Frail No More

warrior1[1]

Proverbs 23:7a (ASV), “For as he thinketh within himself, so is he:”

Years ago, in my early twenties, a doctor spoke these words over me, “You are like a frail and fragile flower.” At the time, I was going through some health issues and feeling like a weakling. These words flew into my mind and quickly my heart agreed, “Yes I am like a flower! I am fragile.” I finally felt like I was validated in some way. Of course this was a self fulfilling prophecy and for years I struggled with health issues, anxiety, and stress. Like a fragile flower petal, life crushed me over and over. Unlike that fragrant rose petal that lets off a wonderful aroma when crushed, I stank! Life was about me, my sickness, my symptoms, my anxiety, my fears, my, me, mine… You get the picture.

Thank God for deliverance and healing, for sending His Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth. I have been free from that mess of a life for years now, but just this morning while listening to the message at Church, God reminded me of those ugly words spoken over me years ago. I never related those words to my constant struggle with life until just this morning! Maybe God was waiting for me to be stronger, or maybe I am just hard headed. However, now I recognized that lie of Satan coming through the foolish words of that doctor. As those words came to my remembrance, I rebuked that lie and this truth rose up in me- “I am not frail! I am a woman with a sword! I have been trained and equipped, I have the full armor of God, and I am battle ready. ”

Proverbs 23:7 explains this phenomenon, how we think about ourselves, what we choose to believe in our hearts, that’s who we become! That is pretty scary isn’t it? How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought, “I hate my hair/or chin/or nose/or whatever?” Or said to yourself, “My life sucks,” “my kids never listen,” “My husband doesn’t care,” and the list can go on and on. We even confess quite frequently, “I don’t feel good.” An older visiting preacher, who has gone on to be with the Lord, once told us that he got up every morning and looked in the mirror and said, “You look good, you feel good.” Then he would echo within himself, “We feel good, we look good!” He was rarely sick. We need to take a lesson from Dave Duel, and from the author of proverbs 23. We need to line up our heart thinking with what God says about every situation and about ourselves (about Him as well) and not allow any foolish thinking to take place.

Have you already latched onto a lie like I did? Well, it’s never too late. Repent, rebuke that thought, and thank God for tearing down that stronghold. Then change the way you think!

Luke 6:45 (NIV), “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Fill your heart with good! Fill it with the Truth, with His word. Then that will come out.

I am strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world! Amen!

Book Review for “An Exalted Depravity”- Christian YA Dystopian

51Snx17kG+L_-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_OU01_AA300_

What the book is about:

“Amendment Thirty to the Constitution of the United States of America: The education of young American persons between the ages of five years and twenty years shall hereby and indefinitely lay in the hands of the United States government. Any form of alternative schooling without government sanction shall not be permitted.

It all started with the rebellion. Teens in the streets, throwing bricks through every storefront, slashing every tire, and beating any stranger who looked at them twice. But sometimes the solution is worse than the problem. This is the lesson Zak learns after being ripped from his humble family and thrown into a new school, where open sexuality reigns and chastity is a vice.

There, the question in his mind remains: what exactly is the cost of discipleship?”

My Review:I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am a fan of Logan Judy, so when he offered me a copy of his latest book I accepted. I loved this YA dystopian book. This one had a whole new take on dystopian. I found it very relevant and couldn’t help thinking of “Brave New World” as I read it. The story is set in a society that is void of morals with a government that thinks they can do a better job raising the children than their own parents.  A must read for Christian teens! I give it five stars, and am looking forward to more of this series. Though this clearly is book one, it could be read alone. No swearing. There is a lot of talk of sexual contact, but not in a graphic way, only as a description of societies values. Some violence and bullying. Though geared for teens, I think any adult dystopian fan (like me) would like it.

 

Book Review for “The Field”- Christian Fiction/Allegory

51K7udpi05L__SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

What it’s about:

“Three women are lured into a forbidden field by a charming prospector and the promise of buried treasure. Hava, in doing the prospector’s bidding, inadvertantly unleashes a battle in the Kingdom, and the consequences of her actions leave her guilt-ridden and isolated. Delilah, daughter of an influential Kingdom ambassador, uses her philosophical wit to recruit treasure hunters to her own cause. Lilly, ever a loner, seizes the opportunity to do something meaningful and be recognized for it. Through their respective encounters with the Field, Hava, Delilah, and Lilly take up their roles in the age-old battle between the King and those who oppose him in ways none of them had planned.”

My Review:

I was given a copy of “The Field” in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, I loved this book! One of the best Christian allegories I have ever had the privilege of reading. It tells the story of the ultimate battle, the one for our souls. It clearly portrays our enemy, the Deceiver, and the love of the King. I give it five stars and will definitely be looking for more from this author. No swearing or sexual content, there is violence, but nothing explicit. Good for teens and up.

 

Produce Love

johnny-appleseed

Galatians 5:6 (HCSB), “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.” (emphasis mine)

I want to be productive in some way, to contribute. I don’t ever want to be accused of just taking and never giving. I don’t believe in distribution of wealth, or socialism. I believe everyone has something to give, something to do, some part they can play in making the world a better place.

As Christians we are to be productive. God told Adam and Eve, as well as Noah after the flood, to be fruitful and multiply. We are supposed to be about His business of furthering His Kingdom.

How do we do that? By producing fruit.

Galatians 5:22 (KJB), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Some years back while studying for my bachelors’ degree, I took a class on “The Fruit of the Spirit.” It was at that time that I finally got a true understanding of what this ‘fruit’ was. The Spirit produces Love in us. All the other things listed in Galatians five are part of love. Think of an orange. Love is the whole fruit and each section is; joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control. If we truly have love in our lives, we will produce the other things listed in this verse. For what is meekness without love, but false humility, what is goodness without love, only duty. Love is the motivation, the fuel that moves us to do good and to be better people. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit in us when we apply the Word to our lives. Our senior pastor, Dr. William Hohman, says it this way, “Love is produced by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us. Fruit isn’t a gift, it is produced.”

John 13:35 (NIV), “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

God has many plans and purposes for His children, but our main purpose it to multiply and bear fruit. We multiply by making disciples, by growing the family of God. The goodness of God, manifested in His love, is what turns hearts to repentance. So we have to sow love, plant the seeds of love so that we can produce love where ever we go.

Produce love! Be the Johnny Appleseed of Heaven and sow it everywhere!

Hard Stuff

945849_1668587950067947_5505372790303018569_n

II Peter 1:5-9 (NASB), “for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.”

Life is tough, living in this fallen world isn’t always easy, and we have an enemy who loves to tempt our fleshly nature to take over. On top of all of that, sometimes we are just plain stupid and we do stupid things, think stupid thoughts, and say stupid words. One of my favorite quotes is a John Wayne quote: “Life if hard, it is even harder when you are stupid.”

That kind of stupid can only be fixed by one kind of education, educating yourself, with the help of the Holy Spirit, in the word. Finding out who God really is and how He thinks of you. Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a Christian keeps you from living a life that is harder than it has to be.

I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV), “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Sure we all go through stuff, hard stuff, ugly stuff, and unwanted stuff. Stuff happens! We don’t get to choose what we are handed, but we do get to choose how we handle it. I want to learn from my mistakes, don’t you? In fact I would prefer to learn from other’s mistakes and not have to deal with it in a close and personal way, but sometimes I am hard headed and hard hearted and God allows me to go through the fire to get rid of the junk. When I do, if I really surrender to Him, I come out looking, feeling, and living better. The dross is skimmed off of the top and all that is left is the precious metal. Like silver and gold that goes thru the furnace so that it can be purified, I come out stronger, with more faith, and more confidence in the Father.

Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to so that our lives get better. We stand in the gap for a loved one (or an enemy). We do the job no one wants, we work out things in our lives that shouldn’t be there, when the easy thing is to just pretend it isn’t there. We tell others when we mess up, we confess our sin, we repent, turn back to God and move on. I choose to obey God, to follow instructions, to submit to those in authority over me because they watch over my soul.

When I do this I grow up, I mature. My weaknesses are shored up, and my strengths are used for His glory.

Today I will do what others want so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” – Football player Jerry Rice

We all go through the same stuff, but in Christ, we don’t lose our joy over it.

Book Review for “The Kingdom: Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams -Christian Testimonial

untitled

“This is an inspirational story of a journey on the narrow path, in a quest to discover the way, the truth and the life.  In a battle between good and evil, Joanna finds the King, confronts the dragon, discovers her destiny, meets the chosen one and finds her inheritance. Those who enjoy Christian fantasy and true life adventure will appreciate this unique book.”

My Review: I was given a copy of “The Kingdom: Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” by the author, Joanne Rolston, in exchange for an honest review. Ok, let me start by saying I thought this was going to be fiction, but instead I received a new and very enjoyable testimony! It is written and reads like fiction, a modern day fairy tale actually. I loved it! Candid and very open about her life, questioning God, her struggles, and her mistakes, this is a great read for anyone who is struggling with their walk, or just wants to strengthen their walk with the King. I give it five stars! Mature content so teens and up, though I would say it is more geared for adults.

 

I Have The Right

470292b13eae8aaaf9e7918db32fa375

I John 1:12 (NIV), “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (emphasis mine)

There is a lot of talk in our modern world about “rights.” Who has them, what kind, who doesn’t, why not, who needs them, animal rights, illegal alien rights, constitutional rights, parents rights, children’s rights, I can go on for pages! There is merit to some of the talk. I happen to agree with some of the statements made, and totally disagree with others. We won’t hash that all out today. Today I want to talk about the most important right that we have, as Christians.

We have the right to become the children of God.

I love to look up scriptures in different translations. Sometimes they will say it just a bit different and it becomes clearer. When looking up this one, each version used the exact same word- “right.”

Let’s take a look at that word that is thrown around so much.

Right: a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.

Synonyms: entitlement, prerogative, privilege, advantage, due, birthright, liberty, authority, power, license, permission, dispensation, leave, sanction, freedom

We have the prerogative, the privilege, the advantage, authority, power, and permission to become the children of God. (Son means child in this case, male and female). It’s our birthright when we become children born of heaven, by the blood of Jesus.

It’s not a done deal just because we said a prayer. We get to “become” His son. How? By accepting His love for us, by knowing who He is, who we are in His eyes and heart, and by getting as close and intimate as possible with our Father.

I John 3:1 (NIV), “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

Lavished- that’s also a great word. It isn’t a small portion. It isn’t stingy. It is scandalous. It is a generous, extravagant amount. It is pouring an expensive, large amount of scented oil on the head of the One you love; it is cleaning His feet with your tears and drying them with your hair. It is a boat so filled with fish that it could sink. It is forgiveness in the face of an angry crowd ready to cast stones and with every right to do so. It is breaking the rules for love, healing on the Sabbath, eating with sinners, and getting intimate with lepers.

God, the Father, has lavished His love on us. Why? Because He wants sons. Yes, He had one perfect Son, who obeyed in every way, even unto death, a Son that shares everything and has perfect relationship with the Father. But, He still wants us!

Then once we acknowledge that we have the right to become His son, we step out in faith and let the transformation begin, we suddenly have all kinds of rights in the Kingdom, that no one can ever take away from us!