The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23 Action Plan for Caregivers
The Caregiver’s Caregiver
By Cindy Galdal-Ruperto

“The Lord is my shepherd.”  Every caregiver has a Caregiver. His name is Jesus Christ.


“I shall not want.”  The Christian life is a supplied life. God wants to meet our needs. Bring everything to Him in prayer. Everything. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Prayer reminds us that we are not in control and we don’t have to be. Take that pressure off yourself. It comes from the devil. God and God alone is in control.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”  Spend much needed time with God everyday reading the Bible. Its important to take your mind off everything and focus on the Lord. Reading quiets the busy mind. It’s like finding the off button and shutting it down. Even if you can only read one Psalm a day it will take your mind off what you are dealing with. The Bible tells us to set our minds on things above. Reading helps us find Godly things to think about.

“He leads me beside still waters.” Ask God to show you how to rest in Him and ask Him specifically to give you time to do it. Consider changing your schedule of TV watching and instead listen to teaching tapes or watch Christian TV. I watch Joyce Meyer with my Breakfast each day. Meals are a great time to tune into powerful teaching to strengthen us in our daily walk. We have to eat anyway.

“He restores my soul.”  Only God can restore your soul and He will do it in His presence. Ask Him specifically to revive you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy that you cannot overcome this challenging season in your life. The Bible tells us that we are more than Conquerors through Him who loves us. That means over our circumstances no matter how trying they may be.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,…” Notice that we are walking through, we are not moving in to live. This is a season. This too shall pass.

“I will fear no evil for You are with me:…” We fear no evil because God has overcome the evil one. Stay close to the victory of the cross at all times. Remember who you are in Christ. Remember that you are never alone. The Believer has Christ in Him and He will never leave him nor forsake him.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  Knowing that God is caring for us brings us great comfort. Ask Him to heal your painful memories and to comfort you in your grief.

“You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.”  Our Heavenly Father tends to us and sustains us in the midst of whatever we are going through. Fill your home with worship music to remind you of that.

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” The Christian life is lived from the inside out. Our strength is not drawn from what goes on around us, but from the One who lives within us. In the dessert seasons of our lives we find out that all our fountains are in Him and Him alone.

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Does the devil feed you fearful thoughts that terrible things will happen to you or you will have a sad future? Say this beautiful verse out loud and meditate on the faithfulness of God. His goodness and love will never leave you and if you gave your life to Christ you will spend eternity in heaven.

Resources to Remind the Caregiver That They Have a Caregiver
Video: www.Fathersloveletter.com
How To Live The Victorious Christian Life CD’s or MP3, www.lifetime.org
The Power of Presence by Neil T. Anderson, http://www.freedominChrist.com
Note that Neil’s wife of 50 years has dementia.   “This is not a book about dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It is a reflection on the presence of God, and what it means to be in His presence during the loneliest and most difficult time of our lives.” Neil T Anderson

Copyright by Cindy Galdal-Ruperto
http://www.CompleteinChrist.com

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Valentine’s Oasis Event – 2018

The Oasis valentine event was awesome. God really blessed it…Standing room only, and on a snowy night! Please check out the Oasis page for details on the May event!

You can download notes that were distributed at the event here:

October 2017 Oasis Event

We give thanks for the worship and fellowship at the October Oasis event. Take-home notes are posted at the previous blog entry here.

Called and Equipped Daily Action Plan

Called and Equipped Daily Action Plan
By Cindy Galdal-Ruperto

Where To Begin in Serving the Lord

The first step is seeking God in your own life before you seek Him for ministry.
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon Me and come and pray to Me, if you seek Me with all your heart, I will let you find Me, says the Lord,…”
Jer. 29:11-14.

Talk to the Holy Spirit all day long. Write down what He impresses on your heart. “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” Rom. 8:14.

Put God first above all else in your life. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well” Matt. 6:33.

Be well fed so you can feed others. (The Bible, worship music, various teachings).
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” Eph. 6:10.

Keep your mind focused on the things of God. Beware the devil’s distractions.
“If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” Col. 3:1-2.

Ministry is a naturally supernatural overflow of what God is doing in your own life. “…He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water” John 7:38.

Live in complete dependence upon God. Resist the temptation to rely on yourself. “All my fountains are in You” Psalm 87:7.

If the Apostle Paul asked for prayer to be bold, we should also pray for boldness.
“Pray that God will give me the right words to say. Then I will speak boldly when I reveal the mystery of the Good News” Eph. 6:19.

Pray at all times, and in all things. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborer labors in vain” Psalm 127:1.

Expect the devil to come against every work of God. Through prayer, resist the devil. “On this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” Matt. 16:18.

Ministry is primarily about our relationship with God. The God who loves us wants to reveal Himself to us. He calls us into an intimate, ever-deepening relationship. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” John 15:5.

Valid ministry is built on a Christ-centered foundation with grace & truth teaching. “Each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid; which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work” 1 Cor. 3:10-13.

Insecurity, shame, guilt, fear, low-self esteem, chaos, no longer have to control us. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” Eph. 4:22-24.

Unbelief holds us back. If God says you can do something, you can. “So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, ‘The Land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours it’s inhabitants. And all the people that we saw are men of great stature’” Num. 13:32.

God has already prepared the works He intends to do through you. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” Eph. 2:10.

God enables you to do what He has called you to do. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last…” John 15:16.

Your loving Creator made no mistakes when He created you. “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” Psalm 139:14.

Our self-image, our self-respect, our self-esteem come from our loving Creator. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” Gen. 1:27.

Your Creator is the only One who can define your worth, and He has. “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” Gen. 1:31.

In Christ, you are more than capable; your Creator will always be intimately involved in your life. “Being confident of this very thing, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” Phil. 1:6.

OASIS 20th Anniversary Celebration Oct. 21, 2017  cindy@completeinchrist.com
PDF  printable copy: CGP_action plan_Oct 17

Never Alone

This encouraging article reminds us that with God we are never alone. 
Print it and save for days when you might need it again. Put it in an encouragement file that will help you build your life on God’s truth. Thank you so much.
Blessings,
Cindy


Alone

by Anabel Gillham

Matthew 4:1-11 He threw back His shoulders, lifted His chin, and walked slowly and fearlessly into the dry, barren land. There was determination evident in His walk, His posture, His eyes, the set of His mouth. As He looked at the utter desolation of the place, the forsaken terrain before Him, He couldn’t keep from Continue Reading… (http://www.lifetime.org/alone/)

reposted from Lifetime Guarantee Ministries

The OASIS Summer Events

The Summer Monthly OASIS Singles Bible Discussion groups are Saturday’s from 11am to 1pm. Dates are 6/24,7/15, 8/12. Topic is “Living in Freedom, Letting Go of What’s Holding You.” On 9/9 we have our Singles Brunch from 11am to 1 pm. This is a fun time of preparing our mailing for the big Fall event on Sat. 10/21.  Thursday 10/19 from 7pm to 8:30pm is our Singles Prayer Meeting. All Events are Free.
Click here for the info for our ANNUAL FALL GATHERING. All events are at Lefferts Park Church, 7524-14th Ave. Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Come by yourself or bring a friend. Fellowship and prayer will be enjoyed.  D train to 77th Street and New Utrecht Ave. We have been hosting singles events for 20 years!
blessings,
CIndy

 

Freedom from Addiction

by John Woodward

Once, when our family was stranded along the side of the highway, I learned more about the art of towing. The first tow truck that arrived could not pull our van, since our rear wheel was broken. As we waited for the next one–a flat bed truck which literally carried the whole van to the repair shop–I had a chat with the first truck driver as he waited with us.

My curiosity couldn’t resist asking him, “Did you ever get stuck with your tow truck, and have to call for a tow yourself?”

“Almost never,” he said. “I can use the truck’s winch cable to pull myself out if I get stuck; or I can use the lift to push the truck forward.”

Imagine the frustration of a tow truck driver who would get stuck himself! Now imagine the plight of the mature Christian who is stuck with an addiction. This believer has a working knowledge of Scripture and wants to help others, yet is bound by besetting sins in his own life.

Many hurting people desperately need an effective Christ-centered, grace-oriented strategy to break addictions. For example, a study released in The Journal of Affective Disorders concluded that internet addictions are just as strong and destructive as addictions to alcohol, drugs, or gambling. Billions of dollars are lost to the gambling industry annually–a sobering testimony to the damaging effects of compulsive behavior. [1]

How can we say “no” to a pattern of besetting sin? How can we say get unstuck from a stubborn habit? How can we be set free from addictive behavior? Are there effective answers beyond what secular, psychological, and legalistic methods offer? Yes!

In their book, Freedom form Addiction, Mike and Julia Quarles share their saga of Mike’s alcohol addiction. Julia says her husband earned a D. D. (“Doctor of Drunkenness”) in his efforts to overcome drinking. Mike tried about 30 treatment strategies including: A. A., Christian 12 step groups, psychiatry, psychology, a secular treatment center, a Christian treatment center, willpower, Bible study, prayer, fasting, and the list goes on. After his stay at a residential Christian treatment center, Mike stayed sober for a while. He started counseling alcoholics, but eventually fell back into drinking. He ended up counseling people addicted to alcohol while he was still battling the same foe! As things went from bad to worse, Mike lost his job and his marriage was in jeopardy.

How did Mike finally get free from this addiction? The path to his freedom began when he hit rock bottom; he was disabled by depression, had no money for liquor, and gave up–on himself. He writes,

“I had finally exhausted all my resources and options. At my point of spiritual bankruptcy, I was finally ready to let God do what He wanted to do all along. 2 Corinthians 1:8,9 says ‘For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.’ Is there a price for freedom? I, and many others, have found the price tag is to completely give up on myself and come to the end of my resources and find freedom in Christ.”[2]

This reminds us of James 4:6,7: “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” God promises the needed grace if we let go of our pride and self-sufficiency. The apostle Paul kept encouraging the church with God’s abundant grace: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).

So why were the many methods of breaking addictions ineffective for Mike? Looking back, he points to four basic reasons that they failed:

1) “I tried to change my behavior instead of the underlying belief that determined my behavior.

2) I focused on me and what I should do instead of focusing on God and what He had already done.

3) I relied on my own efforts instead of trusting God and living by the power of the Holy Spirit.

4) I accepted a failure identity instead of appropriating my true identity in Christ.” [3]

God set Mike free and equipped him for his present ministry as a spiritual counselor by leading him to the realization of the Exchanged Life. As he grasped his union with Christ, his new identity in Christ, and surrendered and rested in Him, Mike experienced Christ as His Life. The Lord set him free!

This deliverance is rarely a one time experience; the freedom needs to be maintained by abiding in Christ (John 15:5-8). Strongholds that rob the believer of freedom must be torn down and replaced with truth (John 8:31,32).

Here is Mike Quarles’ comparison of Man’s answer and God’s answer to addiction.

MAN’S ANSWER:

A PROGRAM–Designed to change the behavior of the person (Gal. 4:9)

RESULT–Self-improvement (Gal. 6:3)

NEED–To constantly work on doing the right behavior (Gal. 3:1-5)

DYNAMIC–Our commitment and performance (Col. 2:20-23)

MAN’S ANSWER SUMMARIZED:

COMMITMENT–To subject myself to a program of:

LAW–Rules, steps, concepts and principles through:

WORKS–Disciplined self-effort to:

STRENGTHEN THE FLESH–Improve self in order to produce

DEAD WORKS–Behavior change

GOD’S ANSWER:

THE CROSS–To put to death the person who does the behavior (Rom. 6:4)

RESULT–New person with a new identity who behaves differently (Gal. 2:20)

NEED–To understand who we are so our behavior will match up with our identity (2 Cor. 5:17)

DYNAMIC–The life of Christ (Col. 3:3)

GOD’S ANSWER SUMMARIZED

DEATH–I agree with God’s verdict on self and give up on myself and my resources by:

GRACE–Appropriate what God has done by:

FAITH–Appropriate my death and resurrection with Christ by the:

SPIRIT–Depend upon Christ’s life in me to meet all my needs in order to produce:

LIFE–Good works, the fruit of the Spirit.”[4]

If you are stuck in a habit that grieves the Holy Spirit, hurts you, and hinders your potential to help others, may these insights be used of God to give you fresh hope and renewed confidence in your Liberator: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13). God can pull you out of any rut!


Parts 2-4 are at GraceNotebook.com