This means war

Genesis 14:12, 14, 16 (AMP) And they also took [captive] Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions and left, for he was living in Sodom. When Abram heard that his nephew [Lot] had been captured, he armed and led out his trained men, born in his own house, [numbering] three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far [north] as Dan.  And he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, and also the women, and the people.

What happens when countries go into war? There are battles fought. There may even be casualties. What happens to the people that are trying to just go on with life? Sometimes, they are held captive. This is what happened to Lot and his crew. Lot and Abram had to go their separate ways. Separations happen, but that does not mean love is not there.

When Abram heard that his nephew was taken into captivity he gathered up some men of his own to go get him. Soon after a king offered him possessions, riches, to leave Lot and the others in his captivity. Why? The captivity of a people, not just land, shows the grandeur of a kingdom. The devil does not care what possessions you own, he cares about your influence of Kingdom matter.

1 Peter 2:9 (AMP) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Romans 8:17 (AMP)  And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.

Galatians 3:29 (AMP) And if you belong to Christ [if you are in Him], then you are Abraham’s descendants, and [spiritual] heirs according to [God’s] promise.

What happens when we hear or see a brother and/or sister in Christ go into captivity? They are no longer living the life they once were. They have fallen away. They become hard of heart and calloused to the rest of the body of Christ. What do you do then? Do we shrug our shoulders and chock it up to free will and we are all responsible for walking our own salvation? You are probably right in saying your words would be ineffective. What about your prayers?

Ephesians 6:12 (AMP) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 

Can you imagine the real battle going on right now? Can you see it? The enemy has come in and taken people captive. The battle raging in their minds. Will you go into the war room to fight for them back. Will you pray over their identities? Will you pray for strength in knowing who they are in Christ?

You may ask if this is your responsibility. Ephesians 6:18 (AMP) With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. This does not just say pray for your children, your immediate family, those who do not know Christ (as we should)…it says to pray for ALL of God’s people. We are the body of Christ and when one of us is attacked the whole army of the Lord should be coming up against the enemy.

So I have been going down to the enemy camp, calling out what he has done, and I have been taking back what he has stolen in my war room (times of prayer). I have been speaking the promises of God and what He has destined for His beloved. What the devil had taken captive he will not be able to count as one of his possessions.

Father, You are so wonderful to me. There is nothing else that matters but You. Thank you for sending Your Son so that I may be whole again. Thank You for the peace that He brought. There are many things that I do not understand, but in Your grace and mercy I put my trust in You. Thank you for the people that You have put into my life. I am like a blurred reflection of You, looking dimly in a mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12), growing in Your love day by day. In Your Presence I see You face to face. Your Presence is where I long to be. I come boldly into Your throne room of grace. I know Your angels have been assigned and are awaiting the command. I speak to the strongholds that have kept Your people in bondage. They can no longer remain captive to the lies of the enemy. Satan is the accuser of the body and his lies will not take hold of them. Lord, Your Word is a lamp to my feet, I stand in faith to Your promises. Let any unforgiveness found in me be rooted out. I choose hope. I choose faith. I choose love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Signs and wonders

Mark 16: 17-20 (AMP) These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord was working with them and confirming the word by the signs that followed.]

I am excited about the state the church is in right now. At the beginning of the year, God gave me the Word “Presence.” For us to truly enter and be at a state of His Presence, we must have a heart of surrender. This starts with repentance and forgiveness.

As I have written earlier, I am in the process of watching The Chosen Series through the Angel Productions app. In season three, episode two, Jesus sends His disciples out two by two to preach what He preached, to lay hands on the sick and to cast out demons in His name. He told them to take no money and not even an extra tunic. The only other instruction was who they were partnered up with. The one that gave the most rebuttal was the pairing of Simon the former zealot and Matthew the former tax collector. It was not them with the problem, but the others, their concern was that the best pair to work together. Could they work together despite their different backgrounds? Often our perception of others limit what we believe they are capable of.

My favorite person to watch in this series is Matthew, I love his transformation. In my reading of the Word it had always been Peter, because he is mentioned so much I guess. In this perspective I just love Matthew. Simon in his former self would have despised and spat on Matthew, just like all the others did in the streets. He would have probably killed him, as zealots were trained assassins by the radical priests that wanted to overthrow the government. Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans, and his people saws him as a traitor. What a fun pair!

I wept when I saw that Simon kept the man calm while he had Matthew cast out the demon. Simon had the strength to do all and just allow Matthew to be a spectator, but that is not how Jesus instructs. It was a real confidence builder in Matthew. You can tell in his face that he felt accepted and needed.

We are in exciting times. There is a spread of revival in our college campuses and a shift in the atmosphere in our churches. Why? There is a heart change happening. It starts with repentance and forgiveness. It is not surrounding one charismatic preacher or one team of people. It is because the body started working like it should. They are no longer spectators waiting for a move, they are the move, they have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of them. The church has awakened.

Every person that we come in contact with has potential. I am a born again child of God and I still desire more of Him in my life. I still desire more freedom. Why? The enemy wants me to stay bound to things in my past, in my offenses, to what science tells me I am predisposed for genetically, therefore, I have become so beat down that oppression is what I would choose to function through. Just enough freedom to go to heaven, but not enough to rejoice and set other captives free. Oppression is a demonic stronghold that has had it’s hold on the body of Christ long enough. It keeps us in the back ground. It keeps us in the dark to say that the Word does not work that way for them. Enough is enough and we need to be bold enough to look the devil in the eye and say they have no place here any longer. Jesus is Lord here!!

Let’s just say demons oppress believers and a woman was set free yesterday in service. Is the promise of heaven just enough? For me it is not. I want all that God has for me. Jesus came to restore me, to make me whole, on earth. I am excited to see the ones who have been satisfied with the background to gain freedom in Christ. I was one of those. I want to be confident in Christ so that when the demons present themselves I do not have to look for someone with the authority, I have the authority. I can lay hands on the sick and they will recover. There is an awakening returning to the body. Signs and wonders will be follow. We are the move of God!

Father, forgive me for doubting Your power that was placed inside of me. I repent for putting me first in what comforts me. I repent for holding onto unforgiveness of those that have hurt me intentionally or unintentionally. You are more than enough for me. Thank You for Jesus and His compassion to lead well, and to humble Himself to teach us how to do Your mighty works. We want to see Your Kingdom here. We want to see the captives free. If there is anything in my life that is still holding me captive, I release it to You. I surrender my life, my will, my emotions so that freedom can flow through me. I ask that You place opportunities before me so that I can present Your Gospel, the ministry of reconciliation. I surrender all. In Jesus Name, Amen.

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP)  Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.

Every November I start each morning posting what I am thankful for. A heart of thanksgiving will overflow with gratitude. It is the fruit of us being deeply rooted in Jesus. It is proof of our faith. It helps build our faith because we choose to overflow in it with gratitude.

Last week my church finished up a six week small group plan following Get Out of Your Head, a study in Philippians, by Jennie Allen. The final chapter talks about anxiety. Could we be focused on fear of a real or, often really the case, perceived threat? Can we trust God, even if?

Philippians 4:8 (AMP) Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

Philippians 4:8 is one of my go to verses that I often meditate on. Why? My mind wants to spiral into some crazy thoughts. Often we think of all the things that can go wrong when presented with a challenge. In reality the more success we have is when we focus on all the things that can go right. The same is with our relationships. If I cannot think of our brothers and sisters in Christ this way, I have a deep issue that has not been rooted in His love. If I cannot bring our minds to think on things that is worthy of praise, if I cannot implant His Word in my heart, I have a deep rooted issue centered on not trusting God.

A couple of years ago a church that we had a semi relationship with (our youth groups would get together) hurt me pretty bad. They had started using some of my youth leaders to do various helps in their church, without us knowing. These leaders eventually left ours to join in with their leadership team because of the relationship they developed. My heart hurt and we cut ties with that other church. Even though what they did was wrong, I became so consumed to what they did and what they are doing that bitterness and eventually depression set it. I had allowed it to do that to happen a year ago. I still had friendships in that church, but I cut off all communication with the pastors. I stayed away from my friends because I did not want to spew my hurt onto them. I do honor the office of a pastor and we should not use the reason of hurt to talk bad about them (James 4:11). When I did come together again, with my friend, I did tell them why, but I did tell the I her I was working through my hurt. I always encourage her to honor her pastors, to join in and help with the vision of the church. I have also started to pray for the church, not to see their errors, but to fulfill the vision that God put inside of them. I am not ready to see them again. I will continue to pray. I focus my mind on what is worthy of praise. They are called by God with a purpose. They are bringing people into the Kingdom.

You do not have to wait to feel good to start having a time of thanksgiving. Joy will start to come out of your praise. Praise even when you are hurting, that is the way out of it. Start with just one. You might say, I cannot come up with thirty things. Just think and be thankful one day at a time. Before you know it, you will have filled the whole month with thanksgiving. Here are a couple of ideas if you need help:

Father, I thank you for challenging us to see the best in others. My hearts desire is to grow close in your presence, because in your presence is fullness of joy. I repent for speaking words or having thoughts that slander my brothers and sisters in Christ. I choose today to think on things that pure, lovely, virtuous, and to not take an account of a suffered wrong. I speak blessings on those that hurt me. May they be successful and favored in every place they go. May they minister the gospel and set people free by pointing them to your Son. I am thankful for the forgiveness you have given me so that I may freely give it to others. Thank you for leading me. Thank you for the friendships that I have. I thank you that we point each other back to Christ. I thank you for surrounding me and rooting me in your love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Baggage Claim

Galatians 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

It has been a few years since I have flown and will be boarding a plane this week to attend Icing in Dallas, TX. I am both nervous and excited. Excited to see a friend and spend a few days with her, nervous about the meet and greet part. As I have said before, I am a recovering extreme introvert. I still get overwhelmed when walking into a room with a bunch of people. For example, a couple of years ago I walked in late for a birthday party for one of my friends and the entire rooms attention got brought on me. My reaction was to go in (with my head down to not make eye contact with anyone) and tell her happy birthday, then I quickly made my exit.

Back to the point of this blog…when I started flying you could check one bag with the cost of your ticket at no additional charge. Now you can check a bag your first bag for $30 and an additional charge for anymore. Or the other option is carry on. Which means you have to keep up with it before your flight. Carry it as your find your seat. Find a place for it during your flight. Carry it as you disembark the plane. We have done pretty good at masking our emotional baggage, by checking it. When we are triggered is when it shows up again.

I fully believe in getting to the root issues of areas. Like why rejection keeps attaching itself to me. There is a root there. It does not belong there. I have to do the work to remove it, but not without the help of the Holy Spirit. Unpacking the baggage of rejection, betrayal, hurts, disappointments is like checking your baggage at the gate. You can walk around freely and not have to worry about until the end of the flight. Just because you checked it somewhere, does not mean it is gone. When it shows up, the weight of it tries to know us down. So here we are at baggage claim to get to the root once again, because even though it is not carry on, we still need to deal with the root issues.  Can I help you with it?


  • Unforgiveness because of unfilled expectations. The participation trophy. I was not recognized because I showed up.
  • Unforgiveness because of untreated pain. Trying to act like it never hurt in the first place. You ever stumped your toe in public and played off like that did not hurt!
  • Unforgiveness because of unsolved conflicts. Unresolved conflicts can turn into resentment. Resentment can turn into bitterness.
  • Unforgiveness because of an unhealthy view of ourselves. You think everyone’s thinking about you…they aren’t thinking about you.

Matthew 6: 7-15 (AMP) “And when you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  So do not be like them [praying as they do]; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. ‘Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’  For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.

I do believe we are responsible for dealing with our baggage and unforgiveness. I do believe our lives can be miserable because of our choices. You and I can walk around with weights that slow us or stop us from walking in the life that God intended for us. That is why I chose this verse to focus on today: Galatians 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Freedom is what God intends for you. If baggage is in our life, let’s identify it, then allow the Holy Spirit to help you get rid of it. A pastor, therapist, life coach, mentor, are all very helpful to lead you through the unpacking of baggage. Make sure they are filled with the Word and have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, if not, the humanistic approach is to put the problem in people. Even the issues that happened in my childhood are not to be blamed on people. I have to forgive, not to be abused again, but forgive, love and grow. I am no longer burdened by my past, I am free! I want that for you too.

Father, I thank you for each and every person that is reading this today. I thank you that you desire us to be rooted and grounded in the love of your Son (Eph. 3:16-19). We are choosing right now to throw off these weights that have kept us from walking in the fullness of that love. We ask the Holy Spirit for the help with the unforgiveness in our hearts and minds. We know to forget is not necessarily not remember, it is the act of not letting it affect the outcome. Our past hurts and the baggage we allowed can no longer affect the outcome of our lives. We are free in you and cast that yoke of bondage away. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

Do we know our impact?

Yesterday was the Christmas service at our church. My husband’s message was topical, titled “From: God, To: You.” His main point was that God gave us the gifts of love and forgiveness when He sent His Son. In do so, those are two things we should freely give, but it is a choice.

He started it off with Luke 2:7 (NKJV) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger. The King of the World was here. He was not born in a castle. He was born in a manger and wrapped with cloth that Mary had brought along with her. My husband reminded us to not despise the small beginnings. He reminded us that God celebrates when we begin, it is a step towards His promise.

The King of the World was here.

We ended the service with the song “Mary Did You Know.” We sung it by candlelit.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
You kiss the face of God
Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven's perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you're
Holding is the great, I Am
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? Oh

As we began to sing this song I gave this verse from Luke 2:19 (AMP), But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart. Does that answer our question that Mary would know the great impact her son would make on this world? That because of Him I can come boldly before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). That two thousand years later He is still changing lives. I felt the impact of that moment.

2 Corithians 3:2-3 (NKJV) You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men, clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

The Passion Translation states, For your very lives are our “letters of recommendation,” permanently engraved on our hearts, recognized and ready by everybody. As a result of our ministry, you are living letters written by Christ, not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God – not carved onto stone tablets but on the tablets of tender hearts.

We have a choice in taking this two ways. We can say that is too much pressure, I am not perfect, how dare God expect me to live a perfect life. We could also see it as a challenge to be better. That I took the command that Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19),” literally. Wherever I go I have the potential to make a disciple because I am a living epistle. When we allow Christ to do the work in us, the living epistle is written on our hearts. Do you know the impact you make when you allow people to see that transformation? My prayer is that I draw deeper in my relationship with God and encourage others to do the same.

Merry Christmas!

What Joseph taught me about forgiveness

Have you ever heard the statement, “It is always the closest to you that hurts you the most”? I never understood it, until I had to live through it. This past week I spent time in Genesis and I got to the story of Joseph. As I was reading I wept, because I knew what he was going through. Yes, Joseph probably should have kept his mouth closed when he told his brothers that they would one day bow down to him. However, when God gives us a revelation sometimes we are just so excited we cannot help but blurt it out!

When I read this statement: And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked (Genesis 37:8b MSG), it reminded me of how it felt about not being invited for family events. My husband and I pastor a church…it is the most amazing thing we have ever done and we love it. We have family that attend our church, and we also have family that no longer attend our church. It does not matter to me where any of my family attend. It matters to me that they have a relationship with God and His people, that they are serving where God tells them to. I want them to love Jesus! However, it does still hurt not to be included. Yes, I have made mistakes. I did push, when I should have been more compassionate. Like Joseph, I was over zealous and it was not received!

If you do not know the story of Joseph I encourage you to read Genesis 37-50. I will paraphrase this for you, it is very long but an important story.

Joseph is one of twelve brothers. He is the son of Jacob and Rachel. Rachel being the wife that Jacob wanted, but was tricked into marrying her sister, Leah, first. Jacob ended up having children by four different women (sibling rivalry is to blame). Joseph was his favorite. Joseph had a special gift and could interpret dreams. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and one day decided to do away with him. They sold him into slavery and Joseph ends up in Egypt. Jacob thinks that Joseph is dead.

Life is pretty good for Joseph in Egypt until one day he was falsely accused of rape and is put in prison. However, Joseph was a model prisoner is put in charge there. One day he meets two other prisoners, he interprets their dreams and they come true. Then, Pharaoh has two dreams that deeply trouble him. One of the prisoners, that he interpreted dreams for, remembered Joseph! Of all the people Pharaoh surrounded himself with, only Joseph was able to interpret these troubling dreams. The wisdom that was revealed in those dreams earned Joseph a position so high that only Pharaoh was above him. Joseph received the revelation that seven years of abundance was going to be followed by seven years of famine, and he had the wisdom to prepare.

Joseph was in charge of rations during the time of famine. All were affected, including his family in Canaan. Jacob, Joseph’s father, heard there was food in Egypt and sent his son’s (all but the youngest, who was Joseph’s brother by the same mother) to buy food for the family. What do you think Joseph thought when he saw his brother’s after so many years? The part that I thought was amazing was that they did not even recognize him, but he knew them!

This is the part of the story that I wept (the first time). God, can I change? Could I reflect your compassion so much that the old me becomes unrecognizable? Joseph was thirty years old when he went to work for Pharaoh, that means he was near forty when he saw his brothers again.

Could I reflect your compassion so much that the old me becomes unrecognizable?

Initially, Joseph was not very compassionate. He spoke harshly to them, he accused them of being spies and threw them in jail. He was very inquisitive of their history, and they even divulged what they had done to Joseph (not knowing that was who they were talking to). Joseph sends them off with food, but keeps one brother in prison until they come back with all of Jacob’s sons. They return home and tell their dad that one of the brothers is in prison until they come back with the youngest too. Let me just say, they did not come back immediately. They waited until they were out of food again!

This time they show up with Joseph’s brother, Benjamin. He is doted on just the way Joseph had been done by his father. His brother’s are so very protective of him that Joseph sets up a little trap. He wants to see if they will save their own selves for Benjamin’s sake. They don’t by the way. They do not want to see their father broken again. Any one of them would take Benjamin’s place so that their father will not have to go through that heartbreak again.

All through this time Joseph kept the charade. He used an interpreter so that they would not know he spoke their language. He would leave the room at any given moment, looking like it was a power play when in reality he was sobbing uncontrollably in the next room. He was broken.

When it came time to reveal his true identity, he and his brothers embraced. Joseph cried so loudly that his servants went and told Pharaoh all that was transpiring. Joseph had gained so much favor that he was able to send for his father and all of his family (seventy in total) to live in a land that would provide during the famine. The moment Joseph saw his father, he threw himself on his neck and wept. He wept a long time. Every time that Joseph is recorded as weeping, I actually wept.

Jacob soon dies after they arrive in Goshen. Genesis 50:15-17 (MSG) After the funeral, Joseph’s brothers talked among themselves: “What if Joseph is carrying a grudge and decides to pay us back for all the wrong we did him?” So they sent Joseph a message, “Before his death, your father gave this command: Tell Joseph, ‘Forgive your brothers’ sin – all that wrongdoing. They did treat you very badly.’ Will you do it? Will you forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God?” When Joseph received their message, he wept.

See in chapter 41, before the famine comes, we read that Joseph has two sons. The first he names Manassaeh (Forget), saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.” He named his second son Ephraim (Double Prosperity) saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.” I believe Joseph wept because they did not see that they did not have to make those statements. I wept.

When we lay our lives down and want to see the best for those that turn away from you, that is true forgiveness. Joseph responded to his brothers, “Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart. Oh, how I wept!

Father, allow me to walk in this type of forgiveness. Let me have the compassion to not hold onto the hurt, but want to do everything in my power to see that they are blessed, even more than they deserve!

Maybe, you find it easy to forgive and forget. I have to admit that I do struggle with it, but I do not want to be like that. It is a process. Joseph, like us, had to go through the process. We do not know his reason for weeping. We can weep out of sorrow, out of anger, in joy…there are a number of reasons. I weep desiring for a changed heart. A heart healed through forgiveness!