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Levels of Salvation: Global Transformation through Unity

May 7, 2014
The experience of salvation in Christ is progressive and ongoing throughout a lifetime. 

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Salvation starts with the individual first, reconciling him to God then to his own destiny and identity in Christ.

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By healing his heart through a personal relationship with the Father as well as a supportive community of believers, he is better equipped to correct destructive thinking patterns and behaviors.

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Consequently, his health is often restored, his relationships become smoother, and his financial prospects increase (e.g., when he does not abuse drugs).

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Eventually this personal transformation progresses outward towards others bringing with it forgiveness and mercy, breaking down walls of pride and removing the masks of insecurity, pain, and defensiveness.

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 Soon with the inner strength and fortitude gained, trust in the Holy Spirit to help with the harder things grows making the resolution of conflict easier, promoting greater intimacy, authenticity, maturity, and social justice.

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Ultimately through Christian unity, the world will come to believe in Christ.

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Jesus laid His plan for world transformation, as follows:

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me... (John 17:22-23 NIV)

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35 NIV)

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Being an avid student of the Bible under the guidance of the Church and the Holy Spirit for thirty-five years, I have witnessed this process take place in many lives; through my own personal transformation, in discipling new believers, and by hearing about the spiritual journeys of others.

Reflected Royalty

As Christians from every denomination and persuasion are joining together united in love and committed to pray for their towns. Consequently, whole cities are being transformed. Here is a bit of evidence proving this fact.

Manchester, Kentucky – Amazing story of community transformation. All because of Christian unity and prayer!

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After Christians from all faiths gathered in prayer here is what happened in these four nations: In Cali, Columbia crime and murder rates fell drastically as the police uprooted long-standing drug lords. In Kenya all of the bars except for one turned into churches. In Hemet, California dramatic reduction in occult activity and increase in church activity.

In Almolonga, Guatamala 85% of the population turned to Christ where it once was full of violence, witchcraft, alcoholism, and crime. Now there are Christian street signs and churches everywhere:

Sign says: "Jesus is Lord of Almolonga"

Sign says: “Jesus is Lord of Almolonga”

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Pope Francis’ Message on Christian Unity to Pentecostal Conference

February 25, 2014

This is a short, seven minute message by Pope Francis on Christian Unity to a Pentecostal Conference:

On the same day I watched this one, I got another one sent to me from the conference he was addressing. The backstory as to how Pope Francis came to address this meeting is phenomenal. It is about 45 minutes long and well worth knowing (Pope Francis is a Charismatic Christian, just like Saint Francis of Assisi was openly charismatic. That is why he took the name Francis as pope).

There are four minutes in the beginning of Kenneth Copeland speaking and leading prayer (at a conference with thousands of major leaders from huge evangelical Pentecostal churches in the US).  Then Kenneth introduces someone he mentored years ago, Bishop Tony Palmer, who is now a bishop in the Anglican church who has been working with the past three popes for Charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church. Tony lived in S. Africa for years and then was led to go to Rome to help Catholic Charismatic Renewal, at the request of the Vatican.  He also was in Argentina for a time and was good friends with the priest who eventually became Pope Francis.  The pope called him a little while after he became pope and asked Tony to meet with him.  When Pope Francis heard Tony was going to attend the K. Copeland leadership conference, he asked if he could videotape a message to the group of leaders.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B96TpbhG4vOhS1dOMU54SllMMFE/edit

 

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Published on The Spotless Bride Blog, a blog with the mission to “Heal the wounded heart of disunity & immaturity in the Church.” Please include this blurb if you share this information so that we might encourage those who want to promote Christian unity. To support Christian unity please comment, like, follow and share this blog! The book written under direction of the Holy Spirit to help heal those wounds in an accelerated time frame is Accelerated Transformation: Maturity, Intimacy, and Unity through Emotional Healing by Tracey Nelson, M.Ed. Thank you and God bless!

Note to Readers

January 21, 2014

Blogging TagsABOUT ARTICLES – This blog has a lot more articles than I will have featured at any single point in time simply because I like to feature a different set of articles from time to time.

ABOUT COMMENTS – It would be lovely and really helpful to hear from you when you drop by. It assists me to know what articles are striking a chord with my readers. Especially useful would be to know the reason why or why not.

Many thanks to you in advance! Tracey

Global Transformation through Unity and Prayer

January 7, 2014

a-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity

The annual week to pray specifically for Christian Unity has arrived again. It is taking place this year (2014) between January 18th and 25th. These dates have symbolic significance because they were between the Feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The theme this year is “Has Christ been Divided?” taken from 1 Corinthians 1:13.

This event is put on every year by the Catholic Church through its Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Many denominations participate including nondenominational, evangelical fundamental, and mainline churches.

You may want to go to the council’s page to learn how, in 1999, the main issue dividing Protestants and Catholics during the Protestant Reformation was all but resolved. You can find that document entitled, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification here:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html

There are some within the reformed traditions that still do not feel that grace over works is as complete in this document as they would like to see it spelled out. I don’t believe they have joined in the discussion, however.

In light of that fact, please allow me some latitude if I say something rather frank. While many Protestants may not yet want to join in these discussions on unity due to their inherent distrust of the Catholic Church, sometimes you wonder if there is something more to it than that.

Yes. It is true that once the Bible became available in the local language and our Protestant ancestors finally got to read what it actually said about salvation, they were burned at the stake or driven out of their Catholic congregations and countries for simply acting on their consciences. So, sure, the prejudice that was justified at that time. They learned their lesson well. As a matter of fact, we wouldn’t have public education in this country if it were not for their diligence to teach people to read the Bible in their effort to insure them against such deception again. However, holding these offenses against this present day church would be like the Native Americans blaming all white people and this present government for what happened to their ancestors.

Prejudice is never easy to over come, no matter how justified it was. But the Catholic Church has made many strides over the past century particularly within the last fifty years or so to build up that trust again. So one wonders if those not willing to engage in these discussions towards unity are simply because they enjoyed holding the moral high ground against their enemy? Some people don’t know how to disengage from the struggle, do they? We need to pray for God to heal their hearts and open their eyes.

Coming from Pilgrim ancestors and marrying into a Catholic family who rejected me when the Holy Spirit had me act according to my conscience, I will always remain prayerfully vigilant, ever educated, and watchful for all signs of deception. So I am even more surprised by this call by the Holy Spirit upon my heart towards unity as anyone.

Not only that, but He has actually given me a hunger for the Eucharist and Catholic television! I feel the need to learn more and all I can do is obey the Spirit’s leading to find out why. Of course the Eucharist is the very symbol of Christian unity and purity, so I do understand that. And the Catholic Church understands the Bride of Christ symbolism and did not buy into the Cessationist doctrine. So I do feel a kinship there. But I can’t help but feel the heart of God bleeding for the children who think they cannot have as close of a relationship to God as their priest can. He longs to break them free of that bondage and isolation.

Nevertheless, I am learning that the doctrines are not as off as I thought they once were. Would I pray to saints or Mary? No. I still feel that Jesus should not have any attention drawn from Him nor any mediator between us and our Father but Christ. However, I do enjoy hearing about how the “saints” coped in their walks with God. I love the history and being attached to a church that was once so predominant. But do I fault them for praying to the saints and Mary. Not really. Not any more. If they were here, you could ask them to pray for you. So why should that stop in heaven? But I don’t need that. I believe that sort of thinking keeps people bound to a defeated sense of self, like they are weak and so unworthy of their Father’s undivided attention, rather than helping them to rise up to be the kings and priests they were destined to be.

So, I will always differ with the Catholics on those things. But that’s okay. I am not better than them and I fully expect them to teach me more on their rich perspective as time goes on.

You can learn more about the Pope’s council on unity here:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/

To find out more about the activities and how to pray specifically check this page out:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/weeks-prayer-doc/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20130528_week-prayer-2014_en.html

Keep in mind that you are not restricted to only celebrate and pray on these dates. As a matter of fact, the desire is that prayer and meditation as well as action towards Christian unity be advanced in everyone’s lives throughout the year.

God bless!

Forgiveness by Kamillo Edwards

March 5, 2013

Please comment and let this young lady know you were blessed!

Forgiveness
 
You see the rain, it’s in the sky.
You see the pain, it’s in the eyes.
Like a grown man to minimize.
At midnight you can hear the bitter cries.
 
Love & hate, each has a thin line.
I see you swallowing all the pain & pride to pretend its fine.
At times you wish if only you could have seen this ahead of time,
You would avoid all the pain that you feel inside.
You can’t sleep, all the memories, crying out to God like “Would they ever leave?”
 
Lord remember me, I need the remedy,
Lord I don’t wanna feel like I’m sleeping with the enemy.
This whole thing is bitter sweet;
I should forgive since Christ has forgiven me.
Well at least I know that in my head,
But it’s so much easier [done than] said.
It takes time, minutes pass;
Erase the lines, you finished last.
Because you keep submitting to what’s in the past.
Now you’re going through this cycle like a plastic glass.
I know it’s a process, healing takes time while you’re still trying to get pas[t] what that person did.
Now you’re feeling like a monster explaining to the one above  everything your mind said.
It cut you & hurt you;
God knows everything you been through.
How you’ve been bruised, yes he’s in tune;
He says forgiveness is the healing [of those] wounds.
 
So you have to let it go,”let it go!”
It’ll kill you if you let it grow.
Un-forgiveness is a poison the choice is yours,
I’m just a voice here to let you know.
 
Your flesh says; I can’t forgive, can’t forget.
They apologized, you can’t accept.
You demand respect, imagine that;
When every time you sinned God canceled that.
And every time Christ has forgiven you, every time you’ve eaten a piece of that bitter fruit.
 
I know you’ve been used, been abused;
I’m not in your shoes,
But I know if you dig up the bitter root,
Show em love to overcome,
God says ‘Love your enemies’, it’s part of growing up.
Don’t hold a grudge, I know it’s tough,
But if Christ forgives, died for our sins to give life though we [don't] have the right to live.
 
Then we should know how to wave our rights to win.
Whether a family or a friend, you gotta show em love.
But then again forgiveness is your choice.
But if i were you i would choose Love.
 

Please let this young Christian know you were blessed!

*Also, please forgive the words in brackets… they are mine… in order to make the transition from the local “West Indian” dialect to American English.

Listening to the Heart

February 21, 2013

Listen-With-Your-heartEach one of us yearns to be heard and understood.

All too often, though, we forget to listen to one another’s hearts.

To listen, really listen, means to risk being changed by what we hear.

And that is often the problem, isn’t it? Particularly within families or marriages… or as John Bradshaw likes to refer to these relationships as “environments of shame.”

learning_to_listenWhen I am asked to minister to troubled couples, the biggest problem they usually face arises from this area of communication. They rarely listen to one another’s hearts. Not only this, they rarely hear the most basic of information being said to them. That is because we all have a filter with which we listen through… an expectation, if you will, that colors all our communications. An older movie, Being There, with Peter Sellers demonstrated this idea perfectly (not recommended for children).

In the movie, Sellers played the part of an intellectually handicapped but very well dressed, well mannered gardener. Consequently, you might not notice the handicap immediately if you did not know this about him. Because he inadvertently ends up in the household of a very rich and influential man, everyone supposes he is somebody important. Because of this, by the end of the show, his simple ramblings about gardening are misconstrued as great wisdom worthy of putting him in the political race for the presidency. In this case, the filter these hob-nobbing people were listening through was political ambition. They have been trained to get close to important people for the purposes of personal promotion. But the head of the household and his wife were listening to Seller’s character from a place of emotional need. She was a lonely wife with a dying husband hungry for romance, and her husband was looking at life from a different perspective in his dying stages, so the simplistic views of the handicapped man were comforting. As such the President of the USA both used Seller’s advice in a public appearance while simultaneously feeling threatened by him. The idea for part of this movie was, its not what you know but who you know that matters. And for the other part, people are so self-focused, if you can fill a need in their lives, if they are important, you can really go places.

Why is it so typical for people to hear what they want to hear? For one, people are basically only focused upon themselves. This is caused by various psychological and societal factors that is a topic for another article.  But in a nutshell, this emotional filter they are listening through they are often listening to any evidence of challenges to (or affirmations of) their worth.

You see, most people have not yet disengaged from using other people as their mirrors. People once served as our mirrors during childhood. They helped us gauge the rightness or wrongness of our actions. However, our interactions with others taught us a lot more than how to treat others or what was and was not socially acceptable.

We formed our identities based on these interactions!

Broken-GlassOur beliefs about who we are and what we are worth were formed by how well we believed that were received by others. Our own appraisal of ourselves determined what the truth was. This is referred to as the “reflected appraisal process.” Unfortunately, children often misinterpret the truth of a situation and make poor judgments about their worth or identity as a result.

But if the criticism from “our mirrors” was harsh  or if it came to us with the threat of abandonment, humiliation, or loss, our perception of our worth was challenged and our hearts often wounded in the process. So what does this have to do with becoming a better listener?

Well, when people are in conversation with others and they hear anything which touches on an old wound or resembles a blow they received to their self-esteem or identity, they will perceive a threat to their worth. This will frequently invoke a defensive reaction and their ability to listen to others with maturity and with an open heart will be completely lost. Often what ensues is a wounded reaction or a cycle of blaming and accusing will commence.

When you listen are you waiting to judge, dismiss, or find some point of contention? Do you have a habit of subconsciously gathering evidence to prove that you are right and others are wrong? Do people’s discussions tend to get turned around and end up being about you? Then it is possible that you are still allowing others to be your mirror. You likely have a wound in your heart that needs to be healed and you are not truly convinced of your worth.

Sadly, most people suffer from one or more painful wounds and doubts about their worth. This is the biggest detractor from maturity, inner peace, and relational harmony or Christian unity than any other thing. Unfortunately, we cannot convince ourselves of our true worth without first being healed and transformed. That is the crux of my ministry’s message. But Jesus Christ can help! Jesus wants to be your mirror. He will:

  • Reflected RoyaltyHeal your wounds:
    • Because He is God, He can heal them instantly, without decades spent on a counselor’s couch.
  • Erase your shame;
  • Help you to become more vulnerable by allowing you lean on His strength rather than your own;
  • Freely give you a sense of your priceless value, a value He gave you  without needing to earn it;
  • Teach you how His adoption of you gave you a royal heritage and identity.

God made human beings in His Image, so He made everyone of us with the need to look to Him as our mirror. We are transformed in His loving and approving gaze, as follows.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory… (2 Corinthians 2:18a)

If you are a Christian, you may be agreeing with me right now. You already realize that all of this can be obtained by being born again and then reading the Bible. Unfortunately, this, alone, does not always bring about the quick healing or maturity that one needs to walk in total peace, harmony, and wholeness. If it did, then the churches would not be full of people who have been Christians for decades who can still be heard in their neighborhoods screaming obscenities at their family members, getting divorces, or taking medication for depression.

[For those of you who are not born again, to be born again, we merely have to open our hearts to Jesus in that all-important first step of faith or trust. That is simple to understand, isn't it? Trust is required for any new relationship to begin!]

The subsequent learning that is required for full transformation to take place is much quicker to be obtained by attending a non-shaming Church and engaging in Bible studies with people who are there to affirm and build others up rather than tear them down in judgment.

shame-on-you1It also helps to find a church that believes healing the heart rather than one that invariably ends up shaming others into submission. (Although some people respond well to shame, shaming does very little to help people and actually does more harm in the long run).

But tragically, even many of your more loving, “grace” churches fail to have programs that bring healing to the heart. They often believe in the strategy of suppressing and denying their pain with Scriptural truths rather than dealing with the pain honestly, openly, and compassionately. Of course, God’s word never returns to him void, but there is a faster way to be transformed.

Unfortunately, knowledge to heal the heart is not readily available to every pastor or church organization. Consequently, those that want to help are frequently not always sure of how to help. That is why many people inadvertently end up getting hurt even in the best of churches. Sadly, in most churches very little attention is being paid to this area of emotional healing. That is where I would like to help.

Nelson_Transformation_R3-2If you need help healing from your wounds and understanding the Bible better so that you can quickly be healed and transformed, I recommend that you read ACCELERATED TRANSFORMATION: MATURITY, INTIMACY, AND UNITY THROUGH EMOTIONAL HEALING by me, Tracey Nelson, M.Ed. You can find it here normally –  http://thespotlessbride.com. But for now, during website construction, please go to (see below)…  http://traceywebdesign.wix.com/thespotlessbride#!goals instead. Thanks.

I will also come to your organization or church to train people such as your pastoral staff or whomever is interested in setting up a healing and transformation program. You may contact me at songsofdeliverace@yahoo.com. Currently, I have a limited number of openings to coach/mentor people individually into wholeness. But if I am not available, I can connect you to someone who is.

In the meantime, try to become a better listener. Try not to listen with your wounds. Put yourself on the shelf while you listen to your loved ones and those with whom you interact. Assess your conversations to see if you turned the subject around to be about you or if you really listened. Then determine what it was about that conversation that made you need to do that. If you react to something said, analyze the interaction and maybe you can find out where that wound originated from in the past or how the words spoken to you seemingly challenged your worth or value. Take that discovery to the Lord and ask Him to heal you.

I pray that this information has been of assistance to you and will make you a better listener.

If it has, will please let me know in the comments, below? Feel free to share this helpful article with others by using the buttons below. Don’t forget, you can sign up for email reminders when I post new articles on this blog by using the subscribe button in one of the columns to the right.

Thank you for reading and God bless!

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© Tracey Nelson

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute my words in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document is required. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries. Not everything in this article is owned by the author, so please give credit where credit is due to those quoted or other elements shared and seek proper permission from those authors, artists, and composers when necessary. Thank you.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © February 20, 2013. Website: The Spotless Bride Blog (Some images, songs, & videos not owned by author).

Growing into Love and Maturity

July 25, 2012


The Christian walk in a process requiring much growth and development for all who are involved. The fact that Emanuella can share her journey into maturity so openly is refreshing. Thanks for sharing this Emanuella. It is a perfect example of what this blog is all about! If you ever have more to share about this topic, please let me know. Blessings.

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