Category: Christian faith

Just Another Lie From the Enemy of Your Soul

“Time heals all wounds.” 

Doesn’t that sound just great? Doesn’t it have wonderful promise, and isn’t it packed with just all kinds of hope? You are hurting now, but just give it some time.

Everything will be better in time. 

Except that it won’t. You see, that phrase, “time heals all wounds”, is a myth. It is a lie from the enemy of your soul.

The only way that our hurts ever get healed is by the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we open up those dark, hurting places in our hearts and minds and allow the light of the Spirit of God to come in and repair those broken places, then and only then are those issues put to rest for good.

But that’s not what the enemy wants us to think. He wants us to just sit on our hurts and disappointments. He wants us to wait. He wants us to wait on time. How in the world did we ever fall for that one? How did we ever come to think that anything so elusive as “time” could have the power over our pain to heal us of it?

No. When we buy into that silly mindset, here’s what happens. Slowly, over time, our enemy will pack away those things that grieve us; all the disappointments, loss, regret, betrayal, sadness. All those things, he packs away for us until we believe they are gone. But here is the truth. They are only one unopened box in our hearts and minds away. And just when we think we have put those things to rest for good, he opens a box. Just when we think we are able to move on with our lives and find joy again, he opens the lid and lets us look inside all over again.

I love the Christmas season, but for many people it is a really hard time. Memories of good things long gone, or bad things still too close, step closer to many people during the holiday season. Sometimes those things we long since thought we had dealt with, rear their heads during this time of year. But how does that happen to us again and again if time healed it?

It didn’t. Our hurts were just packed away for our enemy to use against us. I am here to tell you, today, that you can empty those boxes for good. But you have to stop believing the myth. You have to stop misplacing your trust and start allowing the Holy Spirit to do his work in your life. The enemy wants you to shut it down, pack it away for his safe keeping, but the God who loves you wants to rid you of that hurt forever.

Revelation 21:5 says, “Behold, I am making all things new!”

In Isaiah 61, we are promised,

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy  instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. 

He will replace your mourning with joy, your despair with praise. He is making all things new. This holiday season, let go of the myth. Allow the Spirit of the Lord to make all things new within you, and truly let it be a Merry Christmas. Wouldn’t it feel wonderful to walk in the freedom that only He can give? I can tell you… it feels great!

We Are All On a Journey

We are all on a journey. Well, we are all supposed to be on a journey. Some of us are taking an extended timeout from our journey and sitting back, resting on our laurels. Maybe we are tired, or think we are through with our journey. Matthew and I once had a friend, who in his fifties, was still a mover and a shaker. When asked when he rested, he told me, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” This guy still had much to do. He was still moving along on his own journey. I kind of like that philosophy.

Our family recently took a little journey of our own. Not a philosophical one, like I have been talking about, but a real get on a plane and fly off somewhere journey. We were supposed to travel to Cancun, Mexico to help my in-laws celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Eventually we did, but our trip took a couple of unexpected turns.

We arrived at the Birmingham airport for our 6:30am flight to Charlotte, North Carolina where we would meet up with my husband’s sister and her family, get on another plane with them, and fly to Cancun. We planned to rock that plane all the way to Mexico.  We don’t get to see them often, so when we do, the twelve of us can get a little rowdy. (Yes, twelve.)

Except a dense fog had settled into Charlotte and nothing was flying into that airport. We lived in Charlotte for twelve years and I had never heard of such a thing, but that day, that day fog decided to settle over the Queen City. Our flight was delayed for thirty minutes.

Then an hour.

Then another hour.

We were going to miss our connecting flight. I began to pray that the plane in Charlotte would be delayed. I was sorry for the other people who would be delayed, but we needed to catch that plane. There was no other plane to Cancun from Charlotte that day.

Finally, we got on our plane. Twenty minutes later, we got off that plane. US Airways had cancelled our flight. We would not meet our family in Charlotte, we would not rock the plane, and we would not get to Cancun that day.

Instead, we went to Philadelphia. That’s right. In order to get to Cancun the next day, we first had to fly almost nine hundred miles north and spend the night. We were not dressed for Philadelphia. We were dressed for Cancun. Our family would not be there to greet us in Philadelphia. They were in Mexico.

We were tired, and disappointed. We would miss one of our days in beautiful Cancun, and we would miss a whole day with our extended family. But… we were on a journey. Our journey took a turn we didn’t expect, but then, don’t they do that sometimes? And hasn’t it been said that life is in the journey, not the destination? So Philly it was.

It was the first time any of us had ever been to Philly. And no offense to you Philadelphians, but you can keep it. Brrr. We didn’t even leave the airport; instead we chose to stay right there in a hotel. However, we did have an authentic Philly Cheese steak sandwich. YUM! There truly is no substitute for the real thing.

In the bigger picture, I still have no idea why our journey took that unexpected turn. I don’t think it was so we could taste a real steak sandwich… although, God can be pretty whimsical like that. Still, I trust in a God who decided to cancel our flight. I trust in a God who made sure we arrived to Cancun on His timetable and right on schedule.

When I look at my philosophical life’s journey, I have ended up in a place I never planned to be. I have taken some roads that felt very much like detours and pig trails. Nothing anyone would intentionally travel. Maybe you look at your own journey and think similarly.

Joseph of the Old Testament certainly ended up in a different place than he expected to be. Sold into slavery by his own flesh and blood, and sold again. Wrongly accused and imprisoned. Forgotten… for years… only then to be raised up to serve his true purpose. He was to save his people. God had a plan in Joseph’s journey. The destination never changed. Joseph’s dreams were proof of that. He was always to lead his family, but he never knew truly what that meant. Not until he saw it come to pass did he really get it; did he see the plan, the purpose in it all.

I’ve written recently about having a different mindset about life in general. I may not know where my life’s journey will take me, but I do know my eternal destination. In the meantime, as I traverse this life, I will do it with a sense of adventure for the twists and turns, ups and downs that will come. Why? Because the great Navigator is in control, and he is planning some great and wonderful surprises… if I will only say yes… and eagerly chase after him anyway. If I will only follow him. Am I tired? Yes, I am. Most of the time, I am drop dead tired by the end of my day. But, like my friend, I can sleep when I’m dead. Until then, I am ready for the journey. Bring it on!

I’m Going to Think Different-ly

Its not yet the New Year, but I am already considering my New Year’s resolutions. I have in mind the usual ones that involve me eating better, being more active, watching less TV and reading my Bible more. But this year I have a couple of new ones. This year I am going to make some changes to my mindset and how I think. In the words of Apple, I am going to “think different”. My grammar meter goes off when I type that, though. So instead, I am going to think differently. I have some ideas about my life and how I live it, and I think it’s time to work on some things.

I am going to look at opportunity differently.

This is going to strike some of you as nuts. Generally, when my husband talks about planning a trip for the two of us, or for the whole family, l don’t typically jump in with both feet. my usual response is to dip my toe in and jerk it back as if the water is freezing. Initially, and even beyond initially, I begin pouring through all the reasons we shouldn’t go, or why going would prove to be difficult. Rather than jumping in feet first and going all in, I begin to stress. I can usually feel my chest tighten. It’s lunacy. I am fully aware.

I might not be able to take off from work. The kids have school. It’s going to cost too much money. Who’s going to feed the cats? If the kids aren’t going, I begin to worry about their well being while we would be gone. And the list goes on and on. But I am going to try to stop all that.

I am going to try to stop that because I should be thrilled to have a husband who wants to go places with me… and who still wants to go places alone with me sometimes. I am going to stop that because work is work, and life is life and in the words of Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast and if you aren’t paying attention, you could miss it.

I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to put off for tomorrow when we aren’t promised tomorrow anyway. And my kids are growing up fast. Soon, they will be off on their own, and whether they go with us on trips and we grab a few more family memories with them, or we leave them at home and they learn how to get by on their own a bit more, it will all be good.

So when adventure comes knocking, I am going to say yes. Someone else may say no for me, but I am going to say yes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, someone said.

I am going to pursue blessing.

I am throwing down the gauntlet before God. I want to see Him doing some really incredible things in my life and in the lives of those whom I love. I mean really big, GOD sized things. I want doors to open, even if we have to kick them down. Sometimes, I think we have to kick open some doors, sometimes we have to show God how much we want something. When I know my kids want something badly enough, I am more inclined to lend them a hand at pushing open a door. I think God can be like that, too.

I am forty-six years old, and it might be reasonable to think that God has pretty much done all the God sized things in my life he has planned on doing. I think the enemy of my soul would like for me to think that way, and sometimes I do think that way. But not this year. This year I am going to think differently.

Two years ago I started writing a book. It’s a great book. Its an incredible story of adventure and spiritual abuse and rescue. Its a story of how God can take any situation, and turn it around, it might even be how God can allow some really bad things to come our way in order to bring about some really incredible things later. I think some people need to know that. So I am going to finish my book and send it out to publishers. Lots of them. This is the year. There…. gauntlet thrown… door being pushed.

But I want things, big things to happen for those I love, too. I want doors to open or be pushed open for Matthew, for my four kids, too. Landon will be entering his senior year of college, and it will be time for him to look for a real job. I want his talent to grow this year in unbelievable ways, and I want it to be noticed. Ryan is starting into college full time this year, and I want God to lead him in huge ways. Laura will be entering her senior year at art school and I want the Lord to grow her talent beyond belief and for college and career opportunities to abound. Evan will go on his first missions trip this summer, I want the Lord to light a fire in him like never before for the least and the lost, the lonely and the hurting.

I believe we can live life going through the motions, getting through the day, or we can LIVE life expecting God to do great things in and through us if we seek it, hunger for it, and plead for it. But sometimes we have to change our mindset. We have to be willing to say yes when opportunity comes. We have to be ready to jump in with both feet and push away doubts and excuses. We have to think differently.

My Name is: Child of the One True King

It’s true, and if you love Jesus, that’s your name, too. There are certain privileges that come with being a child of the one true King. Many of those privileges will be bestowed on us in the life to come, but Jesus did say that he came to give us life, abundant life. Now.

If I am completely honest, and let’s just say that I am about to be completely honest, I sometimes have problems with authority in my life. Just ask Matthew, my husband. As the spiritual leader in our home, he can attest to this problem I have.

As a child of the one true King, I sometimes expect to be treated like a princess. I mean, as a daughter of the King, I am a princess, right? And I have in my own mind what a princess should be treated like. So when people fail to treat me in the way I think I should be treated, well, I can get a bit pouty. When I fail to get what I want from them, I am –however briefly and before good sense takes over- tempted to remind them that I am indeed a child of the one true King, and shouldn’t they just do what I want them to do?

My best friend reminded me that there isn’t any scripture to exactly back up this theory, but it doesn’t stop me from my skewed way of thinking at times. Oh the Bible says plenty about me being part of a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) and it even says that I am a daughter of God (2 Corinthians 6:18). Yet it also says that apart from Jesus, I am nothing. I deserve nothing. Death, apart from Jesus, I deserve death.

So let’s move on from when people don’t give me what I want,  to what about when God says “No” to his child? What am I supposed to think then? I am his daughter. He did adopt me into his family. What am I supposed to think when it feels like He is telling me “No” at every turn? It’s not like I am asking for it to be okay for me to rob a bank and live forever in a life of luxury off my loot. I am asking for things that will allow me to better live out the purpose he knit inside of me before the foundation of the earth… nothing more. Still, He says, “No, child”. What is this child supposed to do?

I must determine I will not live by what I see or by what I feel. I know that I serve a God who can do anything, and who wants, even more than me, to see His purpose lived out in me. One of our pastors tells the story of his four-year-old grandson. As “Grandpa”, he gives his grandson two one-dollar bills to keep. But then he takes a twenty-dollar bill from his wallet and offers a trade. His one twenty for his grandson’s two one-dollar bills. But the four year old doesn’t understand the value of his grandpa’s currency. So he refuses the trade.

Sometimes I don’t understand the currency God is dealing in with me, either. I am so sure that what I want is what is best, that I don’t understand what He has for me is oh so much better.

Bob Goff (Author of Love Does) has said, “Sometimes we won’t get our way. We need to stop acting like we’re going to run away with the circus every time God says, “no”. “

There have been times lately when the circus has looked pretty good to me. But running away, and turning a cold shoulder, is not what a real child of the One True King does. No, a real child of the King recognizes that sometimes “No” is just what makes sense for now. For someone who lives in the now, and must rely on faith for the future, that can be a challenge. For someone who just getting through the day is not enough, and biding my time, is completely frustrating; trusting in God to handle the details of my ability to live out my purpose can be an overwhelming challenge.

But I rest in the promise that Jesus came to make my life, here and now, more abundant. I rest in the promise that God has a plan and a purpose for me and that in His will and in His way, it will come to pass. And when it does, it will be out-of-this-world great. As a child of the one true King, I must learn to wait upon the King.