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.






You Are Fighting a Daily Battle – Are You Protected?


A Fight to the Finish Ephesians 6:10-18 Msg
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

It’s no secret that Satan attacks believers. It’s no secret that there is a war going on that we can’t see with our eyes.

I was unable to write this week, which is why you received only one post. It wasn’t a lack of ideas, rather it was an attack waged on me and my family that left me walking in a haze.

When I write to you, I essentially place a target on my back and taunt the enemy to see how good his aim is. When I attempt to enter into the enemy’s territory by calling attention to the perils of electronics in the hands of children, I’m calling out to him to try and get me. When I write about pornography in disguise trapping millions of women, I throw my own arrows at the enemy. And when I advocate for the orphan and pray for the Lord to move mountains, I shout in satan’s face.

My friend, you have a target on your back too. We don’t have to broadcast our message to the world to erect our targets. When you grow in your faith, you become a target. When you walk with the Lord daily, you are a target. When you choose to turn the other cheek and choose gentleness over stubborn pride, you tell him to come attack. Don’t be discouraged. This is a good place to be actually.

Initially, I was planning to write to you and ask that you pray for me and my family. And I still ask for your prayers, but I want to remind you that you are in a battle you can’t see. We know this, but we need reminding.

I won’t go into the details of my most recent boxing match with the enemy, but let’s just say I’ve been beyond ‘not myself’. My thoughts have been negative, my patience thin, my smile forced, my heart heavy. I’ve felt an unexplained heavy darkness that I was unable to shake. Everything I touched was affected. It overflowed onto my husband, my children, my home.

Last week a friend emailed me that the Lord was pressing into her heart to pray for me. I had a couple of readers send me messages that they were praying for me. I was super appreciative, but this didn’t trigger anything beyond gratitude. In hindsight, I see the Lord knew I was walking oblivious to the waged attack and needed other believers praying. And they did. Thank you, friends.

Last night I had dinner with a friend who the Lord used to open my eyes to what was happening. She could see clearly what I couldn’t and began to cover me in prayers, along with many other friends I knew who were praying (and of course my poor husband who’s had to live with it).

At the beginning of the week, the Lord led me to Psalm 143. All week He kept bringing me back to it, but I was unsure why. Last night, I began praying in the name of Jesus out loud to bind all curses whispered against me and to cast out all spirits attacking my family and my home. I named them, one by one. I got specific and down to the nitty-gritty. Everything I knew was not from the Lord, I called out and used the name of Jesus and the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

This is uncomfortable for some of you to read. If you are here, and are not a christian, you likely think I’m very, very weird. And, well, that is actually true, but God’s Word is very clear that we are in a cosmic battle. Looking back I see these little things that were signs of attacks, but I ignored them. I failed to pray Ephesians 6 daily. I failed to put on my armor every single day. Here’s the good news. Once I realized it, I knew exactly what to do. Even better, I felt relief! I knew I wasn’t crazy. I knew I could win!!

What is amazing to me, is that we truly have nothing to fear. He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) No weapon formed against God shall prevail (Isaiah 54:17). I have everything I need to stand in victory. I have the armor. I have the authority. I have the power because Jesus died and rose again.

The attacks come in many different forms. Satan sends many different types of spirits which have different functions. This is why it is sometimes hard to realize we are under immediate attack. It looks different depending on the type of attack he launched.

We don’t need to delve into the dark world to fully understand it. I think we are better off knowing as little as possible, but enough to take God seriously when He says be ready daily and get on your armor. He’s not joking.

Friends, I am not trying to scare you or make you think I’m weird. I want to encourage you to stand tall and brave. What an amazing God we serve. He fights for us, but He gives His power and His authority to win.

I went back to Psalm 143 which I’ve read all week. This morning I knew why. (I love this in NIV and Msg translations)

The Msg 1-2 Listen to this prayer of mine, God;
pay attention to what I’m asking.
Answer me—you’re famous for your answers!
Do what’s right for me.
But don’t, please don’t, haul me into court;
not a person alive would be acquitted there.
3-6 The enemy hunted me down;
he kicked me and stomped me within an inch of my life.
He put me in a black hole,
buried me like a corpse in that dungeon.
I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away,
my heart heavy, like lead.
I remembered the old days,
went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked,
Stretched out my hands to you,
as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.
7-10 Hurry with your answer, God!
I’m nearly at the end of my rope.
Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!
That would be certain death.
If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice,
I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you.
Point out the road I must travel;
I’m all ears, all eyes before you.
Save me from my enemies, God—
you’re my only hope!
Teach me how to live to please you,
because you’re my God.
Lead me by your blessed Spirit
into cleared and level pastureland.
11-12 Keep up your reputation, God—give me life!
In your justice, get me out of this trouble!
In your great love, vanquish my enemies;
make a clean sweep of those who harass me.
And why? Because I’m your servant.

This is how I felt. I kept remembering how only weeks ago I felt so different. I kept remembering all God has done. I was trying so hard to get back to where I was. But that is the problem. I was trying. I wasn’t using the power He placed in me and the authority I’d been given. Praise God He chases us all day long. He never stops. When we can’t see, He presses us into the hearts of those He’s called to love us. Praise God.

So today I write to you and ask that you pray for our family. I periodically receive things that give me the shivers that I know are from sources opposed to what I’m trying to do with this ministry. As the Lord brings me to mind, would you pray?

And I write to remind you to put on your armor daily, to fear not, to stand bold and brave, and to remember we win in the end! We can’t give up. We can’t despair. When we feel like giving up, when we feel despair, when we lack joy for no apparent reason, when we are hard pressed on every side, ask others to join you in prayer. Stand bold and pray, using the name of Jesus, pray out loud, even if in a whisper. Pray through every room of your home.

I’m praying with you. We stand on the side of victory!

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Know Your Enemy


One arm holding the banister rail, one foot resting on the first step, he turned to me with eyes I didn’t recognize.  The eyes that looked back at me were armed with daggers of anger, rage, and pent-up emotions. His shoulders held tight the tension running through his veins. His stance, his eyes, they froze me.  In that moment I felt helplessly at a loss for words.

I was unable to speak.  In the silence, with angry eyes glaring back at me, I heard a whisper.  A whisper that soothed the burn of the daggers.  “You are not fighting against your child.  You are fighting FOR MY child.  This battle is not yours.  This battle is mine.  Now pray.”

If you can pray with no words, I did in that moment.  I don’t know what happened.  My normal reaction would have been to  feel angry, hurt, and to fight back hard.  I would have demanded respect and demanded he see it my way.  Because I’m the parent, and I know best, of course. In that moment the kindness of my Father saved me from myself and destruction. He covered my mouth with his gentle hand  while giving me new eyes to see the battle at hand and softening my heart to feel compassion for my child at war.  A war he doesn’t even really know exists.  A war I know all too well.

This battle is a familiar dance to me.  The music plays a different melody, and the moves may change from time to time.  I need to recognize Who I’m dancing with and who is trying to cut in uninvited.

With grace given by God in that moment, I responded to those dangerous eyes that threatened rebellion, “Can you write for me what you are feeling?  Write out what thoughts are going through your mind.  Write anything and everything that comes to mind.”

4 words can sink a heart.  “It will hurt you.”

Swallowing hard, drawing on the strength of His wings covering me, I met his gaze.  “It’s ok. Just write exactly what you are feeling.  Even if you think it will hurt me.  It’s ok.”

He shrugged as his eyes seemed to say, “Ok, whatever.”  And he turned and walked away.

I wondered about words I had spoken as a child that inflicted pain to the heart of my parents.  I wondered how old I was when they felt what I’m feeling.  I wondered how they got through it because they weren’t christians.  How do parents make it when they don’t have Christ to cling to?

I watched as he wrote away, effortlessly.  He didn’t lack for words.  They seemed to flow naturally onto the paper.  I never left the protection of His wings.  They sheltered me and prepared me for the words I would read.

He laid the pen down, met my eyes, and I saw tenderness had replaced much of the anger. “Mom, are you sure you want to read this?”


“Ok!”  And he skipped away and began playing as if nothing had ever happened.  Meanwhile, I held the paper in my hand asking God for wisdom.  Then I read.  The words were shocking.  Sort of.  It was so extreme and so bizarre that satan couldn’t deny he was playing a game here.  He was full on battling for my child.  In that moment I experienced something I had never experienced before.  Emotions washed over me like a waterfall.  I did not read those words and feel hurt or defensive.  I read those words and ached for my child.  I felt such compassion for him in that moment that I couldn’t contain it and ran right over to him in the midst of being surrounded by people and hugged him tight.  He gave a half-smile, “Mom, seriously?” Those emotions did not come from me.  They came from the giver of life, peace, and true joy.

“Thank you for being honest with me.  Thank you for loving me enough to be honest even if you thought it would hurt me.  I’m not hurt.  I know exactly how to pray now.  Thank you for sharing this,” I said to him.  He just skipped away.

But I knew better.  I know how this game works.  I know the enemy wanted me to think that is all there is to this little battle and we could go on our merry ways.  He’s sly like that.  He is a liar.  And he will stop at nothing.  John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

I claim it.  I claim the full life found only in Christ for my children.

I walked through my house with a confidence I couldn’t create on my own.  This is war, and I know who wins in the end.  And I know who loses.  I felt rage like I hadn’t felt.  It’s one thing to attack me, but don’t mess with my kids.  The enemy attacks with the precision of any good military attack.  He strikes hard and fast, hitting multiple targets with one launch.  He seeks to destroy and to kill.  His attacks aimed at the church strike hard at the family.  When the family falls, churches begin to crumble.

So I listened to the One leading this battle.  I prayed.  I prayed in every room of my house.  I prayed Ephesians 6: 10-18.  I used the name of Jesus out loud because I know it causes the enemy to tremble and flee.  He runs and cowers at the name of Jesus.  And I freely used that power.  I turned on scripture music and let it ring loud.

And then I rested on the bed of my child in the midst of a war he can’t see and is too young to understand.  So I tried to break it down.

“I’m going to read to you a story you know all too well.  But I want you to see something else in it this time.  It’s David and Goliath.  Imagine you are David.  Your goliath is negative emotions you don’t understand.  Your goliath is this anger you don’t understand.  Your goliath is this turmoil in your heart you wrote about.  Imagine all of that standing as a huge giant in front of you, towering over you.  It’s hurling threats and telling you how you should feel.  But how did David respond?”

His eyes held mine as he listened.

“David responded with a full faith and confidence in God.  You see David realized he was a little guy against a big giant.  But it didn’t matter.  You know why?  Because God was on David’s side and not Goliath’s side.  David knew that nothing Goliath hurled at him would matter.  Because when you battle against God, you lose.  David knew who battled for him.”

“Listen to God’s Word.  1 Sam 7: 45-47 “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.  Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

“Honey, God has special plans for you.  Jeremiah 29:11.  The enemy knows this and he’s messing with you.  He is lying to you and trying to make you believe lies.  I want you to stand firm against him.  As a christian we have nothing to fear from the enemy.  We are covered by the blood of Christ.  We KNOW who wins the final battle.  We will stand in Heaven one day and it will all be over.  But until then the enemy will continue to mess with us.  He wants to find a crack in our armor.  But you must never be scared because he can’t harm you.  You are protected by God.  There is no greater protection than that.  Pray always to be wise to the lies of the enemy.  Pray for God to increase your faith moment by moment so you can stand like David stood, knowing who fights for you.”

I walked out of the room knowing this isn’t the end.  The enemy will always battle for souls. He knows his days are numbered, so he will fight hard til the end.  Until that day comes, I will fight back harder, using only prayer and faith.  I know I can win.  Because “one little word can fell him.”

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

by Martin Luther

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

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If you are not a believer, I’m glad you are here.  You are not here by accident.   Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Open God’s love letter written to you.  Turn to the book of John.  It’s a great place to begin.