Tag Archives: love

How Should We Respond to Criticism

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I want my words to be life giving, to build up others. Because of our sinful nature, we can often be critical. In our ignorance we can think we are right and doing the right thing to offer our critical opinion. We need to guard our hearts against being opinionated. We can pick apart the way people do things differently than us.

Overcoming a Sensitive Spirit to Criticism

We have to become deeply assured of who we are in Christ. Being confident in our calling will keep us from being derailed by criticism. We should not be driven by praise. Therefore, don’t let compliments go to your head or criticism go to your heart.

One way to respond to critical people is to respond carefully, not rashly or instinctively.

A thoughtful answer can give a critical person a different perspective. If you wait to send that text or throw back a defensive comment, then you can think about your response. This allows you to act out of wisdom.

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Often, the criticism isn’t about you. Most angry people are actually hurting. They have a past hurt or something about themselves they don’t like.

Forgive in real time, don’t wait months or years to forgive. It will steal your joy and make it hard to love others. Resist the urge to defend yourself or explain why it is not fair. If we let the Spirit help us we can get above it.

Constructive Criticism

Accepting constructive criticism can help us be better. If there are not several things you have changed in the last year because of constructive criticism, then you are missing out on the opportunity for growth.

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Are You Vitamin L (Love) Deficient? 10 Steps to Solve It

Are You Vitamin L (Love) Deficient? 10 Steps to Solve It

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Sadly, illnesses caused by low or absent levels of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamin are pervasive in the world in which we live. Such deficiencies more negatively impact children than adults, as a child’s future physiological and neurological health requires a steady stream of what their body and brains need most. Anemia, tooth decay and Rickets are just a few of the medical problems connected to childhood mineral and vitamin deficiency. To illustrate this dilemma, anemia, which is caused by an iron deficiency, impacts two billion people worldwide, while 70% of American children aren’t getting enough vitamin D (CNN 2015).

Vitamin L — Vitamin Love
An “emotional vitamin” is a metaphor for interpersonal and emotional “sustenance” that is given to children by their parents in order to promote healthy psychological and social development. The most important of all the metaphorical emotional vitamins is “vitamin L” or “vitamin love.” Just like actual vitamins, say C or D, vitamin love is critically important to a child’s developmental needs. Or, in other words, if parents or caretakers do not provide sufficient, consistent and predictable levels of emotional nurturing, mental health problems in adulthood will surely occur. There is no way around this stark but important fact.

On a global basis, vitamin L deficiency is as real and pervasive as other serious real vitamin deficiencies. As with complications from iron or a vitamin D deficiency, vitamin L deficiency manifests itself in adulthood when it is too late to correct the problem. Rickets, for example, if untreated in childhood, will result in permanent bone or skeletal malformation. Similarly, when vitamin L is lacking or absent in childhood, harmful psychological, social and even physiological consequences are likely to occur, some of which may be difficult to treat in adulthood. According to my book, “The Human Magnet Syndrome“ (2013), when unconditional love/nurturing is absent in infancy and early childhood, adult mental health and interpersonal disorders will probably occur, i.e., codependency and pathological narcissism (Rosenberg, 2013).

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A glaring example of a vitamin L deficiency was observed in Romanian children who were raised in stark and emotionally depriving orphanages. According to numerous studies (Tottenham, 2013), many Romanian orphans suffered adult brain dysfunction and mental health disorders due to a lack of nurturing, attention and stimulation in the infant and toddler years. The dire consequences of such deprivation included neurological or brain dysfunction, a dramatic reduction in brain size and language, intellectual and cognitive impairment. In addition, higher incidents of conduct disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder were also demonstrated.

Erik Erikson Knew about Vitamin L Deficiency
Erik Erikson, a world renowned developmental psychologist and personality theorist, created a psychological and social (psychosocial) developmental theory that was based upon eight distinct developmental stages, each with two possible outcomes — success or failure. He theorized that if a child was to mature into a psychologically healthy adult, they would have to been cared for and emotionally nurtured in a manner that facilitated an active and passive completion of each stage.

Healthy parent-child attachment is absolutely essential for successful completion of the first five of Erikson’s stages. Without it, the child will remain frozen in a specific stage, which will deprive them of the skill development necessary to proceed with the following psychosocial stages. Erikson and the legions of followers of his theory maintain that children who are frozen within a stage are psychosocially underdeveloped in adulthood. In other words, these children will likely develop mental health and interpersonal problems in adulthood. Vitamin L is, therefore, the key developmental constituent that facilitates healthy childhood psychosocial development.

A little like the unfolding of a rose bud, each petal opens up at a certain time, in a certain order, which nature, through its genetics, has determined. If we interfere in the natural order of development by pulling a petal forward prematurely or out of order, we ruin the development of the entire flower. (G. Boeree, 2006)

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Vitamin L Deficiency and Attachment Trauma
Vitamin L Deficiency Disorder is a metaphorical disorder caused by a lack of emotional, physical and environmental nurturing during critical developmental stages of childhood, especially during the first four years of life. Because of the fragile nature of an infant’s/child’s rapidly developing brain, any developmental disruption or harm to it will result in a lifelong template for pathological thoughts, feelings, behavior and/or a variety of mental health disorders.

There is no doubt that Vitamin L and parent-child attachment are intricately connected — both are necessary for adult mental and relational health.

“Attachment, the emotional bond formed between an infant and its primary caretaker, profoundly influences both the structure and function of the developing infant’s brain. Failed attachment, whether caused by abuse, neglect or emotional unavailability on the part of the caretaker, can negatively impact brain structure and function, causing developmental or relational trauma. Early-life trauma affects future self-esteem, social awareness, ability to learn and physical health (Trauma, Attachment, and Stress Disorders, 2015).”

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Sustained neglect, deprivation or abuse of a child by a pathologically narcissistic caregiver detrimentally affects the parent-child attachment process. In other words, Vitamin L Deficiency Disorder or attachment trauma is caused by the lack of or impaired attachment between a child and his parents. Such trauma is often perpetrated unconsciously and reflexively by a pathologically narcissistic parent (Rosenberg, 2013). These parents are often oblivious to the harm they caused because of a lack of insight and empathy for others, especially for their children. Moreover, they often parent their child in the same manner in which they were raised by their own narcissistic parent. Just as Erik Erikson theorized, such trauma (developmental breakdown) sets the child up for adult mental health and relational problems.

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Attachment trauma and vitamin L deficiency is difficult to identify in adulthood as it is the basis for adult personal and relational problems, not the actual problem. Because some forms of maltreatment or neglect do not always result in vitamin love deficiency or attachment trauma, it is necessary to consider the amorphous nature of the problem. Although neglect, deprivation and/or abuse sets the stage for attachment trauma, such maltreatment doesn’t always cause it. A child’s unique personality type, psychological strengths or weakness, level of resiliency and other biological and personality attributes will either deepen or mitigate (buffer) the effects of attachment trauma.

Only with an understanding of Vitamin L Deficiency Disorder can one proceed with the appropriate treatment of it. It is this author’s opinion that vitamin love deficiency can be successfully treated with trauma-based psychotherapy treatment strategies.

The following are 10 recommendations to solve or heal Vitamin L Deficiency:

Ten Steps to Reverse Vitamin L Deficiency
1. Seek psychotherapy that can address and resolve attachment trauma.
2. Seek help with your codependency or narcissism, which is a secondary effect of of the deeper attachment trauma wounds.
3. Create clear boundaries and expectations with those who seek to deprive you of vitamin L.
4. When possible, eliminate or pull back from relationships that do not have vitamin L reciprocity.
5. Create support systems when disengaging or setting boundaries with those who won’t give you vitamin L
6. Get daily doses of Vitamin L by surrounding yourself with loved ones who take part in empowering, affirming and personally connective relationships.
7. Seek healthy relationships where there is a fair distribution of love, respect and caring
8. Seek support and guidance though 12-Step groups, namely Codependency Anonymous (CODA) or Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA).
9. Prepare for pathological levels of loneliness, a major withdrawal symptom of codependency (Rosenberg, 2015).
10. Stop the generational pattern of Vitamin L Deficiency Disorder. Love, respect and care for your child in a way that your parents did not do for you.

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Breathe

Gently breathe in God’s spirit, that spirit which, if not barred out by selfishness, will enable you to do good works. This means rather that God will be enabled to do good works through you. You can become a channel for God’s spirit to flow through you and into the lives of others. The works that you can do will only be limited by your spiritual development. Let your spirit be in harmony with God’s spirit and there is no limit to what you can do in the realm of human relationships.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may become a channel for God’s spirit. I pray that God’s spirit may flow through me into the lives of others.

Relax, “Let Go & Let God”, Everything Will Work Out for Your

God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggle and a reward for your Faithfulness. Don’t give up! God’s word teaches us to Cast our care upon the Lord. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” [1 Peter 5:7]

I realize that learning to “let go” and “let God” is not as easy as it sounds, however, the bible reassures us to …”Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” [Psalm 55:22]

EXAMPLE:

Let’s consider Job’s trials. Job said: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” [Job 13:15]

QUESTION:

I pose this question to you: If you’re in constant turmoil and worrying, why do you pray? Is it just something you do because it’s tradition, or, do you truly seek God for peace and understanding?

1). Forming a “real” relationship with God provides a sense of security, revelation knowledge and mostly, “a peace that surpasseth all understanding.”

2.)The Bible says to, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” [Psalm 37:4] What we should understand mostly from this passage is the fact that there is a process of learning just how to “delight yourself in God.”

ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO HELP YOU

As you study God’s Word, you will learn to “Let Go & Let God!” Pray and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to order your footsteps as you prepare to study God’s Word daily.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” [Jeremiah 29:11]

Recovery Thinking: Love and Healing

Love is the power that transforms your life. Try to love your family and your friends and then try to love everybody that you possibly can, even the “sinners and publicans” – everybody. Love for God is an even greater thing. It is the result of gratitude to God, and it is the acknowledgement of the blessing that God has sent you. Love for God acknowledges His gifts and leaves the way open for God to shower yet more blessings on your thankful heart. Say, “Thank you, God,” until it becomes a habit.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to love God and all people. I pray that I may continually thank God for all His blessings.

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

Keep On Keeping On

Amazing, real, and so true, this is my new favorite song. Life is hard and sometimes we want to give up, but “I’ll Keep On” speaks the truth I feel about the love and strength that gets me through my days, the hard ones and the good ones. He is always there, no matter how much I mess up. He chases after us because He loves us more than we can fathom. I would be lost without my Jesus. He is my best friend.

I’ll Keep On by Jeremiah Carlson

Lyrics:

Oh these hands are tired

Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 1: NF]
Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people’s something I don’t really love to do
I’ve never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain’t built for this and I don’t have nothing
It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there and get wet than take the handout
What’s wrong with me? You said, “you’ve always got your hands out
And I cannot continue on my own so take my hands now”
I give you everything, God, not just a little bit
Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
I hate sin, but I built a house and I still live in it
Afraid to open up the door to You and let You into it
My soul is lost and what it needs is Your direction
I know, I’ve told You I do not need Your protection
But I lied to You, this thing is tiring
And man was not created for it, God
Please retire me now

I’LL KEEP ON LYRICS
[Hook: Jeremiah Carlson]
Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 1: NF]
Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people’s something I don’t really love to do
I’ve never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain’t built for this and I don’t have nothing
It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there and get wet than take the handout
What’s wrong with me? You said, “you’ve always got your hands out
And I cannot continue on my own so take my hands now”
I give you everything, God, not just a little bit
Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
I hate sin, but I built a house and I still live in it
Afraid to open up the door to You and let You into it
My soul is lost and what it needs is Your direction
I know, I’ve told You I do not need Your protection
But I lied to You, this thing is tiring
And man was not created for it, God
Please retire me now

[Hook: Jeremiah Carlson]
Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 2: NF]
Trust is something I am not accustomed to
And I know the Bible says I should always trust in You
But, I don’t never read that book enough
And when I have a question I don’t take the time to look it up
Or pick it up
It collects dust on my nightstand
I’m just being honest
Please take this outta my hands
I have no control – I am just a person
But thank the Lord that I serve a God that’s perfect
I do not deserve the opportunity You’ve given me
I never knew what freedom was until I learned what prison means
I am not ashamed, I don’t care if they remember me
My life will always have a hole, if You are not the centerpiece
Take me out of bondage, take all of my pride
If I don’t have a Savior, I don’t have nothing inside
Take all of my lust, take all of my lies
There’s no better feeling than when I look in the sky, in Your eyes
It’s amazing

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

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