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Be Very Careful the Words You Speak – It’s Life and Death

Power of Words

If we realized the power of our words and thoughts, we’d be much more careful in the choosing of them.

What we think and believe impacts how we live and the person we become. What we speak shapes our future.

I cringe when I hear adults speak of their future teens negatively. Statements such as, “I dread the rebellious teenage years.”

Who said they’d be rebellious?

Or “Well, I know one day my teen won’t want to be around me.”

Yeah? Says who?

Why would we say these things?

I desire to create an environment my kids want to be around. I want to love them well and enjoy them. We are in the teenage years now and this is by far my very favorite season. I speak this out to my teens, telling them how fun they are to be around, how much they make me laugh.

Why would we speak fear-driven thoughts? Why would we plant these seed thoughts in our children? They are listening and absorbing. They will absolutely rise to what’s expected of them.

Speak life.

Speak power and authority.

Speak destiny.

Speak God’s Word and promises.

At some point I noticed the trace of a trait in one of my sons I wanted him to notice and build on.

He is confident in who he is. He’s not easily persuaded and he’s ok not looking like the world around him. I wanted him to see how strong of a character trait this is.

Kids and teens are drowning in a lack of identity and a strive to fit in with the rest of their friends.

“I see in you such a strength. You really know who you are in Christ. And because of this, you don’t have to try to fit in with others or be tempted to take part in what they do because you know who you are.”

It was a passing comment honestly. I spoke it in truth, but it was a glimmer I want to glisten and shine over time.

Weeks later I overheard a conversation of his. He explained to someone that he isn’t persuaded to follow others because he knows who he is in Christ.

I stopped. I stood overwhelmed at the power my spoken words held in his thoughts and beliefs about who he is.

Pray

Lord, may we choose our words wisely. May we speak life into and over our kids, our families, and ourselves. May our words be seasoned with salt. May we reflect your love and your truth in everything we speak. May we cast out fear thoughts and lies spoken from the depths of darkness. May we walk in the light You’ve shown.

Words and Stories I’ll Never Forget

10 years ago I sat in a doctor’s office. He said something I’ll never forget. “In all my years as a doctor, I’ve learned something about fear. In many of my patients with cancer I’ve found their biggest fear in life was getting cancer.”

He went on to talk to me about fear. He wasn’t really talking about cancer. Nor am I. And I’m not making any kind of health statements at all. Please hear me on this.

I’m simply sharing a statement he made that impacted how I decided that day to think. The point he made is the power of our thoughts and our mind to impact our future.

If we fear something, often we actually live into that very fear. Again, please don’t misunderstand. I’m speaking about fear and the grip and influence it CAN have. I’m not at all saying that all of our sicknesses and diseases came because we thought them into being.

Fear Not

God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear is straight from hell.

Years after this comment from my doctor, I listened to a Ted Talk on the power of our thoughts. He told a story of a patient told he was dying of terminal cancer. He was given 3 months to live. 3 months later he died. The autopsy revealed he had no cancer. He was told he was dying. He believed he was dying. He died in 3 months. This story has never left me.

Over the last year, God has brought my way more information, more books, more conversations, more sermons on the power of our minds than I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I don’t believe that is a coincidence.

Recently, one very dear to me confessed a deep fear of cancer in their future. They’ve never had a scare, but it surrounds us. Because years ago God brought people and conversations into my life on this very thing, I knew how to talk to this person. We began casting out fear knowing it’s not from God. We began praying God’s Word claiming a sound mind.

It’s Our Choice

I’m choosing to speak life, think life, live in God’s light.

Will bad things happen still? Yes. Will sickness and death happen despite our happy thoughts? Yes.

Am I saying we just think and talk happy and nothing bad happens? For sure, not. Not at all.

We live in a fallen world. Sickness, death, sadness will be all around us. One day every tear will be wiped away. That is our hope.

We can choose to speak words of life, hope, goodness, and love.

When we see the hint of godliness in our kids, let’s speak it out loud to them. When we see them encourage a friend to tell the truth rather than lie, speak that out to them. “You are a young man who walks in truth and honesty. I love that about you.”

When we see them wake up to their alarm on their own, we can say, “I love your initiative and self-discipline to wake up and handle your business on your own. I can’t wait to see how that serves you well in the future.”

When we see them walk away from a sibling argument, we can say, “I noticed you exercised self control over your tongue. Thank you for being a person who seeks peace.”

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

Lord, equip us to use our tongues wisely. Guard our minds from believing lies or listening to the voice of fear, which is not your voice. Make us attentive to You. Speak life into us that we may be so filled by You that You flow out of us to all around us. Amen.

P.S.

Have you read Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf? It’s an excellent read I highly recommend. She combines the science of the brain with the Creator of our minds. It’s fascinating and unlike many books of its type, it’s not written over our abilities to process the information shared. She also has a fantastic podcast I love listening to. It’s short and impactful each episode.

P.S.S

If you are looking to experience God in fresh and intimate ways, I invite you to grab your copy of Illuminate today. It’s 14 days of devotions centered on who God says He is.

Illuminate will give you a practical way to learn to switch your focus and stop giving more attention to fear than to the One who says ‘fear not’.

If you are tired of living by fear, anxiety, and worry, Illuminate will be a sweet balm to your soul. It’s available in 2 formats: Ebook and Audio (with pdf download).

Here’s what some are saying:

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My Thoughts on a New York Times article Raising Children Without the Concept of Sin

“My religious fundamentalist childhood was built around the fear of sin. My daughters don’t even know the word.”

This is the sentence that made me open an article from a news source I never read.

‘As my 9-year-old daughter watched them pass, her forehead knitted, and then she looked up at me with solemn hazel eyes.

“Mama, what is sin?” she asked.

The merriment of the fair receded and I stared at her, my brain spinning with the magnitude of her question. By failing to teach my child the meaning of the word sin, had I somehow failed to give her a moral foundation?

Sin. That tiny word still makes me cringe with residual fear. Fear of being judged unworthy. Fear of the eternal torture of hell. Fear of my father’s belt.”‘

This is an excerpt from The New York Times article, Raising Children Without the Concept of Sin.

As I read the author’s words, I wanted to reach through the screen and pull her close, hug her, and whisper, “You are known and loved.”

Honestly, without love at the core of everything, we can become focused more on issues than people. If I’m honest, I can lose sight of the people behind the issues they stand upon. We are surrounded by broken hearts in need of truth wrapped in love.

Our life experiences become a filter through which we see life. Had I been raised in the same environment described in this article, I can’t say I wouldn’t feel the same way about God and sin.

“God was a megaphone bleating in my head: “You’re bad, you’re bad, you’re bad!” I had recurring nightmares of malevolent winds tornado-ing through my bedroom — a metaphor, I now realize, for an invisible and vindictive god.”

Note the little ‘g’ use for God.

Oh, the deception of the enemy on this precious child of God. Raised in a home that didn’t know God yet used Him as a form of fear and punishment. And what’s a child to do?

Our natural inclination is to project our earthly father onto our Heavenly Father.

No matter how good or heinous our earthly father is, that’s not God. One man in all humanity is a picture of God. Jesus.

Perfect, spotless, righteous, kind, just, loving, tender, merciful. He alone is the only one who can give us a picture of the Father.

“At 17, after being caught “fornicating” with my high school boyfriend, I was sent to a Christian reform school where children were beaten in the name of God. It was there that I learned that religion has nothing to do with goodness and there’s a strong link between zealotry and hypocrisy.”

I agree with her statement. Religion has nothing to do with goodness. The “religious” killed Jesus. Christianity is not a religion. It’s a relationship.

“I lost my faith by fits and starts.”

“Religious brainwashing imposed from infancy is hard to shake, and I continued to confuse “Christian” with “trustworthy” and “moral.”

Again I agree, religious brainwashing is hard to shake. So much evil has been birthed in the name of religion.

Because someone proclaims to be a christian doesn’t make it so. At the same time, I have done and said things that misrepresent Christianity.

“When my husband and I contemplated having children, I wondered how I’d teach them right from wrong without a church. I toyed with the idea of dropping them off at a Sunday school, where they could ingest bite-sized chunks of morality in catchy songs and coloring books. But my husband — Catholic by culture, atheist by intellect — wanted nothing to do with organized religion.”

Implanted deep in the heart of every human is a hunger and thirst for truth, goodness, and love. We were all created in the image of God with a heart designed to love Him and long for Him. That’s why we spend our lives searching for meaning and significance. When we finally encounter the God of the universe, we find our place. Right in His arms, the ones outstretched toward us since the beginning of time.

“As a girl, my focus was on gaining admittance to heaven. Now I believe that this life is the only life we’ll know; this planet, our only existence. I am no longer motivated by fear of an unproven hell, but by real-world concerns about injustice and inequality.”

God, too, is concerned with real-world concerns and injustice. So much so that He sent His only Son to the cross on our behalf. To right the wrongs and defeat evil and death once and for all.

You know, I was once a girl focused on working my way to heaven too. I worked my entire life to be good enough. That was an impossible feat. At various points I’d throw my hands up and say, “It’s just too hard.” And I’d go my own way. At 23 I had an encounter with God. A switch flipped in my brain shining light on the darkness that surrounded my false beliefs of living a perfectly holy life to work my way to God.

I remember saying, “That’s it, God! I get it now. It IS impossible for me to be good enough to make my way to heaven. That’s why you sent Jesus to die in my place.” A lifetime of the knowledge right before my very eyes that I never understood.

It was a word I’d never understood, used in church circles by “good” people. Grace. What in the world did it mean? I thought I knew, but until that light bulb moment, that word lived in the dark of my understanding.

This life isn’t the only life we’ll know. If so, what would be the point of it all? If it simply just ends and goes away. Why? There must be more. There is more.

The author refers to an unproven hell, choosing instead to place her faith in her unproven belief that this life is all we’ll know. Both beliefs require a level of faith. She didn’t lose her faith. She simply took her once faith in a God and placed it her own ideas and thoughts.

But I don’t fault her. The one I fault -Satan. The one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The one who is out fighting for souls. To blind the people into believing heaven and hell isn’t real is to win them to the darkness. A forever eternity void of all hope.

“I gazed into Davia’s upturned face and felt a rush of love and happiness. I had raised her without sin.”

None of us are born without a knowledge of sin in our souls. We all know. Deep down we know. While her daughter might not know the term and definition, inside she knows.

“An explanation of sin could wait.”

It was the closing sentence that caught my breath. “An explanation of sin could wait.” It can’t wait. We aren’t promised our next breath. We don’t know the time or day that will be our last moment on this earth. And when we depart, life continues after. The choice is ours. Will we choose heaven or hell? The choosing happens now in this life. Once we depart this life, it’s too late.

This New York Times article reflects the real beliefs of thousands and thousands of people. Would you join me today in praying for the ones who have believed the enemy’s lies? Let’s ask God to intersect our lives with these people who need to hear that God is not an invisible, vindictive God. Let’s wrap them in love and pour into them out of the overflow He’s poured into us.

Time is fleeting.

 

Ready to go deeper with God? To push back the dark? Illuminate is a 14 day devotion to help you focus on who God is as revealed by His Word. It’s the only way to counter the lies of this world- to know Him, His voice, His character. He loves you like crazy.

 

 

How you can truly rest

“At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.”

Mark 15:33

It was gruesome, bloody, unfair. He was rejected by His own.

His silence speaks.

His eyes find mine. Right now. In this moment.

He wasn’t who they expected. It wasn’t how they imagined a Messiah. He didn’t fit their narrative.

They had ideas of the kind of king they wanted. It wasn’t Jesus.

Yet, He was and is I Am. And this infuriated the religious leaders.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

John 18:4-6

The ones who claimed to know God didn’t know God at all.

Today, I remember. I remember the sacrifice He made.

What God does flows from who He is.

The darkness couldn’t stay because the Light had come. God illuminated the darkness then and He illuminates today.

When I remember who God is, it changes how I see what He does.

May we begin the art of remembering who He really is. The world is working overtime to override what we know. So we make a choice to invest in remembrance.

Today, I remember the sacrifice He made because God is love. Offering His only Son flowed out of who He is. He is love. He is just. He is holy.

Remembering is changing me. It takes my eyes drawn into myself and points them up to Him. As I stand in awe of who He is, all my fears fade away, anxieties dissolve, insecurities vanish.

He is infinitely more than I know. I want to know Him more.

I’m hungry and thirsty.

And I know I’m not alone. I know there are some of you just like me. You desire to know Him deeper. You want more of Him.

So I’ve created a tool to help us learn to remember. It’s a daily practice of refocusing back on God. To His Word. I share stories and His Word. We reflect and contemplate. We pray. We seek. He changes us. He draws us close as we draw near to Him.

He’s ready to do a new thing in you. Will you allow Him?

Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word is a 14 day experience. It’s audio with transcript, slipped quietly into your inbox once a day for 14 days. It’s yours to keep, never expires. You can listen over and over again.

I’ve included a sample from Day 6 – I Am. I pray it blesses you.

You can purchase here.

For more information, click here.

 

It’s Time To Take Back Ground – Are You With Me?

“What if what we need….is to go back to remembering who God is?”

The weight of that question laid over us like the blankets cocooning us against the howling Lake Michigan wind.

Huddled like teens away at camp, the questions from deep within bounced back and forth between us.

With tenderness we held the holiness of the ponderings leading us to the question we believe was God-breathed.

Who is God? Really? Not the version the world creates. Not who others tell us He is. But who He is as revealed by Him!

We know God. We walk with Him. But He is infinite and we forget. Or worse, we harbor lies deep in our souls that we don’t even know are there. Lies like God isn’t good all the time. Or I have to take care of myself because God might fail me. Or I need to prove myself because I have to earn God’s love.

There are so many lies that bury themselves inside our hearts without us even realizing it. That is until we find ourselves in a situation that requires complete and total trust in God. And we have to go back to remembering who He is.

When we focus there, everything begins to change.

What if the answer to our biggest challenges in life is found by one simple practice or discipline? Actually, I now believe it is.

Lord, You light my lamp;
my God illuminates my darkness.

With You I can attack a barrier,
and with my God I can leap over a wall.

Psalm 18:28-29, HCSB

 

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
 With your help I can advance against a troop;
    with my God I can scale a wall.

Psalm 18:28-28, NIV

Friend, it’s time to take a stand. Time to take back ground the enemy has taken from you. No longer will you allow him to bully you. No longer will he use fear tactics, depression, anxiety, or diagnosis. No longer will he use your pain as a weapon against you. No longer will he use your illness against you. No longer will he use your insecurity.

Nope. He’s done. You know why? Because God is bigger.

It’s a simple truth we know but forget to live into. For too long we’ve allowed the devil to speak too loudly. Why do we listen to him? Have we forgotten he’s a liar?

The enemy tells us God’s not good.

God is good.

The enemy tells us God won’t catch us when we fall.

God tells us He will never leave or forsake us.

The enemy tells us to protect our hearts because no one is looking out for us.

God tells us He bottles up our tears.

The enemy tells us no one sees or understands.

God tells us He’s numbered the hairs on our head. And the stars he calls by name. Yeah, He sees alright.

Take that satan, you liar!

God has been showing me for a year it’s time to go on the offense.

Too often we wait to start fighting when the weight of the world feels it may crush us.

So God woke me early one morning, only a few short weeks after I sat huddled like a teenager with my friend at a writer’s retreat. He woke me with His Presence and His Words. His Holy Spirit began to pour out over me, and I experienced a time with Him like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. And now I finally get to share it all with you.

I have a few questions for you:

  • Do you find yourself facing problems, grief, difficult people or situations and feel it will swallow you right up?
  • Do you find yourself walking under the whispers of insecurity, doubt, guilt, shame, or fear? (You aren’t alone)
  • Do you feel distant from God?
  • Do you wonder how others hear from God and you don’t?
  • Do you simply need a heart renewal and revival?
  • Are you hungry for that which sustains?

You are not alone. It’s time to illuminate the darkness.

I have written and created a devotion just for you.

Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word is available for purchase here.

Here’s a post with all the questions you might have.

Or you can visit here for a video trailer and reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for a breakthrough & ready to push back the dark? It’s time to illuminate!

 

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FAQ:

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    • Great question! The answer is simply that I want you to walk slowly with God through this journey. The truths and reminders He will reveal need to be sipped on and soaked in. I’m afraid if I gave it to you all at once, you would attempt to devour it. Slowly digest, my friend.
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    • The majority of my readers are women, and illuminate is certainly targeted to women. However, I’ve had several men tell me they loved it! So there ya go!
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