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August 2017 posts

How To Heal from a Bruised Heart-Part II

How To Heal from a Bruised Heart-Part II
By Karen Stewart-Ross

In a previous article, we spoke with Minister Penny J. Little of Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro, Maryland who shared her story of being delivered from emotional brokenness – a state of emotional pain that results in a bruised heart. In part 2 of the conversation, Minister Penny shares how to heal.

Minister Penny J. Little (1)

 

Emotional healing began for Minister Penny when she realized that she was angry at God for all the things that had happened to her and decided to have an honest conversation with Him.
“… I was taught you don’t question God. I was taught that that would be disrespectful…And I started to say, ‘Where were you? Why did you allow this?’ I didn’t think He was going to answer but He did…,” said Minister Penny.
God showed her that there was a “bigger plan” behind it all – that there was a purpose behind the pain.
“…And He started to show me that even in the darkest place, I (God) was still there. I(God) was still protecting you. I (God) had to allow things to happen but it was orchestrated, you know, it was a controlled environment because for every one of those environments where I should have given up somehow I kept going,” said Minister Penny, who offers the following tips for healing:

Reconcile your relationship with God.

“…The Bible says that you first love God with all your heart and then you love your neighbor as you love yourself. Well, how can I love my neighbor if I haven’t figured out how to love me?,” said Minister Penny.

Reconcile your relationship with yourself and love yourself by spending quality time with yourself, recognizing your worth.

“Because a lot of times we have a very jaded perception of what it means to love us. We depend on other people to love us. We depend on the relationships that we are in – for them to reciprocate love so we can know how it feels and that’s based on the perception that we have internally within us but if we have lost our voice, we don’t know how to readily communicate that to another person if we’re coming out of a bad relationship and thinking, ‘I’m going to go to another one,’ you’re only going to reciprocate, or you’re only going to repeat the same bad character traits because you never did get your voice back…,” said Minister Penny, who said that loving oneself ties into one’s relationship with God because one should love his or her neighbor as he loves himself or herself.

Reconcile with forgiveness.

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“You literally have to sit down and be honest with yourself: ‘Where are those places where unforgiveness exists in me or offense?’ You may not be in the place where you have said that, ‘Oh, I can never forgive them for that’ but you are bruised and have an offense. And you can know you have an offense because when you see them coming, you go the other way, or avoid talking to them. You don’t want to interact with them, but it’s not to the point of unforgiveness you want to avoid them. You have to reconcile those relationships. Sometimes it is not a face-to-face conversation. Sometimes, these are things you pour out of yourself and you called it closed,” said Minister Penny.

“If it is a relationship that you feel like you need to have dialogue with the other person, then go to them only after you have forgiven them totally because the most important thing about forgiveness is that it’s one-sided. It’s about you clearing your heart. It’s about you making peace with those relationships and then when you go to the other person, if that’s something that you want to do, you’re not looking for them to reciprocate because if you don’t clear your heart first and you go to them, you’re going to be even more devastated. So, forgiveness is one-sided. It’s about you making the decision to let something go. Then, if you have an opportunity to go to the other person, you can forgive them, and you don’t have any expectation of them apologizing…,” said Minister Penny.

Deal with your heart – access the freedom in your heart again.

“Start to spend time with you. Start to do those things that you love. Things that maybe that you wanted to have on your bucket list but never did. Start to have a relationship with yourself that is in your alone time. [Consider] that maybe loneliness is not the worst thing in the world. Loneliness is, for me, - I just don’t even like to use the word loneliness. I believe that everybody has to come to that place in their life where they learn to be by themselves because that’s the only authentic place where you can learn who you really are. The Bible says, ‘To thine own self be true’ but you have to develop and know what that truth is is by spending time with yourself. So, once you have settled within yourself what it is to be alone and you have success and [are] satisfied with that in a healthy, loving way,” said Minister Penny.

Allow God to deal to restore you.

“Then, the next step is allowing your person to deal with your brokenness and allow God to build you back up again. Because when you spend time with yourself, what you are going to find out is probably not all the good things about you but you also find out some things that you don’t like about you and those are the places that you take to God and allow Him to deal with that. So, in essence, those are your broken places. The book is called Treasures of a Broken Heart where you discover those broken places in your heart. God will start to show you the purpose in it – why it happened so your pain starts turning into purpose and then it gives you motivation. It gives you compassion again. It restores your hope and it restores your hope from a place of healing and from a place of love and reconciliation. Those three things allow you to consider and start to love again,” said Minister Penny.

According to Minister Penny, brokenness may be perceived as a negative aspect of one’s life but it is really an opportunity for God to put the broken pieces of one’s heart back together again with His love and restore it to its normal function.

“Allow life to bring you to that point that you deal with your brokenness…A broken heart is not a bad thing. For me, I see it as an opportunity for you to be restored, to be reconciled, and renewed again, because unless something is broken, you can’t see all of the parts that may need repairing. You can’t see the damage - what the dysfunction [is] that may exist in a heart…,” said Minister Penny.

Minister Penny J. Little is an entrepreneur, mother, wife, deacon and minister at Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She is the founder of F.A.C.E. Enterprises, LLC, and Kemij Publishing, LLC, and the author of the book Treasures of A Broken Heart.
For more information, visit her website at: http://www.facepennyjlittle.com/

 

 


The higher the watts in a lightbulb, the brighter it shines.

Kristi Watts, former co-host, 700 Club by Frances Butler

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The higher the watts in a lightbulb, the brighter it shines.

 

When the name Kristi Watts is mentioned, evident faith in God and riotous laughter comes to mind. For over a decade she was co-host of the 700 Club program on CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), a magazine-style blend of interviews, trending news, testimonies, answers to questions from viewers and prayers. It was hardly unusual to wonder and anticipate what Kristi, who exudes immense grace and never entertains a dull moment, had in her bag of humor for the day to lighten up the impact of often harrowing topics addressed on the show.

 

No stranger to adversity herself, she survived divorce, left a prestigious high-paying career and is often transparent about her low points in life to encourage others who may be facing misfortunes too. She is the recent author of a book titled, “Talk Yourself Happy.” In the book, Kristi underlines for Christians, the stumbling blocks to true joy and demonstrates the real transformational power in speaking God’s word.

 

I had a recent sit-down with Kristi to discuss her life and work as a TV host, producer and writer, and her new book, "Talk Yourself Happy."

 

Tell us how your journey on the 700 Club began and how you were able to captivate large numbers of viewers as you did.

 

I started out in 1999. I had studied journalism in school and earned a Master’s degree in Communications broadcasting. And so, initially, to be honest with you, I wanted to work in children’s television. That was my heart. And I was on my way to work for…tried to work for Nickelodeon in New York City and I didn’t get the job and I remember sitting in my car crying, just crying out to God saying, Lord, what do you want me to do? He said Christian TV and I said, other than that Lord, what do you want me to do? To be honest with you, I thought that my personality was too wild and I was too extra to fit into the mold of Christian television. To be honest with you, I always thought Christian television was boring. I’m a black Jersey girl with all this personality and they can’t handle all this. But the Lord was like, no, Christian television.

At the time, I was working at FOX television, I was one of the co-hosts of a couple of different shows and…I was a very big fish in a small pond. And…during that time, I quit and I went to work at a really small Christian station in Ohio where I think the only viewers were a couple of cows. Everybody thought I was crazy because I left a big time station to work for Christian television of all places. Anyway, the Lord was gracious with that and I did it for two years. And then I said, okay, I did what you wanted me to do now let me go back to secular television. This was a secondary thought, I said Lord, the only way I would do Christian television is if it was the 700 Club because…my mum used to watch the 700 Club when I was little and so…I was well aware of it and it was a highly respected program. How I got there, it makes no sense at all but the Lord. I did not audition or try or send resumes, I did nothing. Nothing but Jesus. So, I was married at the time and I went to NRB, the National Religious Broadcasters and just to kind of get a feel of it but after three days I said, yeah Lord, I still don’t fit here. Everybody has big hair, blue eyeshadow, and after three days, I was ready to go back to secular television. Then I ran into this guy who was cool. He said what do you do and I said I’m a TV producer and he said do you have a resume and I did and handed it to him. He gave me his card but I did not pay attention and I put the card in my pocket. When I walked out to the parking lot, I looked at the card and it said, ‘Vice President of the 700 Club’. His name is Andy Freeman, I met him on a Friday and he called me on the Tuesday and the next week they flew me out and the next week, I was working for the 700 Club.

 

On your website homepage, I pulled a quote from your welcome message, “my training comes from dealing with crazy people in a crazy life, giving me a plethora of stories to share.” Do these experiences form the basis or inspiration for your new book?

 

They do in a sense. I never knew that my life was going to unfold the way that it did. I was the youngest co-host the 700 Club has ever had. I was 27 years old when I started and in my early 40s when I left. A year before I left, Myles Munroe had a word for me. I would sit in my office and my heart just hurt all the time. I would have different people coming to my office all the time and these Christians, they would just share their heart and their issues and I was like, man, there are so many hurting people. And sometimes in Christian television, we have this formula, and the formula is, your life is horrible, you find Jesus and your life is great. And that’s not true.

And so, I started to hear a lot of people’s stories and I said Lord, I just want your heart. A year later, the Lord had me out on my own completely by myself in the wilderness, no job, no money, no friends, no nothing. I was at rock bottom. I was baffled and I was bewildered. I said, okay Lord, are you mad at me, what in the world happened? I would do Bible studies in my house and I would walk my dog and pray all the time. One day I was walking my dog and the lord said, Kristi, how can you minister to the nations if you can’t minister to the people next door? So God walks me through a series of tests where He would say, “Go knock on that person’s door and pray for them.” As I would pray, Holy Spirit would fall and move in a big way in that person’s life. Another day the Lord would say, “Go knock on that person’s door and clean their house. It’s a single mother she needs help.” I would say Lord, I’m a single mother and I need help. Next you know, I’m on my hands and knees scrubbing dog urine. It was stories like that God used to humble me, break me and to more importantly, give me his heart. He had to remove my stone heart, the hardened heart and the pride and arrogance that I had when I was on television.

What I didn’t realize was, it was really easy to sit on a set and tell the world to trust in God when I had everything at my fingertips. It was really easy to have the joy of the Lord, when life was good. God got me to the point where I had to come to the end of myself to realize that joy is not contingent upon any circumstances. The true joy of the Lord is when you’re in the presence of God and oftentimes what gets us in the presence of God, are the trials and tribulations that hit us. God had to show me what true joy and true happiness was. For two years, I had no job, no money, I was living off of my son’s college fund and our savings accounts. I cried for five days straight. I thought that God had ignored me, I thought that God had forgotten me, I thought that I had failed somebody or the Lord. I was disheartened beyond belief. I prayed and fasted and did everything we would do. My mother would call and try to console me, nothing worked. My sister was going through a divorce and I told my mom to remind her when God did this for me…and remember the time when He did that and the other. And I started to think back of the times that I had experienced the hand of God in my life. The more I started to remember, the more the heavy weight was lifting off me and a joy started to well up in my spirit and that spirit of oppression started to leave. And before long, I started to laugh. Thus, the concept of the book.

 

In the book, Talk Yourself Happy, you offer us tips to talk ourselves happy. How important are these pointers to the believer?

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It’s everything. So many of us get so disheartened and discouraged by our circumstances, by what we see or don’t have. So, oftentimes, because God is Spirit, we visibly can’t see Him. So the only way we can truly see God, is by seeing His handprint in our lives. And saying, “God healed me, remember when God healed me…remember when He touched me…remember when He protected me…and God did this and God did that. It’s connecting with God on a personal, intimate level. That no matter how I preach to a person or how much they sit in church, they’re never going to know what the love of Jesus Christ is unless they experience it. Those tips are vital to our walk because it all revolves around experiencing Jesus Christ for yourself. Point blank period!

 

And what would you say to the Christians who would say God is more interested in building our character, often through pain and suffering, and not in our happiness?

 

You know that’s interesting because I did this interview and the interviewer was focused so much on the word happiness. She couldn’t get past it. She said Kristi, it’s not about happiness, it’s about joy of the Lord. And I said, I agree. However, we’ve got to recognize that there are over 27 verses in the bible that talk about happiness. The Greek word for joy, is happy. For instance, there’s a Scripture, my favorite all time Scripture: “Whosoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he (Proverbs 16:20). Here’s the deal, when we trust God with our life, and when we abide in Christ, live in Christ, we get so much more than happiness, we get peace, joy, wisdom, direction, love, and I don’t know about you, all those things make me happy. If we look up the word, joy in Webster’s dictionary, it says, “to be happy.”

 

Producer, host, reporter and add “author” to the endless list. What’s next on the horizon for Kristi Watts? When should we expect to see Talk Yourself Happy in stores?

 

The book comes out January 3rd and there’s a whole line up of shows that I’ll be on, doing a host of interviews which I’m so excited about. I also do women’s conferences. One day, I might be back on television, if that’s what the Lord wants. Here’s the truth beyond the truth, my heart is just to encourage and love people right where they are. To get people to know who God is, not based upon who I tell them He is. But for them to know who He is for themselves, and know the Person of God in Jesus Christ and the Power of God through the Holy Spirit.

 

Kristi Watts website: http://www.kristiwattsministries.com


Wisdom for Wednesdays - Who's Watching

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God...1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
 
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On Monday, a phenomenon not seen in almost 100 years occurred.  A coast to coast eclipse traveled throughout the United States.  This phenomenon was visible as a partial eclipse in all 50 states and as a total eclipse from a 70 mile wide sliver of 14 states.
 
A CNN Poll predicted that at least 161 million people would be watching.  There were also predictions that 2 to 7 million people would drive to the path of totality to view it in full splendor.  NASA reported that 4.4 million people watched its live stream- making it the most viewed event in the agency's history.

 

Schools were closed.  Parents took off work so they could witness this event with their children.    Special glasses were ordered and make-shift devices were created so one could actually look directly at the sun.  Companies made commercials celebrating the grand event.  Businesses offered discounts to celebrate this rare celestial display of God's magnificence.
 
If you didn't want to take the day off, you didn't have to.  If you were in the DMV, you only needed to step outside at 2:42 p.m. when the solar eclipse would be at its maximum for our area (81%).

 

I looked at some of the pictures documenting the day and saw  throngs of people heads tilted back- gazing at the sky.

 

 I'm curious.  Among all of the hoopla, ooohs and ahhhs, where did your mind go on Monday?

 

Mine went to the second coming of Christ.

 

Like the eclipse- His coming has been predicted.  We don't have the exact day and time; but we know He's coming back.    Unfortunately, I don't see the energy and excitement around this occasion.  I don't notice the positive changes in behavior to prepare for this celestial occurrence. Many parents will take off to cheer their kids in sporting events, school plays, and other competitions- but give them a pass on going to church.  This suggest more of a concern for temporary accolades instead of permanent security.

 

I gotta admit.  I don't see the same type of  "promotion" around this heavenly event.  The church- whose business is spreading the gospel and helping to redeem the lost- seems to be occupied with "other stuff" right now.  Not every church...but as a collective, we seem consumed by who's politically on the right or left?  Has Jesus left the White House or is He just arriving?    How much should one sow in order to reap a financial harvest?  You don't hear too much about the rapture, and the need to clothe oneself in righteousness in order to see the Son.

 

Our lives - and our eyes- have become consumed by the media:  digital, social, and print. 

 

Yet, the heavens are still declaring a phenomenon never before witnessed by man. 

 

Who's watching?
 
Best blessings-
Sabrina
Sabrina

Where is the Love

I watched with horror the series of events that unfolded in Charlottesville this past weekend. It actually looked like a scene from a 1950's or 60's movie. Neo-Nazis, the Klan, and others who believe in the superiority of the white demographic segment of society marched enraged through the streets with torches and weapons chanting racist, anti-semitic and anti-immigration slogans. The images of the angered young man from the University of Nevada and the car barreling into a crowd of people are hard to erase from my mind.

I was talking to Daddy God about it, and the scripture that came to mind was Matthew 24. The disciples were asking Jesus for the signs that the end of time was near. He stated that there would be wars and rumors of wars (Have you been paying attention to North Korea?), famines, earthquakes and pestilences. Nation would rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. That those who name the name of Christ would be afflicted and hated for his sake (Have you noticed how much anger and animosity is created when Christians take a stand?)

But the verse that caught my attention was verse 12. And because iniquity [wickedness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Now, if there is one thing that can't be questioned, it is that the wickedness in our world has seriously abounded. Some days I am afraid to petition the throne for mercy as I feel like a greedy child asking for more. God has been nothing but merciful- and yet our world seems to be pushing the boundaries on wickedness.

But what I couldn't help but wonder when reading this passage is if the church is among the many whose love has grown cold?

Have we become "holy icicles?" Too busy to care? Indifferent? Do we find it easier to justify and even defend un-Godly behavior- in any and every form? By which standard are we measuring our actions? Is it based on what seems right to us- or "what Jesus would do?"

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I've personalized these questions and reflected on them with my own behavior. I KNOW that we are in end times, yet, has the state of the world changed my prayer life? Am I thinking beyond myself? Am I begging God for healing of the land? Am I living beyond my preferences? Am I asking Him to let me be an instrument for His will?

And, when I see a Tamir Rice, a Sandra Bland, a Philando Castille and a Charlottesville- what shows up more? My anger - or His love?

Blessings my sister... Sabrina