Step into a Deeper Relationship with Jesus Christ

Remember what brought you to Jesus…

Praise lift your voice to the King, who is He call Him by name and glorify Him in words and song.

Hebrew 12:1 says “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Remember how He saved you, specific instances, ask yourself “What would have happened?” ”What could have happened?” Testify to what God has and is doing.

Proclaim His Goodness…

Proverbs 27:5 “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”

Psalm 31:19 “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”

Psalm 145:7 “They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”

Revelation 12:11 tells us “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

Commitment to Reading God’s Word

Live your life by the Scriptures.  Every word spoken by other believers and Christian leaders alike need to line up and be proven by scripture. Do not let a false word detract you from God’s truth.

Galatians 1:6-7 warns us “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.”

Again in 2 Peter 2 we read, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

There will be scriptures that build you up in the knowledge and truth of Jesus Christ. Many will be unique to you and your personal relationship with God.  These life scriptures should become those that you journey with daily.  Call them to remembrance with every thought or challenge and remember them every day in every moment.  Make sure there is a scripture about God’s power and goodness.  When we speak scripture with our voice and within our thoughts the work of the devil is destroyed.  There is nothing better than God’s Word to send the devil running. What are your go to scriptures?

Here are a few of mine…

Romans 8:38-39 “nothing can separate me from the love of God.”

2 Corinthians 10:5 “take captive every thought making it obedient to Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and praise think on these things.”

Hebrews 4:12 “ Word of God is living and powerful, discerner of the thoughts of man, motives of the heart.”

Proverbs 18:21 “death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Keep growing in Christ

We should be constantly moving toward Jesus Christ, that is to say our relationship should never stand still.  Do you know Him more today than yesterday? Has he shown you something new about His Kingdom, Your position in His Kingdom?  The more we discover God and all the good things He has for us, we gain strength in His truth to overcome whatever this fallen world and darkness brings at us.

Rick Warren in his book “Purpose Driven Life” making it clear that it is not about you. We were created for God’s pleasure.  The amazing part is He wants to have a personal relationship with you.  The NLT translation of Romans 5:10 says “For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”

The key to this friendship with God, is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do.  What you normally do for yourself start doing for God, whether it is daily life eating, working, exercising, even making the bed. How about time you spend helping those around you…family, co-workers, friends those you meet while shopping, taking a walk are these moments self-motivated or servant motivated. There is a kingdom way of looking at your life, just as Jesus came to serve so should we.

Another way to keep growing we must be in continued conversation with God. I love this…Rick shares one way to do this is with “breath prayers” throughout the day, speak a few words, a simple phrase, (not like the ones you may say under your breath in frustration) I mean like “God I know you are with me.’ “Thank you God for your goodness.’ “You will never leave me.” “Help me trust You.” Or simply “Yes God.” Declare your position in His Kingdom “I am the daughter of the Most High King.”  In fact, start using these instead of the others you tend to use in those frustrating moments God is there too.

What breath prayers can you come up with?

Finally, we are called to love people

This means not just your family.  I know it can be difficult, but the truth is we do not have to love their behavior or hair style.  Those are fleshly things, we are to love them on God’s level, deeply through action and prayer.

Ask Jesus to give you His eyes to see them as He does.  In Hebrews 10:23-25 we are told how to put this into action, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

Life is short, I am in the last third of my life and the first two went by so quickly.  I confess I did a poor job of representing Jesus back there but God is good, He quickly forgives and forgets what was and looks to now and the future. In his Word He encourages us by example.  Through the Holy Spirit living in us He will inspire us to action and help us overcome our wrong attitudes, exchanging them with those He has given to us know as the fruit of the Spirit.

The Passion Translation of Galatians 5 beginning in verse 13 Paul lays out this truth and even warns us.  I have included it here for you to meditate upon.

“Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up a base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do.  For love completes the laws of God. All of the law can be summarized in one grand statement: “Demonstrate love to your neighbor, even as you care for and love yourself.”

But if you continue to criticize and come against each other over minor issues, you’re acting like wild beasts trying to destroy one another!  As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self – life.  For your self – life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self – life from dominating you! So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self – life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit.  But when you are brought into the full freedom of the Spirit of grace, you will no longer be living under the domination of the law, but soaring above it!

The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all other similar behavior.

Haven’t I already warned you that those who use their “freedom” for these things[i] will not inherit the kingdom realm of God!

 But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:

joy that overflows,

peace that subdues,

patience that endures,

kindness in action,

a life full of virtue,

faith that prevails,

gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

Keep in mind that we who belong to Jesus, the Anointed One, have already experienced crucifixion. For everything connected with our self – life was put to death on the cross and crucified with Messiah. We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him. So may we never be arrogant, or look down on another, for each of us is an original. We must forsake all jealousy that diminishes the value of others.

Notice how the last couple of verses points out a challenge to our flesh as we live in the Holy Spirit, God knows we have the weakness of pride, so He reminds us to be careful and not let the characteristics of pride manifest in you as you serve the King.

Thank you Jesus that you lived among us and left your Holy Word for us to carry on with, loving and sharing the gospel to those we encounter.

Be Blessed dear sisters Love, Sister Laurie

The Lie, the Sin and the Road to Forgiveness

This is going to be a tough one.  I want to have the transparency needed to speak the truth of Jesus Christ to whoever God brings into my life.  There is no healing when there is a lie hiding within us. Lying is directly the work of our flesh mixed with the devil and we cannot talk our way out of it.  The smallest indiscretion opens us up to the devil and all his buddies.

So here we go, first let us look at the definitions…

“Lie”; A lie is an assertion that is believed to be false, typically used with the purpose of deceiving someone. The practice of communicating lies is called lying. A person who communicates a lie may be termed a liar. To speak an untruth about a situation or thing because the situation or thing is connected to an action or decision that would damage trust, hurt another person, break an agreement.

“Deceit” is the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.

Lies are damaging to relationships because they block intimacy. Lies are considered harmful because they destroy trust.

In scripture Gods tells us

1 Peter 2:1 says “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”

Again in 1 Peter 3:10 we read, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”

Let me start at the beginning and work my way to repentance and forgiveness.

Some of you may know that I recently finished my first year of school to become an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God.  In the application we are asked to sign an agreement to abstain from drinking alcohol. Doug and I enjoy a dinner cocktail or glass of wine during a meal.  We knew that this would be a requirement, after a discussion we decided that while we do not share their view in this area it was important to honor this requirement.

I’m stopping right here to pray because this whole experience has me physically sick and my head is swimming full of remorse, anger (at myself) and a desire to erase the last couple weeks. Emotions and feelings are getting the best of me and so now the devil is at work destroying my ability get my emotions under control and ask God for the grace needed in this situation.

God give me the courage to speak this truth and to repent from all untruth in action and word. I have disappointed you by breaking the agreement and further lying to our family. Lord help me and  I ask for your forgiveness and clarity to speak your truth. Mend any broken trust caused by my sin. I ask all this in your name Jesus AMEN.

I briefly will share how my flesh and sin lead me to speak this truth.  I want you to see how quickly we can fall into deceiving those we love, break a trust, and dishonor an agreement. A couple weeks ago, we had one of our sons and his girlfriend visiting from out of town and so we decided to stop by our grandson’s work to show them the restaurant.  We asked if he  was working and the hostess said he was not in yet. It crossed my mind that my son and his girlfriend would want to order a drink at the bar and enjoy sitting outside before we left to meet up with others for dinner. Yup, you guessed it we also ordered a drink as well.  Right there the deception began.  In my mind I was thinking well, our grandson is not here…

Right now! Ugh! My stomach just did that swirl thing which makes you nauseated. Help me Jesus! Please Holy Spirit come and speak for me, this is a testimony and transparency necessary for others to see and know that God, our Father is a loving and forgiving God. 

We sat outside as planned drank our drink, paid the bill, and left to have dinner. You see, our visiting son would not think twice about that drink however, our Grandson and his family also serve God in ministry, so the deception of having a drink is not a little mistake but a calculated decision.

Last night we went over to my Grandson’s house to celebrate the birthday of his older brother.  His parents and younger sister were there as well. Doug mentioned that we had stopped by his work. Right there in that moment that uneasy feeling stirred as I recalled that we had a drink. My Grandson mentioned he thought he had seen us at the bar. My heart sunk, sin revealed, a broken agreement I committed to honor. I wish that right here I could say I just said “yes, we were at the bar.” Instead, I side stepped, fumbled, tried to avoid the truth. Here it is the lie, trust broken, in fact as I try to recall every word spoken it is a horrible blur. The bottom line is I did not just admit the truth “ yes, I had a drink and yes, you might have seen me paying the bill.”  Instead I remember saying I thought you were not working and then we changed the subject without even realizing, the sinful nature of man proved, a cover-up was happening.

One more thought about the battle; our sinful human nature, the devil and truth of Christ and who we were created to be that lives within us is so real.  2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” We cannot walk with our eyes closed any longer, we must be on our guard, as scripture says the devil is roaming the earth to see who he can devour.  However, we have the hope spoke of in the Bible and we have scripture that clearly lays out the battle plan and tells us that true victory for the believer has already been won through Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.  I leave you God’s powerful words to meditate upon…

2 Chronicles 20:17 “You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves (check your foundation), stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem (Daughters of the Most High King). Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” Personalized NASB

Matthew 7: 24-27 “Therefore everyone (my daughters) who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock (firm and lasting foundation).  And the rain fell, and the floods came and the winds blew and slammed (everyday struggles, trials, even consequences for our mistakes), against that house(you my sister are the house) and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock(Jesus, the price He paid for you and your personal relationship with him).  Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them (comes before the King and repents asking His help to overcome), will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Personalized NASB

1 Peter 1:21 “who through Him are believers (you my sisters) in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” NASB

This morning, as God’s conviction began to work, the devil joined in doing a great job of beating me up…However, in writing this and asking God to forgive me, the relief is coming, a covering of God’s goodness that He is on this journey with me…God brought me this scripture “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

It is time to ask to be forgiven, by God, by those who’s trust I broke through this lie, unspoken truth, we live by example as believers in Jesus Christ.  For me it means that I must tell my grandson and his family how deeply sorry I am that I lied or avoided truth.

God tells us…

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:10-11

In closing, I broke God’s heart, I broke my heart and I greatly disappointed myself when I broke the agreement I agreed to honor.  Sweet sisters in Jesus Christ I pray God will use this truth so that you may come to your own truth and allow God to reveal the areas of your life that need to change. Conviction of your wrong thinking and mistakes is tough, but we have a loving Father who loves us and challenges us to repent and begin again. To not carry our sin like a sack of potatoes on our back but to come to the cross and leave it there.

Be Blessed, Laurie

Trust God

I know you are saying, “Sister Laurie, How can you say that, you don’t know what I am going through”.  Today, I want to talk about how you can trust God.

First, I want to address who Satan is and warn you that he is out to destroy God’s people and the beautiful earth God has given us to live on. Satan has done a great job at watering down who God is.  He has very cleverly planted lies all over the world that cause people to question God’s existence or believe that if there is a god he does not care about us. The reason the devil is able to do this so well is because he himself knows God’s Word.  The devil operates on the fringe of God’s Word, using just enough to get you thinking and moving in the wrong direction.  God has issued a warning in scripture…

John 10:10 says “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

1 Peter 5:8 clearly tells us to be ready “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Even now as you are reading this…the devil is positioning himself and stirring up a counterattack, to cause you to question this writing.

“Right now, in the name of Jesus and in the authority given to me as spoken in God’s Holy Word…I cast out spirits that would bring doubt to you and that God’s Holy Spirit would fill you with His truth. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen”

Now, we have prayed, we have identified the enemy…let us get back to God’s Truth.  How do I know God is real? How can I trust what the Bible says? I will humbly try to answer these basic questions, please understand that throughout God’s Word, the physical and spiritual world these questions are answered in many ways I am just touching the tip of truth.

The Bible is the Word of God because of its scientific accuracy.   Physical evidence is found in the Bible. God tells us that “He [God] stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.” Job 26:7  How did Job know that the earth hung in space before the age of modern astronomy and space travel?  The Holy Spirit told him.

The scientists of Isaiah’s day did not know the topography of the earth, but Isaiah said in Isaiah 40:22; “It is [God] that sitteth upon the circle of the earth”.  The word for “circle” here means a globe or sphere.  How did Isaiah know that God sat upon the circle of the earth? Or that the earth was round? By divine inspiration.

The Bible is historically accurate as well.  Daniel 5 tells us of an incident that left physical proof that still exists today. 

Belshazzar hosted a feast with a thousand of his lords and ladies.  A gruesome hand appeared wrote on a wall. The king asked for someone to interpret the writing. Daniel was found and gave the interpretation. After the interpretation, “Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Daniel 5:29

Over time Historians basing their opinion on Babylonian records, claimed this never happened. The last king of Babylon was not Belshazzar, but a man named Nabonidas.  There was not a record of a king named Belshazzar.

 In 1853, an inscription was found on a cornerstone of a temple built by Nabonidas, to the god Ur, which read: “May I, Nabonidas, king of Babylon, not sin against thee. And may reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.”  From other inscriptions we learn that Belshazzar and Nabonidas ruled together.  Belshazzar would later say that Daniel would be the third ruler.

The Bible is an account of the One True God, His son Jesus Christ, the history of God’s people and it is written for everyone…

 1 Peter 1:25 says: “But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” It’s truth and power are live and active today just as it was when God first inspired those men of God to record it. 

Further God tells us how it was recorded…“and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17

The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”

Later, around A.D. 63 Peter would write, addressing us still today “to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ”, these powerful words of truth. “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:21

Are you feeling more confident? God is real! The Bible is God’s Word to you and me. Through His Word and the Holy Spirit within you, YOU CAN TRUST GOD.  For me trusting God was a journey, a fight.  As I have shared I came to the cross damaged, trusting God had to be a decision…I had to and still today cast every thought and lie the devil continued to tell me out.

The word “trust” is defined; a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Having confidence, the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone…being dependent, rely on. The Bible defines “trust” in Hebrew  “batach” meaning; refuge, secure, be bold or confident, assurance, hope.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”

To truly trust God we must humble ourselves, not as easy as it sounds.  The word “humble” is not popular today! Everyone is seeking to be acknowledged or should I say, “stand out”, our role models are those with the loudest mouth, Hollywood, politics, surely not JESUS or God’s Word. 

1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  These verses come just before we are warned about how the devil is looking for those he can devour.

The word “humility” is defined; having or showing a modest estimate of one’s own importance; to live with dignity; the quality or state of being worthy. Disposition: the tendency of something to act in a certain manner; something that accompanies or is collaterally connected with something else. To understand your position, purpose, to rein in or curb accordingly, to have a sensitive nature.

To be humble takes trusting God for direction, being connected to Him and pursuing the worthiness God bestows on His children. We find our real worth and identity in God.   Having a servant heart willing to say, “it’s not about me the life I seek is found in trusting God”.

How do we get there? I have not arrived, but I am working on it daily, by developing a habit of learning to trust God at all times, in every area of my life.

Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you and knowing He is good, He has the power to help you, and He wants to help you.  As believers we are called to trust God in ALL things but many times, we are more like unbelieving believers. We trust those we see on TV or read about in the news more than we trust God and His Word.

In John 15:5, Jesus says that apart from Him, we can do nothing. We need to lean on Him for help with everything in our lives.

Maybe you attend church each week, however by the time you get home, the world is closing in and you try to do it on your own.  You sink back into complaining about how hard it is because you are trying to do it all on your own leaving God out!

We MUST put God first in our lives. He wants us to put our confidence and trust in Him, all the time, in everything. Trust even when you do not see results, Trust even when everything and everyone around you is telling you something else.

I put up all kinds of walls and roadblocks through my life because I had been hurt and I hurt others as well. I thought, if you do not ask anybody for anything or open your heart to them, they cannot hurt you. I thought I will make my own way, I will make my own decisions because I cannot trust anyone.  If I am going to crash it will be me driving unfortunately, my kids and others I loved were in the car, so they experienced the hurt and brokenness within me. This wrong thinking just kept me from trusting God.

Trusting God is a decision, a habit that takes practice. Somedays we just need to declare our Trust in God!  We can build that trust by knowing what the Bible says. God’s Word gives us confidence as we study it, our mind is renewed, the goal is to no longer think the way the world thinks, we need to think the way God thinks!

Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed (listen or act according) to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Make God Habits in your daily life. First, what your eyes see, and your ears hear will affect your ability to see and hear God.  My life began to change when I stopped listening to music or watching movies/TV that had worldly content (i.e. secular, above PG). Today, social media plays a huge part promoting worldly ideas. Do not be fooled the devil uses ALL forms of media to drag us down and destroy us.

Second, find time in your day, even while driving in the car to talk to God, start by thanking Him, praising Him, then acknowledge your need for Him, ask Him to forgive you, then surrender it all to Him…Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit in me.” Sometimes simply saying “Yes God!” can get you moving closer to God and send the devil running.

Third, give God your best, if you blow it…start over, do not let the devil speak lies to you.  Every thought needs to line up with God’s Word. Many times, I think what would God say about this?

Fourth, reach out to other believers, find a woman of God to mentor you!  God tells His children to be disciples and then to reach out and disciple. Find a home church and GO! It is that simple, you will be changed guaranteed!  This is how God works, through the Holy Spirit, through His Word and through His church…other believers.

Joyce Meyers says “When you go beyond what you want, what you think and what you feel and do what the Word and the Spirit of God tell you to do, you are able to develop good habits and break bad ones. You come to a place where the blessings of God – His righteousness, peace and joy – overflow in your life.”

Everything changes when we discover who we are in God’s Kingdom.  We are His children, His creation, made in His image for His purpose! Yes, you are valued and loved by God. You my sweet sisters are Daughters of the Most High King.

Be Blessed, Sister Laurie

No Matter What the Storm… Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Take Jesus’ Hand TODAY!

Every word within the Bible is there with a specific purpose.  It reveals God’s love for us, gives us advice, teaches us about consequences for our decisions, provides hope in what looks like a hopeless situation and so much more. 

God inspired every Word with you in mind…

2 Timothy 3:15-17 tells us “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

I love that God tells us that “from childhood” yes, He is saying you always knew that the Bible is God speaking to you.  This is true because remember we are spiritual beings and within that spirit is God’s truth there when you were still in your Mother’s womb. See Psalms 139:4 and 139:13.

 2 Peter 1:21 further gives us the truth of all scripture “for no prophecy(Word from God, Scripture, Bible) was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

I want to encourage you to meditate not just on this next bit of Scripture but to firmly know in your mind and spirit that God’s Word is for you completely. 

That being said…Please read Matthew 14:24-33.

When the wind swept down from the hills and whipped the Sea of Galilee into a treacherous storm, the disciples found themselves in a fight for their lives on the waves. Then Jesus – as He so often does – came walking through the swells and impossible waves as living peace. When the men in the boat saw what their eyes told them they could not, Peter must have been so compelled by this display of power, that he cried out to Jesus, “Lord, if it’s really you, then have me join you on the water!” And Jesus did not say no. He did not scold Peter for having the audacity to think he could join Him in the miraculous, instead he invited him in. “Come and join me!” As long as Peter’s faith rested on the power of Jesus, he joined Christ in miraculous power. He did what people should not be able to do.

Then, the waves got his attention. He began to believe the ‘ridiculousness’ of it all; his mind let seeming logic begin to break down his child-like trust in the Jesus that stood right in front of him. As Jesus lifted him from the place where he sank, I can hear Him speak these words with the gentleness of a friend, and the disappointment of a coach who saw full potential denied. “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?”

A dear sister in  Jesus Christ, Michelle Loss wrote that amazing description of that day on the sea and how Jesus took Peter’s hand and gave him the confidence to keep moving forward.

She further shares this amazing word of encouragement… As she read Peter’s experience, “the Spirit whispered, “The invitation still stands.” Jesus is still inviting us to join Him on the waves. To let our hearts fully believe in the power of Christ to allow us to partner with Him in the miraculous. To remember that Jesus bought and paid for a royal inheritance, a promised land, and the power of the Holy Spirit for each of us. Now. The temptation to look at what we think we understand, to let the impossible waves crush our faith, will always be waiting along with Christ’s call. But eyes that are fixed on Jesus, enable our feet to move. To see our advocate standing peacefully over the chaos, calling to us, “Come and join me!””

This is true today for you and for me, no matter what the world looks like, the chaos, the repeated violence, the lies we hear daily which have lulled many into a state of fear and uncertainty.  We have a King and a Kingdom to which we belong…Have NO Fear! God is with you!

Be Blessed, Sister Laurie

The Hope Killer – John 10:10

Without hope we become sick. Heartsick…Sick physically, mentally, and spiritually. This sickness leads to depression and in this fallen world we live many times leads to suicide.  Satan is the hope killer.  He is out to steal, kill and destroy God’s most precious creation US.  This is a tough blog to write because recently a young, beautiful mother of three that I had prayed with and shared Christ with took her own life. Satan stole this young woman’s life…the lies he had been telling her finally took her life. 

My heart is broken that those around her, me included did not see the signs.  Did not see the urgency that for her tomorrow will never come here on earth.  I can only speak from a peripheral view, I know that the system failed her, the church failed her and yes friends, family, and those of us who said “I’m here for you” failed her. Ouch! Yep! That is right….we all blew it!  We are in a battle, a spiritual one and until Jesus returns, we must arm ourselves and have a battle plan to help those lost and even ourselves.

Her death by suicide left me crying out to God for help.  Why? How? What are the signs? When does someone reach that point of isolation that they no longer have the will to live?  Here is what God has spoken to me. I know this is just the beginning of understanding and there will be a lot more revelation.   I wanted to share this with you…please reach out! Please be watching those in your circle of influence…God loves ALL His children equally, believer, non-believer we all belong to Him.

I want to talk about what Satan did…maybe it will help us the next time. Did you know that in the Bible there are seven instances of suicide?  I have always said that every life circumstance is in God’s Word and the way out is there too.

King Saul (1 Samuel 31:3-5)

Saul’s Armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:5)

Samson (Judges 16:25-30)

Abimelech (Judges 9:50-55)

Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23)

Zimri (1 Kings 16:15-20)

Judas (Matthew 27:3-5)

“Nowhere in these seven instances, or anywhere else in the Bible, does it indicate that the act of suicide is an unforgivable or unpardonable sin.”

The most well-known Biblical suicide was Judas. After he betrayed Jesus the Bible says in different versions of Matthew 27:3-5, he repented himself (KJV), he was seized with remorse (NIV), he felt remorse (NASB) and he was gripped with remorse (AMP) one might say he (Judas) was full of despair and so he chose to end his own life.

“Despair” is a complete loss of hope. It is defined as “the complete loss or absence of hope, or desperation; a state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behavior, or anguish; severe mental or physical pain or suffering, or desolation; a state of complete emptiness or destruction.”  When we breakdown “despair” we find “emptiness”, “isolation” or “destruction.”

It is in that emptiness; the devil has isolated us from hope and from God’s Truth.  The devil’s lie become our truth.  This is how Satan operates and when possible he pushes us to self-destruction.

“Isolation” is separation, loneliness, sadness because one has no friends or company. Feelings of depression, despondency, a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage, unpopular, forsakenness, rejected, abandoned, or deserted. This isolation causes us to stop seeking friendship, to stop reaching out, cut the ties of accountability.

While Satan is busy building his lie within us, he spreads out and starts to build walls, systems, wrong attitudes, and approaches in those who are supposed to help.  This young woman I am speaking of life was filling up with rejection, programs that did not work, expectations and conditions, like a circus animal jumping through never ending hoops for a “well then maybe”.

I must say right here that I do not have the answers, know how to fix the broken legal systems, social services, and all the other agencies that are supposed to work at helping. 

Where is the church in all this?  Biblically we are called to help those who are lost…help without condemnation. I do know we fail here.  Why is it that the drug addict does not feel comfortable in every church? Why does not every church host meetings and Bible studies which focus on breaking substance addiction, fighting depression and anxiety as well as teaching life skills.   Statics tell us that the best recovery and sobriety successes are happening in meetings and programs that are Christ centered.

Sorry for the soap box preaching right there…let us get back to ways we can fight the hope killer, Satan.

Scripture has quite a bit to say about Satan, yet most Christians are ignorant about him. God has given us warnings about our enemy, and we need to have an understanding of Satan’s plan. Christians as well as unbelievers are under constant attack by him but have no idea of the battle they are in. They think their lack of joy, broken relationships, and failures in life originate with them, “It’s my fault, I deserve this” when in reality their troubles are because they are following the voice of the enemy, they have listened and believed his lies for so long they have become their truth.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB

The thief here is Satan; 1 Peter 5:8  tells us that we must “Be of sober spirit (watch carefully, diligently) , be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The devil is jealous of us, his only desire is to destroy God’s most valuable, cherished and loved creation us, His children. Here in John 10:10 God reveals how the devil operates.

Steal: in the Greek “klepto” meaning without permission, sneak, surreptitiously, secretively; the devil takes our hope, steals the gift, the process of destruction begins here.  He speaks lies, tearing down little by little in a very subtle way. At first this “klepto” is undetectable. This stealing extends to how we see, it inhibits us from reaching out either in our own despair or when we see others suffering.

Remember who the devil  is, he was cast out of heaven and is driven to destroy all God has created, he is a “kleptomaniac” because he is driven in his actions and cannot stop. His actions are uncontrollable, his intention is to cause emotional pain, and he uses our need for love, acceptance, and attention (pride) to start this process of death. He is the hope thief.

Kill: in the Greek “thuo” to rush, breathe hard (deny air), to rush, attack, without warning, rapid, aggressive, violent, you are unable to cope, brutal, he attacks indiscriminately anyone one who is vulnerable, susceptible, spiritually weak, they are easy prey, exposed.  Satan’s movements are quick, once he has you believing there is no hope he is quick to cut off your air supply “God’s truth”.  The devil is an assassin, a killer who has a well thought out plan, he is set on a course of action.

Remember who Satan is and how he works.  He suffocates us with his lies. Pushing you to a place where hope dies.  He is the hope killer.

Destroy: in the Greek “apollumi” to put an end to the existence, perish, destroy completely, complete separation, rejection, broken covenant, suffering, punish, death, the devil set out and succeeds at attacking you emotionally and spiritually, he obliterates with darkness the goodness of God, moving you to a place discarded and broken…this is where the devil takes your life. Violently separating you from God’s truth to the point of death. Hopeless, desperate, reckless, uncontrolled decision and actions live here.  Our thoughts move into darkness where madness, irresponsibility, recklessness, and perversity dwell, yes, death is here, suicide, murder, homicide, assassination.  

Remember who the devil is and how he is intent on destruction. His lies and this fallen world pushes us to the point of death physically and spiritually. He is the hope destroyer.

Satan is a liar and murderer. This part of him comes from his true nature, which, according to the Bible, consists of arrogance, vanity, envy, and selfish ambition. When we act in such a manner, we align ourselves with Satan as enemies of God. This is why the mark of a child of God is humility and absolute surrender to our Lord.

We have to know our enemy in order to destroy him, God has given us a directive, a plan and the authority to bind and cast out every ploy the devil may try, God’s Word has every answer, every weapon we need to fight and win the battle. This truth is found in the second half of the verse it says “ I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Abundant life is ours when we put on the armor of God and heed God’s warnings about this world and the work of Satan.  Ephesians 6: 10-18 says “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

The apostle Paul had plenty of opportunities to feel despair, yet he did not. He says in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing.” NASB  What was Paul’s secret? His hope was not based on his earthly circumstances. He held firmly onto the knowledge that God is in control and that his afflictions had meaning for all eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Romans 12:1-2 says “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

God also gives us clear instructions that we cannot live without the help of fellow believers…

Matthew 18:20 “ For where two of three have gathered together in My name, I am there is their midst.”  The devil lurks in darkness and in the places you feel isolated.  We must reach out for help from our fellow believers. If the devil can get you isolated he can take you down, he will keep you thinking; I can’t share, no one will understand, it’s embarrassing, awkward, humiliating (you see God tells us to live in humility, but the devil tells us that humility make us look weak, vulnerable and uncomfortable) God loves weakness because it is in your weakness Jesus can come in and arm you with His righteousness to fight.  God wants to be your defender, that lie we believe that we do not need help is one of the biggest lies satan tells.

James 5:14-16 clearly tells us to reach out for help and the sickness spoke of here is not just physical but mentally and spiritually, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Finally, if we look at verse John 10:9, yes the one just before God’s warning concerning the devil we see…” I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Jesus is promising to keep us safe, the word pasture here means “the provision of truth or spiritual food for us to grow in knowledge of God and become disciples who have been given authority as spoken in Matthew 10:1 “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” We are an extension of those twelve and we must walk in the fullness of that truth while we live here on earth. 

I am here, please reach out if you find yourself going down that dark alley of despair and isolation.  You can contact me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JesusTruthForever or at Jesustruthbeliever@gmail.com.

Be Blessed,

Laurie

Say “NO” to Negative Thoughts! TODAY!

Matthew 8:13 says “go and it will be done as you believe.”

“The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” 1 Peter 3:10

Proverbs 23:17 tells us “For as he thinks in his heart, so he is…”

Do you refuse to hope? Do you have a fear of being hurt? Are you living a
negative lifestyle?

God tells us to practice being positive in every situation if whatever is
happening in your life is not so good…expect God to bring good out of it…
this He promises in His Word.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 NASB

“Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is
written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
Romans 12:16-19 NASB

Paul is telling us to be ready to adjust ourselves to people and situations.
When we don’t get our way, our feelings rise up and bring self-pity and a
negative attitude. We have a choice…to immediately recognize those feelings and with God’s help shut them down! We must choose to enjoy and have peace about the situation.

We must have a ready mind…“These were more noble than those in
Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11 KJV


We must know without a doubt that we are FREE to believe that with faith and hope in Jesus the tough circumstance, difficult people who hurt us…all situations can be turned for good.

Read Romans 4:18-21 Respect the promise of God, give Him glory daily!

Follow these steps in having a positive mind (take note that these also work when fighting depression).

Psalm 143:3-10 gives an excellent definition to recognize negative thinking, depression and their roots as well as God’s remedy.

Depression and negative thinking defined verses 3-4
“For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground. He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead. Therefore, my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is appalled within me.”

Listen to those words sisters, you are under attack, the devil has zeroed in and is taking you captive, you are listening to the lies he tells, you are becoming his victim. Those dark places need to be exposed to the light only Jesus can provide; depression, negativity steals life and light.

Break the stronghold Satan is setting up in your mind verses 5
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands.”

Remember all God has done in your life, what is He doing right now…is the sun shining, birds singing they lift their voices in remembrance of all God has done. The sun shines bright bringing hope. Now meditate on God’s goodness, look to nature if your stuck only He can create such beauty.

Use the power of the Holy Spirit to break negative thoughts Verse 6
“I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah.”

Praise God!!! Even the smallest words “Yes God!” will break Satan’s hold and stop him…send him running. God is our hope, peace, and rest. Only God can bring the satisfaction you hunger for, lift your hands in worship right now and tell God how very much you love Him. Let His Word quench your thirst…read His Word out loud…all scripture brings peace and lifts your soul, clears out your mind of all negativity.

What have you fixed your thoughts on? Have you chased the wrong thought and made it truth? Wrong thoughts will always leave you disappointed and hurting, disappointment opens the door for the devil come in and set you a stronghold namely negativity, depression and anxiety are the result.

Ask God for help, He is faithful, He is listening Verse 7
“Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit.”

Be quick to identify wrong thinking and feelings. Ask god to show you wrong thinking and feelings. The longer those thoughts and feeling are present the stronger they become. Right now, go to prayer and ask Holy Spirit to help you. Remember He is active and in you, able to break the strongholds in your mind. Stubbornly, hold on to God’s TRUTH! God will never hide His face from you…

Now it is your turn to listen…What is God saying to you? What must you let go of? Verse 8
“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.”

We need to feel the love of God. How do you listen? Through the reading and study of His Word, sitting in silence allowing the Holy Spirit to move, worship, prayer? God wants to give you the assurance you need, He wants to reveal His deep and unfailing love for you.

Deliverance is coming…verse 9
“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in You.”


God is your refuge, the only safe place to hide, find comfort and truth, He is your Forever Father, Creator, He placed your spirit in your flesh, He knows your voice and every hair on your head. He has made a way for you; He is waiting for you to step into deliverance! Today!

Be open to God’s wisdom, knowledge, and guidance…Verse 10
“Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

He has a plan no matter where you are right now, how far your have strayed…He is a Big God who brings Big HOPE…Many times, the reason you do not feel relief from Satan’s trap is you are not willing to give up that one thing…you straddle the fence. You want some of the world and some of God…there is NO deliverance in that thinking…God says “You shall have NO other Gods before you!” This is for your protection. God’s authority is not keeping you from good, He is saving you from bad! The devil works in the little things, white lies, just this once, gray areas. The more you know God the easier it becomes to identify and say No to the devil and his tricks.

Living out of God’s will opens the door for the devil and his friends to take up residence. We need stability, a daily check list, walking on level ground means not letting emotion make the decision.

We have all the weapons we need to fight negative thoughts and the conditions of our mind and soul which follow. God has provided everything we need to walk through our life on earth until His return. Ephesians 6:10-18, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Philippians 4:8, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:13

Paul reminds us “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

John 16:7-8 tells us…The Holy Spirit has comer to help us, if you want to change…Know this…YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOURSELF, but GOD WILL AS WE TRUST AND OBEY HIM. It will take time, do not be discouraged with yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you each time you get negative. Put your feelings and attitude up against God’s Holy Word. You must resist aggressively in the name of Jesus!

Proverbs 15:15 says “All the days of the afflicted are bad, But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.”

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. “ Philippians 1:6

“Therefore, the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” Isaiah 30:18

Sisters in Christ, as I was preparing this Word, God lead me to the following scripture which says…”For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.” Philippians 1:7

God has given me a voice to speak His truth, bring freedom to the captives and see His children with His eyes of love…Blessings, Laurie