Do It Scared Pt 1

doitscared1

Starlet Ware on Encouragement and Prayer

And regarding the question friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer.  First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.  Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.  I Thessalonians 4:13-14 (MSG)

Wonderful verse to cling to when love ones step over into the presence of God and see Jesus face to face.  It has been stated my response is sometimes quite different than others in the faith.  The focus of funerals seems to have changed from sadness to home going celebrations.  It is now; “Let’s celebrate my loved one is at home!”  Yes, we will miss them but we will be there soon enough so we will keep living until we die (as opposed to being alive but walking around as though we’re dead)!

Do you find yourself in the “I can’t go on because my loved one isn’t here” or “I will live till I’m called home?”  Let me hear from you.  My brother says I am his emotional sister so there is a heart in my chest cavity.  Both categories have held my attention.  Tears have rolled for near strangers when their relationship with Jesus wasn’t clear.  I know only God knows their heart and knows if they repented just before that last breath.

Years ago, a friend’s brother was on his death bed.  She kept me informed of his progress.  One night, she called really late.  She was crying and could hardly speak because her brother had taken a turn for the worse.  I asked if I could come see him because she wasn’t sure if he knew Christ.  She said yes but warned me he wasn’t able to speak.  Praying occurred letting God know I was going even though afraid since evangelizing skills were lacking.  This young soldier prepared a list of verses from the Roman road, verses that tell of God’s love, repenting and then accepting Jesus prayer.

Armed but quaking inside, I walked in the house.  It was quiet.  She introduced her family and then led me to her brother’s room.  His room was dark and quiet.  Memory fails if she left the room or not because prayer was on the mind.  I introduced myself to him, asked if he wanted to see Jesus when he breathed his last breathe and instructed him to roll his eyes back and forth for ‘yes’ and no movement for ‘no.’  Not sure he could hear me, I kept talking, asking questions, reading scripture and praying.  I was so nervous.

Thank you God, his eyes shifted when I asked if he accepted Jesus in his heart.  Hallelujah!  I squeezed his hand, prayed out loud and I left.  In the car, emotions came flooding through, excited, unsure and thankful I had obeyed God to go in the first place.  He will be in Heaven.

Tune in next week for the rest of the story.  Father God, thank you for allowing me to be in your plans.  What a blessing you are.  You are awesome, worthy, confident and sure.  Bless each reader and let them do what you ask of them whether they are confident in it or afraid.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Love for the Lost

loveforthelostMy healing journey began when I reached out for help for my two daughters. I was reeling with the reality of Dad molesting my little girls along with my day care children. In getting help for my children, memories started surfacing in my own mind about Dad molesting me. I remembered that Dad told me I was ugly, that I “made him do this”, and the most damaging, “God will never love you!” Seeing a counselor gave me tools to live daily life while I struggled to heal.

Over a period of five years, one memory started reoccurring. Pure terror rushed through my veins, shaking my whole body. I gagged and choked. I screamed inside my head, “l can’t breathe! NO, NO, NOl” Then everything went black. I was an emotional mess for days after. I was so frustrated to be “stuck” at this part of the memory. I begged God to let it surface, heal me, and let me move forward. I believed this memory was the key to remembering my lost childhood.

My friend told me about her Pastor who was trained in a healing prayer tool called God’s Light. I was cautiously hopeful and scheduled an appointment. We started praying and Pastor Darrel invited the Lord to be with us. I opened my heart to Jesus. Not long into our prayer session the choking memory started. The Pastor knew that this was as far as I ever got. I remember hearing him ask Jesus to keep me from “passing out”. Then Pastor asked Jesus to show me the truth. Jesus “ran” a video picture in my mind. Dad and I were in my bedroom in the basement of our home when I was six. I was lying on the bed, choking, and Dad was standing at the foot of the bed. I looked at Dad, and he became a moving double exposure picture. Dad was standing there, and Satan stepped out of him. When I reported this to Pastor he said, “Jesus, now show her where you are”. I looked up from my bed and saw Jesus standing by my right side. He was holding a “dead looking” little girl. Me. I cried out in the present time “Ohhh!” Truth had triumphed and I was finally able to believe; Jesus loves me. Jesus LOVES me!! Jesus loves ME!!!  I felt His love wrap tenderly around me and heal every wound from that episode.

I did not regain my lost childhood memories. What I received is infinitely more precious than memories of a very painful past. Jesus restored my relationship with my Father God. Nothing is more important in my life today. Jesus exchanged my pain for His peace. He wants to do the same for you. His precious, priceless love is for everyone, especially the lost.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Valerie

 

Who Are You Following?

whoareyoufollowing2The Cross before me, still I will follow. The Cross before, still I will follow. No turning back. No turning back.

I had a really stressful day today! I wanted to turn and run but I stood firm, fought the tears back, stiffened shoulders and all. I made it through my day, work finished. I walked out the building headed to the bus stop, looked for my bus pass, had to turn back around, go back in my building. Thank God I had dropped the bus pass in my office. That does it! I got home and I had powdered donuts and milk for dinner and cereal for dessert! Please don’t tell my husband. LOL

Tomorrow, I will go back to work with more vigor in my step and determination in my heart because Jesus is before, behind and on the sides of me. Who are you choosing to follow today?

John 14:6 says “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No goes to the Father except through me.”

John 15:15 says “I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me.”

I want nothing if Jesus isn’t up in and all through it! Be blessed young people. Choose Christ and shower those around you with his love.

Starlet

 

Christmas Time Trial – TODAY

Years after the tragic loss of our infant baby boy…God continues to bless our family (husband and first born son in image below).

Merry Christmas,

Starlet and Family

4ChristmasStarlet2014

Sparkles in the Son

sparklesinthesonI don’t like snow. It’s messy, cold, and such an inconvenience.

As a child, I enjoyed it. Making snow angles, snowmen, and having snowball fights were all some of winter’s exciting benefits.

Now, as an adult, I have little to no tolerance of it.

Until one day, things changed.

We had a blizzard on a Sunday night. Because I jump at every opportunity to spend time with my children, we all hoped Monday would be deemed a snow day by the school system.

Bright and early the next morning, our kids jumped in our bed, rejoicing over the closing of the schools. Right when my husband and I joined in the celebration, we heard the phone ring. It was my husband’s co-worker notifying him that the Air Force Base had shut down due to weather and only emergency personal were to report to duty. We cheered and praised God for a snow day for my husband too. We were all screaming and jumping on the beds, thanking God for snow days.

As the day progressed we knew our little ones would want to go outside and play in the snow. Sure enough not a minute later they came down the hall toting snowboards, sleighs, and snow-boots.

Secretly, I wondered if this snow day was going to be as fun as I hoped.

Okay, okay…I grabbed a book and jumped in the truck with my family. They were giddy and I was…blah. We arrived at the infamous “hill” all the kids in the neighborhood flock to whenever it snows. Terry and the kids jump out of the truck. I opened my book and started to countdown 3…2..1…”Mom, you’re not playing with us? Nooo. Awe, Mom please? Daddy’s going to come (as if that mattered)” and the numerous other complaints came as expected because I refused to get out the truck.

“I’ll watch and take pictures” knowing this would not appease them, I closed my book and took out the camera as proof. It worked. Inwardly, I celebrated.

I watched and waved as my husband pushed and pulled our children around on the fresh blanket of snow as I snapped pictures. When I thought it was safe, I returned to my book.

A few pages later, I looked up. The sun was shining. The light from the sun reflected off the snow. I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the brightness. When I felt it was safe to return to my gaze, my eyes revealed something that went completely unnoticed over the years – the snow was actually sparkling. That picture perfect view left me in awe of the Lord’s splendid creation. It was as if God blew heavenly glitter from His glorious throne and I had a front row seat to the revealing of His masterpiece.

Anything that was in the path of the fluttering flakes when they landed now glistened (including my family).

Immediately my mind compared the sparkling snow to the mercy of God. Although each of us was created in His image, sin caused us to lose our luster. However, when Christ took our place on the cross, He died for us to shine…in Him. We were dull, inevitably doomed but God drizzled His mercy on us, now we shimmer, infallible sparkle. We absorb His light and reflect it to world – sparkles in the Son (of God, Jesus Christ).

Needless to say, my perspective of snow changed that day. I gladly got out of the truck and enjoyed the snow with my family. When the Lord uses trivial situations to teach critical lessons, as He did in the Bible, it should reassure us of the love He has for us. He wants us to “get it,” His desire is that we learn of Him and walk in His ways. God used a rooster to get one disciple to repent; He can certainly use snow to help us grow (gracefully in Him).

My prayer is that as He shines, you sparkle.

Takiela.

Resolutions

resolutionDuring this time of the year there is always talk about resolutions, fresh starts, new year/new me, etcetera, etcetera…and by March the resolution has dissolved.

I’ve learned long ago that my “will power” is unreliable, however, the power of my Father’s will is unmistakable. Through the trial and error of dependency on me, I have failed numerous times. In fact, I am certain the weapons that form against me will prosper, outside of Christ. The imperfect are not capable of being Perfect, the flawed cannot comprehend the Flawless.

Don’t misunderstand, being goal orientated is a characteristic of the successful, according to the standard of society, but as a Christian, we should raise the bar of our standard and be God orientated, which is a characteristic of the Holy Spirit.

No, it’s not wrong to be ambitious, mark your target, and aim for it. Yet, it is wrong to focus so much on reaching an objective that you miss the Mark. Make no mistake, the Lord is not a mere priority that He should be put on a list, He is above the list.

I’m sure that the intention of the tradition is not of a malicious nature, I only want to ensure that our motives are not of a selfish disposition. Point all victories to the victorious One. Resolve to remain in Christ and the rest will be added according to His will.

Lastly, although it is a new year, the fresh start can happen at any moment. We don’t have to wait until January 1st of each year to start over and make goals that we may or may not reach. The word of God says that even His mercies are renewed daily, not annually. Freedom in God is liberating. If the Lord bound us to those terms, we’d be in bondage 364 days a year, as we were (in the Old Testament) until Jesus came and freed us forever when He died on the cross. Thank you Lord for the Savior of the world, who resolved to dissolve sin forever!

Holiday Greetings

mrandmrsCan you believe 2014 is only few days away?! Wow! This has been a difficult but rewarding year for the Bynum family. Recently we reflected on all the storms He saw us through this past year and are floored by His power yet again. Last Christmas my husband was in Afghanistan while my children and I were at home…alone. My husband and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on December 28 and we’ve never been apart during the holidays…until last year. I mustlittlebynums tell you that although we already knew Christmas is not about the gifts, last year we live it. We had a tree full of gifts and no desire to unwrap them. Because my husband Skyped us and wanted to see us open the gifts he sent us, we honored his request. We cried during that entire video call.

My children are 18, 13, and 11 and I overheard them saying they had everything they wanted this year for Christmas and it had nothing to do with the gifts under the tree but the fact that God has brought us together again and allowed us to celebrate Him, makes my heart leap and my eyes weep. They aren’t the type of children who ask for a lot, not for birthdays, Christmas, etc. but to say something so profound with so much passion (especially at their ages) is something only the Lord could have placed in their hearts.

Previously, we had head knowledge that Christmas is about faith and family but now we have heart knowledge…the difference is the experience. Lord, we are eternally grateful.

Mirror Mirror

modern-mirrorsMirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

Most ladies would immediately recognize this line from the movie Snow White. Snow White’s evil step mother, the queen, asks the enchanted mirror this question constantly. The queen is obsessed with being the most beautiful of all.

That’s a fairytale, but this is life.

In our society, we too, are obsessed with beauty. As a matter of fact, we are consumed with it. We live in a world governed by beauty, not naturally flawed beauty, but artificially perfected beauty. Unfortunately, the media defines beauty and we (the public) imitate it. The rule, by which beauty is measured in this day and age, is critical and cruel.

But I’d like to ask, what is beauty really? Beauty is defined as “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, which pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” However, beauty is much more than what is expressed in this vague definition, wouldn’t you agree?

This is what I hear young ladies saying about themselves: I’m ugly. I’m fat. My skin is too dark. My hair is too short/long, curly/straight, thick/thin, etc. My boobs are too big/small. My derriere is too big/small. The list is unbelievably endless.

Ladies, I beg you, do NOT allow society to dictate the image of beauty. God is the Creator of beauty, however, the world has devised a cheap imitation of what beauty is and sadly we’ve bought into the lie. The time has come for us to get a refund on our purchase.

The truth of God’s word will always negate the lies of the world.

In Genesis 1:26a and 27 it says “26a And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. 27So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

These scriptures are saying that we are created in His image and in His likeness. We are the reflection of God. He created us. Every cell, fingerprint, hair follicle, etc. that is strung together to form a complete body, is created by God, Himself.

Every time we refer to ourselves as anything but beautiful, I would image is a direct insult to the One who created us. Whenever we speak against our bodies, believe an untruth regarding our bodies, or even desire to permanently alter our bodies, God is not only aware of it but He is affected by it. It hurts Him. Sweetie, we don’t realize that God already knows what we are thinking before the thought is formed in our mind? He is connected to us more than a mother is connected to the child she is carrying in her womb. He has put time, creativity, love, desire, beauty, into dust and added His breath thus a precious life is formed.

Now, His creation has the audacity to complain about what He has created in His own image? Insinuating that His masterpiece is a mess therefore taking matters into our own hands and fixing what He didn’t get right in the creation process. Can you imagine how hurt He must feel?

God wants us to accept ourselves as the beautiful masterpiece He designed. Each time we look at our reflection in the mirror we should be reminded of God. He created us to be an imperfectly perfect image of Himself and that alone is worthy of praise.

More Than Conquerors

morethanconquerorsShe was excited to bring in the New Year with her cousins. It was the first time she had spent a holiday without her mom and although she was a little nervous about it she knew she would have a great time.

They planned their own little New Year’s party with plenty of snacks, sparkling grape juice, streamers, and noise makers to celebrate. They all counted down and cheered loudly at midnight. Loud music, sweets galore, and dancing the night away. She had a blast!

Around 2:00am she fell asleep along with everyone else. But someone was watching her, silently waiting in the background.

Sticky hot breath hovered over her ear and she woke instantly. She felt slimy drops of sweat sink into her cheek, fear paralyzed her.

I was in third grade and he had just graduated high school. My life would never be the same again.

It took years for me to overcome this hurdle in this Christian marathon I call my life. My heart had to be conditioned, just as a runner has to condition her body to physically prepare for the race.

That terrible incident continued to torture me throughout my childhood and followed me into my adult years. Flashes of that night constantly harassed me. Sounds and smells sometimes triggered the unspeakable images of that awful night. Those disgusting memories even pursued me in my sleep and tormented my dreams.

I became tired of being a prisoner of rape. It wasn’t enough that my innocence was brutally stolen from me but now I was being held captive by it and reliving it over and over again. I sought help from the only one who has the power to free me forever – my GOD.

Have you ever read about Tamar? Tamar was King David’s daughter, (David as in David and Goliath). She was raped by her stepbrother (King David’s son) – read 2 Samuel 13. She had a story similar to my story, someone in her family, someone she loved and trusted betrayed her with such disgrace.

In 2 Samuel 13:20 the verse ends by saying that Tamar lived in her brother’s house, a desolate woman. A desolate woman! She was a princess for crying out loud and she lived the rest of her days hiding out in her brother’s house a desolate woman?!

I determined in my heart that I would conquer rape and rape would NOT conquer me. The Bible agrees in Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Because of Christ’s love and because He already conquered the world, He made us MORE than conquerors! You are MORE than a conqueror!

Let’s pray…

Lord, King of kings, I thank you for everything you are doing in my life. I am forever grateful for the life of your son Jesus Christ. You are all powerful o mighty God! I ask that you strengthen me today. Free me from this prison. I know that situation was not my fault. Guilt is a trick from the enemy. It is not Your will for me to be a desolate woman. You are my Father, my King, which makes me your daughter, the princess, more than a conqueror. Thank you for revealing to me that I am more than a conqueror. From this day forward I will no long live like a prisoner but like a princess, who has been freed and because of the love of my Lord I am able to be more than a conqueror. I love you forever and always. Amen.

God’s Plan, Our Purpose

godsplanourpurposeIsaiah 14:24
The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. NIV

Droplets formed on the rim of her brow and she clenched the life in her belly. Her body quivered while uncontrollable sobs escaped her petrified soul.

Again…he spun the barrel of the gun, gave a quick flick of the wrist and pressed it against her temple.

He enjoyed the game of life and death, also known as Russian Roulette.

Before I took my first breath, while in the secret most inner parts of my mother’s womb, evil attempted to murder me at the hands of my father.

This was the first of many attempts on my life, but my God had a plan and a purpose that would not be thwarted by anything or anyone according to Job 42:2 which states:
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. NIV

God can do ALL things. There is nothing He can’t do, including preventing a bullet from leaving its chamber. Although we may sometimes forget there is (absolutely) nothing He can’t do, don’t you simply love being reminded of what He can do (and has done)? The world is full of miraculous displays of love and power that can only be accredited to our majestic Lord and Savior.

God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, not even death can touch us without the Lord’s consent. Isaiah 46:10 says “I make known the end from the beginning…I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ The Lord has made it quite clear that He is in control and His plan and purpose will prevail. Not our plans, not the plans of those who hate us, not even the plans of those who love us, but only the Lord’s plan will stand. The Bible states in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This Scripture gives me peace during the unsure moments in life. God Himself is quoted saying His plan is not to harm us but to prosper us, to give us hope, and a future.

Let us pray…

Heavenly Father we love you. We absolutely adore you. We believe with all our heart that you can do all things. We believe that you have a plan and purpose for our life and no plan/purpose of Yours can be stopped by anything or anyone. You are all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere all the time, there is none like You. I trust that Your plans are what’s best for me and you are not out to harm me. Forgive me for the times I’ve doubted You. Forgive me for the times I’ve thought you didn’t care or love me. From this day forward, if I ever doubt, please bring Your loving words back to the forefront of my heart to remind me that Your plan is one of hope and prosperity. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

When the Smoke Clears

smokeToday is a day similar to yesterday and the day before and so forth. Life has become dull and predictable and you’ve become comfortable with the mundane. It’s the same ole thing, day in and day out, until one day right in the middle of your mediocrity, it happens….

A quick eye blinding flash, a deafening noise that leaves your ears ringing, your world quakes and you stumble. You try to regain your bearings but you’re unsteady and dazed. You fall. Your senses are stunned and you try to shake it off and get up but you’re overwhelmed with confusion, panic, and terror all at once. The paralyzing fear grips your body preventing any logical thoughts from entering your mind. You want to scream but the sound is trapped somewhere deep inside you.

You close your eyes tightly and hope this is all a bad dream. You may even pinch yourself as a last resort in your quest for proof of a dream. You open your eyes and nothing has changed. As your stomach knots you come to the sad realization that it isn’t a bad dream, it’s real.

This is how we feel when a BOMB has been dropped in our lives. The BOMB can be the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, bad news from the doctor, the discovery of a spouse’s infidelity, etc. It can be anything that drops in your life unexpected, leaving you completely floored. (Notice how similar the after affects are when a BOMB has been dropped in your life both literally and figuratively.)

When a BOMB has been dropped in your life it’s hard to remain calm but it’s necessary in order to think through your next move. Don’t mistake remaining calm for holding everything inside. If you’re hurting, take a minute to cry if you must. After you’ve had a minute to get yourself together, it’s time to get to business.

When the smoke (from the BOMB) clears, take a deep breath and call on the name of your heavenly Father.

In Psalms 107:27b-29 the Bible says that in their peril their courage melted away.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

This Scripture encouraged my soul when I read it! God knows us extremely well. When we are in a painful position our courage does have a tendency to vanish at times. As mentioned in the beginning, we stagger and often fall when a BOMB is dropped in our lives. However, no matter what disaster is upon us or chaos surrounding us if we can muster up enough strength to cry out to God He will bring us out of distress.

Psalms 34:17 says the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles and again in Psalms 34:19 it says that the righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. God didn’t say that He’ll deliver us from a few or some of our troubles, God said ALL of our troubles, every single one of them.

We may not know how or any other details for that matter, but sometimes it’s not for us to know everything, allow God to handle the details. Desperately depend on Him because when the smoke clears He’ll be the One who can save you.

Let’s pray…

Heavenly Father there is none like You. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same You are greatly to be praised. I am forever grateful for your loving kindness and tender mercies. Lord will you help me to depend on You during my distress? Help me to trust that you will deliver me from every single trouble I encounter. I am standing on your promises Lord. I love you with all that is in me. My soul glorifies You and You alone. I’ll always praise Your name. Amen.

Teen Depression – The Point of No Return

She’d taken several pain killers to prevent her from feeling any pain. Besides, she needed a backup plan in case the other thing didn’t work out.

She located the vein, turned her head and quickly slid the razor across her flesh. She winced at the sharp sting. The warm ooze drizzled down her hand and left its trail on the hard wood floor. She climbed into bed and hoped for death to quietly greet her while she slept.

That was a dark day in my teen life, one I’ll probably never forget. The pain and hurt I endured left me beyond hopeless; I’d reached the point of no return.

According to the dictionary, the point of no return is defined as the point in a course of action beyond which reversal is not possible. Have you even been at a point in your life, the point of no return? Have you even been broken by life’s circumstances and craved death? Have you even made plans for your life only to watch them come undone? If so, you’re not alone.

Although I had made plans to die that day it was not God’s purpose for me and God always triumphs…always. His word says it in Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

The plans we make in life are subject to change especially if it’s not what God has intended for us. Our plans is not limited to bad, it includes the good plans we have for our lives as well. We may plan to attend college majoring in a prominent field of study, with a promising career after we graduate, get married, have children and live happily ever after. However, if that’s not God’s purpose for your life, although it’s a great plan, His purpose will prevail. Jeremiah 29:11 clearly states that God knows the plans He has for us (not the plans we have for ourselves), and His plans are to prosper us, not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.

In those dark moments in life, there are times all we have to hold on to and hope for is the truth of God’s word. It is this truth that will enable us to hang in there one more day, and then another day, and another until His word shines so bright that it becomes the only life giving light we see in a world of darkness.

“God is in control” is totes cliché I know but be that as it may, it’s true. In the midst of chaos, depression, hurt, pain, anger, mistakes, and even suicidal attempts…God is in control. I can honestly admit to you that in spite of every plan I’ve ever made in life, God’s purpose for me has always been what’s best for me. Yes it was hard, no I didn’t always understand, and sometimes I down right hated what He was doing, but looking back I know that He always had my best interest at heart and I’m forever grateful.

Need an Upgrade?

Have you ever felt like something is missing in your life? I think most of us have at one point or another. We’ve tried filling the “something” with all types of things. We may try drugs, sex, alcohol, food, friends, family, materialistic things, success, or even activities to stuff into that gaping hole in our soul. Soon we realize no matter what we try to fill the hole with, nothing seems to satisfy that missing element in our lives. Sometimes we wonder aimlessly throughout our lives in search of a way to fill a God sized hole.

Let me tell you sweetheart, there is NOTHING on this earth that has the capability to complete you like Christ. Yes, life can be a hard at times. There are days you may feel like everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. Not mention the days when you cry yourself to sleep or feel like screaming at the top of your lungs out of anger and frustration. Plus the times when the blows of life will literally knock you off your feet. Usually during hardships people will turn to drugs, sex, alcohol, etc. to help them cope with the issues they are having at that particular moment. However, this kind of coping mechanisms is temporary and when the high descends, the drunkenness sobers, or the binge has ended, the problem is waiting with an open hand to smack you back into the harsh reality of its unrelenting embrace.

This God sized hole that we long to fill will not be satisfied with temporal fixes, no sweetie that will never be enough. Only God can fill our vessels to overflowing. He doesn’t stop when the void is full, He wants it to overflow. He not only came for us to have life, He wants our lives to be more abundant (John 10:10). He will never leave nor forsake us. Prayer, reading and applying the word of God, and faithfully attending a bible believing church are all ways to help keep that void filled in God. Giving our unfulfilled lives to the Lord is the first step in fulfilling our destiny in Christ.

White Flag – I Surrender

Heavenly Father, I’m holding up my flag, I surrender. I’m truly convinced that your ways are better, I’m not on the fence. You set captive souls free, you forgive my sins, you died for me. I’ve been captured by your love, I’ve been captured by your grace, I’ve been covered by your blood. I was wrong but now I’m right. You hold me down, Jesus here’s my white flag I surrender right now.

I’m set free, you’re such a sweet Savior. I found real love, and you’re my real love, I’m not going to escape but I’m going to stay, I’m captured now, but so set free, I finally know where I’m supposed to be. I raise my hands, I get on my knees, there is nothing like the day you captured me, Lord. There is no one greater, I don’t need another savior. I open up my heart to you . I believe that you, raised your son from the dead, with all power in his hands. I know that if I should run away, then you’ll pursue me with love and grace. You have a plan to love me forever and though I mess up over and over, all I want to do is please you.

Jesus please forgive me and every sin I’ve committed and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior, personal best friend, my 1st love. Here’s my white flag because I surrender. Take control from this moment on and be the anchor to my ship. Jesus, here’s my white flag, I surrender. Amen.

White Flag-I Surrender/Sinner’s Prayer (remix) ~by T (age 16)

Power In Purity

The pornography epidemic is spreading like cancer on steroids. This plague is not confined by boundaries because it has touched many nations. It is not restricted by resources because there are outbreaks in every economic level from the ghettos of the cities, the condos of the suburbs, to the mansions along the shores. It is not limited by race because people of every shade can become its victims.

Each second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and EarthLink.

90% of children ages 8-16 years old admit to having viewed pornography online.

47% of Christians said that pornography is a major problem at home.

Like a drug, this addiction renders its victims helpless, destroying lives everywhere.

There is nothing sugar-coated or sweet about the damaging results of pornography and yielding to sexual temptation. Enticing images are constantly displayed on television, magazines, and on the Internet. Seductive visions are implanted in the minds of many by almost every form of technology known to mankind. In times past, “sex sells” was a term used figuratively, but now it has taken on a literal sense, and unfortunately, business is booming.

So how can we defend ourselves against the power of porn? With the power of purity of course.

Fight power with power. The power of porn is great but the power of God is the greatest. The only defense we have against the addiction of pornography and all sexual impurity is through God. We must arm ourselves with the word of God. Put on the entire armor of God. Making sure you have your loins girt about with truth, with breastplate of righteousness guarding your heart. Protect your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Next, take the shield of faith, that you may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Finally, take with you, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray without ceasing. To pray without ceasing doesn’t mean praying non-stop 24 hours per day. It means to pray in addition to the morning and bedtime prayers you pray. It means that quick silent prayer you pray when you don’t have time for eloquent words and the prayer poise. Prayers like, “Lord, help me,” “Jesus, I need you now,” or “God, I can’t do this alone.” These are what I like to call “rescue me” prayers, like the one Peter prayed when he began to sink on the water after Jesus called for Peter to join him.

Guard your spirit. Your eyes, ears, and nose are all portals to your soul. It’s easier to prevent junk from entering the portals to your soul than it is to get the junk out after it has entered. You’ve heard of preventative maintenance right? It’s the same concept. Prevent yourself from allowing sexually impure images, conversations, thoughts, etc. to enter your spirit. This means movies, books, songs, etc. will have some type of affect on you, if it provokes sexual arousal on any level, no matter how small, it’s probably not good for you spiritually. Be sensitive to your spirit and the Spirit of God too. It may not scream warnings to you, it may whisper them, be on alert.

Can I pray for you, your loved one or friend who maybe struggling in this area? Father in heaven, we glorify you and praise you! You are so awesome! I am interceding on my friend’s behalf because I know what it’s like to struggle. Please strengthen them, shower them with your love and mercy. Assure them that with you, anything is possible. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Resources:

The Bible, New Living Translation Ephesians 6: 13-17

Something Else:

Dream BIG. Pray Hard. Expect God.