Tuesday, November 22, 2011

That Belongs To Me

Over the past four days, my husband has twice been a victim of theft.  Saturday morning, we were awakened by a knock on the door.  It was one of our neighbors letting us know that one of the windows to my husband's truck had been busted.  He went outside to find that someone had gotten away with his radio.  Then this morning, he called to tell me that someone had broken into his equipment truck, and stole a few pieces of equipment he and his brother use for their business.  Thankfully, the equipment inside of the truck is too large to just be carried away, so they were only able to get away with a few small items.

It really bothers me when people take it upon themselves to take possession of things that do not belong to them.  I mean, what gives someone the right to force themselves into your territory and unlawfully take what belongs to you?  They've got some nerve!

Thieves have no regard for another person's belongings.  Some go as far as to watch and study their victim's every move, just so that they can learn the perfect time to go into their space and take their possessions.  It's just sad.  Ol' rogues!!

It makes me think about the enemy.  We all know he's a sneaky little thief.  He's always roaming and watching us, trying to find the perfect opportunity to force his way into our lives and take what's rightfully ours.  (1 Peter 5:8)  He keeps watch on our joy; our peace; our health; our mind; our marriages and relationships; our children; our finances; and our purpose, and he comes in like a theif in the night and steals it away from us when we least expect it.  Though scripture advises us to be alert, there are times when, like burglars, we just don't see him coming.

Around this time last year, our home was burglarized and the thieves got away with a lot of valuable things.  Although they were never caught, and we were never able to retrieve those things that were stolen from us, the Lord blessed us so that, over time, we were able to replace everything that was stolen.  I would have loved to have had the opportunity to snatch back my stuff from those crooks, and tell them "Uhhh, excuse me...but that belongs to me!"  Wishful thinking.

But I'm glad that that's exactly what we can do to the enemy.  We may not have power over man in the natural, but in the spirit we have mad power over Satan.  If we suit up in the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) and grab hold to the power we've been given through the blood of Jesus Christ, we can walk right up to the enemy, tap him on the shoulder, and say "Uhhh, excuse me sir, but that belongs to me!"  And we can take our possessions right back from him.

We do not have to be victims of theft by the hand of that old raggedy devil.  He may take it, but we can surely take it back.  If God gave it to you, that means it belongs to you, and the devil cannot have it.

Let that joker know that you are coming to get your marriage back; you're coming to get your health back; you're coming to get your sanity back; you're coming to get your peace back; you're coming to take your life back.  Go ahead, don't be scared.  It belongs to you!

~May you live in His love.~

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Video Blog

Happy Thursday!!  Today, I'm trying something new.  I've prepared a video message for you.  It's the first time I've done one, so if I seem like I don't know what I'm doing, it's because I really don't. LOL!!

It's been on my heart to get into video blogging, so this is me taking that first step.  I'm from the deep south, so don't talk about my country accent! Check it out, and give me some feedback, please.

Monday, November 14, 2011

That's Why I Praise Him

There's so much I planned to share with you on the blog today, but everytime I get just a few lines in, my heart becomes overwhelmed with joy, and my eyes fill with tears.  Before I know it, I've gotten caught up in praising God.  I'm really trying to pull it together to get through this blog post, but there's a praise stirring on the inside of me, and I can't seem to get away from it.

There's no way I could adequately express to you what I'm feeling right now, although I wish I could. All I can say is that for a very long time, I was in such a bottomless pit, but the Lord pulled me out, and has placed my feet upon the solid Rock. 

He has established my goings, and I'm no longer wandering aimlessly through life.  That's why I praise Him.

He has delivered my mind from the demons that once tormented me.  That's why I praise Him.

He has broken the yoke of bondage that held me captive.  That's why I praise Him.

He has destroyed the stronghold of addiction that kept me sinking in sin.  That's why I praise Him.

He has lifted the cloud of depression that used to weigh me down.  That's why I praise Him.

He has freed me from the pain that tried to destroy me.  That's why I praise Him.

He has set my soul free from the grip of the enemy.  That's why I praise Him.

He has given me a brand new identity through Jesus Christ.  That's why I praise Him.

He has assured me that He has plans to give me a future and a hope.  That's why I praise Him.

He has opened doors I never imagined I'd walk through.  That's why I praise Him.

He has given me purpose.  That's why I praise Him.

He has clothed me in joy, love, and peace.  That's why I praise Him.

He has become alive in my heart.  That's why I praise Him.

He has restored my life.  That's why I praise Him.

He is God, and He is good.  That's why I praise Him.

I don't know about you, but I praise God for His goodness and mercy towards me.  I don't need a huge blessing or breakthrough to fall from the sky to provoke me to lift my hands, dance, or utter words of thanksgiving to my King.  The fact that He is God, and has always been God in my life is reason enough for me.  The Lord loves the praises of His people.  He dwells in it.  It's like music in His ears. When's the last time you sang a song to God through your praise?  Are the rocks singing in your place?

This wasn't the route I planned to take with the blog today, but I'm so full...praise is the only thing on my mind.  And I refuse to let the rocks cry out for me.  God is so worthy, and I will praise Him forever, and ever, and ever.

If nothing else today, I want to encourage you to praise God.  Whether good or bad, happy or sad, up, down, or in-between, God deserves your praise. Praise is comely for the upright. (Psalm 33:1)

Now excuse me while I pick 'em up and put 'em down...right here in my room! I don't need no music...

~May you live in His love~

Thursday, November 10, 2011

There's Help...

Late last night as I was about to prepare myself for bed, someone really close to me was pressed upon my heart. Though I clearly heard the Lord telling me to check on my friend, because I had a pounding headache and was feeling very drained, I decided that I'd just say a prayer for her and make contact the following morning.

Within a matter of seconds after praying for my friend, I noticed the indicator light blinking on my phone.  I had a text message.  When I opened it, my heart sank.  It was a message from my friend saying that she wanted her life to be over, and was struggling with harming herself, and worse, taking her own life.  She's been in a vicious fight for a really long time, and sometimes she feels that the pain and torment in her mind is too much to handle.  She has a hard time believing that her life will ever be more than what it is right now.

I immediately began to go into warfare for my friend, and did all I could to convince her to hold on.  Thankfully, she did not succomb to the demons in her mind, and made it through a very difficult moment.  God is a keeper.

There are so many people out there like my friend, who are so overwhelmed by life's problems that they feel they may be better off dead.  That's a lie from the enemy.  God desires that you live, and abundantly so. (John 10:10)

I recently wrote an article in EEW Magazine about how our problems are not meant to be the death of you, and how we must declare that we will not die, but live. (Psalm 118:17) 

But what do you do when the pain is too much?  When the demons in your mind are so loud?  When the more you pray the worse you feel?  When the tears won't stop, and nothing seems to help? When you want to cut yourself to relieve the pain?  When you struggle with commiting suicide? When you want to drink the hurt away? When you want to go to sleep and never wake up? When there's so much anger bottled up inside of you that you want to hurt someone else?  What do you do?

You know, as Christians, we're taught to "take your burdens to the Lord, and leave them there." We're taught to pray about our problems, our struggles, our issues, and just trust the Lord to heal, deliver, and set free. Although Jesus is indeed our "Balm in Gilead", and is well capable of healing any and every manner of sickness and disease (Physically or Psychologically), I believe there are times when He extends His grace through tangible sources. There are Doctors, Counselors, Psychiatrists, and Psychologists that He anoints to aid us in working through our problems.

I firmly believe in the power of prayer, because I've seen it work in my life.  But you know what, although I never sought "professional help" to help me work through my issues, the Lord definitely led me to people that I could talk to, and were ordained by Him to assist me in tackling my demons.

By ALL means, pray and trust God. But, there is help beyond the pulpit; beyond the altar; beyond your prayer closet.  And if you find that the things that torment you are extremely overwhelming, and you struggle with thoughts of suicide, or abuse to yourself or others, it's perfectly okay to seek help. God is such a big God, and He's not limited in the ways He helps us.

Christians struggle.  Christians are self-harming.  Christians are abusing others.  Christians are commiting suicide.  But there's help, and there's hope.  Don't be ashamed or afraid to ask for it.

There are resources available.  If you can't find any at your local church, or in your area, I've listed a few below:
Suicide Prevention
Domestic Violence Hotline
Crisis Hotline (Drug & Alcohol)

If you need help, pray and ask the Lord to lead you to a Christian professional who will be beneficial in helping you to work through whatever your problem(s) may be.

I don't know who this is for, but the subject of suicide has been so pressed upon my heart lately.  I don't know who you are, where you are, or how tough your struggle is, but God does. Your life is so valuable to Him; you are valuable to Him.

Lord, today I pray for those struggling with harming themselves, or commiting suicide. I pray that you'd give them peace in their minds, and help them find healthy ways of coping with the demons that consume their thoughts.  Lord, help them to see their value in you, and assure them that there is no pain you are incapable of healing.  Comfort them, and wrap them in your loving arms.  I bind the spirit of death that hovers over them, and I declare that they shall live and not die. If they need help beyond their prayers and faith, I ask that you'd lead them to kind-hearted, compassionate, God-loving professionals that will act as your mouthpiece, and help to bring healing in their lives.  I thank you in advance for preserving their lives, and leading them along the path to victory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

~May you live in His love.~

Monday, November 7, 2011

It Won't Kill You

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m crossing paths with a lot of women who remind me so much of the broken woman I used to be. On separate recent occasions, I offered a listening heart to three young ladies experiencing serious turbulence in their lives. Though their situations are different, their feelings towards the turmoil in their lives are the same. They are weary, and worn by fighting what seems to be a constant losing battle. As I conversed with them individually, there was one statement they each made that united them in my heart – “This will be the death of me.” Here were three women who sincerely love the Lord, and whose whole lives are still ahead of them, ready to throw in the towel and give up on life. 

But I couldn’t judge them. I empathized with them, and my heart ached each time I heard or read those words, because I once felt the same way. I knew exactly how they felt.

Read the rest over at my bi-weekly Inspiration Column in  EEW Magazine, and share your thoughts. While you're visiting EEW, be sure to check out all of the wonderful articles written with you in mind.

~May you live in His love.~

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Won't Go Back

I've been in church all of my life.  I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 14, but it wasn't until about two years ago that I really began to develop a real, personal relationship with the Lord.  And within the past year, I have experienced the presence of God like never before.  Since welcoming His presence into my life, I've changed tremendously.

I've experienced freedom.

I've experienced deliverance.

I've experienced healing.

I've found forgiveness.

I've found purpose.

I've found peace.

I've found joy.

I've found life.

The presence of the Lord has been life-changing for me, and I'll never, ever go back to the way I used to be. Seek His presence, bask in it, and watch how it changes your life.  And once you've experienced His presence, you'll never want to go back to life without it.

Enjoy the song posted below.

~May you live in His love.~

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nothing Can Separate Us

Have you ever had a really close relationship with someone, but then over time found that you aren't as close as you used to be?  The phone calls and text messages aren't as frequent as they once were, and pretty soon they end altogether. The quality time you usually set aside for one another is now occupied by other things or people.  The laughs you used to share turn into awkward silence.  The person you once knew so well becomes a total stranger.

You wonder what happened?  Who changed?  What went wrong?  Sometimes you can't find those answers.  All you know is that the love that was once there is now gone.

I've experienced quite a bit of separation in 2011, and I must admit that it hasn't been the best feeling.  When you love people, and for whatever reason, you end up parting ways, it kinda hurts your heart.  Though I may not totally understand why the Lord chose to remove those people from my life, I do know that He knows what and who are best for me.  I have learned to accept the fact that sometimes separating from people is necessary.

But you know what?  I am thankful that, no matter how many people have been removed from my life, there is absolutely nothing that can separate me from the love of God.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

The Message Bible says it like this - "I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."

Isn't that awesome?

No matter what, God says He's not going anywhere.  His love will always remain, and nothing or no one will come between us.  We never have to wonder how long He's going to stick around, or if His love will wax cold.

"...and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:20

How great is that?

~May you live in His love.~