What does an 8 year old know? The harm of imitation love.

After reading the book Real Love Post Childhood Stress Disorder by Dr. Greg Baer and learning the Real Love principles I decided to share a very private part of my life. Sometimes my PCSD comes out in the form of trying to figure out what people think of me. That behavior is disappearing as I am learning to be loved,  but I thought I might share what I remember before it’s gone. It seems love is reshaping my perspective of the past and healing the pain of it all.

My parents were intelligent successful people and they engrained in me that being overweight was disease. They were well intentioned but they were killing my spirit.  I was overweight from the age of 8. -I will never forget the day I walked into the doctor’s office, he was my Mom’s cousin. I had on a little dress that was plaid with a white color. I remember always going to different doctors at different places. I will never forget how humiliating it was to have the doctor gather up my dress and have me hold it in my arms. I was in the very center of the room.I was taught all my life to keep your legs together and your dress over your knees. I was horrified. I looked for the windows but they were high up about 5 feet off the wall. I felt helpless to get out. Mom was standing there as the doctor walked around pointing at my legs and body. He divulged how I already had cellulite at 8 and how being overweight would ruin my life. He talked about diseases and death at 55. I couldn’t compute all of that and I just remember thinking. My parents to not like how I look. Something is wrong with me and my parents are trying to change it.  I won’t live long if they don’t help me change it. I was scared to cry or act out because Dad spanked us if we cried or whined. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of years of humiliation about my weight. Mom was given a diet that she put me on that lasted all of about 2 weeks before she gave up. I knew I was supposed to eat a certain way to lose weight and I couldn’t figure out if my parents liked me again or if they didn’t care about my dying at age 55. I felt helpless. I heard so many conversations about my weight from family members that I felt like I’d never belong in this group of people.

Age 10- I was taken to a “specialist” about 70 miles away. It was a rickety old house with peeling paint. The waiting room was full of all sizes of people. I remember thinking this it weird. Some of these folks are so skinny their bones are sticking out. There were no test. I was weighed in at 130 pounds and measured and given some injections and a prescription. I asked what the injection was and was told that it was just vitamins. The medicine I was put on made me race like the wind. It kept me jittery and awake for long into the night. I went to a “drug” seminar at school and there on display were the pills I had been taking for 2 years! They were on the board and labeled speed or amphetamines. The diet that the doctor prescribed lasted about 3 weeks and mom gave up cooking special for me and for the family. But continued to keep me on the drug. That doctor was a member of my family and was later arrested for dispensing drugs and his license was revoked.

Age 13. I did  survive elementary school with all the jokes about being overweight and humiliation of family hiding food and talking openly about how much I eat and how big I was. My parents took me to yet another doctor. This one was a bariatric specialist who did tons of test on me. He discovered after I had a 9 hour glucose test that I had “hypoglycemia” I exhibited no symptoms and he put me on a diet much like Atkins. This lasted about 3 weeks and once again Mom didn’t help with the meals. It was “too much for her”  I had sat in a room of a dozen adults discussing my weight. I was the only child there and the doctor diagnosed me with all of the adults and my mom followed his orders a whole 3 weeks.

Age 18. I learned how devastating being anorexic and bulimic were. It was the natural solution to me. I had tried everything else. From Jan to May I lost 100 pounds, my hair and my period. I ran 8 miles a night and climbed the stairs of my 4 story dorm 20 times a night.  I learned to barely eat anything  and throw it up. It was heaven to finally be acceptable to my parents and family and friends. I had a 23 inch waist. A child’s measurements. Years I had spent overachieving and getting good grades and succeeding now were crowned with a body that matched my ability or so I thought. For the first time boys were asking me out in college. In my heart I knew they only did because my body had changed. They hadn’t asked me out before then. They didn’t know my heart or dreams about life. They didn’t care because I had the measurements that made them look twice when they never looked once before.

Nature had a way of playing the dirtiest trick on me possible. As soon as my body started shutting down from starvation I had to began eating to survive. I was 21 years old and had the waist of a 5 year old. I gained all the weight back and more. I married as a skinny girl, but I was huge by the end of the 2nd year. Of all things I married to a man who was addicted to porn and felt like a failure. I would never have the body those women had. On my own I tried Weight Watchers, First Place and Tops. Nothing worked or worked for long. I did phentermine and exercise and only lost a minimal amount of weight. Then I found out I could have a gastric bypass. It was a miracle answer. My surgery went every well, I felt ripped apart  and wondered what I had done to my body. Yet recovery was great. I followed orders to T even during an unplanned pregnancy. I lost 100 pounds and was on cloud nine. The weight stayed off a few years until the ulcer that developed at my surgical site became too painful to ignore. The doctor said a reversal was the only way to fix the ulcer and I gained every pound back.

I have tried every conceivable weight loss program over the years and except for starvation I have never been able to lose more than a few pounds.  I’ve been tested for everything and this year found that I have something genetic going on. The Christian community offers a range of judgments from condemnation to tolerance. I’ve heard many times God will help you as if I didn’t pray or care or try. I have to just let that stand there and know in my heart I am God’s beautiful loved and cherished daughter. There were times I was sure I kept the weight on to prove I was lovable at any size. Other times I just emotionally ate to feel something better than rejection.

Then……. unconditional love kicked in… I learned someone could love me and hold me.   I found out I could love others and adopt little lambs to love. I learned that I am not a mistake and that God has plans for my life bigger than my imagination Eph 3:20. I knew I didn’t have to work or look a certain way  for God’s love and also knew if that same love flowed through others, I wouldn’t have to work for their love either. I learned that I can love someone who can’t love or see me. Unconditional love is the glue of the universe and flows from us to others.

What’s cool is now I am taking care of my body. I made changes to eat healthy and to do my best with that first.  I have a love hate relationship with exercise equipment but I have learned to dance and also love to swim.  The exercise part is yet to come fully but still growing in that area. I love the body God allowed me to be born in. My life is a miracle. My growth is a process and not complete yet. There’s much to learn and failure is a powerful teacher…. but I can say …… distance your fears from your faith and let faith rule…trust the love you have NOW and live in the moments where you feel that love… . you will be invincible. I Corinthians 13:13 For there are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.  I look to HIM for everything.

Love has changed me forever. I am a miracle in process. If you want to learn more about the love that is transforming my life send me an email. I will answer.

Life is hard but GOD is good!

Dear Christian who is hurting,

“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3) “He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted.” (Isaiah 61:1)

The word heal in Hebrew  means to heal, to sew together, or mend. Imagine if you will GOD healing me piece by piece even mending together what has been torn apart. That was like salve to my weary and broken heart that my GOD would put me back together in His way in His time.

Broken hearted in Hebrew in this case means to break into pieces, crush, maime, crippled, shattered, wrecked, rupture, to be broken, rend violently. Jesus repeated this verse in Luke as part of his mission coming to this earth. To heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. I was a captive to emotional stuff. No one held me physically captive it was all spiritual bondage. I remember when I lifted my eyes after the long nights of pain and blame and realized the chains were truly gone and I was totally free. I remember feeling as if my soul had wings because once I was blind but now I see. I have sung What a Friend We have in Jesus hundreds of times just because I now KNOW he indeed is my Friend.

Bind is the Hebrew word which means to tie, bind about like a headband or turban, bind on, restrain, bandage. What comfort that you are GOD’s child and He is waiting in the wings for you to embrace the healing he will provide and has demonstrated in first sending Jesus to die for us but, also in giving us a means to have an intimate relationship with him. Not only did GOD heal but he also bandaged my wounds as they healed. How loving and how restful that is to me. I can fall into his loving arms in prayer and as the dear and precious Father I have never had, let Him do that for me.
Wound comes from the Hebrew word  which had idol as a root but also a pain or wound even a sorrow wound. I identify with making my pain and idol. I was so fearful to freely trust GOD with everything. I had spiritual white knuckles that if I let go of control it might hurt me how ironic. I remember when I first started studying the Hebrew and Greek and came across this it was all very hard to swallow. Now I love knowing what God is really saying. I am amazed at the lengths He goes to in order to have a relationship with us and take care of our needs and desires. We can truly trust him. I never trusted anyone before except myself which just about destroyed me.

Imagine him knitting you back together from brokenness of unimaginable proportions and binding that healing into a masterpiece that he knew in Psalms was fearfully and wonderfully made. That is what GOD has done for me. I sought Godly counsel through my Pastors wife because on my own I was unable to clearly see or progress. I was becoming emotionally and spiritually crippled and ineffective. I sought the Lord in His Word and on my knees, and I learned how to listen instead of act or react to everything. I began to see life’s lessons in it all and see how GOD works behind the scenes always on my behalf for His glory. It was like the scales from my eyes fell and as I began to become whole I feel full and have an overflow that I can share with others.

Hearing you say that your heart is broken, that you feel damaged, burned out, and that even talking about it makes you feel depressed is where I have traveled. It hurts but also shows us we are in touch with something still being not healed. How you might feel right now is a place I am very familiar with. It is the exact way I felt. I was emotionally and spiritually wrecked and very unable to admit it. I must say this to you hoping you will take it to heart because it is far more important that you understand what I am going to say more than you ever look at me. As I said that is not at all what this is about.
Feeling the way I did without dealing with it and without healing hindered me in every way spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I did that exact same thing by just avoiding it all. I spent hours pouring my life into futility of doing stuff that just didn’t provide anything valuable to help me grow. I have paid a very high price neglecting my relationships horizontally with people and vertically with GOD.

Not healing kept me in bondage to my pain until I decide to address it. It foreshadowed my witness and effectiveness as a light to the lost and dying world and kept me stuck going through the motions of life without really living the wonderful life Christ intended. I am speaking the truth in love. I did exactly that very thing.
Dear One, I know GOD is with me and that saying this is from grace He has given me to boldly let you know as strongly and lovingly as I can. I continued pouring my life into pseudo surface relationships which did make me laugh and provided numbness from it all but did not provide growth that will help a person heal or be restored. I wasted part of my life I can’t get back. I found many people there whose motives were not for my good or God’s glory.

Words that real friends tried to share with me along this line were dismissed when I was going through the same thing when I first was divorced and when I began to deal with my life and who I was. I was so far from healthy and whole. I would feel ungrateful to GOD if I didn’t share this with you for all that He has done for me. I am still in total awe of His grace and mercy.

I won’t continue belabor this but Dear One, but you seem to be where I was and I pray you seek out God with all your heart as well as fellowship in the Lord who will stand by you in this time, seek the LORD in His Word for what is already in place to help you heal, and cry out to GOD to find Him faithful to love you through this pain you are suffering. Above all one of the biggest mistakes I made was to try to do it in my own strength but I learned how to live in Christ as my life. That is the only way to really be healed and have lasting peace.
I am tried on every front here in Dallas with great trials but I am at peace knowing my rock, my anchor of the soul, my good Shepherd, redeemer, friend, Father, is ever with me. He is fighting for me and I can keep the great faith and peace that He provides. It’s not one bit me but in and through HIM, my all in all. I pray you continue in love as the Bible says and that you find healing in HIM. This is said from a heart that breaks for you but rejoices knowing our GOD will love you to the point your life will once again flow from His fountain if you let Him.

God bless you all who read this.

Me, bear his cross?

What does take up HIS cross mean?

His is a personal pronoun, might the cross be different for different believers? If this is the case then we better be sure to not envy those who have crosses that we think are lighter than ours. Sometimes the body of Christ gets out of focus. I can look at someone’s lighter cross several ways. I may be stronger than them and can take more, or more likely I have a misconception about what they are really going through. Pride and arrogance can sometimes take the cross out of focus. It may be that I am looking at it through my pain. Regardless I have MY cross to bear and it’s my job to bear it resulting in intimacy with Christ that is mine individually.

Will people who generally reject us take our lives? Not likely, we just feel dejected. They have only the power we give them. Our flesh will make us react to the world’s rejection in ways that are not at all in keeping with what Christ desires for us. We have to forget selfish attitudes where rejection is concerned. No one person, career or status will ever be able to meet all our needs or validate us enough to satisfy the flesh.

Is there any help? Yes, your identity in Christ to the rescue. Who you are when Christ is your life. The eternal perspective of someone who was one dead but is now alive. That’s the deal with the cross. Jesus didn’t die to make bad people good, he died to bring dead people to life. Abundant life is the heart’s desire of the Savior for our life.

Colossians 3:1-16

1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.       2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.       3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.        4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.       5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:       6For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:       7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.        8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.       9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;        10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:      11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.       12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;       13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.       14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.       15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.        16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Keep your heart on kingdom things. This may seem like the kind of advice that we have a pat rebuttal of (but you don’t know my circumstances.)  Actually. there is no latitude here. It is a take or leave proposition.  Take it and you will have a daily walk that Christ intended for you. Leave it and you will always live in fear, doubt, insecurity, and worst of all in an insatiable flesh that will rob you of your peace and joy. Because you are part of the new life that Christ rose from the dead to give you where should your focus be?

VS 1 The word “if” can also be replaced with the word “because.”

VS 2 Nothing in this world deserves the affection of our flesh, only the next world will satisfy our soul.

VS 3 God filters us through what his Son did for us on the cross. Our old life is dead to God. Don’t play with the past and former things. If you play with dead things you will always stink.

VS 4 The life of Christ in us is the drawing force of our life to his. Think of two magnets taken up together. Their forces join as one. How do we want to appear when Christ returns?

VS 5 Show up in your own life and put any part of it to death that is killing your joy and eternal perspective. Mortify means to put to death.

VS 6 If it would bring God’s judgmental wrath it has to go.

Vs 7 Who are qualified to take this path in life?  Anyone who wants to go from death to life.

VS 8 God is so thorough, he gives us the list because we are sheep who need lists. Things listed here are fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Matthew Henry’s commentary summarizes this section in a way that is very enlightening and far more applicable than I could.

“an inordinate love of present good and outward enjoyments, which proceeds from too high a value in the mind, puts upon too eager a pursuit, hinders the proper use and enjoyment of them, and creates anxious fear and immoderate sorrow for the loss of them. Observe, Covetousness is spiritual idolatry: it is the giving of that love and regard to worldly wealth which are due to God only, and carries a greater degree of malignity in it, and is more highly provoking to God, than is commonly thought. And it is very observable that among all the instances of sin which good men are recorded in the scripture to have fallen into (and there is scarcely any but some or other, in one or other part of their life, have fallen into) there is no instance in all the scripture of any good man charged with covetousness.”

VS 9 Lying, huge topic, don’t lie with your heart, mind or soul. Be honest in how you feel, let your face match your words and let your actions match what you say.

VS 10 Get the old out of the way so you can have the new. Die to the old person, that’s not how the Father would have created you! He says he brings life, peace and joy. If he brings it then whatever it takes to be that person and let the dead stuff go will also bring it for you.

VS 11 Nothing on the outside matters. God sees beyond labels and race. God sees hearts.

VS 12 Again, God being clear to paint us a picture of what it looks like. I know for me without humility none of this is possible. I have to yield and go deep to get this. List the things we are to get rid of in our lives. Do any look familiar? Remember that “getting rid of” is killing off. Don’t resurrect the dead! Let this soak in and have fun with seeing yourself a whole new way-His LIFE. We over value many things in life especially the relationships we have with loved ones. They are important but the power they gain in our lives is not in keeping with having Jesus first. That causes distraction from Him.  The rest of the chapter  in Colossians gives practical helps to daily putting on the new man. I challenge you to list them.

VS 13 LET IT GO. There is nothing anyone in this life can do that matches the suffering Jesus did on the Cross and that matches the gift of the Cross. Offenses will always happen but we do not have to choose to be offended. Regardless of what has happened to us, it is the best way to live. Let it GO!

VS 14 Charity=love. LOVE is the greatest according to God among faith and hope. Bathe in God’s glorious love.  It covers a multitude of sins and washes away fear.

VS 15 The love proceeds the peace. If you can’t love you can’t be peaceful.

VS 16 All of the above creates fertile soil for God’s intended life for your soul.

*****Thought: Is it a rejection of Christ to think otherwise?  *******

 

The Fairy Tale of Chocolate

The Fairy Tale of Chocolate

 

“life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get” Forest, Forest Gump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJh59vZ8ccc

There’s an endearing scene in the movie Forest Gump where he’s going to see his beloved Jenny. He has a box of chocolates and makes the statement that ”life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get.”  In the culture we live in, much of life is treated like a test run.

By the time we are wise enough to have it all we are jumbled from experimenting with myths that do not answer the journey with real living. Indiscriminate living bites us intellectually and keeps us rationalizing away the very things GOD planned.

I love the term perfect imperfection. Why? Because that best describes me. GOD has shown me so much from his Word about who I am and how he loves me.  He’s a vast well that keeps flowing into my life. I can be overwhelmed by the vast supply. A fountain who is a King. My entire being should honor him and embrace all that He wants for me. To be self less before Him as he plays chess with my life is my goal daily. How else can you honor such a sacrifice of pure love? Oh, it is  delightful on the mountain top and so desperate in the valley.  Those are the days his character check mates my humanity, game over.  I am his to do whatever He wills. He is the center of my being and what makes anything good about me good at all. To try to box my life in with a set of limiting rules that do not fit his plan would be about as pretty as me tossing elephants into a mine field.  Kaaaaaaaaboooom and it rains the ruins.

Relationships can be like a box of chocolates. You can hope for a great center and plan exactly what you want.  You can nail it on the wall and pray, pray, pray.  Then you wait for the right piece. The one that fits your exact mold. You anticipate the first bite and KABOOOOOOM it rains the ruins.   Well being covered in elephant chunks is a lesson you’ll never forget. SOOOOO you  clean up yourself emotionally, spiritually and physically and vow next time you will get it right.

You pick another piece from the box and wow! This one has a great smell. It’s soft  and mushy in your hands and you just know it will be “the one” the chocolate that ends all taste test. The center will be the best center in the entire universe. You have set the bar higher than before and you know this is going to be an experience that will make all of the other chocolates you’ve tasted fade into memories.  You have paid dues, taken risks and by all that is sane you have done everything to be sure this is your chance.  You get the picture ….this is nothing like those other pieces. Kaaaaabooom … whaaaaaaa ruins again. How could this be. You calculated it, planned it and knew you had it figured out.

Well you can do this exercise all day.  I mean  there are tons of pieces in there. 7 billion on the planet to be exact. GOD will let you choose what you want .. “he who finds a wife finds a good thing”  He’s sovereign and knows what you will do.

For a third dip into the candy box you are far more reserved.  There’s determination this time to get it right and never hurt or be hurt.  You bit those other chocolates and they were hurt and left a bad taste in your mouth.  You know you are a rotten cotton picking chocolate picker of the bunch. You go to chocolate enrichment bootcamp, you take classes and seminars. You read, pray and grow grow grow. Yet still, you have to reach out one more time and actually pick that chocolate.  You reach out you feel this chocolate is worth having and even precious. It’s royal chocolate from the King’s treasure. He sold all he had to make her beautiful and precious for a chocolate eater. She will not be discarded because her price is “far above rubies.” She will be the last one you choose because she will fit. Her river of love will flow freely into yours making a powerful river that is unstoppable. You reach to the box. Dare you take it. You have toyed with the idea. You felt almost alive again. You enjoyed the sweetness and genuineness of someone who cared.  You felt this person could challenge you and stretch you. She could give you the center you have been looking for from her strength and resolve to love GOD more than anything.  She’s been guarding her chocolate to only place in the hands of a man who could protect her heart. A man who could see her value on the inside without ever biting her.  She will not go down the path of forbidden chocolate.  Then you wake up and reject the chocolate and fairy tale endings. THE END. The credits roll…game over.

No life doesn’t have fairy tale endings. I’ll go one step further to say life isn’t fair or sane at times. It can be varied and amazing then static and blazing in the same moment.  We can only take each step in the journey knowing this. God has a plan. It’s in place. We are here for this time in our lives to be part of it.  So we journey knowing we are a child of the one true king. No regrets!

Each day we are not chosen from this box we are still growing to be the best we can be.  As we wait, HE is in the waiting. There’s a day out there …. because we are already chosen in heaven before the foundation of the world …..that our piece will be in the heavenly box where it will fit rightly and finally. A safe haven for your soul. HOME! By the WAY I don’t know anything about anything.. Maybe soon I will have a clue.

Send the Rain Lord!

Listen to this video and let the LORD open your heart.

My precious Lord means the world to me. Navigating this life would be impossible without His Word and the Holy Spirit. I would die without Him. I’m so humbled by my weaknesses and my own inadequate way to convey what a precious glorious loving Father He is. Thankful is the weakest word sometimes. Truly He leads me every step of the way with His Word and with the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I am not talking about something spooky but just about praying, seeking His Word and about Him opening doors and giving me peace about those doors. I won’t do anything without the peace of God because I have learned that the price to pay without His peace is too high.

I love this video and the quotes that were used making it. Oh that we would be changed by the power of God that is not just a promise but a reality. My heart desires to change the world and to see people meet my LORD and know the fullness of his love. Father let me give and make a difference and to love deeply with reckless abandon and give out and burn out for a love I have found that is greater than my life…love that rescued me from the pit of despair to a seat in the heavenlies that can never be shaken or taken. Dear ones you are defined by what binds….. be free lambs. Open your hands and receive what God has given you right before your eyes so that you can say God is good to God be the glory. His heart is to take you from grace to glory.

If my world can be so rocked by pain I know we all need to heal. I know beyond a shadow of doubt our country will heal when our people in the pew get healed. We soldier so wounded we miss the voice of God. …. revival is here if we want it but we have to let GOD rain in our hearts. We can’t keep acting it out we have to have it flow out from within. He is the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings should make it clear to us. We have to bring our darkness to the LIGHT so it can be exposed and so that HE can change us. He wants to heal, transform and restore. Let God be true and every man a liar. Stop telling yourself who God is and listen for once to who He is. Faith comes by hearing. Open the Word and see the character of God. Hear who HE is. We can’t change ourselves. Going through the motions only wastes precious time until the real living begins.
If we could heal ourselves why on earth did he come to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free….wouldn’t heaven have been a nicer place to stay???
This lamb is weak and needs healing in some areas….. I admit that I need the rain in my life…. the fire the wind the Holy Spirit in power to be all that God promised and witness to the world HIS great grace and love. I stink at being rejected. I hurt and cry and clamor like a little broken lamb but my Savior was rejected and despised the shame but endured the cross for my sin so that I never have to be rejected by Him. Heb 12:2
Who am I to ever pitch a fit because of rejection or not getting my way. I am a spoiled brat needing my Lord who cares more about my character than my comfort.

Dear Ones it’s time to get down to God’s business and open our hands to let go of what we cling to so that God can fill them with what is dear to his heart….. so we can heal and be the light to the world that we are intended to. It’s time to get under sound doctrine and solid leadership so that we can grow. Help us not stay in our comfort zone but stretch us and mold us. Healthy things grow.

Dear GOD bless my enemies, bless those who left when they should have lingered, who hit when they should have held, who yelled when they should have yielded, who lied when they should have led, who have cheated when they should have been committed, who have tolerated when they should have treasured. God for their sake bless them and curse them not. God restore what they have taken and what they have lost by missing you in the storms and temptation, by hearing their own voice louder than yours, by clinging to fear instead of faith when you wanted to pour your blessing on them and their hands were too full. Oh my Father help me remember when I am like them to run to you and please forgive me as well. I know Lord and humbly I say thank you for bearing long with me and please pave my road with bricks of grace and mercy…… Dear GOD heal our land as we humbly pray and seek your face … heal our hearts … and GOD show us a better way. Dear Father I plead with you that we get out of the way and let your will be done.

Forgive us LORD and lead us to revival so that the world may know freedom and truth. Help us remember it’s all in and through you we have our being. In Jesus name amen….

Joykeepin vs the Joykiller.

First off I am no match for Satan but Christ  in me is and I have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who all are a complete match for him. Jesus always is my advocate at the throne.  I have been under an attack most of this year.  I am not sure I can plainly explain how this works but here goes.

Satan has a plan for your life. Satan uses much more than our past to harm us.   He loves to get in and confuse and create chaos in our present by distracting, dividing and conquering. He will make the right seem wrong and the wrong seem right. That’s the reason Eve plunged the world into sin as Adam was silent. Adam was right there with her and ate after her. The silence of Adam is why most fail to his prey.  Satan only has the power we allow. If we are deceived we are doomed until we get a clue because God said “having done all” putting your amour on “to stand” standing in the truth of God’s Word “stand” don’t back down and fall prey.   If he tempted Jesus – who should have certainly had sure footing with the Father- he will surely tempt us who are mere man. Jesus didn’t use his God powers to tackle the Devil, he used what can’t be argued. The Truth.

The Truth is the only foundation against a Father of Lies. The Truth is the light in the darkness. It’s the voice saying true things overriding the voice saying “maybe, might be, could be, what if, I don’t know why, and but….. It overrides fear and deception. Truth begins with I know this is right because ……… I know this is true because…… I know I can trust this because……… there’s rhyme and reason for the truth.

Understand if he can get your joy he has your strength. The clear test for an attack is the lack of joy. Neh 8:10 The joy of the LORD is your strength. Therefore no joy = no strength. It’s that simple and clear.

Without actually taking authority over your life and using the same thing Jesus did- the WORD- we are all going to be oppressed and spend our wheels until we get a clue and cry out to GOD for help and deliverance. We’ve all been there. He comes to kill, steal and destroy. Not the physical but the spiritual. He doesn’t need a body count, our possessions or things. He needs to make us grope and search in our circumstances and own reasoning for answers that GOD is clear about already so we miss opportunity and God’s will. That kills our purpose. That keeps us ineffective and always trying to try. It destroys our goals. He steals what God had intended for us to be blessed with.  I have experienced this first hand. It begins with self justification and ends with shattered dreams and ruined lives. Not a bit happy about finding myself deceived by him and rebuilding from the ruins of that kind of deception. By the power of God in us and the will of GOD for us, and the Word of God to us, to the glory of Him we have to stand against it. We have to believe God and realize the father of lies counterfeits God’s plan. He is subtle and makes his counterfeit look so real. It’s the oldest trick in his arsenal. We can take our future back and create a past Satan can not use against us if we walk in the Spirit and the Word. It’s really that simple. But if anyone is oppressed and being deceived they can test it by finding out if they are moving in truth or feelings. If they are confused or clear. If they have the joy and spiritual blessings God intends in Ephesians 1 or are they still trying to find the right combination of performance with GOD that brings that joy. God’s joy comes from letting the Lord be our joy which provides our strength. Neh 8:10. Remember if you have no JOY… you have no strength. The number one thing Satan comes after is our JOY.

Think about it this way. When I was a little girl my mom would say to clean my room. I loved playing much more than cleaning my room. It would pop my bubble to have to stop playing and clean. It took all day because I dreaded it and was unhappy to do it. I cleaned it but wow I  did it by pushing through being sad. Immature huh? Well I was just a kid. Yet many Christians get asked by God to do certain things in his Word and they push through.  They do not act  like they are blessed to be able to offer something to  a King who has sacrificed so much for them. They instead “suffer for Jesus” as if they have been asked to take castor oil.

Joy makes all the difference in the world in approach to the will of GOD. Without it we get frustrated and have to push through instead of walk through.

Sometimes the battle gets weary. We know GOD is for us and we have to hide ourselves in the fray in him. Satan wants to destroy God’s plans by having counterfeit plans for our lives. He sometimes covertly works through any means possible to find the smallest chink in our armor. Please know that yesterday’s victories aren’t sufficient for tomorrows battles. We have to be vigilant and trust what is true. Each day we need grace and the Holy Spirit power that keeps us from being ensnared. I know this from personal experience. Nothing is worse than getting far down a path and finding out you should have never taken the journey. It was easy to get there and I even justified each step of the way. I decided who GOD was and framed him to allow all of my choices. You couldn’t have told me I was wrong at that time. (And many tried to warn me) I just kept on going until I found myself confused and with many hurts. I became frustrated with God because I thought he was leading me but realized I was deceived. There was no reason to think God was in it which is the ultimate irony. Nothing I had chosen to do violated Scripture but the path I had chosen was very unwise. That’s the thing we think wrongly about Satan. We think he tries to get us to do evil. Most Christians in their right mind won’t do pure evil. But they will head in the wrong direction and lose focus and get entangled with things God didn’t assign to them. My entanglement lead to a couple of years of being in the wilderness. I would still be in that wilderness if it hadn’t of been for God using people to reach out to me. I dismissed many before these few who finally got through.  I was drowning and had no clue. It occurred to me when I got back in my race that I had hardly read my Bible daily, had earnestly cried out and prayed only for relief and rescue and that I was not hearing from God all during that time. I was dismissing good advice right and left from clear headed people who could objectively offer soundness.  I cherish being out of that wilderness and will protect with my life now no matter how it looks to the world.

I remember when I was delivered. It was at a Dennis Jernigan freedom conference with Dean Briggs speaking. My friend  had invited me to go. I heard identity in Christ and freedom presented in a way I had never heard before. It revealed how deceived I was, how wrong I was about much of my belief about how God loves us. When I realized what Jesus did to redeem my soul and to put me on solid ground it opened up my heart to something I had never experienced, intimacy with God. I finally felt the complete connection of being his and he being mine. I left there with hope. I had been hurt a lot in life. I never felt as if I belonged or could be loved. Then God with his perfect timing sent a lady to invite me to a Bible study.  I had started to attend the Thursday night Bible study. God orchestrated the most magnificent circumstances to actually pull me from the pit of deception I was in. Little did I know that Satan was forming a counterfeit plan. As much as I was free there were two pieces of the puzzle for God yet to do. The first was for God to build my trust. I was beginning this new intimacy with him but from previous damage by my Father and  in my life I didn’t really fully trust God. I said I did and I tried to but there was an unsettled place in my heart that thought God would let me down too. The second was finding out how God sees me. Realizing that I am priceless to him gives me confidence in GOD that is unshakeable.  I know by his character and how he sees me I can have joy because I am his and he is mine. It might look dark and might feel like the wind is being taken from you. Yet, there’s joy unspeakable that you can’t explain to anyone fully because it defies what you are going through. It’s there no matter how much you cry or fail. You know that you know that GOD will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Love is Stronger

Life is tough but LOVE IS STRONGER
Sometimes we are so underwhelmed by God and overwhelmed by life that we lose precious sight of the power of God’s love. God’s love can flow into relationships and heal them even if they appear dead to the world, it can take a person from pitiful to priceless, it redeems, revives, restores and resurrects. To believe anything less would be to deny my own life. This year my life has changed so much just from being loved by God and others. I still have hopes and dreams of more change as I wake up and rely on Truth instead of the lies of the world. Eternally I am secure and earthly I am confident that my life matters to GOD and his love can sustain my heart forever. His Spirit is a constant guide that never leaves me. Eph 3:20 I defer to his imagination for me and can’t wait to see what is next. I have nothing to fear and everything I need. I hope to share this with everyone I meet. Faith, hope and love …. the greatest is love.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZuWbA2LnlE