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    Wednesday
    Sep172014

    When I Am Weak...

    I've been combing through my journal entries from a few years back, reviewing the process of writing The Fall and came across this. Hopefully, those of you who think you don't have what it takes to seek God on a regular basis will see there's no surefire formula. He takes our weakness, and flows through us--in spite of us.
    *****

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Was up at four and spent an incredible couple of hours in prayer despite the fa
    ct I was blowing my nose every five minutes. Maybe because of the snot, I had to grapple with the truth of the gospel.

    “Christ in me the hope of glory.”

    Ya gotta be kiddin’ me! Yet I’m snottin’ and tired and clueless. It pulled away the illusion of religion. I can’t truly grasp even the tiniest drop of the true gospel. To do so, to cram such truth into my puny brain, would have the effect of splitting an atom. Jesus is in me. I don’t truly believe this. If I did, on even the most basic level, the s*#! would truly hit the fan.

    It’s a chasm I am powerless to cross. I’m left trying to juggle a three-ton elephant. If I allow this truth to take root, there are no guarantees. Letting the Spirit of God run amuck always causes trouble. It’s the whole, “I have come to bring a sword,” that Jesus was talking about.

    It was truly frightening to see the gulf between where I live in “religious understanding” and what Jesus died to accomplish. It has to be a gift of faith because my brain breaks when I try to shove this truth in it. Only the fathomless spirit can make room. And even that blows me wide open at the core.

    ******
    Remedy: Ask and keep on asking. Seek and keep on seeking. When you realize your absolute need of Christ for ANY good to come through you, GOOD. A humble (even broken) heart is like tilled earth, ready and receptive.

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star

    with more on the way.

    Monday
    Sep152014

    An Ultra-Ugly Topic

    Taken from http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery/pictures/slave-trade/slave-market-memorial-at-stone-town

     

    Have an ugly topic this morning.

    Here's the deal. I was praying for so many truly amazing women who desire a Godly man in their lives and yet no man is available, at least not men who put God first and will lead out of selflessness and will love as Christ loves the Church. (I am married to a wonderful, Godly man. But alas, there are too few of this breed.)

    As usual, I had no wisdom on the matter so I began to pray in the Spirit, lamenting the damaged families and general carnage of a society where men have lost their God-given purpose. As I prayed, it’s as if God showed me this ugly root of bondage. In reality, this root goes all the way back to the foundation of mankind where we decided we wanted to be God rather than serve Him. But for this morning’s prayer, God focused on the root of slavery in this country.

    Spiritual entities don’t die. They just change their clothes, so to speak, as they change the humans through which they manifest. The evil that flowed through Pharoahs and Caesars, Alexander the Great and Hitler, is still here. It just morphs to thrive in a new generation. That said, this same evil sought and found a way to sow much rotten seed in the foundation of America through greed.

    In America, we fought and won a war against a cruel monarch who tried to use our country to fill his own coffers. He forced Americans to pay unfair taxes and generally treated them as his own personal sharecroppers, keeping them under while he prospered. Unfortunately, men bent on prospering in this new world became what they despised in their former king.

    The true travesty is that this poison seeped into the church. By misinterpreting scripture to vilify those with a different color skin, men justified slavery.

    Eventually, through much bloodshed and horror, our country abolished slavery. However, as stated, spiritual entities don’t die, they just change their clothes. These particular demonic forces no longer hid behind pointy white hoods. Instead, this lust for heavy-handed authority, and to “be my own god,” infiltrated the church. Families were the new victims. The roles of husband and wife were twisted. Rather than a focus on husbands loving selflessly—to lay down their lives and selfish ambitions as Christ laid down His life for us—men reflected the slave-owner mentality. (Please understand this is not meant as a sweeping generality. Good men have always stood the ground against evil. Often though, their good example is overshadowed by evil societal trends.)

    Though I was born after the days of Jim Crow laws and both limbs of my family tree came from churchgoing, Christian roots, the scourge of heavy-handed authority was evident. My grandfathers led through fear rather than humble, selfless love. It was an era when children were seen, not heard and women, just one baby step above children, were expected to obey without question.

    Again, to avoid sweeping generalities, there was also much good in the years following the World Wars and many look back through a haze of nostalgia to a primarily agrarian, family-centric era. However, the slave-owner mentality of authority creates rebellion. And, since this particular mistreatment was also supported by twisted scripture and misguided religious authority, when society rebelled against religious chauvinism, they ditched the trappings of morality altogether.

    Nowadays, though we as a country have primarily thrown off religion, we are, nonetheless, slaves as surely as the Hebrews under Pharoah. We reap what we and our ancestors have sown. The evil entities that abused power through slave owners still exist. Again, they have just changed their clothes.

    In our society, men have lost their seat as lords of their families. To feed this lust for power and hunger for intimacy, men turn to porn. There, women are slaves to their bidding, never asking the men to earn respect or live in service to others. Physical desires are met while the inner black hole grows and the chains of slavery—self-hatred, shame, and addiction—get heavier and heavier for all.

    Our society is left gasping for men to love and lead with tender, selfless hearts. Women become more and more bawdy to gain some sort of male attention. Sons and daughters flounder for want of reliable examples of confident, selfless, faithful love.

    Where is the hope? True hope and deliverance through transformation and redemption is available through only one source—the selfless sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He alone takes our sins on His shoulders. He alone offers to dwell within us to empower and instruct us to live a life of freedom.

    As we confess and repent of our need to rule—a need that puts us right where Satan wants us since that has been his successful lure from the beginning of time—God stands ready to forgive and cleanse. According to II Chronicles 4, when people who claim to be God’s people will humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then God responds. He will hear them. He will forgive. He will heal their land.

    There’s our path.

    Heavenly Father, we come before You as a nation. We repent of our sins of greed, selfish ambition and unforgiveness. We ask You to replace our hearts of stone with tender hearts that long to know You. May we seek and keep seeking. May we ask and keep asking in faith that the hearts of fathers would return to their children and the hearts of children would return to their fathers. We pray You would break the chains of slavery in every form. We pray as we become selfless vessels of Your unconditional love and transforming power, You would heal our nation. May this revival spark a fire that ignites freedom from slavery of every kind throughout the world.

    In Jesus’ holy name we pray.

    Amen.

     

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star

    with more on the way.

    Sunday
    Aug102014

    The #1 Key Ingredient to Powerful Prayers

    In the ten years of praying every morning—it’s been about exactly ten years—there have been a handful of super-powerful breakthrough days. Today was one of those. About 30 minutes in, I can’t even remember exactly what I was praying about, but God said, “Speak to it!” So I did. Then it’s like He took me by the hand and brought up other situations, other challenges, other strongholds, other physical ailments, other people and their issues. He’d point at each and say, “Speak to it.” So I would. I was caught up in His heart of overwhelming love. His truth and His desire for each situation came out my mouth.

    It seems so strange to me that with all that power, God chooses to align our hearts with His then puts His words in our mouths. Us puny jars of clay as vessels for the Holy, eternal, perfect will of God? Crazy idea. He woos us. He cleanses us. He slowly burns away our selfishness (an ongoing process like weeds that sprout to full height overnight). Then, as His desires become our desires, He says, “Say it.”

    The power of blessing and cursing really is in the tongue. It’s not only the rudder for our individual lives, it’s the rudder that guides the course of the whole world. It’s effects even reach into the spiritual world, into the eternal world. “Speak it!”

    That’s why faith is a gift. That’s why our confidence in God’s love has to be unshakeable. When His words in our mouths are filled with absolute belief, they carry transformative power from His throne.

    To those who would say, “If God’s so powerful and loving, why is the world the way it is?” I would reply, “Because people are using the power of creation—the creative power God has instilled in all of us—to speak cursing, selfish ambition, self-absorption, retribution for harm, hatred for enemies, etc.” We’ve spoken it. We’ve established it. We’ve created our own hell on earth. Then we shake our fist at God and/or deny His presence. We have not because we ask not. We ask not because our focus and words are centered on self, on indulgence, on fear, on placing blame on others, on cursing others so we can feel superior.

    James 4:1-3 addresses this head-on: What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (RSV)

    The power of blessing and cursing is in the tongue. We in general, as inhabitants of God’s good earth and free receptors of His gift of life, have used that gift to side with evil, to slash and jab our way through life leaving a trail of maimed lives in our wake.

    Correction of this wrong has to start with “My people who are called by My name,” say the Lord in II Chronicles 7:14. When we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He promises to hear from Heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land.

    The beautiful healing of our land happens after our sin is healed. Our sin—our unforgivenesses, our pride, our fears, our selfish ambitions—prevent us from having God’s heart and mind towards others. When freed from those chains, we will be open channels of God’s unconditional, overwhelming love. That kind of flood? Nothing can withstand it.

    Giants fall.

    Evil strongholds crumble.

    Captives are set free.

    On all flesh God pours out His Spirit.

    The Kingdom of Heaven is truly at hand. Let’s take our hands off the throats of our enemies. Let’s open our hands that grasp so desperately to things, money, shallow distractions, and empty ambition. Let’s empty ourselves so He can fill us with what truly satisfies. Then we can use our tongues to proclaim from the mountaintops, “Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done!”

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star


    Monday
    Jul282014

    A Prophecy of Hope

    Over the past decade of daily prayer, I’ve often wondered that God has never sounded the alarm in my heart instructing us to stockpile, build a stronghold or otherwise prepare for tribulation. This morning, He spoke of the coming shaking but it was in an entirely different tone.

    We should fear the coming shaking no more than the Hebrew nation feared the plagues of Egypt. The purpose of these things is not a thing of vengeance. Rather the shaking is to display the emptiness of our idols. The purpose of the shaking is to set us free so we can embrace and rely on the one true God.

    Image from the movie "Prince of Egypt"

    We’re in a land of idols. It’s just a modern version of Egypt. We serve so many but, rather than a god of stone sitting on our mantel, it’s a rectangular, flat-screen god that provides distraction and soothes our pain. It’s little flat, rectangular pieces of plastic we swipe in machines to pay for our wants and needs. It’s small rectangular information and communication devices that make us lord of the details of our lives. (so anything rectangular is evil—joke—just making sure you’re paying attention) It’s the money in our pockets, banks and stock holdings; the car that gets us where we want to go; the readily available food and treats. All of these things become gods because we believe they are our shelter, our foundation and the answer to our needs. Problem is, they don’t last and they don’t truly satisfy. In reality, these multiple gods are our bondage. We are in a prison believing the illusion that we’re masters of our domain. We’re lulled to laziness, not realizing all the things on which we rely are like depending on a flimsy bubble for protection. All of these things are fake, empty gods.

    When God shook Egypt, he was shaking their reliance on multiple gods. Not only was he shaking the Hebrews free, He was also proving to the Egyptians the futility of their gods. In fact, many Egyptians walked out of Egypt with the Hebrews and became followers of the One true God.

    Rather than fear the coming shaking of the kingdoms of this world, let’s view it from the perspective of a loving God. God’s heart is to show us our idols are empty and unable to save us. He shakes these kingdoms and shakes us free from bondage. Until we realize we’re sitting in a prison, we won’t long for freedom.

    Rather than dread and fear, we need to take our cues from Paul and Silas in Acts 16. They were in chains, but they put their eyes on God. As they worshiped, an earthquake shook the prison. The cell doors opened and the chains fell off.

    That’s a reason to rejoice, not to fear.

    The coming shaking is to prove our gods are fake. They’re not able to save us. They are like building a house on sand. Ease and plenty are seductive but they are a lie and a prison nonetheless.

    Therefore, God’s message to us is that we are not to fear what the world fears. We are to make sure our foundation is firmly set on the one rock that cannot be shaken. We don’t scream in terror when the kingdoms of this world crumble. Rather, we bring God’s confidence, healing and salvation to those sitting in ashes of devastation. Instead of condemnation, we bring the compassion and love of Christ. We rejoice only that millions more are ushered into the arms of their loving Heavenly Father. We rejoice in chains falling away and cell doors swinging open.

    But remember, those prisoners are going to need someone to lead them into freedom.

    That’s the true job of Christ’s body when the shaking starts. We dig down deep through God’s solid foundation to His fathomless river of life and grace. Then we show others dying of thirst how to get to the water.

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall & 

    One Night With a Rock Star

    A Prophecy of Hope

    Thursday
    Jun262014

    The Prayer Matrix

    Image from: http://www.catch22.net/software/matrix-screensaverFor some time now I’ve been praying about and grappling with the deeper meaning behind Jesus’ miracles. Of course there’s the obvious: Jesus heals. But I just knew there was a deeper application to His miracles since that’s the way God works. Nothing is ever wasted.

    Click to read more ...