Forgiveness is the Sweetest Revenge

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge- Isaac Friedmann

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you- Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future~ Paul Boese

Forgive or relive~ unknown

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.” Hannah Moore

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong~ Ghandi

We achieve inner health only through forgiveness-the forgiveness of not only others but of ourselves~ Joshua Liebman

Ladies take back your life! Don’t give those that have hurt you the pleasure of keeping you insecure, depressed, angry and afraid. Forgiveness is for you. When you forgive you get free, you get to take your life back, to smile again, to live a happy life  and to have joy and peace of mind. You deserve to be free, to be happy and to enjoy fulfilling relationships with others. You can’t be in a healthy place if you’re not walking in forgiveness. You’ll always have the chains around your hands and feet, the weight of the painful past will always hold you down. Its time to BREAK FREE!!!!!

Forgive those who have hurt you, give the pain over to the Lord. Ask Him to heal your broken heart, to help you see yourself how He sees you. The bible tells us to cast our burdens unto Jesus because He cares for us! The bible also tells us that God heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. He is waiting and willing to restore you to your rightful place in Him. Please make the decision today to seek guidance from a friend, family member, church member, pastor, counselor, social worker or your doctor. Talk to someone and start your healing process. Forgiveness may seem impossible today BUT trust me, as each day goes by, the decision gets easier and easier. It’s harder to live in pain and loneliness of unforgiveness, than it is to forgive and be free. You may never forget and that’s okay, but at least you will have your joy and peace back. True forgiveness says “I will not allow the things you’ve done to me to hold me captive any longer. I forgive you, I wish you well and I’m moving on.” You don’t have to be best friends with that person, talk to them on the phone and hang out. Forgiveness means you will not speak or think ill of them, you will not seek revenge on them, but instead you will pray for them and ask God to heal you both of the past. God is faithful. He will walk with you every step of the way, just trust Him and obey!!

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My Recent Forgiveness Test: Thank God I’m Free From My Past

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well- Lewis B. Smedes

Yesterday I found out that the man who raped me had gotten married and has a child. Honestly when I saw the pictures through a mutual associate who does not know about the rape, I felt all types of emotions and forgiveness was not one of them. For a few seconds I felt anger and hate trying to rise back up. Who was he to be happy? Does she know what he did to me? What type of father will this rapist become? Even though I had been praying for him throughout the years and actively working to shed the layers of negative emotions and unforgiveness, in those first few moments I was walking in the flesh.

Then I had to remind myself, I can’t wish ill on someone and say I’ve forgiven them. I can’t judge him based on what was done ten years ago. I’m certainly not the woman I was ten years ago. I decided that it was better for me to pray, walk in love and forgiveness towards him verses continuing to stare at his picture and wish evil to come his way. In the past, I forgave him so that I could be free of the bondage that held me captive.Yesterday I made that decision again with God’s strength. Forgiveness is a decision and must be done often for the same event sometimes. 

That night I called a friend who had also survived rape in college. She’s a believer also and she was very encouraging and supportive. She helped me to remember that I am human and it’s okay to have initial negative reactions but it’s the decisions I made quickly following the incident that proved that God had done heart surgery on me and I was strong and delivered from the past.

 God has truly done heart surgery on me! Like the lady in this picture, in 2003, I feel like my heart was literally taken out and replaced with a new one. Back in college, following the years after the rape, I was angry, hateful, bitter, fearful, insecure and confused. I couldn’t say the word rape, I literally crossed out the rapist’s name in every book that I read, I wrote depressing and angry poems and made bad choices in my relationships. When I gave my heart to the Lord fully, I asked Him to heal me of all the pain and make me new. I sought the help of my campus minister and she encouraged me to start going to counseling. I joined Word of Faith in Southfield MI, started receiving life changing messages about God’s love, healing, faith and I learned to have an intimate relationship with God. Years later, I know that I am healed and restored and I refuse to let this recent incident take me back. Back to the horrible place that I once was. God has given me a new heart, a new start and I wont allow the past, the young man or the devil to destroy all that I have worked so hard in God to overcome.

To the man who changed my life forever I say the following: I pray God’s mercy, grace, correction, protection, peace, comfort, restoration and salvation for you. I pray you are or do become the man who God has created you to be. I pray you learn what is means to be a godly faithful, nonviolent husband and a godly devoted father. I pray you make better choices and live a holy life in front of your son. I pray you never ever put another person through the things you put me through. I pray you seek God for forgiveness and you learn to forgive yourself. I pray God’s blessing over your family. In Jesus name amen.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Pregnant & Lovin It: Week 12 Mom & Baby Update

Good morning world! I am 12 weeks and a few days pregnant. With this being my first pregnancy, there is so many new things to learn and adjust too but my husband and I are loving every moment. I have been extremely blessed to have a very smooth 1st trimester. No morning sickness, extreme fatigue or pain. I haven’t had to miss one day of work because of the pregnancy so far. All of my doctor’s appointments have gone perfect also. We were able to hear the baby’s heart beat earlier this month and that was very exciting! 2nd trimester begins at week 14. In 6 weeks we get out 2nd ultrasound to determine the sex. I will be 18 weeks by then.

I am honestly still in a small state of shock that I am pregnant. I have wanted to have an awesome husband, a career, own a home and raise a family since I was a little girl and now all my dreams are coming through. We give ALL glory and honor to God. We know that it is only because of our Lord that we are blessed, healthy, happy and at peace. 10 years ago I NEVER could have seen my life going this way. Life with Christ is the only way to go. He makes all things new and He is so faithful!!

The pregnancy symptoms that I have been experiencing are: frequent trips to the rest room, lower back pain at times, hungry all the time and breast tenderness. I have a little baby bump now too. All the pregnancy websites say that between now and a few weeks, ladies grow a lot in the waist area. I purchased my 1st belly band to help me fit my pants more comfortably; I love it!! I try not to complain about any symptoms that I experience because I am so grateful to God to be able to carry a baby and prepare to raise a child up in the ways of the Lord with my husband. Eddie is so excited. He grocery shops, cooks and helps out around the house. He makes sure that I’m comfortable and eating healthy.  We read baby books and websites together and day-dream and pray about our future family. He took great care of me before pregnancy so now I’m being spoiled even more! I love it! Our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, church members and coworkers are extra excited, supportive and helpful as well. This is such an awesome time in our lives. I am glad that I am not sick and can enjoy each day. Thank you Jesus!

Easy Baby Life Website gives details on the baby’s development this week. Checkout some of the interesting info below.

The biggest thing for your little one this week is the developing reflexes. Fingers will open and close, toes will curl, even facial expressions will change. Your baby can both scratch his nose and suck his thumb!

If you move a specific way your baby will respond by moving as well, even if you can’t quite feel it yet. Muscles start responding to the stimulus development for a more natural movement for your baby.

The brain starts making hormones as well as the rapid development of the nerve cells while the kidneys start producing urine.

Actually, week 12 is the start of a critical development phase for your baby’s brain. Between week 12 and week 18 and later between week 24 and 36, brain development is particularly rapid and sensitive.

The placenta is functioning effectively and blood flows from the umbilical cord.

Muscles within the intestines also begin to practice contractions known as peristalsis in order to digest food later on.

The eyes of your new baby have moved from the sides of the head to the front where they belong, and the ears are where they belong as well.Just over 2 inches long, your little one is about the size of a and weighs close to half an ounce.

My 10 Yr Survivor Testimony: Victim to Victor

“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
Anonymous
Like the butterfly, each of us has to let go of our past and be willing to step out, be transformed and made new. Letting go is the 1st step.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – Author Unknown

“Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” – Ann Landers

Today is an awesome day for me. Today marks the ten year anniversary of the sexual assault that I SURVIVED. The devil picked the wrong one to mess with! Those first three years I was a mess, BUT GOD!! I have spent the last seven years walking as a victor and NOT a victim!! The number seven means completion and over the last seven years, I”ve allowed God to prepare me for the work that He is doing in me now and is about to do through me. I’m ready Lord! Use me, send me, speak through me to set other’s free!!

I want to encourage people today to not allow your past to haunt you and cause you to be a victim and not a victor. You can’t change what has been done to you or what you did to yourself. You must give your hurt, pain, shame, confusion and disappointments over to God. I strongly encourage you to seek professional guidance to assist you in your journey towards healing, victory and success.

Victim is defined as 1. One who is harmed or killed by another. A person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of.

Victor is defined as one who defeats an adversary; the winner in a fight, battle, contest, or struggle.

I used to see myself as a victim. I used to have low self-esteem and lots of anger, hate and fear in my heart. I allowed the person who took advantage of me to rule my mind, emotions and my life. Out of fear I would not go certain places or be around certain people, because I was angry on the inside, I rarely had peace of joy. What he did to me was bad enough, but I had no right to give him the rest of my life to ruin. I made a choice to get seek God’s healing power, a minister, a counselor, my family and friends. I decided to take my life back, to get strong AND to help others who had gone through what I had. I made a choice to FIGHT to become a victor and never again a victim!

The road to recovery was one day at a time. I was very depressed when my journey first started because I had to allow myself to feel all the pain of the assault that I had blocked out and ignored as best I could for two years. Each time I met with my counselor, did a homework assignment about my experience, read my bible, pray out loud and talk to God about what had happened, I took the power out of the attackers hands and put it back in my own.

I encourage you today to face your fears of the past. To not walk around with the baggage of yesterday, last year, ten years ago etc. You deserve to be happy, healthy, healed emotionally, financially, spiritually, mentally, physically, successful, victorious and FREE. Yes they hurt you, they lied, abused you, mistreated you, lied on you, took advantage of you BUT GOD BUT GOD BUT GOD BUT GOD BUT GOD!! He’s bigger, He’s able, He’s faithful and He’s waiting with open arms!!

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Matthew 11:27-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Isaiah 61:3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Matthew 6:14-15 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

How To Love Your Wife God’s Way

It’s Marriage Monday!! I wanted to post two articles that I found helpful on marriage. Since my blog is for women, I often write post about how wives are to love and submit to their husbands. I found a great biblical article about how husbands are supposed to love their wives and I wanted to share it. Please pass today’s post on to the men in your lives whether their single or married. The bible has clear instructions regarding marriage and the way husbands and wives are to treat one another.

  • Step 1

    Recognize God Made The Rules
    Gen 2:21-24
    21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;….
    23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
    24 ….. and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
    KJV

    Husbands, you better recognize!!! God regulates the relationship with your wife. You must answer to God, not your wife for your conduct.

  • Step 2

    Recognize Who’s In Charge
    God is “Large and “N” charge”. He has always demanded that husbands love their wives. Note the scriptures below:
    Eph 5:25
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; KJV
    Eph 5:28-29
    28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: KJV

  • Step 3

    Recognize The Benefits and Blessings
    One of the ideas behind God’s demand is the stability of the family. God requires that husbands provide loving care for their wives just as they provide nourishing care for their own bodies. This type of care stimulates the proper nourishment necessary for a healthy relationship. Because, under God’s arrangement, the man is the head of the family, if the level of care starts at the “head”, it has a greater chance of filtering its way throughout the remainder of the family.

    Husbands have to understand that loving their wives involves pleasing God. Any husband that has his attitude set on serving God and seeing God’s face in peace will treat his wife just like he treats himself. This is not an option; nor is it dependent on “how” your wife treats you. All God-fearing husbands must understand that God means what he says.

    Know this, “A God-fearing” woman will not have problem submitting to a “God-fearing” man. God knew what he was doing.

  • Step 4

    Recognize the Difference
    The world offers many attitudes, opinions, and beliefs about this subject. Men sometimes they get caught up in the idea of controlling, dominating, thus having the world’s version of a MAN! However, only God’s Word provides the instructions for husbands that lead to a proper attitude. Once you give your life to God, it is necessary for you to begin to abide by His teachings. You have been purchased by God for his use. The world does not offer a good standard to follow.

  • Step 5

    Recognize Your Role
    Husbands are commanded to “cleave to their wives”. God requires that husbands provide and protect his wife. In 1 Peter, the bible says,

    1 Peter 3:7, Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (wives) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel , and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. KJV

  • Step 6

    Recognize, it’s time to Get Started
    By the way, this is not an exhaustive study of God’s will for husbands, but it is meant to be the beginning a “grass roots” life-altering change for the remainder of your life. Watch your family advance the quality of their lives as you enhance the quality of your life.

  • Step 7

    In Conclusion
    According to His Word…
    Heaven bound Husbands Obey God

  • Read more: How to Love Your Wife “God’s Way” | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5287398_love-wife-gods-way.html#ixzz0wi7QeLD5

    YES GOD CAN: My Testimony List

    Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. 
     
    Last Sunday, 8/8/10 at Word of Faith, Pastor Butler preached an encouraging message reminding us that yes God can do EVERYTHING that we need Him to do. Pastor encouraged us to make a victory list of things that God has done for us in the past and use that to encourage ourselves during the tough times. God has already done so much for all of us and He’s changing and rearranging things right now on our behalf!! No matter what it looks like right now, know that God is in control. He sees your circumstance, He sees your diligence and He hasn’t forgotten you or the seeds that you’ve sown over the years.
     
    In case you need reminding, YES GOD CAN:
     
    *Restore your family
    *Heal your body
    *Save your children
    *Bring promotion on your job
    *Cancel your debt
    *Move your mountains
    *Save your marriage
    *Bless you with a spouse and/or a child
    *Give you God ideas to bless the world and increase your finances 
    *Give you peace, joy and comfort
    *Get your family members off drugs
    *Increase your business/ministry
    *Help you sale or buy your house
    *Bless you with a job
      
    Those are examples of what my God can do because with Him ALL things are possible!! Here is a brief testimony/victory list of my own. God gets ALL the glory! He’s been too good to me and I don’t deserve His love, mercy or grace but I thank God for it!!
     
    1. When I was in college making bad choices, my God protected me and had mercy on me. When I came running back to him at the age of 20, He was right there to love on me and make me whole again!
      
    2. My God helped me pass my Statistics class. The class was the most challenging of all my undergraduate classes but I exercised my faith, studied a lot by myself and with a study group. I needed the case to graduate and I was overjoyed when I found out that I had passed and would graduate on time!
     
    3. 2003 was a year of many miracles!
     

    A) That was the year that I started counseling and got restored from the sexual assault that I survived in 2000. I began to get stronger and stronger in God. I learned to trust in God, forgive those who had wronged me, walk in God’s joy, peace and wisdom. I began developing an intimate relationship with Him and I was no longer walking in fear or shame.

    B) I graduated from Oakland University with my bachelors in Psychology.
     
    C) I met my husband and many other young people at Word Of Faith. My husband and the other brothers in the Lord showed me what it meant to be treated like a sister and not a piece of meat. I made many friends that year and having Christian friends really helped me to grow in God.
      
    4) God restored my brother. My brother Joel came back to Michigan a few years ago and started working, going to church, being hard working and responsible. He got married, had my beautiful niece and continues to be an awesome husband, man of God, father, son and brother to all of us.
     
    5) God blessed me in 2008 to graduate with my Master’s in Counseling, we purchased our 1st home and I was blessed to marry to the man of my dreams, the man God ordained just for me. All of this happened within a few weeks of one another. God is faithful!!
     
    6) Less than two months after getting my Master’s degree, I was promoted to supervisor in my department at my job.
     
    7) God continues to heal and restore our families mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. God is faithful and He continues to do miracles and show himself faithful. If he did it once, He will continue to do it again and again and again!!

    1 Cor 1:9 God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

    Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony

    6 Reasons Why I Love My Mega Church

     I attend Word Of Faith International Christian Center. I have been a member since Dec of 2002. My life has been forever changed since attending this church. I was born into a Christian home but we had not attended a word based church before Word of Faith. It’s refreshing to be apart of a church that teaches the word of God, not false doctrine,  manipulation and control. If it is in the word of God, it is taught in a practical way so that we can apply it to our everyday lives. At Word of Faith we receive weekly teaches on helpful life changing topics such as: how to run your family business, marriage advice, financial wisdom, guidance for parenting, how to walk in love, forgiveness, holiness, God’s power and purpose for your life, how to walk in faith and not fear, God’s healing power, prosperity and so much more. We are encouraged to read the bible and know God for ourselves and train our spiritual ears to hear His voice. We are not following a man, we’re following Christ.

    I know many people can not imagine going to a larger church because of the size and lack of intimacy. My experience at Word of Faith has been the complete opposite of that. I have made more long-term friendships over the last six years with believers than I have ever in my whole life. The young people were very friendly and welcoming. The group I began to hang with spent a lot of time going to movies, out to eat, parks, house fellowships to listen to gospel music, play games, have prayer, bible studies and discussions. I got involved in children’s church, the book store and then the choir. Yes the church is large BUT  it quickly became my home and the members became my family.

    Here are 6 reasons why I love my mega church:

    1. The word of God is taught in a way that I can understand and apply to my everyday life. I am excited about the word and the things of God.

    2. My Bishop and the first family are loving, led by God, wise, down to earth and have a heart for the people, to spread the gospel and win souls for the kingdom. The ministral team is the same way. They are always available to pray, counsel and provide spiritual guidance and support.

    3.  Through our singles meeting bible studys, I learned what it meant to be a godly proverbs 31 woman. I learned the true purpose of dating and how to be holy in my lifestyle, thoughts and behavior. I meet my husband at the church and we grew in God and friendship together. When he felt led, he prayed and approached me and we dated for the purpose of marriage. Now we’ve been married for 26 months and we are forever grateful for our church continually teaching us the word of God and how to apply it to our everyday lives. The church has a marriage ministry that we now participate in as well.

    4. I have grown so much in God because of the word and the fellowship with the believers there. I learned what it meant to have an intimate relationship with the Lord and see Him as my daddy and not the big man in the sky.

    5. Because of attending the church, I began to attend GphiG campus ministry meetings at Oakland University. I developed relationships with my ministers there and we still keep in contact after all these years. Min. Angela Bullock taught me so much about being a woman of God and seeing God as my heavenly daddy. Min Carmen Bessant played a vital role in me beginning counseling and getting set free from the past issues of the rape that I experieced in 2000.

    6. 95% of my friends attend my church. Word of Faith’s members are my family. My friends are my accountability partners, prayer partners, encouragers and so much more! We pray together and play together. It’s almost impossible to walk out your relationship with God without any fellowship. Believers who don’t attend church and don’t surround themselves with the other sold out believers will fail. The bible says not to forsake the fellowship of the believer.

    For more information about our Southfield MI main headquarters church or our many our church locations throughout the world, please check out http://www.woficc.com

    Word of Faith Int’l Christian Center

    Bishop Keith A. Butler, Pastor
    Pastor Andre Butler, Co-Pastor
    20000 W. Nine Mile Rd.
    Southfield, MI 48075

    Phone: 248.353.3476
    Fax: 248.353.3693
    TTY: 248.355.0242

    24-Hour Prayer: 1.800.541.PRAY (7729

    If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com