Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for May, 2013

Manna in the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 31, 2013

Manna in the Morning

Committing to a Life of Purity

Father, I come before Your throne of grace in the name of Jesus. At one time I walked [habitually] following the course and fashion of this world [under the sway of the tendency of this present age]. I lived and conducted myself in the passions of my flesh [my behavior governed by my corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of my mind [my cravings dictated by my senses and my dark imaginings.
But, God — You are so rich in Your mercy! Even when I was dead (slain) by [my own] shortcomings and trespasses, You made me alive together in union with Christ, and it is by Your grace (Your favor and mercy that I did not deserve) that I am saved (delivered from judgment and made a partaker of Christ’s salvation). You raised me up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving me joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
You are my Father; I am Your child. Since I am in Christ, I am a new creature; old things have passed away, and behold, all things have become new.
In accordance with Your Word, I rid myself of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like a newborn baby, I crave pure spiritual milk so that by it I may grow up in my salvation, now that I have tasted that You, Lord, are good.
Father, forgive me for the years of watching, reading, and listening to vile things. I submit to Jesus Christ, Who loves me and gave Himself up for me, so that He might sanctify me, having cleansed me by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present me to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that I might be holy and faultless].
Thank You for the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to You, which cleanses my conscience from acts that lead to death, so that I may serve You, the living God! Thank You for the Holy Spirit Who indwells me. He is holy (chaste, pure).
I ask for and receive an impartation of the wisdom that comes from heaven — it is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.
May my words issue from a pure heart, and may they be pleasing to You.
Lord, Your Holy Spirit is my Counselor — [change my impure language] and give to me a clear and pure speech from pure lips, that I may call upon Your name, to serve You.
I am transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of my mind, and I bring my thoughts into obedience to Your Word. I fix my thoughts on what is true and good and right. I determine to think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. I think about all I can praise You for, and I am glad. I keep and guard my heart with all vigilance and above all that I guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
What [an incredible] quality of love You have given (shown, bestowed upon) me, that I should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted a child of God! I am [even here and] now Your child; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what I shall be [hereafter], but I know that when Jesus comes and is manifested, I shall [as Your child] resemble and be like Him, for I shall see Him just as He [really] is. I have this hope [resting] on Him, and I cleanse (purify) myself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).
Through the power of the Holy Spirit given to me, I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony!
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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Manna in the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 30, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
– Joshua 22:5

If you ever wondered what your purpose in this life was when you were born? God had that purpose, and more, in mind when He formed us in our mother’s womb. He has a specific plan for each and every one of His children, us, and it will be completed to its fruition. But the above verse is the beginning of the purpose, bringing acknowledgement to His grace and mercy He has bestowed upon us because of His love for us. We are to love God above all else in life, to keep His Word hidden in our hearts that we might not sin against Him, and serve Him alone, always! When we adhere to this commandment of His Word into our daily lives, we’re not only glorifying God, but we are showing obedience and submission to His Word as His children. Placing God first in our lives will insure, as well as assure, all of us who belong the Lord of lords and King of kings that we place our trust in Him and that there is no one or nothing we love more than Him. We must be diligent in understanding His Word, His purpose, and His requirement as His people for us to sustain in this life. Assess your priorities, and see if God is first above everything in your life. Allow Him to be Lord over all that encompasses you, and begin to experience God on a whole new level of spiritual relationanship. Have a blessed and enjoyable day friends, in Jesus’ Name!

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Manna in the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 29, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked [person].” – Psalm 101:3-4

All of us know of some people whose hearts are not honest and have cruel intentions. Because they are either aquaintances, people we work with, family, or just the neighbor next door or across the street, we ought to be mindful of entertaining such unhealthy friendships. If we know that wickedness is associated with those in our environments, we ought to pray for them and then turn our attention to the Lord, lest we be tempted also. We must not allow ourselves, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be engaged in entertaining wickedness or evil deeds for any reason. It is so easy to get caught up in any situation, portraying to be good in appearance but evil or wicked in agenda or motive. Ask God for discernment so that you will know what is good and what is evil. Don’t be fooled! We may be strong enough at times to be aware of the enemies’ devices, but he will come again unawares and catch us when we’re not expecting him. Stay prayed up, stay in the Word, and consult your accountability cord of friends frequently to stay sharp, ready and watchful. Have a powerful, victorious and overcoming day friends, in Jesus’ Name!

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Manna in the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 28, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” – 2 Timothy 2:15, 16

The Word of God is our source for living the holy life that God created us to live in. The Word gives us direction, purpose, strength, comfort, and instructs us to be obedient and submissive to His statutes and commands. But we’ll never know or understand them if we don’t study His Word. Taking time out to meditate on God’s Word provides understanding and wisdom that comes from up above. The Word’s instruction and guidance will protect us from saying and doing things that don’t edify us and others. The Word keeps us sharp, thinking on the things of God such as being honesty, being pure, godly, holy, full of peace, joy. Spending time reading and studying the Word strengthens our minds and hearts to depend on God, to protect us from the devices of the enemy. But how will we know these and other important instructions if we don’t make time to pick up the Word and get saturated in it. We have to eat the Word, stay in the Word, and make it our world if we are to be who God has created us to be. Let’s begin to take some time and read, study and meditate in and on the Wod more than we have been. We don’t want to be caught dumbfounded of His Word in times where we really need it. Have a wonderful day friends, in Jesus’ Name!

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Manna in the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 27, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139:1-24

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We Thank You, We Salute You

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 27, 2013

Memorial Remembrance

We thank you first and foremost for answering the call,
The direction of your life was changed for the purpose of all.
You accepted the challenge, went in with uncertainty and some fear,
Not knowing the results or returning to the love ones that were here.

Courage

You gave your passions, your commitments and all that you had,
Realizing the what you have to do affects everyone, the good and the bad.
Your focus was on defending your country at all costs, and whatever it took,
You had a purpose, a challenge, a task, you went by the book.

Courage 2

Although you may or may not have agreed with the methods used to gain a stand,
Your submission to the calling was to defend and preserve this great and blessed land.
There were casualties, losses, and lives that were taken without reason,
But, you did what you had to do, because if not, it would have been treason.

But your courage, your faith, and your desire to win cannot be disputed,
The freedoms you fought for were for everyone, thoroughly constituted.
There was nothing selfish in anything that you’ve done,
You brought victory and admiration through the battles that you have won.

So in keeping with the traditions of remembering you, your dedication to fight,
For the freedoms we have not only came by day, but also by night.
We want to say we sincerely thank all the veterans of the past and present day,
Becuase if it had not been for you, our voice would not be heard, or any word to say.

Remember You

We thank you with all of our hearts because your courage spoke for us in silence,
We’ll never know what you went through, but we have victory because of your presence.
We salute you, Men and Women of our Armed Forces, on every level of success,
Our freedoms will never go unacknowledged, from the north, south, east or west.

Thank You!

Thank you, We Salute You!

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Change – Why is Fear Involved?

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 27, 2013

Change Ahead!

Change.

What is it about this six letter word that causes so much anxiety in a man when it comes to this? When a man hears that word, immediately the defense mechanisms engage and we are prepared to argue, to discuss, or in some cases to dispute anything that is coming to disrupt or interfere. And it really doesn’t have to be anything against us, just having that atmosphere of the unknown in our presence stimulates enough awareness to cause us to be more alert to whatever is about to happen. I think it’s safe to say it’s a common feeling amongst men, especially with the challenges we face daily in life.
But what is it about change? Change is something that we men don’t necessarily adapt to very well. Some men can do so with a smooth transition when they know what the outcome will be. But what about those of us who face the unknown? What about those of us who are facing the tasks of rediscovering ourselves spiritually, trying to find our purpose in life, looking for a better way of living our lives from a more positive perspective? That is something that involves change, and understanding what it is we must do to adjust with it.
Our common response to anything that is still working or running normal is “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” The key word is “normal.” Relating this topic to recovery efforts, change is one of the most fearful things a man who struggles with addictive behaviors can go through. You would think that with all the different types of behaviors he exhibits: changing the tone of his voice, changing his walk, changing his demeanor, changing his spending, etc., change would be right up his alley of conforming to his liking. But when you begin a recovery that involves exposure, honesty and transparency, and the things you will need to conform to, change should be near or at the top of our list. This would involve something that he is not willing to do: to be open and receptive to changing his lifestyle, as well as his thought process. In other words, a man must be willing to be transformed from the inside out. This is something he who begins recovery is not really happy or intrigued about doing. He’s really afraid of this because of what it involves.

Change process

Several years ago when I was coming out of my mess, I had a lot of decisions to make regarding God, my life, my marriage and my family. After the EMB (Every Man’s Battle) conference I came home from that week of total honesty and exposure and began that decision process. I knew this was something I didn’t want to do, but it was something I needed to do. Despite the shame, guilt and embarrassment of opening up to my wife about the all the wrong I had done to her over the years, and not wanting to hurt her again by bringing it up, I had to do it. I could not worry about how she would receive it. I had to trust God that He would prepare her and her heart for truth coming from me for the first time in a real long time.
I sat my wife down, shared with her what that conference did for me and to me, and then I told her I’m ready to open up and share with her anything and everything she wanted to know. I knew this would hurt her, and it bothered me bringing it up again. But to my sincere surprise, she was okay with it. She later told me that God had already prepared her for that moment and was more prepared than I believed she would be. Because of that, my desire to open up, and change for the better became even more desirable. The honesty and transparency that took place on that day was so miraculous that I couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. This was a clear sign to me that I was beginning to allow change in my life and without fear.
Along with this came many other changes in my life that included disassociation with the former friends and surrounded myself with people who loved the Lord Jesus Christ and had my spiritual aspirations and goals in common. My commitment to Christ was renewed (Romans 12:1, 2) through rededication and aligning myself with God’s will. I wanted to experience God on a level that I’d never experienced before. And I knew what that would take and I wasn’t afraid or fearful of that change at all. I wanted to change. My life then was spiraling out of control and there was nowhere to go but up. I made that conscious decision for change because I didn’t want to continue the way I was.

Change
Over the years I have understood, that in order to succeed in life and in the things of God, I have to be willing to adapt, or change, to whatever God desires in me for His purpose glory. I cannot look for something different to take place in my life if I’m not willing to change with fear accompanying my reason not to.

Throughout this entire process of change I realized that I couldn’t be free from that horrid lifestyle I displayed for so long until exposure, honesty and transparency became a part of my life. I could not continue on “repenting” until God changed my heart and perspective of repentance. I now have “repented” with full understanding in turning from my sin and turning toward Him. That was the beginning of change without the fear for me. And I am truly grateful for God‘s Holy Spirit for changing me as He did.
I honestly and truly believe that . . . .

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” -John 8:31, 32

This article was previously posted a while back but was reposted.

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Manna in the Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 27, 2013

Manna in the Morning

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8: 35-39

No matter what we face in life, the perils of discontent, the frustrations that the stressfulness of life brings, or failing results of any and all endeavors we set out to accomplish, nothing should separate us from the love of Christ. He cares more about us and our relationship with Him than anything we could ever accomplish. Life happens, as well as death, but neither shall separate us from the love of Christ. He died for our sins and showed us through His death how much He loves us without conditions. So if He went to the Cross in our stead, and took our punishment, and if we are to be like Him, then how much more we ought to live and die for Him? His love is greater than anything this life can offer us. We will be persecuted, harassed, suffer loss, but it shouldn’t take away or interfere with the love Christ has bestowed upon us. Don’t allow your struggles or defeats in life to change or discourage your faith in Christ. He never wavered in His undying love for us, so neither shall we waver in our devotion and love for Him. Be strong, and of good courage, for Christ will never leave us nor forsake us. Ever! Have a wonderful and blessed day, in Jesus’ Name!

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Our Weekend Prayer For You

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 24, 2013

The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

To Walk in God’s Provision: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

In the name of Jesus, I confess with the psalmist David that I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Father, thank You for food, clothing, and shelter. In the name of Jesus, I am learning to stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about my life, what I shall eat and what I shall drink, or about my body, what I shall put on. My life is greater [in quality] than food, and my body [far above and more excellent] than clothing.
The bread of idleness [gossip, discontent, and self-pity] I will not eat. It is You, Father, Who will liberally supply (fill to the full) my every need according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
In the name of Jesus, I shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus, You are the Bread of Life [that gives me life—the Living Bread].
Thank You, Father, in the name of Jesus, for spiritual bread—manna from heaven. Amen.

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Posted by Men of Redemption on May 23, 2013

Family Influence on Addictions

Addiction On The Family Tree: Genetic Influence

We are all born into a family with an established history. Some of the history may be a source of pride and is openly shared. Other people or events, such as those involving addictions, may rarely be discussed.

Whether it is a source of pride, shame, or both, our family history influences us and future generations.

The important thing to remember is that our genetic history is an influence. We need to be aware of the specific influences hanging on our family tree, but know that nothing is set in stone.

The Influence of Family Genes

There is a slew of research on the role of family history related to addictions. It was discovered that genetic predisposition is half responsible for the forming of an addiction. The other half is owed to poor coping skills, or not having effective ways of managing stress, problems, and emotional or mental pain.

When someone in our immediate family has an addiction, the influence is even stronger. One study found that when a parent has an alcohol or drug addiction, his or her children are at eight times greater risk for developing the same. However, it is not just immediate family habits and genes that pass on predisposition.

The Influence of Brain Wiring

The entire family of man is neurologically predisposed to addiction for survival reasons.

If any animal, including man, eats something that is pleasurable to the palate, they will seek out that food to eat again. In this way our brains are hardwired to survive. Unfortunately, it also means that a number of us eat too many pleasurable pieces of pizza at one sitting, and that some people will consume substances that are pleasant but harmful.

Brain wiring is partly why people with a very low predisposition for addiction are fortunate but not entirely safe. They can end up acquiring an addiction as well. The reason is that repetitive behaviors alter or rewire the brain. The continuous use of ineffective coping skills or the frequent abuse of drugs or alcohol have a creative ill-effect on our neurological pathways, sometimes resulting in addiction.

What We Can Do To Offset Predisposition

1. We can talk to our family members, especially our children, about the pros and cons of our family’s history. The knowledge of a genetic predisposition for addiction may help some members make wiser choices about what substances they consume, or how much.
2. We can learn and model effective coping skills. This includes skills for expressing thoughts and feelings, and ways of reducing stress and relaxing the body. It also means eating a nutritious diet and getting enough sleep and exercise. There is no shame in learning new skills. All of us reach adulthood with some poor ones.
3. If we are worried about the influence of our family history and our attraction to addictive substances, we can admit this and seek help. Family and friends will likely see and admire the courage involved. This may help them be honest about their own weaknesses, whatever they might be.

By Jacqueline Marshall, Wed, May 15, 2013

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