Prayer Challenge


I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel, because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said over me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You God, are Holy. Your word is truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”



Saturday, October 26, 2013

How Long Do You Grieve? Personal Loss and Biblical Grief

Jack Hull  in Jefferson City, MO 2004

My husband, Jack, died in 2005. I still miss him. The grief isn't sharp anymore, but it occasionally surfaces on his birthday, our wedding anniversary, and the anniversary of his death. The first three years were the roughest.

 "Helpful" Advice

Many people offered advice that was not helpful. Some of the "helpful" things other people told me were:
  • You need to be strong
  • If you grieve for more that a year, you need to seek help
  • Crying won't fix anything
  • Get on with your life and things will be better
  • You need a hobby to focus on
  • Your better off without him because he was so sick

Trying to Move On

I just wanted to mourn my loss and be left alone. Emotionally, I fluctuated back and forth between the different stages of grieving. Denial , anger, depression, and acceptance would come and go for the first year. Year Two I stayed in anger, and acceptance, with depression kicking in on anniversaries and holidays. Year two also brought a relapse back into pure grieving because I had been seeing a man that I really liked. However, he broke off the relationship because I was "too prickly". Wow, did that rejection cause a downward spiral. Sharp-edged, painful sorrow returned and it felt like Jack had died yesterday, instead of two years previously. Jack had loved me unconditionally. He loved me in spite of my imperfections. Prickliness hadn't stopped him from seeing the loving, warm, talented woman whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Depression returned. I felt rejected and unlovable.


Grief is...

Grief expert David Kessler at Grief.com says:
"...grief is a process, a journey. It does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us. Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost. Grief is not just a series of events, or stages or time lines. Our Society places enormous pressure on us to get over loss, to get through the grief. But how long do you grieve for a husband of fifty years? A teenager killed in a car accident? A four-year-old child? A year? Five years? Forever? The loss happens in time, in fact in a moment, but its aftermath lasts a lifetime."

 Biblical Grief

Healing is a long process when your heart is broken. In Genesis 37:34-35, Jacob tore his clothes, put on sack cloth, and mourned for many days when he believed his youngest son Joseph was dead. Joseph was his baby and his favorite child. His other children tried to comfort him, but he wouldn't let them. He wanted to be with his dead son, Joseph.  I recognize that feeling.

Strong People Can Cry

Weeping helps release the pressure and emotional tension of grief. Do not let anyone tell you it's wrong to cry when your sad. Tears are a part of grief and sadness. You are still a strong person if you cry. Crying is NOT a sign of weakness.


Take Time to Mourn

 Matthew 5: 4 says "Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted." God will be there to comfort you. Pray this verse to God in prayer.

Father,  I am asking you to comfort me. Your word says that I am blessed because I am mourning the loss of ______________. I am claiming that promise. Comfort me during this loss. In the mighty name of your son Jesus, who is my Lord and Savior I ask this. Amen.

Take time to grieve. In God's world  there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
                                a time to be born and a time to die,
                                a time to plant and a time to uproot,
                                a time to kill and a time to heal,
                                a time to tear down and a time to build,
                                a time to weep and a time to laugh,
                                a time to mourn and a time to dance...
                                Ecclesiastes 3:1-4







 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Wickedest King was Forgiven

Ultimate Power at Twelve


Can you imagine having the power of life and death over people at age twelve?  Manasseh, King of Judah, was twelve years old when he became king. He had been heir to the throne his whole life. His father, King Hezekiah had great wealth, but he also returned his people to worshiping the one god, Jehovah.  Manasseh led a life of wealth, privilege, and worship. However, after his father died, Manasseh became the most wicked and longest reigning king that Judah ever had.

Who Were the Boy King's Counselors?


After his father died, who were his counselors? Was an elderly, bent Isaiah there? Hezekiah had listened to Isaiah. The boy wouldn't want to listen to an old prophet. In fact, traditional accounts say that Manasseh had Isaiah sawn asunder with a wood saw while trying to get him to refuse God. Isaiah died a martyr's death. Did the boy listen to  the smooth flattery of counselors who only wanted to keep the boy king occupied, keep him filled with self-importance, and keep Assyria happy? Manasseh had to contend with his kingdom being under the rule of Assyria. Did the people of Judah return to worshipping God under King Hezekiah to make the king happy? Was the return to God only for appearances by the people of Judah? I have so many question about this story.

Today's Equivalent?


Today, our equivalent would be a twelve year child star or a child of wealth and privilege. Think about the child stars and young social celebrities that we see on TV, watch in movies, and read about online.  Many have had trouble with drugs, drinking, and promiscuity. Can you imagine what it would be like for one of these young people to be in a position where no one could refuse their wishes?

 Baal Worship and Assyria


After Hezekiah died, it would have been easy for a close friend or counselor to sway twelve year old Manasseh back toward Baal worship and Asherah rites. What twelve year old wants to be like their parents?  Following the way of the world doesn't require any effort because man's natural desires love to be indulged. Baal worship was physical, lustful, and carnal. Who wouldn't want to indulge all the desires of a sensual nature and worship at the same time? Also, the Assyrian rulers would be happier to see a conquered people following the gods of their culture. Assyrians were cruel. Keeping them happy would have been foremost in many Judean minds. Manasseh desecrated God's temple with Asherah poles and Baal worship, he had Isaiah sawn apart, he practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft. He consulted with mediums and spiritists. He filled Jerusalem with blood. His evil was without equal. The Bible says," Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites." (2 Chron. 33:9)

A Complete Surrender


 Following God requires effort and fortitude. Living according to God is walking a path that goes against the desires of a physical body. However, when you have truly submitted to God, all of those desires will fall away. The struggle is the complete surrender to being a servant of God. The surrender is what sets a Christian free from the struggle.

A Shackled King


 Manasseh learned about complete surrender to God while Assyrian soldiers lead him with a hook through his nose. Bronze shackles and chains rattled on his wrists and ankles as he walked toward Babylon.(2 Chron. 33:11) A slave. He and his people ran afoul of Assyrian army commanders and were being punished for it. The wicked king of Judah was being marched to Babylon as a shackled slave. Did the soldiers taunt him or prod him with spears? Did they place a thorny crown on his head? Were his fine garments taken away and divided between his captors? Somewhere during that journey,  Manasseh found a seed of faith leftover from his childhood worship of God with his father, Hezekiah. He found Jehovah at the bottom of a personal pit in Babylon. Alone. Captive.

 Psalm 40:1-3 says it best:
                      ...he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth,a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

 God is a God of Repenters

 
God is truly the God of repenters. Manasseh repented and completely surrendered to being a servant of God. "In his distress, he sought God's favor and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea" (2 Chron. 33:12-13) Manasseh was restored to his kingdom; he put his new found faith into action when he returned to Jerusalem. Restoration of a kingdom was Manasseh's goal. Restoration of temples, defensive walls, and God's temple. He reinstated worshipping the one, true God. The wickedest king was washed clean of his sins by God. Manasseh returned to the path his father, Hezekiah, had started him on. He ruled Judah for fifty-five years.

God Forgave A Wicked King - He Will Forgive You


Do not let your sins stop you from turning to God. You have not done anything evil enough to turn God from you. You do not have to "fix" yourself before becoming a follower of God. Repentance is the only thing that God wants from you. He forgave Manasseh. He will forgive you.

Manasseh's story can be read in  2 Chronicles 33 and 2 Kings 21.
 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Calling Glory, Teach Me To Love, Official Lyric Video (+playlist)

I can listen to this song over and over. Listen and see if it speaks to you as well.
Sallee


Phenomenal Weekend in Kansas City

On the Road to Kansas City

Road trip! Yes, Friday was the day. My friends and I had our Harleys packed and ready to go. Our destination - Kansas City, MO and the Women of Faith conference - two hundred and eleven miles of rushing wind and thundering V-twin engines. That is my idea of a perfect trip.
 
 

Oh What a Beautiful Day

 God blessed us with a beautiful fall day for our trip. The scenic route, Hwy. U to Hwy. 42 to Hwy. 7 North, is a perfect mix of curves, hills, and scenic views. The lake views in the Osage Beach/Camdenton area are spectacular. Two hours into our road trip, it was time for lunch. We enjoyed a picnic lunch of chicken sandwiches, chips, and bottled water at a gas station south of Warsaw, MO before continuing the second half of our journey.

Weekend Home

We arrived at the beautiful Embassy Suites hotel in Kansas City around 3:30 P.M. The staff was wonderful and created motorcycle parking immediately adjacent to the lobby entrance for us. In fifteen minutes, we had our travel bags unloaded from the bikes, had carried the bags to our room, and had begun to unpack our clothes. We had just enough time to clean the road grime off our faces, comb out our hair, and change clothes before we piled into a car and left for dinner.  

 

Kansas City BBQ

Dinner was at the Zona Rosa Smokehouse BBQ restaurant. I had to have my picture taken with the pig statue outside. I cannot resist a photo opportunity like that. After dinner, it was time to head downtown to the convention center.

 

Let the Conference Begin

The Sprint Center is in downtown Kansas City. Women streamed from the parking garage to the main entrances of the convention center. The nineteen thousand seats quickly filled as the 8:00 P.M. start time arrived. I had read the brief bios about the women and bands involved in the conference on the Women of Faith website, but I really did not know any of them. This conference was a completely new experience for me.


 
 

Anita Renfroe

Anita Renfroe is one of the funniest women I have seen in a long time. As soon as I returned home, I found her on YouTube and subscribed. Then I posted two of the videos on my Facebook page to share with all my friends and family. That is how much I like her!

Kari Jobe

Kari Jobe can sing! She is a star caliber singer who loves the Lord with all her heart. Her songs, praise, and testimony quickly revealed why she is the worship pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Christine Caine

Christine Caine. How could I have not known about her all this time? Seriously, she is an Australian dynamo who is spirit led and driven. The A21 Campaign helps rescue sex slaves. Did you know there are twenty-seven million sex slaves in the world? Outrageous.

Empowered to Embrace Life

The time spent with my sisters refueled me spiritually. The Holy Spirit is leaping in joy inside me once again. Empowered to embrace life is the only way I can describe how I feel after attending the conference. Sisters in faith, I would encourage you to find a Women of Faith conference near you and attend. Get a spiritual refueling and let the Lord grow you into a more mature Christian woman. A Christian woman who loves people like Christ loves us. Amen?