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Transformation by Truth: Day 15

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Day 15

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Monday, February 27, 2017

Blessing:

Great God in Heaven... Lord we stand in awe of You today. Thank You for continuing to pursue a people who constantly forget about You. Forgive us Father for treating You as something we could do with or without, because Lord it just isn't so. Today, I pray that You would make Your presence known in our lives. Open our ears to hear Your voice. Focus our eyes so that we might see Your face. Stir our hearts that we might feel Your love. Touch our bodies so that we might worship You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scripture Reference:

Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Luke 15:23-24

Today’s Message:

The moment you’d walk into a room, you would have known if my Mom was there or not. She had a laugh that sounded like two parts hyena mixed with one part rooster cackle. Once you heard her contagious laughter, you would be greeted by her gorgeous smile. It didn’t matter if you knew her for years or whether you were meeting her for the first time... you would instantly feel like family. Margaret Sase was always the life of the party and she had a heart of compassion that drew you close.

Our family was eating at the Crab Cooker one night and a family behind us was having their orders taken. You could hear the struggle in the server’s voice as he attempted to break the language barrier with his Hispanic customers. Fortunately for the server, my non-Spanish-speaking Mom felt his pain and was there to help.

As she stood up from our table, my Dad, Lori and I all pleaded, “Mom, no!” But, with her dashing smile, she stood next to the server, doing her best charade of a crab. Her hands turned into pinching claws and she rolled her “R’s” to (loudly) say “Crrrrrrrabs (because when someone doesn’t understand you, it’s always best to create an accent and increase your volume, right?). Do you want crrrrrrabs?!” Notice: no Spanish words were spoken.

We all sunk down into our booth hoping no one realized that Japanese woman belonged to us... the only Japanese family in the restaurant. And that was just one of many stories. There was also the Laguna Beach fire of 1993 that burned 366 homes and 17,000 acres.

A police car drove slowly up and down our street mandating immediate evacuation. We all leaned on my Dad for his wisdom and direction. But when we looked to our pillar, we found him scurrying, putting his entire drawer of socks into his suitcase and nothing else!

So, it was my Mom who ended up taking the reins, “Come on Richard… hurry Noelle… grab your things and get into the car. Don’t worry; I have all of our important stuff!” I caught a glimpse of her in my panic and saw that she had our dog Missy on a leash, so I assumed she truly did have all of the important things covered. After we drove away and went to the emergency relocation area, we were able to see what she brought with clearer minds. The “most important stuff” happened to be our dog and her box of coupons.

That gregarious personality and her brilliant smile were her signature, even after her metastatic colon cancer diagnosis. I would routinely drive her to chemo appointments and, as I looked in the passenger seat, I saw that her body had become so tiny, so weak. She’d close her eyes, hoping the nausea would pass, but instead of admitting her misery, she’d say to me, “I wonder if Toni will be there today. Toni needs encouragement because her treatment has been so difficult. Or, maybe I’ll see John. You know he just started treatments and he needs to know that he’ll be okay.”

My Mom had become the light of her doctor’s office. And, even in her last two weeks of life, she’d hallucinate and wake up in the middle of the night saying, “Noelle! Hurry... you need to take care of Dad and get him to his doctor’s appointment.” As always, her heart was not self-consumed, but it was focused on giving compassion and aid to others.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given years ago was to have an altruistic mission in addition to my personal goals. This leads to higher levels of success for a couple of reasons. First, it drives us to be better human beings. Having the heart of generosity always goes hand-in-hand with true victory. The less obvious reason for this wisdom is that it teaches us to give grace to ourselves.

When we hold others’ goals in high regard, it forces us to step outside of our own world and see things from their perspectives. In doing so, we flex our compassionate, grace-filled muscles. And when those muscles are strengthened, we can than use them for ourselves!

When was the last time you gave compassion and grace to yourself?

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You are on a unique journey… a journey that will have bumps in the road, a journey where you will make mistakes. If you can give grace to yourself and to others, not only will you enjoy the process of growing your heart, mind and body, but success and joy will consume you!

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

Do you ever have thought patterns that sound something like this: I can give grace and compassion to others because they deserve it, but quite honestly, you have no idea how ugly I can be inside?

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Messages like this swim in my mind often, and it has affected the way I have lived the majority of my life. When you take a step back, it’s pretty plain to see the source of those thoughts. The enemy would love for you and me to believe his lies and to keep us from understanding who we are to God.

If this speaks to your heart at all, read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. If you don’t have a Bible, there are free online Bibles. I use www.biblegateway.com.

The son disrespectfully tells his Dad that he wants his inheritance while his Dad is still alive. Can you imagine how devastating that would be if you were the parent? Then the son runs away and squanders all of his money being reckless and wild. Okay… I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly had times in my life where those words can describe my choices. After he runs out of money (consider how much reckless living it took to run out of inheritance money), he feels absolutely worthless and hopes that his Dad would take him in as an employee, not a son.

So, how does his Dad respond? Does he rightfully turn his back on him? That’s what he deserved, right? Not even close! He sees his son in the distance, runs to him, showers him with hugs, kisses, gifts and throws a party because his son returned to him. This story is a parable where you are the prodigal son and God is your Dad.

Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Luke 15:23-24

This is who you are to God.

What are the deepest regrets you have and the biggest mistakes you have made?

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They might be so big and so numerous that you don’t even want to seek eye contact with God.

Whatever they are, write them out in your journal.

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These have been weighing so heavily on your heart and you need to release them. Guess what? God already knows all about these things, and He couldn’t love you more! Now picture Jesus running to you. With your head down in shame, you mumble words asking Him for forgiveness. And, as you do, he picks you up in a huge hug; He kisses your cheeks and celebrates because you have come home. He’s throwing you a huge party!

What will it take for you to understand that you have been forgiven and you are released of those burdens?

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Are you now able to give a huge measure of grace to yourself?

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If not, how does that relate to your pride?

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In other words, if God forgives you, are you saying that your standards are higher and greater than His?

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Whoa! Catch that. We aren’t being martyrs and we’re certainly not being humble when we can’t give grace and forgiveness to ourselves. That is a red flag that signifies pride.

In your journal, re-read your list of regrets and mistakes.

Write a love letter to God explaining how you are going to graciously accept His forgiveness and, in response, how you will give grace to yourself.

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Make a commitment today to always join the party, no matter what mistakes you make on your journey.

Commit to give yourself grace no matter what.

Follow God’s lead and believe His word!

Mind:

We used to make fun of my Mom because when we would be amongst others, you could tell that she was secretly nosing around to see if anyone needed her help. The funny thing is, now, Ryan routinely catches me as I gravitate toward strangers who might need me to lend a hand. Apparently I’ve become the embarrassing Japanese woman.

The awe I have with my Mom, though, is based on her fight against colon cancer. Even when she was in the ultimate struggle for her life, my mom still had a heart for wanting others to succeed in their own battles. I used to wonder if she would have been better off solely concentrating on taking care of herself and pursuing her survival. But what I found was that her gracious, compassionate spirit was the reason she had an incredible depth of joy and fulfillment in her life.

Think of at least one person who could use your heart today.

Write their name in your journal and explain why God has weighed that person on your mind.

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Take a compassionate action step before the day is through to let them know that you are firmly standing behind them in love.

Body:

Dedicate some of your life to others. Your dedication will not be a sacrifice. It will be an exhilarating experience because it is an intense effort applied toward a meaningful end.

– Dr. Thomas Dooley

Make today’s workout a dedication workout.

Think of someone whose load you would gladly carry to give them rest.

How many times have you wanted to do something for someone, but there really wasn’t anything you could do?

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Visualize that individual as you exercise.

See their victory in your mind.

Dedicate your strength and endurance to them.

Why? One amazing way to honor their life is to be the best you that you can possibly be. So, dedication workouts are a productive way to give something special of yourself. It’s like saying, “Jump on my back and ride on my strength. Let me carry you. I have you covered.”

When I do my dedication workouts, I tend to run faster and longer… I lift heavier weights… because I am a warrior fighting on their behalf. And you? You know darn well it’s who you are… you are the kind of person who fights the good fight!

Closing Prayer:

Father, take what we’ve learned today and let us use it to better ourselves. Become what motivates us into action. Let us draw our strength from You, and may we be dedicated to Your cause. For it’s in Jesus’ name we pray amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Comment Below.

Do You KNOW Him? If you want to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, visit this Link: Encouragement Extreme

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

1 Comment

"If you can give grace to yourself and to others, not only will you enjoy the process of growing your heart, mind and body, but success and joy will consume you!" -Noelle Dey

Showing compassion to others is what we are called to do as Christians and a great way to show God's love through our actions towards others. In return your relationships will grow stronger and hopefully compassion will be shown back to you when you need it.

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