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YOU ARE GOD’S UNIQUE SPECIAL TREASURE

BY: Carol Clemans

Certified Pastoral Counselor (served in this capacity for Pastor Kenneth Haney in Stockton, CA for 10 years), Bible teacher for spiritual, emotional and relational growth for churches, conference, retreats, etc. Go to www.carolclemans.org, email: carol@carolclemans.org or call (636) 448-0121 (confidential phone counseling available).

You are God’s unique special treasure. God designed you with a specific personality, abilities and purpose different from all others. Your response may be, “Who? Me? Oh, no! You don’t know anything about me. I can’t sing or play the piano. I can’t teach. I don’t have anything special to give.”  My reply is, “Yes you do!” Psm 139 says that God was there in your mother’s womb when you were created and designed every part of you. I can almost hear someone say, “He sure could have done a better job on me!” That response comes from a heart who compares herself with others instead of looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of her faith. I know because it took me a few years to learn to accept my large German boned body with a pronounced nose and size 10 feet!

Dr. James Dobson and many others say that low self-worth is the #1 issue with most women in society. Unfortunately, it’s also true among believers today, even in leadership. David Seamands in his book, Healing for Damaged Emotions, calls low self-worth Satan’s deadliest weapon and lists 4 ways that Satan uses it to bring defeat and failure into your life: #1 – it paralyzes your potential. #2 – it destroys your dreams. #3 – it ruins your relationships. #4 – it sabotages your Christian service. Pastor Seamands then shares through the Word of God how to love yourself in a healthy way so you can love others and be free to be what God’s wants you to be.

Mark 12: 29 – 31 shares the greatest commandment. We are to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and then love our neighbor as we love our self! Self-love or self-worth is God based.  If we do not love and accept our self as God loves us, then we will have difficulty loving others. We also will have difficulty believing that God could use us for His glory.

In 1989, I was blessed to hear Vesta Mangun teach a Bible class on “She Hath Done What She Could” from Mark 14. The woman took what she had and used it to the glory of God. Jesus said, “She hath done what SHE (caps mine) could.” What that woman did was so important to Jesus that he said wherever the gospel is preached she would be spoken of.  She saw a need. She took what was in her hand and sacrificially anointed Jesus. Her ‘background’ was questionable, but God used her for His glory!

What do you have in your ‘hand-heart’ that you could give to others to bring a blessing into their lives? A smile, an encouraging word, a prayer, a hug, a listening ear, a note of appreciation, all of these are important to God. Your integrity with God and your love is the most important gift you can give to others. It’s not about music, teaching or leadership ability, it’s all about being the unique individual that God has created you to be. Do what YOU can do. Don’t try to be someone else. YOU ARE GOD’S SPECIAL TREASURE!

© Carol Clemans – August 2009

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YOU ARE A NEW, UNUSED, FRESH CREATION IN CHRIST!

By:  Carol Clemans

There are no words to describe the new birth experience of repenting of our sins to God, being baptized in the wonderful name of Jesus and receiving His Spirit in our lives. There is a great unspeakable joy that comes with this experience. But for many, after the ‘newness’ of this new birth experience normalizes in their lives, sometimes the joy seems to disappear. Unfortunately, this is usually due to the pain of the past that was never processed through healing and forgiveness. Statistics say one of every three women and one of every four men have been sexually abused.

In my 14 years of being a pastoral counselor, I’ve talked with hundreds of people who cannot seem to take personal ownership of the truth of their salvation experience that God fully loves, fully accepts and fully forgives them. Their self-talk has been negative for most of their lives. As an abuse victim, they take the blame and the shame of this hidden part of their lives and tell themselves they have no value to God or anyone else.

Many abuse victims have three major issues to heal and change: First, is the actual abuse itself. Second, is the ‘acting out’ they may have done because of their emotional pain. Third, is their inability to believe God’s truth of forgiveness. Their ‘pain’ says forgiveness is for others not them.

Jesus said in John 8: 31 & 32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The definition of know in Strong’s #1097 is, “To perceive, understand, recognize, gain knowledge, realize, come to know —knowledge that has inception, a progress, and an attainment. It is the recognition of truth by personal experience.”

God takes away our sin at our new birth, but He does not erase our emotions or memories. It is a process of learning and taking ownership of God’s truth that brings healing to wounded emotions. We just learned that to know has an inception and it is a progressional attainment. It is taking God’s truth and owning it for your own truth because you are God’s child.

Forgiveness is a major part of healing emotional pain. Forgiveness is not excusing the person who abused you. Forgiveness is for you to forgive the pain from the past so it no longer controls your present. The obedience of forgiving others is to set you free from the power of the pain they caused you.  God will be your avenger and in His timing He will make every abuser accountable to Him.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 is a powerful truth that we must understand and believe. It says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Strong’s # 2537 says the word new means, “New, unused, fresh, novel. The word (new) means in regard to form or quality.” This is wonderful life-changing news!  When we are IN CHRIST, we are NEW, UNUSED, FRESH, NOVEL- meaning new or unusual. The past is gone forever. What happened in the past no longer has the power to define who we are in the present! WE ARE HIS NEW, UNUSED, FRESH, UNIQUE VESSEL!!!!

Many women and men alike do not become the fulfilled vessels God wants to use because they are caught up in the wounds of their past even after they have received salvation. Their self-talk is negative. They take ownership of the blame and shame of their past instead of allowing God’s truth to bring healing. The blame belongs to the perpetrator of the abuse and the blood of the Lamb erases the shame!

Romans 8: 1 & 2 have another truth that has the power to set our minds free from ‘stinkin thinkin’. It says, “There is therefore, NOW (caps mine) no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”  The definition of ‘made free’ in Strong’s #1659 is, “To liberate, acquit, set free, deliver. In the NT the word is used exclusively for Jesus’ setting believers at liberty from the dominion of sin.”  PRAISE GOD!!!

As a new creation in Christ, you are set free from the past sins and God’s truth has the power to heal your emotional wounds through the power of His Word! Don’t allow blame and shame to control you now.  Take ownership of God’s truth about who you are now as His child and allow Him to use you for His glory.

If you are an abuse victim, I recommend reading The Door of Hope by Jan Frank and Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands and my book, God’s Healing for Hurting People. The truth of God shall make you free! As Jesus said of Lazarus who He raised from the dead, “Loose him and let him go.”  It is time for you to be loosed from your woundedness. Don’t believe Satan’s lies that say you are hopeless, worthless and unusable for God. Satan is the father of lies. God’s truth has the power to set you free. Take ownership of His truth and ‘fly’ with it! Greater is He that is within you (you are the temple of the Holy Ghost – God in you the hope of glory) than he that is in the world!

Carol Clemans is a certified pastoral counselor/Bible teacher/speaker/author. She provides confidential counseling by phone & web cam nationwide (636) 448-0121. Carol’s book and teaching CD’s are available through www.carolclemans.org

Call Carol to schedule seminars for conferences, churches, retreats for spiritual, emotional & relational growth – (636) 448-0121 or email: carol@carolclemans.org

© Carol Clemans – March 2006

JESUS IS THE HEALER OF OUR EMOTIONAL WOUNDS

By: Carol Clemans

In the church we tend to smile and greet each other with, “How are you?” The usual response is, “Fine.” Behind the smile and the ‘fine’ there can be a deeply wounded soul. (I personally was raised to greet other saints with, “Praise the Lord!” I still do this at 63 years old!)

In the Christmas season, we celebrate the birth of Christ that includes His life, death, burial and resurrection.  The resurrection is what gives us hope for eternal life. The gift of salvation removes our sins as far as the East is from the West. God puts our sins in a sea and forgets them.  God erases our sins, but He does not remove our emotions or memories.

Emotional wounds do not go away when we are born again. We would love to believe that everyone in the church is raised in a God filled family that portrays the love of the Lord in every area of their family relationships, but we know this is not true.

Abuse happens in the homes of churched and unchurched people.  The dysfunctional family has these unspoken rules: don’t talk, don’t feel and don’t trust. Because of the family secrets, it’s usually difficult for a saved wounded person to trust another person in sharing their emotional wounds.

But the Word of God tells us in Isaiah 6l that Jesus came not only to bring the ‘good news’ – the gospel, but he came to heal the brokenhearted, to set captives free from prison (of their ‘stinkin thinkin’), to help people grieve their losses and to give beauty for the ashes of their pain.

For ten years I provided the ministry of confidential pastoral counseling for Christian Life Center in Stockton, California, under Pastor Kenneth Haney. In the past 17 years, I have been privileged to see hundreds (maybe more) of people come to emotional healing through applying the truth of God’s Word to their lives.

We don’t just live with the facts of our lives, but we live with our own interpretation of those facts. If we have suffered emotional/physical abuse, our interpretation of our lives could be twisted and painful. What we have to do is replace the twisted interpretation of our lives with God’s truth. This is the powerful work of knowing the truth and being set free. This is where we need skilled, knowledgeable helpers to come along side the wounded person and help them to see God’s truth and take ownership of it.

Many people who have been abused tell themselves negative ‘put downs’. I’m unlovable. I’m not worthy. God couldn’t use me. Even though they have been born again of water and spirit, the devil steals their joy of salvation with these negatives thoughts. They usually need help in applying God’s truth to their lives. The truth is that they are a new creation in Christ. This word ‘new’ means unused, clean and novel. Even though they may feel used and abused, they must change their negative thoughts to God’s truth. It usually takes some repetition and encouragement. But when God’s truth is digested in their soul and spirit, we see a gradual miracle take place in their heart and belief system.

Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy us with his lies. But when we apply God’s truth to our lives, we can have our joy restored to the glory of God. We all need to grow spiritually, emotionally and relationally through the Word of God so our relationship with God and others will be healthy and productive.

I thank God for the opportunity to share His truth through teaching and counseling. I taught six years at Christian Life College, two of six subjects being Principles of Counseling and Marriage & Family. I teach for churches, conferences, retreats, etc. I provide confidential pastoral counseling in the St. Louis area and by phone/web cam nationwide.

Jesus is the healer of our emotional wounds through the power of His Word. It is my passion to share His good news that goes beyond salvation so we can be the ‘planting of the Lord’ that nothing (no thing) can uproot or destroy.

Carol Clemans is a certified pastoral counselor/Bible teacher/author. (Husband, Rev. Harold E. Clemans) She is founder of Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. (501c3) with Pastors Daniel Batchelor & Todd Gaddy on her board of directors. Teaching CD’s at: www.carolclemans.org, Email: carol@carolclemans.org, For seminars or counseling call (636) 448-0121.

© Carol Clemans – 2009

SEXUAL TEMPTATIONS ARE BOMBARDING BELIEVERS

Carol Clemans

carol@carolclemans.org

(636) 448-0121

When writing about sexual purity, I recognize that it is a “hot topic”. Some want to deny that sexual sins exist among believers. We must come out of denial and understand our children, young people and adults are exposed to the worldview of sex in magazines, videos, television and especially on the World Wide Web. The American Family Association has recently learned that Playboy is asking for permission to make pornography available to the 170 million cell phone subscribers in North America! Millions of children from the ages of 5 – 19 have cell phones.

I received a recent email from the Christian Broadcasting Network that included an article written by Paul Strand, Washington Sr. Correspondent entitled, “Generation Sex: Promiscuity Makes the Grade on Campus.” He reviews a book written by Tom Wolfe that explores “the stark truth: that many college kids throw themselves into soulless sex, a series of meaningless sexual encounters, often fueled by almost killer amounts of alcohol.”

Dr. Joe Mcllhaney of Austin’s Medical Institute for Sexual Health is quoted in the article saying, “The Christian church isn’t taking this seriously.  Indeed, the rates of promiscuity among Christian young people are almost as high as those among youthful non-believers.  There’s only a four-percent difference in the Christian kids’ sexual activity and the secular kids’ sexual activity.”

We need to make the topic of sexual purity a top issue in continual teaching from the Word of God. We need to know why God says, “NO!” to sex outside of marriage. Dr. Mcllhaney says there are many lasting consequences, both physically and emotionally, of too much sex, too soon.  “There’s a significant increase in depression and a significant increase in attempted suicide.”

God has set physical boundaries for the gift of sex to be within the marriage covenant. Why? TO PROTECT US!  This article further stated, “Some 20 percent of sexually-active adolescents now have herpes, 10 percent have Chlamydia, and 50 percent of the sexually-active girls have the human papaloma virus.”

God told us in the beginning that a husband and wife become “one flesh” through the marriage act. The definition of one flesh is “being glued together”. When two pieces of anything are glued together, massive destruction will take place when they are separated or torn apart. People who engage in sexual activity outside the protection of marriage are becoming “glued” to that sexual partner and leave a “piece of themselves” with each partner they pursue. This is why our youth and adults today that are involved in sexual impurity are so fragmented and torn emotionally. Sexual sins rip apart a person’s spiritual, emotional, physical and relational self. They become tormented in body and spirit. This activity never brings satisfaction.

God’s Word has the answers. We are told in Col. 3: 5-7 to put to death sexual immorality. Prov. 4:23 – 27 tells us we can overcome sexual immorality. 1 Cor. 6 tells us the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God. God can cleanse anyone from the sin of sexual immorality. The Holy Ghost being in control of our lives is the power to overcome sin. We are the temple (dwelling place) of God through His Spirit.

When we can comprehend who we are in God, that He places high value on His children, that we are His special treasure, we will start making choices that bring glory to God in all areas of our lives.  He proved His deep love for us by dying on the cross to save us from our sins.  He asks that we love Him so much that we want to present our bodies a living sacrifice to Him.  Everyone by the power of the Almighty God can be sexually pure in thought and deed.  We don’t have to cave in to the worldview and influence.  Talk to your children about sex.  Buy Christian materials that are readily available to reinforce the teaching of God’s view on sex. We need to put on the whole armor of God.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is the way of escape for every sexual temptation.

Carol Clemans is a certified pastoral counselor/Bible teacher/speaker/author. She provides confidential counseling by phone/web cam nationwide (636) 448-0121.  2pk CD’s joined by Todd Gaddy on “Sexual Purity for All Ages” available through www.carolclemans.org

Carol teaches seminars for churches, conferences & retreats for spiritual, emotional, and relational growth – call to schedule (636) 448-0121.

© Carol Clemans – May 2006

Spiritual Growth

carol@carolclemans.org

Are you ‘eating’ at the table of the Lord?

Carol Clemans

There is an old song that says, “Jesus has a table spread where the saints of God are fed.  He invites His chosen people come and dine. ——Come and dine the Master calleth, come and dine.” Through my teaching and counseling across the country, I’m finding that many in the church do not ‘feed’ on a DAILY basis at the ‘table of the Lord.’ Yes, we may hear a few scriptures taught by our pastor per week, but that is not enough to make us “strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”

Jesus told His disciples that He “had meat to eat that you know not of.’”  We are told in scripture to “desire the sincere milk of the Word.” The scripture says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”  The Psalmist said, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Throughout the 66 books in the Bible, God has prepared wonderful ‘delicious spiritual meals’ for us. If we ‘eat’ these meals, we will know how to be holy ‘as He is holy.’  We will understand that all of us who have the Holy Ghost are supposed to allow the nature of God to govern our daily conduct. What’s the nature of God?  Read and study the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians the 5th chapter.  Love, joy and peace is what we all want in our relationships, BUT—–are we willing to be longsuffering, kind, good, faithful, gentle and have self-control with our spouses, children, friends, and family?

In the natural, we become what we eat. In the Spirit, we become what we do or do not feed ourselves.  If we eat the Word of God and allow it to digest in our spirits, we will be imitators of the Lord.  If our home atmosphere is like a war zone, we know we are not eating at the table of the Lord!  PLEASE accept the invitation of the Lord to ‘come and dine.’ The Master is calling You!

Note: Carol Clemans is a certified pastoral counselor/Bible teacher. Call (636) 448-0121 to schedule phone counseling or teaching for churches/conferences. GO TO: www.carolclemans.org for ministry bio & teaching CD’s. Carol is president of Life Enrichment Ministries Inc. (501c3)

Spiritual Healing

carol@carolclemans.org

Wives, please wake up!

A few years ago a pastor’s wife called me anonymously in tears. Her husband had been addicted to pornography for 12 years.  They had children who were pre-teen and knew something was wrong. Her husband was verbally abusive to her. She said, “I almost hate him for what he has done.”  People were leaving their church.  She was calling for help.  My first response was that she needed to tell his ministry supervisor what was going on.

Unfortunately, she had called one of their close friends (who was a pastor) for help and he put her off and told her not to tell anyone (he had the problem himself) and she just needed to be supportive to her husband! She was fearful of losing the church and their lifestyle if she exposed her husband’s addiction. I pointed out to her that their world was already falling apart and she admitted it was true. (Be sure your sins will find you out.)

I recommended that she contact another trusted leader and verify my counsel to her.  I don’t know what she did, but she is one of approximately 60% of American pastors’ wives who are dealing with the same problem.

Experts say that pornography addiction is the most destructive addiction. This addiction is a self-induced chemical high that happens as a person views porn and acts out the fantasy. This addiction is never satisfied.  Porn degrades and devalues women making them objects instead of real people. No wife can compete with porn no matter how beautiful.

Wife, please do not cover for your husband.  He needs help! Don’t allow him to blame you for his addiction! Tell his ministerial superior. Don’t stop until you are believed.  Help is available. The American Association of Christian Counselors (www.aacc.net) has a DVD counseling course on SEXUAL ADDICTION RECOVERY. I’m a graduate of this program and recommend it to all pastors for their churches.

For recovery, their needs to be genuine repentance, accountability and willingness to be self-disciplined. Read BREAKING FREE Understanding Sexual Addiction & the Healing Power of Jesus by Russell Willingham. Use www.pureintimacy.org promoted by Focus on the Family. I have counseled people successfully who are determined to be Holy and He is Holy.

Note: Call Carol Clemans (636) 448-0121 for seminars or counseling. Pastors Dan Batchelor & Todd Gaddy are on her Bd. of  Dir. of Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. (501c3). Go to www.carolclemans.org for her bio and teaching CD’s.

© Carol Clemans – April 2009

BY: Carol Clemans

www.carolclemans.org

In my youth I heard a saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Whoever started that saying did not understand the power of the tongue. There are many adults today sitting on church pews with invisible wounds that have scarred their emotional hearts created by both physical and verbal abuse.

In the past 15 years of my experience of being a pastoral care counselor, I would ‘guesstimate’ that 80 – 90% of the people I have counseled had some type of abuse in their past.

The aftermath of abuse comes out in broken relationships and wounded hearts of people who know they are saved, but do not feel loved by God in their hearts. The devastation of the power of the past abuse is heartbreaking. Sexual abuse, verbal abuse and physical abuse all leave emotional wounds that lay deep in the heart, mind and soul of a person. Satan takes the abuse and adds his lies to it driving bitter nails of low self-worth in to the heart. He wants to kill, steal and destroy our joy in the Lord.

God wants us to love ourselves. Before you start arguing with me about loving yourself, remember Jesus said that we are to love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and; secondly, love our neighbor as we love our self.  Loving God is the foundation for healthy relationships with self and others.  We must love ourselves first as God loves us unconditionally, then we have a much easier time loving the ‘others’ in our lives.

You must refuse to let the abuse of your past define who you are today. There is no condemnation NOW for those who are in Christ Jesus. You are His NEW creation – clean, unused and fresh in God’s sight!  The wounded heart has a hard time accepting God’s full truth about salvation and how God’s love is unconditional.

I want to recommend two books that will help heal the invisible wounds of a sexual abuse survivor. The first is The Door of Hope by Jan Frank. Her stepfather sexually abused her, but today she is a Christian counselor helping others heal.

The second book is The Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan Allender. Both books are based on Godly principles of truth and give hope and healing.

My two CD’s Winning the Battle of the Mind & Abuse Recovery God’s Way are also based on God’s truth that brings victorious healing of the invisible wounds of the heart. We need to be healed and then become healing helpers in the Kingdom of God.

© Carol Clemans – February 2007

MINISTERS ARE REAL PEOPLE TOO!

Ministers and their families are real people too. My heart has been deeply stirred for a long time about the problem among us of not being able to be real with one another. This is especially true in ministry.  Because we have the truth of God being the only true God and there is none else, because we know to be saved we must repent, be baptized in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ and be filled with Holy Ghost, we pretend that we don’t have everyday problems in our lives!

When I heard about another pastor who ended his own life whom I did not know, I was deeply pricked in my heart.  A person has to feel totally helpless and hopeless, full of fear and not in their right mind to make such a destructive and final decision. It’s even in my family tree. My immediate prayer was, “God, please be merciful to him.”

My paternal grandfather committed suicide when I was not quite three years old in l948. His first wife died of cancer. His second wife was dying with cancer. He had eight children during the great depression years (my father being born in l910). He came to know the Lord in 1925. So even though he had the Holy Ghost, there was something in his life that caused him to feel totally helpless and hopeless.

The Bible tells us that we are to carry one another’s burdens.  But instead there is a fear among us that if we call another brother/sister to share our problems we don’t know if we can completely trust them with the confidentiality of the situation. Or if we do call, they may say, “Just give it to God in prayer.”  The truth is the person has been ‘giving it to God’ for a long time, but they are needing someone to help them process their pain or sin and deal with what is God’s truth about their situation.

We will have tribulation in this life. This is a promise because we live in a fallen world and the ‘god of this world’, Satan, is on his warpath to kill, steal and destroy. But our hope is in the fact that Jesus overcame this world and we have that same promise, but sometimes we need the help and encouragement from others to get through our problems in life. The problems can be self-imposed, from the devil or from others. It does not matter, we need to know how to love each other unconditionally and walk arm in arm down the path to healing and restoration.

My Bible says to weep with those who weep, mourn with those that mourn and rejoice with those that rejoice.  All we seem comfortable to do is rejoice with others, not to help carry their pain! In the seventeen years that I have been a certified pastoral counselor, I’ve counseled many pastors. They all tell me the same thing.  They do not know whom they can trust among the ministry.  They feel isolated and must put on a ‘front’ to others that everything is just fine in life no matter how painful the issues of life they are going through. This has to stop!

I’ve counseled ministers in adultery, addicted to porn, addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs, involved in emotional affairs, etc. One of the saddest facts is these pastors do not have a place where they can go and receive intensive counseling and help for restoration.  It has been a dream of mine for 17 years to have a counseling retreat center.  I’ve recently moved to Loveland, Colorado and am praying for God to fund such a retreat. Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3. I am seeking people to write grants and accepting donations to go toward this retreat. Pastors Dan Batchelor of Dupo, IL and Todd Gaddy of Towson, MD are on my Board of Directors.

The Bible says that the world will know us by our love one toward another.  That love must be in action, not just words!  We need to show others unconditional love. Yes, we need to stand against sin and speak the truth, but we must speak the truth in love! If everyone in ministry would stop being judgmental and start being the Christians God wants us to be, we could make a major impact on the world!  Christian means to be Christ-like.

I’m 63 years old and decided a long time ago to speak the truth in love. I refuse to be caught up in the dysfunctional church or family who refuses to talk, share feelings or build trust.  We must talk to each other and share how we feel, then we can build trust one with another and encourage each other through the problems/or sins of life and be overcomers. If we cannot do that for each other in ministry, then how in the world can we minister to the church family?

We need to come from behind the ‘masks’ that we are wearing and get real with each other by the help of the Lord.  We need to stop ‘acting’ like our life is perfect and we have no problems. That’s living in a make believe world that self-destructs. People in ministry are real people too and we must stop the ‘ministry generational dysfunction’ of quiet and cover-up. Let’s make an environment in the fellowship for healing and restoration.

Note:  Carol Clemans is a certified pastoral counselor/Bible teacher – seminars/provides nationwide counseling by phone/web cam – (636) 448-0121. She’s been involved in ministry over 40 years. Go to: www.carolclemans.org for info and teaching CD’s. Carol provided a pastoral counseling ministry for Pastor Kenneth Haney in Stockton, CA for 10 years.  Carol and her husband, Rev. Harold Clemans, attend Pastor Dieter Skowron’s church in Johnstown, CO.

© Carol Clemans – August 2009

Adversity hits us from all sides. A few weeks ago, a very dear friend was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Another friend has congestive heart failure and is fighting high blood pressure. Yesterday, I received a call about a dear pastor’s wife who just suffered the accidental drowning of her 18-year-old grandson! Why do these adversities hit people of God who have been faithful to Him through out their life? We do not have a one-sentence answer, but we do know we are living in a world full of tribulation.

All sin, sickness, disease, death and evil is because Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s command. They were created to live forever, but their disobedience brought spiritual and natural death.  When adversity strikes us, we must stand on the Word of God.

Isaiah 30: 20 – 21 (NLT) says, “Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with you own eyes. Your own ears will hear him.  Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.”

Major financial adversity has hit many in areas where they have no control. Life as they knew it has disappeared before their eyes.  How do you deal with having no money to pay the bills even through you’ve been a faithful giver to God through tithes and offerings? It makes us look at faith from a deeper perspective.  Are we still going to love and trust God even in the middle of the adversity?  I have found in my experience that is all we can do. The Lord knows about our adversity. He knew long before it happened.  Isaiah said that in the adversity and suffering He would be with us to teach us.

When Olive Haney’s husband died in a tragic vehicle accident many years ago, she told me that months later the Lord showed her this scripture that brought her comfort: Isaiah 57: 1 & 2 (NLT) – “Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.”

God’s Word gives comfort by saying those that mourn shall be comforted. God promises to be with us.  Yes, we are humans and we must grieve and cry. We feel the loss as a physical pain, but God does give His strength one day at a time. Grieving is part of any type of loss. Paul in scripture knew whether he lived or died he belonged to God.  That is also our truth. It’s wonderful to know that God remembers we are made of dust. He will surround us with His comfort and love and help us get through the tough times because we have HOPE IN HIM!

Note:  Carol Clemans is a certified pastoral counselor. She provides counseling by phone and web cam (www.Skype.com) nationwide. To schedule counseling or seminars call: (636) 448-0121. Go to www.carolclemans.org to view seminar subjects and teaching CD’s available. Email: carol@carolclemans.org. Carol travels nationwide teaching from the Word of God for spiritual, emotional and relational growth.

© Carol Clemans – June 2009

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Our ministry exists to help others grow spiritually, emotionally and relationally by teaching, counseling and writing the truth from God’s Word. When we know His truth we can be set free!
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