These writings are for the imperfect person searching for more of the Perfect God.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The seven demons of the mind


I have heard it said you were held captive to seven demons of the mind.  Yes, quite possibly the same seven demons that haunt and torment us women today.   Maybe it was:

1. The demon of fear
2. The demon of guilt
3. The demon of shame
4. The demon of anxiety
5. The demon of despair
6. The demon of perfectionism
7. The demon of idolatry

Maybe, Mary, the demons in your mind caused a heaviness of heart, a torment of guilt and an unwanted roomate of gloom, maybe?

I can imagine the loneliness you encountered day after day.  The desperation for internal rest with no remedy to heal the tormenting ghosts within your head.  No answer.  No hope.  No rest.  No life.

Yes, Mary, I can imagine life was no longer worth living.  No longer worth dreaming.  No longer worth seeking... until.....

You encountered a cure.  The Cure.  In the form of a Person.  A Person who by with one look, broke your wall of shame. With one touch, snapped your chains of fear.  With one smile, unlocked your prison of depression. With one word, restored the joy of your soul.

Yes, Mary, the Cure found you- not because you deserved it, expected it, earned it or even looked for it.  No, He found you.  He pursued you.  And He freed you.

Oh, the enormity of the gratitude your heart must of exploded with.  If your experience was anything like mine, Mary, the gratitude is too immense, too drastic, too beautiful to place in a faulty human word.

You see, Mary, your experience of God's love snapping every unwanted stronghold in your mind outweighed the public opinion of Jesus.  It superseded on-lookers doubts.  It overlooked friend & family uncertainties.  It bypassed spiritual pastors distorted truth.  It over-rided the local authorities threats.  Your experience of being one person one day- and being another the next is simply because of an encounter with Jesus Christ, NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY!  No one.

Experience, Mary, is a foreshadow of unshakeable Faith.  Experiencing the Remedy to life reaches beyond threatening circumstances, traces further than impending struggles, and extends deeper than fear-driven disbelief.

Yes, your experience of being cured, your experience of being freed, and most significantly, your experience of being loved by the source of Love had enough power to transform and redeem that which was once broken and shattered into a beautiful redeemed spirit, radiating the very light of The Healer.

I see now, Mary Magdalene, why the pages of God's word repeatedly and purposefully share you followed Him- on the streets, in the temple, on the mountain sides, by the water fronts, at His trial, at His murder, at His burial, at His resurrection.

Devotedly following your Healer came with a temporary price, however.  The price of not only following Him during the season of fame & praise- but also that which no human being should ever witness with the human eye- the crucifixion.  Oh Mary, did the sound of the hammer hitting the nails which drove into His flesh and bones repeat itself in your mind?  Did the blood dripping down His bruised, whipped and beaten body play over and over in your thoughts?  Did the tears of Jesus' mother,  dropping on your shoulder as she wept, burn into your memory?  The very One who undeservingly gave you new life was now undeservingly stripped of His.... for you, for me, for us, for them.

Yet, Mary, you followed, all the way to the very ending- never wavering in your devotion, belief & love towards the One on the cross.  Because of what He did for you- the Healer of your mind, the
Remedy to your soul sickness  & the Hope of your heart- your devotion to Jesus was unwavering.

And how He honored this devotion, Mary, which blessed His heart beyond measure.  That which you suffered by refusing to leave Him in His darkest moment, He replaced with honor when He specifically & deliberately chose you, Mary, to be the first individual He revealed Himself to after His resurrection.  You?   A woman?  A wounded soul?  A troubled past?  A 'nobody?'  You, Mary?  

Although you are long deceased, your story and your legacy are woven into the very fiber of the foundation of love.  What the enemy intended for harm, God used for His glory.  To use that which was broken to reveal just how good, perfect and beautiful He is, is a direct depiction of who God uses today.  He came not for those that think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners in need of a savior.  Yes Mary, He chose you to bring the greatest message EVER given to mankind in the history of the world.  You.

To all us Mary's out there:  "When God revealed His kindness and love, He saved us.  Not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of the His mercy.   He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.  He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Because of His grace, He declared us righteous..." -Titus 3 4-7

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dear son's

Dear young sons,

As I stare at your button nose and get lost in your endless eyelashes, I recognize the two worlds you're caught between.  

Still the innocent young boy with a tender warrior spirit, but soon to be a brave, fierce, young man forced to do life in a society that will object to that which your young heroic heart desires.  The heart which loves butterfly kisses and cuddling in his mama's arms will one day be subtly encouraged by this world to refrain from the show-of-emotion in fear of appearing soft and weak.  

My dear son, God specifically chose you to be a warrior for a cause much greater than yourself. 

He knit you in my womb, choosing your gender and electing you to the role of leadership.  To lead in your home, to lead in your marriage, to lead in your family, to lead in your faith.  He knows you have what it takes to lead and to lead honorably. You are a natural leader, young warrior.  Therefore, to fight for your authority is to forfeit it.  Release the passion that fuels desire for authority and recognize humility and a servant heart is the purest form of true authority.

My boy, this world will tell you to consume more, be more, do more. Until you're exhausted, feeling empty and desiring... well, more.  

But little warrior, your security lies not in the tangible things of this world, but that in which is unseen- the legacy of your love and devotion to Jesus Christ and others.  And just as you honor and sweetly show affection to me, dear son, do the same for all women in your future.  Open their doors, compliment their inner beauty, respect their boundaries and always, yes always view them through the lens of being a daughter of the King of Kings.

Dear child, you are not responsible for the wounding others may inflict on you, but you are responsible for the way you respond to it.  Release any and all anger, my son.  Angers only objective is to kill, steal and destroy the soul.  Satan understands the deep generational impact fathers have on a family and just as your Perfect Father in Heaven loves, provides, respects, protects, mentors, nurtures, leads and forgives you, dear son, you are to unequivocally imitate Him with your future wife and children.  Then, and only then, will you be loving your family as deep, as intense, as faithful, as transforming and as pure as Jesus radically loves the church.

Lace up those Nike's, dear child, and run from the pull, the draw, the lure towards sexual immorality.  God's word calls you to stand-firm in most areas of temptations, yet in this particular case, sweetheart, He screams nothing short of run. (1 Corinthians 6.18)  

God's the author and originator of sex, and hand designed it to be the very celebration of intimacy between the covenant of your marriage.  Yet, as in all of God's good and perfect things, satan imitates God's perfect knit design with artificial, impure, toxic, counterfeit versions of the original which seizes to satisfy or quench the soul.  

Dear son, satan will skew sexuality and relinquish the pureness and beauty from its existence, placing objectifying images of women in your path so that your expectations will be polluted, perverted.  Character is what's found in the dark, young son.  Refuse the bait of the enemy and he will flee. (James 4:7)

Yes, there will be a fight, young warrior, but you are most definitely aligned and positioned to win.  As Jesus shares, the gateway to life is often narrow and the path is difficult.  

The difficulty on this particular hand-sewn path of yours, son, will come in varying forms of  temptation;  temptation which will strive and work overtime to remain as your constant companion.  But keep in mind, sweet one, undoubtedly these temptations are allowed  by God for only one reason-- to fling you into the arms of your True Father.  And it's here, where your human weakness and the wordly exhaustion will be overpowered by the Divine strength of the One which dictates the young warrior heart within.

One final thought I want to leave you with:  As you walk out this journey, living out the purpose, plan, mission, destination God has found you equipped to accomplish, always keep this truth closely tucked deep within the belief system of your heart:

"He gives power to the weak,
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.  
They will walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31

With all my love,


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Secret

It's a scene we've all witnessed.
A church filled with precious people.
Row after row.
Singing songs.
Raising hands.
Nodding in full agreement to the preacher....

Yet, internally we're experiencing a crippling ache of loneliness, a raging force of anger, a heavy chain of emotional strongholds, a toxic form of thinking, a paralization of fear, a deep rooted pain of the past and a profound disconnect from the very God being worshiped that Sunday morning.

Have you ever been there?  I have...  But why?

Why the disconnect from an intimacy so profound, so deep, so penetrating, so liberating, so transformational from a God who promised to never leave or forsake? From a Savior who gave up His life to be beaten, whipped, mocked, and nailed to a tree so that we no longer have to be identified by our past sins & current failures?  So that we can be FREE from the power & influence of the enemies tactics of temptation & torment through habitual sin? Why the disconnect?

"Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially THE sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
(Heb 12 1-2)
Could this be the answer?

Could it be that we each have a "THE-sin?"
A specific "the-sin" that so easily trips us up?
A specific "the-sin" that is habitual?
A specific "the-sin" that has become part of our every day life?
A specific "the-sin" that resides in the secret place of our soul?
Where mine looks different than yours and yours looks different than theirs?
Where the enemy of our soul uses it to steal, kill and destroy our dependency and life-giving intimacy from our Healer, Remedy, Cure and Answer to this life?

Secrets.  There's a simplicity to the word and yet the enormity of its potential to destroy is anything but simple.

S- shame
E- enters
C- craftily
R- releasing the
E- enemies
T- tactics in the
S- soul

The-secret sin seeks to break the bond of intimacy with God.
The-secret sin chains us to a life of bondage.
The-secret sin prevents us from living out the purpose and plan pre-destined by God.
The-secret sin never fails to leak out onto those we love in numerous ugly ways.
The-secret sin puts a thick barrier between ourselves and the very power of the name Jesus Christ.

Is this a familiar scene?.....

A relationship may appear innocent to others- but the toxic enmeshment, immortality, codependency and idolatry is kept secret.

The new items bought may look good- but the purchase to fill an internal emptiness is kept secret.

The well stocked pantry may appear harmless- but the reliance on food as a counterfeit form of comfort is kept secret.

The computer sitting in the home office may serve as a helpful family tool- but the pornographic visuals seen when no one is around is kept secret.

The wine on the counter for guests and the occasional glass for dinner may appear innocent- but the use to gain a fabricated-confidence is kept secret.

A friendship with a sister in Christ may appear loving- but the bitter root of jealousy within the heart is kept secret.

The grueling hours and busyness of the day may appear noble- but the hunger to prove worth and value to the world is kept secret.

Running a ministry, leading a bible study &/or serving at church may appear Godly- but the deep internal ache driving the servant heart is kept secret.

The marriage union portrayed to others may appear perfect- but the brokenness, betrayal and pain within the marriage union is kept secret.

The internet games and hours on social media may appear culturally acceptable- but the craving to be known is kept secret.

God has not called us to a life of perfection, but that of a life refusing to operate from secrecy.

A life where we genuinely, repeatedly, daily, boldly, confessionally bring to Him our battle scars. Our hidden agendas.  Our wrongful motives.  Our unforgiving heart.  Our idolatry.  Our toxic thoughts.  Our harmful assumptions. Our "the-sin."

Where the song of our heart pleads to Him each morning:
"Search me, God, and know my heart.
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you.
And lead me along Your path of life."
(Psalm 139 23,24)

And it's here, and only here, that His power to free us from that which the enemy intended to imprison us, is released into the inner most corners of our being.

Where "THE-sin" which was planted by our enemy to destroy, God used, at the moment of our decision to surrender, to become our purpose and plan.

Jesus has paid the price for our secret "the-sin" and shame.  He died so that we no longer have to live in secrecy- but in the fullness, security, acceptance of complete surrender.  Where nothing is hidden before Him.  Where I am raw, vulnerable, exposed and loved- not because of perfection& absence of sin, but because of surrender to my imperfections& sin.

S-sin is
R-redeemed &
E-ended with

The opposite of secrecy is surrender

The late Brennan Manning once said:
"I am utterly convinced that on judgement day the Lord Jesus will ask one question and only one question.  Did you believe that I loved you?  That I desired you?  That I waited day after day for you?  That I longed to hear the sound of your voice?"
The (surrendered) believers will respond and say "Yes Father, I believed in Your love and I tried to shape my life in response to it."
But many of us who are so faithful in our ministry or practices in our church are going to answer, "Frankly, no Sir.  I never really believed it."
And there is the difference of the surrendered believers and the nominal christians.
No one like a surrendered believer can measure the depth and intensity of Gods love.
Jesus comes to the chair we are in and says I have a word for you: "I know everything.  I know every skeleton in your closet, every moment of sin and shame, dishonesty and past.  I know your shallow faith and your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship- and my word to you is "I DARE YOU TO TRUST THAT I LOVE YOU- just as you are, not as you should be.  Because none of us are as we should be."