Tag Archives: inspiration

In Jesus’ Name

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)

In the gospel of John there are at least six promises that if we pray in Jesus’ name, God in Christ will answer our prayer. The first is in our text, which promises that God the Father may be glorified in God the Son. Note also the equivalent promises in John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26.

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Such promises seem almost too comprehensive and unconditional to be understood literally. The key, however, is the significance of the phrase “in my name.” This obviously means more than simply beginning or ending our prayer with this or some similar phrase.

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In the first place, we must recognize that it is only through Jesus Christ our mediator that we dare enter the presence of the omnipotent God at all. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), He said. That being true, it also implies that our prayer must be in agreement with what Christ Himself would pray. No Christian should ask for something he knows to be against God’s will. “If we ask any thing according to his will . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

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When we come to the Father in Christ’s name, we are in a very real sense representing Him. Therefore, we must come with clean hands and motives worthy of the One in whose name we profess to come. Unconfessed, unrepented sin would surely misrepresent Him, and we could hardly speak in His name in such a case. Finally, acknowledging His power and promise, we must come believing, not doubting His Word.

Then, not only is the Father glorified, as says our text, but we shall rejoice. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. . . . ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). HMM

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Improving Dopamine Levels

What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine is the brain chemical that allows us to have feelings of bliss, pleasure, euphoria, drive, motivation, focus, and concentration. But let’s start at the beginning: Your brain actually communicates with itself. That is, you have an intricately linked system of nerve cells called neurons that “communicate” with each other via specialized receptor sites.

Dopamine is a chemical (neurotransmitter) that is used by the nerves to send “messages.” When a nerve releases dopamine, it crosses a very small gap called a synapse and then attaches to a dopamine receptor on the next nerve. Therefore, when dopamine levels are depleted in the brain, the nerve impulses, or “messages,” cannot be transmitted properly and can impair brain functions: behavior, mood, cognition, attention, learning, movement, and sleep.

How Do I Know Whether I Have Dopamine Deficiency?

When there is a dopamine deficiency, emotions cannot be correctly regulated. Mental impulses that mitigate intense feelings of sadness are inhibited; therefore, the most common low dopamine symptoms are the same signs associated with clinical depression (and more specifically, major depressive disorder):

14 Dopamine Deficiency Symptoms

1 Lack of interest in life

2 Decreased motivation

3 Procrastination

4 Inability to feel pleasure

5 Altered sleep patterns

6 Restless leg syndrome

7 Fatigue

8 Mood swings

9 Excessive feelings of hopelessness or guilt

10 Poor memory

11 Inability to focus/impaired concentration

12 Impulsive or self-destructive behaviors

13 Addictions to caffeine or other stimulants

14 Weight gain

Extreme dopamine deficiency, as in the case of Parkinson’s disease, causes a permanent and degenerative diminishing of motor skills, including muscle rigidity and tremors.

7 Ways to Treat Dopamine Deficiency

With that background in mind, consider the following dopamine-boosting tactics you can take to increase dopamine.

1. Decrease your sugar intake. Sugar alters brain chemistry by disrupting dopamine levels, which is one reason why people often experience a “sugar high” shortly after eating sweets. Just as alcohol and drugs can deplete dopamine levels, sugar does the same. In fact, sugar stimulates the exact same euphoric pathway targeted by alcohol and drug use–that is, the decreased dopamine levels lead to actual sugar addictions.

Whether initiated by alcohol, cocaine, or sugar, the compulsive behavior addiction is the same—an undeniable desire for dopamine. Limiting sugar intake will help fight this addictive dopamine depletion-sugar craving cycle. If you struggle with a sweet tooth, you can take chromium picolinate supplements to help decrease your sugar cravings.[1,2]

2. Take tyrosine. When your brain cells need to “manufacture” neurotransmitters for proper mood regulation, they use amino acids as the essential raw material. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; there are 20 different amino acids that make up the protein our body needs.

The brain uses the amino acid l-phenylalanine as the source (precursor) for the production of dopamine. Phenylalanine is one of the “essential” amino acids; that is, the body cannot make it on its own so we have to get it from the foods we eat or from supplements. Once the body receives phenylalanine, it can convert it to tyrosine, which in turn is used to synthesize dopamine. So the way to increase central nervous system neurotransmitter levels is to provide proper amounts of the amino acid precursor.

Bananas, especially ripe bananas, are an exceptional food for regulating dopamine because they have a high concentration of tyrosine. Other foods that increase dopamine through the conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine include almonds, apples, watermelons, cherries, yogurt, beans, eggs and meats.

It is important to note that dopamine foods alone generally do not have the therapeutic amino acid levels necessary to boost dopamine levels for someone experiencing major depressive disorder. To boost your levels of dopamine, dopamine rich foods may not be adequate. Tyrosine supplementation may help.

3. Decrease caffeine intake. Even though coffee gives you the energy boost you need, just like sugar, it only offers temporary relief and may actually be doing more harm than good. After experiencing the initial kick caffeine offers, dopamine levels in the body decrease. So, go for a cup of decaf or at least minimize consumption of coffee to counter dopamine deficiency.[5]

4. Set a routine schedule. One easy way to boost dopamine is to get in a healthy routine and stick to it. Your routine should include adequate time for work and rest. Ideally, your 24-hour day should include seven to eight hours of sleep per night in combination with periods of physical activity.

Under-sleeping and/or over-sleeping combined with lack of regular exercise can drain the brain of dopamine. Why? Proper sleep gives the brain time to recuperate from the day and recharge its stores of neurotransmitters.

5. Get consistent exercise. Regular physical activity increases blood circulation to influence the presence of many different hormones within the brain, affecting dopamine levels.

6. Decrease stress levels. High stress levels are also strongly correlated with dopamine deficiency. Stress can be caused by two sources: poor adrenal function and chronic daily life stressors. While we can’t always control our circumstances, there are “stress safeguards” you can utilize to help you deal with the day-in and day-out anxieties.

Remember, if stress is not handled properly, it can be devastating to your health. So, establish an ongoing plan that enables you to deal with stress effectively.

7. Correct a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency can cause decreased levels of dopamine, and natural health experts estimate over half of the US population to be deficient in this relaxation mineral. If you’ve been eating a diet heavy in junk foods or processed foods, you probably have a magnesium deficiency! Common symptoms include food cravings (salt or carbs), constipation, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, muscle pains and spasms, fatigue, headaches, and depression symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety and irritability.

There are blood and urine tests that your doctor can perform to see if you have a magnesium deficiency. However, these tests may not always be accurate since most of the body’s magnesium stays in the cells, rather than in the bloodstream or the urine.

There is one lab test called a sublingual epithelial test that is more effective because it checks for magnesium in the cells, where most of it is present. To perform this test, your doctor will scrape under your tongue with a tongue depressor to obtain epithelial cells, which are then sent to a lab for analysis. Schedule this test with your doctor or start increasing your intake of magnesium.[6]

Miracle

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible,  oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing

 

Miracle

Have you stopped reaching?
No longer seeking greater things
Have you forgotten you have a Father listening? oh
He tells the sun when to rise
Gives the wind it’s breath
Swings a door wide open and moves in a moment you least expect

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing

Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
How many chances?
How many answers pass us by?
You know it takes faith to step on the waves when you’re terrified
So when you’re packed in a corner (corner)
And can’t wait any longer
Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
Feels like the presents the words you’ve spoken
They go unnoticed like drops in the ocean
Just beyond the veil of your vision
Your mountains are moving, moving on
Remember the works his hand has done
Where you once were and how far you’ve come, oh

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up on a miracle (don’t you give up)
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh (you’ve got to speak, keep on believing)
Pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
Pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Songwriters: Jason Walker / Chad Mattson / Tedd Andrew Tjornhom / Jon Lowry
Miracle lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Capitol Christian Music Group
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Living with Lukewarm Indifference

1) We’re more concerned with impressing people than living for God.

The things of this world will never fulfill us. If we try to fill the void with money, success, or some earthly dream, it will never be enough.

2) We’re obsessed with life on earth rather than eternity.

2.) Keep your eyes on things of heaven. This world is broken and is not our home. We must follow Jesus and share our faith, but not rely on this world to make us happy.

3) We rationalize sin and live without truly fearing God.

Sin separates us from God. We must repent and ask for His help to follow in His ways. Reverence of God comes from an understanding of His greatness.

4) We believe in Jesus, but we rarely share our faith.

If we really believe we are separated from God by our sin then we would be out letting our light shine all the time.

5) We only turn to God when we need Him.

Only seeking God when we need him and using him as a tool for our problems leads to an indifferent view of God. He needs to be a God we fear and worship.

6) We’re not much different from the world.

How are we different from the world? How do we spend our money, raise our kids, entertain ourselves. We need to be transformed by Jesus and be different because we are not from this world, we are called to more. Are you a full time mom or student or teacher and a part time follower of Christ or a full time follower of Christ who uses His teachings and guidance to for fill other roles in our life?

How do we reignite the fire to pursue Jesus daily? 🔥

Most importantly: every day do something that requires faith daily habits to keep your relationship strong

1. Spend time in the word daily
2.Pray continually 🙏🏻
3.Worship daily
4.Share faith
5.Confess sin

It’s better to hurt with a purpose than to exist without one.

Be diligent, turn from your indifference and turn to Jesus. By doing something that requires faith you become more concerned with what God thinks of you than what people think of you. It will make you bold in spirit. You need him minute by minute and will be transformers because Jesus lives in you.

 

 

When God Doesn’t Move the Mountain

Why can’t I  stop pulling my hair?

Why do I still have manic episodes?

Why does this cloud of depression try to consume me?

 I know God can heal me. The creator of the universe can do anything. So I wonder, will He ever heal me? I pray and pray and try to fight through His strength. Some days are better than others, but the bottom line is that these strongholds are the anchors trying to drag me down.  I am the child of the one true King and nothing the devil throws at me will change my unwavering faith and love for my God, my Savior, and my closest Friend.

Through my most recent manic episode that lasted about four months, I have begged for healing.  Through my prayers and seeking God through His Word, I keep getting the same message.  There is a purpose for my pain. God will use me and my struggles in His time. I know His plans are perfect and He is preparing me for what lies ahead.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about his disability. Paul is the guy with an insurmountable faith. He commanded people to be healed in the name of Jesus, and they were healed instantly. He told a demon to flee simply  because he was annoyed, and the demon fled. Paul clearly lacks no faith. He’s the guy that could say to a mountain, “move,” and it would have to move. He says:

“…I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then He told me,

‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.”  {2 Corinthians 12:7-12}

The poster child of faith could not pray his own disability away. Three times he prayed, using a level of faith that is hard to wrap my mind around…and God still said no. God wanted Paul to rely on His grace to make it through, not on Paul’s own ability. God wanted to bring Paul to his knees so that he would have to rely on Him to get by.

But sometimes God says no.

You don’t have to tell yourself that the faith you just tried so hard to muster up, so intensely that it made you physically sick, wasn’t enough. That if you could just try a little harder, you could make God change the situation. That you could somehow control God.

Because, surprisingly, it’s incredibly comforting to know that God can say no. And he does, often. There’s strength in knowing we can’t control His decisions, and that the outcome does not always, in fact, depend on our level of faith.

And there’s strength in knowing that sometimes God doesn’t move the mountains, simply because He wants us to rely on Him to climb them.

Through the Eyes of a Lion

TTEOAL_2_InstagramQuote_1.jpgLet’s Welcome the Light and Gain a New Perspective on Our Pain

Levi Lusko has used his pain to produce this powerful message. I consider the sword of the spirit (the bible) to be one of my most powerful weapons against the enemy in  my battle with bipolar disorder and trichotillomania. In his biblically based book, Levi explains that our suffering is an opportunity for us to to be used like never before.
Our biggest struggles are also the places where we can help others the most. Living through the pain gives us a unique perspective to help others through the same troubles we have. I think one of the biggest problems people have with Christianity is the question of why would a loving God allow such heartache to happen. God does not allow evil, it is part of our sinful world in which we have free will to choose how we live. God hates to see us suffer, but He allows pain to enter our life for a purpose. He uses our pain to help us grow deeper roots in faith and shows you how to help others who are suffering in a similar way. It is a powerful testimony.

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Suffering is not an obstacle to you being used by God. It is an opportunity for you to be used like never before.

Levi uses the famous quote from Aaïs Nin, “we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”  to show that the world is not fixed in some pattern. It can be viewed from many different points and it changes according to who is watching it.

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There is a two part sermon series that goes along with this book. I am posting the sermon notes below along with a link to the sermon.

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An Important piece in the armor of God in my battle plan for My current mania

Sword of the Spirit

The Word of God  – When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Jesus modeled this so beautifully during His temptation in the wilderness. When the devil tried temptation after temptation against Him, Jesus used the sword of the Spirit. Jesus spoke the Word of God to Satan. In Luke 4:1-13, Jesus responded, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord God only. Him only you shall serve.” and again brought the Scripture back into context, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

Key Scripture

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT

Key Thought

Suffering is not an obstacle to you being used by God, it is an opportunity for you to be used like never before.

How to See through the Eyes of a Lion

  1. Don’t rely on the naked eye.
  2. Train for the trial you’re not yet in.
  3. Let God use your pain.

More Scripture

Ephesians 1:17-19Colossians 3:2Psalm 34:151 Samuel 16:7

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Pastor Levi talked about the 1990’s for a second. So, about the 90’s … want them back, or glad they’re gone?
  • What did Pastor Levi say that you’re still thinking about?

Start thinking. Ask a thoughtful question.

  • Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Do you give more energy and focus to “seen” earthly struggles or “unseen” eternal things?
  • Think of one of the worst things that’s happened to you. How does the depth of its impact compare to the length of eternity? How often do you consider eternity?

Start sharing. Choose questions that create openness.

  • Read Ephesians 1:17-19. Pastor Levi described how lions’ eyes don’t get more light, they fully use what’s there. What’s blocking light, or hindering your vision?
  • Where do you think you’d be weakest in a trial? How will you train for a trial you’re not yet in?
  • What God-given insight or opportunity might your eyes be opened to because of pain you’ve experienced?
  • Have you seen past pain turn into opportunity? Can you share your story?

Start praying. Be bold, and pray with power.

Heavenly Father, we want to see our pain through Your eyes, through the eyes of a Lion. Help us fix our eyes on the length of eternity and the strength of Your Holy Spirit living in us. Show us how You are turning our pain into power for Your purpose. Amen!

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Choose a painful moment and ask to see it from God’s perspective. Each day, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the opportunities you now have.
  • Ask God to help you see the unseen this week. Make note of any time you sense Him expanding your vision. Come ready to share next week.
  • Read Pastor Levi’s Bible Plan: www.go2.lc/eyesofalion

Get this in your inbox. Visit go2.lc/emailme

 

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Never Let the Presence of a Storm Cause You to Doubt the Presence of God

 

 

God is always with us. Our hardest times are those times we need Him most. Learning to lean on Him during these storms is life changing. The hardest times in my life have actually been a blessing because they have radically changed my relationship with God. I now know I cannot make it through life without Him.

We are not built to be strong enough or good enough to do this life on our own. We are all created with a God size hole in our soul. There is only one Love, one Truth that can fill that yearning. He is the only way we can truly feel peace and joy. No amount of money, success, or fame can compare. All things of this world leave us feeling empty because we were designed to have a relationship with our creator.

I love my family and friends, but Jesus comes first. He is the only one who understands all of me. He knows my darkest secrets and deepest fears and He loves me because of the broken imperfect person I am.

 

In the Storm

God With Us

He’s with you through the pain. He comforts you in the waiting. When you’re anxious about your future, He gives you courage. As you climb the mountain, He keeps you safe in His arms. In every moment, we have God With Us. 🙏✝️❤️

Click the link to watch it now! 🔽

Life Church Sermon: In the Storm

I blog about my personal struggle with trichotillomania and bipolar disorder. I also discuss helpful strategies, reflections, and treatments.

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