Sunday, November 30, 2008

Spiritual CPR

I am reading a great book by Todd Phillips titled "Spiritual CPR". I just have to share some highlights from the first few chapters. Indulge me if you will.

I was searching for content to use for an in-service I plan to do for oncology nurses who chronically deal with death and dying. God lead me to this book not for that presentation but for my own internal searching of significance in Him. There has been a longing in my heart to do more spiritually. Serving within my church has not produce the fruit I had imagined. It has caused me to reflect and examine this involvement. Its rewarding to grow spiritually and become more intimate with our God of grace yet there seems to be an empty space within this joy I long to share with others and I think I am finding what needs to be there.

"As Christians we will not experience all that God wants us to experience on this earth until we begin to share what we have freely received from God in the gift of salvation." (pp.57)

Growing up in a strict independent Baptist faith, I remember as a youth going out and "soul winning". It was very uncomfortable experience for me. I am not a "people person" and experience a little anxiety when I need to approach strangers. I have easily overcome this as a nurse at the bedside but as a teenager I remember extreme stress approaching someone and asking "Do you know where you will go today if you were to die?". Evangelism. My heart was right in it-I wanted to do this but it was tough for me.

Since that time I have shied away from evangelizing. Reflecting on this new desire for more and the comments I keep hearing such as "God is preparing you for something big" I am confirmed even more of the TRUTH I am living in. I have grown in spirit for a ministry I am not sure I have yet to step into. All these lumps and bumps in this journey of life is no doubt growing me for His divine purpose. This longing to serve has me questioning if serving will require me to step out of the church building and into the community. I am so uplifted when I read about a church who has stepped outside their building and is offering service from an empty building conveniently located to the unchurched population. Reaching the lost. Not necessarily building or growing the saved. Hummmm..?

"When we remain attached to the Source of all blessings, we are able to pour on others with no limits. " (pp.50)

Evangelism is a big word. Many feel it is something you have to be called to but the reality of it is that God has called all of us to evangelize His love, mercy, forgiveness and grace.

"...the act of sharing your faith is an opportunity, maybe the greatest opportunity God gives us on this earth." (pp. 53)

It is because of where we have come in our relationship to Him that we have been equipped to do this. Does it mean I need to go door-to-door like I did as a teenager? No, maybe not. But it does ask me to look at each and every encounter I have as a potential opportunity to evangelize. I cannot do this of myself. No, it will surly take God working through me. Todd addressed the fact that the world teaches us to take-take what we deserve, take all that we can get but God instructs us to give, to "give all that we can". I am guilty of falling short on this I'm afraid. I am motivated to change.

"Complete joy comes from sharing the truth of Jesus. An absolutely essential ingredient in our Christian walk is the ingredient of evangelism." (pp.59)

There's that TRUTH word again. What is the truth of what we have been called to do as His servants? Evangelize? In the church? In the community? I am convinced we are to evangelize and I know we are called to do this in various ways. Our challenge is to start looking for the opportunities and to step outside of our comfort zone. How selfish it is of me to keep Him to myself.
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
~Matthew 28:18-20

Seeking complete joy~Pamela

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Praise

Beth Moore has walk me through a significant time in my life-a time of brokenness and spiritual rebirth. God has used her and her writings the most to capture my heart, transform my mind, soul, and actions to be able to be His servant. I am currently going through her study "Stepping Up: A journey through the Psalms of Ascent" in my quiet time. A few days ago I came across the following words from within this study:

"He knew that even after the severest beating of my life and by far the deepest brokenness, He'd forgive me, heal me, crucify that self-destructive part of me, and stand me back on my feet through the measureless power of His Spirit." pp.75.

As I sat in my quiet time contemplating the sharing of my testimony in my blog yesterday, the "me" I use to be, and the fallout I may experience, I remembered these words. They are my words. They have been written in the front of my Bible. God had Beth pen these words for me and they are meant to be for you.

This thanksgiving as I reflect on what I am most grateful for, I am grateful that "He knew that even after the severest beating of my life and by far the deepest brokenness, He'd forgive me, heal me, crucify that self-destructive part of me, and stand me back on my feet through the measureless power of His Spirit."
Amazing. Humbling. Doesn't it just make you want to fall on your face to Him in prayer? I did. Tearfully.

This thanksgiving it is truly all about Him.

I am grateful for His grace. I am grateful for His mercy.
~ Pamela

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving...My Testimony

"For your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth." ~ Psalm 26:3

Heather has asked us to share out testimony. I have prayed about this. It is not easy for me. I do not have the profound Billy or Ruth Graham kind of testimony, though that is how I was raised and should have turned out I suppose. Having finished "Behind Those Eyes" and being more motivated to live in God's truth of whom I am, not the worlds impression, nor satan's view, I venture to write this with humility, brokenness, and gratitude.

I am humbled by how may times I have been able to make wrong choices and God has continued to be there, protecting me, loving me. I am secure in Him alone.

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." Deut. 33:12
I am broken from the choices I have made along the way but I cherish this brokenness. It has transformed me. It continues to transform me. It has connected me to the God I grew up with but never really longed for...not like I do now. I can't get enough of Him!
"He knew that even after the severest beating of my life and by far the deepest brokenness, He'd forgive me, heal me, crucify that self-destructive part of me, and stand me back on my feet through the measureless power of His Spirit." Beth Moore, Stepping Up, pp.75.
I am grateful, grateful for His grace. Grateful for the blessing and mercy He has shown despite "me".
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.~Act 20:24
My story? I grew up in a Baptist home-strict independent baptist Bschool starting with 8th grade. My parents wanted to shade me from the world and give me a foundation for living a good Christian life. I saw it as being overly protective. No jeans or pants, no movies, no dancing. When I graduated high school I experienced my first love and stayed home to be with him verses going to the Christian college they wanted me to attend. Of course that relationship didn't last. I walked away from all that I had been raised in, including God, for 10 years.

Those 10 years were all about "me". I worked to support myself, I played, I partied, I gave myself away. When I entered my first marriage, my heart started longing for some of those faith foundations again. I started attending church and eventually allowed God back into my life. I started that long journey of spiritual rebirth. I became active in ministry and thought I was spiritually sound until the divorce came around.

Though my current husband had nothing to do with my separation and divorce, he came into my life before the papers were even signed. His struggling marriage failed because we choose to sin and come together when we did. It cost us dearly. We lost our church family, our ministries, our friends. The children suffered and some continue to make them suffer still. We did give back our relationship to God and ended the sin but not the friendship. We grew together spiritually. Today I am married to him and God is blessing us, like He did David and Bathsheba. His grace and mercy is phenomenal. He has us back in ministry but most of all, He has both of us in a new way. We thought we were both too spiritual to fall into satans trap-a church deacon and a women active in ministry? Never. Never did it cross my mind that I would fall into such a trap, such a dark and lonely pit.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the pit of destruction, out of the sticky mud. He stood me on a rock and made my feet steady.

3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many people will see this and worship him. Then they will trust the Lord. ~Psalm 40 (NCV)

But the truth is, I am not that sin anymore. In my brokenness God took me into His arm and sooth the pain and transformed me into a vessel that He can now use to help others find Him, even those in the worst that life has to offer. God had me, He had us right where He needed us to get us to be usable for him. No more living a lie, no more "doing ministry". We are living in His truth, we are living in ministry because He has called us to it. For the last four-five years He has carefully been removing me to reveal His child, forgiven and redeemed. Humbled. Brokened. Grateful.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." ~Gen. 50:30
There are still a lot of layers of me to remove. I am not flawless but I do have a new vision for my life. I do have new eyes in which to look through. I also have a new heart, bruised but mended, full of so much passion to know Him more and to reflect Him more and to show Him to others.

And they [I] have defeated him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by their [my] testimony.~Rev 12:11

Be careful what you judge. Be careful of the attitude you develop towards others. Be careful because you might find yourself in their shoes. Like me.

I am thankful for His grace.

In His Graces~Pamela

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Weekend!

I had a visitor stop by today and she is having a fun give-a-way. So for all any blogger friends who may stop by this weekend, go to Allie's blog site "The Pink Potpourri" and take a chance of winning something spiritual!!

Until I can get back to post again, I leave you one of my favorite scripture readings from my studies this week. Have a great weekend and know that God is with you!

Psalm 125
God Protects Those Who Trust Him

A song for going up to worship.
1 Those who trust the Lord are like Mount Zion, which sits unmoved forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, the Lord surrounds his people now and forever.
3 The wicked will not rule over those who do right. If they did, the people who do right might use their power to do evil.
4 Lord, be good to those who are good, whose hearts are honest.
5 But, Lord, when you remove those who do evil, also remove those who stop following you. Let there be peace in Israel.

May there be peace in your weekend~Pamela

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Behind Those Eyes Blog Bible Study-The Final Chapter

We arrive to the final chapter "The Truth Heals" of Lisa's book. As we journey these final steps within this study, I must reflect back and rest a bit. It has been a painful journey at times, there has also been great joy. What the TRUTH is has been proven to me as I have read and studied these chapters. I feel as if we have climbed a large spiritual mountain and now that we are at the top, not only can we reflect on the magnitude of God in our life, we can look into His mirror and the reflection we see is His truth.

God created you exactly the way you are, with your unique personality and temperament, since He is incapable of making a mistake. (pp.169)

The recognition of the TRUTH I live in is that the flaws in my life are from my own doing, my own mistakes, my own poor choices, my own sins. But, I recognize that despite that TRUTH, I am created for a divine purpose. My assignment from Him is the only place I will find contentment. Working and playing in His plan for my life is where my fulfillment will be.

God created you with a free will to choose your behavior and mess up your life. (pp.173) God desires for us to have beautiful and fulfilling lives...but He often allows our mistakes to guide us into better choices for our future. (pp.175) will...TRUTH. TRUTH is admission that we have mess it up sometimes. I have made wrong choices, said the wrong things, been selfish. TRUTH is the admission that we have been wrong, that we are forgiven and that life as God ordained it can go on. He can restore you, He can restore me once again. He does use broken people, people with baggage, those afflicted with adversity such as David in the Old Testament and those with "thorns" such as Paul in the New Testament. He has used so many more people like them to bring honor and glory to His world. And He's looking for more willing people, broken people, humble people like you and me. So embrace this-offer yourself up and willing yield to His restoration and purpose.

God created us to discern and discover who we are and where we function most effectively without trying to be someone else. (pp.180)

TRUTH is resolution. TRUTH is accepting who we are for what God made us to be. I had this put to test these past couple of weeks in which an affliction fell on my husband and I in our ministry. Though the outcome has not completely resolved itself, my husband and I are soul searching in prayer for God's desire in this. I have been confident on this one thing-this one TRUTH-we have walked in this affliction with God fully beside us. Though satan has tried to tear us done, we both have grown spiritually. We both are ready to accept God's plan in this pain. I have attempted to use my anger and turn its energy into seeking God more. We have had to step outside our comfort box within our ministries and address our placement of service. It is a good thing to do when you are so involved. It refreshes the spirit. It makes you review your purpose in serving and it opens doors for change. It also allows one to confirm their placement in God's plan.

In the study guide Lisa stated "It's truth time. Is your soul set free? Is the truth behind your eyes the same as what others see?" and my thoughts stir. Time. My life needs more distance from the past and the pit I was in. The wound has healed itself-the scab is gone but the scar is still there. I accept that scar. It reminds me of where I have come in my spiritual walk-my TRUTH! Time More time is still essential for my growth and the destination of His big plan for my husband and I. In time, we will see and know that we are indeed living in His plan, secure in the ministries we are serving in. The TRUTH is that we are willing, Christ has redeemed us and we are being redefined in Him.

I look in the mirror and I see a broken and humbled heart that has so much to give because of the grace I have experienced. I look for the radiant reflection of Christ and I look for the images of the souls He has ordained me to serve and minister to.
Lisa-thank you for following God's lead in this book. I pray it will continue to bless so many more women as it has with this study group. Lelia-you are an amazing women of God and I am honored to call you friend!!

Reflecting His TRUTH~Pamela

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mountain Top Experieces

Have you ever had a spiritual mountain top experience? Do you have that sacred ground in which you meet God? A devotional reading I had last week referenced Christ mountaintop experience found in Luke 9:
[28] Now about eight days after these teachings, Jesus took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
[29] And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance became altered (different), and His raiment became dazzling white [
flashing with the brilliance of lightning].
[30] And behold, two men were conversing with Him--Moses and Elijah,
[31] Who appeared in splendor and majesty and brightness and were speaking of His exit [from life], which He was about to bring to realization at Jerusalem.
[32] Now Peter and those with him were weighed down with sleep, but when they fully awoke, they saw His glory (splendor and majesty and brightness) and the two men who stood with Him.

What about Mose's mountain top experience?

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.~Ex. 34:29

Is it even possible today to have a mountaintop experience such as these? I believe so! We are to search our God out so desperately for these. It is when we meet God on our mountain top that we will proclaim Psalm 19:8:
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Sometimes my mountaintop is my red paisley devotional chair. Sometimes it is within my church. Sometimes it is that special cabin tucked in the middle of Missouri that my husband and I try to escape to each year. God is there. And He is able to transform my heart, my mind, my countenance.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. ~Psalm 34:5

J.B. Cowman in his book "Stream in the Desert" wrote:

Joseph Parker, an English Congregationalist preacher of the nineteenth century, one said, "if we, as the church, do not get back to the spiritual visions, glimpses of heaven, and awareness of a greater glory and life, we will lose our faith. Our alter will become nothing but cold, empty stone, never blessed with a visit from heaven." And this is what the worlds need today-people who have seen their Lord...come close to Him! Perhaps He will take you today to the mountaintop-the same place He took Peter and his blundering, and James and John.

I want this mountain top experience. I need this mountain top expereince. To see Jesus, every day, in everything, and then to radiate His joy. That is my desire.

Have you been to your mountaintop today? Are you radiant?

Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy,~Isaiah 60:5

In Him~Pamela

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Behind Those Eyes Blog Bible Study

Ladies-I apologize that I accidently turned off the comments section when I set this up to post on Tuesday. I hope you have come back....
Chapter 9: We Are Completely Flawed Yet Forgiven Completely

Lisa challenged us in the Bible study guide to search out hearts and ask ourself if we truly believe that we are forgiven from God and do we allow Him to forgive here are my thoughts. As you know, or if you might be visiting, you can read other thoughts from some of the most spiritually beautiful women I have come to share this blog Bible study with from our host Lelia!

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.~Romans 4:7 (NLT)

I have read through Romans many, many times but this verse just jumped off the pages of this chapter as I understand this joy it is talking about. As a child I understood enough about sin to understand I needed Jesus in my life. As a teenager I grasped a beginning relationship with Him and first started experiencing what security and joy meant. But I allowed everything that my parents had protected me from to entice me to leave my faith for about 10 years. The birth of my first child rekindled my convictions for having God back in my life. Though I had already returned to the church before her conception, it wasn't so real. It was just an action. It was in falling into a pit from a sin I chose to participate in that I fully learned what grace was all about. How I cherish God's grace and what it means.

Jesus Christ loves and forgives you without conditions (pp. 163)

I know that. I know this truth. Flawed? I do not have time to post how flawed I am. All I can post on is how much more today I understand this concept of God's forgiveness. It is the most perfect gift. For years I struggled with the concept but I now realize it is only because I was not able to forgive myself and I allowed others unforgiveness of myself to override His forgiveness. The verses of Romans 7:15-21 now speaks volume...because I understand. This sinful nature, the "flesh women" of my soul has had too may years of control and she doesn't want to die. Just when I think I have removed her, satan will throw something at me and "she" will resurface. So, if I cant kill her, I much seek to control her and that is only going to happen if God is in control of my life.

"It began to sink into my soul that being so deeply flawed left me with the ability to be forgiven by God equally, the flaws suddenly felt really important to the process. and though I don't understand exactly how He is able to do that for me, I rejoice in its truth". (pp. 165)

I know that. I know this truth. I, even at my best will never be good enough. But God is! My flaws have given me the ability to be better. God is taking me full circle (thank you Elaine-you are right). It is worth the wait, the pain, and the loneliness that I have sometimes experienced. Because when all else fails me, I know all I have to do is get on my knees, open my Bible, visit your blog sites, or read my devotionals and God is there. Unconditionally, He is there. Like Moses, I am able to have my mountain top experience and that give me hope even if all else around me seems to be falling apart. Because of God my flaws are so much more tolerable, especially since I see Him using them for His glory.

Peace. Joy. Contentment. Even amidst the flaws. Look. They are there.

I know I have said this in a previous post but I must say it again...I cannot wait to truly understand the magnitude of His greatness. Though I fully understand His grace and live in daily, I want to be able to completely understand His magnitude even more. And then to be without flaws. That's in the eternal and I welcome it.

I think what most convicted me was again in the Bible study guide for this chapter. Lisa challenged us to pray for 3 minutes each day for the next five days for someone who has hurt us. So that is my commitment. I don't want to. Who do I chose? Both of them. I challenge you to do this also.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Destructive Desires...

James 1:13-18 (Amplified)
13Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one.
14But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).
15Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.
16Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.
17Every good gift and every perfect (]free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].
18And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].

Last week I had a lady in our church approach me to "unload". It was an eye-opening experience for me. This women who serves in ministry was battling a situation that could lead to destruction...destruction of her spiritually, of her ministry, and of her family. I sat there listening to her rationalize and justify her thoughts, her actions, her potential actions. I listen to her claims of God being ever present within this sin. My heart gasped for a moment for I saw myself in her. I wore those shoes once. I said those same words, had those same thoughts, claimed God's presence within my sin. As I listened I remember praying in that moment "so that's how I sounded Lord? That's how I was thinking? How could I have been so blinded from the truth Lord?"and my heart broke. My heart was humbled. I felt my own shame again.

I was blinded to truth when deceptive desires crossed my past a few years ago. Satan's deception of my heart lead to destructive desires which lead to foolish actions and many many losses. Though in the end the spiritual rewards have far outweighed the pain and suffering, I knew what God was calling me to do in that moment. I got in my friends face and with full spiritual determination I laid her deception out as plainly and as boldly as I could. I had been there and God put me in the her life in His timing to try and stop her from traveling this path, to help her unmask the deception of her heart, her thoughts, her belief and to help her avoid the pain that I went through. Pray for her. She is not alone in this journey. Many, many Christian women have and will wear these shoes. But here is the good news....
For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God's favor and mercy].~Romans 6:14 (Amplified)

Satan wants us to live in his darkness, his destruction. He wants us to be dead to the spiritual. God wants us to live in the spiritual, to live as subjects of His favor and mercy. So how do we overcome the destructive desires satan entices us with? CPR for the soul:

Connect with the spiritual

Pray, Pray Pray

Receive the Truth

Connect and center your life on the spiritual-keep focus on God and don't allow anything into your vision, your thoughts or your day that are not from God. Confront the sins and destructive desires satan throws your way with on on-going relationship with Christ.

Pray, Pray and Pray!! Constant communication with God is medicine to our souls. It is the vital step in maintaining our focus on Him. It not only keeps us connected with Christ but also shields us satan's attack.

Receive God's truth about who you are in Him. Meditating on His word gives you His vision and His discernment for His truth. This truth we are called to live in comes from His redemptive grace. Hands down, His truth is our life line to live in the spiritual-to being made in His likeness, unblemished and faultless.
Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]--Jude 1:24 (Amplified)

We are called to live out our faith. Yes, we are imperfect and we will fail. But God is there, to pick us up, to carry us, to lead us on. The world does not want us to live in the spiritual. I say its time we changed that. It is time we live openly and boldly for Christ. If He loves us enough to forgive us without stipulations are we not called to love Him back through our life in our thoughts, our words, our actions?

Deceptive careful. Like my friend, like me, one serving in ministry, assuming to be strong in faith, can be weakened by even the simplest attack from satan and fall into deceptive thoughts that lead to deceptive desires that become destructive actions. Remember that song you sang in children's church ...."Oh be careful little eyes what you see, and be careful little ears what you hear..."? The Father up above is looking down below and He promises to love and protect us. We have to keep focused on Him. We have to boldly live our faith and radiate Him in our life.

I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

Boldly for Him~Pamela

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Behind Those Eyes Blog Bible Study: Chapter 8

What a refreshing chapter don't you think?!?!? Lisa wrote this chapter, "We are completely loved and accepted completely" and timed it really good! This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions for me and reading it was like a fresh aroma of spring...refreshing, revitalizing, renewing.

See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him. ~1 John 3:1 (Amplified)

I think sometimes we allow the stresses of life to consume us and blind us from this incredible truth that we live in-we are completely loved and accepted by God. If only we could get to the point in which that is enough. If we did then we would truly be able to live out Paul's words in Romans 8:16&17 (TLB):
"For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts, and tells us that we really are God's children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures-for all God gives to His Son Jesus is now ours too."

"God already knows that He accepts us just as we are...with all our failures and faults and insecurities, but He wants us to know that-to really know that". Have you experienced that? I have. It is such a joy, a peace that words cannot do justice for.

So this week, I have savored on some of the scripture Lisa reminded us of and it has served to be profound against what satan has thrown at me. such as:

Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me~Jer.12:3a

You understand, O LORD; remember me and care for me~Jer. 15:15a
but most importantly.....
Come near to God and He will come near to you~Jame 4:8a

This was a sweet week of being reminded of how loved we are...perfectly loved, genuinely accepted. It's not just the icing on the cake of life, its the whole cake!!

Soak in His love~Pamela
For my determined purpose is that I may know Him that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death, in the hope that if possible I may attain to the spiritual and moral resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead even while in the body.~Philippians 3:10-11, Amplified