Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Spirit of CHRISTmas


We all love this time of year! The month of December comes with all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it simply just anticipating the gifts under the tree? Is it sending Christmas cards to family and loved ones who you haven’t spoken to the entire year? Is it sitting around the table with family and friends? Could it be the outside filled with snow, snuggling up with your loved one, and shouting out “Merry Christmas" to everyone you see? Is this Christmas?

Luke 2: 4-19 says:
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

As we celebrate the birth of CHRIST, let us exemplify this season with forgiveness, kindness, generosity, and love. For many people, Christmas isn't a time of happiness and joy, it's a time of sorrow. Maybe you've lost a loved one and the holidays are extremely hard for you, but know that you have your brothers/sisters in Christ who are praying for your healing heart and loving up on you in spirit. Many families didn't have the extra money this year to buy presents for their children, family, and friends but through God, they've kept their faith in knowing that He is planning a major breakthrough in their lives. 

This holiday season your assignment from God will be fulfilled. Tis' the season of forgiveness, kindness, generosity and love. We encourage you all this holiday season to pay attention to how we respond to the people and loved ones in our lives. Make sure each moment is a perfect moment in God's eyes. Practicing these elements will give us a foothold on being more forgiving and leading happier, healthier, more productive lives. 

Happy Holidays from Brittney & Mark
XO


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Breaking Soul Ties




Soul ties are POWERFUL! It's something that we believe several people have struggled with or are currently struggling with today. As you read the words "soul ties" right now, you are probably thinking of that one person (or for some of us, a few people) who come to mind whom we wish never were in our lives. Age does not matter when it comes to soul ties. People young and old have dealt with it. We have met people who have carried it for 5, 10, and some even 20+ years not realizing it was a soul tie the entire time. Many couples go into a marriage before fully breaking a soul tie from someone in their past. This blog is to help you find out if you are dealing with a soul tie, and if you are, the truths about it and how to break it! So what exactly are soul ties?

soul tie is an emotional bond or connection that unites you with someone else. Have you ever found yourself tormented with thoughts of someone? You wonder why you always want to be around them, why you cant get over them, or why, even if they're not good for you, you desire them in your life? Soul ties are formed through commitments and promises, physical intimacy, and close friendships. When we first think of soul ties, we automatically think of the negative side of it. But a soul tie was meant to be a positive thing and a blessing for the person you say "I do" to at the alter for marriage. 

Ephesians says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh". Mark 10:8-9 also says, "and the two shall become one flesh’, so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." God's will was for man and his wife to have a soul tie. But because of premarital sex, and other sins, people have made soul ties negative. When a person has ungodly sexual relations with another person, an ungodly soul tie is then formed. The bible says in 1st Corinthians, "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh".

Do you know that when you have sex with someone, you began to pick up their habits and their feelings? Do you randomly find yourself mad or upset for no apparent reason? Do you wonder why you start to feel depressed all of a sudden when there is nothing to even be depressed about? You start to do things you normally never do in your life. What is happening is that you have taken in the spirit of that person you slept with. So what happens when you have sex with multiple people over time? You began to deal with and take on ALL of their emotions, feelings and habits. You spiritually become a mess. Soul ties are spiritual. But many of us have tried to break it or fight it in the natural realm. When something is spiritual, we must fight it in the spiritual realm. This is why so many people today struggle with breaking soul ties. They are trying to fight it with their flesh, rather than with the power of the Holy Spirit in the Spiritual realm.


We have decided to interview one of our mentors, Jay Cameron, to talk about some truths about soul ties and the necessary steps on "how" to break them. We are honored to be blessed with advice from Jay, who is an author, speaker, and consultant. He has helped and influenced thousands of people with his advice and consultation. To learn more about Jay Cameron, you can visit www.jaycameron.com.


 

1. In 2009, you produced a few seminars and a show on soul ties. What made you start this? Are you doing the show again anytime soon?

Jay Cameron: I have always had a strong desire to share the impact relationship choices can have on our lives. I started presenting seminars and productions about this topic because the lack of healthy relationship knowledge being taught in the community. Additionally, I have made enough crazy relationship choices that I would NEVER want someone to repeat him or her. Many of our poor relationship decisions are preventable if we know what to look for and how to make wise decisions. My primary goal is to provide this information while promoting healthy and God-honoring relationships.

We are presenting SOUL TIES – SOUL LIES on April 4, 2015. It is a full theatrical production that illustrates the power of soul ties in our lives. This will be my first production since 2011.

 
2. What are some signs that indicate you are dealing with a soul tie?

Jay Cameron: The term "soul tie" is not a biblical term. It is a term that is often used to describe psychological and relational connections. Our soul is comprised of our mind, will and emotions. We establish connections in our soul that can be very healthy, while others can be toxic. Signs you are dealing with a negative soul tie vary and can be complex. Some signs are subtle while other signs are more obvious. When the signs are destructive, it is time to address the issue and take the steps toward correcting the problem.
Here are a few signs of a toxic soul tie.

A.) Isolation: This can happen in the most-subtle way. Some relationships can cause us to withdraw. For example, when people find themselves in religious soul ties, they can become so involved that they push everyone outside of that religious environment away. The same can happen in male/female relationships. It can happen in custody battles when parents are trying to manipulate the emotions of a child.

I recall a relationship that I was in during my high school years. We became each other’s world. We closed everyone off and became an island unto ourselves. We backed away from anyone who expressed concern about our "new found" love. We spent nearly every waking hour together whether in person or on the phone. We were consumed!

Because we did not have any guidance and rejected any potential guidance that challenged our obsession for one another, this relationship was doomed from the start. We both were very angry and wounded from the rejection of one or both of our parents. There was no standard for holiness in the relationship AT ALL. We were looking for happiness in each other vs. looking for it in God. We literally worshipped each other and when our expectations weren’t met, we were devastated and the relationship became very destructive. In the midst of our worship of each other, we formed physical, emotional and mental bonds that took YEARS to be free from. The relationship deteriorated to some very low points but because of the "soul ties" we had, we continued to try to "make" things work. The harder we tried, the more the relationship deteriorated. We found ourselves in very embarrassing situations because of our inability to break free from the toxic bonds we had established.

When I finally realized that the relationship was going to destroy us, it was the most painful break ups of my life. It took YEARS to finally break free from all of the soul ties in that relationship. To this day, if a song comes on that we would listen to during the course of our relationship, it will take me back to that season of my life.

B.) The inability to say NO:

Some are unable to say "no" for fear of disappointing the person they have this connection with. A child who seeks the unhealthy approval of their parent(s) can be susceptible to this kind of "tie". In many instances, we can carry this behavior to other relationships. As a result, we are not free to be ourselves and express ourselves in a healthy manner.

Family soul ties can be some of the most challenging. This kind of tie can affect a marriage IF it not addressed and severed properly. I have seen cases where in-laws had more influence in a marriage than the couple. One or both members in the marriage had such strong connections to one or both parents that they allowed the in-law to control and influence the marriage. You can imagine how success the marriage was as long as that pattern was in place.

C.) Accepting or covering up verbal or physical abuse:

This is very common. A toxic soul tie can cause the covering up and excusing of the bad behavior of the abuser. We all have expectations from our relationships and if these expectations come from a dysfunctional filter, we can encounter many years of complex and challenging relationships.

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Guarding our hearts is very important because the impact of relational choices can last a lifetime. Because of the many ties I exposed myself to, I had to allow God to conduct a spiritual detox in my life. It went back to Romans 12:1-2

Romans 12:1-2 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

This is a very popular passage and is very profound. In order for me to be renewed, I needed to submit to the authority of Christ so that he could transform my mind, my heart and my actions. I would have to allow Him to correct the areas that needed correction. I would need to surrender to His will. This would bring conflict because I would be forced to confront the truth and lies of the many ties I was battling.

I had to address "worldly" patterns such as rebound relationships to dull the pain of a break up. What I didn't realize is that hopping from relationship to relationship only opened me up to more soul ties. This only compounded the situation and dug the hole deeper. I would need to address"worldly" dating patterns that were only a setup for relationship and moral failures. IT WAS A PROCESS!

The pattern of the world is to devote the majority of our time, energy and money on these "soul tie" relationships while placing God second. I often wondered why these relationships would fail. They were doomed from the beginning because the foundation was weak and neither of us knew how or were willing to lay a new one. We lacked the spiritual maturity and dedication to establish a God-honoring foundation. God wanted to be first in my life and the only way that would happen is if I placed Him there. That is why He has given us a free will. When I placed God first, He began changing my desires. When I was following the pattern of the world, I was attracted to the sinful elements of the relationship (premarital sex, relationship idolatry, etc.). As I established my relationship with Christ more, those things became unattractive and a woman who loved Him more than me became my prayer. My desire changed from wanting a romance, companionship, sex partner to wanting a woman who wanted to be Holy. I began desiring a righteous woman. The reason why I desired a woman who loved God more than she loved me is because I knew that her love for God would guide her vs. her exclusive love for me.

 
3. How can a soul tie to someone in your past affect your marriage?

Jay Cameron: Memories can be the biggest problem for a marriage. If someone has many emotional connections and memories, this can prove to be problematic if the person has not processed those memories properly. One of the biggest issues I have heard over the years has been the desire to maintain "friendships" with old relationships or lovers AFTER marrying someone else. This is a probable sign of a soul tie. Maintaining the connection to an old relationship can potentially open the door to the thoughts and emotions being rekindled. In some cases, the relationship must be maintained because children are involved. I have heard the argument that "a lack of trust" is the issue when someone objects to their spouse maintaining a relationship with a past lover(s) or potential past lover. On a natural level, that could make sense but on a spiritual level, I have discovered that it is unwise. I am reminded in Philippians 3:3 to put no confidence in the flesh. While I might not have any intentions on something "going down", it is unwise to leave the door open to temptation and to bring that drama into a marriage. 

Sexual interactions create memories and generate emotions as well. When we open ourselves up to multiple sexual experiences, we open ourselves up to multiple "soul ties". These memories and emotions can impact a marriage in some of the most devastating ways. This is one reason why I firmly believe that God intended for us to have one sexual partner. Filtering the memories of multiple lovers can be difficult and can leave the door ajar for future temptation.

 
4. What steps should one take to defeat a soul tie?

Jay Cameron: 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. Overcoming emotional and mental strongholds or ties requires a spiritual response because we do not wage war the same way the world does. 

A.) Identify the tie. Sometimes we don’t realize we have a tie until placed in a situation that exposes it.

B.) We must be honest about our condition
C.) We must be willing to take the steps needed in order to sever the tie.

Matthew 18:8-9 "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.


"If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.
Obviously, we don’t want to walk around amputation and mutilation ourselves, but the point is clear. Whatever causes us to sin or stumble should be removed from our lives. This is no different for toxic and destructive soul ties. I had to become radical about avoiding and removing those ties from my life. Prayer for strength to resist the temptation and praying for the discernment to recognize any soul ties were the first steps in my journey.

 

5. How do you know if you have defeated a soul tie?

Jay Cameron: Sometimes you will defeat a soul tie while other times a soul tie will serve as a constant reminder that we need Christ to give us the strength to overcome them. You will know the status of a soul tie based upon the impact that it has on you. Do you still respond the same way or does the tie have less of an impact on your thoughts and emotions?
Knowing your flesh and what tempts it will help to keep you out of trouble. Knowing that we all have a sinful nature that is ready, willing and able to "cut up" if given the opportunity is the first step in spiritual maturity. Understanding that Jesus came to set us free from sin’s authority in our lives will help us resist the temptation. It also helps us to rise when we stumble.


Any books you recommend?

Jay Cameron: "Choosing God’s Best" by Dr. Dan Rannikar


Once again, we would like to thank Jay Cameron for taking the time to have this interview with us. His answers to the above questions have personally blessed and educated us on the topic of soul ties. We hope that you have learned something from this topic as well and that you feel equipped on your next step to breaking your soul tie. 

God Bless!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

We Want to Hear From You


2 Corinthians 1:22   For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

The bible tells us that God is spirit and those who worship him should worship him in spirit and TRUTH. We believe that transparency can reach such a large audience, and it was put on our hearts from the Holy Spirit to do so. We would like to hear your feedback on our blog. Tell us some topics you would like for us to talk about. Leave comments on how you are feeling after reading our posts because we have so much more in store with our blog.

Stay tuned and thank you for the support!