Posted in Christian, Healing, Life, Scripture

Our Dark Closets

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am
making everything new!”
Revelation 21:5 (NLT)

The Healing Ministry is housed in a lovely old homestead. Built in 1922, it later became a well-known Bed and Breakfast.   In 2001, the house was bought by the Healing Ministry and renamed The Glennon House. The Victorian house radiates love and gentle hospitality. It’s a bright and joyful place covered by lavish amounts of prayer, but like all houses it has dark, locked closets, some of which haven’t been opened in years.

I believe all of us have our dark, locked closets.

My closets were stuffed with secret things. They included, but were not limited to: old costume jewelry idols such as pride and envy. Sparkly, but threadbare dresses of self-righteousness. Fashionable, but painful high-heeled shoes of broken dreams. And the ugliest of all my boxed up items—the rhinestone blinders I wore when I looked for salvation everywhere except Jesus.

There were times when I didn’t have a clue how to clean these closets. I wanted to get rid of the old stuff, but on my own terms (ie. I wanted to get rid of MOST of the items, but not the pretty ones). I couldn’t ask other Christians to help because they would judge me (ie. I didn’t realize they had their own dark closets at home). So instead of cleaning it out, I locked the door and ignored it.

Initially it worked, but after a while the unhealed junk inside started rattling the knob, trying to bust out. I ended up spending most of my energy with my shoulder to the door, straining to keep it shut. It was exhausting!

Finally, with no choices left, I threw myself on Christ’s mercy and opened the door. And here is the really interesting thing: Jesus was already inside. He and the ‘Holy Spirit Cleaning Crew’ had already thrown out most of my junky old sins without me realizing it. When I asked how He got in there, He smiled. Then He reminded me that He’d bought all of me with His sacrifice, even the hurting parts. He’s Lord of my dark closets, too.

Everyone has closet trouble from time to time. Don’t be afraid to ask Jesus and His Holy Spirit Cleaning Crew for help cleaning them out. He bought ALL of you with His blood, not just the bright and joyful parts. To paraphrase His words in Revelation, “I am making EVERYTHING new, even your stinky old closets”. He’s the Lord of your dark closets. Go ahead and open that door. You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in Christian, Healing, Scripture

Changing the Lyrics

Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!
Psalm 96:1 (NLT)

Back in the day (no years, please) I listened to a popular singer who had a catchy tune promoting some pretty bad behavior. Now, listening to this song didn’t want me to engage in this behavior, but it was a fun tune and there seemed no harm in singing it. And why not? All the kids were singing it too.

Anyway, I went to this singer’s concert, which was packed. Inevitably, he announced that he was singing this song. The crowd went wild—as I said, it was a very popular tune. But it’s what he did before he sang the song that I remember.

He said, “This song is about destructive behavior, and some of my friends have died doing it. I can’t sing this song the way it is. I’m changing the lyrics.”

So, in front of a sold-out crowd, this singer changed the lyrics to reflect the true cost of this behavior. It was brutal. I recall feeling shame for my own part in blithely ignoring the despicable message in the original lyrics for the sake of singing a cool song. But most of all, I remember thinking how difficult it must have been to face a crowd of thousands and tell them something different from what they’d paid to hear.

In first century Judah, the lyrics of the prophesied Messiah were well known. He was going to come in earthly power with a mighty army, and eviscerate the Romans who had been so cruel to God’s people. But Jesus changed up the lyrics, bringing the power of the Holy Spirit and the mighty message of sinners redeemed. This new song led Him to Calvary, where this beaten, betrayed dying man whispered lyrics that would eventually eviscerate not only the Romans, but every stronghold of sin. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

So what about you? When you look in the mirror, what lyrics do you hear? Alcoholic? Abandoned? Jobless? Hopeless? Abused person? Person who has been an abuser? If you are hearing this condemnation, remember that Jesus changed those lyrics. He forgave you—YOU—for all eternity. Christ excluded no one.

Maybe, like the brave popular singer, you are facing a huge crowd expecting and wanting you to enable their bad behavior. Maybe you are facing the criticizing words of your single sinful self. Whether it’s an audience of one or one million, it takes courage to change the lyrics. But you are not alone, and you are not forsaken. What you are is loved.

God’s got this. With His help and grace, you have everything you need to change your lyrics. You don’t have to sing a song of despair, death and discouragement. You are loved. You are forgiven. You are not alone. And if you need help with the backup band, call or stop by the Glennon House. It’s never too late to start singing to the LORD!

Posted in Christian, Scripture

Run, Run, Run Away

…But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.
Jonah 1:3

I will never forget the night that my parent’s car got stolen from a friend’s house. I was at a party and it was past my curfew. I walked out to the curb to get in the car. But to my horror, all I saw was an empty section of street where the car had been. I panicked!

My friend Lisa told me to call my parents to have them come pick me up. I was too scared to let them know that somehow I had let the car be stolen. Lisa kept insisting that I call my parents. And I kept getting more and more freaked out about the car being stolen.

So, I did what any crazy scared teenager would do, I ran away to the beach with a group of my friends.

I knew that Lisa was right, I needed to call my parents. However, I wanted to avoid that conflict at all costs. I went with the whole “out of sight, out of mind” idea by running away. Of course, all that really did was postpone the inevitable.

That stolen car incident was a foreshadowing of how I would cope with my emotional conflicts. I spent a good portion of my life engaged in emotional running away. I hated emotions. I did everything I could to avoid emotional conflict or feeling any kind of emotions. Being numb was my preferred state of being in my young adult years.

I spent a lot of money on drugs and alcohol to run away from my emotions. I spent a lot of time going from one relationship to the next to run away from my emotions. And I spent a lot of energy trying to find ways to run away from my emotions. Running away never set me free from my emotions it only made things worse.

The ironic thing about trying to run away from emotions is that you eventually run smack dab into an emotional firestorm. When this happens running away is no longer an option. Unless, you deal with the raging emotions you will be consumed by the very emotions you were trying to avoid.

Avoidance never solves any issue. In fact, it only prolongs the pain of your issue. Jonah’s avoidance forced him into a storm, to be swallowed by a large fish, and to be thrown up. And he still had to do what God asked him to do. Imagine if Jonah had simply gone to Nineveh to preach the message God had asked him to preach. He would have saved himself a lot time and not had to suffer through the consequences of his avoidance.

If you or a loved one are in the midst of emotional running away, I encourage you to come to the Glennon House for an individual prayer appointment. Let our trained Prayer Ministers help you stop running so that you can receive the healing God wants to do in you.

FYI: The “stolen car” was not stolen at all. My dad had taken it back to our house after I missed my curfew. If I had called my parents, I would have known that the car wasn’t stolen. I would have probably been grounded for only one week instead of two months. My running away to avoid telling my parents the car was stolen hadn’t even been necessary!

Posted in Christian, Healing

Spiritual Stroke

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come… 2Cor 5:17

Sixteen years ago, I had a stroke at the age of 32.

The Doctors told me that I was morbidly obese. I had to change the way I lived or I was setting myself up for another stroke. And there was a good chance, if I didn’t change my lifestyle, I would probably die.

For the first time in my life, I truly wanted to live. So, I made the commitment to change the food I ate and to begin to exercise. I had done every fad diet known to man. I had also tried every kind of new exercise program that hit the market. I always failed miserably at sticking to getting healthier. This time with my life on the line, I was determined to stick to this new healthy regimen.

Over the next couple of months, I ate healthy and began to take a Dancerize class at the local YMCA. I was dedicated to this new healthy lifestyle. I was proud of myself for sticking to my plan of becoming healthier. I thought these were the only changes I needed to make to become a new person. But God had a different plan.

One day, my Dancercize teacher walked into class with a handful of postcards. She passed them out to us. The post cards were for a “Healing Bible Study.” She said that we were all taking care of keeping our physical bodies healthy by dancing. Now it was time to get spiritually healthy as well. I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, but I didn’t have many friends so I thought it would be a good way to meet people.

I discovered Jesus through that Bible Study.

I realized that sometime in my teenage years, I had a spiritual stroke. I chose to indulge in behaviors that pulled me farther and farther away from the Lord. As I turned away from Him, I turned towards a life full of sin and anguish. I became obsessed with instant gratification. If it felt good (making me forget all the pain) then I wanted it. And I wanted so much of it that I became morbidly obese and obsessed with pleasure. I lived to be high on the fake sense of happiness – avoiding the pain of reality at all costs.

I buried God in the recesses of my mind, ignoring His soft voice and His gentle guiding hand. I avoided any contact with God as much as possible. Out of sight – out of mind. That post card handed out by my Dancercize Teacher was God’s invitation to me to come back to Him.

While my physical body was healing and getting healthy, my spiritual life was an unhealthy mess. That Bible Study taught me that I needed to change the way I was living spiritually if I want to do more than survive this life. If I wanted to thrive (as God intended), I needed to become a new person spiritually. I need to eat healthy spiritual food (God’s Word ) and I needed to exercise my spiritual muscles (through fellowship with other Christians, Bible Studies, listening to Sermons, serving others, etc).

Becoming spiritually healthy and physically healthy is how God brought me back to wholeness. Having one without the other didn’t bring complete healing. God knew I needed both, so He showed me how to partner with Him to become whole again. I just had to do my part and God took care of the rest!

If you are looking for that first step to becoming healthier spiritually, I encourage you to join us at our weekly Tuesday Evening Healing Service. It is a great time for spiritual fellowship and getting fed spiritually through the sermons of gifted Teachers/Preachers.