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There was a man in my life a while back (my pastor at that time) who told me I had never ever had an original thought in my life........and that I had stolen everything I ever taught or preached from someone else. I was totally devastated. There were many terrible destructive things he told me but this one was up there at the top along with telling me that when I served the body, I always had to do it alone because I had no life to give anyone.....no wonder I was a spiritual wreck after 5 years of that.

The good news is that God always takes our disasters and turns them into something truly awesome. Whenever people in our lives come after us with negative stuff like that, there is something we somehow see as true enough, that we get introspective. Talking to ourselves about that stuff never helps. I end up somehow deciding I will never ever again say anything that was not original and that somehow I will clean up my act so I have life to give someone........which never accomplishes anything but more destruction.

Instead, we need to go to the One who will tell us the truth because He is Truth! Once we see the truth, the Truth sets us free. I talked back in December about some of that and my Epiphany at the Fence.....but what is important today is to tell you that being free is not the same as being healed.

There are things the enemy does to us, as he tries desperately to steal our hearts and kill us spiritually (like what I just illustrated), and there are things he did to us that we don't even know happened. More on that in a moment.

I was healed several years ago from that stuff in the opening illustration. Since then I have discovered that what I do with other people's teachings is to take little bits and pieces of them and then present them simply with lots of personal illustrations that make them easy for many folks to track and God marvelously opens up the eyes of people's hearts to see and I end up closer to Him and marveling at His goodness. That is a gift God graciously gave me. I don't need to have original anythings. I need to use the gifts He has given me, to do what He has called me to do.

My wife asked me a while back, why I had ever gone to work in a partnership with my father what with the way I felt about him and the relationship we never had. That came out of sharing a whole bunch of things with her having to do with my early years with him which would lead any rational person to ask that same question. I mean, I had no relationship with my dad. Yet here I was forming a partnership with him to sell materials handling equipment. 3 years later we formed a corporation (with me as President), to manufacture and install some of the equipment we sold. "Why? Why did you go into business with him?" she asked. I couldn't answer that question.

I asked the Lord about that. One day I was reading another John Eldredge book and there it was......clear as anything......what I was doing was "proving to my dad that I have what it takes"....all the stuff that happens to us growing up, all the negative input, all times that he said/she said/they said those wounding, cutting words that tell us one way or the other that we just don't have what it takes, we'll never make it, pick your own favorite quote....you never, you can't, you aren't, you won't.......My grandmother told me in front of him that I would never amount to anything....he agreed.

I want you to know something....you have what it takes....you don't have to prove it to anyone. All that other stuff is out of the pit to destroy you and none of it is true. God says "You are complete in His Son Jesus", that's all of us, so Satan you can just stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

Plug into the Truth....He will set you free. Just be who He has made you to be, doing what He has created you to do.

love you

:)
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