Lord. It is the ceaseless hope the disciples needed on that Jewish Sabbath. A conviction that the physical death witnessed could not rescind. The vision Jesus explained prior to his crucifixion.

For God so loved the word that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. This is our concept, a timeless life with the Father. Christ Jesus paid the fee for the pathway to salvation. God’s revelation of truth gives way to us choosing an eternal mindset and approaching life with praise.

Welcome God’s viewpoint into your life. This eternal mindset will open the door to great praise. Let it take root in your thoughts, actions, and beliefs. Hold on to the everlasting results God has promised.

Happy Easter my friends!

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:6

Surrender of P.R.A.I.S.E.

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I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Good Friday of Holy Week is the ultimate picture of surrender. The day when Pilate surrendered to peer pressure, resulting in the crucifixion of Christ. Jesus surrendered to the will of God and suffered in agony and pain for the salvation of all mankind. Hanging on a cross for hours upon end, undergoing more than most can bear to hear. The ultimate sacrifice to make way for grace. And yet, as He was suffering, He asked the Father to forgive those who were persecuting him (Luke 23:34). His divine nature and unconditional love for others is mind-boggling. Astonishing mercy, grace, and love!

The last words uttered by Christ are found in Luke 23:46. A display of extraordinary sacrifice and submission to God. The scripture reads, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. All that was within him he placed into God’s hands. Enormous trust in the Father was demonstrated for all the world to hear and see. His last seven words are forever part of Good Friday. What a testimony for followers.

Jesus’ submission is a display of ultimate praise. Christ validates his trust through the yielding of his spirit. I can’t help but sing, “You can have it all Lord, every part of my world”. All for your glory, all for your will, all for the advancement of your kingdom. Praise Your Holy Name!

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great in the LORD and most worthy of praise, he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:23-29

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

The surrender of praise is a choice much like our attitude of praise. We are called to be living sacrifices. Scripture reminds us that this is what brings ultimate adoration to the Father. May this Good Friday bring to mind submission and allow you a time to reflect upon your personal commitment to the Lord. 

Are you willing to give it all to Him? He gave His all for you.

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Intellect of P.R.A.I.S.E.

LAST SUPPER
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And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statues and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27

Thursday of Holy Week is a reflection on the Last Supper, Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, and a new covenant. As the disciples watched and listened to Christ, the information didn’t quite make sense. They had questions—How can your body be broken and your blood shed for mankind? Why are you serving us when you are the Messiah? Who is this Spirit coming to live within us as part of the new covenant? What do you mean someone will betray you or even deny you three times? Why are you going away? When will you return? How can this be? Why does the world as we know it have to change? Within a short period of time, their grasp of the Savior’s knowledge began to unfold and their intellect began to align with the very words Christ shared and displayed.

The intellect of God is exceedingly great. Psalm 139 describes the Father as an all-knowing Lord. Scripture continually reminds us of His power and wisdom. God is magnificent in all of His ways. It is difficult for our human minds to completely comprehend the vastness of the Almighty nor understand His methods and approaches because they contrast from our human nature. Therefore, we have to rely on His Holy Word and the Holy Spirit to lead and guide. Wisdom and insight come from our faith in the unseen. The marvelous light that fills our heart, mind, and soul is far above anything we can physically see or touch. Knowledge in God produces an awareness of our purpose and who we are. We come to realize that we are created for Him and His glory. Without this discernment, how can we praise Him?

Praise can be accomplished when we become very familiar with what we are adoring. How can we bring worship and honor to something or someone we only know on a minimal scale? What makes it worthy of praise? Could it be a false act and we do it because everyone else does? Or is it a genuine celebration of the most valuable thing in life deserving of honor because of what we know about them? Do we have a deep personal connection establishing meaning for our praise?

I would encourage you my friend to examine your reason for praise. The intellect of it is pinpointing the purpose and intention. Get to know the Father on a higher level. Let Him reveal who He is through your reliance on His Word and the Holy Spirit. Embrace the stretching of your faith and be open to God’s intelligence. It is a sure way to increase your praise and defend your reasons for honoring your #1.  

Attitude of P.R.A.I.S.E.

Through him them let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
― Winston S. Churchill

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
― Lou Holtz

“Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, money, circumstances, than failures and success, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, ability, or skill. It will make or break a business, a home, a friendship, an organization. The remarkable thing is I have a choice every day of what my attitude will be. I cannot change my past. I cannot change the actions of others. I cannot change the inevitable. The only thing I can change is attitude. Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.”
― Charles R. Swindoll

“When you take control of your attitude, you take control of your life.” “Happiness depends on your mindset and attitude.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do. Attitudes count more than achievements.”
― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

And the list continues regarding attitude. I am sure you have a few favorite quotes on the subject as well. When I reflect upon them, one particular line comes to mind. “Your attitude is a personal price tag; it determines your value.”

By definition attitude is the way we thinking about something or someone. It includes the posture we choose to display. Therefore, attitude is a choice. This choosing is relative to all areas of life, especially regarding praise for the Lord. The approach and outlook we have directly affects the stance of gratitude and thankfulness within our hearts.

On Wednesday of Holy Week, Matthew 26:14-16 is a passage some contemplate, the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Thirty pieces of silver was his greedy attitude. No regard of appreciation for the one and only Savior. He had spent hours upon hours following Jesus and witnessed what He spoke as truth. Where was Judas’ gratitude and recognition of thanks for God, the solitary hope for his life? Overcome by the love of his human nature and an attitude of selfishness. Choosing this stance, he could not possess an attitude of thankfulness nor could he utter a word of praise to God Almighty. A single choice. . .

Occupying an attitude of praise goes beyond the way we feel. There are days when our circumstances dominate our thinking and influence our emotions. We all have them; “rotten, no good, very bad days”. It takes our faith, inward love for God, and the Holy Spirit to seize our attitude. It is our choosing to bring our attitude under the authority of the Father and praise His Holy name.

Don’t feel like praising—Do It Anyway! Don’t feel thankful—Praise God Anyway! Why? It is a biblical stance to select an attitude of praise for a Savior whose love was displayed on a cross through a broken body and nail scarred hands. He is beyond worthy of our praise despite our feelings and emotions.

I once heard it expressed that our attitude of praise can be altered by starting with our duty to honor the Lord. As we elect to praise the Father out of sheer duty, over time it transforms into devotion. Then as we select to exercise our devotion to God, it becomes sheer delight-absolute sold out PRAISE! Duty-Devotion-Delight…a method to changing your attitude of praise.

 “Even the smallest changes in our daily routine can create incredible ripple effects that expand our vision of what is possible.”
― Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life

Reflection of P.R.A.I.S.E.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Reflection-Do you remember Mulan? She struggled with her outward appearance because she felt it didn’t coincide with her inward being. How often do we grapple with our own reflection portraying the one who lives within?

https://tinyurl.com/qqkssr3

Time and time again I have been frustrated with my sinful nature showing up externally when my innermost desire is a heart for God. Paul eloquently depicted this wrestling in Romans 7:14-25 when he explains how he seems to do what he doesn’t want to do. It has often been referred to as a boxing match between the mind and sinful nature. What I know to be true is the BRAWL is brutally real!  

On this day during Holy Week, let us consider how our reflection influences our praise. When our lives manifest corruption, the immorality restrains our ability to give full honor and praise. Sin separates us from the Lord and becomes a crippling and paralyzing mechanism. Our reflection contradicts any likeness of admiration for the Lord. Why? Because guilt and shame restrict our full ability to display compassion for the Father. So, the fight pattern Paul describes raises its ugly head again.

As we desire to give God praise, we must take a good look at our reflection. Are we self-reflected or God-reflected? Are we willing to abstain from every source holding us back from radiating the Father? Whose strength are we relying upon to refine us in becoming more like the image of God?

Ray Vander Laan has a study called In the Dust of the Rabbi. In his study there is a session where he refers to us as living stones. Ray states we are a rock to be utilized in building the Lord’s temple but we must be chiseled and shaped by the Almighty Father. Our response to the process will determine our destiny. It is a lifetime process which I refer to as refining.

Let us embrace our journey and consent to God’s purifying and polishing so our reflection of Him enhances our praise. Be encouraged by Colossians 1:9a-14 as you allow the Holy Spirit to assist you in aligning your outward appearance with your inward love for God.  

…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Posture of P.R.A.I.S.E.

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4

Body language-need I say more! Scrunched up face, crossed arms, bobbing head, mocking mouth, rolling eyes—total disrespect. Oh, don’t let me forget outward actions like slamming a door. Yep, that will cause any father to take the door right off the hinges. You understand if there are or if there had once been teenagers in your household. Maybe, you’ve had the privilege to be an educator, childcare worker, coach, youth pastor… Yet, who am I kidding? I was a teenager once and still this youthful posture will arise its ugly head.

As we dive into Holy Week, let us ever be mindful of not only our body language but also the stance of our heart, mind, and soul. Praise is an expression of something relished and adored. When you possess love for someone or something, it is evident in your posture. You radiate with admiration and you can’t hold back your feelings. You want the world to celebrate with you because of the emotion it generates.

So why is our outburst of discontent sometimes easier to display than our compassion for God? (Ouch! That hurts even more when I see it displayed in words.) It is a question we must visit when we exam how we praise the Father. The position of our entire being bears the demonstration of worship on many levels. Posture exposes and presents the owned passion for God. Although we all retain a level of public display, God recognizes a heart for Him. He is never fooled.

Luke 19 describes the Monday of Holy Week as a day when Jesus discovers a stance of disrespect and unbelief in the Temple. His intense desire to purify His children is clearly seen by His intolerance for disgrace and lack of honor. He found their demonstration far from exalting God. It looked more like a proudful strut flaunting selfish desires and parading their gods in the presence of God.

What is your posture of PRAISE? How do you show reverence inwardly and outwardly? Does the world know who you love above all else? Where can you improve upon your praise stance? In what posture do you want Jesus to find you on any given day?

May God’s word encourage you as you examine your entire praise pose:

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Rev. 7:9

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. Psalm 134:2  

When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD. Genesis 24:52

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

It came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Exodus 17:11

May we be found leaping for joy, bowing down in worship, standing in honor, lifting our hands in reverence as we gaze upon His glory.

Share your position knowledge and experience of praise with someone today. I can’t think of a better stance on Monday of Holy Week.

Six Days of P.R.A.I.S.E.

Praise Him for He is the tree of Eternal Life!

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103: 1-5

Hi friends! Welcome to Holy Week. This is my favorite season. It signifies such an outpouring of love. A time where the Almighty Father awarded His very best, His son, Jesus Christ, to a lost and dying world. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the Lord’s all sufficient mercy.

Our Great and Mighty Jehovah is beyond worthy of our adoration. He has prepared things before us, is present with us, and is fashioning the days ahead. How can we not bellow it from the mountain tops and even in the valleys low with all that we possess?

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the Lord God Almighty!

Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him!

The Lord God Almighty is worthy to be praised with all that I am.

Bless His Holy Name.

As an invitation of praise, come join in six days of P.R.A.I.S.E. during this Holy Week. Let us discover together how to offer our very best to the one who gave it all. May we unite with one another through a Spirit of praise and allow the Lord to fill our vessels to overflowing. During these days, may we be energized to rise up and offer our daily takeaways with at least one other person, each day for six days.

Father God we pray for a Spirit of Praise to be forever present in our posture, reflection, attitude, intellect, surrender, and eternal mindset. We give you all we have in sincere worship because You gave all you had for us. We aspire to grant our best to You. Thank You Father God for Your Love shed on the cross. Oh gracious Lord, it should have been us.

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