Jesus, is that You?


I am breaking a few years of silence on this blog because I felt it was time to share one of my sweetest memories with you of a time that Jesus touched my heart.

The one profound realization that stood out in my mind after these events was that Jesus is more involved in my life than I realize.

Before I forget even one more detail, I want to quickly record the events of what happened. The sweetness of those events are still something that I am pondering in my heart.

It’s unclear to me what happened before I first met him. The other details almost don’t matter. I just know that I was at some event. I was in attendance with the J-man (my hubs) during our dating years.

We were watching kids playing in and around water. Suddenly, we saw what appeared to be a child dressed up like a stuffed scarecrow — something we often see around this time of year (Halloween/fall). At first, it seemed fine, but the child was down in the water in a cave-like entrance and hadn’t come up for oxygen. Everyone was questioning whether this was a fake scarecrow or a real child in the water. I became very concerned and decided to do something about it. I went into this cave-like place to rescue the child. Even though something like that would normally terrify me, concern for the child caused me to go into the water.

At that point, a stranger also joined me and helped me pull the child to shore. Thankfully, the child was okay soon after, but I was still very affected by what happened. I began to cry and shake over the events. The child had come so close to drowning, and my heart was still broken for what could have been.

The stranger which I had never noticed before this event stepped up beside me and wrapped his arm around me to comfort me. At first, I was very awkward because I felt disloyal to the J-man (my date). This man though had this aura about him that felt very pure and safe. Oddly, he showed me how to receive comfort and again pulled me in close with a side hug. The hug felt so comforting that my anxiety quickly left, as well as my tears.

The guy then asked me if I wanted to hang out. Strangely enough, I agreed. Even though I was never a “player” in the dating scene and very loyal to the J-man, I agreed to go with the stranger on a date. It was also very unusual because this was not a guy that I would have ever picked in a crowd, noticed, or to which I would have been naturally attracted.

That date led to a series of dates. I don’t remember the details of the dates — just that they were incredibly special. I always felt safe, completely okay to be myself, and completely loved. Yes, I felt loved in that short time of spending time with him!

This guy started asking me about the things that make me afraid. I felt safe enough to tell him about my fears, one at-a-time. He then asked me if he could take me on a date and do each of the things I feared (fears that had to do with activities). Once again, I stepped out of my usual response and said, “Yes.” He took me swimming and patiently worked with me until I could dive.

At one point, I said that I was afraid of flying (I didn’t know that I was before this) so he invited me to go flying with him to meet his parents at Thanksgiving. That seemed like a big deal to visit his family, but I said, “Yes.”

Every time, he took me on an activity to face my fears, the fears seemed to lose their power. He somehow began to replace my fears with happy memories. There were no hiccups in my time spent with him, no doubts, no disagreements. It was beautiful, joy-filled, pure contentment, perfection.

While on vacation with his family over Thanksgiving, he continued to take me places to face my fears. One of the events that stands out to me was when I admitted that I was terrified to wear a bikini. He asked me about it, and I told him it was because I was embarrassed — embarrassed over my imperfect body. I was also afraid to be so vulnerable. I was raised in a modest family and had never worn a bikini in public. I was afraid of men’s lust.

Some would argue that I should just do my thing and forget about men’s lust, as it’s their problem. Yet, I knew that regardless of my personal “freedom” to do what I want, the reality is that I live in a sin-filled world where everything does matter. That’s why I don’t walk alone at night, leave my house unlocked, flash my credit card around, or shout my social security number in a crowd of people.

The truth is that I am no longer in the Garden of Eden where there is no shame or fear but just pure bliss, complete freedom, and pure innocence. This world has stolen our innocence. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they didn’t realize that knowing evil was never God’s intention for them nor the chains it would bring. They also didn’t need to know the religious form of good. They already knew goodness through personal experience in the Garden. Everything was absolutely perfect there. There was no sin, sickness, death, fear, shame, or separation from God in the Garden. As God said, “Everything He had made was good.” Everything was perfect — the utopia for which we all long.

Any other “good” besides what God gives us is a replacement that leads us away from the very things we think it promises.

Because I knew that exposing so much of my flesh for another’s man’s eyes held risk to me, I had never worn a bikini in public. I didn’t want to expose myself to lust and unwanted advances. As I shared my feelings with this man I had been dating for a few weeks, he simply asked me if I wanted to wear a bikini and go to the beach with him. Even though it was Thanksgiving, we had found a beach location at that time of year that was still pleasantly comfortable. It was also a beach that was very private. There were beach properties, spread out along the shore, but I don’t remember meeting up with any other soul that day, other than my date and I.

I would never have worn a bikini with any other guy, but with this man, I knew I was safe. I just knew it deep within my soul. His love for me and regard for me was perfection. I felt completely loved, adored, and valued but also completely safe. There were no strings attached or expectations on his part. He didn’t have any self-motivated reasons behind what he did for me or said to me. It was simply perfection.

In our culture today, if we met someone like that, we would imagine fault or something off about him because that type of purity doesn’t appear to exist. Yet in that time, it did for me.

There was never a time that I didn’t feel completely loved and completely free to be me. During our time spent together, he challenged me to grow, to face fears, to accept myself fully, to imagine, to explore. He challenged me in a way that was giving me complete freedom. I didn’t feel pushed, cajoled, judged, rushed. I felt invited but always knew that he was taking the pressure of my fears and somehow carrying them for me.

Some of you may be thinking that this guy sounds so perfect that he sounds boring. Yet, I can assure you that he wasn’t boring. He was funny, enjoyable to be around, adventurous, thoughtful. I don’t know how else to explain him because he still is the most unique person I have ever met. He was himself, and around him, I was completely myself — the most authentic version of me.

I remember one of the most recent dates we had. I remember the whiteness of the ocean and complete calm. I also remember that I was wearing a white, cotton outfit with thin, green stripes running lengthwise. It’s an odd detail to recall, but it’s one of my last thoughts of our time together.

I remember that everything was so calm and so peaceful. There was almost this stillness in the peace — this ability to simply exist, without anything else pressing in and weighing down.

It wasn’t long after that last visit that I asked his dad about him. I said to his dad, “He was so perfect that I imagine he was just like Jesus. Is it possible that it was Jesus I encountered?” I will never forget his dad’s response because he had a peculiar expression with a hint of hidden laughter in his eyes, and he said: “It just might have been.” The conversation ended, and I felt wonder in my heart that maybe I was right all along. Maybe, I really had spent those weeks with Jesus.

Who else knows my fears like Jesus? Who else knows how to comfort me so perfectly but without any selfish or ulterior motive in His “loving?” Who else makes me feel completely safe and free to be my most authentic self? Who else challenges my fears but never rushes, pushes, or shames me over them?

My recollections of white beaches, sparkling diamonds on calm ocean waves, and peaceful bliss melted into the white comforter of my bed. I awoke and looked around at the sun shining in my windows on a fall morning.

My heart felt very full as I pondered my long dream from which I had just awakened. This was the fourth dream I have had where I knew at the end that the One I was encountering in my dream was Jesus.

Is it possible to date Jesus in your dreams? Nothing is outside of the realm of Jesus. What I do know is that Jesus has been revealing Himself to me in profound ways in my sleep. Perhaps, it’s because it’s some of the only times where He has my full, undivided attention. I have been missing the times I used to have just to spend hours in uninterrupted time with Him. I miss Jesus — just simple time spent with Him, enjoying Him.

Is it possible that He is answering my heart cries by meeting me in my dreams? All that I know is that these experiences are actually teaching me more about the character of Jesus, how love actually looks and feels.

Even though I love my husband, kids, family, friends, I am discovering that there is no sweeter love than Jesus’s. He really is the One my heart longs for and that satisfies all my deepest desires.

I know there are those that will want to argue theology over this, but I am not going to do that. This was a dream, but it was a dream that God used to teach me about the reality of His character.

The day beckons me so I must finish writing, but I walk away with joy and peace and this awe in my heart: “Am I really that loved by Jesus?”

Obviously, the cross proves the extent of His love for me, and it’s amazing! I am forever grateful, but what about me today — 2000 years later? Can I know that same Jesus today, in my every day living, and can I be that intimately known by Jesus now?

Is Jesus really that concerned about my fears, dreams, and feelings today? Do I matter, or was the cross just about Him getting rid of my sin but not about also getting to know Him today/now? Am I one in a billion of sinners, or am I one that He wants to know personally? He knows me, but does He invite me to know Him personally, even in a dream?

I know the answers in my heart, but I invite you to explore life with Jesus and encounter the God of the Bible. Encounter His love. Encounter His peace. Invite Him into your fears, dreams, and desires.

He is worth knowing!

Roaring 20’s

This year, I decided to take a review of the 20’s in each millennium.

From 0-20 AD, the world experienced the birth of Jesus, and his childhood. Powerful rules like the Herods arise, and Rome holds a tight hold on world domination. The short-lived Hsin Dynasty brings freedom to slaves.

From 1020-1029 AD, the Vikings explore and conquer. Leif Ericksson discovers North America. Aristotle’s works are written. China invents the first rockets. The First Crusades take place. A long history of many wars take place.

From 1120-1129 AD, there’s another long list of wars.

From 1220-1229 AD, Genghis Khan invades China. More Crusades take place.

From 1320-1329 AD, Jews are burned at the state. Jews are expelled from France for the third time. Marco Polo explores. A Buddhist debate takes place. There are more wars and famous rulers.

From 1420-1429 AD, Joan of Arc enters the scene. There are more wars and also peace treaties signed.

From 1520-1529 AD, Martin Luther publishes more works for the Reformation. The Printing Press is invented. A major smallpox epidemic occurs. Cortez and Spaniards conquer Mexico City.

From 1620-1629 AD, Pilgrims settle in the New World. Mayflower Compact is signed. A massacre in Jamestown settlement occurs. Massive earthquake in Peru… First submarine prototype is invented. Explosion in Beijing kills 20,000. More colonization…

From 1720-1729 AD, Great Plague of Marseilles comes on a ship and spreads, killing 100,000. There is increased economic growth and crime. It is known as the “Roaring 1720’s” as there is major culture change. Jews are expelled from Russia. A severe earthquake strikes New England. Peace treaties are signed between nations. Peter the Great ends Russian-Orthodox Patriarchy. Famous composers share their creations with the world: Bach and Handel. Fahrenheit invents the first thermometer.

From 1820-1829 AD, Mormonism is created by Joseph Smith. Maine becomes our 23rd state. Napoleon dies. Missouri becomes the 24th state. The translation of the Rosetta Stone occurs. Liberia is founded. Monroe Doctrine becomes famous, preventing further European colonization of the United States and promotes the abstention from US’s involvement in European politics. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is created. Aluminum is discovered. The first photograph is invented. First African American newspaper is published. Democratic party is created. The typewriter is invented. The first Braille book is published.

From 1920-1929 AD, another decade of massive change comes. This decade witnesses the invention of cars, radios, and telephones. It is the decade of transportation and communication development. The Irish Potato Famine leads to a boom of immigration to the United States. WWI ends! The League of Nations is formed. The 19th Amendment passes, giving women the right to vote. The Russian Civil War occurs. Palmer Raids initiate the deportation of 6000 foreign aliens, that were known as radical leftists. The 18th Amendment passes, bringing prohibition. The Irish Revolution occurs. The Emergency Quota Act is passed to restrict immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. The Communist Party of China is founded. The USSR is formed. BBC is formed. Gandhi becomes famous. A massive earthquake occurs. Adolf Hitler rises to power. Insulin is produced. The Indian Citizenship Act is passed. Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh take their famous flights. Walt Disney produces its first Mickey Mouse film. The Wall Street Crash occurs, sending our nation into the Great Depression. The Great Mississippi Flood creates major devastation. The Columbine Mine Massacre kills many. The first public demonstration of the TV happens. Al Capone becomes famous with big crime. The SAT is first used. Ford Motor Company establishes the first 40-hour work-week. Route 66 is first opened. Sears Roebuck is formed. The first television transmitter is invented. The First Motorist’s Hotel is formed. The Scopes Monkey Trial ends. The first issue of New Yorker magazines is published. The Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting. The music style is jazz. Radio probably has the biggest impact. An average new house costs from $1213 to $2205. $100 back then is worth $1023 now.

Last year, saw the emergence of a new 20’s millennium. It also brought Covid-19 and saw the shut down of economic commerce worldwide and the death of 2.4 million people. In the United States, it witnessed racial tensions. a very tense and contested election year, and two attempts of impeachment of the 45th United States president. It also saw some high profile leaders step down.

Looking back over history, it is amazing to see the vast changes that occur. What history remembers is the tragedies, the wars, the rise of powerful war leaders, the treaties that brought peace, the inventions, growth in communication, and the people that inspired us to be better. History also remembers the needless suffering and horror that some powerful leaders brought to the world.

Through history, we can see that there are situations outside of our control, like earthquakes, floods, pestilences, and pandemics. Through history, we also see the incredible difference that one person can have on the world.

What will you do with your life in this decade?

What Does A Jackhammer Have To Do With Self-Control and Meekness?

Chewing Asphalt

Last week, an interesting analogy came to my mind concerning a jackhammer.

At Christmas last year, we hired my brother-in-law to operate a jackhammer that we had rented to break open our concrete floor in our basement.

We hired my brother-in-law because he is a big man and has the required strength and weight to operate such a powerful tool. He also has previous experience, operating a jackhammer.

My memory might not be correct, but I remember that it’s recommended that a jackhammer operator should weigh around 250 pounds. Why? Because the jackhammer is extremely powerful and heavy. It can easily break apart concrete and macadam roads.

With such a powerful tool, it’s even more important to have immense strength to operate the tool.

We often become enamored by powerful tools. If it’s not a tool, it’s the IQ of a really intelligent person or other powerful gifts that someone might have.

The jackhammer is a sharp object lesson of how an instrument can bring great danger or can be used for much good, depending on its operator.

A less-seasoned or trained operator might not have the strength and skill to control the jackhammer. A jackhammer’s power can quickly cause it to become uncontrollable and endanger the life of the operator and anyone else standing nearby.

It actually takes a huge amount of strength and skill to keep the jackhammer under control. The functionality of the jackhammer is completely dependent on its operator. The operator keeps the power of the machine under control so it’s effective instead of endangering lives.

In the same way, self-control and meekness represent the strength of a skilled jackhammer operator. They help gifts to be effective without endangering an inexperienced operator and people within close contact.

We all admire powerful gifts, but many of us forget that the greater strength is that which hones the “machine” and helps it to fulfill its purpose.

Powerful gifts and passions must have self-control and meekness at the helm as their experienced “operators.”

Before seeking to operate a powerful tool or gift, it’s better to build resistance, build spiritual muscles, and learn how to bring passions under control.

“Meekness is not weakness. It’s strength under control.” (author unknown)

What Report Is Influencing Your Life?


We talk so often about the Promised Land, but as I wrote about it this morning, it struck me. Isn’t Jesus our Promised Land? Isn’t He really the promises for our future and our hope?

Why is it sometimes so difficult to enter into intimacy with God — to really hear His voice, to forget about everyone and everything else but just to simply know Him?

Are the things that keep us from knowing Him and entering into that depth of intimacy with Him, the “giants” that so often overwhelm us?

In the Bible, there is a record when Moses sent 12 men to spy out the “Promised Land” before the Israelites would go in and take possession of the land that God had promised to them.

Of those 12 men, ten came back with reports of the size of the giants. In fact, the Bible said, “That they became as grasshoppers…” This was not the actual size difference. This was the perception that the ten men had when they allowed their fear to rule their minds.

Two of the men, Joshua and Caleb, came back with good reports. Their reports were about the fertility and prosperity of the land.

It’s amazing how people can view the same circumstances so differently, depending on their outlook and depending on the report to which they listen!

Those who listened to the fearful report never got to see the Promised Land. Their report came “true” in their lives. They lived in fear, wandering, and experienced perpetual loss. They died, never experiencing the Promised Land.

Those who listened to the hopeful report lived beyond everyone else in their generation and were able to see and experience the Promised Land.

The Bible says that there is life and death in the power of the tongue.
There are many reports floating through cyberspace and filling our airwaves. The question is though, “What is your source of truth?” Who ultimately rules your life?

Are you listening to the media, to Facebook, to YouTube, to Instagram? Are you listening to political parties or movements?

As a Christian, I would encourage you to turn off your TV, turn off the internet, and open your Bible. Listen to worship music. Go deep into His Presence, allowing yourself to be “stilled” and to know that He is God. Let His peace overwhelm your soul in a good way.

What are you allowing to speak into your life and to influence it?
Are you allowing the “giants” of your circumstances or raging voices of those around you to influence you? Are those “giants” keeping you from entering into the fullness that you are promised in Christ Jesus?

As Believers, Jesus is our “Promised Land.” He is the fullness of joy, peace, love, hope, and life. He is your inheritance!

The Gateway of Praise

An Englishmans Castle

A lot of my friends have been posting this very verse on their Facebook pages:

Psalm 100:4-5: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.”

The above verse made me think of this verse:

Isaiah 60:18: “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither [a]wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.”

There is so much significance to both of these verses! Jesus came through the tribe of Judah. The name Judah means “Praise.”

So, how do we enter into His gates and into a sanctuary where the walls are salvation? We enter through the gate “Praise.” Whom does this gate represent? Jesus! It is through the Gate “Praise” (Jesus) that we find a sanctuary of salvation.

There is more meaning to this as well. Does not this “sanctuary” represent Jesus Himself — what He is and offers? It is through praise that we enter into the sanctuary of His Presence. Praise is a gateway into the inner “sanctuary” of God’s Presence. This is where intimacy with God is found.

Why praise? Why is praise so significant for entering into this sanctuary of God’s Presence?

Praise is none other than us acknowledging the character (goodness) of God, the truth of Who He is, and His faithfulness. As we acknowledge the truth of Who God is, our wills become surrendered to Him, we become aligned with the truth (rather than the false messages of our circumstances), and God is “revealed” to us in a greater measure through “seeing” Him for Who He is.

You can’t see God for who He is when you are believing lies about Him. The work of praise is that it begins to bring our thoughts, hearts, and wills into alignment with the reality of Who God is. It causes all else to submit to the truth of God.

Let praise be our gateway into the heart of God today!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Are Christians Weirdly Obsessed With The Blood Of Jesus?

Communion 1

Something our family has really appreciated during the whole Covid thing is taking communion together.

What is it about communion that makes it so special for Christians?

This is what Scripture says when communion was first established by Jesus Himself:

Matthew 26:26-28 —

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

A few questions:

Are Christians weirdly obsessed with blood — particularly the blood of Jesus, or is there a reason why they focus on Jesus’ blood?

Why did Jesus want us to remember the shedding of His blood?

Heb. 9:22 says, “And without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness)…”

Ephesians 2:13 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

The necessity for the shedding of Jesus’ blood started back in Genesis when humanity first chose to accept the lie of the enemy of their souls. They were tempted to doubt God’s complete goodness and to accept another way. They were told that they didn’t know good and evil and that God had purposefully withheld this knowledge from them.

The implication was that they weren’t enough though they were created in the image of God. The implication was that God wasn’t good enough because He withheld something (good) from them.

There’s another discussion regarding this for another time… Such as, they were not created to know evil.

They believed the lie and ate from the enemy’s hand and began to know “good” and evil apart from God.

Note that both the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil came from the same tree, and both are rooted in self and a lie.

“Good” apart from God is religion, and it leaves us shamed, condemned, judged, proud, and fearful. “Good” apart from God is a twisting or perversion of good because it isn’t righteousness. It is self-produced and only the best of what the flesh or humanity can produce in themselves. It is rooted in self and thus selfish at its core. This is why we see that the human version of “love” is always very selfish. We “love” others so they will like us. We “love” those whom we like, those who like us, those who are kind to us. We don’t “love” our enemies. We don’t love for the sake of simply love. We don’t “love” those we don’t like. We don’t “love those who don’t like us. That’s the nature of human love.

Religion is a servant’s mindset. A servant mindset views themselves as working for God. They hope if they do enough good, God won’t look too closely at their hearts.

They are afraid of a close relationship with God because they don’t trust God fully.

Religion is about self-preservation because it’s fear-motivated. Religion still sees God as far off. It prefers a distant relationship with God because God is still viewed as a God who is withholding good from us. Religion is our means of keeping God at a distance: working and serving to appease a God we still view as distant, not quite good, and withholding affection from us.

Note what happened after eating the lie, Adam & Eve hid themselves. Religion will always cause us to feel shame and to desire to hide from God. We hide in many ways, behind “good works…”

Religion has the appearance of good. It knows a human version of “good.” It does good without God. It tries to be “good enough” to appease God. It doesn’t see a need for relationship with God, and at its heart, fears relationship with God.

It never credits God with its “goodness” because it’s always “good” apart from God.

One of the biggest fears of religion is vulnerability. Why? Because vulnerability is where we are exposed. Religion fears exposure because it actually doesn’t intimately know the God it professes and therefore fears Him without loving Him.

So how did trying to be good apart from God produce a need for Jesus to shed His blood?

Because the answer is simple: God is the only Being truly righteous. Man’s attempts are self and fear-based “goodness.”

Righteousness is another whole level. Righteousness stems from pure love, which is why I Cor. 13 says that love is the source of everything that is truly selfless.

In the OT, Moses asked God to reveal His glory, and Scripture tells us that as God passed by Moses that it was His goodness that passed by. God’s glory is revealed through His righteousness, and His righteousness is none other than perfect love.

Perfect love was demonstrated at the cross when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus was dying for the very ones who hated Him. He gave completely emptied of Himself. He died in order that sinners might be made righteous. He died that we might have life eternal. He died that we might be rescued from the clutches of the enemy of our souls. He died that we might receive His inheritance as beloved sons and daughters of the Most High God.

There is so much more to His blood than what I am sharing now, but His blood represents His very life — the essence of Jesus being poured out so that we can have that very righteous life alive in our own hearts.

Rom. 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

His righteousness produces life. This is why He arose from the dead! Sin produces death within us, but His righteousness produces life within us.

The OT also says that the life of the flesh is in the blood. This is true scientifically, but it’s also true spiritually. It’s the blood of Jesus that gave us life.

This is why we have been made righteous! It’s His righteousness!

Religion tries to earn this apart from God to be good enough. The sad thing is it will never be good enough.

Relationship with Jesus means that we are in Christ, covered by [His blood], made righteous because of His righteousness, and as such, we have authority over sin and Satan.

As Christians, we are no longer condemned, judged, shamed, or under the stronghold of fear. We are righteous, victorious, beloved sons and daughters, with a spiritual inheritance, and worthy.

Communion is a significant reminder of all that we have in Christ. It is also a reminder that keeps us grateful and humble and recognizing the Source of our authority and victory. Apart from Him, we can do nothing that truly has eternal significance.

See these articles for more thoughts:…/what-is-the-power-in-the-blo…

An Army Arising

King Arthur's sword in the rock

The night is dark. Into the stillness of the night, figures emerge. They emerge from basement steps, from closets, from attic rooms, from bed chambers — present but unseen.

A flash of light illuminates them.

Light beams reflect off the swords and shields of an army of soldiers.

This is an army of prayer warriors, merging out of the inner chambers where God has been teaching them how to listen and how to hear His heart.

These are warriors unleashed and ready to battle.

Their battle is not with physical forces. Their battle is with forces unseen.

The weapons of their warfare are not to draw physical blood nor to engage in contests of physical strength, endurance, or swordsmanship.

Their greatest battle is to see the unseen enemy and to fight his lies within themselves and others.

Their enemy uses sabotage, intimidation, deception, mind-games, their own fleshly weaknesses, false names, past hurts and wounds, false identities, shame, unforgiveness, offenses, and their own strengths to try to defeat them.

He tries to separate the soldiers from each other. He spreads malicious rumors. He incites fear because fear will always produce division, speculation, self-protection, anger, control, shame, and betrayal.

He whispers vile lies, connecting past hurts and sins with wrong identities to shame them into submission.

He uses false soldiers to spread false commands to bring confusion to their ranks.

He tempts them with illusions of success and god-likeness through their own abilities.

He causes betrayal between parents and children, pastors and congregations, and friends among friends to cause them to distrust one another, imagining the worst and trusting no one fully but themselves.

He makes them completely dependent on systems but not on God.

Yet, these soldiers have been learning how to be victorious over every tactic of the enemy. They have learned victory within the inner chambers of their prayer rooms.

They have learned how to warrior in prayer — not by shouting words at their Commander but by learning the heart of the One Who leads them. It has come through personal relationship with this One, learning to recognize His voice, learning to trust His voice, learning to obey His voice, and learning to receive His love.

These are not just soldiers on a battlefield. These are friends — beloved friends — of the One they follow.

This mysterious One is none other than their Heavenly Father. They implicitly obey Him — not because they fear Him but because they love Him!

They know that He is for them. They know that He has planned only good things for them. They know that He is fiercely protective of them. They know that they are beloved, chosen, pursued, cherished, and redeemed.

They are not just soldiers. They are most of all sons and daughters — beloved sons and daughters.

Each piece of their armor comes with a special power from their Heavenly Father because each part is something that comes from Who He is.

It is His righteousness that protects their hearts. It is His truth that protects the other pieces of their armor and keeps them from slipping. It’s His peace that prepares their steps. It’s His salvation that protects their thinking. It’s His faithfulness that is their front line of defense. It is His Word that is their weapon of offense.

It is their prayers in the Spirit that is a bugle cry for heaven’s powers to be released on earth.

These are warriors that topple a kingdom of lies and generational iniquities.

They do it through worship, through sounding the bugles as watchman, through interceding on the behalf of others, and through defeating wickedness in spiritual realms.

These are the warriors who make possible the toppling of earthly kingdoms and wicked rulers. These are the warriors who send the demons of disease fleeing. These are the warriors who cast off intimidation and deception, along with their companions: fear, shame, bondage, vices, addictions, death, and hatred.

These are the warriors who see the true enemies: demons and who rescue every human victim.

These are prayer intercessors!

Today, God is raising up a new generation of prayer warriors who will worship, sound bugles upon the walls, spend time listening to their Heavenly Father’s heart, and who will not rest until victory is manifested within their own “realms of influence” and calling.

Prayer intercessors, this is your season. Feel the weight of authority and responsibility that is your inheritance as beloved sons and daughters.

It is time to hear and declare the Father’s heart and will here on Earth!

A Vision Of An Ocean…



This past week, I have felt burn out, exhausted, depleted…

Perhaps, I am the only one, but somehow I doubt that.  My guess is that many of you, my friends, are feeling the same way.

I have been feeling this call to enter into rest and this sense of God shifting things in my life, preparing me for something.  This morning, I felt a familiar fear rise up — a fear of suffering.

I recognized the god whose feet I have sat at so many times — the god of comfort, ease, and the familiar.

I began to quietly call out to God and to turn to Him.  It was then I saw a “vision” or “picture.”  A “picture” might be a more acceptable term for most.

This is what I saw and sensed…

I saw myself “blown” to the ocean.  I stood on the shore, where the waves break.

There’s a mist enshrouding the shore, the horizon, and myself in a soothing blanket of peace.  I am the only human in this place of quiet grays and whites.  Feeling a gentle wind and the smooth, cool sand beneath my feet, wet from a recent wave…  Feeling refreshed, sensing peace, and the calmness of the ocean.

I look down, seeing seashells and reach down to toss one back into the waves.  The thought immediately comes to my mind that my life feels like a seashell that comes on shore for a short season, leaving an impression in the sand before the next wave washes it away.

My fear of being insignificant stares me in the face.  I want to be more than the seashell that leaves a temporary impression.

In the quietness, He speaks to my heart. I feel His gentle authority as He shows me that I have been focused on the temporal life because that’s the broken perspective — the perspective that sin brought in the Garden of Eden.  He reminds me that eternity has always been in my heart and that I was created for eternity.

When looking at the temporal life from eternity’s perspective, I suddenly see that the temporal is like a wave, but eternity is like the ocean.

“But what is one seashell in the middle of an ocean?” I ask.  I sense His response:  “The seashell was made to be carried in the embrace of the ocean of His love.” Human admiration is like a wave.  It comes and goes out to sea, tossing a little seashell about and convincing it that it was made merely to be seen and picked up on a seashore to be collected and admired.

I sense Him speak to me again: “You were not made for the praise of mere mortals.  You were made for the crescendo of Heaven.”

“You have felt tossed about by the waves because you have stayed upon the shore, seeking the adulation of the shore and the temporary excitement of each new wave.”

“I have not called you to live where the wave crashes, feeling my love reaching your toes and swelling to your calves at times.”

“I have called you to step into the depths because the depths you fear are actually the ocean of my love.  Why do you fear the ocean of my love?”

“Because to experience it, you must let go of trusting yourself.  You must let go of the false things you think keep you safe.  You are afraid to trust me fully and thus keep yourself from fully being embraced by my love.”

“What you are trading is your fear for my love.”

“Trusting me is to actually be embraced by my love — not my abandonment or your suffering.”

I weep, knowing that what He speaks is truth.  …recognizing how the lies have twisted my perspective so that I have accepted the broken instead of His love that heals me.  I have feared the wrong thing and sought comfort in the wrong things.

There is a pause almost… infinite stillness.  I sense He is letting me process through the truth of what He just spoke.  There is no urgency, no push to make a choice.  There is simply the calmness of a waiting breath — the empty space for me to listen and respond.

I find myself looking at the shore again, but it seems further away, still enshrouded in mist.  I am still standing in the space between the shore and the actual ocean — caught between two worlds — not feeling that I fully belong to either.

The shore is what I have always known, but it is no longer as appealing.  I feel my heart longing for the ocean, and I suddenly see myself with strong strokes swimming in the ocean.  Where I am going, I don’t know, but the purpose does not appear to be the destination.  The purpose of my swim seems to be the fearless courage to swim where I have never swam before and to swim as I have never done before.

It’s almost like diving into the ocean actually caused me to swim.  The ocean of His love became the reason for the strength of my strokes.

I am swimming not to survive but because I am fully confident that I can swim now.  I have never known such freedom.  I, who have sat on the shore, watching other swimmers and fearing the power of the waves can now swim.  I am fearless in the ocean — the ocean of His love.

In this ocean, there are no sharks or stinging jelly-fish.  I am free to swim.

I am still swimming with strong, sure strokes, amazed as I test my strokes.  I am shocked by the ease that my arms cut through the water with each stroke.  I swim not for any other reason than the wonder and exhilaration of being free.

I have never felt so free!

The ocean is no longer shrouded in grays and muted whites.  It is now a beautiful sapphire blue.  I am surrounded by light.  Joy is all around and in my heart.  I have become a reflection of what surrounds me.  There is joy on this side of healing.

I have no other goal than to simply be — to be the full expression of who I was created to be, dwelling within the fullness of His love.

I see myself swimming, and the thought enters my mind: “What happens when I grow tired of swimming?”

“Then float,” comes the answer across the ocean.

So often, when I become weary or fear the end of my strength, I swim to shore and climb out.  I become convinced that the ocean is too big of a risk.  I forget that I only learned to swim and was capable of swimming in the ocean of His love.  I forget that I am not the source of my strength. I am merely the conduit of His strength.

It is my fear of failing that causes me to quit, to step out, and I leave aching and empty — caught between the shore and the ocean.

I feel the ocean beckon to me again. I want to feel the freedom and strength, flowing through me.  … the ridiculous joy!

I hear His quiet voice let me know that the ocean is there, waiting for me… when I am ready again.

Then, when I fear His disapproval because I left the ocean for the space between, I look up and see Him walking towards me.  He reaches out His hands, and I take them.  He clasps me to Himself, and I weep in His arms.  I weep for the fear that so often has held me back.  I weep for the loss that my own fears have brought me.  I weep because I didn’t trust Him more.  I weep because in His arms, all is comforted and calmed.

I am not alone.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Working Through Pain…

Heart In Your Hands


As I was wrestling through the events in my own life and an event that happened last night, a few more truths were revealed that I wanted to share.  Enjoy or be challenged (in a good way).

When there is a battle within that you have not fought and won, you will always have a misapplication of that tension.

Because of that tension, you will fight battles that you were not called to fight or fight them in the wrong way.  (For example battling parents, siblings, teachers, friends, etc…)

Even a lot of video games will give opportunity to reveal this battle.  One of the main attractions to video games with continual battle scenes is the euphoria of feeling victorious.

We are called to be victorious, but we will make an idol of the fight — specifically the fake ones that provide us with relatively easy wins — when we feel that we can’t win the real battles.

Let me repeat that.

By taking easy wins, we hope to avoid the battles we feel we can’t win (the real ones).

One of the biggest obstructions to our healing is the fact that to heal from the pain, you often have to face the pain.  You have to face the pain, acknowledge the hurt, recognize any lies that have attached themselves to the painful event, and then be willing to release the pain.

Especially guys won’t deal with pain because they feel that acknowledging it makes them weak.

Vulnerability feels like weakness.

Because many offenders have taken advantage of vulnerability to wound us, we become programmed to the lie that all vulnerability is dangerous because it equals weakness.  The key here is the word all.

It takes great courage to face your own pain, sin, and finally be able to confront the lies that attach themselves to the pain.  It takes courage to grieve the losses and the hurts.  It takes courage to face the fears: fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of abandonment.  It takes courage most of all to face your own failures and sins — your own wrong judgments.

It’s so much easier to see everyone else’s faults and to call them out.  This is why we become hyper-sensitive to the weaknesses and mistakes of others.  The root we have neglected to deal with is our own junk.  We are using our own guilt to judge another as guilty.

At the root of judgmentalism is misplaced guilt or fear.

To walk free of the pain, you have to be willing to release it.  Strangely enough, as much as we hate the pain, we often have a love-hate of it.  Over time when pain is what we have always known, we begin to forge wrong identities and worth around our pain.

By mentioning the need to release pain, I am not saying we rush into this stage and that we are immediately ready to release it.  I am not saying it’s your fault if you are feeling pain.

I am simply saying that at some point, you will need to release the pain in order to walk free from it.

I have had to leave some Facebook support groups for this very reason.  It became obvious to me that by staying in that environment, I was constantly being dragged back into the muck.  For a time, it was healthy to be able to recognize the pain and the reality of my experience; but staying there became unhealthy for my eventual growth and healing.

Can I encourage you with this: as much as it is painful to work towards your healing, healing is possible.  It is possible to finally reach peace regarding your past.

Depending on where you are on your journey, I know that referring to healing can actually be painful to read.

I remember when I was nursing my first child, and I was dealing with constant pain from thrush and other issues.  I remember when my mom tried to encourage me by saying that nursing can be such a bonding experience.  Because of where I was at the time, I remember snapping at her.  The thought of someone calling my experience “good,” when it was so painful at the time, was offensive to me.  Over time, my body finally healed, my child and I made adjustments, and I finally did experience the bond that my mother had mentioned.

When we are in pain, it’s hard to see past our own pain to healing on the other side.  In fact, when you are in pain, somehow healing and freedom sound like more pain.  The promise of healing seems to emphasize all the more the reality of the pain with which you are presently dealing and the hopelessness you are feeling.

Try to be patient with yourself.

Healing is not typically instantaneous.   There are stages to our healing and even layers to it.

Just know that your healing is worth the investment.

How Once We Trace The Trail Of One Lie, We Begin To See How It Is Connected To More Lies…

hemp yarn

( Schleicher)

This morning, I wrote a blog post about healing that still needed to be done in my life.

Apparently, there was even more healing for today because God revealed more to me since even this morning’s healing.

It’s interesting how as you unearth one lie, you find a trail to another lie.  I have learned to not fear the discovery though because it’s a discovery that leads me to freedom.  

How do I know it’s freedom?  Because I have known the choking hold of pain, fear, anger, bitterness, and bondage.  I know the difference of freedom because it tastes like a peace and joy that cannot be humanly-manufactured.  It has nothing to do with the latest gadget or short-lived joy over a new purchase or experience.  It has everything to do with relief.

The thread of lies unraveled to the latest one.  The lie was at the root of the fear of risk.

Just this past Monday, I heard clearly from God that I had a fear of risk.  I saw that I didn’t see myself as a pioneer or inventor.  Yet, in my heart there was a desire to be fearless and to leave the legacy that all pioneers and inventors leave.

God showed me that this desire to leave a lasting legacy was a good thing.  It was eternity in my heart.

The question though I had to ask was, “What is at the root of this fear of risk?  Why do I fear risk so much?”

I know the trail of lies will lead me to unearth more, but what God just showed me was the idol I had made out of “me time.”  Let me explain before this is misunderstood.

Of course, I am not saying we can’t have “me time” and that it’s bad in itself.  What was not healthy was the idol that I had made out of it.  The reason?

Because during that season of pain and darkness that I spoke of in my earlier blog post today, I had almost no “me time.”  I was overwhelmed.  So, the lie I began to build in my heart was that I had to protect “me time” at all costs, just in case… to make sure that I would never return to that state again.  Even if I was doing well, I was guarding my time like I was Gollum in “Lord of the Rings.”  I didn’t trust.  If I felt that anyone was threatening “my time,” I became defensive, annoyed, irritated — even to those that I love the most.

God began to show me that He was the protector of my soul: mind, will, and emotions.  Today, I prayed to release this idol to God.  I began to see how many ways that He restores my soul, and that I don’t need to fight for it.  I can just embrace how He embraces me.

Time to refresh can be necessary and good, and I don’t feel guilty to take time to refresh.  The lesson here though was that I don’t need to fight for it or to make an idol of it.  I don’t need to fear that someone else’s need will cause me to lose myself.  I don’t need to fear needs or messes.  I don’t need to fear the crowds, representing all the needs.

I just need to keep centered in the love of God and simply rest in Him.  If I am full of His love, it will naturally flow to others, but I will never run dry when I am constantly under the “faucet of His love.”