November 18, 2017

Sing Along

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A couple years ago I was in the car with my sister and nieces, and my niece instantly started singing along to “Angels we Have Heard on High.”  It was such a sweet moment. My sister told me she just loves that song! Now, each Christmas season when I hear this song playing, I think of that moment years ago and smile.

 

I simply love that one of my niece’s favorite songs is one which highlights the glory of God!  I want all of my nieces and nephews to grow up loving God and knowing that He is their Savior. I am thankful they hear about Him daily.

Just as my nieces and nephews hear, how is the entire world going to learn about God’s goodness and love and know Him personally unless they are hearing about Him?

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8

I love this verse so much! It challenges me to truly share Jesus with everyone I pass by in a day. Whether it be a smile, a kind word, or lyrics to a Christmas song—don’t pass up any opportunity to be God’s witness to the whole wide world!

One thing we can take advantage at this time of year is the fact that many people who normally listen to stations playing music with empty words are now hearing Christmas songs filled with God’s words blast through their speakers. These new lyrics can leave them searching for something, for Someone. Let’s be ready to share the good news that Jesus is Who, what they have been searching for. He came into this hurting world for you and me, in order to save us and so we could spend eternity in His glory one day!
Truth be told, maybe the only time Jesus will be heard on most of these stations is during the Christmas season.

Think about the words of this song alone, Angels We Have Heard on High:

Shepherds, why this jubilee
Why your joyous strains prolong
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song
Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the Highest)
Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the Highest)
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ our Lord, the new born King

What is the reason for your joy? What is the reason for the hope you have found? What is the reason for these songs of praise? Just as this song answers these questions, let us, too, answer these questions for the single mom asking…the drug addict asking…the homeless person asking…the quiet child asking.

Let us pray for each for these ones to be brought along our path this Christmas so we can share with them God’s love…so that one day they will be singing along with us and the angels, to His glorious song in Heaven, Glory to God in the Highest!

Joseph’s Lullaby

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During the Christmas season, I often think of Mary.  I place myself in Mary’s shoes and consider how scared and confused and undoubtedly honored she must have felt that God had chosen her to carry baby Jesus for nine months and then to be His mother while on this earth.  Just as Mary was chosen by God, Joseph was chosen to be Jesus’ earthly father.  I let this part of Christmas slip by until I listened to Joseph’s Lullaby.

Put yourself in Joseph’s place, as you close your eyes and listen to these words…

I believe the Glory of Heaven is lying in my arms tonight. 
Lord, I ask that He for just this moment simply be my child.

Joseph’s Lullaby  ~ Mercy Me

These have to be my two favorite lines throughout the whole song.  I can only imagine how Joseph must have felt knowing the Glory of Heaven was lying in his arms that night.  This song has challenged me to read through the Christmas Story from Joseph’s perspective.  When Joseph learned about Mary’s pregnancy, he did not want to publicly humiliate her so he decided he was going to break off their engagement.  How heartbreaking of a thought for him, but one which shines his true character through and through.  Mary was someone Joseph loved dearly.  They were planning to spend their life together and now this dream vanished before him—or so he thought until the angel appeared before him.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife,
because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sin.”
Matthew 1:20-21

With confirmation from the angel, that Joseph was supposed to keep their engagement, Mary and Joseph traveled the long, nine-month road placed before them which led to that awe-filled moment where Joseph reached out into the Glory of Heaven.

I believe we can take a piece of Joseph’s journey for ourselves.  Just as Joseph held the Glory of Heaven in his arms, we hold the Glory of Heaven in our hearts with us everywhere we go.  Let us never take for granted this precious Gift we have been given.  Not for one moment should we ever rush what God is doing in our lives at this moment.  For what He is doing now is preparing us for our very own awe-filled moment with Him in Heaven one day. Until that face-to-face encounter takes place, let us just be His child.  Let us just be still and know that He is God and know that in what may seem like our momentary troubles God is achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs it all.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

It is my sincere prayer that we reach for one thing this Christmas—the Glory of Heaven.

Girls with Swords: Chapter 14 – Living Swords (pgs 220-222)

page 222

 

I am back!  If you were wondering where I was the last two weeks, it was India.  I was working with young girls who have been rescued from human trafficking to put on a retreat for other young girls who have been rescued from brothels, where their mothers have been trafficked and are still currently living and working.  To say the trip was the most amazing experience I could have ever imagined it would be is a huge understatement.  God is good!  I am so glad to be back with you ladies for the last blog post of our study.  HUGE shout out to the amazing Kim Spring for filling in for me while I was away, thanks dear!

Of all of the things I have always thought of myself as, sword has never been one of those things.  In Zechariah 9:13 we find God telling us He will make us like a warrior’s sword.  I personally contend that this realization is a perfect way to end our study.  We are no longer just carrying God’s sword to church each Sunday, or meditating on God’s sword each Easter when His cross is displayed on stage.  God is carrying us, His swords, each day we follow Him in His will for our lives.  As God’s warrior swords we put Him on display each morning as we begin our day letting His love shine through our imperfect human flesh.

Daughter of God, turn from your reflection, deny its limitations, and reflect Him. (Page 221)

This is one of my favorite things Lisa tells us to do.  In our imperfect selves we sure do have limitations.  Thankfully though, we have a perfect Savior who gives us His strength to do all things (Philippians 4:13).   Stop looking at your reflection.  Start living your life how God intended it to be and I promise you, your eyes will be open to seeing Jesus’ love and beauty pouring through your soul.  This look is not just for you to see in the mirror, it is for the entire world you pass by for the rest of your life to see so they can see Jesus in you.

The last sentence of this book has hit me the hardest; I cannot read it without crying.  Live like a hero, and you will strike a sure blow to the enemy, and captives will be set free.  (Page 222)

Even more than a sword, I never ever thought of myself as a hero.  I feel uncomfortable with that sentence even as I type it.  We need to realize though what a hero is.  Being a hero is getting rid of yourself, and filling up your life with Jesus.  When we let ourselves be God’s sword, we become His hero as well.  Being a hero has nothing to do with us, it has everything to do with what we let flourish inside of us—Jesus!  When we are being God’s hero, we will not be found; only Jesus inside of us will be found for all the hurting to see.

While in India, it became time for me to share my talk with the girls.  It was about the weapons of our warfare.  After the talk, I decided to share my testimony with the girls.  This is something I did not want to do, but I was simply following the Holy Spirit’s lead to do so.  In that moment, I truly disappeared.  The Holy Spirit filled me, and what came out of my mouth was all Him…I was nowhere to be found.  As each of His words fell out of my mouth, the room became filled with His presence.  And GOD MOVED!!!  (If you would like to hear more about Diane’s trip to India, please join us on our next Girlfriends Coffee Hour Conference Call on July 16th.  Details will be posted soon on our Facebook Community page)

I share this because I want you to understand the importance of being sensitive to and being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading in your life.  As He leads you, I promise you, Satan will be cut by the living Sword you have let flourish and lost, lonely, hurting captives will be set free, and you, my dear, will be nowhere to be found but living as a hero in Christ!

*****

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You, and thank You, Lord.  I have no words right now, only tears.  I know You know the words expressed in each and every one of my tears right now.  I pray that the women reading this today will be touched by Your mighty power.  I pray that whatever is holding us back from being a hero for You would be demolished.  Help us, Lord, to live as Your limitless sword and not a reflection of our limitations.  Lord, it doesn’t even feel right that You would give us the title of hero-but let us never forget that without “in Christ” after the word hero, we are nothing.  You are what makes the word ‘hero’ true in our lives.  Let us never ever keep You out of our lives.  Keep us out so You can fill up inside of us.  I pray all of these things with thanksgiving in Your Precious Holy Name.  Thank You, Jesus!

Girls with Swords: Chapter 11- Open Thoughts of Chapter

I remember my grandmother telling me the favorite part of her day was when she was worshipping God.  When she told me that, I asked her if she sang to God every day.  I was confused because the only time I ever thought I worshipped God was when I would sing praises at church.  My grandmother knew exactly what I was thinking and, with a smile, she replied with words that spoke directly to my heart, “I sing to God every day, with my words, with my prayers, with my thoughts, and with my time I spend reading the Bible and being still in His presence.”  This is when I learned worship isn’t about the building you are in, the drums in the background, or the people around you.  Instead it is all about using every opportunity of worship throughout the day to escape to a place of love, grace, mercy, peace, and complete joy with our Heavenly Father.  Our favorite time of the day should easily be the time spent singing to God. 

After reading this chapter and the blogs that my amazing friends have prepared for us there are some things God has laid on my heart I feel compelled to share with you.

Revelation 4:9-10

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on  the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

The first time I read this passage in the Bible, I could not help but cry out to God.  This passage helped solidify who God is in my life.  He is worthy of all of my praise, glory, and honor.  This passage challenges me to make sure that in everything I do, there are elders on their knees in Heaven worshipping our One and Only.

I love You, Lord,
and I lift my voice
to worship You;
oh, my soul rejoice!
take joy, my King
in what You hear…
may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear!

I cannot even begin to describe to you how this song has helped me through some of the darkest hours of my life.  Now, I fall asleep singing this song many nights.  I am so thankful for music that God uses to help us through the dark.  As Lisa says on page 173 “Music invites your body to move, but remembering all that God has done for you will move you.”  (Move you out of the darkness!) What are some songs God has used in your life?

When I was singing the above lyrics as I was preparing this blog for today, I thought of different lyrics.  Let my life be a sweet, sweet, sound in your ear.  I decided to type this into Google and this is what I found…

I am an instrument of the living God
My life a melody to His name
More than the songs I sing
Worship is everything
I live to glorify my King

Hear the song of my life
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
I raise this anthem high
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound

Through all the mire and clay
You’re washing me with grace
You carry me, oh Lord, through it all
So I will testify even in the fire
I live to praise my Savior

Meditate on the lyrics of this song.  Is the song you sing every day the life you live for God?  I pray this song blesses your heart as much as it has mine.

 

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,  I thank You for orchestrating the songs of our lives.  Help us to play back to You the music You created in our souls from the very beginning.  I pray we desire to bring You alone praise and glory and honor.  I thank You for the melody You are playing in our lives.  Help us to always let our lives be a sweet, sweet sound to Your ear!  AMEN!

Girls with Swords: Chapter 10 – “Sword of Light – Discernment and Prayer” (pgs. 162-165)

Some weeks as I am sitting with my pink laptop, Bible, and Girls with Swords book, preparing the blog for you all, I wish I could just rewrite everything Lisa has written on the pages we are about to discuss.  Not because I do not want to write but because her words touch my heart so much, they challenge me, and they bring me closer to God.  So much of what she has written has led me to dig in to God’s Word more and more.  I pray that her words have done the same for you!  I am thankful for Lisa’s words.  Reading this section of the book, these are the words that stuck out the most to me; they are found on page 164:

  • Discernment and true intercession have the power to release restrained captives into their destiny.
  • Throughout His earthly walk, Jesus discerned the work of the evil one, then interceded by bringing light, truth, and healing into the darkened days of earth.
  • Discernment realizes when others are blind and then intercedes based on their ignorance rather than on their actions.  The Cross ended our separation from God, but His intercession didn’t stop there.  Jesus not only rose from the grave; he ascended into heaven:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 

Romans 8:33-34

Once again, Lisa’s words remind me that I am a princess warrior (in training) for the King.  I am challenged to remember what God has done for me over again so I will never forget!  I believe the best part of witnessing God’s work in your life is learning in those moments how to let God work in the lives of others by interceding for them.  These are the lives of the restrained captives and ignorant warriors who are blind to God’s power in their own life.  When God is working in your life to form you into the princess He has designed you to be, it is not always under the best of circumstances.  Sometimes, God’s best work is in the darkest part of our walk with Him.  Through these moments, though, we have found God’s light that we may shine brightly for others who are living in darkness to see.

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I have learned so much of how to share God’s help with others because I was once held captive, restrained by Satan’s slithering grasp.  I was once an ignorant princess who did not even know she possessed warrior potential.  I was so blinded by the darkness my life was quickly becoming.  Can anyone relate?  When I was living in the darkness of my past sins, mistakes, shame, and poison, I remember crying painful tears every single day.  These tears left stains on my heart… dark stains.  Every time I cried, I always wished someone would see me crying, and then just maybe that someone would pray for me.  I knew I desperately needed prayer, but I had no strength or words to pray for myself.

When I finally decided to start getting back into God’s Word, I came across this passage one day:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself
intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Romans 8:26-27

The first time I read this, yes, I CRIED!  This time the tears were not painful; instead they were filled with joy and thankfulness to God.  These new tears washed away the stains the painful ones had left on my heart.  After reading this passage, I realized that God saw every tear that fell from my eyes and, not only did He catch them in His hands, but He also prayed each one away.  In those teary moments, God’s spirit interceded for me.  He was the One I was wishing for all along to pray for me—I just didn’t know it at the time.  This realization moved me to tears; wouldn’t it do the same for you?  This passage remains true for each and every one of us.  Whether it is our tears that are falling into darkness or the tears of others, God’s Spirit is ready to intercede for us on behalf of the tears that stain our hearts.

The darkness we go through is never pitch black.  There is always God’s light nearby or far away depending on how fast you are wandering from His path for your life.  In our darkest moments, God is interceding for us with His truth, light, and healing.

Because of the dark we find God’s light.

Because we have found God’s light, we are able to help others find God’s light.

From our darkened moments, we learn how to intercede for others who are searching desperately for “their light at the end of the tunnel.”

As conquerors through Christ, we are here for a purpose to be God’s light THROUGH the tunnel for others to see.  When lost warriors and restrained captives find YOU on their dark path, will you be shining on God’s path and guiding them to Him?  Will you be the reflection of God’s Light—His Son?  Will you discern God’s truth that is needed and intercede for all of the lost?  God desires to set the captives free through YOU and ME, can you believe that?!  We know we can handle such a task because God’s Spirit is our aide at all times.

When I was traveling through my dark tunnel, I found God’s light in the midst of the darkness because of faithful followers of Christ who looked through the exterior of my hardened self, and discerned what my heart truly needed, a healthy dose of Jesus!  For that reason and so many others, I desire to be that same light to the whole lost world.  It is not time for judging the exterior shells of others we pass by on our path to Heaven; it is time to intercede for the lost, darkened hearts, waiting to be broken out of their shell by Jesus’ mighty power.  God, we give YOU all glory forever and ever!

 *****

Let’s Pray:

Lord, thank You for Your goodness.  Thank You for giving us your Holy Spirit to live inside of our hearts.  I pray that You help all of us princess warriors in training to be YOUR Light for others to see.  I ask Your Spirit to help us discern and intercede on behalf of the lost darkened world.  I pray that others see Your light shining bright through us.  Thank You for teaching us how to be Your useful light, even (and especially) if it was not under the best of circumstances.  We trust that our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  Lord, until we are living in YOUR GLORY, let us bring You glory through living out Your will for our lives.  We pray all of these things in your Precious, Holy Name. Amen.

Girls with Swords: Chapter 9 – “Kill or Defend” (pgs 150-151)

I wanted to point out to you ladies that in the introduction to this chapter, Lisa explains that the machete is a formidable weapon for self-defense, capable of fending off assailants and wild animals and killing venomous snakes (pg 140).

This reminded me of something a friend told me last night.  I was explaining how sometimes I feel like I am in a tug of war with Satan.  I feel him wanting to wrap his slithering body around my arm and try with all of his might to pull me on his side, but God is not pulling my other arm, He is holding me securely in His mighty arms.

Her response was this: Satan is first mentioned as a snake in the Scriptures.  Did you know that when a snake gets its head cut off, it can still live.  They do not know that they are slithering around without a head.  Satan is walking around with his head cut off, he just doesn’t know it yet.  Genesis 3:15 says Satan will strike HIS (referring to Jesus) heels BUT HE (Jesus) WILL CRUSH HIS HEAD.  Satan is still trying to have you because he doesn’t know that he is dead, but he is.

YES!  He sure is dead.  There is something more powerful than the machete; the stained cross where our Precious Lamb was slain for you and me.  That same cross sliced the head of Satan the day He rose from the dead.  Jesus has overcome Satan’s many attempts to strike His heel, with His stained cross and empty tomb.  Jesus has freely given us this same victory over Satan’s many attempts to pull us on his path!

Satan is slithering around headless, he is dead, and he just doesn’t know it yet.  When he tries to wrap around your arm, that is when we, princess-warriors-in-training, MUST slay his grasp with the machete of God’s word.

When we are on God’s path for us, we will encounter the snake in many forms.  The snake wants us on his path.  He will pull out all of his tricks to discourage us on our path for God.  Lisa tells us on page 150 that even if the snake is not positioned to strike, it must be removed.  Snakes are a threat, but not to God.  When we are living our life for Christ, snakes lose their threat to us.  Especially when you know the snake doesn’t have a head!

We have all power and all authority of God behind us, ready to take on that headless snake!  Philippians 3:21  “The Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”  The same God who raises our bodies to be with Him in Heaven one glorious day, is the same God who has beheaded Satan’s body.  We have God’s mighty power behind us, the work has already been done, Satan is already dead.  We must continue on God’s path and be prepared princess warriors with the machete of God’s word in our hands and on our tongues at all times!

 

*****

Let’s pray Lisa’s prayer together:

Dear Heavenly Father,  direct my paths by the light of your Word, and instruct me in ways to leave a clearly marked trail behind for others.  I want to use your Word to create environments that encourage others to flourish.  I choose to guard my heart so as not to mistake co-laborers for competitors.  Open my eyes to see the fields surrounding my life that are white and ready for harvest.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.

AMEN!

Girls with Swords: Chapter 8 – “Warnings” (pages 134-137)

JesusLife

Jesus’ life fulfilled the Word of God.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  Each day He arose with God; He knew what was ahead.  He knew what God’s will for His life was.  He prayed God’s will for His life.

Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  After reading this verse in the Bible, I am awed by Jesus’ prayer.  ‘This cup’ is the terrible agony Jesus knew He would endure.  ‘This cup’ was separation from God so that He could die for your and my sins.  This is what Jesus prayed for.  I know we bloggers have been asking a lot of questions this week, but let me pose another one to you today:  When was the last time you prayed God’s will for your life over your own desires?

As Lisa explains on page 136, our Father gave us Jesus to be the example of how to live what we speak.  There will never be anyone who will be perfect—as Jesus is perfect—but we can all strive to live a life pleasing to God as Jesus did while He walked the Earth.  Jesus lived out God’s will for His life.  We can lay down our plans at Jesus’ feet and strive to fit into God’s plans.  We can find God’s will for our lives by reading the Word and praying to God.  One thing I have learned in doing this is that God surely has created us to share His love through the ends of the Earth.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

I think one of the greatest things about reading the Bible is it lights a fire in my soul.  In reading, I find this huge desire to share God’s truths with every single person in the entire world.  When telling someone this once, the response was, “Oh no, at trick-or-treat time you would totally be one of those people that hand out tracts instead of candy!”  My response: “Absolutely, inside the tracts are the words people need to find God.” Do you desire to be the tract lady for Jesus, giving people His words they are in desperate need of?

Isaiah 55:8-11 in its entirety is absolutely beautiful, let us focus though on verses 10 and 11:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

What words are we using when we fearlessly share the saving grace, love, and power of Jesus Christ with the lost and the hurting?  When we use God’s words instead of our words there will be victory every time in Heaven.  We know it is truth that God’s word shall not return to Him empty.  The words He sent out will fulfill His plan and not return void.  It is our job to be the messengers.  We are called to make God’s word known to others.  This means we must know His words.  We must not only know how to speak them to others, but we must also know how to live out God’s words with our actions.

We are the only Jesus some people will ever see.  That is not something to take lightly.  That is something to remind ourselves of daily.  When you are at home, at school, at work, in the grocery story, at the mall, (insert other here)…be Jesus.  Someone is always watching.  Let them see Jesus through you, let them see the TRUTH.  When you are a princess-warrior-in-training for the King of Kings, your actions matter just as much as your words matter.  Both are used to bring others to our Father in Heaven.  Others must see Jesus in us; we cannot get in their way from finding Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Let His words transform your actions to line up with what He is showing us to do.  We know what to do through His word, through prayer, and through Jesus’ life.  Let’s thank God for giving us the Bible, giving us access to Him through prayer, and giving us an amazing example of how to live a holy life, through His son, Jesus.

________________

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Holy Word.  Thank You for giving us the privilege of prayer where we can meet with You and hear from You.  Thank You for giving us Jesus’ life as an example for us, daily.  Thank You for giving us the desire to fulfill Your will for our lives.  Lord, I ask that You give us the strength and desire to lay aside our plans, and to fit into Your will for us. Lord, we give You glory for all You do in our lives and in the lives of those we encounter.  You are an amazing Savior!  Amen.

Lisa has one more question for us, and I encourage you to journal about your answer: “Do you want to do His will so all that was written of you will be something to behold?”  (Page 137) ~SELAH

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If you would like to join us for the “Girls with Swords” Online Bible/Book study, click HERE to be taken to our sign-up page.  Once you complete the enrollment process, we will email you further details.  We hope you will join us!

Girls with Swords: Chapter 7- “Pressure” (pages 115-117)

As Lisa tells us about her “doubtful moment” it brings me right back to one of my very own doubt-filled moments….

It had been several months after my very last therapy session.  I knew in my heart of hearts that I was healed, but as I stepped into my counselor’s office that day, the doubt that had been filling in my heart since the last time I was in that room followed me in.  Even with a beautiful sign from God’s heart to mine that I truly was healed and made new, I still somehow let doubt get in the way.  As I was explaining all of my doubts my dear counselor asked me a simple question, “What are the things that you know that you know that you know are true?”

I am safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

I am loved. (John 3:16)

These were the only thoughts that I was able to muster up, but somehow they proved to be just enough!

Each truth above comes from God’s Word.  Apart from Him we have nothing, we are nothing.  God’s Word is our source for confidence.  He is our Source for power and protection.  He is our all in all.  He is our portion forever and ever.  He is all we ever need and He has come to RESCUE YOU AND ME from doubt and all of the hardships of life!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

Knowing the truth is just not enough to keep the doubt away.  I have found that the more we “know” something, the more Satan tries to convince us that we don’t know anything at all.  Prior to this moment in counseling I had found the more confidence I had, the more doubt consumed me.  How does that even make sense?  It makes sense because my confidence used to come from the wrong source.  Think to yourself, do you find confidence from the shifting sands of circumstances or do you find confidence in our Mighty Rock?  It is still a struggle from time to time for me to let go of the false advertisements for confidence we find ourselves surrounded by in our world.  We think we know what we need—the best make-up, the finest clothing, the right man, the popular friends—the list goes on and on.  These false eye-catching traps just leave our hearts filled with doubt.  Truth be told, even the best this world has to offer will never give us the confidence that we can find in God alone.  Again, I know this is true because Scripture backs it up!

Proverbs 3:26 assures us, “…for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.”

We can have confidence in God because of His Word! When we fill our hearts with God’s truth, His confidence seeps into every crack and crevice of our soul!  God’s confidence in us will enable Satan’s lies to stay tucked under our feet as we press on in our journey with the Lord of our lives!

It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put His hand on you for something special.  When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words.  Something happened in you.  The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.  (1 Thessalonians 1:5 MSG)   

Knowing God’s Word will not suffice in the spiritual battle at hand.  I know this personally. Since I have started this study, God has been using many hardships to show me just how true it is that knowing scripture is not enough, and we must be trained to use it.  God’s Word is our training manual.  Everything we need to know is found in His Word, not the lies of Satan.  Our sword must be filled with the truth—God’s truth—which has the power to strike down Satan’s consuming lies and doubts.  As a princess warrior in training, we cannot let doubt consume us.  We must empty ourselves into God so that He can consume us.

The more we know who God is, the more we have confidence from Him in who we are created to be.  No two princesses of the King are the same.  We are all created for a unique and important purpose.  It is time to wash away the doubt caused from past hurts or maybe current hurts and hold tight to God’s promises that will never shift.  It is time to call out to God…He promises to answer.  All we must do is empty the doubts that have been filling up our hearts at His feet.  When we seek God with our whole empty heart, He will fill our hearts with HIS blessings.  No more room for doubts, only His love.

When I left therapy that day, I was supposed to write what I knew on a rock, to remind me of the solid hope I have in God alone.  I never did find a rock big enough to write down all the truths God has reminded me of since that night as I spent some time seeking Him.  Spend some time today thinking about the truth that you know that you know that you know God is craving to fill your heart with.

(From Christi & Colleen Dent:  Here is your Rock, Diane!  We made this especially for YOU!)

Rock_Diane

Let’s all echo Lisa’s prayer for us on page 117:

Dear Heavenly Father,

May we, Your daughters, be one with Your heart and heaven’s purpose.  May our very lives be an intricately woven expression of all that You long for us to live, touch, see, hear, and have.  Make us one.  We submit to Your process.  Have Your way in the fiery forge and in the baptism of water.  Shape us into something so fierce and flexible that every facet of our lives would declare Your love and power to save.  In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Thank You Jesus!

________________

Day 4 of our Anniversary Celebration!

Well, have you enjoyed our week long celebration so far???  We sure have!  I can’t wait to tell you what our next giveaway is! Another exciting gift!!

How many of you struggle with taking care of your body physically?  If you are like me, you want to, but maybe you just don’t know how to get started!  You don’t know the first thing about eating healthy, or what exercises may be right for you, and so on!  Well, we want to bless one lucky winner with a ONE-HOUR SESSION with Wellness Coach / Fitness Designer Crystral Breaux!!

Breaux Announcement

I am so VERY EXCITED about this giveaway.  Crystal is new to Girlfriends Coffee Hour, but she is not new to wellness, fitness, or blogging!  She not only blogs for GCH, she blogs for CreatedWoman.org, as well.  She offers some amazing wellness tips and fitness advice in both blogs!  Beginning in June, Crystal will begin taking your personal questions and answering them on her blog right here on Girlfriends Coffee Hour!  No matter what your question is about (food, or fitness, etc.) she will address them on our At Home with GCH blog the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

The question of “where do I start” is just one “comment” away!

All you have to do to enter this drawing is read today’s blog and then make a comment below in regards to what God spoke to you in today’s blog!  That’s it!

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE COMPLETED BY 8PM CST TONIGHT.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OUR FACEBOOK COMMUNITY PAGE, ON MAY 11th.

Girls with Swords: Chapter 6 – “Hear the Call” – “A Tale of Two Kings” (pgs 98-104)

Have you opened your ears and heard the Lord call your name?  Are you covering your ears with fear of the unknown after you hear Our Mighty King whisper His warrior-princess’s name?  Whether you embrace it or not, we all have warrior potential traced throughout the perfect will God has for us.  Whether you choose to hear it or not, the King of Kings is calling your name.  He is calling you to a life in which you bring glory to His name through your very own.

Fear will always be a part of our lives, but it does not have to be the driving force behind our actions or lack thereof.  Fear, when placed in the right manner, will only drive us closer to God Himself.  We must fear God and keep His commandments.  We do this by coming to a revelation of Who God truly is and what He has truly done for us.  This revelation drives us to be obedient because of the deep love we possess for our One and Only King.  When we let Satan get in the middle he uses fear to paralyze us when indeed it was intended to help run the race that is marked ahead for us!

All of us have a perfect will for our lives, and we also have a perfect love that drives out any fear that tries to prevent us from living out God’s perfect will for us.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

As warrior-princesses-in-training we all possess God’s perfect love in our hearts.  Where God’s love is, fear doesn’t stand a chance.  Remember why you are able to take your stand against fear: because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and let all that you do be a testament of His surrendered life.  This is how we are able to bring God glory—we surrender our lives to His.  When I picture God receiving glory, I picture a beautiful song playing throughout Heaven for Him to enjoy.  I desire God to hear that song always.  In order to hit the play button I must stop muting His song, start giving Him glory for all He does through my life, and let the praises be a sweet, sweet sound in His ear!

Let’s all surrender our lives to being a princess-warrior for Christ and live for the day we can dance in Heaven with His glorious song playing in the background!

 *****

Let’s all get excited together for Chapter 7!

“Lovely One, you are the daughter of a triumphant Warrior-King.  The warrior’s sword you carry represents honor, virtue, courage, beauty, loyalty, and freedom from fear.  In the next section we will learn how to wield these with purpose”  (page 104).

 

Let’s Pray: 

Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son to surrender His life for ours.  Please let us learn to surrender our lives to Your perfect will.  Give us the strength to carry on in this life as a warrior-princess.  Let all of the glory go to You alone.  We praise You and thank You for empowering us to live for You.  Amen.

Girls with Swords: Chapter 5 – “Scapegoat” (pgs 76-78)

Every single word that Lisa has written on these two pages of the book have touched my heart in one way or another.  There is so much “good stuff” in this section of the book.  I have enjoyed the whole book so far, and I have really loved this chapter.  This chapter has caused me to look at the Cross in a whole new way.  The Cross as a sword is something I never visualized before.  This idea was all new to me, and it brought something to mind.

We all have a journey to the Cross.  Everyone’s journey is different.  Maybe we can all relate with the scapegoat in different areas as we journey to the Cross.

  • Guilt: How many times have you blamed yourself for an event in your life in which you carry around an immense amount of guilt from?
  • Lonely nights: How many nights have you fallen asleep next to your husband, or at home with your family, yet the loneliness that you feel inside is strong enough to cause you to think you are alone in this world with no one to love you…care for you…or be there for you? 
  • Oppression: How many times have you felt a heavy burden on your heart, one that crushes you to your core causing you to panic and shake the calm life you once lived? 
  • Rejection: How many times did you just want to fit in with your friends, family, co-workers; just to find out that no one wanted to be around you, and when you tried to surprise them you overheard the cruel words they spoke of you that cut deeper than any knife ever made?  The list goes on and on.  There are so many words that are used to describe the scapegoat we once believed we were.

Let’s consider Jesus’ journey not to the Cross, but with the Cross.  Jesus knows the pain and the hurt behind each and every word used to describe what a scapegoat represented.  Jesus went through more suffering than our human bodies can ever imagine.  Yet your depression, your loneliness, your hurt, your pain, your guilt, your betrayal, your shame, your (insert others here) were all taken with Jesus on the Cross.  Could you imagine the weight on His shoulders as He fell up Calvary’s hill?  The astonishing part is that Jesus’ innocent shoulders were not the ones meant to carry all of these things.  We deserve all of it, yet Jesus loved us so much that He took what was meant for our cross and sacrificed Himself so that we can be saved and free in Him!

As Jesus approached the spot where He was to be sacrificed, I can only picture Him taking the Cross with the weight of it all and sticking it into the ground.  Then I imagine the Cross as a sword and I know that when that sharp point hit the ground, our world was shaken.  Not for the worse, but for the better.  Jesus IS the ultimate sacrifice.  As I write those words, “Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice,” I begin to tear up because I stand in awe of Jesus and His love for me that He died and rose again, defeating all that was on the Cross, FOR ME, that I may live eternally with Him.  Lisa is right: the Cross is a sword of love.

It is time, ladies, to follow Jesus’ footsteps to the Cross.  For when we arrive, we will meet Jesus waiting to hand us His sword.  As He gives us His power, we must be able to echo His words in our hearts, “Forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  We must forgive ourselves, too.  We must leave all the burdens we carried to the Cross in His hands where they belong.  We must pick up His sword and follow JESUS TO HEAVEN!

Make time to meditate on this Scripture today:

 

Isaiah53_4thru6

Let’s Pray: 

Heavenly Father, how can we find the words to thank You for what You alone have done for us?  Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your only Son to die for us.  Lord, some of the ladies in this study may have already traveled to the Cross and found Your healing and have picked up Your sword.  I pray for these ladies, that You empower them to use Your sword and stand firm in You against Satan as You guide them to Heaven.  Lord, maybe there are some ladies who are in the middle of their journey or have not started yet.  Lord, I pray for these ladies that You show them Your paths to the cross, that You give them Your strength to reach the point where they find You and give You all of the burdens that lay so heavy on their hearts.  I thank You for the power of the Cross.  I thank You for guiding us every day to You.  We love You, Lord, so much!  Amen.