Thursday, August 22, 2013

Faithful and True

John 1:1                    
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Last night as I was laying in bed, I was very restless (that part is normal). I could not get comfortable and when I prayed it felt "off". After a few minutes of me praying and tossing around I finally decided to change up my prayer a bit. I asked God to remove the obstacle that I felt between us as I tried to find rest. When He showed me what the problem was, I was relieved. It was that I have not been in the word the last day or so. Time has interfered with my reading and prayer time and He was gently reminding me of that fact. So feeling better knowing what it was that felt so "off" about my prayers I tried sleep. Again, not happening. The next prayer I said was something of this nature, "Lord please help me rest, my brain is fried from to much computer stuff at work and I need to pray for my friends who need you, I will make changes and start back in the word tomorrow, I SEE now that being out of the word has caused me to start that spiritual lean, yet again. Please help me rest tonight"......Still I'm wide awake and I feel this response
"You realize that Knowing is only half the battle right? If you are not in the word yet and still putting it off until its convenient then what good was it for me to show you the problem? Now you know and still you lay."
I'm sure you can imagine my response, it was a silent Thank you Jesus, I went to get my bible and dig in.

Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

There are many things about this precious time I had with the Lord that I learned. He reminded me that anything we know and don't act on is utterly useless. For instance as Christians we are all aware that we are living spiritual warfare daily. Our Jesus is under attack and the way we live to follow Jesus is under attack. So you see, knowing that battle is growing daily and quickly heading our way we have to prepare. If we don't prepare, then it did us absolutely no good to even know. The Lord also reminded me that I'm fully equipped for battle, I just have to remember to put on my armor and use my bible , His word is alive and its sharper than any sword. I have been under attack spiritually to the point that all I could pray was "father I believe, help my unbelief " scripture holds more power than we give it credit for, its God breathed as in by the creator of the universe !
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
The days seem to be getting worse and worse. My friends who I love dearly are suffering with faint relief in sight. A beautiful young man was shot while jogging because some kids "just felt like killing someone." Today, a 5 year old brought a gun to school in Memphis and it went off in his backpack, no one was hurt but....WHAT?  Another man goes into an elementary school and had full intentions of killing with those 500 rounds of amo he had in his duffle bag.
We need a revival, we need to get stirred up in our spirit and pray. We need to be prayed up to deal with this kind of tragedy.
I choose to trust Jesus when he reminded me to get prayed up and put on His armor, I'm  choosing to not only to be a "knower" but I want to be a "mover" get up, get suited up and get down on my knees. If revival doesn't come soon to the USA I shutter to think of the USA my kids will know. If we are not prayed up and prepared how can we stand in the gap for hurting people who just can't stand for themselves right now? We have to pray and stay in the word. Continue to stand up for what is right and show the world what Jesus looks like. I want someone to look at me and see my savior all over me. That's who I want to be.
Thanks for not letting me rest last night Lord, the lesson was so much more important. Pray for my friends as they are afraid, sick and in pain. Cancer does not care who you are, or how strong of a believer you are it will try to destroy you and not just physically. Many people are suffering in the world, just turn on the news and start praying. I have been called specifically for 2 families currently and I ask that you join me. These 2 families have a hard road ahead and their journey with cancer is very draining.

We must be prayed up in order to stand in the gap for the Steve Dillard family and for the Lyndsey Taylor family. The Lord is preparing many to continue to stand in the gap for you. Love you all !!

I keep reminding myself these are battles, but the war is already won. Until I die, this is who I long to see coming in the clouds. Faithful and True. And FYI I bet he had to move Jackson off of His horse :)


Monday, August 12, 2013

Realizing the obvious

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

I have felt very out of sorts lately. I have not felt like sharing my life or journey with anyone let alone strangers on my blog. I am gonna attempt it anyway because when I'm called to share I want to be obedient even when I don't "feel like it". I never said this was gonna be easy or that the entry's are good. They are just mine, my heart and my journey that I'm led to share in order that it may help another. 
Last night while I was reading before bed, I realized something. Its gonna be kind of hard to explain and maybe awkward (whats new right?). So here it is If you have a child in heaven and you are a follower of Christ you have surely noticed this.....We are for the most part all alike....... not only do we have in common that we have children in Heaven, or that we are living through Christ in the midst of a horrible tragedy.  We are alike in our thinking, speaking and feelings. I have read so many books on grief and the loss of a child that there is no way I can count them. I am very selective (learned the hard way) about what I read and who wrote it and who I take advice on healing from.  The books I read I usually research first, I want to know the writer and his/ her beliefs before I allow my heart to soak up their experience and what they have learned. Reading can be very dangerous when you are searching for help anywhere you can find it. A broken heart and spirit is more vulnerable than any other. So guard your heart and be mindful of the person you are reading about or speaking to. Its easy to get confused or to start to believe things that are just not true of God when your hurt. All it takes is the wrong word at the opportune time.  

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it

Okay, back to my original thought (shocking, I know). I am blown away at the likeness of us in this group of parents with children in Heaven, or really anyone who lost someone they loved more than life. If we were followers of Christ before our loss and chose to seek Jesus in our loss, then man we grew in faith with supernatural speed in our pits! I mean not only did we grow and mature in our faith, but our way of speaking and our very spirit's seem "alike". The longing to know everything we can about Heaven, the way we feel and SEE the sufferings of this world, the way we love with our whole hearts, the words we use to explain the pain of it all. I stand amazed at this realization, how can I just now notice how very much we are alike? 

I noticed from the beginning of our walk with grief that others living with grief were "like"us, but I didn't realize why or maybe I never considered the "why". When we allow Jesus to carry us, teach us and grow us we become more like Him which is the point right? I have said 100 times that there are times I feel so close to Jesus that if he showed up in disguise, I would recognize Him. I have no doubt that's true of any of us who have given our grief to Him and let Him carry our burden. There is no doubt that the trials I live with every day are not trials that one can live through (and actually live, not just exist) without Christ. It takes supernatural intervention to actually "live" again. I have days and sometimes weeks that I feel like I'm spiritually sideways (like that V8 commercial when the people are all leaning as they walk) I need Jesus to come hold me tight , like when someone hugs you and pops your back....that kind of hug. Nice and tight, and straiten my back and my spine again. I don't want to live in a spiritual slump or walk around "off" or leaning one way or another. I want to walk with my back strait and my eyes focused up and on Jesus who saves me over and over again. 
I love to read and talk to my co-sufferers because they lift me up and help me shift my focus back where it needs to be. I hate that I am a part of this group but man it's amazing to SEE how we are all so much alike. I never understood it but now I do, just like that, He showed me. Jesus showed us Himself because we let him and that forever changed and bonded us in this grief stricken group of followers. We know because we learned from the same Jesus, how could we not be and speak like each other?! 

As I type this I mentally picture Jesus smiling at my revelation :)
We are children of one father, we made the choice in horrendous circumstances to focus on Him and that forever bonded us. We are like Him in ways we never would have been pre-tragedy because we SEE now. Don't get me wrong, we SEE Jesus, that does not mean we understand His ways. When all you have is Jesus to get you through moment by moment you tend to listen for His voice in any storm, not just the life altering ones. That goes back to the saying "Faith isn't faith until its all your holding on to". When we are forced to choose to live in faith again or stay spiritually dead we are absolutely changed. If I learned one thing from Him in my storm its that cause and effect are a human thing. There are not always reasons for everything that happens. We have to stop looking for the effect of our loss. Maybe there isn't one, or maybe there is. We wont know this side of Heaven and that's the way it is. Stay focused on Eternity and it will be here before we know it. Hold on to faith like its all you have, because the truth is. Just ask any of my co-sufferers, I feel confident you will find the same way of thinking.

The most famous co-sufferers I have ever met, yet we still have the same mind set. amazing.                                           Stevin Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman & Me

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Trouble lurks






1 Peter 5:8-9  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

As a follower of Christ one of the hardest things for me to do is be like Christ. Who can be like God? Not I...... However I can ATTEMPT to be Christ like and keep at it day after day.
One thing that has been on my mind constantly the last week or so, is this. In order to be like Christ I need to also recognize Satan. If I don't recognize Satan then I get stuck in trap after trap and let me tell you this, when you start to look for the enemy, you will know him. The more things we do to show love and to be the body of Jesus the more the enemy lurks:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6: 12
What makes us think that the enemy ceases to "mess" with us at this day in time? Are we any different now than the people of Jesus time? We may be different, but we face the same old enemy. He is invisible to us, but he is here and he is running things down here on Earth. His time is short though and he knows it. The fact is, Satan is real and he really is messing with you. I have found a few ways in my own life that I sometimes recognize the enemy. One is this, remember the saying "Divide and Conquer" ? The enemy loves to do just that. If he can divide or isolate us from others and make us start to argue or feel superior to another person then he has begun to conquer us. If we are divided from one another we are not functioning correctly, that goes for family and friends. If we loose sight of our attempt to be like Christ and the meaning it has for others, then he has begun to conquer us. The thing is, we can make a choice to not allow the enemy to divide us in the first place. Have you ever got into a sticky situation and thought "whoa, how did this happen?" (I haven't because I'm perfect ;-p ....) When this happens just back up and pray. See what Jesus shows you. Lots of times I see that something I said was not how I meant it to be, or maybe I over react to something someone says to me. This is Satan, that's all it is. To be human is to sin and sin is from Satan, when we are not like Jesus then its Satan working through us. Telling us lies, throwing fuel on a fire that never should have been lit.
I came across this scripture in a bible study I'm reading, and it stuck in my brain (that's usually a sign that Jesus is talking to me). If I'm supposed to be like Christ, and recognize Satan for who and what he is, shouldn't I learn how to deal with him to?
Matthew 16:23
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Human concerns.....human concerns. Yes, that's me, I'm like Peter with my human concerns! I'm human and my concerns when I'm not in the will of God are mine and they are selfish human concerns. Peter was looking out for himself he could not stand the thought of what Jesus was teaching, Peter was human and Satan used that. Jesus put him in his place though and I love it. I love that Jesus put him in his place and said it with all the authority of heaven and earth. I can just feel the authority. GET BEHING ME SATAN! maybe we should try that? when I step back and see what that there is turmoil where there should not be, I will pray and tell Satan to get behind me. Satan has no authority over us, we are children of the one true king (My daughters favorite song!) ! He can mess with us, but he can't have us. We just need to learn how to recognize him and put him in his place.....behind us. Another place I am noticing frequent attacks is in my mind. I will pray for something and knowing Jesus hears me, I continue to worry and the worrying becomes excessive to the point that I may get sick. This is particularly true about my family. My baby has been sick and I prayed for Jesus to heal him, I knew he heard me because I was instantly more calm. Later in the day when Jett's fever shot back up I started freaking out. My thoughts were racing I was thinking the worst possible things. Things I never should have been thinking but losing Jackson made me understand too clearly that bad things happen in a split second. So you see, I was physically ill and heading to the car to take Jett to the hospital, then I stopped to pray. I felt Jesus smiling and could picture him shaking his head at me and saying "whoa now, you gave this to me like hours ago and now your sick over it? Has he gotten worse? No he has not. Let me work and tell Satan to get behind you." and I was instantly at peace and I mean that.  
Growing in my faith is hard and it's lesson after lesson. As long as I learn though, I'll continue to share it. Maybe it will help you, maybe it will just entertain you. Either way, if it brings glory to Jesus then I'll share it!

Sweet Jett man :)