Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thai Chicken Meatballs


Thai Chicken Meat Balls 

If you have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) you know how hard it can be to find yummy "legal" foods.  I recently found Samantha B. Johnson and love some of her suggestions!  These meatballs are fabulous!  If you are Sulfur sensitive you won't want to do the wrap or dipping sauce, but the meatball is still yum by itself.  Try coconut oil instead!  The meal itself is Gluten Free as well as SIBO legal!  Enjoy.  
Please visit my new blog to view more healthy recipe ideas.  

Serves 10 (Original Recipe by Sibo Diet Recipes)

Thai Chicken Meatballs-sibodietrecipes
  • Meat Balls:
  • ¾ lb Chicken breast ground
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup minced Basil
  • ⅛ cup Mint
  • ¼ cup Cilantro
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • For Cooking:
  • Garlic infused sesame oil
  • Wrap ingredients:
  • Red cabbage outer leaves
  • 1 Carrot
  • Cilantro
Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tsp Fish Sauce
    • 2 tsp Lime juice
    • 2 tsp coconut aminos
    • 2 tsp garlic infused sesame oil
  1. Add all meatball ingredients into a bowl and mix well with a long spoon
  2. Heat skillet to med-high and add 2 tbsp garlic infused sesame oil
  3. Form chicken into golf size balls and add to pre-warmed skillet
  4. Let meat ball brown on the one side then flip and let brown on the other side flattening them a little bit once you have flipped them
  5. Serve in a cabbage leaf with shredded carrots and cilantro. Don’t forget to try the dipping sauce!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Quote of the Day

"It is no great matter to associate with the good and gentle, for this is naturally pleasing to all, and everyone willingly enjoyeth peace, and loveth those best that agree with him. But to be able to live peaceably with hard and perverse persons, or with the disorderly, or with such as go contrary to us, is a great grace, and a most commendable and manly thing."

(Thomas A' Kempis, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 161)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Whom Do You Serve? (A Christian Seminar)

Whom do you serve? GOD or MAN?
A free seminar on higher law for Christians
Christians, Government, and Righteous Resistance

All Christians welcome
Free Admission
Saturday, June 27th 1:00-5:00 pm

Location: Candlelight Christian Fellowship
 5725 N. Pioneer Drive
   Coeur D’ Alene, ID 83815

·        How should Christians respond to a supreme court ruling that sanctions homosexual marriage…and laws that compel Christians to serve evil?

·        What does it mean to be a Christian in a society that calls evil good and good evil?

·        How much obedience do Christians owe rulers?

·        Can Christians love the wicked and righteously resist them at the same time?

·        What does righteous resistance look like?

“We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20)

Sponsored by 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Surrendered Stones upon the Wall of His Purpose

Spiritual Lessons
Surrendered Stones upon the Wall of His Purpose

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2: 19-22)

“Slowly, through all the universe, that temple of God is being built. Whenever, in any world, a soul, by free-willed obedience, catches the fire of God’s likeness, it is set into the growing walls, a living stone. When, in your hand fight, in your tiresome drudgery, or in your terrible temptation, you catch the purpose of your being, and give yourself to God, and so give Him the chance to give Himself to you, your life, a living stone, is taken up and set into that growing wall. Wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways; - there God is hewing out the pillars for His temple. Oh, if the stone can only have some vision of the temple of which it is to be a part forever, what patience must fill it as it feels the blows of the hammer, and knows that success for it is simply to let itself be wrought into what shape the Master wills.”
(Phillip Brooks, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 158)

I loved the imagery of this particular quote. Stone after stone, being placed upon the wall of His divine purpose. Our lives make up the stones. Each part, each detail, small and great, is a stone. Our dreams. Our hopes. Our Goals. The desires He’s placed in our hearts. The ministries He’s given us to do. Our daily chores. Our work place. Relationships. Authorities. Talents and abilities. Our home life. Even our very hindrances, are all “stones”. Things that make up our life as we know it, and the people that shape who we are and what we do.

Each stone must be surrendered to His purpose. For we are His temple. We are the workmanship of His hands. He is the builder.

1Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

And Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

He is hewing out pillars for His temple. Building up walls for His glory. He has a finishing plan and purpose.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He is the author and the finisher. Sometimes, the process looks odd. Sometimes it looks ugly. It feels humbling. We compare our temple project to those around us. We question why He might place a stone here, or remove another one there. Sometimes the stones He chooses, aren’t the ones we would choose for ourselves. It feels rough on the outside. But He sees the finished product. Take heart, dear soul, and trust the Master at His work. He knows what He is doing.

When our plans are foiled, when disappointments arise- He is building His temple.

When heartaches encamp us and sorrows descend- He is building His temple.

When hindrances hold us captive, when our prayers seem unanswered- He is still building His temple.

And when doors are opened, when opportunities arise- He is building His temple.

When blessings surround us, and sweet joys flood within- He is yet building His temple.

When prayers are answered, when our desires and hopes He chooses to fulfill- He is building His temple.

He is the Corner Stone. And He knows just how to build our lives exactly fit for His glory and His Divine Purpose. We can trust Jesus, with what we do not understand. He sees the finished project. We don’t. But to get a glimpse of what He is doing! To trust that it is good! That is sweetest rest. That is glory.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

"There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of God."

St. Francis De Sales, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 146

Thursday, June 18, 2015

An Abyss and Mass of Mercies

Spiritual Lessons 

An Abyss and Mass of Mercies

Image result for mercy

I survey the occurrences of my life, and call into account the finger of God, I can perceive nothing but an abyss and mass of mercies, whether general or in mankind, or in particular to myself; I know not, but those which others term crosses, afflictions, judgements, misfortunes, to me who inquire further into them than their visible effects they both appear and in event have ever proved, the secret and dissembled favors of his affection."  Sir Thomas Browne, Riligio Medici 

I sat there looking at her as if she just declared my death sentence.  What was worse was she had stated it so matter of factly, and then expected me to accept it

For a year I've struggled with my health.  An uphill battle.  I had just told God -- I can't do this anymore, it's too hard.  And now this.  My doctor was saying that I needed to start back at square one; start over the diet.  Only eat meat and carrots.  So I hadn't been moving uphill, but actually in circles.  Desperate attempt at healing, only to unwind the bandage and find an oozing sore.  He purposefully allowed me to be sick.  He did not keep be from being wounded.  Okay, I could accept that.  A temporary hurt to learn a spiritual lesson.  But now, a year later, it suddenly occurred to me in that tiny little office -- what if He never intends on granting me health?

For a year I've focused on the "someday" that I would be normal again.  And now the question haunted me -- what if this is my normal?  What if He molded me "broken", on purpose, for forever?

And through these questions Jesus has taught me something in the last few weeks.  A personal, good, hard, lesson.  And I hope to share it with you.


Image result for chainsJesus began by showing me that I carry burdens.  Some are bondage, others are crosses.  My bondage is sin.  He showed me that my love is selfishness in sheep's clothing.  My heart naturally will only extend itself to those that reach toward me.  I care what others think of me.  I cringe under criticism, smart under fancied slights, and have a hard time sleeping if I think others have found out how inadequate and silly I really am.  As A.W. Tozer once put it, "a fear of being found out gnaws like rodents within [my] heart."  I yearn for someone to understand my hurt and sympathize with my "unfair" mandatory restrictive lifestyle.   

And all of this is because I am under bondage to myself.  It is pride that cringes and smarts and tosses.  It is bitterness that groans for sympathy and frowns on God's unfair treatment.  This is something Jesus wants to free me of.  It is an unnecessary burden.  He never meant for me to carry it.  It is not a "cross" or part of His yoke.  It is sinful and truly hurtful without benefit.  Quite different between the purposeful wounds He gives.


Recently I was told that Jesus wounds us, and allows it to scar us, for other's sake.  For the "Thomas'" in our world.

Image result for nail in wood with christ's bloodFor a year I thought I was in the "repair shop".  I thought I was being healed.  But I have learned that maybe this current place of "health" is my complete state.  Maybe I'm not sick, maybe I'm Toni.  A Toni with wounds.  And maybe these wounds are for someone to thrust their hands in, and set their fingers in.  Maybe my wounds aren't for Christ to heal, but for others.  Maybe they could never let Christ touch and heal them, until they have touched my wounds.  

I read this recently that confirmed this thought in my mind -- 

"We need no more be ashamed of our body -- the fleshly servant that carries us through life -- than Jesus was of the humble beast upon which He rode into Jerusalem. 'The Lord has need of [him]' (Matthew 21:3) may well apply to our mortal bodies."  A.W. Tozer

What if God has need of my mortal body being sick?  Am I giving Him my body for His glory?  Am I bringing down his reputation or lifting it up?  His honor is at stake in how I respond to His given wounds.  And with this wound I know He gives the grace that accompanies such a wound. 

I recently wrote in my diary -- 

"He won't let me bleed to death.  But what if He did?  Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  If I was of the world, the world would cause me to bleed.  But to my detriment.  The world did not give it's life's blood for me.  But Jesus did.  He has every right to ask me for mine.  I have always felt ready to live for Jesus.  To even dire for Jesus.  But what about to slowly bleed for Jesus?  Yes...even cheerfully.  The enemy thinks he's so smart!  He attacks where he knows I am weak.  I've always feared not having good health.  But Jesus wounded me in my health.  I'm already bleeding.  The enemy can't threaten me with blood threats.  And I know Jesus won't waste my blood."

This is aggressive faith.  A daily common faithfulness.  It isn't very glamorous, and it doesn't achieve applause from any audience.  It's this kind of faith -- when I'm tired and it's hard, and Jesus says "Run and don't be weary."  Run?!  When I hurt, and I'm tired, and it's hard?  Yes.  And only because He wants to do the running for us.  He wants to prove Himself through our weakness.

Sometimes before we reap in joy, we have to sow in tears first.  There are people in our lives that we could never hope to reach without having wept first.  And one of the easiest ways of sowing tears, in my life, has come through pain and weakness and wounds.  My wounds are not bondage.  Bondage afflicts and reminds it's victim of it's inferiority.  My wounds give me the greatest ability to boldly trust Him and accept His estimate of my life.  Pride is bondage.  Being sick is weakness.  Such a difference.  

When physically I feel less than human, when my spiritual walk is a constant "get-up-and-fall" routine, when emotionally I'm depleted -- that's when I know He passionately is wanting to live through me.  that's when I can praise Him and give Him glory and He knows I mean it. 

It doesn't mean I have to pretend I feel okay.  It doesn't mean I will feel better when I praise Him, and it doesn't guarantee that it will be okay.  There may never be a day when I am "normal".  But I can still praise Him.  And He will accept it and find glory in it.  All I have to do is choose Him.

We aren't suppose to shine in the darkness by our own light.  We cannot rejoice when we are throwing up.  We are not okay when we are hurting.  

But it's Him that shines through us.  It is Him that gives the ability to praise even when we can't feel the joy.  It is Him that lifts up the feeble hands and gives words for praise when we are in pain.  He purposefully chose weak petty earthen vessels.  Why?  So the excellency of the power of God might be Him and not of us.  We will be troubled on every side, perplexed and confused and persecuted and cast down and sick and depressed.  But God says, though these things will come, through Him we are not distressed or in despair.  We are not forsaken, not utterly destroyed or beyond help.  Not without relief.  Not totally annihilated.

Physically we can pursue health, while spiritually thanking and accepting Him for the wounds.  It's not a contradiction.  We can groan when it hurts, but not murmur.  We can ask why and not understand, while still knowing He is good.  His wounds are hard, but how nightmarish to think of a life where our wounds were from someone else.  I know Him well enough to realize His motive is lovingkindness.

He Himself was a man of sorrows.  Well acquainted with grief.  He doesn't condemn me for my sorrows.  And yet He always did that which pleased the Father.  I can do the same thought Him.  If we can honor Him with our wounds and crosses, it can easily be surmised that we can do Him dishonor in them as well.  And what makes the difference?  We can either allow our wounds to make us bitter and hold us in bondage, or, we can allow His grace to hold us up and express itself to others.

If God made me, allowed me, gave me, a sick body, I am not offensive to Him.  I cannot offend Him by placing my  sick self under His responsibility.  I am a work of His Hands and He is not ashamed of His creation.  

I can glorify Him when I eat mushy green glop.  How?  By glorifying Him in spite of it.  I don't have to pretend to like it.  But I can still praise Him with a thankful heart knowing He wants to use me, even in eating mushy green glop.  It can be hard when I am separated from everyone and everything I deem dear or good.  This effects my entire being (spiritually, emotionally, physically) and to realize how it doesn't effect anyone around me is discouraging.  My world is rocked violently and their's goes untouched.  

Yet how silly to think this way!  Everyone has their own wounds.  Their bondage God pleads with them to take.  Their wounds He waits to use and glean glory from.  Who am I to think my world is the only one that is a roller coaster ride?  

Are our wounds and weaknesses easy?  Never.  In fact, they can be a tortuous abyss.  And yet when I consider every hardship, every hurt, every sacrifice, and reclaimed dream, I smile with assurance, because in every case,  they have been a mass of mercies. 

"God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom calls good...While it is perfectly true that some of my worst fears did, in fact, materialize, I see them now as 'an abyss and mass of mercies,' appointed and assigned by a loving and merciful Father who sees the end from the beginning.  He asks us to trust Him."  Elizabeth Elliot 

Related Posts:

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The War We Forget 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Quote of the Day

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.” -Sophie Scholl-

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Prison of Hope

Spiritual Lessons

A Prison of Hope

“Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;”
(Zechariah 9:12)

“Ye prisoners of hope”. I read this verse just recently in my devotions. I'd never thought of 'hope' as possibly being a ‘prison’ before. It was a concept that interested me. Usually, if I would ever think of hope, especially in comparison to a prison, I would naturally assume it lied outside of the prison walls. Maybe like the light that shines through the cell window, or the lingering distant escape from something. Like our future escape from our present reality. Hope should feel like the light at the end of the tunnel...right? Yes, but not always. Hope can be a prison of its very own. Sometimes God asks us to hope for something, and that very hope can actually feel like a heavy burden, a cross to bear, or in this case, a prison. Sometimes, it hurts to hope. It cuts deep into our insecurity and vulnerability. The pain of an absolute, declarative “no” would often times feel more gracious than His, “maybe, wait and see”. Having an unanswered desire can feel more difficult to bear sometimes, than a direct answer. Hope can be painful. Especially when it involves someone else.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

The truth is, our hearts are afraid of being sick. Hope feels open and vulnerable and risky. It is easier not to hope at all, than the fear of being made sick by it. Our hearts are sensitive and fragile. We fear disappointment. We fear rejection. We fear heartaches. But the Lord doesn’t advocate us to fear in this way. We are to fear Him, certainly, but He tells us to “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) He tells us in I John 4:18 that “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Sometimes He asks us to hope, even when it hurts to. Sometimes He asks us to hope against hope. And sometimes He will even reveal a specific future promise and then require us to hope in Him for its fulfillment. Our hopes can take all different forms. They are unique and personal to each of us. Some cannot even be shared with others.

Some “prisons of hope” are merely rotting structures of selfish. Sometimes they are caused by our own foolish making. Not all “hope” in our hearts is by any means “spiritual” or should be nurtured as such. The Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked. We need to seek the Lord in honesty and complete surrender as to what hopes He’s allowed or not. Sometimes in our prisons of hope, He never actually intended us to be there in the first place and has already unlocked and opened the door for our escape and we are too busy wallowing in our own self-pity to walk out.

Dear heart, do you find yourself trapped inside a “prison of hope”? I would like to encourage you. Jesus knows the hope you feel.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

He was in “all points tempted like as we are”. You are not alone. He cares about the state of your heart. He understands what it is to feel the pain of a heartache. He cares when you feel trapped by a prison of hope. He sees when your heart takes off hoping, even without your mental consent to do so. Sometimes we can’t help hoping. And that is okay. I John 3: 20 says, “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.”

We have a safe place to turn. Jesus is greater than our hearts. But I would encourage you to examine your heart, to examine your prison of hope. It is honestly a place the Lord has allowed you to be in? Has He asked you to hope there? If not, we must surrender that hope. We must ask Him to take all our hope, all our desire, and replace it with His best and perfect will for us. His will is never something to fear. He is love. He delights to give us the desires of our hearts, but only when He knows that that desire will not hurt us. Love cannot allow that. Love must always provide through the best possible. And if you are in a place, a prison that Jesus has asked you to hope in, then take heart, my friend, and trust Him.

Zechariah 9:12 said, “Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;”

In our prison of hope, we have a strong hold that we are commanded to turn to. And that strong hold is Jesus.

“But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” (Psalms 94:22)

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

“Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.” (Psalms 71:3)

“For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.” (Psalms 71:5)

Jesus is there in the dear hopes of our hearts, as well as in our deep heartaches. I remember when I discovered for the very first time what it truly meant to feel literal physical pain from a heartache. It no longer was a “term” I’d heard, but a reality in my life. And Jesus was there. Holding me. Comforting me. He eased the pain. And He gave me Psalms 69:32-34, “…and your heart shall live that seek God. For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let the heaven and earth praise him….”

The heart that seeks Him shall live. We can abide in a place of hope, because He is our hope. He is faithful. We can trust Him with our hearts. We do not have to fear disappointment from Him.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalms 42:5)

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”       (Psalms 39: 7)

Is your soul cast down? Hope thou in God. He is our help. He is our refuge. He is our stay. We can trust Him with our hope.

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:18-20)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quote of the Day

"If we have a cold heart towards a servant or a friend, why should we wonder if we have no fervor towards God? If we are cold in our private prayers, we should be earthly and dull in the most devout religious order: if we cannot bear the vexations of a companion, how should we bear the contradiction of sinners? if a little pain overcomes us, how could we endure a cross? if we have no tender, cheerful, affectionate love to those with whom our daily hours are spent, how should we feel the pulse and ardor of love to the unknown and the evil, the ungrateful and repulsive?"

(H.E.Manning, Daily Strength for Daily Needs P. 126)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Symptoms of "Inner Peace"

Spiritual Lessons

Symptoms of Inner Peace

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I came across this poster hanging on a wall at a natural health clinic and it made me smile.  Peace...  it's what everyone is searching for.... 

"Symptoms of Inner Peace"

  1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from a fear based on past experience.
  2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
  3. A loss of interest in judging self
  4. A loss of interest in judging others
  5. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others
  6. A loss of ability to worry
  7. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation
  8. Contented feelings of contentedness with others and nature
  9. Frequent attacks of smiling 
  10. Increasing susceptibility to love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it
  11. An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to make them happen
Note:  Be advised that if you have all or even most of these symptoms, your condition of peace may be too far advanced to be treatable...  Saskia Davis, copyright 1984

I read this and couldn't help but think of my Peace.  These are conditions of having the holy Prince of Peace live in my life.  The world grasps desperately at the symptoms, but even without trying I am at peace because He lives inside of me. The world is trying to live the symptoms. 

When I trust Him and walk in the Spirit these are the result.  I stop fearing what people think of me.  Driving alone or being by myself is no longer exhausting or uncomfortable.  My past doesn't haunt me.  I don't beat myself up mentally.  Time slows down and I can stop and breathe and take in all the little joys that are packaged in a moment.  I don't feel critical of people around me.  I don't stop to analyze how people must view me.  I am not worried.  I'm thankful.  Humanity isn't ugly.  Nature draws.  I don't feel like I have to orchestrate my life.  I can rest in His peace.  

The excerpted list is adapted by Saskia Davis' original post on her website:

Note: All information and opinions on  is exclusively Saskia Davis', and is not necessarily shared by the authors of Maid Arise (Toni and Lynea).     

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Be trustful, be steadfast, whatever betide thee,
 Only one thing do thou ask of the Lord,-
 Grace to go forward wherever He guide thee,
 Simply believing the truth of His word."

(Anonymous, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 121)

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Desert Between

Spiritual Lessons

                                  The Desert Between

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The desert between
My Egypt and land
The land that He promised
To give by His hand

A hard place to travel
Without any pleasure
No riches of Egypt
Or Canan-land treasures

Emptied and willing
Swept of past dreams
Ideals all forsaken
My heart now made clean

My solitude fill, Lord
My reproach gladly bear
Let duty be privilege
Your cross sweetly share

Let service be freedom
And sacrifice joy
Let praise be my spirit
Your shackles enjoyed 

Your limits are blessings
A boundary of care
Protection of mercy
A shield I will bear 

This desert between
I meekly will trod
With joy and thanksgiving 
For here I belong.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Quote of the Day

"We are ready to praise when all shines fair; but when life is overcast, when all things seem to be against us, when we are in fear for some cherished happiness, or in the depths of sorrow, or in the solitude of life which has no visible support, or in a season of sickness, and with the shadow of death approaching,- then to praise God; then to say, This fear, loneliness, affliction, pain, and trembling awe are as sure tokens of love, as life, health, joy, and the gifts of home: 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away'; on either side it is He, and all is love alike; 'blessed be the name of the Lord,'- this is true sacrifice of praise. What can come amiss to a soul which is so in accord with God? What can make so much as one jarring tone in all its harmony? In all the changes of this fitful life, it ever dwells in praise."

(H.E. Manning, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p.130)

Monday, June 1, 2015

The War We Forget

Spiritual Lessons

This is a longer post, but I know I was allowed to write this for a reason and for specific people.  I hope it is a blessing.

The War We Forget 

Image result for armor of god

If we are followers of God, and walk in love, as Christ has loved us, redeeming the time, submitting ourselves one to another, and obeying Jesus in the details of our life, we can be sure of this – the devil seeks us, to devour us, as a roaring lion. Us personally.

Lately my family, as well as church family, have been confronted by the enemy. I am convinced in my heart that right now a spiritual battle is being fought, desperately against us. Our adversary is prepared to take on his prey.

He is a murderer from the beginning. John 8:44. He hates those that open their mouth for the dumb in the cause of those that are appointed to destruction. If you are an abolitionist against human abortion, the devil hates you. You are now a target.

If you are a innocent, if you have committed to purity of heart: you are a target.
 If you are a parent, and seek to train up your children in the way they should go: you are a target. If you are a willing channel, and walk in the Spirit: you are a target. If you influence souls: you are a target.

This is reality, not just a spiritual phenomenon. Whether we are prepared or not, our enemy is skilled and cunning. He seeks to take advantage over us. (2 Corinthians 2:11.)

And yet, our enemy is predictable. We are not ignorant of his devices. And Jesus has given us armor against him. Our part is to be sober and vigilant and to take on that armor. This is an evil day (Eph.6:13) and we must stand. Principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness stand at your gates.

Our Armor

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We are to be girt with truth. There is no truth in our enemy. When he speaks he lies, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44). He will lie to us. He will tempt us to lie. He would have us in bondage to lies and sin and fear.

Jesus is Truth. He says he is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6). And that the truth will set us free. (John 8:32). We have not received the bondage of fear but the true Spirit of adoption whereby we cry “Abba Father”. (Romans 8:15). Truth will shield us.

Breastplate of Righteousness.

We are born sinners. In a wretched state. But Christ in his mercy stole our earthly heritage and made us his joint heirs by His righteous blood. He is not only truth, but He is righteousness (1 John 2:29) and any righteousness through us, is Him. Our righteous stand before God gives us peace (Rom 5:1-5). We can stand in quiet confidence because before God we are righteous. Righteous instruments that He can now use. (Rom 6:13). With His breastplate of righteousness, sin no more has dominion over us.

He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” Isaiah 33:15-16

Preparation of the Gospel

The Bible says that the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. (Rom. 1:16). Paul was unashamed of the gospel and was ready to preach the gospel, knowing that righteousness is revealed through it. All of mankind is seeking peace; they hold truth in their unrighteous hands and don't know what to do with it. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrightesouness.” And we should be prepared to give every man an answer to that which lieth in us. (1 Peter 3:15). And that answer is the gospel of peace. (Eph. 6:15).

Shield of Faith


1. To cover, as with a shield; to cover from danger; to defend; to protect; to secure form assault or injury.
2. To ward off; to defend against; as clothes shield one from the cold.

The Bible says we can resist and remain stedfast against the devil in faith. Why? Because faith believes that “the God of all grace, who hath called us...after we have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 
(2 Peter 5:9-10)  
Faith can cast all it's care upon Him and trust Him and know that He cares. (2 Peter 5:7).  Faith dares to ask anything of her Father. 

Matthew 21:22 
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

 Faith can move mountains. Faith believes and knows the love God has toward us. Faith boldly dwells in love and Love dwells in her. Faith does not fear, but enables the heart to love. And perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:16-18.)  Faith is a shield of confidence. (1 John 5:14-15). Faith secures us against assault. The fiery darts of the wicked. is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God. ...While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves-- blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do. ...Faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls into line.” A.W. Tozer (Pursuit of God, 83)

The Helmet of salvation.

All would be null and void without the saving blood of Jesus Christ on our account. By grace and faith are we saved, (Eph 2:8-9) in Jesus Christ alone.  There is no other salvation in anyone else, “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

The Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

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I was standing, alone, out in a field, trying to pray. And they surrounded me on every side. Demons. I was terrified, too scared to run back home – what if they just followed me? Only a few weeks ago my brother was confronted by them as well. So I started praying aloud. I still felt desperate. So I started quoting Scripture, and the strain melted away. They were gone.

I don't know how common spiritual attack is in different families, but my family has definitely had our fair share. Whether in sudden fear, battles with depression, evil imaginations, or direct attack, we've experienced it. Through it all, we have learned that those who rule the darkness hate scripture.
Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword. It pierces and divides asunder the soul and spirit and discerns thoughts and intents of the heart. God asks – “Is not my word like a fire...and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jer.23:29)

We can only be thoroughly furnished by knowing His word. (2 Tim. 3:16-17).


Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints...” Eph. 6:18

I am convinced that we, and others, suffer because we forget to ask.
We hope God will work in our behalf. Sometimes desperately hope. Or we feel like we just need to “take it on the chin” and bear it all cheerfully. Or trials weigh us down, the enemy beats down,we are surrounded so we whimper. And our Father, with baited breath, waits for us to call on Him. He wants to prove himself. And then when we finally resort to prayer, we ask him for a sip -- when He's ready to pour out the ocean.
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I've asked many people if they know whether they will go to heaven or not when they die. And many answer. “I hope so.” We know that that person's eternity is at stake. How about us who “hope” God will work in us and for us?

When is the last time we sincerely persevered in prayer for something or someone? Have we recently asked God for something and knew He would answer? If we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if He hears us we can know for certain that we have whatever petition that we desire. God says so. (1 John 5:14-15).

I recently have been praying very specific things for certain people. And these people have told me (without any clue that I've been praying for them) how God has taught them this, or done this thing for them, or helped them in this area. God loves to work specifics. He loves to work outside the box. He enjoys proving Himself and getting glory. But He chooses to use channels. We've got to be available and willing.

When is the last time we came together, as siblings in Christ, and prayed for something? God says that that we can ask anything and it will be done for us. Where two or three are gathered together in His name He is in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:19-20.)

Image result for armor of godOver and over He asks (and commands) us to come to Him and ask. I wonder how many times we have grieved Him because He waited to give us a blessing, and we never came to receive it? How many times has He desired to bless someone else through us as a channel but we weren't there...we never asked, we didn't come.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

And I say unto you, Ask , and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Luke 11:9

James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty thing, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3

Psalms 34:17 “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delievereth them out of all their troubles."  

Trained to War

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This morning Jesus showed me that He has conquered demons through me.  And it isn't me at all -- HE has girded me with strength to battle, He spread them abroad.  He avenged me.  He lifted me up on high above them that rose against me.  He has delivered me from the violent.  (2 Samuel 22)

My burden hasn't gone away.  I am still on a battle front.  The devil still seeks me out.  These won't change.  But!  He has given me supernatural acceptance and compassion.  He has given me a spiritual mission.  One that involves pain.  But He has supplied me with all I need to face them.  He conquers demons through helpless, vulnerable, weak channels.  He loves working through incompetent channels; He enjoys using the weak.  I am amazed at how simple it is.  Painful, but simple.  

I wonder how much we limit Him and His angles because we choose to be blase' and silly on the battle field.  There is a cost to following Him.  There is a cost to allowing Him to love through us.  There is a battle.  A war.  And no matter our distracted state, our adversary is full-time employed. The devil's only stumbling block – the warrior Christian. Those who are sober and vigilant. Who pray – believing behind their shield of faith. Those who use the word of God. The demons are only conquered by believing, willing, helpless Christians. Jesus is teaching my hands to war. Praise Him! He has given me peace. He has answered specific prayers. He loves answering specific prayers. The Spirit world is so real; so important. I am amazed at how joined the spirit world is with the physical. My work, my home, they are both battlefields. Like a friend so recently said, there is no such thing as a non-combatant in this war. We are all players, whether we want to be or not. When we fall asleep, we are not normally the devil's priority, but he has no qualms of slaying us then. But jump into the fray and we are lighted targets. We shine in a dark place and he will try to take us out.

Our Weaknesses

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I've wondered why evil seems to know our weaknesses so well. I remember a pastor telling me that he wouldn't mention his weaknesses aloud for fear the enemy would hear. They already know. How – I have no idea. But they know the secret unmentioned weaknesses. Yet, it doesn't matter. Because it's our weaknesses God can so greatly use. The very thing that haunts us about ourselves is the most powerful link to His power. Because there is absolutely nothing we can do with it. Weakness is difficult to rely on. Which is perfect for Him, because we can't get in the way. God knows our weakness better than we do. If He molded our strengths, it is not too long of a stretch to believe that He has given us our weaknesses. Where we are weak we can be sure that there is the place He intends to use us the most.

The greater our weakness, the greater His glory. The more abnormal our weakness, the more supernatural He will prove. Guilt is something to shun. Our weakness in not an accident. We are not broken. There is nothing to fix. Our weakness in not a crutch but a sword!

Loneliness may be a companion, if so we must learn to embrace it. God works miracles in lonely places. The enemy has bows of steel. We have our weaknesses. Satan's archers have had thousands of years of experience, but we have the Creator God who is Forever, that moves and lives through us.

You are godly with God in you. You are righteous with Christ's blood atonement. We are joint-heirs, children of God, pure and holy – nothing less. Christ doesn't see us as less because we aren't less. He has trusted us with our weakness. The greater our weakness the more proof of His trust and great expectations. We are exactly what He intended. Accept it, and we will find an incredible journey before us. It doesn’t matter if we choose to go through it with open alertness and armor, or asleep and hateful – either way is painful. But with one we are not to be used, misery will depress us – or, we can be channels in which He receives glory, and demons are conquered, and our scars will be for Him.