Being Smart, Pursuit of Purity, Uncategorized

Reveal the hidden places where we’ve run to instead of You, Lord. Show us the height from which we’ve fallen into ourselves and not into You.  (From “We Return” by Alberto and Kimberly Rivera)

I marched… more like hobbled… out of the neurologists’s office with my orders in hand. MRI’s, blood work, and other tests had to be completed in the coming weeks, and even though it all sounded like torture, I felt comforted. My doctor’s was kind and knowledgeable demeanor put my mind at ease. I held on to those papers tightly over the next few days… a little TOO tightly. They reminded me of his promise that he’d find out what was going on. For days I flipped through those papers looking things over as if they had the answer. I would’ve made them a blanket if I thought they could keep me warm.

The Holy Spirit sharply rebuked me. “Take comfort only in MY Word!” I had exalted the doctor’s orders over God’s Word without even realizing it. Somehow the comfort I received from man caused me to switch off my “now” faith in exchange for a sympathetic and hopeful “We’re gonna find out what’s wrong with you.”

Being taken care of feels good. Something about addressing an uncertainty brings a bit of comfort. But at the most the doctor can only do what man can do, and this situation is spiritual. I’d be a fool to let these papers, much less a diagnosis, replace my faith for divine health.

I had to quickly counter my steps towards unbelief. I grabbed one of the three empty journals in my bedroom and a fresh ink pen. I began listening to sermons about divine healing and health from the Copelands, Hagin, Joseph Prince, and anything else I could find on YouTube. I’ve started to write all the scriptures I can about the nature of God, healing, and finances (because medical bills– YIKES!).

I read through these scriptures ALOUD three times a day. I’ve found a prayer that I shout at least three times a day. Instead of holding on to the doctor’s orders, I’m holding on to words of life personalized by my hand and God’s voice. The orders from the Great Physician are far more powerful and life-changing than anything a doctor can do.

My daughter, attend to my words. Read and say them over and over. Incline your ears to my sayings.  Be ready to hear from Me at any point in time. For they are life to you because you’ve found them. They are health and medicine to your flesh. Proverbs 4:23

I will hold fast the confession of my faith for my complete and total healing without wavering because my God is faithful Who promised. Hebrews 10:23

With long life will You satisfy me and show me Your salvation. I’m not satisfied with only 35 years of life. My children need me. I have more work to do. Save me! Psalm 91:16

Let Your hand be my help for I have chosen Your precepts. You have laid the foundation, but I can’t see the end. I will trust what You’ve given me so far. Hold my hand and help me to obey and trust Your Word. Psalm 119:173

What does any of this have to do with purity? Well how many times has life pressed you into the wrong person’s arms or into some substance to find comfort? While God provides us many ways to enjoy our lives, He desires to meet our needs before any other. That’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit who is known as THE Comforter. Have you ever noticed that when you’re having a crisis, no one is free to answer the phone? Fill up with His word, and turn to Him first in times of need.

There is situation so urgent that we cannot first acknowledge God! 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Being Saved, Being Smart, Pursuit of Purity, Uncategorized

You should send the children to their fathers. You’re going to be in a wheelchair in a few weeks, and I’m going to kill you by October.

Those are the words the devil whispered to me just two weeks ago. I’ve been having significant physical challenges since February, but this October will mark one year since the struggle began. The old deluder satan gave me my death sentence, and I almost accepted it…

Where I’m from whenever someone tells of an unfortunate occurrence, another person shouts “The devil IS a lie!” Yes, I know we should say liar but where’s the flair in that? The truth of the matter is that the devil DOES lie, so why is it so tempting to believe his poisonous words?

The word lie implies that what was spoken is completely untrue, and because there is often some air of truth to what is said, we become tempted to wholly agree. For example, I was in significant pain, nearly helpless, and becoming worse by the day. It was plausible that I could die in a few months if not for the Lord’s mercy. The logical thing to do would be to send the big kids with their dad, and my baby with hers. I had to decide whether I wanted to agree with a plausible half-truth, or the truth of the Word of God. It’s a good thing my faith in the Lord speaks louder than logic!

The Bible provides several descriptions of satan’s character that help us understand exactly what to do with him when he starts running his filthy mouth. Let’s look at the different ways he lies to God’s children (2 Corinthians 2:11).

As a deceiver… When the serpent told Woman “If you eat this fruit, you will be like God” he was telling her a fact. But facts are often void of truth. She would be like God in that she would know good and evil, but God never intended for us to know evil, much less have to discern the difference between the two. The devil deceived Woman by giving her a fact and spinning it in a way that would appeal to her senses… “It looks good so it must taste good so it must be good.” Whenever the devil tells you something that appeals to your five senses, I guarantee there is a deception attached. Stop, and let the Holy Spirit (not your feelings or your heart) lead you. (Galatians 5:16)

As a beguiler… The devil operates as a beguiler when he uses charm to entice a person to agree in order to take something away and to corrupt (Colossians 2:18). Beguilers look good, smell good, and have the very thing you want, but they are deeply entrenched in their own lies. In 2017 terms, they are catfish. Beguilers are trained to pick off the innocent and unstable (2 Peter 2:14).

As a deluder… The devil operates as a deluder when he uses your own blind spots (maybe pride or ignorance) to trick you into doing something that is irrational or believing something that is unrealistic. When I think of a deluder I think of someone selling snake oil or adjusting the odometer of a used car. Deluders operate by leaving out important information. Deluders conspire. When you come out of the delusion, you say to yourself “What in the world was I thinking?” You have power against deluders by staying full of God’s Word. Those who are deluded, by definition, have made a choice to believe what is unreasonable and unlikely.  Isaiah 44:20 says “This kind of man feeds on ashes and is satisfied; A deceived mind has led him astray, so that he cannot save himself or ask ‘Is this thing that I am holding in my right hand not a lie?'” MIND. BLOWING.

As a mocker… Mocking is a tool the enemy uses to make a person feel insignificant. “You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re unworthy of love. No one likes you anyway.” I once had a dream that someone close to me was bad-mouthing me in a public setting. I had another dream immediately following where I saw a monkey hanging over my bed laughing at me. Mockery is a tool the enemy uses to beat you down emotionally. You have to cut it off quickly and even shout “SHUT UP!” and counter the mocking by saying the opposite of what he said. If he says you’re ugly, you shout “Shut up, devil! God made me beautiful!” Depression and anxiety soon follow if you are not diligent to cut off these types of lies. (Proverbs 23:7)

As a trickster… The devil uses trickery by getting you to agree to a set of terms then changing up the game. Guess who loses? Not him. Anytime you can get something quickly by doing this, that, or the other, KNOW that it will cost you far more than you’re willing to pay. Think Jacob and Laban (Genesis 30:25-43). Be careful of contracts and agreements that offer promotion. Only God promotes, and He does so by our obedience. (Psalm 75:6-7)

As a tempter… The devil works as a tempter when he entices you to believe that a sinful act is acceptable under certain conditions. It is just a small matter and easily forgivable by God when a tear-trenched prayer is offered. (Ah. I’m stepping on my own toes here.) But the same devil that tells you it’s a small matter to get you to do it will condemn you afterwards by taunting “How could you do something so big and awful!” The tempter becomes the accuser. The tempter becomes the accuser. The tempter becomes the accuser. (Did you get that?) How do you get free from the lies of temptation? Do what Jesus did in Matthew 4. Speak the Word of God and act in obedience.

No matter HOW he lies, YOU must be quick to catch it and cast it down in Jesus’ name. If you believe the lie, you empower the liar. Don’t even mentally assent to the words of the devil. Immediately reject them!

Here’s what the Holy Spirit spoke to me about the devil and his lying. And before I say this I want you to picture Oprah standing on her stage and shouting “AND YOU GET A CAR! EVERYONE GETS A CAR!” That’s how excited I am about this revelation.



It’s not so much that he is a liar (even though he is)…

THROUGH THE EXERCISING OF THE WORD OF GOD, YOU MAKE HIM A LIAR!

YOU MAKE HIM A LIAR!!

AND YOU MAKE HIM A LIAR!

EVERYBODY MAKE THE DEVIL A LIAR!

NOW SHOOOOOUUUUT!

 

OK, I’m done here. I’ve preached myself happy.

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Uncategorized

What I’m about to tell you is jarring, possibly triggering, and a very good example of what NOT to do to your kids when it’s time to have the s*x talk. But let me soften the blow by first telling how my son, who is nearly 13 now, reacted to learning how babies are made when he was only 9 years old.

He went into the bathroom, stared at himself in the mirror, and cried. Because he wanted children, but didn’t want to have to do THAT. I probably should’ve read the Family Life handout a little better because I didn’t think my third grader would have to learn about the actual act. I could’ve been there to cover his ears when the teacher spoke those fateful words, or at the very least, wipe his tears and say “Something tells me you’ll change your mind one day.”

Now do that rewind thing they show in movies and stop circa 1996. I was 14. I already knew the biological basics, but my mother who is a health professional picked up some brochures for us to look over. I never got the chance to read them because my dad saw them first. You would think he’d caught me in the act by the way he responded to those little pink handouts. He displayed them on the butcher-block table with the overhead light shining down as if they were to be interrogated. The only other things on that table were my father’s big Bible and even bigger hands.

I. Was. Terrified.

He broke out in a sweat and spit flew out of his mouth as he shouted across the table at me. I was being chastised for sins I had yet to commit. I learned three things from that conversation:

  1. S*x was bad, and if I ever did it before marriage, I’d no longer be worthy of my father’s love.
  2. Girls who do it and have babies smell bad.
  3. Men only marry girls with their v-card.

I don’t remember a single Bible verse. I don’t remember hearing anything about the love of God and His plan for my life. I barely had hope that would encourage me to wait. I don’t remember hearing his perspective on morals. All I heard was judgment, doom, and gloom. And none of that lifted me. None of it saved me from living a promiscuous double-life.

Parents usually talk biology first, then maybe some discussion about morals will follow. But how many of us learned about having good self-esteem, how to say no, why waiting is beneficial, or what happens when you form a soul tie? How many of us learned from our parents how to avoid or recover from a heartbreak? It’s likely my experience was significantly skewed in the wrong direction, but something tells me that many of us missed pieces to this puzzle.

Take a moment and thank God for your parents and what they COULD offer you, then ask Him to fill in the gaps. Whatever you need to know, may He train you through His Word and revelation.

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Pursuit of Purity, Uncategorized

I don’t know a single Christian who is a fan of what I’m about to discuss in this post. No one is eager to welcome suffering and temporary pain that comes with this topic. No one sees the outright benefit of not enjoying one of the few relatively sinless pleasures life has to offer. Yet the Bible is clear about its role in the Christian’s life. “WHEN you fast” is the phrase Jesus used… not if. When.

I am, by no means, a fasting master. But in the midst of this season many churchgoers are undertaking what looks like, smells like, tastes like, and feels like a consecration yet grievously misses the mark. And we wonder why breakthrough and miracles seem to be little more than a myth!

I was supposed to do ten days of a Daniel fast this month. I purchased my fruits, veggies, and whole grains to prepare for the week, and when I got up on day 2 the Lord canceled my plan and simply stated “Just eat what I tell you to eat when I tell you to eat it.” I obeyed for breakfast and mid-morning snack, but the time noon rolled around, I was aching. I so badly wanted to grab a salad from District Taco that is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY Daniel fast compliant. But do you know what He said to me? “I want you to feel the hunger. Stand here in pain.” Four hours later one person I needed to be removed from my life was cut off by a simple slip of the tongue. Bless, Yahweh!

It is in the moments of physical pain that we experience spiritual victory. The churning of an empty stomach places a believer at the feet of the Master to request the grace needed to press forward. I don’t think I ever understood that point before this past week.

Fasting is designed to do two things for the Christian: to prevent unnecessary suffering by controlling physical appetites AND to prepare the body to undergo suffering that will yield great spiritual fruit. Fasting will help you manage appetites for food, sex, attention, spending, etc., etc., etc. The need for gratification drives our decisions far too often, but fasting can bring those things back into balance and PREVENT a whole lot of drama. Secondly, the Lord spoke very clear to me that Christ-followers will and do suffer as a part of our walk. Fasting strengthens us against the hardships that will certainly come. The Lord spoke it to me like this: “You must beat your body to prepare it to be beaten.”

Selah.

Before my brain completely checks out, I want to share these points on fasting as the Lord has given them to me.

  1. You should really, no really, keep fasting a private matter. I find one exception when you’re looking for support with brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve had to check myself on this several times, and when I was pressed this week about why I wasn’t eating the turkey meatloaf, I said I was doing a “cleanse.”
  2. Fasting is about abstaining from FOOD. You cannot fast TV, social media, or just sweets. If the fast does not cause you to feel the pain in your belly and make you tired and cranky, it is doing little work in your spirit and soul.
  3. Fasting is BEST accompanied by abstaining from television, social media, and excess communication with others. Why? Because your spirit man is WIDE open, and whatever gets in can and will compete with the voice of God. Hide yourself as much as possible to increase your intimacy with the Lord.
  4. People have lots of different ways to fast. Some do 6am to 6pm with no food. Some do the Daniel fast with only fruits and veggies. Some are so sick and tired of their problems they just stop eating altogether for a few days. The type of fast you choose to do should be Scripturally- supported. Don’t go making up something based off your preferences or even cultural norms. Look to the Word of God and obey the voice of the Lord.
  5. Fasting may trigger dreams, and sometimes, spiritual attacks. Because your spirit man is unusually open you will encounter more, but if you’re continually filling yourself with the Word of God and spending time in prayer, you are safe and well-equipped to deal with your enemy.
  6. Watch those moments when you feel like you just need a little “something.” Often the enemy distracts us to when the Lord is preparing to speak. Endure those sharp twinges, sip water, and hear from the Lord.
  7. If you want to grow quickly or if you have stubborn problems LIKE I DO, plan to fast regularly. I used to fast twice a week back in the day, and the growth I experienced was tremendous. Now the Lord has me on a different plan, but I’m looking forward to the outcome.
  8. Fasting will undo physical damage. Sin will literally change your body and cause it to break down in ways you can’t imagine. Every disease and disorder known to man has a root of sin, if not from the person, then from their generational line. I believe fasting is God’s way of disconnecting us from the sin in our bloodlines, causing the blood of Christ to flow through our veins, and to bring us complete and total healing.

What has the Lord taught you about fasting? What can you commit to doing each month? Do you have stubborn problems that only fasting can break? How can you create room for God to move in your life if the space you’ve provided Him is the space it’s always been?

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

P.S. I delayed posting this, and on Saturday the Lord told me to fast all day. I didn’t obey. Gah! A TRAP WAS SET FOR ME, AND I DID NOT ESCAPE! Father, help!!

Being Saved, Being Single

I’m so glad you’re not like me.

I’m so glad that you never wake up hot and bothered and ready to toss your thigh across a warm, equally ready body. I’m so glad you don’t have to jump out of the bed and start cleaning to fight the urge. I’m glad you don’t go minimally crazy when you ovulate and the days before your lady time. I’m glad you don’t have to hide yourself from men to keep from shamelessly blushing and gu- nevermind. You get the point.

In my first post about the M-Word, I discussed how the act pollutes, creates false soulish connections with the person in mind, possibly defrauds a spouse of their marital rights, and is often evidence of rejection and lust. THIS time I want to paint a picture of how this act can keep you single.

God created you with a sex drive to literally drive you to your spouse. That’s not to say you get to enjoy the sexual part right away (because we don’t), but what reason would any Christ-follower want to marry if not for the tingling between our legs? We could just go and do guilt-free like those who don’t choose to live this life. But because I’ve elected to serve Jesus Christ, my conscience won’t let me continually disobey Him…

Ladies, your sex drive keeps you feminine, soft, and attractive. And oh, those pheromones! But what happens when you release all of that energy into a “don’t-worry-I’ve-got-this-I-don’t-need-no-man” moment? You drain yourself of that Godly energy  and take on all the emotions associated with sexual activity with no where to direct them. We become unfocused, tired, and haggard because we’ve poured (yes, I chose that word) ourselves into a vacant space. It’s supposed to go to your husband who is equally sharing his energy with you.

Men, oh men… Men. Men. Men. Men. Men. Y’all fine, and we love you. But I promise, your too strong handshake and lack of eye contact are telling signs that you dibble dabble a bit too much. He’s turned inward and highlights his faults rather than his victories. A man who is full of his God-given sexual energy is confident and even bold in the pursuit of his woman. He allows that energy to drive him to choose a woman who is appealing physically, mentally, and spiritually. Why should you have to gratify yourself when the Lord has a pairs of breasts and thighs to satisfy you? Single person shower satisfaction is not God’s best, my brothers. It’s not good for you to be alone, but the m-word is keeping you alone. Someone WILL love you with your shortcomings better than your hand ever could.

Proverbs 31:3 tells young men to not give their strength to women, and the same scripture applies to women. Why should your beauty and youth be wasted? Why waste the best part of yourself on someone who can’t pour back into you, and especially on no one at all?

The more I date the more I realize it doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it. If we simply obey, hold on to the promise, hold on to our loins, not give in to lesser options because they are easy to access… If we simply DO the work… If we hold on to our love for God and remain faithful, why would He withhold this blessing? (Psalm 84:11)

One final thought… People often talk about how hard marriage is and how much work you have to put in. To be quite ridiculously honest, this is off-putting to someone like me, and I’ve been married before. It makes a single person not even want to bother with marriage, but you’re still left hot and bothered with no hope of proper expression. I believe this is a ploy of the enemy to steal your faith. If you’ve given up the hope of getting married and resulted in settling for arrangements with a toy (live or not), you’ve bought in to the lie. The same people who are telling you how hard it is likely didn’t do the work before the got married that would make marriage easier and more enjoyable. OR, they picked wrong! Hm. Seems to me you have more control than what some would have you believe.

So zip up… and walk in faith!

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

P.S. If you can find a couple transparent enough, ask them about their sexual purity before and after marriage. If they aren’t lying, they’ll tell you the sins they had before followed them right on in to the marriage and created problems.

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

The enemy would have you believe that God is the one to blame for the oppression of women, and that feminism is a way to get back what God took from us. If you believe for one minute that God wants women to be oppressed, I have a bridge to sell you. I’d like you to read Isaiah 54 to see just how much God loves women, and not just virgins! He loves those of us who are despised, childless, house full of kids, divorced, never married… He LOVES His women!

We see patriarchy in the Bible, and some mistake cultural systems for doctrine. We confuse the establishment of men for Gods intent, never bothering to discern the difference. In the Gospels Jesus often confronted church people for upholding the letter of the law without the spirit of the law. Remember the adulteress caught in the act but that was to be stoned without her partner in crime  (John 8)? And one additional note… just because it was reported in the Bible doesn’t mean God approved it!

The desire to establish equality in a discriminatory and abusive society is righteous. Women should be contending for equal rights, pay, and protection. I do, however, feel the presentation and some of the ideals of feminism are contrary to God’s heart for women and thus disqualify Christian women for the very things we’re praying for.  On the flip side, God is not honored by the woman whose life solely revolves around the getting and keeping of a man. Having a husband is work work work work work, but if a woman’s relationship with God is not in tact, she will still be dissatisfied with her life.

Here is what I believe the Bible speaks about God’s intent for the relationship between husband and wife.

  1. God intended for husband and wife to be treated AS ONE. When God created Woman, He pulled her from Adam’s side. Years ago, I heard Bishop Jakes preach that the side signified equality, companionship, and protection. If she had been pulled from the head, she would have ruled over Adam. If she had been pulled from his feet, Adam would have ruled over her. God’s original intent was to have the two walk side-by-side AS ONE. Not as equals. As one. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and CLEAVE… become one. Being one is GREATER than being two equals. Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Selah.
  2. Woman was to be provided for and protected by man. You’ve seen the statistics about how women are compensated compared to their male counterparts. Women SHOULD earn equal pay in this context, but what if I told you God had a better plan in mind? It was Adam’s original assignment to do the work and for Woman to assist. Her needs and wants (because I want fine jewelry and perfume, and I serve a God who wants me to have them) were to be fulfilled by her husband. And not that in grouchy, controlling sense either. 1 Peter 3:7 tells men to give HONOR to their wives as the weaker (more sensitive and delicate) vessel. Honor means money, honey!
  3. Disobedience on Adam and Woman’s part caused an imbalance, thus the declaration “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16).  Did you know Adam named Eve AFTER they received their punishment? Before the fall, they both were called Adam (mankind), and she as an individual was referred to as Woman. Again, we see this idea of ONE, not two equals. Eve was given a name, thus a separate identity after the fall. I don’t understand it all (sounds unfair, right?), but I believe most of the problems women experience are a result of this statement (I hesitate to call it a curse) in Genesis 3:16. For all the longing women seem to have for a husband, all the tugging and pleading and compromising we do to keep men in our lives, all the abuse we tolerate from our male leaders… we do it because we think it validates us. To be a good woman you must check of these boxes, and all of that pressure is a result of this curse. The curse is being in desire to a man who is not your loving, doting, faithful husband, and this is not God’s intent.
  4. We are redeemed from the curse through the blood of Jesus Christ (Galations 3:13). We have to believe this, confess it, and walk in it.

What does all this mean for the SINGLE, Christian woman?

  • Negative patriarchal practices are RAMPANT in the church, and rather than attributing it to old systems, I’m going to call it what it really is… a spirit of control. There are church leaders who are obedient to God’s Spirit and do not rule by control, fear, and manipulation. Find a church that has one and flourish. (For clarification, I do not believe just going to a church pastored by a woman will solve this problem. A spirit of control and manipulation is just that, a spirit. It can use a person of either gender, and women leaders are sometimes more overbearing and controlling because they feel the need to overcompensate. I know that’s an unpopular opinion, but there is no lie.)
  • We DO need equality in America and in the church, and you can uphold the ideas of equality without taking on a critical or angry spirit. Reading materials and commentary from some feminists will have you angry and hating men. Though the anger is justified, we must guard our hearts against wrong attitudes (Proverbs 4:23). The body of Christ itself is not complete without the full expression of the gifts that God placed into both men AND women.
  • You don’t have to date, court, or marry patriarchal jerks. God has prepared men who have tender hearts and understand what it means to love and care for a bride. Some married women in the church will sell you a formula to get a husband, but you don’t want her man or the dirt she’s brushed under a rug. Seek out married and single women with soft, tender hearts and follow their example in disposition and character for your own development.
  • Don’t buck at every idea that seems patriarchal. Ask the Lord for understanding about the issue be it hair style, weight, clothing, or how to date. Some tenets of feminism have put up blocks in our hearts making it hard for us to receive from the Lord. For example, God has told me several times I need to lose weight. If I uphold the idea that I don’t need to lose weight to attract a man because he should love me as I am and take me as I am or not at all– I’m missing out on God’s best for me, and my future will be that not at all. That’s horribly transparent, but very real. What IF God wants you to change your weight, hair, or style of dress? What IF he uses that young, obnoxious pastor to say so?  He used a donkey to speak to Balaam. Don’t buck. Pray about it, and find out what the Lord is saying to you.

For your edification, read the Scriptures posted throughout. I know this post may ruffle some feathers, and while I am not prepared to debate feminism, I will gladly do my best to respond to questions and comments about the Bible and some things that seem horribly unfair to women.

Pray the following:

  1. Lord, remove any area of hardness towards men from my heart.
  2. I forgive the men who were in authority over me who hurt me.
  3. Help me to see my brothers in Christ the way you see them.
  4. I decree and declare that I am free from the curse of being in desire (needy, helpless, wanting, and incomplete) to any man who is not the husband you have ordained for my life.

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

Being Saved, Uncategorized

So I’ve got this little crush. I don’t see him often, but when I do, I get a little goofy, giggly, and swoony. I AM, after all, very much a woman. The chances of this crush blooming into anything more is unlikely, and I’m fine with that. Sometimes just gazing upon a handsome face and frame is all I need to keep me from hopping over to  homely mom status.

Having said all that, it’s easy to get caught up imagining things…

Oh, don’t play dumb with me, sis! We are notorious for taking a mental skip, hop, and jump to wedding day when a fine brother pays us a little attention. We long for intimacy, but we don’t want to wait long so fantasizing creates a pleasant scenario in our minds in the meantime.

But here’s the problem.

While you’re off in la-la-land rehearsing the what-could-be’s, your soul is busy connecting to someone who may or may not exist. And even if he is all of the wonderful things you hope, shouldn’t the tie be formed through natural human interaction over time?

Any time we indulge in vain imaginations, we become subject to deception. I started to imagine this and that with Mr. Crush, but the Lord quickly arrested me. “Is that REALLY want you want from him? He can’t give you what I have in mind. This thought pattern is exactly how you opened yourself up to be fooled before.”

Not to belabor  the point, but I’d like you to check your track record. How many times have you…

  • Moved the relationship along faster than its natural flow?
  • Made unreasonable demands?
  • Expected or hoped for too much too soon?
  • Shared too much too soon?
  • Bought gifts and provided services (clears throat) outside of the proper covenant?
  • Held on when you should’ve let go?
  • Made excuses for someone you knew wasn’t any good because you didn’t want to your imaginations to be wrong?

Now how many of those times did you make those choices because you were engaged with a figment of your imagination instead of the real person? And if you allowed yourself to get to know the real person without interference from your desires, would you have done those things? Probably not.

Full disclosure… To get my imagination under control, I have to read the Word DAILY and fast once a week. That way my soulish desires can’t outweigh the Word of God that is alive in me.  I know your preacher has told you that whatever you think about, you’ll eventually do… so uh, yeah. Let’s guard our thoughts!

Read: 1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 5:28, 2 Timothy 3 and 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Pray:

  1. Father, help us to sanctify our thoughts and bring every vain imagination under the power of Your Word.
  2. When it comes to potential relationships, help me to be sober-minded and watchful.
Being Saved, Being Single, Uncategorized

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 ESV

I’m writing this post to admonish you to guard your heart during this very trying season. It’s easy to become contaminated with unrighteous anger and bitterness. People will try you with their commentary. People will unfairly exalt the life of one over another. People will be silent as your blood curdles and screams at the loss of yet another one.

But God… He is still good! This is NOT His plan! Anchor your hope in Him, and you will not grow weak with fear.

Just yesterday I was watching tv and saw a big, black man in the background. My spirit leaped, and I thought “I’m glad he’s ok!” Just yesterday an older white woman snatched her young granddaughters from my son’s walking path as if he were going to harm them.

But God is still good!

I decided that I will NOT allow any of what’s taking place in this nation to contaminate my heart. I will not spew hatred. I will not cower in fear. I will not raise my son to be lily-livered and coonish in hopes to avoid white slander. I won’t do it. Furthermore I will not view whites, police officers, politicians, or ministers as my enemies. We are ONE nation, even if they choose not to see it.

Here’s what you can do to guard your heart during this season:

  1. Turn OFF the news and social media outlets that are grievous to you. Social media is a tool used to gauge your response to issues AND to incite issues. The systems of the world want to keep you in your FEELINGS, so you can’t think! Please please please stop watching and sharing the videos.
  2. Question EVERYTHING! A few times over the past few days, the Holy Spirit has said to me “Don’t trust that.”  Some things are manufactured to force a desired outcome. (Matthew 16:3)
  3. Pray in the spirit. The Holy Spirit will quiet your emotions and give you grace to stand. (Jude 1:20)
  4. Resist fear! Fear will have you making all kinds of bad choices. Hold your position! (2 Timothy 1:7)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (John 5:8)

Read Psalm 91.

Pray:

  1. I decree and declare in the name of Jesus that as my family walks in holiness and obedience to God, we will be exempt from the bloodshed happening in our nation.
  2. Lord, we pray for protection of innocent people and judgment of those who are targeting them through systemic injustice. 
  3. Lord, dismantle the powers that are controlling the air waves and devising evil on this nation. Let every evil thing calling for bloodshed be judged by the power of Jesus Christ.
Being Saved, Being Single, Uncategorized

Notice I didn’t say I found forgiveness because forgiveness is always available for the repentant…

But my heart was so entrenched and in love with the sin, I could not stop. Even when I was able to maintain my celibacy, I still dabbled in other areas of impurity. Because I was not totally pure I believe the Lord allowed me to become involved in what I thought was a Godly relationship, but within a few months became very tumultuous.

I’m telling on myself so that I don’t go back to that lifestyle. So there’s step one. When you’re struggling in sin and you KNOW you want to come out, expose the sin. Find someone to tell what you’re struggling with and that you want to be free. The enemy dwells in secrets, and as long as his agenda is hidden you’re bound. I remember calling up one of my guy friends who is married and mature. We had a mutual friend who would come by and “see me,” and I was tired of being used. When I spoke to my friend and told him what was going on, not only did the shame leave me, but the will to continue to allow this guy use me left as well.

That takes me to step two. Yes, I believe in accountability partners, but I also believe choosing that partner should be a Spirit-led process. I also don’t think it’s wise that one person know ALL your business. I have one girlfriend that I’ll call and report to when I see temptation on the horizon. She calls me in like manner. When pressing situations arise, I ask the Lord who I should trust with the matter. Usually He has prepared that person’s heart with a merciful word and guidance. Telling the WRONG person is one of the worst things you can do, so definitely be led by the spirit of God in this. If you’re in a situation where the person you’re involved with, wants you to keep the sin a secret (because men can be like that… chile) tell anyway. He can remain in his sin, and will likely do so. But you, my sister, must come out.

Step three… I’m so sorry for this one because it will turn you upside down. Pray this prayer: “Father, in the areas of my life where I don’t love you enough, teach me to love You more.” Not only did praying this cause me to become more aware of HOW the enemy was working in my life, but it also gave me the will to stand against the enemy because I became more confident of God’s love. This prayer forced me to obedient to what the Lord commanded or suffer the consequences. Consequences are horrible, but I will stay the Lord was gracious when I suffered.

Through these things the Lord worked TRUE repentance in me, and not just the sentimental “I’m sorry” or even the faux remorseful “I’m sorry I got caught/pregnant” repentance. Over time my opinion of the sin actually changed, and what was once so enticing has now become repulsive to me.

One last note… Someone needs YOU to be mature so they can trust you with the trouble going on in their life. Stay in the Word and in prayer so when they come (because they WILL come) you can encourage them to get back on track (Proverbs 25:11).

Believing God’s opinion and being able to walk it out is the true measure of purity. 

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:22 and Proverbs 22

Pray: 

  1. Father, even though I love this sin, help me to love you more.
  2. Show me who I can trust with this matter. Give them a word of mercy to encourage my heart to obey.
  3. In the areas of my life where I don’t love you enough, teach me to love you more.
Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships

You were fashioned in the image of Creator of the universe. In you is the essence of that Creator, and your expression of Him is unlike any other. Your fingerprints are unique. Your DNA is unique. Your quirks and idiosyncrasies… all embedded by the Master. You were curated to bless this earth with your beauty, grace, and giftings.

When you were born, you were pure.

In the context of Chemistry something that is pure contains only itself. Anything mixed with it may be physically present, but it is not part of that substance. You can mix salt and pepper, but salt will always be salt and pepper always pepper. Scientists care about this information for two reasons: they want to know how much of substance comes out of a particular reaction and how pure that substance is.

How much of you remains? And how pure is it?

I’ve narrowly focused on sexual purity because that’s the area I can write about most easily, but honestly, we contaminate our bodies with drugs and alcohol, both of which can open our souls to things  God never intended for us.

Every time you are intimate with another person you transfer your DNA, your essence, your uniqueness. You take on theirs. Without a God-ordained bond, you essentially lose whatever you gave. You take on something you never were intended to have. C.S. Lewis wrote that two people who have sex create “a bond that must be forever enjoyed or forever endured.” Selah.

Our words contaminate us. The things we watch and hear feed into our souls will eventually cause us to speak on and act in accordance with what we’ve taken in, rather than what God has spoken. (Matthew 15:11)

The enemy’s ultimate goal is to destroy you, and if he can’t do that, contaminating you will suffice. Outside of abusive situations, the one thing that stands between maintaining your you-ness is a choice to obey God and remain pure.

How much of you today is the God-curated you?
How much of you has been lost or taken in from wrong action?

Read Proverbs 4 and Matthew 15

Pray:

  1. Father, bring back the pieces of me that were lost in disobedience to you. Remove anything displeasing to you.
  2. Perfect Your image in every area of my life.