Such a powerful song that you may’ve already heard but if not…enjoy!
Recently, under the weight of insecurities, fears and the inevitable self-evaluation we all perform in the process of transition I came to the place where I was considering to quit writing. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy writing but I honestly felt I have had nothing to say of value. If I were honest, I’d say in many ways I still feel that way. Good thing I refuse to let my emotions keep me down.
I finally got around to listening to an audiobook named “Quitter” a New York Times Best Seller from Jon Acuff. In chapter three, Jon got me good by talking about his two sides “today Jon” and “later Jon.” Today Jon says, “today is a good day to write…I’m gonna hammer out a few ideas.” Then Later Jon interjects, “ya…you could…or you could just do it later…you will have more energy and feeling much more creative…later.” This analogy hit home pretty hard for me. It describes me where I have been.
I can’t, we can’t, allow this mindset to settle in because it is a cancerous thought that will root its way to the place where we want to give in and give up. Regardless of whatever level of success or accomplishment we achieve, we are not immune to its effects. Allowing that conversation in my head almost stopped me from writing…it may be stopping you from your “more” whatever that may be. Whatever it is you feel you should just give up because of this or that I encourage you to join me in taking the risk and invest wholeheartedly into the dream of our hearts. I refuse to be a quitter. What about you?
I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, or any subject really. This is simply what has been burning in my heart on this topic concerning America. Terrorism is a subject that will never leave us in our lifetime. In fact, as much as we hope for things to get better, they will only increase in getting worse. We are living in the last days before the Lord’s Return as as such the enemy is running rampant.
The Boston Marathon bombing marked the beginning of a new wave of terrorism in America. There will be more similar bombings to come; the smaller yet deadly bombings is the new style that terrorists will carry out. Malls, airports, festivals, state fairs and even in churches, wherever large groups of people are we will see attacks carried out. They will be in smaller communities and not just isolated to larger cities. We will see attacks in Arkansas, Ohio, the very heartland of America will be rocked.
The enemy has been given access like never before into our country…we as a nation, have given permission to satan to operate however he pleases. We have set God aside in the majority of public avenues and as such we leave ourselves open to the schemes of the enemy. All this is not said for us to shrivel in fear. We have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind! God will protect His people but that doesn’t mean that we will not face persecution. In fact the Church will be the largest target for terrorists and some attacks will succeed in this new era.
Persecution is inevitable and the battle will not stay in the courtrooms for much longer. Through it all, God will use the persecution to draw His Body closer to Himself and just as in the Book of Acts we will rally in unity and revival will break forth as only dreamt about. This will be a difficult yet rewarding season we are entering into as a nation. Multitudes will get saved and come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church, in the face of terror, will be that shining city on a hill that will lead America in the roughest of days.
Through much prayer we can slow down and hinder the speed at which these events will take place. Prayer releases back to the Lord the authority needed to make this so. By our silence we empower the enemy; by our authority we can slow him down. This truth makes it all that more important that we pray and do everything we can to ensure that those around us are in relationship with Jesus. Dark days may be ahead but it is in the dark that the light shines the brightest!
Lately, much of my attention has been on the state of our country and what is about to come. What I am about to share is about 6 months worth of thoughts, prayers and meditation so this is not just a lightly written post. In fact, because God has been stirring this vision in me that He has kept me in one spot of not writing. After having much of what I’ve been contemplating and praying about confirmed I feel the release to share this. There are certain topics that have been heavy on my heart and I will focus on them. There might not be a clear flow as normal but read with an open heart and grace to hear what God would say to you through this post.
Much as of late has been said of homosexuality, recently due to the first active pro-basketball player come forward and admit to being an active homosexual. The culture of the world says to that, “that’s great be whoever you feel like you are suppose to be” but really its a lie that allows the enemy to come in and influence us his way. Homosexuality is the key to destroying a society because it devalues and robs a persons God-given identity for a lie. It happened in the great Roman Empire….homosexuality became an acceptable practice and within a generation they were defeated and destroyed themselves. If we as a country do not turn from the path that the current President and Liberal Left has been steering us to then we will doom ourselves to see history repeat itself within our lifetime and our nation.
I am not saying that if you are a homosexual (or struggle with it) that you destroying America. No, hear me out, the enemy has pushed homosexuality from a taboo thing to being a pre-dominant force in the culture in the past 25 years. The spirit behind homosexuality…that’s driving it and influencing many (even inside the church), that is the one that is stealing our God given identity and with that our purpose and from there leaving us powerless. Jesus told us that “the enemy (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy… (see John 10:10)” anything that has to do with those three originate from the enemy. Homosexuality is one of the biggest way that the enemy is achieving his goals for America.
This is what it has been doing but now let’s look at where it leads. If we as individuals and then collectively on any level fail to walk in our identity as sons and daughters of God (see John 1:12, Romans 8) then we will not live a life of peace and be open for anything the enemy seeks to unleash. In America, we will see incest, polygamy and darker perversion rise in the coming year and will become more common. The homosexual spirit is a perverted spirit that has no limits. This same spirit at work in our nation has made us numb to perversion ever so slightly but now it is coming to the forefront.
The success of the series “50 Shades of Gray” proves that; at what point did we as a culture, say it was perfectly ok to mix violence and sex and call it “romantic.” Like homosexuality, it is a lie to lower the standards of the way things can be…which then leads to accepting as an option for some…which then leads to temptation…and if the enemy has his way it will lead you far away from the heart of God. That is the goal folks. Satan doesn’t want you to know and have a relationship with God so he attacks everything that God calls holy & good i.e. “marriage, sex, etc. and then labels you as a bigot if you choose to stand for what God has said. That, my friends, is a scary slope to be progressing on and yet here we are…sliding our way down evermore. Truth never bends to cultural relevance; if your understanding of truth has then it never was truly truth. “
One final note, with the homosexual spirit rampant in our nation it opens the door for deception to take a stronghold and not relent. The athlete that came out as being gay embodied the biggest lie that comes with homosexuality: that you can be a homosexual and still be a Christian. This will become a major pin of debate both within and outside the church. This lie, seeks to push the effect of homosexuality which has ran free in the culture to now, deceive the elect (the Bride of Christ) if it were possible.” The Left will attack the Church and make every move to force the Church to recognize and endorse homosexuality (as they already have in marriage). The double standard applied to the church in this area has already been made apparent but its about to get worse and far more violent. Persecution is coming and soon at that.
In Great Britain, they are already seeing deception everywhere, to the point that they have made a “Queen James Bible” that is a bible for gays. It apparently “retranslates” the Scriptures that have to used to oppose homosexuality. The problem with that is that Truth (see John 14:6) is unchanging and the Bible is not man’s opinion; it is God’s and He has the final say on everything. America is not far from accepting this lie that it is ok to be homosexual and Christian; and at this point the Body will either rise in the face of persecution from the world, or die in suffocating silence; I’ll give you a hint, it wont be the latter.
There is much more to say on this subject but I will save that for another time. There are more aspects of this vision so keep an eye out for part 2 sometime next week! Leave your comments below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter!
How many of you have participated in the trust building exercise where you allow yourself to blindly fall back and “trust” that your partner behind you is going to catch you? If you haven’t done it personally, then odds are you have probably seen the epic fail versions that are all over YouTube. Sometimes we laugh at these awkward moments of letting go control into someone else’s hands but in reality it reflects entirely what Jesus has asked us to do. The Lord dropped in my heart tonight, “Are you willing to trust Me? Even when you fall?”
Trust is a lesson He is teaching me more and more of. I believe God is always calling us to a place of trusting Him, as Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” When we truly trust God we not only give permission to be led by the Spirit but we willing make room for Him to lead us. Too often we speak it and think because we love God that we trust Him when love is based on His initial love for us (see 1 John 4:19) and trust is based on a consistent track record in a relationship.
I choose today to trust God with everything I am and all that I do because I know He is faithful, I know He is true to His Word. Whether I fly or fall, I choose to trust God. Do you?
Home, sometimes the most inviting place is the place you are most familiar with and that is where I find myself now. With Spring Break behind me I look back and I see it was a week set aside for me to encounter God and refocus my priorities. Each day was an adventure, a refreshing break from routine, in which God met me right where I was. I was empowered to be who I was made to be like never before and I bring that home with me. That made all the difference to me; because of that I was able to boldly be me and it led to a week of watching God move.
Now, the adventures don’t have to end. In fact new ones have started and I am determined to look for those opportunities to recognize and enjoy them like never before! If I have learned anything is that everyday can be an adventure with God if we are open to it! I believe this a part of that abundant life that Jesus came to bring us (see John 10:10). Let’s greet this day as a day that is full of God-appointed adventures, intentionally, letting Him have His way and watch the difference it makes.
I don’t know about you but I am a creature of habit and change it not an easy thing. Yet, it seems life is constantly changing around me, good, bad and indifferent change is afoot and at work. In most of the times that I have been confronted with change its always been terrifying. It was scary when I realized my inadequacies to save myself and so I gave my life to Christ; it was scary when I had to get my first job and pay bills; it was scary when I quit one job for another and even worse when I was fired from a job. Fear tags alongside change but what most people miss in times of change is faith because fear chokes out faith.
Thankfully, God is constant (Hebrews 13:8), unchanging and undaunted by the circumstances we face in life. Nothing takes Him off guard. When change comes in fear will try to creep in but when we allow God to invade the spaces of our life…faith will always arise. Faith that our God has a great plan, faith that He is ever faithful, faith that He will finish the work He has started in us! Change is not always bad but the enemy will do everything he can to get your perspective of change off of God and onto the mess. Too easily we forget that God is the expert on taking our mess and turning it into a message. God makes all things new…but only if we can give it to Him. Today I challenge you to do that: embrace the change and the newness that God has and as Jon Acuff says, “PUNCH FEAR IN THE FACE!”
Today it is my pleasure to bring to you a guest post from an amazing woman of God, Mrs. Jen Self. She is the wife of Pastor Quinton Self and mother to three amazingly awesome kids! She is a creative and wise woman who loves Jesus more than anything. She works actively with MOPS and student ministries at her church and I am honored to share this guest post with you!
Hey Pearl of Great Worth!
Have you thought today about how very special you are!!
Matthew 13:45-46, “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding ONE PEARL OF GREAT VALUE, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.“
You are a costly and fine pearl, a pearl of GREAT VALUE and WORTH! Worthy to be sought out and searched for. A true genuine pearl is forged/developed in wet slimy darkness…which started out as a grain of sand. The oyster takes that grain of sand (which other wise is ordinary, small, an unwelcomed irritant) and forms it into something beautiful and of great value!!
I don’t know about you, but many times I’ve felt like that grain of sand…lost, in the dark, just in the way, small, insignificant, dull, plain, ordinary, unwelcomed, unnoticed and of no value. But then God comes in and reminds me of who I really am, a beautiful pearl of great value, no longer ordinary but forged out of hardship into beauty that is of such value that He, God Himself, sought me out, sold and gave up all that He had to pull and purchase me from the dark place where I was unseen and useless into the light where I could shine forth and bring beauty!
I look back at hard times and know that I wouldn’t trade them for anything because that’s where my true beauty was being formed, fashioned and developed…true genuine beauty of great value!! True beauty that now knows how to recognize true genuine beauty in others You being one of them!
The longer the grain of sand is in the oyster under constant pressure and process the bigger and more beautiful it becomes!! I honestly still feel I’m still in the refining process, but I know that God is building, designing, even forging me more and more into the image of beauty that I am in Him!
So no matter where you feel you are today, whether you feel at the top of the world shining forth your beauty, a pearl in process or even just the grain of sand still laying on the shore or at the bottom of the ocean, know that you are not forgotten. God has sought you out, He knows right where you are, He sees and knows your true beauty and value. He loves and cherishes you, He is working on your behalf and looks forward to an adventurous journey side by side, hand in hand with you for your lifetime on into eternity! The greatest love story/journey ever!
Terrorists aim to strike fear and cause chaos in those that they attack but the truth is whoever may be responsible for the terror attacks at the Boston Marathon today has only done the opposite. Tonight we are one with Boston. You are in our prayers and we pray for justice to be done swiftly! #prayforBoston
Things have been ramping up lately here my way in such a fast pace it’s exciting to see what God has been unfolding. There is nothing like the feeling of success in what you do. As things begin to fall in place all I can do is see God’s hand all over things. It proves that God meant what He said concerning us in Jeremiah 29:11-12, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.“
If the fact that the God who created the universe not only hears your prayers but begins to answer them with the details that you’ve been praying for…that’s motivation! The Cross & Resurrection is motivation enough because he demonstrated His great love for me while I was still His enemy, trapped in my sin, He died for me, to give me life! That provides more fuel to the fire…it’s motivation to go deeper in the heart of God, motivation to build His Kingdom, motivation to do whatever He sets before me to do! It begs me to ask the other question: “what motivates you in your relationship with God?” Share you thoughts on Twitter or Facebook!