Christmas Time Trial (continued final)

warefamily in2008As I mentioned at the end of last week’s article, George and I argued about how the other was ‘handling’ the stress of our baby’s diagnosis. It was a very stressful time in our marriage. I may not recall exactly what we did for Christmas that year but with Brandon in the home for Christmas, my regular way to celebrate with him was to have him read Luke 2, Jesus announcement of birth and the Shepherds arriving.

After reading the verses, he would open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas day. I remember trying to keep peace around him so as not to stress him out.

George and I grieved and processed separately. I remember being on my own to pray, cry, process. A friend of mine was very near death during December and when I got word he was in his last few moments, I remember asking if I could come over and see him. I wasn’t allowed to because his family didn’t want anyone to see him looking so bad. I was devastated because my thought was to go over and send a message through him to God asking him to save Miles. I cried good and long for not being able to get that message to this man’s ear to take with him to Heaven. I knew I was praying and lots of others were praying but I still wanted to get the message to God through one of his mighty warriors. My friend died in December 2007 and my Miles was born in January 2008.

My scheduled date came, January 23, 2008. I was induced. We waited and waited. I don’t dilate much so we had to do a C-section. We had a room full of people waiting anxiously. My sister and Mom were among them. Friends brought my Brandon from school to the hospital.

Miles Ethan Ware made his debut at 9:41 AM. He lived a little less than two hours. He was loved by many in his life, my prayer is he drew many to Jesus his loving Savior!

God bless you this Christmas May you seek goodness in all your days!
 
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Starlet

Christmas Time Trial (continued)

Last week, I talked about our high risk pregnancy where we were asked if we wanted to carry our baby  to term or have an abortion. We, of course, chose to carry to term because this little life had a chance so long as God was on his throne and we prayed and had others praying in agreement with us.

babyangelAfter the doctor’s appointment was over, I went back to work and sent an update email letting everyone know how to pray specifically for us and our baby. The response was so encouraging and amazing. People forwarded my emails on to their praying friends and family and sent up prayers on our behalf. I was so thankful we were covered with prayers because my George was having a really, tough time dealing because he blamed himself for the diagnosis.

He felt like his choices were the cause of our baby’s health issues. Isn’t that what we do? We do have consequences for our sins but I don’t believe we are powerful enough to cause sickness in an unborn.

Ezekiel 18:20

The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him.

As our pregnancy continued, we had many debates, arguments because George thought I wasn’t ‘sad’ enough and he felt since I already had a child, I wasn’t really concerned. I would explain over and over that I had put Miles into God’s hands and whatever the outcome was, it would be OK with me. I did pray a lot during this time that God would allow a miracle so the doctor who didn’t know him would witness the miracle and accept Jesus.

Hang in there with me, I will tell the rest of the story next week.

God’s ways are higher than our ways and He is in heaven doing what He wants to do,
Starlet

Listening to the Voice of the Lord

Divination Will Not Heal Your Broken Heart

katrinahunterquote3

I couldn’t wait for the funeral to be over! The service was really nice and thank God, I didn’t pass out. I was actually a little smiley and perky, but still thought several times about jumping into the ground at the burial. The night of the funeral, I went to a club and stayed out until at least 5 a.m. the next morning. I didn’t want the day of my friend’s funeral to end because as long as the day was going, it was like he still existed. The next day, I would have to face the fact of no phone calls, no more programs and caskets…just life.

Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months and I found myself slipping away.  Going to church was not enough to help me through my grief. In fact, I just stopped attending church altogether because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. I just couldn’t say the words “God, I love you. You are worthy” without flinching or anger arising in my heart. How can God be so wonderful, yet I felt I was dying on the inside?

The Bible says that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” and yet, I did not feel Him. I was angry, and honestly, did not want to feel Him.

My heart was broken.

Beloved, when your heart is broken and hardened and not open to God – it’s setting the stage for anything and anyone to come in your heart.

When you don’t communicate your heartache (towards God) to God, your heart is no longer guarded FOR GOD. Instead, you begin to guard your heart FROM HIM.

I tried everything and did everything after my friend’s death to null the pain. You name it I did it. I did it all including going to someone I would pay to see whenever I wanted to. I liked talking to her because she was someone I didn’t know. No – she wasn’t a counselor.

She was a psychic.

I was in a really hard place and I needed a place where I could be free and the devil took advantage of that because I opened that door.

When you close God out from your heartache – you will let anybody in and listen to anybody but God.

I DO MEAN ANYBODY.

The few people that I did manage to tell this to asked:  “Did she tell you anything that was true?” My response “Perhaps. I don’t really know or remember.”

And then I say, “I honestly didn’t go to her because I thought she could tell me the truth—I went to her because she didn’t judge me or try to make me feel better . She just listened.”

Gotquestions.org says,

“… it is undeniable that psychics sometimes know things that should be impossible for them to know. Where do they get this information? The answer is from Satan and his demons. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Satan pretends to be kind and helpful. He tries to appear as something good… It appears innocent at first, but soon people can find themselves addicted to psychics and unwittingly allow Satan to control and destroy their lives. Whatever the case and wherever the source of the information, nothing connected to spiritism, witchcraft, or astrology is a godly means of discovering information. How does God want us to discern His will for our life? God’s plan is simple, yet powerful and effective: study the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and pray for wisdom (James 1:5).

When I went to go see the psychic, talking with her made me feel at ease and I needed that,. but because of my decision to entertain her and others, I paid dearly and spiritually for years. I spent years dazed, confused, and in utter despair because I refused to bend my knee. Eventually, I was able to make a confession about this to a pastor in 2008 and praise the Lord I have not been back since,  but it also took me being willing to surrender to His (the Lord’s voice) and casting down the evil and distracting voices I was hearing. I had to position myself to hear from Him and ask for the desire to want to hear from Him, which wasn’t easy – but I did it.

Sometimes hurts can go so deep that it appears to take the very breath out of us. We have things that happen to us. It damages us and if it keeps happening enough times or hits hard enough, it can kill your hope. It will kill your faith. It will try to kill your trust in people and even God.

As I encourage myself, let me also encourage you. We can’t hide our pain or our disappointments from God. Nor, should we feel guilty or bad because we feel pain. He can handle the truth.

Divination and any form of manipulation won’t heal your broken heart.

Only God can.

Katrina.

www.CallMeSetFree.com

Armed and Dangerous

lifeanddeaththepowerofthetongue2 Words can kill or heal. They can selfishly rob or sacrificially give, destroy without mercy or edify with grace. Our verbal expressions can be sweet and decadent or bitter and foul. As seeds are planted so comes the harvest and what is grown is determined by what is sown.

Like bullets from a gun, so are words from the tongue, once fired the damage resulting from it cannot be undone. Physical assault with a deadly weapon can have fatal consequences, but most people don’t realize that verbal assault can be just as deadly. Verbal assault with a deadly weapon (the tongue) can lead to not only emotional but spiritual assassination as well.

As parents, youth group leaders, etc. we play vital roles in the lives of teens. We are a powerful influence but unfortunately we are not the only influence. In most cases, we are outnumbered by the legions of tactics and schemes trying to pull our teens’ hearts away from God. We may be small in numbers but through God we have the power to claim our teens for the Lord and to do so victoriously!

I’d like to challenge you to be intentional in regards to speaking life and hope into the lives of your teen. For example, create a calendar and specify an allotted amount of time each day for the length of your choosing (three days, two weeks, one month, etc.) and speak words that will heal and uplift your teen (in spite of their behavior during that time). This will help you develop the habit of speaking hope into the lives of your teens and as you do so they’ll heal in the process. It may take time and you may not see results right away but don’t give up because in due season, you’ll reap what you sow.

Blessings to you,
Takiela!

Have You Heard?

In case you missed Takiela on Choose NOW Ministries Teen Talk Radio, here’s your chance to hear her NOW – just scroll to the bottom of this post.

Also, if you haven’t heard about The Scarless Pledge…

by Takiela Bynum 2013©

The Scarless Letter

Hello Beautiful.

I know you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders right now. Family issues, the kids at school, boy drama, grades, and the list goes on. Add sex (pregnancy scare or worse), drugs, or alcohol into the equation and it upgrades your life from bad to worse.

You’ve isolated yourself and are drowning in depression. Numb from any feelings of hope, craving death. You pick up a razor and start to cut, ultimately leaving scar after scar until…red-eye-liner-swatch

Does this sound familiar?

When I look at you, I see the past me. My prayer is that when you look at me, you’ll see the (possible) future you. Twenty years ago I was fifteen and dealing with the issues of life. Feeling lost and I would often embrace thoughts of eternal sleep. My mind had grown tired of the endless troubles going on in my life at that time. I wanted to escape. I wanted peace. I began to cut. My only hope was that one day I’d hit a vein that would take me out of my misery…forever.

Understand that no one told me that my life wouldn’t always be filled with hurt and pain. I didn’t know that I’d have a life bursting with more joy that I could ever imagine. I wasn’t aware that every scar I put on my body, I’d have to give an account for one day (to my children). My present hurt prevented me from seeing my future hope.

When you’re in a hopeless state of mind, you may not realize it, but you’re telling God that even He is incapable of solving your problems. It’s too complicated for Him to resolve. You’re saying things are the worst it could ever be and will always be this way, ultimately shutting out the only One who can bring you out.

Your future in Christ is much brighter than any darkness you will ever endure. (Read Roman 8:18) No one shared that truth with me which makes me obligated to share this vital information with you.

Today let’s make a pledge, from this day forward we’re going “scarless!” We can’t do anything about the old scars but we can choose not to make new scars. Let’s put down our razors and pick up scarlet red eyeliner. When or if we ever get the urge to cut, use the red eyeliner. It’ll help remind you of the blood Jesus shed on the cross for you and it’ll also wash away…never leaving a scar.

I, (insert name here), being of sound mind and body, here do pledge to God and all who love me on this month (insert month here), of this day (insert day here), in this year (insert year here) to bury all self-harming ways, never to be exhumed again! In the sight of God and all witnesses, I promise if and/or when I get the urge to self-harm, I’ll replace my instrument of destruction with an instrument that represents hope, a scarlet red eyeliner pencil, instead. I will do this in remembrance of the blood Jesus shed on the cross for me, (insert name here). I am committed to the “scarless” pledge. With God nothing is impossible.

Find an accountability partner, someone who will help you commit to this pledge. Know that you have fans cheering you on and praying for you in heaven and all over the earth. Even though I’ll already be praying, if you’d like me to pray for a specific person/situation or if I can help in another way comment below publicly or email me privately (takiela@takielabynum.com).Take the “scarless” pledge today!

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.