Take hold


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It was during a time that I was stressing about something- I believe it was about my social work licensure exam. On my way home one night, it was like this revelation dawned one me and I was like “Peace is my inheritance”. I am a daughter of God and one of the benefits of being in the kingdom is Peace. I’ve learned before that sometimes you have to fight for your peace. This time I was learning that it is what I am called to and is my inheritance. I wanted my peace!

I started reading Matthew 11:25-30.

“At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[g] 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

On the way to pick up the girls from school (I work at a group home), I began meditating on this “take my yoke”. It is interesting language. It’s not a passive wait-for-it-to-happen moment. Grammatically, “take” is an action verb. Sometimes you have to take hold. How do you take hold?

Be still.

As the psalmist said, “Be still and know that He is God.” Sometimes to get rest, you have to rest. It’s that moment where you get before God and be still recognizing who He is:

Be still and know that He is faithful.
Be still and know that He is in you and with you.
Be still and know that He is high above it all.
Be still and know that He is seated on the throne.
Be still and know that He is the immovable Rock.

On and on…

As you sit before God, full attention on Him, gaze fixed on Him, declaring and reminding yourself of who He is, peace and rest will flood your soul. Just breathe and soak it in. The principle to this is that it take your eyes and your mind off of what is going on around you and puts it back on God. It gives you Heavenly perspective. For we are seated in heavenly places with Jesus (Eph 2).

That’s one of the reasons why I believe praise is such a weapon. Praise puts your eyes on God and strengthens your spirit. There are times when I can walk into church bent over about something going on in my life, and when we sing “Great I am”, my eyes get refocused back on God and I remember how big and powerful He is, and I leave standing.

So, as I was on my way to pick up the girls from school, peace came as I began to be still and know that He is God and declared who He is. I took hold and found peace and rest.

It is your inheritance. It is a benefit of being in the kingdom. Take hold!


Until They Believe It

Kidnapped. Scared. Clinging to hope that mom and dad would discover a way to find them. Against all odds, they stood their ground. Lead by their captors, they walk into an empty room. They are firmly told to stand in rows. They scurry along and form about three rows- standing one next to the other, not even arms length apart. Fear floods their faces, uncertainty of what is about to happen. Quickly, their captors hand each child a paper, and they are to read what is on this paper. Over…and over…and over. All at once, a sound erupts as the group of children read the few sentences their enemy wrote. It went something like this:

Boy 1: “My dad cannot help me.”
Girl: “My mom will never find me.”
Boy 2: “My dad is the president. He cannot find me.”

An assistant to the mastermind behind the children’s captivity, asked the Mastermind, “How long do we make them do this?”
And the Mastermind calmly replied, “Until they believe it.”

*a scene from a tv show*

“But what people say with their mouths comes from the way they think…” – Matthew 15:18

We all have an Enemy. An Enemy who knows our vulnerabilities, who knows how to manipulate and exploit. He knows our identity. He has seen our ultimate destination, our inheritance. He has seen the face of the One whose eyes are like flames of fire and whose face outshines the sun in all of its strength. He has been in the presence of the One that spoke creation into being and upholds the universe by just the word of His power. And he hates it all. He hates you. In crafty, strategic action, he prowls around to attack those who he fears. He is out to make war.

The Bible says that there is the power of life and death in the tongue. I, also, believe that there is the power of life and death in our thought life. The two are linked in a perpetual cycle- whether for good or bad. What you meditate on is what you will come to believe, and therefore it is what you will speak. What you consistantly speak is what you will dwell on. The more you talk about it, the deeper the roots will go and those things will start to dominate your thoughts.

The Enemy comes and sows a thought into your mind. If you don’t take the thought captive, you will internalize it and begin to dwell on it. You constantly rehearse it in your mind. It’s what comes out of your mouth. Even in the secret place it dominates your conversation. The Enemy knows that if you read the paper he has written for you enough times, you will begin to believe it. It doesn’t have to be true. If you repeat it enough times, it will become your truth.

Many people live in such captivity because of the things they think and the way they speak. They rehearse the lies the Enemy spoke to them. They dwell on a situation that occurred that left them deeply wounded and misunderstood. It becomes a destructive cycle.

Sometimes, we are one thought away from breakthrough. One declaration away from freedom. If we would change the way we talk and stop rehearsing the wounds, stop rehearsing the lies, and start speaking who God is, declaring the Word of God, filling our inner dialogue with truth, we would find a greater level of freedom. If we would take those thoughts captive, filling our minds with the Word of God, meditating on scripture and the character of God, setting our minds on things above, we would find life filling our bones again. Restoration in all its glory.

It may seem so simple, but it is the the most powerful and liberating thing that you can do. Sometimes, it can be a fight, but if you press through, it will change your life!

“…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” – Romans 12:2

The Reality of Two Realms


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A: I am alone.
B: No, you’re not. Jesus is always with you. He will never forsake you.

This is how the conversation goes. Someone confides in another person that they feel alone- walking through life alone, fighting battles alone, ect. And the “Church-y” response is to instinctively reply with how that is not true because Jesus will always be by their side.

Are they alone? Are they not alone? My answer would be yes.

As Christians, we live in two realms: the Natural and the Supernatural. Until Jesus comes back, these two realities cannot fully be integrated as only one realm. We live horizontally (earthly realm) and vertically (supernatural realm where God dwells). Horizontally, we live in a world where we interact and relate with people on a daily basis. It is a part of our lives on earth and a major part of our existence.

As the Church, somehow we have developed this easy, pseudo-fix-it-all answer to the statement posed in the beginning. But we must remember that we live in two realities- one is not void of the other.

Is that person truly alone? yes. Is that person truly not alone? yes. The world we live in is a very real and yet fallen world. It is not unlikely that someone may have “fallen through the cracks” or not have a close knit community of friends. If someone is saying they are alone, do not be quick to consider that statement as false. If they feel this way, correct or incorrect as it may be, it is a very real reality for them.

Likewise, it is true that Jesus is always with them and will never leave them or forsake them. In that sense, they are never alone; however, we cannot neglect the physical realm we live in everyday to impose our spiritually solution based answer to the issue expressed. It is not that easy. We were made by God for earthly relationships. This cannot entirely be substituted with the fact that Jesus is always with us. We were not made to live this life independent of relationship with people. God wants a family.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t remind them and assure them of God’s commitment to them to never leave them or forsake them. Just don’t forget to address the natural issue present.


A Message of Hope: Part 2


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To me, the greatest expression of hope is in the Christmas story. Over 400 years after the book of Malachi, the appointed time had finally come. Jesus came down into our world and was born in a stable. When we were destitute, dead in our trespasses, Jesus came. When we were enemies of God, reveling in our sin, Jesus came. The Hope of the world. He didn’t wait until we got our act together. He didn’t wait until we cleaned ourselves up nice. He came down into our mess, right into the darkness. He stepped right into our brokenness and weakness and fulfilled the long, awaited promise of restoration and redemption. In this, He shows us that there is nothing that we can do, no distance we can run, and nothing we can walk through, where Hope will not invade our situation.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.” – Psalms 43:5

Jesus, Himself, said “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5). The tense of the verb in “I am making” is present progressive which indicates something is continuous. It expresses something that is currently happening, not something that just happened in the past. This tense is only used with what is called dynamic verbs which are verbs “that show qualities capable of change”. When you make something, it is in a constant state of change until you get your end result. We are the clay in the hands of the Potter who is making us into something beautiful. Through our journey, in every step, he is making us new. He hasn’t given up on us. He doesn’t become indifferent to our struggles or our pain. Those things impassion Him. He will turn it around for our good and for His glory.  This verse can, also, be read as: “Behold, I am continuously making all things new”. He has a way of rewriting our story. No matter how hard, no matter how deep the valley, where you’re at is not the end.

There is Hope! Be filled with hope today.

“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope.” -Romans 15:13


A Message of Hope: Part 1


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Reading through the prophesies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel for the last few months, one thing I continuously notice is how God will decree judgment and destruction on Israel and Judah and then at the end say “…but there will come a time when I will restore you”(paraphrased). He tells them of their sin, abominations, and the impending wrath of God- how He will utterly destroy them and the land will be left desolate- but then He leaves them with a glimmer of hope. A remnant will remain, and there is a time coming when He will restore them and restore their fortunes.

What hope there is for us in that! For in our darkest times, he will restore us. In every struggle, in every wound, in every trial, in every valley, when everything looks bleak, He’s there saying “I know where you are at. I see what you’re going through. There is a time coming when I will restore you”. When the tempest rises, and you feel beaten down, and your soul is wounded, He whispers “I will restore you”. He will never leave us in the fire of a trial or the shadows of the valley.

Micah Wood, an influential speaker from The Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama, defines hope as “the simple belief that things can change.” Hope believes that things can and will change. There is hope that it will not always be this way. The earth is made of up seasons that constantly change- Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter (unless you live in the south- then it is just Summer and Winter:). It’s one of God’s expressions of the promise of Hope. It will come to pass. It will not always be the bitter cold of winter for Spring is coming with the fresh smell of flowers blooming again.


A Global Crisis


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November is Orphan Awareness Month. If someone was to ask me what engulfs my mind, aside from the day to day happenings of life, I would say the fatherless and missions. And yet, they are so easily forgotten by many and go unheard. The plight of Foster Care and the plight of the Global Orphan Crisis is not commonly talked about from the pulpit. We need to be aware of the reality around us. Not push away and try to convince ourselves it’s not real or “it’s not my problem”. If you follow Jesus, then it’s your problem. It’s not the responsibility of the DHR. It’s not the responsibility of the government. It is the responsibility of the Church.

This month become aware of the plight of the Orphan. Even more, become aware of the Father’s heart for the fatherless. But don’t let it stop at awareness. What does that really profit these children, yourself, and even more the Kingdom if it just stops at becoming aware. Let your awareness compel you to action. I recommend that you watch this video. It’s real. It’s relevent. It’s life. It’s the Gospel. Will you answer the cry of the orphan?


Jesus sees you and He’s smiling


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Yes, even in your mess. Even through the hard times. Even in your struggles. Even in this valley. Even when everything looks unlovely. Even in your frustration with the process. Yes, in all of your journey.

He’s not frustred with you. He’s not weary of you. He’s smiling at you.

‘Cause He sees who you will be,
and He see where you’ll be.
He sees you overcome,
and He likes it. Oh, He’s smiling.



Break the Cycle: Part 2


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This past February, while doing my internship at DHR, I wrote a post about the generational cycle of foster care

I mentioned that what I was noticing as I talked with the foster care supervisor and read case files was that the child’s mom and her sister was in foster care when they were children, this child’s mom was subject to physical/sexual abuse when she was a kid, and so on. It goes back to generations having been brought up in the system and aging out or growing up in an environment wrecked with abuse. It’s a generational cycle.

I came across this blog post tonight written by someone that talks about the generational cycle of adoption. It’s a beautiful, amazing post. I love the way he discusses and describes the impact of natural adoption as well as supernatual adoption. I highly recommend people to read this post at the link below:







Just Look Away


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There was an Episode from a TV show I watched a while back where this girl was having a hard time figuring out how to do something. I don’t remember what that thing was now, but her husband, trying to help her, told her that right before a baseball pitcher throws the ball, he always looks away first. His point was that maybe she needed to “look away” from what she was doing and come back later and try again. She did that, and she was able to accomplish her goal.

Recently, I endeavered to look up why pitchers look away before a pitch. What I found was “… most pro pitchers do it as a way to break the monotony of staring at the same target, which can — for prolonged periods — actually make it more difficult to locate a pitch.”

Sometimes in life, things begin to feel overwhelming and even stressful. On occasion, things begin to look so big. It’s like we are standing at the foot of a huge mountain just looking up awestruck at its size. When we stare at these particular situations for a prolonged period of time, we tend to cultivate the anxiety or stress. Our vision becomes blurry, and we don’t see straight. It’s in those moments where we need to just look away for a moment. Get refocused. It may look like reading the Bible. It may look like praying. It may look like praise and worship. Whatever you need to do to get your eyes off of your situation and back on Him. Remember who your God is and how big He is and let the peace of God rule your heart and mind to which you are called to.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.” – Ps 121:1-2

Your help comes from the Lord, whose name is Faithful and True, and it is He who made the Heaven’s and the Earth by the word of His power. This is He who holds us and carries us through. He is big enough.


Quote was found at this link:


He’s There In The Shadows


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Since Aug 2011, I have worked in the Preschool department at my church. For a while, I was considered a “floater”. I was just put where I was needed each Sunday. Several months into it, I was finally made the official Squirrel room teacher (the theme for our preschool department is Noah’s Ark. So, each room has a different animal name). These children are basically your older 1 year olds (starting at about 14 months) to your 2 year olds.

I thoroughly enjoy each Sunday in this room working with these children. They are an absolute joy! They always make me laugh and smile. I look forward to seeing them each Sunday. There’s no place I’d rather be on a Sunday morning. There are those who have a rougher time when starting out in my room. Those that when Mommy and Daddy hand them over they start crying. Some are easier to comfort (and distract:) than others. One of the insticts, at least for me, that kick in during those moments is to tell them “Mommy and Daddy haven’t left you… Mommy is coming back…Daddy is coming back”. For these children, you have to prove to them that Mommy and Daddy are coming back. As they learn that, their crying and distress due to separation diminishes. Soon, they will begin to run to the gate and even start trying to climb over it out of excitement to come and play.

After a while of doing this, I began to think about our relationship with God. How at times we go through these struggles and walk through these valleys and sometimes wonder where God is at. “God where are you? Why aren’t you doing anything!?” Then God leads us to the other side into victory and we look back and see how God was there in the trenches and how loving and good He was. Then years or even months or days later we walk through another valley or the Enemy comes and attacks us again and sometimes we find ourselves in the same place. Sometimes, I think His heart would scream “Haven’t I proven to you yet that I am here? Haven’t I proven to you that I will come to you? That I will help you? Haven’t I always brought you through? Look back at how far I have carried you.”

Our Daddy will come to you. He hasn’t left you. Your Help is on His way. He will come like He promised.

A couple of days ago, I started thinking about this concept again, and I remembered a time a couple of years ago or so on a Sunday night while I was doing childcare in the Elephant room when a little girl (about 2 1/2 to 3 years old) came in a little upset. She wasn’t crying, but she was defintely sad. Just minutes after she came in, as I was holding her, she looked right at me and asked: “Mommy’s coming back?” and I replied “Yes. Mommy’s coming back”. Then she asked me “Daddy’s coming back?” and I replied “Yes. Daddy’s coming back too.”

I didn’t have to tell her that her Mommy and Daddy was coming back like I do my younger ones in the morning. Being older, she reassured herself that Mommy and Daddy was coming back. It reminded me of what Paul said “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Cor 13:11).

For my younger children on Sunday mornings, I have to tell them in these distressing times that Mommy and Daddy are coming back and haven’t left them. But like this almost 3 year old, who has matured, she learned that Mommy and Daddy were coming back but needed to reassure herself. I didn’t tell her that her mommy and daddy were coming back. She told herself. In other words, those who may be young in the faith might come to those times where they ask those questions, but I think sometimes we get stuck there. There’s many people who have been on this journey for years and still find themselves at this place over and over (I would be included in this). As we journey with Jesus, we need to come to a place where we mature in Christ as He continuously proves Himself to us, to be able to reassure ourselves and know that “My Daddy’s coming for me. Jesus hasn’t left me. He will come. He will come like He promised. He will carry my through”.

There’s nothing wrong with those times of questions. We all I’m sure at some point have asked those questions. In 2013, I think I’ve asked one of two of those questions, and I’ve been on this journey with Jesus for several years, but I believe that God wants to bring us to levels of maturity where we have the security like my kids on Sunday mornings get over time as it is continuously proven to them to know that in those difficult times God is coming. He hasn’t forsaken me. He will come. My Help is on His way.

etsy4photo courtesy (without text): my cousin Corey