Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Almost Destroyed

he came close.
I still remember saying these words out loud..."The enemy can do nothing to me that would make me give up my place in ministry."  It was as if I was almost asking daring for him to break me...

And then...
he hit me so fast and so hard, that I was left breathless...
gasping for air...
looking up at him from the pit he'd thrown me into...
and through the blur of my own tears...
it was as if the enemy was smiling at me...
pleased that he had indeed found what would destroy me.
sneering that he had knocked me right off that pedestal people had put me on.
It was as if satan was taunting me with these words...
"Look at what being a leader gets you.  Look at how deep those arrows pierced.  You will never heal from these wounds.  Ministry is not worth this.  Say it.  SAY IT!  Worshipping God is not worth this type of pain.  Reject Him!  I will never stop.  I will send legions of demons against everyone you love.  What do you have to say now?  Your fight is weak.  Speak up."  

he came close.
Closer than I want to remember.

But there is this one thing he must have temporarily forgotten. (Although I am not sure how?!?)

My Daddy is the King.
I am ROY - AL - TY  baby.
I was struck down...but I will not be destroyed.

Do you ever look at people in ministry and think..."Yeah, but they are in tune with God.  I am sure they don't even struggle.  They don't understand what is like to be in my shoes."  You aren't alone in those thoughts.  I am guilty of subconsciously thinking those things about people that I respect in ministry.  I place them on a different playing field completely.  It's like I am fighting off lions & tigers & bears in my life and they are off petting puppies who may occasionally "playfully" nibble at their pant leg.  The reality is...satan hates us all.  He is seeking to devour the human race entirely.

Here is your lightbulb moment for today.  The enemy relentlessly pursues those who are effectively reaching out for the cause of Christ.  Those who are leading a church.  Those who are speaking truth. Those who are raising up a generation to love and worship God.  Those who are serving and blessing because of the abundance that God has entrusted them with.  satan hates these types of people.  And if he can't get to you.  If he is running out of tricks and schemes.  He will begin to attack the ones that you hold close.  Husbands.  Wives.  Sons.  Daughters.  Sisters.  Brothers.  Friends.

he. does. not. care.
he delights in the wicked and casts fear and destruction onto the innocent.
he will do anything to try to destroy your faith in the God that he once worshipped.
he is in forever torment and he constantly schemes on how to bring the world down with him.

So what is the difference between those who walk as if nothing phases them and those who feel they get nothing right?

We can see ourselves as victims or we can see ourselves as victors.
We can choose to magnify the struggle or we can choose to magnify the Savior.
We can whine or we can worship.
By not choosing...I guarantee we are choosing.  It is not likely that we are going to be Godly by accident.

The difference?  Those Christ followers that you most respect...ARE absolutely struggling BUT they are FIGHTING!  They are stubborn in their faith and they are not giving up! They are unwilling to let the enemy define them.  They are refusing to lay down and die at the hand of darkness.  They have known what it is to be in plenty and what it is to be in want...and they know that Hope is closer than the enemy leads them to think.  And in their own suffering...they are still warring with anyone that God places on their path.  Because it is THEN that they realize it is He that is strong even when they are weak.

Sit down and talk testimonies with people in your circle of influence.  Listen to how God used each trial in their life to build their faith.  Get real.  Be vulnerable.  Cry if you need to.  But always let God be the one who gets the glory for the victory!  Invite them to pray over you and watch as Hope becomes the Light you are chasing after.  God has big plans for this mess you are in.
Do. Not. Give. Up. The. Fight.

"Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." Revelation 12:10-11

Sunday, July 29, 2018

What You Hear Isn't Always...True

We can choose to hear.
We can choose to ignore.
And we can choose to entertain thoughts that never had the right to get trapped in our thought pattern.

Two totally seperate conversations. Yet the same truth needed to be applied.

Conversation one happened a few years ago while I was away for a weekend with some friends. Twenty four hours....out of the 365, 24-hour days we have each year...we carve out time to gather together. We rent a condo at a local ski resort...and we.....

Laugh. Cry. Eat. Share stories. Confess struggles. Encourage. Laugh until we cry. Eat more. Play silly games. And when we find the time between all of the awesomeness...we craft/scrap/sew/knit until the wee hours of the morning...when half of us have a headache from lack of sleep (and possibly a lack of oxygen from laughing too much). <-- That last one might just be me. *shrugs shoulders*

So there we all were. Gathered around the dining table in the condo. Seven of us in all. All in different phases of life. All doing our own things most of the year. This night though...we could just be. Be serious. Be silly. Be sad. Be lifted. Whatever the night would bring...we would embrace. Because all too quickly we would be right back to our own routine. For this night...all agenage were out the window.

I heard the words being spoken from one of the women...like they were coming from my own mouth. I was focused on her now.
"I feel insignificant, like I am not doing anything that matters or makes a difference." My eyes immediately fixed on her as if it were me. I wanted to shout....IT. IS. A. LIE! (Getting a word in withOUT flat out interrupting, when seven women are a part of the same conversation, can be difficult. Haha!)

To some, it could have seemed like a cry for attention. That is exactly what I thought when I thought these things about myself several years ago. And then when I first spoke it out loud...I was SURE that people just thought I was wanting to shift their focus to me. Like I was THAT desperate to be praised. The truth was...I bought what I was saying. I believed it. And I didn't want attention...I wanted prayer. I wasn't showcasing my weakness to be puffed up. In my eyes...I was being brave enough to make myself vulnerable to those around me, in hopes that someone would speak life into what I couldn't see as a lie.

That night as I listened God said to me...there are more. There are many more Christians in this world that believe this exact lie. What will you do? How can you help them? Will you help them?

I can't seek them all out. I can't travel the world asking every. living. human. if they have ever believed lies about themselves from the enemy. BUT, I can write. Some days it seems like it is all that I want to do...but rarely get to do. Tonight...I will choose what is right. I will choose obedience. Tonight I will write for anyone that believes that they are not making a difference.

To the one who feels boring and alone...I write.

To the one who feels like no one really wants to be near her because she has nothing of value to offer...I write.

To the one who feels too biblically (or generally) uneducated to engage in conversation with actual adults...I write.

To the one who once had a vision for their future and for one reason or another no longer believes it...I write.

To the one who hears words spoken against her and allows them in deep...I write.

Conversation two happened one Sunday morning. I had just sat down when I saw my daughter running towards me before church. I could see tears streaming down her splotchy red face. She buried her head into me and hugged tight as if I was her refuge. I gently pulled her back to ask what had happened...but she buried her head into my shoulder again.

As a mom, I can tell the different cries of my children. There is a hurt cry, and then there's a REALLY hurt cry. A sick cry. A mad cry. An embarrassed cry. A tired cry. A scared cry. (The list goes on...) On this particular day...we were dealing with none of the above. On this day my daughter's tears where a clear sign to me that she had gotten her feelings hurt. (I could almost immediately rule out that they were NOT caused by one of her brothers because she wasn't tattling.)

After a minute or two she picked her head up and told me in a hushed voice..."She said I was weak." The who is not relevant. I wasn't nearly as concerned with who said those words to her...it was the words I wanted to take captive. My conversation with my daughter was not about forgiveness because she easily and naturally gives that on her own. I was concerned only with what she believed about herself.

If I can teach her now. If she can only remember this one thing. If she can take this one thing with her in life. She will be stronger than I ever was.

I asked her a simple question...


There are so so so sooooo many times in my life that I believed something about myself just because it was spoken out loud. I let it ring in my ears. I let it sink deep inside of me. I let it become a thought entertained. I let the conversation play over and over again in my head. I let it beat me down again and again. With each repetitive thought I gave the enemy room to press that seed of discouragement deeper. Until the root was so deep that those thoughts 'appeared' as truth. Lies disguised.

What I' ve realized as an adult is this; I can take my thoughts captive just as it is found in chapter 10 of 2 Corinthians. Verse 5 says this, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

In other words, we (you and I), can completely destroy arguments and every claim that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. And we can confine, restrict to an area, every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

You know your Father's voice.
Ask Him to weigh in on the things that your heart believes.
Now.... Listen intently.
Your Savior died so that you could remain free from the lies that satan tries to attach to you.
You need only to believe who God says you are, beloved.