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Matthew 17:20, my favorite verse. "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."



Saturday, August 27, 2016

God Still Speaks to Us Through Dreams

Does God still speak to us through dreams? He did for me two nights ago. But because of the dream, it really fell into the category of nightmare.
In the dream, I ran over someone. (insert heart failure here) I won't go into too much detail, but in the matter of a second I had to make a choice and though I swerved, I still ran over the person's legs. Thankfully in my dream, after the victim cried out a lot, she got up and ran off. I tried to catch her to help then woke up. (okay, I can breathe again.)
The interesting thing is I didn't think of the dream again until mid afternoon, right before I left my parents' house. It skittered across my mind, leaving me to shudder. I shoved it aside, said my good-byes and got in my car. When I was only a couple of miles from my house, I spotted an elderly man, I'd never seen before, finish shuffling across the road to the mailbox. Like the dream (which came to mind again), I had a decision to make and it had to be fast because without pausing a beat, he turned to cross again.
You know that moment when you're trapped in a decision?  I thought he would surely look up, especially since he was shuffling like Tim Conway as the Dorf. Slow. Slow. Slow.
He didn't look up.
From the time I spotted him to the time I slammed on my brakes throwing everything in the car forward, only a few seconds had passed. I chose to brake before I was in his path--maybe two yards away. Had I not, we would have collided.
Did he see me? Did he look up? No. He continued across as though in a field far away from traffic.
Praise God for that dream. Had I not been given it, I have no doubt in my mind this would be a completely different story. One that you would read in the paper instead of here.
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Who's Really Behind Your Weakness

Yesterday my time in the Word, coupled with the study I’m doing from the book Fervent, reminded me how the devil preys on our weaknesses. Whatever yours may be, whether it’s objective or emotional, don’t think of the timing of its attack as simply coincidence.  The devil is a strategist. He plans then waits in the shadows for when you’re at your weakest.
Tara Holden, my heroine from Awakened Love (wip), had to learn that. Her husband’s job keeps him away from home, leaving her lonely and resentful. A male friend happens to step in during one of these times. Is it just coincidence that Tara begins to see him as more thoughtful than her husband … more concerned … more caring? Oh, and did I mention they just happen to share the same goals? That isn’t by chance. Someone in the shadows planned this and poor Tara is falling head first into his trap.
Priscilla Shirer, author of Fervent, tells us once you take that step towards the trap, it starts to affect your prayer life—your connection with God.
Suddenly, you don’t feel like talking to Him. You say it’s because you don’t have time, but the truth is you’re shamed. Shame says you messed up. Shame says why keep trying you’re just going to do it again. Now ask yourself, who’s behind shame? The devil of course and he’ll keep mounting that on you to keep you from prayer. Wonder why he does that? Because prayer weakens him! When we pray, we grow closer to God. When we grow closer to God that makes us harder for the devil to reach.
So the next time you find yourself tempted, whether you’re still in the thinking mode or you’ve gotten your feet wet, remember who’s really behind it and pray. Pray fervently! Pray for God to strengthen your weak areas and grow your desire to keep talking to Him. Let the devil know this is one strategy of his that’s doomed for failure!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Battling Demons and ... Bumblebees

As Christians, we are empowered by God’s own Spirit. How do you use that power? Me—I fight demons … and bumblebees. Let me explain.

About a year ago, our youngest started to have nightmares. Night after night she would wake us with a trembling voice encompassed with fear. Although I always prayed, “In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I demand all evil spirits to be gone. And God, fill our home with your Holy Spirit and let her be comforted,” for some reason the battle continued. The last night I got up because of a nightmare, I distinctly remember she was convinced something was in the room. She heard a sort of scratching sound. (And just to paint how real this was, my child’s eyes were round with fear, her whispered voice was trembling, and she didn’t want to make a move. In fact, she was so afraid she withheld speaking out loud what she thought it really was--so I did it for her.) I looked around the room and asked, “Do you think it’s a lizard?” She gave a barely discernible shake of her head. I asked with a serious tone, “Do you think it’s the devil?” To that, she gave a firm nod as tears pooled in her eyes.
To this, I answered with a breath of relief, “Good! Cause lizards are hard to catch, but that ole’ devil is easy to fight with Jesus’ name.” So I prayed the above prayer and added in His name for the devil to get thee behind me.
That prayer became a nightly ritual for several months enabling her to sleep peacefully with the acknowledgement she was safe in Jesus’ care. Since then, she has seen an angle in the hall outside her open door, not once, but twice.
Now to explain the bumblebee.
I want to think I’ll always call on Jesus’ name no matter the situation, but the truth is we often forget and step into battle unarmed. Recently, I was picking beans in my mom’s garden when a pesky bumble bee decided to pollinate my area. Odd as it sounds, I can handle snakes better than buzzing, flying, stinging things. So you can imagine my mounting anxiety. But when I’d had enough, I just reacted—I stood tall and proclaimed, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I demand you to be gone, bumblebee!”
My sis-n-law working in the row beside me, looked up with a smile (but not really all that surprised) while the bee zoomed a straight path out of the garden!
And that’s how simple a Christian’s life can be if we would only remember who it is we’re empowered by—
Jesus Christ
Lord of Lords
and King of Kings!!