Purposeful Faith

Tag - hope

Activating the Power of Thank You

Power of Thank You

The poor thing, she had been up all night hacking.

I shut my door.

“I can’t sleep if all I hear – is her,” I thought.

I wasn’t trying to be cruel, but, we all know how mothers end up when sleep gets lost. They turn ugly, mean and tense. I hate being that lady; I get mad at that lady. Anything not to be – that lady.

Hours later, the barks still ensued. Then, an internal battle ensued – do I get up or do I not get up? My mind wrestled: If I get up, I will never get back down. I will never fall back to sweet and delicious sleep again – I know how this game goes.

I climbed out of bed, checked the clock, stubbed my toe and headed to the medicine cabinet. It was the unseen hour that called for more medicine. Moms don’t give up.

power of thanks

Begrudgingly, I kicked open the door, my mind half out of its own mind. I stumbled in, expecting to drop the junk down her throat and stumble out. But, what happened next woke me. It jolted me like coffee.

power of thank youFrom her helpless position, she looked, and said, “Thank you, mommy.”

My heart nearly dropped to the floor. Wow. She sees. She knows. She appreciates.

I felt loved.
 
I felt adored.


I felt alive. I would have gotten up a thousand more times, every single night (well, maybe), just to hear that sweet honey come off her lips.

I mattered.

Do I show God he matters like that? I wonder. I doubt it.


Guilt hits. Then, love arrives. God doesn’t need me to know he matters; but, I need him to know I matter. And, maybe this is the point. It’s probably far less about what he gets from these words and far more about how I feel when I speak these words. It is far more about me seeing the rescues, the panaceas and the answers that arrive out of nowhere. It is far more about me realizing how loved I am and how far out of his way he would go to help me.
Now I see: The small whisper of thank you is the moment you realize you’re daughter – and you’re really cared for.
power of thanks
It is the moment that you realize God would do anything to love you.
It is the joy that comes from receiving instead of striving.
It is the power that unfolds from heaven right in your lap.
It is the realization that kingdom come will come because God gives good things.
It is the inclination to bow down and see how tall God really stands over the world.
It is looking at the might that has might – and acknowledging it.
It is the strong hold of one stronger – that has the power to take hold over your life.
It is you not being you, as you normally are, but being you – with gratefulness.
 It is the uncovering of the jewels you never knew existed.

It is the unwavering trust that he will do it again.

It is seeing him as he is – good.

Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Ps. 106:1

Thanks gives legs to greater faith, for it believes in the one who gives – and will give. The giver is daddy. He pours out every time. And in the process, as we trust this, we are changed. We become little balls bursting with humility, dipped in his love, coming out covered in good. We become sweetened by grace and full of excitement about who we are becoming.

Thanks is anticipation of God’s faithfulness. It, frankly, is delicious.

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Going with God instead of Going in Fear

Going in Fear

Here I am. Somewhere new.

My husband and I packed it all in the car…every single item we could. Balls went into crannies, books went in nooks and luggage found container spots I never knew existed. We drove 20 hours straight. Sleepless. Determined. Eager. Excited. Taking a one-hour sleep detour at a highway-hugging rest stop, so as not to kill ourselves.

I was headed somewhere new.
Expecting better.
Letting the carrot call me.
It always has…

I wanted a new school to teach me new things, so I would finally be smart. I wanted new friends to finally love me. I wanted new clothes rather than a uniform. I wanted new experiences to make me wise. I wanted a new place to make me new, the shiny girl that everyone wanted.

What new are you searching for?

Somewhere else. That is the place of promise…

It looks great until you get there, then you see what is wrong with it. 

Then you see – flaws.

My first thought: “This place doesn’t have that much.”
My second thought: “I don’t have any friends here.”
My third thought: “I am going to have a horrible summer.” 

I gazed out my shiny new window, “Things aren’t going to turn out. I’m going to hate life here.”

go with fear

What pile sits before you – that you can’t sort? What looks impossible?

My husband approached, somehow reading my mind, “God has whispered to me…’Kelly, we need to see his good, his life, his opportunity.’

God is greater than meets the eye – his great is always ready to unfold.

Beyond trash, there is a God who knows the route. A God who sees the whole horizon. A God who knows how to steer around potholes. A God who is well aware of the way.

Will I embark? Will I step up as the traveler, along for the ride?  Sitting under shelter? Waiting on his timing? Soaking in his opportunities? Expectant of the view? Untitled design (71)

Yet, believing, all the same, that every road ends at love, which is the real feeling of being enraptured into beautiful.

“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Is. 58:11)

I am driving into his presence.

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Ex. 13:21

He will sit over me and be over me.
He will sit over you and be over you.

He will progress me into his progress.
He will progress you into his progress.

He will help me see the horizon of the new he is going to do.
He will help you to see the horizon of the new he is going to do.

He will be. And so will I.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10)

And, just doing that opens up a whole new view. A trajectory. A horizon of hope. A story about to unfold.

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You are, God – God. Today I declare it and tomorrow I will continue to believe it. Amen.

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7 Actions that Stifle Unstoppable Faith

Unstoppable Faith

I remember as a girl, I always wanted to see over the counter. I was convinced that at the bank, there was some magical land of lollipops and rainbows beyond the reach of the counter that extended above my head. I wasn’t privy to that party.

There is something about growing – about knowing that you are heading you’re supposed to be going. About letting life’s happenings naturally becoming learnings. About seeing progress. About getting a view.

I feel that way with God too. I want to grow so high with God, I get a view of all his glorious riches, right beyond the barrier of my mind, will and ways. I want to get to where he is.

unstoppable faith

All this makes me reflect:

Am I stagnating or progressing with God?

Am I growing or regressing?

What about you?

Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. Mt. 12:30

Often, I am not working with God. I am working with myself, for myself and by myself. It’s called Kelly Utopia where everything is structured, finite and detailed. God gets in at prayer times and at extreme moments of need. Beyond that, he mostly finds himself stuck beyond the glass barriers of my bubble. I hang the sign, “Keep out God. Only Kelly’s Plans Allowed.”

I want to grow contagious and unstoppable faith. Perhaps, this means it is time I consider what is hindering it…

unstoppable faith

7 Actions that Stifle Unstoppable Faith

1. An oblivious heart – If you think you’ve got it all together, guess what?! You don’t.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Ps. 139:23

2. A stubborn will – If you never confess, you will someday attest that your life feels in the boondocks and God’s gone left you.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Rev. 2:5

3.  Over-working – If you get so busy doing, that you forget to see how God is loving, you will find yourself panting and out of breath with no energy left to go anywhere.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… (Eph. 2:8)

4. Self-thoughts – If you are thinking of self, you can’t be thinking of God. If you are in your ways, you can’t be in his. But, if you communing with God, you are comingling with grace. This is where growth happens. It is also called prayer.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8

5. Knowing what is wrong and doing it anyway – Enough said.
Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Ja. 4:17

6. Succumbing to lies – If you let in anything but truth, you will live by lies. Who have you been listening to?
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? Gal. 5:7

7. Getting proud – You can’t let in, him whom you don’t think you need.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Prov. 11:2

Now, after looking at this list, if you are anything like me, your first inclination, might be to stare in the mirror and give yourself a quick backslap for messing up so much. For doing 6 out of the above seven things. For falling so short.

unstoppable faith

Shoulders slumped, you might feel that daddy doesn’t really want you anymore. This brings us back to #6, because that is a lie. God loves us. God wants us. It is for this reason he gives us these truths, these guideposts that lead us to the right way. He wants us on his trail – with him – holding his hand. He wants us in step with him. He wants connection like we do. He wants our great faith to bring us somewhere great. He is for us (Ro. 8:31).

With this, I want to let go – to God, what I have done wrong and start afresh. Do you?  For God says, our sins are lost, not to ever again be found. Pardoned, for, us, those he has saved. (Jer. 50:20)

This feels like a fresh breath of air delivered like a shot to my lungs.

unstoppable faith

And, just knowing this – it also feels like growth. It feels a lot like peering over the counter right into God’s face.

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7 Ways to Speak Grace Into Your Life

God Will Punish

Every week, after church, I ask my son what song he sang. I wait. Half the time, I get no answer, the other half, I exert patience until he starts to belt it out from the back of the car.  Almost always, a smile spreads across my face. Almost always, I can’t wait to hear his little voice reflect on God, but this time, it was different…

“Pat, the bible. Pat the bible….,” he sang out a couple of times….
“Or, you will get a con. se. quence.” he finished off.

Every time he sang it, it got a little louder, until the full volume of his voice filled the car. Sister joined in. It’s been the song of the week.

God will punish

Is it the song of my life?

Why do I pat the bible?

Do I do it out of love or do I do it out of fear?

Do I draw near to God, because I fear God’s disapproval or
to sit under Jesus’ undue, but already-gifted approval?

To perform, due to fear of disapproval sounds like this:

– I must pray more.
– I really need to be more loving.
– I have to do my morning reading time.
– God won’t bless this.
– I will never meet his expectations of me.
– I will be less loved because of it.
– I am obligated to go to church.
– If I mess up, severe punishment awaits.
– I am a bad Christian.

God will punish

I feel these ways sometimes, friends. I fear God will want to disown me because I haven’t paid the right Christian dues. I haven’t paid the piper enough. It is a horrible way to live; it serves the wrong kind of daddy – an impatient, punishing and demanding one.

“Pat the bible. Pat the bible – or you will get a con. se. quence.”

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Psalm 145:8)

God knows I sin. God knows, even my good acts are bad (Is. 64:6).

I know it too; this is my fear. I look at my heart, it strays. I look at my mind, it doubts. I look at my ways, they reek of impatience.

God, do you hate me for the ways I hate myself?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 Jo. 4:18)

With gentleness, these words remind me, He waits for me – not like a jailer, but like a releaser, with the key. He’s ready to fling wide the gates of outpouring love as I truly draw near to his heart. To get there, I have to find myself sitting under grace.

To sit under undue approval sounds like this:

I am sorry, God. Thank you that you still love me.
I don’t need to do anything, for it is only you that I need.
If I find your love, I will find my life.
I seek your Word, because I love your Words.
My best is not good, but your good is all I need.
Your kindness leads to repentance, so walk me to it, God. (Ro. 2:4)
Thank you that you continue to love me, even though…

God will punish

The gentle truth is: God doesn’t look at our performance, he looks at our heart. He goes beyond curtains and stages and facades to get a look at the behind the scenes footage. Why not, let God in more?

Why not, lay down our shows?  Sure, we won’t rule the hows or the whens, but God will mold us in the reflection of his face of love and adoration.

Getting “Good with Grace” Prayer

God, I am not who I pretend to be. I want you to see me as a good girl. So often, I feel like a bad girl, though. Thank you that, with you, there is no need for masks and makeup. You want to see me as I am; I don’t scare you. You can handle my worst as I bring it to you. With this, I no longer want to cower before you, I want to kneel – arms-wide-open – and look into your face of love. I want that face of love to change me. I want to know there is no fear present in your love that will always flow towards me. I want to sit under the cross of Jesus, knowing that it shades me from your contempt. Help me stay there. You are the face of freedom. I thank you for Jesus.  I love you; may it prove genuine. Amen.

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Everybody Needs Encouragement

Encouragement

I could not be more delighted to welcome Jan Greenwood to Purposeful Faith today. Her book, Women at War, both uplifted my heart and rekindled fervor for Christ. Jan, a natural encourager and an endurer, is flame-lighting the world with truth. Thank you for that, Jan. We are truly blessed by you and your mission. Love, Kelly

Post by: Jan Greenwood

Most of us are starving for a little encouragement.

We’re walking around parched, prone to self-doubt and focused on what must be done.  Some of us are downright afraid.  Some of us have fallen into a pit of discouragement and feel totally alone.  Some of us are riding the mountain top of breakthrough and find that even good, God things bring stress and fear.

Can you relate?

I’ve recently been in a serious battle for my health. I’m grateful that many have been encouraging me.  However, I often run into friends who say something like “I have been thinking of you, but I didn’t want to bother you.  I know so many others are already encouraging you.”

I wonder why we think we should limit encouragement?  

Or why we think our encouragement is inferior or too late?  

People are made to be filled with courage…
to be comforted, built up, and empowered by you.

I Thessalonians 15:11 says “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up…”

I cherish every face-to-face encounter, notecard, email, text, post or even a like, love or follow on social media. They remind me I’m not alone and fill me with courage. But everyone needs encouragement to arrive in ways they can manage the impact and influx.  It’s not that they don’t need encouragement but simply they need it delivered in a manner they can receive it.

I think this is the major reason we limit our encouragement –we’ve experienced encouragement from another in a manner that was insensitive to how we are feeling, out of order, embellished or at a moment where a response was expected of us that we simply didn’t have the capacity to give.

I’d like to share some of my favorite ways to both give and receive encouragement that are simple, inexpensive, really effective – and never arrive at a bad time.

It’s never a bad time to send a note.  I still love snail mail.  It speaks to me and says “I care.  I thought about you enough to buy a notecard, think of something kind to say, write it down, and even spend a little more to put the stamp on the envelope.” It makes me feel special and cared for. A written word, no matter how small or short has great value. So go ahead and send a text, email or social media like.  It all lasts…it lingers…it can encourage multiple times.  If you add a scripture or a brief prayer – double points for you!

It’s never a bad time to pray. Pray each time that person comes to your mind and trust that you are depositing faith, hope and courage into your friend.  (You’ll notice I didn’t say it’s never a bad time to pray with the person you want to encourage.  Ask permission, don’t make it too long, and be sensitive to the environment, timing and how the person is feeling.)  I like to imagine I have a giant prayer bowl on the altar of God that is filling with the beautiful aroma of prayer.  When I feel weary, afraid or even downright fearful, I will lift my eyes to heaven and ask God to throw down some fire from that altar. The prayers of others get me through.

It’s never a bad time to say I love you. People are drawn to those who can express an authentic concern and affection for them and their needs. A thirsty man can spot water from a mile away.  People will be drawn to your genuine encouragement.  That same thirsty man can smell insincerity. Never lie or overstate your concern.  Keep it simple.  Touch them if appropriate.  Look them in the eye.  Don’t overstay your welcome.  Follow their cues.

It’s never a bad time to send a gift card especially for restaurants or grocery stores. People love to eat (have to eat) and often in the midst of a difficult season preparing a meal for your family can be a really big drain on your limited strengths or resources.  (I also love home cooked meals, but they require a lot more coordination/energy for both parties. Cards allow me to meet the needs of my family as they come and on tough days that means I’m not in the kitchen at all. Double points for me!

So go ahead and act on your impulse.  You are made for this!  You are an encourager and your love and concern for others is powerful.  Don’t withhold.  Don’t worry.  Don’t delay.  Someone right in front of you needs to be encouraged.

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About Jan

encouragementJan Greenwood, author of Women at War and Pastor of Women at Gateway Church, is a fervent developer of women.  As a speaker, author and pastor of women, she’s taught many how to create powerful, healthy female relationships.  Jan and her husband Mark have been married over 30 years and live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area. Follow Jan on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

 

 

encouragement

About Women at War

Women at War is revolutionizing the way women treat one another and the value they place of their own gender.

Pink Impact

Learn more about Pink Impact, the annual women’s conference at Gateway Church.

 

 

 

Changing When You Hate Change

Hate Change

After college, I fled my home on the east coast and rushed to a west coast adventure. My new boss and I flung around the sun-soaked city streets of L.A. in a black Mercedes. I felt free. I felt ready. She was teaching me the ropes of sales and how to close the deal with men who were in high positions. I was a sponge – ready to learn, ready to train and ready to acquire knowledge – but, her instruction? It stopped me…

“Kelly,” she said, “You just do what you have to do – to get the deal done.” 

My heart sunk. I got the subliminal message.

Smiling (and with what I am now convinced was a – wink?), she pulled next to my dream car – a luxury red-hot convertible. It shined succulent. She looked at me and said, “Bite it.” No, she didn’t say that, but almost, she said, “Kelly, if you want that car, it is yours…”

Hate Change

And there I was. I stood on the cliff of decision.

Would I welcome change or would I be changed forever by not changing jobs?

Change is interesting. It is like an unwelcome demand by someone (namely God) to do something I am not ready for. It almost always comes at the wrong time – and I’m almost always resistant.

Are you resistant?

Usually, a silent warning lays right under its surface…“You better do something about this or you are going to get hurt….”

Pondering this, and gazing out the window, I couldn’t help but think that God doesn’t demand nature change seasons. It is gradual and seamless. Natural. Welcome, even. 

What is the difference?

What am I missing?

Author Daniel Strain, from Science News, describes nature’s budding process like this: “The buds suck up water, growing until they are ready to explode. The petals and sepals – the outer, greener portion of a flower gradually invert, then peel open like a banana and form a blossom.”

Hate Change

4 Things That Buds Know About Change That We Don’t:

1. The buds “suck up” water. Do I? Do you? Do you drink in the living water of love so that when you hit the desert you don’t think it’s your new home?

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” Jo. 4:14

2. The buds are ready to “explode”. If I fill myself up with truth about what God will do, I will much more be able to explode into life change.  I just remember: 1.) God is with me 2.) God is for me 3.) He always has a very, very good plan.

3. The outer portion of “the petal turns inward”, before turning outward. Changing hurts; this is why you draw in. You have to cover, pray and seek God, before you can bust out and shine.

Hate Change

4. They peel open “like a banana”. Getting peeled like a banana, well, it doesn’t sound too buttoned-up and managed. It sounds humble. Willing. Receptive to what is happening. It sounds much like losing control, in trust, that God is in control.

God is consistent. Nature knows. It awaits the beautiful about to explode from barren.

Maybe we become like nature?  We might then be able to believe and proclaim, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Hate Change

We will know – all will turn out okay…

We just suck up water, explode with truth, turn in and then – unfold into the new creation that, God, all along, has been working us into.

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HGTV, Pinterest, and the Things That Matter {Link-up}

the things that matter

I have a love-hate relationship with HGTV. And Pinterest. And all of those fixer-upper shows.

My husband and I moved into a fixer-upper several years ago, and while we’ve done a lot of cosmetic upgrades, there are still things I’d like to change. But life doesn’t stop for remodels and the kids don’t stop needing new shoes, so for now we pushed the pause button.

Most days I’m perfectly happy having friends over to eat in my 70’s kitchen. But every now and then, I hear those voices saying what I have to offer isn’t good enough.

It’s a dismal truth, but it’s there.

Those voices interrupted my thoughts several weeks ago when I was having a dear friend fly in to speak at our local MOPS group. She was staying overnight, and in the weeks leading up to her arrival we made some preparations to ensure she was as comfortable as possible.

I was excited to have her visit and for the chance to connect in person, since she lives several states away. That is, until I visited her home. A couple of weeks before her visit, I joined some friends at her house for a weekend retreat.

Today the #RaRaLinkup is being hosted over at Abby McDonald’s place. Click here to join us!

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When No One Sees or Cares

When No One Sees

I remember as a kid that door knock. People from everywhere walked up to our cracked doorstep. People with knives, people with vacuums, people with contraptions and people with frozen foods. When the doorbell rang, you never knew what you were going to get. I always hoped it would be chocolate and something with a cherry on top; my luck was never that good.

Every time, my inclination was to run right up to the door, open it and say, “Show me your presentation, show me the process and tell me the story.” They always had a story and it always left you wanting to shell out hundreds of dollars on things you knew you never needed – but, all the same, felt great handing over in large sums.

These people knew how to reach deep within you and pull out – compassion.

Yet, the other inclination within a household, was to shut off the lights upon their arrival, to run to the bathroom or to get vertical against a wall. All of these were good techniques to be left safe, secure and unhassled. You just leave that person waiting, sweating, hoping and alone on a doorstep…unseen.

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Despite all the great things they bring to the table – you leave them unseen.

Despite all the preparation they have put into their project – you leave them unseen.

Despite all their dreams someone will care – you leave them unseen.

Despite a vision to forge into something more,
something risky and something powerful – you leave them unseen.

I stand on the doorstep sometimes. Do you? I stand trying to knock, in the best way I know how, not much succeeding – with no one really caring.

No one says to me, “Keep pressing on. You are doing something important here.” I keep moving, door after door, each time feeling like I am just left with cold air and a twisted ankle on the way back down the stairs.

I am sensitive, I guess. Aren’t, we all?

God, if you see me, why don’t you encourage me?

This makes me think of – her. She walked up to that well as if it was already a slammed door on her face. She knew what to expect: 1.) She wouldn’t be spoken to by men 2.) She was a Samaritan and Jews wouldn’t give her the time of day 3.) She was shady and unworthy all the same.

I imagine as people saw her coming, they hid behind the safe refuge of the well…

When No One SeesOne man saw her, though, saying, “Will you give me a drink?” (Jo. 4:7).

She answered with (imagine: an inner finger wagging at itself, “This is impossible”),
“How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9).

Sometimes we feel so unseen, we feel so unworthy of being seen, we annihilate the love that tries to penetrate us. We let it burst into smithereens. Inside we nod our head saying, “There is just no way…”

I do this.
I believe what I have always known to be true.
I justify the case, rather than considering what could actually be the case.
I excuse others good intentions, saying, “If history is any indicator, they are bad.”

When No One Sees

Jesus says, “If you knew the gift of God … ” (Jo. 4:10)

If only, I knew it, I guess…

I might taste refreshing and rejuvenating water as she did.
(Jo. 4:10)

I might draw water from a well that gives new hope and vigor all the way up to eternity. 
(John 4:14)

I might beat down the lie – that strongarmed the truth – in order to hold me back.
“Go, call your husband and come back” (John 4:16)

I might confess.
“I have no husband.” (John 4:17)

I might find myself knocking on every door to share how me, the lame one, is now seen.
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29).

Have you considered the reason why you feel unseen
is because you want to keep – unseen?

I can’t help but think, what if we let in what we have kept out? Might we find it is the love of Christ that has been knocking on our door for so long?  What might happen if we stopped hiding and opened our gates?

When No One Sees

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5 Personal Vulnerability Points That the Devil Attacks

Devil Attacks

I didn’t know where the thought came from. Like an unwelcomed visitor, it showed up unannounced. It just pushed its way in – and sat down.  Holy had to leave. It doesn’t do well with things vile, deplorable and downright not from God. Worship left the air too. All eyes were on the house warming gift of worry in the middle of everything; it was tied up with the bow of anxiety. It’s a horrible gift.

In me, what felt like a temple, now felt tainted.

 Devil Attacks

Certainly, I let in a monster that wasn’t supposed to be around, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. When you let this kind of thought in, they don’t leave – they are rude like that.

So rude, that sometimes they keep you up all night as you try to wrangle them like untamed and bucking broncos. They rise and let you know how tall they are. They contort around you spelling out the word D.O.O.M.

I hate them, usually.

Knowing this, I come to these very important question…

How do I block the random attacks of the enemy that arrive like arrows in the night?

And, are there certain conditions that make me more vulnerable?

I think there are. Paul lets us know that we should be wise to their schemes (2 Cor. 2:11).

If we want to stand firm, we have to keep up our defenses up and our knees down to the ground.

You see, to be aware is to stand active in prayer.

So that your heart does not pursue an enemy affair.

 Devil Attacks

Prayer is our best defense. God is our best offense.

Beyond this, if we know when the devil is prone to attack us, we can raise up our requests and calls for protection during these times. In essence, we can F.I.G.H.T back!

5 Times the Devil Loves To Attack Christ Followers…When they are:

  1. Famished.
    If you are hungry for life and not filling up on God, you are prime meat.
    If you are hungry for food and are feeling a little off kilter, you are a tasty choice.
    If you are head in iPhone, not soaking in the love of God, you are often – toast.
  2. Irritable.
    If you are off-footed and nearly falling, even more the devil knows his punch will knock you out.
    If you are in a bad mood, he knows you will open the door to his negativity.
  3. Gullible.
    If you are open to lies, he will feed them to you.
    If you are willing to listen to pride, he will lure you to it.
    If you are up for misunderstanding God, he will distort him to you.
  4. Hurt.
    If you are discouraged, he will lure you to quick-fixes.
    If you are beaten in relationships, he will feed you bad words about the another person.
    If you aren’t seeking God, the devil will seek you and make you wonder if God is really good.
  5. Tired.
    If your mind is confused, he will confuse it some more.
    If your will is weary, he will wear it down to its breaking point.
    If people get testy, he will test your limits.

We can’t blame everything on the devil. Nope. That would miss this thing called flesh (Gal. 5:16) that works in its own self-serving way. But, when the devil is at play, the fertile ground described above is primed soil ready for insecticide-ridden hands.

Yet, when left protected and guarded, God grows something new –  it is called perseverance and determination.

 Devil Attacks

F.I.G.H.T.!!!

Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

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What Are You Running After?

Running After

Post By: Angela Parlin

I call myself a runner, but I always feel the need to qualify the statement.

I’m not built like a runner. I’m not a fast runner. My mileage wouldn’t impress you.

But I get out there, onto the trail several times a week. And other than the last few months of four pregnancies plus a couple injuries which sidelined me for a time, I’ve been a runner as long as I can remember.

When I run, I’m usually smiling. It’s a strange habit, but I smile in part because running is my alone time. I walk out the front door, ready to move, and it’s like a big, deep breath. Plus a lot of panting, but still.

I smile because the finish line is always on the horizon, and I’m a hoper and a dreamer. I smile, because I need the opportunity to think my own thoughts for a bit. Thoughts about something other than school and the next meal and a million little tasks to do around the house.

Give me some fresh, quiet air under a big blue sky and the opportunity to think my own thoughts–and it feels like being home. Not so much like being in my home, but at home with myself. 🙂

running

Last week, out on the trail, one of my thoughts morphed into a pressing question:

What are you running after anyway?

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