Posts Tagged With: Satan

Toothless Tiger (small Hunger Games spoiler alert!)

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(If you want to skip the spoiler, go straight to paragraph 2.)
This Memorial Day, I have taken the rare opportunity to immerse myself in fiction. I have spent the majority of this day in the world of Panem fighting the Capitol with Katniss Everdeen a.k.a the Mockingjay. She’s the face of a rebellion against the slavery that has been enforced by the Capitol for 75 years. The Capitol has taken absolutely everything she holds dear. Her family, her friends, her home they have turned them upside down. They have even succeeded at turning the man she loves against her to the point that he sees her as an absolute threat that must be killed. The Capitol has brainwashed him to the point that he really believes she is the one who killed his family and friends, not them.
This is where I am the books, blown away by the mind control of the enemy. In these books, the Capitol has used the people’s TVs to convince them of their impotence against the Capitol. They’ve used the Hunger Games to force the people of Panem into constant submissive fear. They fear the Capitol’s Police Force, their children’s names getting picked for the games, never having a full belly. And as I read I can’t help but think of the mind games Satan plays on us. The strings he pulls to make afraid to leave our homes, afraid to take that crucial step toward freedom. He crouches at the doorway like a roaring lion, a toothless Tiger as harmless as a kitten playing with a ball of string. Yes he still looks ferocious and terrifying enough to keep us from taking that step towards rebellion and freedom.
Will there be a battle to gain that freedom? Absolutely! But there’s already been one, on the cross at Calvery. We need only to step up and claim that victory as our own. We have to gather together the courage to take that step toward freedom. That’s the one thing He can’t do for us. He won’t force us to accept His gift of salvation. Neither does He force us to claim his victory as our own. He simply waits patiently on the other side of the door, encouraging us to take that step. Willing us to believe Him and His words of Truth over the Toothless Tiger’s.
Honestly I think that is what Jesus longs for more than anything else, for us to believe Him. Not just in Him, but to believe Him. To trust His Word, His Spirit’s leading and comforting us every step of the way. To believe the life-giving truth that Jesus loves us, I mean really loves you … personally. And that everything He did, does and will do is completely out of an intimate love for you.
That my friends, is the stuff rebellion is made of. It started  at the cross and hasn’t stopped since. Rebellion against Satan. And the weapon we weild is a weapon of Love and Truth.
Jesus loves you.
Take a step through that door past the kitten and into His arms – you will never regret it.
Not ever.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Permission to Fail

Friday was an anniversary of sorts for me and my ministry. And looking back over it all I am so overwhelmed with how far we’ve come and how much things have changed. And looking forward at the calendar, things are still changing! It’s all very exciting, and a little nerve wracking as I’m trying my best to simply keep up with everything that God is doing. But He is so faithful and He has held me through it all. I am so blessed by you all and the work that I have been called to do for you. It has changed me in ways I NEVER could have expected and yet I look at myself today and I am so very thankful for the work the Father has done in me. I love myself today. I love who I have become and who I am. I don’t know that I could have said that four years ago; at least not in a completely honest way. I didn’t love who I was because I wasn’t looking at myself from God’s point of view. I wasn’t seeing my situations, my past or my faults through His eyes of complete love. I was choosing to see them through Satan’s eyes of condemnation. When I think back on how I treated myself it makes me want to weep. I never gave myself permission to fail. And when I did fail, I would lay there and let Satan beat me brutally – because I thought I deserved it.

Last Thursday I visited a home for troubled girls. I didn’t really sit and talk with any of the girls, but I was able to hear a few of their stories and experience a small nibble of their day with them. I walked the same halls they walk, I ate the same lunch they eat, and I talked with their teacher. And through it all I realized how alike we all are. We all deal with the same demons, we all fight the same Enemy, we all allow him to beat us verbally until his face turns blue. And we do that because he has us convinced that we deserve it.

There was a time when we might have deserved it, if we had lived before Christ came. But we don’t. We have the luxury and privilege of living after Christ’s death. And what a privilege it is! Because of Jesus we can look at ourselves through Son-glasses. Glasses that were forged through the fires of hell as Jesus walked through them FOR US, because He knew that they were far too hot for us to stand.

In a strange way I almost envy those girls. Because at the ripe old age of 17 (give or take a few years) they will have walked through something so tremendous, with Jesus, that their faith will be far less shakable throughout the rest of their lives. Their foundation for their life will be so much firmer having gone through what they have been through. Not to mention the works that the Lord will have them do once they have finished the program! Yes. While I do not envy their sufferings, I do envy the relationship with Christ that will come from those sufferings. These girls will be leaders, strong leaders, you just wait and see! God has big plans for them!

Categories: Sheridan Reporter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soldiers

1 Kings 8:33 – 10:22

Word of the Day:

“You teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon Your land, which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.” 1 Kings 8:36

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been struggling with some demons lately; big fat hairy ones that just don’t seem to want to leave me alone. I went to lunch with my daughter at school this afternoon, marching through those hallowed halls with a big red “VISITOR” sticker on my belly always makes me smile. (Don’t ask why I don’t put it on my chest like everyone else, I don’t know myself… perhaps just simply to be different…) Anyway, as I stood there in line with the Kindergarteners waiting to go to recess they began to ask me to stay and go to recess with them. I’ve only been to recess once with Anna, so why they chose today to beg me to stay, I’m not quite sure, but I think it might be related to something big and hairy… Because what happened next, well, I hope I never forget it! You see I have this thing called Mommy guilt that I deal with constantly where I doubt my every choice as a mother. Did I do the right thing? Was I too harsh on them? Was I not stern enough? Did I send enough food for their lunches? The questions plague me, perhaps like the Queen of Sheba with Solomon…

As I walked out of the school, not having stayed for recess, I felt incredibly guilty for not staying. All I had to do at home was study and write, how important is that anyway compared to extra time with my little girl? Oh, I can not get started down that path or I may never find my way back out!!!

Last night I was reading a blog I recently subscribed to where he shared a Facebook conversation between two individuals about a third individual that just happens to be a pastor and runs a local gas station. You can click here to view the blog, it’s quite good. But part of Darrell‘s comment on this conversation struck me. “I commend men of God who shepherd small flocks and pay for the privilege of doing so with their own labor outside of the ministry.” There is so much truth in this one sentence! There is a COST of ministry. There is a cost for spreading the message of the gospel. There is a cost, a cross to bear, a thorn in the side if you will, whatever you call it there’s a price to pay to be in Christ. Why, because the Enemy hates Him. It’s as simple as that. The Enemy hates Jesus, and because we are united with Him the Enemy hates us.

If you want to get someone really smokin’ mad, say something negative about their spouse or their kids. Want to go a step further, injure or harm them instead. And what is it that the Enemy does again, well one of his most popular names is “the Accuser” (saying negative things about the children of God). Jesus also tells us that the Enemy comes to steal kill and destroy (injuring them).

So here I am, getting into my car headed home to work on this very post, feeling like crud because I didn’t stay and play with my daughter and her friends. Had I just been there for 45 minutes eating lunch with them? Yes. Was I thinking about that at the moment? No. God has blessed me with the ability to even GO to lunch with my kids that in itself is immeasurably more than most moms these days get to do! Was I focusing on that at the moment? No. Instead I was focusing on the cost, the price I was paying to do the very thing God has called me to do. Write to you, my friends.

I came home and as I walked in the front door and hung up my keys I could feel the turmoil boiling up in me again. You know that turmoil that makes God sound fuzzy like a radio that’s out of tune. I had been dealing with the fuzzy turmoil for a long time and during the fast I realized that it had gone away, then just this morning it started again. By the time I got home it had gotten so loud that I could stand it no more. And as I went to throw my shoes in the basket next to the door I looked into the mirror on the wall and said, “Lord, I need a name. I know that this demon will leave when I tell him to, but I want a name. It’s not Doubt, it’s different than that….” and through the din in my spirit I heard it, “Uncertainty”. “That’s it! Uncertainty! I’m not doubting right now, I’m uncertain! Well, in Jesus’ name, Uncertainty you must leave me immediately and Certainty, COME!”

Just that helped, but I wasn’t done yet! God was about to pour out some Certainty for me. J Hallelujah!

I had been watching a sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I really wanted to get this one. I really yearned to more fully understand the concept of becoming a “new creation”. It’s a hard concept! When I accept Christ, I become “new” yet I don’t look any different. I’ve been “born again” but how is that possible? (Right Nicodemus? John 3:4) And what exactly does it mean to be “in Christ” and how do I do that? So many questions Queen of Sheba! But the one who made Solomon wise, lives in me through Christ’s death and His Holy Spirit and I can talk to Him and ask Him anything at any time!

So like a three year old with so many “Why’s”, I went to my Daddy in prayer and asked Him all these things. Oh my friends, His answer was so simple! “Meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:17, memorize it, make it part of who you are. New.”

So I opened up my ESV Bible and looked it up and wrote it down. And usually my method of memorizing a verse is to just write it down over and over again until I’ve got it sunk in real good. But this time was different. I hadn’t checked out other translations yet to see if any of them resounded with me better than the ESV. And this is where the real transformation started to take place. So, because it was so special for me, I’m going to share with you my page I was writing on.

And in case you can’t read the picture or just want to put your eyes on them yourself, here are some links:

2 Cor 5:17 English Standard Version, Message, Contemporary English Version, Good News Bible and the Easy Readers Version.

If you’ll notice in the picture of the paper, I have a couple of side notes between the translations. These are things that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to write down. The first note is a song lyric from Britt Nicole’s song “All This Time“. The Holy Spirit has sung this lyric to me many many times over the last few years. “Well I’m not the same me, and that’s all the proof I need.” And it has rung true every single time. My entire self has changed since receiving Christ and His Holy Spirit. I was quite young when I accepted Christ into my heart so I’ve truly grown up in Christ. But now as an adult who has accepted the gift of the Holy Spirit and a call into ministry through writing about my journey through life with Christ, I have begun to question many of the things that I simply accepted as truth when I was younger. I blindly believed everything that anyone would tell me about God. Not any more! My eyes have been opened to the false prophets of this world; the wolves in sheep’s clothing and holy robes. The day I asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill me, well He changed me so completely that I am not the same me I used to be and that really is all the proof I need. At least it should be anyway. But I’m learning that Uncertainty can come and really mess with your head on things that used to be certain in your mind. It’s one thing to doubt new information; it’s another to go through bit by bit and question the old information. That’s hard. But I’ve done it! And I am so much better for it in the end! Because like I said, I’ve been changed by the testing of my faith. I now know WHY I believe what I believe and not just that I believe them because someone told me I should. I have intellectual roots in my faith, the very things that will keep me grounded in that faith when the storms of life come along. Remember those little plants in the parable of the Sower and the Seed? Those roots will hold you together when life feels like it’s falling apart. Remember the story of Joseph? He stored up grain, or seed – the Word of God, during the good times in order to use it during the famine – or tests of life.

The second note that God had me write down was, “You are a new person, whether you choose to live like one is up to you.” I started this little adventure today with a demon on my back; a demon that I have been given dominion over. I am in Christ, He is THE commander, and principalities MUST obey Him and therefore us, because we are in Him. Have you ever seen a parent who lets their child walk all over them? That parent is not claiming their rightful place as an authority over their child. In the same way, those who do not claim their rightful place as an authority over the principalities of this world will be walked all over by them. The conversation on Darrell’s blog drew my attention to 2 Timothy 2:4 where the word “soldier” stuck in my head. Like a tiny seed that has grown through this day and has begun to take root throughout this lesson. While I was praying for understanding on being “in Christ” and a “new creation” God said to me, “Soldier of the Living God, that’s you.”

We are soldiers of the Living God! In our reading today I was overwhelmed by the symbolism in it! Picture Solomon as God the Father.

The Israelites are us, look at 1 Kings 9:22 “But of the people of Israel, Solomon made no slaves. They were the soldiers, they were his officials, his commanders, his captains, his chariot commanders and his horsemen.”

Turn your attention to the story of Jesus and the faith of the Centurion, or soldier. Matthew 8:5-13

Look at verse 9 where the Centurion explains the way things work in the kingdom of God and here on earth. “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go,” and he goes, and to another, “Come,” and he comes, and to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.” God is in charge of us, but we are in charge of pretty much everything else. We have been given dominion over this world and everything in it that has never changed since the Garden of Eden. Only now, we have moved up the ladder of authority from son of Adam, to Son of God. There is absolutely nothing on this earth that is not under our authority. When we notice some Enemy activity going on in the world around us, it is our job to call it out, to speak (out loud) against it. (The angels and demons can’t read your minds.) Hebrews 1:14 tells us, “Are they not all ministering spirits (angels) sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Right now, somewhere in your near vicinity, there is at least one angel just waiting, poised in preparation, to carry out your commands to defend and protect God’s children and the things that matter to them. I don’t want you to read this and think that we are surrounded constantly by demons alone. Oh no!!!! We each have been assigned our own personal angels to guard and protect us, AND to carry out our instructions. “Lord, please protect my children today at school” I picture it as though my angel hears my prayer, and passes it along to my children’s angels, at least that’s the picture the Centurion gives us anyway. You see he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, commander of the angel army. He knew that Jesus didn’t have to walk all the way across town to his house in order to heal his servant, he could simply speak the word and the angels would do the rest.

If you have spoken your allegiance to Jesus and asked for Him to come and live in your heart, then you are “in Christ” and He is “in you”. Because He is in you, you have become the temple of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. And tell me dear friend, as the temple of a Holy God is an unholy demon allowed anywhere near you? Absolutely not! You have been given the seal of the Holy Spirit, you are married to Jesus the King of kings, you have been given the honor and position of being able to sign His name on formal official documents and you have not only the right but the job of telling those demons to BACK OFF! Get out! Go Away! Report to Jesus (the commander and judge)! And anything else you can think of to tell them! They are under your command and they are, even more importantly, under your feet, tell them where to go and what to do and how to do it. Return to hell from where you came, in Jesus’ name! Hold up that shield of faith that your Father gave you and use it against the one firing missiles of destruction and lies at you. God’s faithfulness is our shield and rampart, and like the wall that Solomon built around Jerusalem, He protects us. But seeing as how we are in an ongoing centuries long spiritual war, there have been casualties, there are pains that cost us dearly in this battle, but we don’t have to take them lying down. We need to use them to fuel us up! Allow the pains of this world to cause us to rise up in battle and fight the Enemy with a ferocity that he’s never seen before. Be that person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning Satan says, “Aw crap, she’s up!”

Rise up Soldier of the Living God, your time has come, fight. The battle is yours, saith the Lord. Because He “will fight for you, you need only to be still”. (Exodus 14:14)

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Give a book bible button

I wanted to make you aware of some ministry updates. I am very excited to announce that I have a Mother’s Day speaking engagement scheduled for May 11th. I would LOVE to have books on hand for the women to buy, and even some to give away as gifts. However, the current funds in the ministry account are running drastically low. If you are able, I would love for you to prayerfully consider giving a book or Bible to someone who can’t afford one. If you are able, please click here!

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 3 Video Guide

Samson

Week 3 Video Guide Printable


“And Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’ Then he bowed with all his strength and the house fell upon the lords and upon the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.” Judges 16:30

-Turn to Judges 13 and the story of Samson so that you can read along.

-What is Samson’s mother not to eat? “drink no ______ or ______ drink, and eat nothing ______” Why? “for the child shall be a ______ to ______ from the womb to the day of his death.”

-Manoah never doubted the word of the Lord, how can we draw strength from his story? What notes can we take that might lead us to walk with more faith in our own lives?

-God’s name is Wonderful and He is the God of wonders, what does that mean to you personally?

-What “inciting incidents” have occurred in your life lately? What “horrible things” have been done or have happened to you that may be leading you down an unexpected road to Egypt in order to save lives?

-The Israelites bound Samson and gave him over to the Philistines, how is that any different than killing him themselves? If you hire a hit man to kill someone, you are still found guilty of murder, though you didn’t commit the murder yourself. Think about this in a spiritual sense, as a brother or sister in Christ, have you ever bound someone and handed them over to the Enemy? Has anyone ever done that to you? How would that happen anyway?

-“then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands.” The imagery of this verse calls me back to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. They too were bound hand and foot when they were thrown into the fire, yet when they emerged their clothes nor their hair smelled like smoke. The only change to their appearance was that the ropes that had bound them had been burned off. Have you been bound and thrown into a furnace of life? Know this, the angel of the LORD – Jesus, is with you in that fire. In what ways has His presence been with you and comforted you in this time?

-How are your bindings being burned off?

-What things in your life do you see as useless that God may be trying to use for your good?

-Know this, YOU are not useless. I am learning that this is the Enemy’s ploy against us. Satan wants us to believe that we are useless in the eyes of the LORD, yet nothing could be further from the Truth. We are God’s own flesh and blood and Spirit and so much more valuable to Him than we could ever think or imagine. Believe this, God wants to use you in a mighty way my friend. Perhaps through this very circumstance that life is handing you now…

-The Israelites as they came out of Egypt and were stuck between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, they saw no hope for life. They saw no way out of the mess they were in. They said to Moses, “were there not enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out here to die”. Little did they know or understand that they were on the verge of the largest miracle they had ever or would ever see. They didn’t know that their God could part the sea; He had never done that before. All they knew was what was right in front of them, trouble headed their way and fast. But Moses, he looked to God. The One who makes ways where there are no ways. The One who sees and the One who Saves. This place that you’re in, where it looks hopeless and deadly, are you standing on the edge of the Red Sea on the verge of parting? Is God, perhaps, about to do something that He’s never done before? Raise your eyes above your circumstances. He is with you and not against you. And because God is with you then WHO or WHAT can be against you? Like Samson ripping the gates off the hinges at Hebron, is God about to rip some closed doors open for you, part some sea, light up a new path?

-Delilah was desperate to discover the source of Samson’s great strength, but we know it don’t we?

-The Spirit of the LORD is our great strength as well! Delilah has told these lords over and over again that she knew the source of Samson’s strength, only to have it be discovered that she did not. Yet she did not give up in seeking his source of strength. She was persistent in a way that many of us can glean from today. Because the very thing that she was seeking is something, someONE whom we are told to seek while He still can be found. We too should seek after the gift of the Holy Spirit diligently, because God is willing and generous in the gifting of the Holy Spirit!

-It is significant that the story mentions Delilah tormenting him before his strength left him. What does 1 John 4:18 tells us about torment and strength?

The love that it speaks of is God’s agape, unconditional, love. Not our love for Him, His love for us. In His love for us there is no fear. Rather, when we are focused on His infinite love for us, His love causes our fears to flee.

-Was Samson’s weakened state permanent?

Neither is our own state of emergency. It is not permanent, it is but a brief and momentary trouble, and it will not last forever. Praise be to God!

-The Philistine lords called Samson in to “entertain” them; they called him in so that they could mock him and torment him. Is this very thing that causes their demise?

On the day that Jesus died on the cross the Enemy mocked Him and spit at Him, yet it was this very thing that caused Satan’s demise as well. And the very same is true for us. The Enemy taunts and mocks us like the Philistines mocked Samson and like Goliath mocked David. However, the very rock he uses to trip us is the rock we use to slay him! Satan has no power over you!

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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