God is Not the Problem. God=Love. People Misrepresenting God is the Problem.

Some people are angry with God or Christianity. They have their horror stories that normally fall back on 1. Someone who claimed to know God treated them horribly or 2. God did not perform the way they wanted or agree with their line of thinking.

They did not get their way or the miracle they wanted, so obviously God is bad. I cannot explain why God does not prevent every disappointment or hurt. I do know God gave humanity the ability to choose and some people choose unwisely.

I talk about God’s heart towards humanity in all my books. I hope they help people see God is not the monster hiding in the dark with lightening bolts to strike them.

God is not the problem, sin is and misunderstanding the Bible or the character of God. We must understand that the God of Christianity is love. The greatest commandment Jesus gave His followers was, “Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love fulfills God’s law because it seeks to do no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

God love is not like human love that is based on feelings or agreement. There are people who believe that love is giving them everything they desire even if it us harmful. There are people who believe that love means absolute agreement. It does not. God is holy, without sin. Therefore, God can love us deeply and not agree with our poor choices that fall outside His boundaries. Disagreement is not hatred. God hates sin because sin destroys people. God loves people.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (1 John 3:16). God loves the entire world, even those who do not love in return. It does not mean that God agrees with everything humanity does. Nor does it mean God accepts everything. God cannot agree with or accept sin because it is opposite of His nature. As stated before, God is holy (without any sin).

What about all these nasty Christians online or in your life. If God is love, why are you encountering hateful or bigoted/racist/sexist/prejudice/angry/hostile/mean/hurtful/abusive/selfish/unkind professing Christians? People can claim God all day long yet the Bible state plainly a tree can be known by it’s fruit. Jesus stated those who knew Him would love as He loves. The Bible also states that those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).

This agape love is a byproduct of intimacy (knowing) with God. We imitate the God we know. There are people who are immature (immaturity is marked by selfishness), carnal (also marked by selfishness), or who struggle greatly with insecurity (insecure people can cause great damage because they need someone to be inferior to feel superior). Unfortunately there are some “Christians” who suffer from self righteousness or a holier than though complex.

The true Church, God, nor Jesus hurt you. A sinful person claiming to know God hurt you. One of the steps to healing is understanding people are NOT God and many falsely represent God and some grossly misunderstand or misinterpret the Bible. Some are immature or insecure Christians. Some are carnal. Some simply slipped out of abiding in the love of God.

God is good. God is holy. God loves people. If our view of the Bible does not align with the character of God then most likely we are wrong in our interpretation of the Bible or our definition of love/goodness. Some view love as agreeing on everything, no consequences for their actions, and approval-that is not the same as love. God love is unselfish, holy, pure, involves accountability, and is full of truth.

I repeat God is love-sacrificial, unselfish love. God is not petty, mean, selfish, flakey, rude, racist, prejudice, sexist, bigoted, harmful, nor awful. God is not the problem. People claiming to know God without full surrender to God are the issue. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. He lived a surrendered life!

I pray we heal from awful acting Christians. Forgive them. Release them to God. People can only give away the love they possess. Pray God gives them a good dunking in His love. If your heart is still hurting or wounded, I want you to get your soul healed! It is possible to heal from being grossly mistreated or abused by Christians or clergy.

I hope you surrender all the pain to God and get to know Him for yourself. God loves you deeply and profoundly.

Join the Get Your Soul Healed Tribe:

If you wish for help to process through the pain, you can join my 8 week study and freedom group. It’s no cost to join. You simply need to grab a copy of the new book and the study guide. The study guide is only $6.99. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book and Study Guide. Once you grab the study guide, I will add you to the closed and private group. Sessions start August 1! At 7pm EST this Thursday night I will kick off the study! I hope to see you there. Soul healing activations are a part of the group.

If you do not join the group, I hope to see you at one of the upcoming book signings in Ohio! Come say hello and enter to win some great prizes!!

You are so deeply loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

It’s A Blessing or A Lesson

Some lessons learned (35 actually). I hope they bless or encourage someone.

1. People tend to value less what is free or where they have no investment. I love giving, yet found people trample under foot lavish giving. If it cost them nothing (time, money, committment, resources) they do not value what is provided. In a few rare cases you find people who genuinely appreciate what does not cost them anything. Psychology Today did an article that showed people who invest nothing have no attachment or sense of ownership. The one who gives or invests is the one who grows to love. Hence God encouraging generosity. Where you sow or invest brings forth an attatchment.

2. People will expect more from you than they are willing to give. I found there are many imperfect people expecting perfection out of everyone else. Or there are people who desire I support their business, their ministry, their dreams, etc…who would not lift a finger or even offer 50 cents for anything I do or anyone else.

3. If you don’t set proper boundaries, people will walk all over you.

4. It is possible to love people and still not give them access to your life.

5. Insecure and selfish people hurt others to cope with their own internal love deficit. People, myself included, can only give away love we possess.

6. Sometimes you reap or experience what you did not sow. Examples from the Bible: Jesus, Job, Joseph.

7. Favor is not a feeling nor do circumstances always reflect the favor of God. Joseph was thrown in a pit. Jesus went to a cross. You must pay attention to the entire story, not a chapter or two.

8. Mankind loves a celebrity, Christian or otherwise. Some people will only support you based on who you know, who they think you know, or to try to get close to someone you know.

9. You must care for all parts of yourself: Body, Soul, and Spirit. Neglect one and the others suffer.

10. People (some not all) are more comfortable with men being confident, assertive, intelligent, powerful and successful. We are still fighting gender stereotypes. Be confident, intelligent, powerful, assertive, and successful anyway. Your audience is God.

11. Some people use “God told me,” or “God said,” as tools of manipulation or to get their way. If God did not tell me, I don’t care what He supposedly told everyone else. I don’t move outside of peace.

12. People who put you down often think you are better than them.

13. Some people want you to suceed, just not more than them.

14. Some people don’t know they are prejudice, sexist, or racist. It just slips out and their cover is “I have a (fill in group they biased against) friend. I don’t see color or gender.” Pray for them. Forgive. Have teaching moments, “That’s rude. That’s racist. That is inappropriate.”

15. Learning to strengthen yourself in the Lord is vital! Don’t look for cheerleaders. Cheer for your own darn self.

16. Some people don’t want to be healed even when they state they do. They subconsciously gain attention or benefit from being sick or holding onto toxic mindsets.

17. I am not Jesus. I point to Jesus. If you let people think they have access to you 24/7, 365 days a week, they will run you into the ground then get upset you broke down.

18. It is common for people to want mercy when they sin and harsh judgement when sinned against.

19. The one who opposes you the most sees you as a threat. They see your potential even if you don’t.

20. Learning to love yourself as God does is wisdom and vital to thriving.

21. The most critical people suffer from low self esteem. Putting others down or harshly critiquing them is a means to cope with internal feelings of inadequacy.

22. Some people won’t support you for fear you will surpass them.

23. Rebuke is a friend to the false prophet/prophecy…”No I am not in agreement with that. No I do not accept your word.” People don’t know they are in error if everyone just nods and smiles. Correct in love, not mean spiritedness. Pray before confronting people.

24. Pushy people need loving correction and boundaries set quickly. If you give an inch, they will drag you miles.

25. We don’t owe anyone friendship. It is a gift to be stewarded.

26. Ministry is not meant to be a hostage situation. It’s okay to take breaks or resign from assignments with proper notice. I tend to give 2-3 months notice, longer if it’s a big role.

27. I get to choose with God who I mentor, vs. people telling me I am their mentor. If people will not meet me halfway with participation and playing their part. I have the right to cease letting people waste my time.

28. People treat us how we let them treat us. People waste our time because we let them.

29. Some people view love as agreement. Which it is not. I can disagree and still love a person.

30. God is not our trunk monkey (fixer) who does everything for us. We have a participation role to play.

31. Some of the people who cry out for revival the most are the least active in partnering with God to see revival. Talking and praying about revival is more important than actually going and doing the works of Jesus and making disciples.

32. Some people like their demons yet will try to convince you they don’t. Actions scream over words.

33. If you let people, they will cling to you instead of Jesus. Say NO!

34. You can pour your heart and soul into people that treat it like nothing. Bless them and understand people will NOT treat you any better than they do God. You are ultimately doing it for God.

35. Pray over relationships and every opportunity. God show me who this person really is. When He shows you, adjust accordingly. Love people, yet set proper boundaries.

Love,

Erin

Join the Book Club!

I am passionate about helping people step into freedom. You and I do not have to hobble through life broken. It’s time to heal! Let’s heal together.

I am launching an Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse study book club on August 1, 2019.

This closed Facebook group will include additional video teachings, discussion, Q/A, and more!

What do you need to join the group?

1. Access to Facebook.

2. To purchase the study guide (only available at https://www.empowered-free.com/shop).

3. Get a copy of the book (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Amazon.com) or (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Empowered & Free).

Once you purchase the study guide, only $6.99, you will be sent a request to join the community/group.

We will discuss challenging questions like where is God when abuse happens? Does forgiveness heal everything? What to do when you have forgiven and you still can’t stand that person? Wrong teachings from the Bible that create circumstances for abuse, how to get your soul healed, preventing abuse, and MORE!

I hope you join the group and to connect with you soon!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P. S one of the book signings will be in Powell, Ohio on August 19th, 2019 (11am-1pm). More details to come.

New Releases: Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book and the Empowered & Free Merch Store!

Last year on July 7th, 2018 Confident & Free was released! Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book was released this weekend, one year later. 🎉💯

What a year. Confident & Free moved beyond a devotional book to a conference and movement. Thank you for your support of the book, the Confident & Free 2019 event, and I hope you support the new clothing and home goods line!

I started the Empowered & Free Merch Store site because I would love for products to fund missions and the needs to feed the homeless monthly. Check out our Confident & Free collection, Free to Soar collection, and the Chosen tees. Be sure to stop by and support a great cause! T-shirts, mugs, and more!

I am happy to report that Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse book went live this weekend! The paperback was launched today-7/7/2019. The Kindle version is already live on Amazon.

Check out the book promo Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book Promo.

My hopes for writing this latest book is to see people healed from deep wounds created by clergy, and professing Christians.

In a world of #metoo, there is unfortunately #churchtoo. When Christians behave in ways that are abusive, unloving, cruel, and violate God’s heart-it impacts the message of Jesus.

People leave churches because of abuse or mistreatment. Sadly, there are people who abandon their relationship with God all together. They project their ideas about Christians onto God. If God is so good, why are Christians unloving? I address this question and many more.

I share with you how I processed through some rough seasons with Christians. I confess, some of my worst treatment has come from people who claimed to know God.

How do we move past the wounds inflicted by Christians and clergy? How do we help people who have been sexually abused by clergy? How do we help spouses of Christians who are being abused? What about spiritual abuse and misuse of the Bible? I tackle these questions and more!

I hope you check out Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse book. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book. The paperback will go live in a few days. You can order it off the company website. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Paperback.

Once again, thanks for your support!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

People Are Not Against You; They Are Primarily For Themselves

Happy Look Out For Someone Besides Ourselves Wednesday!

The Bible tells us to love one another and part of love is demonstrating the heart of the Father to others. I recognized years ago in my own walk in ministry that I grew to believe God loved the people I was ministering to more than me. It is untrue. Yet the lie grew from experiences with Christians. I was expected to give, to love, to pour out, to lay my life down, to be available in every crisis, to forgive, to show up even when I was overwhelmed or in my own crisis, to put myself last, to endure gross mistreatment with a smile, to be perfect, and they were not expected to do much.

I was expected to be Jesus. They on the other hand were not. I was to offer grace and mercy and give others unlimited access to my time and life.

The reciprocation of God love was low and sometimes non existent. I was expected to get love from God and show up again to pour out. I recognized I had to set limits with people. Say no to extra ministry tasks.

I found reciprocal relationships in the marketplace and through hobbies/outside the church activities. I thank God today there are a few reciprocal relationships with believers.

It is not true God desires one sided relationships for us. It is NOT true that God desires for us to love Him, then others, and ourselves last. Every time I see those bumper stickers, I want to rip them off. The Bible states we love because He first loves us. Then we are called to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Step 1. God loves us. Step 2. We RECEIVE God’s love for ourselves (we cannot give what we do not receive). Step 3. We give back to God and others the love we have first received from God.

Unselfish love-loving others without strings attatched and desire for selfish gain comes ONLY from God. It is agape love-the highest form of love. It’s the love Jesus invites us into so we represent His heart to the world. It is the love that marks His followers.

Pain and disillusionment can come when we expect agape from Christians who are incapable of returning agape. We can only give what we first possess. May we abide in agape (Jesus) so we demonstrate agape (Jesus) to others.

Love is not selfish.

I noticed people would and will ask things of me that they absolutely would be unwilling to do in return. I have heard more than one person tell me I was supposed to help their ministry or business, but God was not calling them to help me. Not that I asked them for help. I tend to ask God and ask Him who to ask for help. It saves me time.

At the root of all sin is selfishness and hyper concern for self. Self is the idol to be worshipped instead of God. What about me? Is the theme song.

I realized I would push myself almost to the point of breaking to keep my word, to be there for people who would not even pull their own weight or bother to show up. It taught me something. It taught me boundaries. It taught me to expect Jesus to be Jesus, and people to be people.

Expecting people to be like Jesus leads to disillusionment. I am still a work in progress, so is everyone else. Expectations can lead to unnecessary discomfort.

We, humans, can also have flawed visions of ourselves. I have met those who believe they are representing the heart of God, yet their primary focus is self: making sure their voice is heard, their ministry is supported, their needs are met, their political agenda pushed forward.

We imitate the God we know and at times treat people similar to the way we treat God. If God is only pursued to meet a needs list, then people treat other people like slaves too. Abiding in God love, which is not selfish, is the only way we manifest unselfish love.

When we can connect with people and love them NOT for what we can gain from them, that is real love God. Love fulfills the law because love does NO purposeful harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

We can only give away what we receive first from God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their unselfish, sacrificial love (John 13:34-35). May we abide in His love, and love others not for our gain but for their blessing!

Look for someone to love today!!

God love wins!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

P.S If you like this devotion, don’t forget to check out our 4th of July sale which is 40% off through July 5th. The Confident & Free 30 day devotional is on sale. The new book study guide is on sale (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book). We want you to save. Go to https://www.empowered-free.com/shop and use the code July4.