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Blinders

I want you to imagine a horse with blinders on. Blinders are used to keep the horse focused on what is in front of it. Since the horse can’t see everything in it’s peripheral vision, it keeps the horse from becoming distracted or scared.

The horse looks towards the end of the row – it’s goal. So, for instance, if a dog runs up from the house, the horse will hear it; but, the horse will stay the course. If a snake should come into its path… it will tread on and over it; because, the horse’s goal is in sight – nothing else.

I would like to encourage you to first ground yourself in God’s word, assuring that you are walking as Christ did (1 John 2:6).

Then know this, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:19-20)

Don’t take the time to rejoice in your authority. Stay the course, focusing on God. Keep your blinders on. Once your with our Heavenly Father, look back and witness the trail you took in life and how it’s littered with snakes and scorpions that you were never even aware of; because, you were too focused on your goal, the end of your row, your God.

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I choose peace

Tonight, I am emotionally exhausted. I am not emotionally exhausted in a conversational way. I am emotionally exhausted in the clinical way. As I had that thought on the forefront of my mind, I ran across this picture posted here.

I thought to myself how true it is… but God. You see, if you look up all of the signs of emotional exhaustion you will find that I actually only meet maybe one or two of the criteria. That is not because I’m not experiencing emotional exhaustion. That is because…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:22)

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:6-8)

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)

And, I could go on because His Word goes on. I’m not going to worry tonight. I might worry on another day… when I’m stronger of body yet not being diligent about being spiritually focused on God‘s promises that day.

Tonight, though, I’m not going to worry about losing another loved one. I’m not going to worry about having enough money for repairs and gifts. I am not going to worry about whether I am the best mother or not, the best daughter or not, the best sister or not, the best friend or not.

I’m not going to worry because I have given my exhaustion to the Lord and He has turned it into peace. He is Jehovah Jireh. He is the provider of promises, needs, and even emotional balance and health. I could focus on my exhaustion and say that it is there because of all of the turbulence around me; but, instead, I am recognizing that God is using it to force me into a state of awareness of the peace that is simply waiting for me to fall back into. And… I choose to fall back into His peace and His promises tonight.

http://youtu.be/BgaHaioAjyg

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The Nasty, Notorious, Infamous Case of the Mondays

It’s so sinister. It’s so dreaded that you actually begin showing signs of its impending approach on Sunday, before it’s even arrived! You don’t think, you know, everything will be miserable. After all, it’s Monday!

The alarm didn’t wake you. The coffee maker breaks. The kids – ALL OF THEM – can suddenly not find any matching shoes. You had to go BACK home because you forgot all of their backpacks. WHY CAN’T THEY REMEMBER THEIR OWN BACKPACKS STILL?! Dunkin Donuts line is too long but you sit through it anyways because their coffee is your nectar and you’ll just have to live with the guilt that you gave the kids donuts for breakfast instead of a sausage and egg Hot Pocket this morning (because let’s be honest who actually stops and cooks eggs, sausage, toast, and the works for their children every morning?!).

But…why? Why is Monday seemingly always like this? Well, I think if we were really honest with ourselves we would look back and say that that kind of Monday only happens rarely. Still, though, no matter if everything falls apart or if there’s no traffic at all, Monday still feels like Monday!

The Telegraph shared the findings of a scientific study done by Marmite that indicate that “many people don’t smile on Mondays until 11:16 am, and that half of us won’t turn up to work on time, either. Mondays also tend to be fairly unproductive, with only about three and a half hours of actual work getting done. And those in the 45 to 54 year-old demographic will moan for about 12 minutes on Mondays, making them the most susceptible to the suck that is Monday.

Experts indicate that the reason behind our hatred of Mondays is a result of humans being governed by deep-rooted tribal habitsand that we prefer to ease into the week rather than tackle it head-on first thing Monday morning. In fact, those that do the latter may end up burning themselves out before Friday hits.“*

Even this blog 😂 I’m writing it at 2:30 P…M…on Monday and scheduling it to post next Monday! I witnessed my best friend experiencing a true case of the Mondays and simply could not sit idly by and allow her to fall victim to it! 😐😂❤️

The fact is this: life expectancy is 79.3 in the United States. Now, don’t freak out – it’s just a number, an average number, and an estimation at that. But if we take that number and we calculate how many days we’ll have in 79.3 years we will get 28,963.73 days. If you then deduct the weekends, you get 20,688.3785 days. That is 71% of your life (5 days out of 7) that you’re ALLOWING YOURSELF to live in misery.

That’s right. 🤷🏻‍♀️Sorry to tell you this but Monday is just a day – like any other. Though the world would have you think otherwise, Monday has nothing against you nor has it waged war on you.

So here is my question for you…

Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t think I’m going to continue to waste 71% of my life complaining and allowing a day to turn me into its doormat.

Why do you think we often begin to dread Monday before it’s even arrived? I think it may have something to do with this…

Now, I’m not going to sidetrack and begin to talk about which day is the Sabbath – whether it’s Saturday or Sunday. I’m also not going to berate or guilt you if you are in the ministry and can’t seem to find your day of rest. I am going to remind you, however that God called us to have a day of rest. If you’re constantly going, then Monday is going to be a reminder that your hamster wheel is never stopping. That’s why – then – Saturdays and vacations become your goal.

That brings me to goals! Is your goal to be miserable every day of your life? If so, this world has got a great deal for you! This world has figured out how to keep you worried, overspent, in debt, stressed to the nines, and seeing death long before you ever should and all for the low, low, price of your happiness and often a lot…lot more!

That’s right! All of that stress is there for the taking!

Now, if you’ve decided that this world’s idea of success, and the stress that comes with it, isn’t for you, then how about let’s look at the alternative. Shall we?

It starts in your mind. That’s right – your head! It doesn’t start with breathing exercises. It doesn’t start with post-it notes and scheduling. Nor does it even start at the beach. It starts in your mind.

Once you begin focusing on God, you can no longer focus on all of the calamity around you.

Did you know that one of the very first things a runner is taught is to never look behind them? They are trained to never look behind but to always keep their eyes ahead of them looking at their goal – the finish line. It has been proven that if they turn around they will slow down and it will affect their race. Those that keep their eyes on the finish line always arrive faster than if they are distracted.

Now, Romans 12:2 tells us that we are to be “transformed.” How? Well, John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

You see, He’s already given it (peace) to us. Just like his salvation, it’s right there simply waiting for us to receive it! Quick question: when your mom or your dad told you as a child, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.” Did you question whether they would take care of it? I bet you didn’t. How much more does your heavenly father want to take care of your problems?

I hear you, right now: BUT HOW?! Relax. Geez. You act like it’s Monda… never mind. I won’t leave you hanging.

Proverbs 16 says, ““The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established. The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.”

Now, in the NLT, it says it a little more clearly for the average Joe…

You see, if you will go to God, “The Lord gives the right answer.”; and if you “commit your actions to the Lord,” “your plans will succeed!”

So, instead of repeating the mantra in your head that “Mondays suck!” begin talking to God, aloud, whether in song or in prayer. Who cares what your kids think? I’ve got news for you: they think you’re crazy anyways. So just run with that. As they get older, they will remember the days that mom or dad would talk to God and they will follow in your footsteps.

Begin giving God your problems whether it be your eyeliner breaking and smudging all the way across your face or your coffee maker no longer coming to life. Begin thanking him for the fact that He woke you up this morning which means he must have some sort of plan for you still. Then, really top it off by asking God what it is that He has for you to do today!

Instead of dreading the upcoming week, begin looking at it as five days of opportunity to fix what you broke last week, begin the thing you’d never began but intended to, and talk to the person you know you should’ve talked to already!

You may not turn your Monday into Funday but you will change your life into a life of purpose; and purpose makes us want to get out of bed. Achieving purpose gives us a sense of accomplishment and pride; and it drives us to continue on.

So, I want to leave with you one last passage from the Bible where Paul says something that is extremely poignant:

“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Https://thenextweb.com/shareables/2011/07/25/scientific-study-confirms-that-mondays-suck/?amp=1
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Even so…

In the NKJV of the Bible the term “even so” is used 36 times. Do you know what “even so” means? It means “in spite of that.” It means “nevertheless.”

It’s a term that, when inserted, can flip the script on any situation in your life!

Watch this: “I see no end to this financial strain we’re under…EVEN SO my God is Jehoveh Jireh and has provided for me so far. I’ve never gone hungry.”

How about this: “My husband left me and my child, and I haven’t got a clue what tomorrow brings…EVEN SO my God has brought me safe thus far and He will take me forward, never leaving nor forsaking me!”

“This world seems like it’s going straight to hell. Sin is widely accepted as the norm. The value of life is no longer a consideration. EVEN SO nothing catches my God by surprise and His word has revealed to us that all of these things would come to pass; so, we WILL be diligent. We WILL soldier on. We WILL change lives. We WILL be about our Father’s business!”

I encourage you to add “even so” to your vocabulary today. I challenge you that every time you catch yourself, or someone else, worrying or complaining say, “Even so…” and watch how God can turn around lives right before your eyes. For we are a sinful lot that would be lost, EVEN SO…

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Stop Weeding!

Recently, I have been overwhelmed and battling every single day. It has felt as if I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop and I have a closet full of shoes! I went to my husband and told him this with tears in my eyes. He prayed over me and one of the things that he said was, “God, allow us to weed out these problems” (or something along those lines). In that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how weeds grow in relation to grass. He gave me revelation and I hope to share that with you today.

But first we have to understand how weeds grow.

“The conditions that allowed for weeds to flourish must be corrected or they will continually be a problem. You can kill the weeds all you want, but if you do nothing else, they will return.
Lawns must be maintained in a way that promotes a healthy lawn, while discouraging lawn weeds.
Overseeding, aeration and other maintenance activities may be needed in the beginning especially to promote the best lawn possible.
For most grasses, it’s better to mow the lawn at the highest recommended level. These tactics will hinder weed germination and growth since most weeds cannot compete easily with a thick lawn.”
Lawn Care Academy

You see, If the grass is tended to properly and it is allowed to grow at its intended height, it actually stifles out the weeds all on its own. The grass and the weeds are competing for sunlight and whichever gets the most nutrients gets the most height. Subsequently, whichever gets the greatest height stifles out the other. And allow me repeat what they said: “You can kill the weeds all you want, but if you do nothing else, they will return.” ALL YOU WANT!

You can kill the weeds all you want but they’ll never stop coming if that’s all you do – kill the weeds.

I have always recognized and told others that if you have a purpose and a plan placed within you by God – which we all do – satan seeks to destroy that. That being said, life can be such a distraction to our eternal life and calling! I have been allowing my attention to go to the weeds and to tending to them rather than my spending time on tending to the grass in order that it would kill out the weeds on its own. (In this scenario life’s mishaps, misery, and mayhem are the weeds, God’s purpose and plan for me are the grass.)

Then, to add insult to injury upon myself, I backed away from reading His word and delving deeper into it and replaced those priorities with things like worry, busted tires, homeschool trials, emotions, and more.

“Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:24-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I was literally tossing away and neglecting the “wheat” (my walk with God) while rooting up the weeds!

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve gotten caught up weeding rather than nurturing the grass. Maybe you’re mourning, worrying, healing, working… All of these things are “life” but guess what? They’re not life giving!

If you’re feeling lost, untethered, as if you’re drowning, allow me to remind you…

No amount of worrying, planning, crying, venting, nor weeding can do in months what God can do in but a moment.

So, allow me to encourage you to stop whatever weeding you are doing right now. You may very well be pulling up purposefully-sown grass with them! Instead, take time to nurture your grass. Take time to water your life with water from the well that never runs dry.

In case you need a little help getting started…

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Review & Giveaway: Always Enough Never Too Much

I received this book for my honest opinion, no monetary gain, and my honest opinion you will get. 

AENTM3d-Front-copy

“We’ve all been there. We know that sneaking, small voice in our heads all too well—you’re too loud. Too quiet. Too young. Too old. Too unimportant. Too ugly. Too silly. Too serious. You’re not as successful as she is—look at her perfect family, look at her high-powered job, look at her great hair and size 4 skinny jeans. Why can’t you be more like her—be more in general? Why do you expect so much from everyone? Why can’t you take up less space? Ask for less? Be less? The lies track well-worn paths in our minds and our hearts, wearing us down and making us question our role in God’s kingdom.
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Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, bestselling authors of Wild and Free will help you replace those lies with God’s truth. This devotional flip-book is designed for you, the woman who feels like she can be both too much and not enough—sometimes in the same day. When you  banish lies and insecurities and find your identity in Jesus, you can embrace these truths: You are always enough. You are never too much.”

 

Capture

 

I think it’s appropriate that this is called a “flip book.” I’ll tell you why: because sometimes you need to FLIP the script on your life!

This past year has been a year of “too much” and “never enough” for me. This book is what I’d call an “on time” book for me. In a world that has programmed us to instinctively compare ourselves to one another and judge ourselves against litmus tests that God never set forth – other than His Word – it is refreshing to find a book that is truly edifying. It is refreshing to know that I’m reading words that are inspired by the Word of God in order that I might get back on the rails that I derailed from and remember who I am in God’s eyes. It’s nice to know I’m about to “flip” things back to the way God intended.

IMG-0223

 

Capture2

 

You might notice that this book has two titles… kind of. I’ll explain it perfectly (and give you a sneak preview) in this short video:

Now that I have my own copy, I know exactly who I’m going to gift one of these to. It’s a pastor’s wife. It would amaze you the pressure that is on women that we look at as if they have it all together and we wish we were them. You may find that the very same insecurities that plague you are plaguing the very people you think have it all. So… don’t just keep this book to yourself – when you’re done, gift it to someone else. If you want to keep yours forever, then consider someone else who may feel the same way and gift them a copy. It may be the very think that helps them to become who they are truly meant to be in Christ simply by empowering them!

Now, after you get your Prime on and and grab your copy of Always Enough Never Too Much, you may find you want to get another copy for someone close to you:

Win 1 of 5 Copies of God Loves Mommy & Me

 

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Hearing God In the Now…

Buckle up…this is a long one and I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers.

I am overwhelmed with the repeating words, resounding in my mind like a trumpeting horn, “not my will, but Yours be done.”

I’m increasingly concerned with the people of God, their leaders (not just pastors, but leaders, teachers, praise team members, etc.) especially, not being led by God in the NOW. I will explain my use of “in the now” in a moment.

Jesus Christ – Himself – said in Mark 14:36, “…Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou will.”

Christ knew ALL things were possible; but, He did not want it to be His way. He wanted it to be God’s way. I’m sure Christ, in his infinite wisdom, could have constructed a great way; but, it would not have compared to God’s PERFECT way.

How did Christ know what God’s way was? He didn’t have a Bible to finger through and find the section on “fearing for your life and carrying the weight of the sin of the world on one’s shoulders.” I’ll tell you in three simple words, though He be a very complex and overwhelming being: the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:16 tells us very clearly that Christ received the “Spirit of God.” It says, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” In the English Standard Version it says, “the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.”

There is such a thing as a “rhema” word. I really like the way James Rae explains the term “rhema” on Sharefaith.com. The word rhema means, “an utterance.” It’s used to refer to a word received that applies to your current situation or need. He goes on to say, “With this understanding, Christians can count on the written words contained in the Bible to have deep and personal meaning to their lives. And it is the Holy Spirit who enlightens believers when reading a Scripture, with the goal of imparting wisdom, knowledge or understanding in order to have an immediate impact.”

Not every Christian is fully aware, but rather it’s tucked away in their subconscious, that the Bible has been translated many times before you get your handy-dandy Message version. Keeping that in mind, also be aware that there are words in our language that cannot be interpreted in other languages; because they have no word for it and that works vice-versa as well. The word “rhema” is one such word. The best way we can put it is as James Rae does when he says that it is (forgive my abbreviation) an on-time utterance.

Now, if we are to refer to Matthew 4:4, where it says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceeds out of the mouth of God” and In John 6:63 where Christ confirms the use of this rhema revelation by saying, “The words [rhema] that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” then each Christian has an imperative, possibly life-changing, question they must answer for themselves.

Do you believe God speaks today?

Notice I did not say, “Is His written word speaking to you, today?” That is understood, it’s a given. His word is always fruitful, always valid, and will always speak to someone willing to hear it.

Further, as a side note to avoid any confusion, I would like to add that a rhema word, whether delivered by reading the Bible, the utterance of tongues, or a word dropped into one’s heart or mind, will NEVER contradict God’s written Word. If it does, that’s not God.

In 2 Timothy, Paul says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” So, please do not for even a moment assume that I am saying anything other than exactly what I am – that God speaks through us through His written word but ALSO through His Holy Spirit, TODAY. That is to say He speaks to us in addition to His written word. The Word of God is just as valid today as it was when it was first being chiseled and penned; and, a word given by the Holy Spirit – by whatever method – is equally as valid.

The key ingredient that we must not miss, though, is “rhema.” Why would God speak a rhema word? Because you need to hear it NOW!

He is not a God that sits atop a thrown, inaccessible to His children. Your earthly father would be called “a dead beat dad” if he never spoke to you. Wouldn’t he? How much more of a father is God to us than our earthly father? If we know how much greater a father He is, then we should logically assume that He would want to speak to us, currently – now, in our every day endeavors.

To give a more specific example: If I were standing on a ledge ready to jump and my dad, saw me, he would lovingly tell me that he was there for me and that I didn’t need to give up – he would help me through whatever was going on. How much more would my God do?

I’ll tell you. When my daughter was a toddler and her father and I were going through a lot, life became very overwhelming for me. The only person who knew that I had seriously considered taking my own life was my husband. Long story short, I was at the end of my rope and sat, numbly, in a pew one Sunday as a visiting pastor preached a good sermon that had nothing to do with what was going on in my life. At the end of the service, though, he called everyone who “desperately needed a touch from God” to come forward for prayer.

I will be honest, I didn’t even really realize I was standing at the alter until I looked up and saw that I was there with my husband at my side. I waited, silently crying, for this visiting pastor to come over, pray for me, and for me to walk away disappointed. After all, I had lost all hope. I wasn’t in that place where you run to God expectantly. However…we froze, stunned, as this man laid his hands on my head, began praying, and then suddenly paused and then lowered his voice and said with authority, “And, devil, I rebuke this demon of suicide plaguing this daughter of God! She is a child of the King!”

As the weight of the world and all of my hurt – feeling as if I was not even a blip on God’s radar, washed away. The Holy Spirit descended upon me in such a powerful way that I can truly say that I will forever remember how soothing the Balm of Gilead truly is.

You see, in that moment God knew that the only thing I needed to know was not how to fix my problems, where to find direction in His written word, but simply that God was aware and was there with and for me.

That pastor spoke a rhema word, given to him by an utterance of the Holy Spirit, that FOREVER changed my life. Sure, the devil tried to tempt me with suicide again. The thing is, not only has it never been a temptation since receiving that revelation; but, whenever depression descends upon me, I remind myself that God is aware and watching me, with love, knowing that through Him I have the power to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.

Why did I tell you all of that? Because a rhema word is what this world needs. This world is suffering from problems never before conceivable to mere man. Now, more than ever, we need to hear from God.

Please note that I did not say that we need another prophet. Prophets are great (when authentic) yet they come and go. Some are false and some are as true as the day is long. You don’t need a prophet, though, to hear from God. God is just as accessible to you as He is to anyone else. When apostles laid hands on people, the Holy Spirit was not coming from them. Acts 19 tells us that when Paul laid hands on some believers from Ephesus the Spirit came epi, upon them, not dia, through him.

We were given this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit, from God, so that we don’t have to walk through the desert following after a prophet to whom God only speaks to. The only thing you need to hear a rhema word from God is to have the Holy Spirit residing within you.

A prophet has to be followed; but, God is accessible everywhere at all times. Didn’t Christ say in John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I am going to the Father”? We can hear from God just as Christ and his apostles did.

I’m always blown away when we read that Christ – Himself – and His apostles did things a certain way but we seem to either think it’s beneath us, we’re too smart to have to do it that way, or we’re just too careless to assure that we’re doing it His way – that the very foundation of our every day lives be constructed in His way. I want to repeat that: “to assure that the very foundation of our every day lives be constructed in His way.” The very basis of our foundation should be believing that God manifested Himself into man; He died for our sins, so that we could live again; and, He sent us a comforter, the Holy Spirit, that should reside within us to direct our paths. Why are we skipping the third part? That’s like leaving the water out of the concrete mix and then wondering why it’s not setting up properly!

In Acts 19:1-7, Paul met some disciples of John the Baptist. He thought that they were believers in Christ, after hearing their talk of repentance. Paul, sensing something was missing, asked them the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” This passage, and others, proves that Paul believed that it was possible to be a believer in Jesus without receiving the Holy Spirit. If receiving the Holy Spirit was automatic upon receiving salvation, then why did Paul ask, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

Christ, during his ascension, told us that he would leave us “a Comforter.” If Christ said He was leaving us a Comforter, we need this Comforter!

Why would the Bible refer to the Holy Spirit as a “comforter?” What is a comforter? A comforter is “a person or thing that provides consolation.” “Consolation” is defined as “comfort received by a person after a loss or disappointment, a person providing comfort to a person who has suffered.”

Allow me to take you back to the beginning of all of this where I referenced Christ’s illustration of choosing God’s way over His. A counselor can be a wonderful person to go to who will have good ideas of what to say to you; but, I want you to think about how much more your grief would be sated if you heard from the one person who actually knows exactly what to say to give you a peace that passes all understanding. I want you to consider how awesome it would be to have access to someone who is so inundated with the Holy Spirit that, if you’re too blinded by grief, confusion, hurt, etc., they can be a conduit of God to deliver a rhema word to you just as that visiting pastor did for me that day.

Yes, His written word can be a comfort to us, guidance, and more; but, Christ was leaving with us a living Comforter, in addition to a written account of His words.

We need to receive the Holy Spirit because God is a personal God – a God that wants to tailor His conversation specifically to you, not merely give you a generic word that you can apply to every situation.

Again, he is just as accessible today as he was 2000 years ago. The only question each of us needs to ask ourselves, and our leaders, is why are we/they not following a path set before us paved by His rhema word in our lives? Why are we following a generic path that we have drawn based on the few things we have assumed we fully understand from His written word. Our senior pastors, associate pastors, worship pastors, youth pastors, children’s pastors, counselors, Sunday school teachers, praise team singers, praise band members, missionaries, …all of those people that would teach the Church about discipling should be anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit and be in such constant communication with God that they have vision, words, and specific application to add to His kingdom. Just as they should have this, so should each and every one of of God’s children.

In conclusion, I just want to finish out a word from THE Word, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

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The Immorality of Worldy “Love”

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I have had too many people I care deeply about that have been betrayed by someone they gave a piece, or all, of their heart to. I apologize if there is any confusion in my thoughts here. I wrote this kind of on the fly. There is no judgment within my thoughts, only love. If you know me, you know that’s true. Also, I’ve cast my assumptions aside. I hope you have as well and I pray you receive this post in the spirit in which it is intended – for those who have messed up but want to save their marriage.

The way I see it, there are two inextricable ingredients involved with a couple in which one of the two is cheating:

  1. Spiritual Death; and
  2. lack of or decreased self-value.

“Spiritual death” sounds so dark, ominous, and final. It is all of that… except final. The Bible says…

“Flee from sexual immorality… do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

The fact is…

“It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore.” (Isaiah 59:2)

What do we learn from these two verses?

  1. Sexual immorality – as with any sin – is cause for you to “FLEE!”
  2. Your body is a temple. It’s not only home to God since you asked Him to reside within you; but, it is of value!
  3. You are not your own. This is very important. The decisions you make are not yours to be making. You gave yourself to God. You were bought with the price of Christ’s crucifixion. So, you should find peace and happiness in the knowledge that if you stick with His plan you will be loved and cared for. You will be happy.
  4. Sin is the only thing that separates you from God.

I couldn’t sit there and watch my children do horrible acts that will ultimately destroy them and possibly the people around them. I couldn’t watch it and God won’t watch it. If God is the Holy Spirit and He is “the way the truth and the life,” sin has separated you from Him, and He will “turn away and not listen anymore” then you have experienced Spiritual death. Life has been removed from you – that only leaves death.

So, to review: If we’re assuming both people knew God in the beginning, now 1 person has forgotten that they are not their own but God’s – that they are of great value considering what Christ voluntarily went through to purchase them; and 1 person has allowed themselves to allow the temptation of their flesh – sin – to inundate their heart to the point that God has turned away. They may think they are going to church and living a good Christian life but:

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“But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them” (Ephesians 5:13)

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“For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.” (Mark 4:22)

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At least FOUR TIMES God’s Word tells us that nothing will stay hidden for long. They can show up at Church, say they are a Christian, say they love their wife or husband, kiss their children, and go on through life as if they are Christian Saints but God knows, most likely their spouse knows, and not-so-surprisingly their children usually have at least an idea of the truth.

But what about the spouse who doesn’t see their value? Well, the actions of the cheating spouse only make matters worse of course in that department – the spouse continues to devalue themselves because they have tied their worth to this broken person rather than to God, their Creator.

To draw a crass illustration it’s a little like a bulimic asking an anorexic if they look good.

God’s Word has already illustrated that a person who is being sexually immoral does not know the value of their own bodies, themselves, or that they are to glorify – through God – their body.” Yet, that’s what we do – we expect a sick person to make us better. If they were capable of that, and we were on the outside looking in (separate from our own emotions) and using our common sense, we would say, “Hey, they’re just going to make me sicker!”

It becomes an ongoing round-robin of sickness, shared and built to the point of epidemic. You may have noticed I’m not broaching the subject of why a person cheats. That’s because there are many reasons and not one of them is a reflection of the person who is being cheated on but rather it’s a symptom of a deep sickness in the cheater – a Spiritual death that has occurred, as I mentioned earlier.

The fact is this – we must make ourselves strong in Christ. Every single day there is a message for each of us in God’s word.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

You don’t need the world to empower you, your friends to empower you, even yourself to empower you. God has given you power. You only need to take it.

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“My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” (2 Corinthians 2:5)

It’s easy to become dependent upon the person you invested your heart in, even moreso if you were meant to be “one.” Ultimately, though, we’re only supposed to be dependent upon one and if we each are dependent upon God then, subsequently and beautifully, we can actually, SAFELY, depend upon one another!

If each new day each of you are dying to self and living for Christ, you can not help but to love one another because the Spirit within you will be like beautiful harmony to the Spirit within your spouse.

Forget everything the world ever told you about love. It’s a complete crock. Love is work. It’s beautiful and it’s a gift from God. This is what love is not: easy, sex, butterflies, lost, fallen out of, easily traded in, weak, or just not enough.

I assure you that love is not easy because anything worth having is worth working for. It’s work! It takes time. It takes effort. You don’t fall out of love – you make a decision to turn around and walk away.

Sex is sex and love is love. When you choose to truly love someone and they you – then sex is something way more than you can comprehend because, more than merely being flesh, it’s a transference of trust, love, and fulfillment.

Love is not the butterflies doing backflips in your stomach but rather that moment when your heart stirs and your mind awakens because this person just tore away all superficiality and prayed through the glass ceiling for you!

Love is not the butterflies doing backflips in your stomach but rather that moment when your heart stirs and your mind awakens because this person just tore away all superficiality and prayed through the glass ceiling for you; it’s when life has gone straight to hell in a handbasket yet you know you can brave any storm because God is with you and He gave you the best friend you could ever imagine going through it with. Love is not something that is so easily shared.

You can love everyone like Christ loves but you don’t find yourself in love with two people. Christ only has one bride – the church. The church only has one groom – Christ. Christ is not torn for his love of the saints and his love of the sinners. No man nor woman is in love with two people. And, “love just wasn’t enough” is a blatant Hollywood lie. Love is ALWAYS enough. If A=B, then B=A, right? So, if God is love, then love is God. And, I assure you, God IS enough.

True God-anointed love can see you through heartache, cheating, confusion, sickness, and even death. If two people truly love Christ, run after Him with all of their hearts and minds, and they love each other, they cannot help but to succeed. It won’t always be easy. Remember, I said love is work. Remember, it takes both to do said work, both to run after CHrist. They will survive then, thrive even, and become a light in a dark place for other couples that hope to find true happiness in this dark, truly lonely, world.

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Review & Giveaway: I Can Only Imagine

*I received a copy of this study material for an honest review of the materials.

Have you seen the faith-based blockbuster film I Can Only Imagine? If not, you’ve been beaten to it by my six-year-old. That’s right. Even my six-year-old boy sat through it and soaked it up.

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If you thought the song was moving and anointed, you have got to go see this film as soon as possible. If you’ve already seen the film, then you know. You know it’s got gritty reality and God’s grace – two things this world needs a better balance of.

That’s where the I Can Only Imagine small group (or individual) study comes in.

What’s weighing on you? Maybe you’ve lost someone or you’re struggling to hold onto your health. Maybe it’s a fragmented relationship or one you never even got to have. Maybe you’ve experienced something unspeakable or did something that feels unforgivable. Something or someone has left you feeling rejected, guilty, and broken.

Before he became the lead singer of MercyMe, Bart Millard suffered a painful childhood. Abused by his father, Bart built walls around his heart. He couldn’t see hope.

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Dennis Quaid as Arthur Millard, Bart Millard’s father

In the I Can Only Imagine Study, Bart shares his own personal story with you. He watched a monster become a godly man. He came face to face with his own brokenness, and he saw God transform a lifetime of hurt into a beautiful and enduring purpose. In this 4-week study, Bart will lead you on a redemptive journey to:

  • recall your past wounds
  • reorient your present identity
  • and reimagine your future.

Surrounded by brokenness, it’s hard to imagine a loving father, complete forgiveness, and eternal restoration. But when you learn to see yourself through God’s eyes, you will finally find rest in his approval, purpose, and eternal hope. Reveal the heart of the God who loves you…more than you can imagine.

*Features exclusive scenes from the movie, I Can Only Imagine

If you’re looking for a study for your small group, yourself, your tribe, or just your best friend or spouse and yourself, then I highly suggest this study. This study is both time conscious and yet also intensive and thought provoking.

It includes:

  • 4 twelve minute episodes on DVD featuring Bart Millard of MercyMe
  • One copy of the Leader’s Guide with discussion questions for 4 sessions
  • One copy of the 28 day I Can Only Imagine Journal

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I Can Only Imagine small group study DVD

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I Can Only Imagine small group journal

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I Can Only Imagine leather journaling notebook

(refillable, handcrafted in Haiti, printed in the US)

As one of my followers and for reading this blog, you can get an exclusive 10% discount with the code frontgate10 by clicking HERE and purchasing the I Can Only Imagine Study Series and/or the journal.

Can’t wait to purchase or just want to take the chance of getting a second copy for a friend or loved one? Enter below to win a copy of this amazing Bible Study…

Win ICanOnly imagine

Want more information on this and more resources for your study groups? I Can Only Imagine – PDF Catalog.

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BIGGEST GIVEAWAY EVER

*There are no affiliate links. I make no money off of this post. I have, however, been given some of these items and have chosen to give them away.

So, this month is kind of a big deal…at least for me it is. And, I want it to be for you, too! Most of you know that I don’t monetize my blog. That’s not to cast aspersions upon anyone that does because this is a full time job, homie. I simply prayed over it and felt like God was telling me not to.🤷🏻‍♀️ If I ever do, I’ll let you guys know!

So, these are things I want to give away just because I really appreciate those of you that have gone on this journey with me.

1. The Headcase Christian is 1 year old!

2. It’s my birthday month!

3. I’m having life-changing surgery at the end of the month!

To celebrate – while preparing pre-op, op, and post-op😂, I’m giving some of my favorite things away. These aren’t all of my favorite things…but some!

I’ll be giving away things like… (click on image for more information)

So, Erin, what’s the catch? No catch other than you have to be part of my tribe – my supporters, my “followers.” Those that are with me in the rain should bask in the sunshine with me!

So, because I’m going to be preparing for surgery and – as most of you know – I homeschool, most all of this is going to be done through social media and relatively quickly. So, it would probably serve you to make sure that not only are you a subscriber to the blog but you also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just because I give away one thing on one social media outlet doesn’t mean I’m going to give it away on all of them.🤷🏻‍♀️ This isn’t to trick anyone. This is simply to keep this simple and fun for me too!🤗

🗣Click on any of these to find the link & follow! (FOR SOME REASON WORDPRESS IS HAVING A PROBLEM ON THEIR END; SO, FEEL FREE TO COPY & PASTE THE LINKS! Sorry about the hassle.)

www.facebook.com/headcasechristian

www.twitter.com/AHeadcaseXtian

www.instagram.com/theheadcasechristian

www.pinterest.com/theheadcasechristian

https://goo.gl/SMcS4S