Author Archives: drlisachristiansen

Oxytocin: The Love and Trust Hormone Can Be Deceptive


The connection between love and trust.

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Although poets and authors have tried to describe love, in the world of neuroscience, researchers have found that the naturally occurring hormone oxytocin and love are intimately related. Often called the love drug, oxytocin plays a role in bonding, maternal instinct, enduring friendship, marriage, and orgasms. Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D., says that oxytocin is a mingling of trust and physical touch, as well as love-making.

And new research tells us that oxytocin can even help us to become more accepting of others. “Oxytocin increases the ability to recognize differences between self and others and increases positive evaluation of others. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that impaired oxytocin signaling may be involved in the development and manifestation of human psychopathologies in which self-recognition is altered.” Oxytocin sharpens self-other perceptual boundary proven by psychoneuroendocrinology.

We can always expect new reseach when it comes to love. Despite Internet claims of Love Portion No. 9 to enhance attraction through chemical oxytocin and pheromones, Dr. Breuning, professor emerita at California State University, and docent at the Oakland Zoo, where she gives tours on mammalian social behavior says:

“Trust is the authentic feeling you have in the presence of a person whom your body senses is safe. That is a good feeling that stimulates oxytocin. When trust is not authentic, your body might give you a message to be careful around that person.

“The expression, ‘got your back’ is overused but it rightly describes a person with whom you can relax your guard because they treat you well or help protect you from a third party,” she said. “With chimpanzees you will see them grooming one another and there is reciprocal trust. If they don’t feel trust, or if a rival or intruder comes too close, that chimpanzee risks having fingers or toes bitten off — even noses or ears.”

Falling for the bad boys

Sometimes, however, grooming is a matter of trust and protection in which the animal appears to be thinking, “If I groom a bigger, stronger monkey, even though it may not be reciprocal, if I’m attacked by a lion, the bigger monkey will protect me.”

Does the protection aspect sound familiar? In relationships, the good girl-bad boy syndrome results in many broken hearts. Women are often attracted to the bad boys because the primal instinct is very strong. They feel that bad boys protect them.

Dr. Breuning says, “A guy with confidence seems powerful. He has that self-important look that women find attractive.”

Another way that oxytocin is stimulated is through love-making, but herein lies a bit of deception. “The oxytocin released through orgasm creates a lot of trust, but only for a short period of time,” she said. “In nature most animals are bachelors, so in the act of love-making they generate an opportunity for trust.

“As with animals, humans enjoy the reward that comes from feeling good after sex. In nature — and sometimes in the world of humans — after receiving their ‘feel good dose’ the males go back to being themselves,” she said, adding, “The female view is very different with this oxytocin release.”

Here is what happens with women. After making love a woman might mistake the oxytocin release for feelings that tell her, “This is your perfect partner.” As Breuning notes, “Despite those initial feelings, it does not necessarily mean that the person is trustworthy. The perception you have at the moment is an illusion you create about the person that may or may not fit what happens next.”

Falling into cynicism, however, is not going to be productive.

Disappoionted in love or in life?

According to Dr. Breuning, writing in Getting Past the Stress of Feeling Slighted:

You can build a new neural pathway in six weeks. You can give the electricity in your brain an alternative place to flow. Every time you find yourself pondering a social disappointment, just shift your attention to another thought. A new pathway will build if you do this every day without fail for six weeks. Beyond Cynical: Transcend Your Mammalian Negativity

In the world of less than positive feelings, for those who really expect that oxytocin can improve their love life, might first take a look at attitude. It seems as if there is an interplay here in terms of love, gratitude, and all the positive feelings that intermingle to create harmonious relationships.

These are things to remember when you want to get married. I know you’re saying “not me” It’s taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud, even in your mind feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you’re hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.

You’ve never dreamt of an aqua-blue or red with gold framing ring box.

Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe a breakup. Your brother’s wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride she was so effing happy and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you’re not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering… Deep, deep breath… Why you’re not married.

Well, I know why.

How? It basically comes down to this: I’ve been married a few times. Yes, more than once or twice. To a very nice Neuro-Surgeon; a very nice college entrepreneur (and pregnant); and at 42, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of deciding to walk away.

I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated, traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I’ve become a sort of life experience expert of relationships, someone who’s had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.

I won’t lie. The problem is not men, it’s you. Sure, there are less than quality men out there, but they’re not really standing in your way. Because the fact is if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on. So without further ado, let’s look at the top six reasons why you’re not married.

1. You’re a Bitch.

Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off.

The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them and appreciates them. I am the aunt of a 15-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here’s what my nephew wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn’t think so. You’ve seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man’s fear and insecurity in order to get married, and surprisingly, it’s perfect, since working around a man’s fear and insecurity is big part of what you’ll be doing as a wife.

2. You’re Shallow.

When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what Manalo Blanik shoes are. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.

3. You’re a Slut.

Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin it doesn’t stay recreational for long.

That’s due in part to this thing called oxytocin, a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm, that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It’s why you can be friends with benefits with some dude who isn’t even all that great and the next thing you know, you’re totally strung out on him and you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that’s how it happened. And since nature can’t discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you’re going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.

4. You’re a Liar.

It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he’s not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he’s married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, “I’m not really available for a relationship right now.”

You know if you tell him the truth that you’re ready for marriage he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don’t want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!

About ten minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don’t tell him that. That’s your secret just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends. Instead, you hang around, having sex with him, waiting for him to figure out that he can’t live without you. I have a news flash: he will never “figure” this out. He already knows he can live without you just fine. And so do you. Or you wouldn’t be lying to him in the first place.

5. You’re Selfish.

If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy or at least a guy with a really, really good job would solve all your problems.

However, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It’s not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

6. You’re Not Good Enough.

Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won’t love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.

I see this at my nephews artsy, progressive school. Of 182 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you’re trying to be. They’re attractive, sure. They’re just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.

Alright, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession, a free-agent penis, and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, Disneyland built a world around it.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

LOVE.

Invitation To Success: DNA of NLP Comprehensive workbook


DNA of NLP ~ Master Of Native Coding Sequoyah (the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary) is one of the first of the native codetalkers. Lisa Christiansen is the only living bi-lingual direct descendent of NLP codetalker and is the decoder of this beautiful art of influence on the preconscious andsubconscious level. NLP strategies to supposedly get you to buy a product, give me a break. NLP with Native coding in the wrong hands, very lethal. Unlike most tribes of American Indians, the Cherokee were fortunate to have a member of the tribe who learned the white mans ways. This would be the one who was educated in the white eye schools. This man was calledSequoyah, this man is my direct descendant and the one who through the generations left methe keys to this artful mastery. Sequoyah was able to put Cherokee symbols into a form of the English alphabet. This transformed language was a great stepping stone for the Cherokee because of it’s unique structure that very few can actually decipher. This new code was so advanced it allowed one man to outwit an army of 300 men with the advanced native coding as the core DNA of NLP.

We are governed, our minds are molded through our subconscious and precocious platforms, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by others we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes, frame games and social patterns of the majority.

Invitation To Success ~ Persuading Leaders Naturally Vol 2


It’s available NOW as promised… Nadine Christine Hamdan, Thank you for inspiring me to become more creative in my efforts to help others, you always calibrate my internal compass with God as my true north. Thank you Warren Buffett, Donald Trump and everyone who continues to stand beside me and walk with me. “Warren Buffett, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and Bill Gates, All Endorse Neuro Linguistic Programming and use it masterfully in their everyday life, If the “Greats” of the Business World use NLP as the Business Vehicle of Choice, the question is no longer what kind of business but rather how do I master the art of influence? Once you’ve made that decision the next decision can either be the hardest or the easiest decision. Invitation To Success is a book all about the games we all play every day of our lives, and the games that we play in every arena of life: health, wealth, business, personal, etc. “Invitation To Success” explains why we act the way we do, our thinking patterns, emotional habits, and the actions and interactions that make or break us. Puts the cutting-edge model of Meta-States into a form that is easy to understand and use.

~Lisa Christiansen

Master Of Native Coding
Sequoyah (the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary) is one of the first of the native codetalkers. Lisa Christiansen is the only living bi-lingual direct descendent of NLP codetalker and is the decoder of this beautiful art of influence on the preconscious andsubconscious level.

NLP with Native coding in the wrong hands, very lethal. Unlike most tribes of American Indians, the Cherokee were fortunate (or unfortunate) to have a member of the tribe who learned the white mans ways.This would be the one who was educated in the white eye schools. This man was calledSequoyah, this man is my direct descendant and the one who through the generations left methe keys to this artful mastery.

Sequoyah was able to put Cherokee symbols into a form of the English alphabet. Thistransformed language was a great stepping stone for the Cherokee because of it’s unique structure that very few can actually decipher. This new code was so advanced it allowed one man to outwit an army of 300 men with the advanced native coding as the core DNA of NLP.

Thank you to facebook for inducting me into your elite


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July 4, 2014 at 2:53 am I’m officially a celebrity somebody at least on facebook with the coveted blue checkmark and more importantly to God and to you, it is all of God because of God and because of YOU… Thank you Chris Silva for believing in me, thank you Lisa Morgan for always having faith in me, thank you Nadine Christine for walking beside me on this beautiful Journey and thank you to each of you for making this possible and thank you to facebook for inducting me into your elite of which I am deeply humbled with indescribable gratitude.

Father in heaven above today I come before you on behalf of my facebook family, peers and associates, may you continue to bless each of us with great abundance in health, wealth, and happiness, may you take this experience and bring forth opportunities abound. Father I thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to have spoke in the same arena as my mentors and learn the value of authentic character of integrity, authenticity, and genuine appreciation of life with a passion to place the needs of others above our own. May you continue to use Each of us as a vessel for your message so that the audience hears your voice through ours to receive your message in a way to the listener needs to hear it. Father, give me strength today, not strength so I can ride 500 miles, give me strength, dear Lord, so when I speak, my words motivate and inspire somebody, Lord, when they see me, let them see you. When they hear me, Lord, let them hear you. Let the ones who know you not seek you, invite the ones who know you search for new ways to be a pleasure in your sight that you may continue to bless them and please father embrace each of us in your grace. The Bible says, every time Christ sees a new creature, old things are passed away. I’m not the same person I used to be, I am reborn through Christ at 8 years old. God abides by me and I abide by him. I invite God to live in me. So when I step out, I’m representing the God I serve, I’m representing the family who loved me and those who cared for me as blessings in their challenge. Amen. God Bless you all.

I am just a girl, a child of God who realizes that I fall short of Gods grace everyday and I recognize that God gives it to me out of his amazing grace. I am blessed each day that I awake and choose to share it with all of God’s children…

~Lisa Christiansen

Independence Day


Like Memorial Day, Independence Day has become a time for gathering with friends and family, but let us also remember its true purpose. In a 1776, John Adams penned in a letter to his wife that Independence Day “ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance.” Its purpose is to memorialize the Declaration of Independence and the forming of a federal union by the first 13 independent states.

For the United States, the philosophy of independence is about living out liberty and national allegiance. The American Revolution waged by the original 13 colonies was a fight for freedom, a fight to be self-governing and sovereign states free of tyranny and oppression from the British Crown, which prohibited basic rights of all Englishmen.

Ultimately, the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783 declared the 13 colonies to be “free sovereign and independent states.” This treaty established that the fundamental right of sovereignty resided within each former colony. This was a hard won acknowledgment and, understanding it, one would think the US would have extended it to Native American tribes. Yet, the recognition of tribes as self-governing and sovereign nations independent of the federal union was also hard won.

Although the USA holds the 566 federally recognized tribes as sovereign and independent nations, a great deal of federal legislation still exists regarding the tribes. This legislation extends to taxes, agriculture, mining, land, healthcare, housing, education, labor, law enforcement, and more.

Take home ownership, for instance. If a home is on reservation land, the land cannot be “owned” by the individual. Instead, the US government holds the land in trust for the tribe. So, can the house be sold? Would you buy the house if the land did not convey? Can the land be used as collateral or developed for economic purposes? This is just one way that the nearly 1 million Native Americans living on reservation lands are limited in independence and personal freedoms enjoyed by other Americans.

Fortunately, politics aside, tribes exercise great sovereignty and celebrate their independence through their heritage and the Indian way. They practice their ceremonies, speak their Native tongue to their children and grandchildren, and pass on their culture and traditions for the seventh generation.

In fact, in celebrating Navajo Nation Sovereignty Day on April 22, 2013, Dine’ President Ben Shelley asked his people to remember their sovereignty before it was decided by any court. Shelley said:

We, the Holy People have always known who we are; therefore, we have always been sovereign. As we move forward, we need to continue to practice cultural independence. Sovereignty is not defined completely by a court of law; it’s defined in our free ability to guide our children into the lives we want for them.

Trail Of Tears

God Is My Foundation For Gratitude


2:53am I’m officially a celebrity somebody at least on facebook and more importantly to God and to you, it is all of God because of God and because of YOU… Thank you Chris Silva for believing in me, thank you Lisa Morgan for always having faith in me, thank you Nadine Christine for walking beside me on this beautiful Journey and thank you to each of you for making this possible and thank you to facebook for inducting me into your elite of which I am deeply humbled with indescribable gratitude.

Father in heaven above today I come before you on behalf of my facebook family, peers and associates, may you continue to bless each of us with great abundance in health, wealth, and happiness, may you take this experience and bring forth opportunities abound. Father I thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to have spoke in the same arena as my mentors and learn the value of authentic character of integrity, authenticity, and genuine appreciation of life with a passion to place the needs of others above our own. May you continue to use Each of us as a vessel for your message so that the audience hears your voice through ours to receive your message in a way to the listener needs to hear it. Father, give me strength today, not strength so I can ride 500 miles, give me strength, dear Lord, so when I speak, my words motivate and inspire somebody, Lord, when they see me, let them see you. When they hear me, Lord, let them hear you. Let the ones who know you not seek you, invite the ones who know you search for new ways to be a pleasure in your sight that you may continue to bless them and please father embrace each of us in your grace. The Bible says, every time Christ sees a new creature, old things are passed away. I’m not the same person I used to be, I am reborn through Christ at 8 years old. God abides by me and I abide by him. I invite God to live in me. So when I step out, I’m representing the God I serve, I’m representing the family who loved me and those who cared for me as blessings in their challenge. Amen. God Bless you all.

I am just a girl, a child of God who realizes that I fall short of Gods grace everyday and I recognize that God gives it to me out of his amazing grace. I am blessed each day that I awake and choose to share it with all of God’s children…

~Lisa Christiansen

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Master Of Native Coding


Thank you AMAZON once again for featuring “Invitation To Success” and Nadine for your love support and most of all your friendship…

This introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) basics and terminology is broadly based on information provided by a combination of Native Coding and Robert Smith MBA, an NLP Master Trainer. It has been heavily edited, re-written and augmented for content, language, and specific applications of the NLP model. It is an extremely simplified overview of basic concepts, terminology and an idiosyncratic one at that. The re-write was done by Lisa Christiansen, NLP Expert and author of Mastering The Art Of Influence, Communication: Perception, Patterns and Persuasion.

Master Of Native Coding
Sequoyah (the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary) is one of the first of the native code talkers. Lisa Christiansen is the only living bi-lingual direct descendent of NLP code talker and is the decoder of this beautiful art of influence on the preconscious and subconscious level.

NLP strategies to supposedly get you to buy a product, give me a break. NLP with Native coding in the wrong hands, very lethal. Unlike most tribes of American Indians, the Cherokee were fortunate (or unfortunate) to have a member of the tribe who learned the white mans ways. This would be the one who was educated in the white eye schools. This man was called Sequoyah, this man is my direct descendant and the one who through the generations left me the keys to this artful mastery.

Sequoyah was able to put Cherokee symbols into a form of the English alphabet. This transformed language was a great stepping stone for the Cherokee because of it’s unique structure that very few can actually decipher. This new code was so advanced it allowed one man to outwit an army of 300 men with the advanced native coding as the core DNA of NLP.

Invitation-To-Success-Book-Cover

Woman Of Worth


She needs no fancy clothes
to make her look sexy
needs no man by her side
to make her feel sturdy
need to tell no lies
her honesty is her beauty
She’s smart in the head
and courageous in the heart
confident in herself
and compassionate in her thoughts
independent and able
strong and graceful
~Lisa Christiansen

feet

The Greatest Love Story Ever ~ Could You Love No Matter What?


The Greatest Love Story Ever ~ Could You Love No Matter What?
Hosea: The Story of the Unfailing Redemptive Love of God

 

Amazing-Love-Lisa-ChristiansenIf God gave you the assignment of marrying someone you knew would be unfaithful, what would you think? What would you do? This actually happened to the Old Testament prophet Hosea. Of course there’s some background we need to understand to appreciate his story, and I’m only going to give you the abbreviated version. Ready?

Way back in Genesis, we read that God chose a people, they are referred to as “the seed of Abraham,” and they are the descendants that came from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Of course you remember that Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel,” so his descendants are called “the children of Israel.” I can’t tell you why God chose to have a special relationship with this people, he never gave a reason. In fact, the Apostle Paul said that God chose this people even before they were born and totally without respect to any foreseen merit on their part (Romans 9:6-29). So, God’s choice to have a special relationship with Israel was based solely on his grace.

God chose to give Abraham’s descendants something they didn’t deserve, and could never have earned. He promised to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky, to make them a great nation, to bless them in a unique way, to give them a land forever, to enter into a special and unique relationship with them that would endure forever, and even to bless the whole world through them. Of course this doesn’t leave the Gentiles out in the cold; we read in the gospels and the New Testament letters, especially Paul’s writings, that the salvation of the Gentiles and the very existence of the Church is part of the outworking of God’s promise to bless the whole world through Abraham’s descendants. God first shared these promises in Genesis chapters 12 to 22, and in a sense these eleven chapters are the very heart of the Bible. What comes before Genesis 12 serves as background to God’s promises, and everything what comes after Genesis 22 in some way relates to their fulfillment. In other words, the whole story of the Bible is about how God is working in the lives of his people, Israel, to bring about the fulfillment of the promises he made to Abraham and his seed. The Bible is an epic drama of how God wants to show his love for his chosen people, and he wants to do that by fulfilling the special promises he made to them; but there is a snag: the fulfillment can only happen when God’s people choose to love him in return.

One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that unregenerated sinners are never going to love God—right? So, in order for God to fulfill his promises to Israel, as a nation, somehow God is going to have to bring the nation of Israel to repentance and faith. Now I think we could agree that the salvation of an entire nation is an epic challenge. I don’t know of any nation in world history that has been a “saved nation.”

Now I need to clarify something before we move on, and I hope it’s not too confusing: The promises God made to Israel were to “a seed,” or “a people”; in other words, that “seed” extends all the way from Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob to the Jewish people of our day who have a physical connection to Abraham. However, the promises will not be fulfilled to unbelievers in that line. In fact, many of Abraham’s seed have already lived and died in unbelief. The promises will be fulfilled to a generation of Israel in the future that turns to the Lord with their whole heart. So, in order for the promises to be fulfilled, it will be necessary for Israel, as a nation, to be regenerated, because the fulfillment of the promises involves an intimate personal relationship with God. So, not surprisingly, the theme of the Bible is how God is working in the lives of his people, Israel, to bring them to faith in him, his word, and his Messiah, without which, they cannot be born again (cf. John 3:1-21).

Now concerning Hosea’s message, the events recorded in the book happened in the years just before the northern kingdom of Israel was carried off into captivity in 722 B.C. (over 2700 years ago). The story of the book is about how God, who found Israel to be stubbornly faithless and spiritually rebellious, had to allow them to experience the consequences of their waywardness. God didn’t let this to happen because he stopped loving Israel, or because he ran out of patience, he did it as part of a plan for the redemption of his people. God is very patient, and this plan is still being worked out today, and it won’t come to completion until Israel comes to faith in Christ, which the Bible says will happen in the last days, that is, the last days prior to the second coming of Christ.

Let’s begin in Hosea chapter one.

1:2When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.”

I don’t know how many of us would be thrilled to be given an assignment like this, but Hosea was commanded to marry a woman whom God told him would not be faithful. Obviously this is not a passage we should use for advice on how to find a mate. We can find that kind of advice in the book of Proverbs, as well as in the New Testament. God’s purpose for Hosea’s marriage to Gomer was to confront Israel with their sin of unfaithfulness. So, with regard to marriage, this is a special case, with a special purpose. It’s very difficult to describe how bad Israel’s spiritual condition had become by the time this book was recorded, I’ll just go through the list of things that are mentioned in the book itself, mostly from chapter four. God said there was no faithfulness, or kindness, or knowledge of him (4:1); there was swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and sexual vice (4:2); the prophets and priest were corrupt (4:4); the priests no longer taught the knowledge of God (4:6); the religious leaders had become merely opportunists, in their greed profiting from the sins of the people (4:7); there was harlotry, and drunkenness (4:11); the people had become idol worshipers (4:12), and we know from 2 Kings 17 that there were human sacrifices. Virtually every hill and shade tree in Israel had become a place for the immoral revelries involved in the worship of Baal and Ashtarte (the male and female fertility idols, cf. 4:13); and we are told that the people of Israel had sunken so low that the more shameful their deeds, the more they loved and flaunted them (4:18). They were, in effect, boastful of how “bad” they were. (Too bad there were no ox-cart bumper stickers back then that said, “Bad to the Bone,” or “No Fear (of God)”—they would have loved them!)

The early part of Hosea’s marriage is related to us in the following passage.

1:3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4And the LORD said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” 6Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. 7 “But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.” 8When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.”

Hosea did exactly as God commanded. He married Gomer, and in the course of time three children were born. As each of the children was born, they were given names by God, and each of their names symbolizes some aspect of Israel’s relationship with God. The first child was named, Jezreel. Jezreel was both a city and a territory located in the heart of Israel, and it was from the heartland of Jezreel that much of the wickedness associated with Israel’s history originated. We can’t be certain, but the naming of this child may have been God’s way of saying to Israel, “You know what—you’re rotten all the way to the core.”

The second child was named Lo-ruhamah. This name comes from two Hebrew words: lo in Hebrew is a negative, and means “no,” or “not,” and ruhamah means, “to have pity.” So the name “Lo-ruhamah” means, “to have no pity.” The name of this child refers to the impending judgment on the nation of Israel. It would not be long after this prophecy that Israel would be invaded by Assyria; that invasion happened in 722 B.C. The Assyrians were undoubtedly one of the cruelest people in history. In fact, you may recall that the prophet Jonah was sent to proclaim judgment upon the city of Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire. The reason Jonah didn’t want to go was because the Assyrians were so violent and pitiless that Jonah actually wanted them to be destroyed; he didn’t want to see them have the opportunity to repent and be spared. When the Assyrians invaded a land, they had no mercy on the people they conquered. When they conquered a city, they were known to throw the children off the city walls, or if there were no wall, they would take them to a nearby cliff and throw them onto the rocks below. Conquered people they thought would not make good slaves, or anyone they particularly disliked, they would impale on large pikes set upright in the ground. They were experts at making their victims suffer as much, and as long, as possible. Those that survived had metal hooks driven through their jaws and were connected to chains and led away into captivity. So the name “Lo-ruhamah” is prophetic of where Israel’s decision to leave the shelter of God’s protection is about to lead them. By they way, I don’t think God caused this awful thing to happen—it was just part of the reality of walking away from God’s protective care. If God had continued to shield Israel from the consequences of their sins, they would have never understood the true nature of their choices. So, God was saying by the naming of this child, “I’m not going to shield you any longer from the consequences of the sinful choices you have made. If you’re going to worship other gods, then you’re going to have to depend on those gods to provide for you, and we’ll see if they are able to take care of you—of course they couldn’t, because these “gods” were only wood, metal, and stone. Now this might seem cruel, but it’s a dose of reality, and sometimes reality is what people need. If we were to put this into modern terms, we might imagine God saying something like this: “I’m no longer going to be an enabler for your spiritual degeneration; you’ve got to learn that there are consequences for the choices you make. Go ahead, compare the love, provision, and protection I’ve given you to what your idols can do for you.”

The third child was named Lo-ammi, meaning “not mine.” This name seems to have significance both to Hosea’s marriage and to Israel’s relationship to God. We don’t know the circumstances of how the truth about this child was discovered, but it appears that somehow Hosea came to the realization that this child was not his, and we can well imagine the personal devastation Hosea felt. Of course the prophetic symbolism is that just as Gomer had brought forth a child born of her harlotry, so Israel had brought forth its children in spiritual harlotry by going after idols. Now Lo-ammi’s name isn’t simply an acknowledgment of the fact that Israel had played the harlot, it is a declaration of disownership. Israel, having been unfaithful, is about to experience the full effect of being cut off from God.

When a person persistently sins and never has to pay a penalty, what happens? Well, often they develop a distorted view of reality. They begin to think they can sin without consequences. So even though it can be very painful, having to deal with the consequences of sin can be a positive thing if it leads to repentance.

Hosea’s story continues in chapter two…

2:5 “For their mother has played the harlot; she who conceived them has acted shamefully for she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ 6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. 7 She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; and she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now!’ 8 For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. 9 Therefore, I will take back My grain at harvest time and My new wine in its season. I will also take away My wool and My flax given to cover her nakedness. 10 and then I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one will rescue her out of My hand. 11 I will also put an end to all her gaiety, her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths and all her festal assemblies. 12 I will destroy her vines and fig trees, of whichshe said, ‘These are my wages which my lovers have given me’ and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field will devour them. 13 I will punish her for the days of the Baals when she used to offer sacrifices to them and adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry, and follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,” declares the LORD.

What comes next in this story isn’t clear and we have to read between the lines, but it seems that sometime after the birth of the third child, Hosea and Gomer’s marriage fell apart, and Gomer left. Perhaps Gomar left Hosea for the father of her last child—we don’t know. Gomer appears to have gone from one man to the next, until somewhere along the way she became the woman of a man who didn’t have the means, or the will, to support her. Some other man might have been happy to see his wayward wife fall on such hard times, but not Hosea. We learn that Hosea, in some way or another, found a way to secretly provide for Gomer’s support. So while Gomer was living in her adulterous relationship, Hosea was behind the scenes making sure she had clothes, food, and money. At some point Hosea came to the realization that providing for Gomer’s needs wasn’t going to help unless her heart changed; in fact, it would only enable her to continue her wayward lifestyle, so he made the very difficult decision to cut off her support. In time the consequences she had been protected from began to roll in. Eventually Gomer’s lover sold her into slavery, and she discovered the sad truth that so many others have discovered: that often what presents itself as an opportunity for self-fulfillment, ends in bondage and despair.

Now even though Gomer deserved what she got, this is a sad story. It’s sad for Hosea because his family was broken apart and he was robbed of the love for which he longed. It’s sad for Gomer because her sin caused her to lose her family and eventually led her to slavery. But of course the real story of this book isn’t the story of Hosea and Gomer, it’s the story of God and Israel. Hosea’s love for Gomer is only a picture of God’s love for Israel, because all the while that Israel was unfaithful to God, he was providing for them, and they took his blessings and used them for their idol worship. But it’s important for us to recognize that just as Hosea never stopped loving Gomer, no matter how low she sank, so God never stopped loving Israel, even though he had to stand by and watch them be given over to the terrible consequences of their sin.

While the Book of Hosea goes on for several more chapters, the story of Hosea and Gomer’s relationship comes to a close in chapter 3. Chapter 3, verses 1-5 says,

1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” 4 For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. 5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.
Gomer may have been sold into slavery, but Hosea never forgot her and never stopped loving her, and when God revealed to him that the time was right, Hosea went and redeemed Gomer out of slavery. Now you might be thinking, “Wow, what a wonderful ending for a love story,” but it’s not the end of the story, because a marriage can’t go through what Hosea and Gomer went through without a lot of wreckage and brokenness. Their relationship needed a lot of mending before they could again live together as man and wife. We notice that Gomer, though purchased, was not immediately restored to her former status as a wife, and things would remain that way until her heart changed. The same is true with God and Israel. God allowed Israel to experience the consequences of their unfaithfulness. He allowed them to experience the destruction of their nation, and captivity; and although he purchased them, they have remained in an unrestored condition for all these years. So what is God waiting for? He’s waiting for a change of heart, and it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s going to happen. Did you notice when? Verse 5 says, “in the last days.” If we look back in chapter two this is explained to us.

2:14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. 15Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope and she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD, “That you will call Me Ishi and will no longer call Me Baali. 17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, so that they will be mentioned by their names no more. 18 In that day I will also make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky and the creeping things of the ground and I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, and will make them lie down in safety. 19 I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, 20And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. 21 It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the LORD. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 22And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. 23 I will sow her for Myself in the land I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, and I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ and they will say, ‘You are my God!’”

At the present time Israel is without a king, without sacrifices, without a temple, without a priesthood, It has been that way for almost 2,000 years, but there’s coming a day when their hearts are going to be changed and they will seek their Messiah—Jesus Christ.

Now aside from the obviously important truth that God has a future for Israel, you may be wondering how any of this applies to us today. Did you notice the cycle that Israel went through? They belonged to God. Somewhere along the way they got their eyes onto other loves. God patiently pleaded with them, but they wouldn’t listen. Finally they reached a point where there was no alternative but to expose them to the consequences of their choices. Later, after God would redeem them out of their enslavement it would be a long process before they could be fully restored. Israel’s rejection of God was deep and persistent; and the deeper and longer the rejection, the more difficult the restoration. Did God stop loving them? No. Does he still want a relationship with them? Yes. Can they be restored? Yes—and there’s more than hope, there’s a promise that Israel will be restored, but it won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick, and it won’t be painless, but it will happen at the appointed time in the “last days.”

Is there a personal lesson here for us? Of course. Some of you reading this might have walked close to the Lord at one time, but something happened; you allowed other things to come between you and him. It seemed that you took your eyes off of him for only a moment, but that moment turned into an hour, and the hour into days, weeks, months, perhaps even years. You used to hear his voice calling you back, but now all you hear is deafening silence. You pray, but there is no answer. You confess your sins, but you feel no release from the burden, and you worry that somehow you’ve wandered so far away, or done something so terribly wrong that you can never get home again. Can I share a great truth from the story of Hosea’s life? No matter what you might have done, no matter how long it’s been since you walked with the Lord, no matter how far you may have wandered from his presence, no matter what you may have said to him in your anger, frustration, or disappointment, the truth is that God has never stopped loving you, and he will never give up on you.

Now if you happen to be one of those people I just described, I’m not going to tell you that a simple prayer, or walking down to the front of a church is going to repair your wounded spirit. We’ve seen from the example of Hosea and Gomer that sometimes deeply broken relationships take time to heal. But I want you to know that no matter how horrible your failure may seem to you, God has never stopped loving you, and he will never give up on you. Why? -Because he has always known the end from the beginning. Just like Hosea knew before he married Gomer that she would be an unfaithful wife, and just like God knew before he chose Israel that they would be an unfaithful people, so he has always known everything about you, and me; and he chose to love us in spite of what he has always known.

I know, you look into that spiritual “mirror,” and you see tangled matted hair, worn and ragged clothes, a weathered face, and dirty feet and hands. The thought of God’s presence no longer brings peace and joy, but apprehension, maybe even dread. Somehow you can’t believe God would even want to look at you, much less put his arms around you. You say, “Where do I go from here?” Well you know something, you can’t repair the damage yourself, and if you wait until you think you can, you’ll likely die a very miserable person. But here’s the message of Hosea: There is hope! God can fix your life if you will step out of the shadow, and allow him to put his arms around you, unworthy though you feel. Restoration might not happen instantly, but be assured that God has not stopped loving you; and if you have ever known him, he will never abandon you, no matter where your choices may have led you.

Perhaps you’re reading this and you’ve never known peace with God; you’ve never become one of his children. You can begin that relationship today. You say, “But I don’t think I have enough faith.” Well, there’s good news! It doesn’t take much faith, and you can receive Christ right where you are. Jesus said even a tiny bit of faith can accomplish great things, and God will even give you the faith you need (Eph. 2:8-9); so with God’s help you can do it! All you have to do is say “Yes” to Christ—“Yes, I accept what you did on the cross for me”; “Yes, I accept your offer to be my Savior and my God”; “Yes, I accept your offer of forgiveness and reconciliation” (John 1:12; Romans 10:9-10).

Remember, it’s never too late to begin, or begin again; God’s redemptive love is unfailing.

Footprints In The Sand


1978467_569867393129426_2106730707612512762_oIsaiah 41:10
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”

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