Lost Faith

Have you ever lost something very valuable?  Something that no amount of money could replace because it was invaluable?  When I was younger I almost lost something that couldn’t be replaced–my faith.  I made choices I am not proud of and those choices lead me to places I didn’t want to be.  In those moments I turned away from God, He never left my side and His merciful love brought me back home.  In the end, I questioned what was so important for me to abandon my faith?

In the Bible, the disciples were some of the closest people to Jesus.  They walked, talked and followed Him,  heard him speak, saw him perform miracles and yet coward to worldly persecution almost losing their most valuable possession–their faith.

At the Last Supper Jesus warned the disciples that someone would betray Him, one who was eating among them (Mark 14:18).  After the Last Supper, He even warns Peter that he would deny Him (Mark 14:27) and tells the disciples, they will also scatter.

Jesus warned the disciples that their faith would be tested and they too would turn away from their faith.  

“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”  Matthew 26:31

When Jesus says this, Peter proclaims all the other followers may fall, but I will not (Mark 14:29).  Jesus then tells Peter, before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times (Mark 14:30).  Peter and the others emphatically claimed, even if they had to die with Jesus, they would never disown Him (Mark 14:31).

When Judas appeared in the Garden of Gethsemane with the Roman soldiers, he kissed Jesus on the cheek to signal to the soldiers which one was Jesus.  “The men seized Jesus and arrested him” (Mark 14:44-46).  After Jesus was arrested everyone including the disciples scattered like sheep.

It scares me to think even the people that walked, talked and followed Jesus deserted and fled Him at the time He needed them most.  Everyone left Jesus because they were afraid that they too would be arrested for being associated with Him.

Peter moments before said He would never flee or deny His Lord and Savior.  The disciples proclaimed they would die before ever disowning Jesus.  And yet they fled.

When worldly persecution infringes upon our faith how easy is it to flee in the other direction? Click To Tweet

It was even easy for the disciples who were students of Jesus.  For three years they listened to His teachings, His warnings, His messages.  And yet they fled in fear of getting arrested.

What happened to their faith?

In the three years with Jesus, the disciples witnessed Jesus walk on water, calm the storms, feed 5,000 people with 2 loaves of bread and 5 fish, raise the dead, heal the sick and lame, give the blind their sight, cast our demons and turn wine to water.  They witnessed with their own eyes the very things Jesus was capable of.  They proclaimed Jesus as their Messiah and Lord.  And yet most of them weren’t even present at the cross at their own Messiah’s death, in His greatest suffering.

The disciples fear of persecution caused them to react with their flesh and not their faith.  Who knows?  Maybe their fear saved them from also being crucified on the cross?

It didn’t take long for the disciples’ faith to be restored.  After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdelene and two men walking in the country (Mark 16:9,12).  Jesus told them to go tell the disciples.  When Jesus appeared to the disciples he rebuked them for their lack of faith and stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen (Mark 16:14).  Again they didn’t believe!

The disciples were able to see firsthand the scars of Jesus, proof that he had indeed been crucified, buried and resurrected.  The eyewitnesses weren’t enough to convince their unbelieving hearts that Jesus had risen!  They had to see with their own eyes!

Just 7 days after Jesus’ death the disciples would boldly profess their faith in Jesus again without any fear at the Pentecost [1].  According to the book of Acts, their faith never wavered again and they stood firm even in the face of persecution.

Our rebellion, our fear, our ignorance, our disbelief, our pride are the very things that will make us abandon our faith and choose the other way.  We may not be able to witness Jesus firsthand like the disciples did, but we can witness Jesus firsthand by staying in The Word and through prayer.

Can you relate to the disciples?  They allowed their fears to almost lose the most valuable thing in their lives–their faith.  I’m so glad after Jesus’ resurrection they never questioned their faith again.

Have you ever allowed something to come in between you and God?

Have you ever lost your faith?

I am ashamed to admit I walked away from God for a period of time in my life.  It was one of the worst decisions I made in my life.  I never knew how valuable my faith was until I lost it.  I once was lost, but now I’m found.  God’s profound abundant love, captivated me.  His neverending mercy and grace, consumed me.  His forgiveness and sacrifice embraced my heart to never walk away from my faith again.

Maybe you’re hurting, in a place you don’t want to be.  Maybe you feel like you’re so far from God and don’t know how to get back.  I promise you, God is there waiting for you.  He wants you.  All we have to say is “God help me.” He will be there, I promise.

Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 343). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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10 Ways to Always Be Content

Contentment.  Let’s face it we are human.  Especially in my family, not all of us are content all the time at the same time!  It’s important to be reminded and focused on what is the source of our contentment.  Contentment can be found in a lot of places.  But not all places can provide us with a source of contentment that eternally fulfills and satisfies.  

There will always be someone who has more than us, has a bigger house, nicer car, nicer clothes or who is thinner.  Where does that leave us?  To be constantly trying to keep up, comparing ourselves to an unattainable measure?  Where is the hope and satisfaction in the never-ending race for more?  When is enough, enough?  

Contentment isn’t always about what’s in front of us, or waiting until we have the next best thing, but what’s in our hearts and in God’s plans for us.  Being content is accepting God’s truth in who he says we are and allowing it to be enough.  

When God’s truth and love are the sources of our Joy and Contentment we will be abundantly filled and eternally satisfied.  May God’s truth and love fill every crevice of your heart, filling you beyond measure so your cup runneth over.  

Here are 10 reminders when discontentment gets the best of you.  I pray you will hold onto these verses when you feel your heart and mind are drifting to a place of discontent.

We will Always Find Contentment when…….

1.  Our Treasures are Stored in our Hearts-  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”   Matthew 6:21

2.  When God Provides for our Needs.  “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”  1 Timothy 6:6-8, Philippians 4:19

3.  When God is the Source of our Riches.  “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, not to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.  Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”  1 Timothy 6:17-19.

4.  When God is the Source of our Love.  What gives you love?  Can money love you back?
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.  For He, Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.  So we may boldly say:  The Lord is my helper;  I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:5

4.  We are Thankful in our Circumstances.  There is Contentment in Thankfulness.  A thankful heart is a happy heart (Proverbs 15:13).  “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  Philippians 4:11

5.  We Trust in God’s Plans.  There is Contentment when you trust in God’s plans.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5, Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know the Plans for you).

6.  When God is the Source of our Provision and Peace.  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink;  nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns;  yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?”  Matthew 6:25-26

7.  When we Seek Him First.  “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33

8.  When God is the Source of our Strength.  You can rejoice and be content in trials when God is your source of strength.  “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:10

9.  When our Hearts are Filled with God’s Desires.  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”  1 Timothy 6:10-11, Proverbs 19:21

10.  When we Rejoice in Him and Stand in His Presence.  “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  (Psalm 118:24).  “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  (Psalm 16:11).

I pray these verses will provide encouragement, comfort and be a reminder when discontent starts to settle in.

Prayer-  Dear God, I pray that I will keep my eyes and heart focused on you to keep me within the boundaries of your love.  I pray I will seek you always, trust in your plans for me, be patient for your timing, be content with what I have.  I pray my discontent will be a warning sign to be still with you and present in your presence and trust in you.  I pray these verses will be a reminder of what you have in store for me, your truth will fill me and protect me from the shouts of the world.  You provide for all my needs, You are Enough.  Thank you, Lord, for your provision and for thinking so highly of me to make a plan for me.  I praise you, in Jesus name, Amen.

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I would love to hear from you and all that God is doing in your hearts!  I pray that you will be filled with God’s truth and love which leads to eternal contentment!  


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Wise Men Seek Him


Have you ever been behind the scenes to a concert or TV/movie set?  Going behind the scenes really gives a different perspective of what actually goes into producing a live performance or show.  You get so much more in-depth information and details about the performance going behind the scenes.

Prophecies in the Bible do the same thing–they give us a behind the scene glimpse of what is to come.  The Christmas story is the fulfillment of many prophecies foretelling the birth of our Savior.  In Micah, we learn Jesus would be born in the town of Bethlehem.  In Isaiah, we learn Jesus would be born a king of the line of David and that a child would be born of a virgin.  One of my favorite prophecies of the Christmas story is in Psalms when we learn Kings would bring him gifts and fall down before him.

Psalm 72:10-11  “The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him;  the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.  All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him.”

Over 2,000 years ago there was a lot going on behind the scenes of The Christmas Story.  Baby Jesus had already been born in Bethlehem and the Magi had already set out on their journey following the star that had come from the east (Matthew 2:1-2).

The Magi were a group of wise men probably from the area of Persia, who were some of the most intelligent men that existed during their time.  They studied astrology, maps, and stars things most of us wouldn’t pay attention to.

Have you ever wondered how did the Magi a group of Gentile men, end up in Jerusalem in search of the king of the Jews?

Matthew 2:1-1  “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him”

According to the prophecy in Psalms, the kings were to come out of Tarshish, a land very far from Jerusalem.  They merely had one single star from the east as their beacon to guide them to the location of Jesus.

It makes me wonder, how did the Magi end up in Jerusalem?  Did they have copies of Old Testament Manuscripts and closely followed the prophecies that a star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel (Num. 24:17)?  Or did they have a revelation from God Himself?

It amazes me the far distance these non-Jewish men traveled, to worship the newborn King of the Jews and how they recognized the star as the announcement of Jesus’s birth.

The Magi’s question, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?”  caused the priests and Jewish scholars to provide the answer they were looking for.  They referred to the prophecy in Micah, that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:9-10 “….After they went on their way, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star they were overjoyed.”

This star from the east was quite the miracle, now leading them to the actual house where Jesus lived!  Contrary to what modern day nativity scenes display, the Magi did not visit baby Jesus in the manger the night he was born.  Because of the distance of their travels, they did not arrive until months later.

Matthew 2:11 “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”

In Matthew we see the prophecy in Psalms being fulfilled–kings will present him gifts, bow down to him and all nations will serve him.   Can you even imagine traveling for months, carrying the weight of these treasures, not really knowing where you’re going and depending on a star for directions?  
The Magi went far lengths to not just offer these gifts to Jesus, but to open them in His presence.  These gifts were worthy of a king depicting the picture of what one day will be given to the Messiah.  The Magi give us a wonderful example of what distance are we willing to go to worship and give God gifts the way He has given us.  
Even the wisest men were seeking Jesus the new king.Click To Tweet

Have you opened God’s abundant gift this Christmas?

What is you’re favorite part of The Christmas Story?

Even wise men need Jesus.  I hope you enjoyed behind the scenes of The Christmas Story!  May you open the abundant gift God has given you this Christmas, the gift of Jesus!  Have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

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 Barbieri, L. A., Jr. (1985). Matthew. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 22). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

3 Strategies Satan Uses Against Us

When you look at this picture what do you see?  The game of chess is an interesting game where one tries to capture the king to become the victor.  I love how the game of chess provides an opportunity for the underdog to win.  It’s not over until it’s over.  Even if all the major playing pieces are taken, it’s possible to still win.  In this game, the pawn can become a queen.  The pawn is merely an underdog until it makes its way to the other side and changes the trajectory of the game.

The game of chess requires perseverance and patience.  How many of us give up before the end of the game? Is it because we are weary and tired?  Or have we lost the confidence to believe that we can win?  In life, Satan can play us like pawns in his game of evil.  He throws temptations in our path trying to lure us away, he whispers lies in our ears to make us doubt and seduces us to believe life is better in the green grass.  He waits until we are at our weakest, most desperate moments to make his move.  He is evil and uses sneaky strategies to make us move where he wants us.  We don’t have to fall victim to Satan’s evil schemes.

3 Strategies Satan Uses Against

  1.  Unforgiveness-  Satan’s role in our lives will always be to tempt us.  When there is unforgiveness in our lives, Satan will always use this against us to tantalize us to the point of destruction.   Unforgiveness opens a door for the enemy to cause division and chaos in our lives.  Satan seduces us into believing holding onto unforgiveness is a better solution than forgiving others.  Forgiveness provides an open door for unity, harmony and peace in our world.  Forgiving others allows an opportunity for the underdog to win.

2 Corinthians 2:10-11 NIV

“Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

2.  Making Fear greater than God.  Satan will do anything he can to elevate our fears, trying to make them greater than God.  One of his primary purposes is to instill fear in our lives and take our focus off of God.  The other day we were at the park and my daughter said, “I’m thirsty.”  I said, “There is a water fountain over there, go get a drink of water.”  My daughter said, “I want a drink of water, but there is a wasp over there.”  I went over to inspect the situation to find the wasp had already left.  I told my daughter the wasp was gone, but she would not go near the water fountain because she was still afraid she would get stung.  How many times has the enemy done this in our lives?  He instills fear in us so we can’t go where God is trying to lead us.  Even though the wasp wasn’t there anymore she still wouldn’t go near where it was.  Allowing fear to dictate and control our responses and actions will always keep us from God’s greater plans.  When Fear > God, we will always live defeated life that is stuck.  When God > Fear, we will always live a life that is filled with God’s abundance and victory.

1 Peter 5:8 NIV

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


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The Scars of Life


Everyone has a scar.  Whether it be a scar from a childhood fall or an old battle wound, we all have them.  Some scars are more visible than others, whereas some scars are not.  Some scars are intentional to mark a rite of passage into manhood, to indicate which tribe a person is from, or worn as a badge of honor.  Some of the most painful scars of those that lie deep within a person’s soul that they don’t dare let out for fear of the pain it would cause.  Whatever the origin of the scar, there always lies a story.

After trekking 3,000+ miles from Alaska crossing Canada and the United States this past summer, my son had his good share of mosquito bites from all the campgrounds we visited.  Unfortunately, my son is the type of person who has allergic reactions to mosquito bites and as a result, there are welts and scars left behind.  Many times I had to remind him to stop picking at the bites because they would leave a scar.

He said, “I like my scars because they remind me of my stories.”  He was right.  We may not always like the stories behind the scars, but they make up who we are.

Do you have scars?  What story do your scars tell? 

I will never forget a woman I met on an airplane ride on the way to a friend’s wedding.  I sat next to her and her son–in which it was obvious they had both been in some type of accident that resulted in burns on their body.  At the time, I was a nurse in a trauma/burn center so I had an idea of what burn victims went through.  As the plane ride progressed I introduced myself to the woman that I was a nurse who worked with burn victims.  She immediately seemed relieved when I told her who I was.  I asked her, ‘do you mind telling me your story of what happened?’

Behind Every Scar Lies a Story.

Her story is unimaginable one that is a living nightmare.  Her family was driving home when a person under the influence of narcotics crossed the center line of the highway and hit the driver’s side to driver’s side head-on.  Her husband had been driving, she was in the passenger seat and their two sons were sitting in the back seat.  The vehicle burst into flames immediately upon impact.  Nearby witnesses rushed to the scene. Leslie and her son got themselves out of the vehicle.  No one could even go close to the vehicle because of the flames.  Leslie walked toward a Good Samaritan on the highway and asked, “please get my husband and my other son!”  The Good Samaritan saw Leslie wearing a cross necklace and said to her, “ma’am they are in a better place.”

In an instant, she lost her husband and her son.  Because of this man’s negligence, Leslie not only had to deal with multiple surgeries and heal from her burn wounds but also deal with the grief from the loss of her loved ones.  My heart broke for Leslie as she told me her story.  When we were about to exit the plane, I noticed Leslie had a little limp.  I asked her, “Do you want me to get a wheelchair for you?”  She said, “After all my hours of physical therapy, once I was able to get out of the wheelchair, I never had any intentions of getting back into it.  I don’t care how long it takes me to get somewhere, I will never return to that wheelchair again.”  Wow!  Her response amazed me.

Leslie’s story reminds me of the man who was paralyzed for 38 years.  Jesus approached the man and asked ‘Do you want to get well?’  At first, the paralyzed man doesn’t answer yes or no, he responded that he had no one to help him get into the healing pool.

“Then Jesus said to him, “Get up!  Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked”  (John 5:5-8)

Why do you think Jesus told the paralyzed man to pick up his mat first and then walk?

The mat, in this man’s story, represents a place of dysfunction which allowed him to lay paralyzed for 38 years.  Jesus tells the man to pick up his mat, so he couldn’t revisit his place of dysfunction again.  Jesus desired for the man to be fully healed not stay in a place of sickness.  It was probably hard for this man to live his new life as a healed walking man.  The only life this man knew for 38 years, was one of begging and lying paralyzed on his mat.   But then Jesus came and changed everything not only for this man but for us as well.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;  The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed”  Isaiah 53:5

Jesus desires for us to be healed wholeheartedly in Him–He was wounded for our transgressions.  Our scars tell our story.  When we hide behind our scars we omit God’s greater story.

How do you choose to present your scars?  In shame and disgrace?  Or to tell God’s story of restoration, healing, and grace?

Jesus came to heal the sick–he was bruised for our iniquities.

“When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Mark 2:17).  

There is healing found in the wounds of Jesus--by his stripes, we are healed. Click To Tweet

Our scars remind us of God’s story of what He is able to do in our lives.

Not every scar is visible.

Do you carry around deep scars that lie within afraid to reveal your story?

Leslie told me she was glad her scars were outwardly visible.  She said these scars were a reminder to others of the deep scars she had inside.  The scars she had outside were nothing compared to the pain of the scars she carried around inside.  I love how Leslie’s story progressed because she allowed for God’s love to progressively heal her.  It wasn’t a quick and easy process, it has been a long hard journey and continues to be hard some days.  If you can imagine she even came to the place of forgiveness to the man who took her family away from her.  Her willingness to forgive and trust in God’s plan allowed for her to stand on the path to wholehearted healing and never live in that place of brokenness again.

How do you carry your scars?  Do you allow for God’s greater story to be told?

Jesus has scars too.

The scars in life can be hard and painful.  Nobody knows our scars better than Jesus because he has scars too.  His scars tell the greatest story ever told–one of redemption, forgiveness, healing, love, restoration, and grace.  There is healing in the scars of Jesus.  He died for all of us–so we could be healed.  In verse 53 of Isaiah “by his stripes we are healed,” the Greek word healed is sózó which is translated saved, healed or rescue.  The origin of the word comes from safe or well.  Jesus came so we could be saved, healed and rescued from our iniquities and pain!

You are loved, my friend! I pray you seek Jesus for your wholehearted healing.  He has the power to heal, forgive and resurrect our circumstances into something greater!

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The reference from the Greek word sózó came from the website


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The Truth About Flamingos, Church, and Jesus


Have you ever been to Florida?  When I think of Florida I think of warm sun, beautiful beaches, palm trees and flamingos.  Have you ever thought something was true your whole life to find out it’s not true at all?  Funny thing about Flamingos, if you asked a native Floridian if they have ever seen a Flamingo in the wild, 99% of them would probably say no.  Flamingos primarily reside in the Yucatan Peninsula in México, the Bahamas and the northern part of South America.  Only a very small percent of Flamingos reside in Florida (in the wild) at the very tip of the Everglades.  At one point at the end of the 1800’s Flamingos left Florida altogether, it wasn’t until recently a small number of them have migrated back.

Knowing what I know now about Flamingos makes me wonder have I applied this first impression truth to other areas of my life as well?  

First impressions aren’t always true.

Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” – Proverbs 25:8, The Message

I have grown up in the church my whole life and for the most part, consider the church as an extension of my home.  Unfortunately, I’ve also seen some not so loving parts of the church.  Whenever I meet people, the more I get to know them, I find out they stopped going to church because they have either been hurt or felt condemned.  The church is supposed to be an extension of God’s home, a place where people can feel loved and accepted no matter who they are.  Jumping to conclusions and holding onto first impressions can get us into trouble.  We shouldn’t rely on these methods as our guide for making decisions or adopting our truth.  We need to take a closer look to reveal the truth.

True-  The church is full of imperfect people and is not perfect.

Truth-  There will be times the church and its people make mistakes, but it is also a place where we learn to forgive one another.

True-  People in the church may try to take part in God’s role and judge people.

Truth-  Church is a place we learn how to walk the line of grace, love and accept people for who they are, grow as the body of Christ and come alongside one another.


“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” – John 7:24, ESV

When we take a closer look, things aren't always as they seem. Click To Tweet

In the gospels, when Jesus was teaching His messages to the disciples and crowds, He was trying to help them understand He was the new message of truth, love, mercy, and grace.  They didn’t have to seek redemption or salvation from sacrificing lambs or following a bunch of laws, they just had to trust and believe in Him.  But somehow a long the way the world we live in has twisted the character of who Jesus really is.  We need to be careful because looks can be deceiving.

2 Cor. 11:13-14 NIV, “For such people, are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself, masquerades as an angel of light.”

In other versions of this verse, the word masquerading is also described as disguises and transformed.  There will be things in this world that try to masquerade, transform and claim to be Jesus. There is only one true Jesus.  Jesus isn’t someone who can fit in the box of a definition we create.  Our definition of Him will never be found in what the world says but in what God’s Word says (The Bible).

Do you have an impression of Jesus that you don’t like?  When we take a closer look, we can see the truth so much clearer, than standing from a far distance.  

True-  You may be hurting right now and are mad at God.

Truth-  God is good all the time.  His intention is to never hurt or harm us.  Psalm 21:11, “Although they plot against you, their evil schemes will never succeed.”

True-  There is evil hurting innocent people in this world.

Truth-  God is never evil.  Evil never comes from God.  1 Corinthians 13:6, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

True-  You feel defeated by your circumstances.

Truth-  You are victorious no matter what your circumstances are.  1 Corinthians, “He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jesus came so we could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).  He didn’t come to take away from our lives but to give.  He came once and for all (1 Peter 3:18, Romans 6:10).  He took our place on the cross for something we deserved.

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

We need to be careful because looks can be deceiving.  Just as Flamingos aren’t really a good representation of Florida, first impressions aren’t a good representation of God or the church.  Don’t get your experience or receive your opinion from a distance, take a closer look and discover for yourself the truth about Jesus.

God’s Word isn’t meant to be hidden in the pages of the Bible, but to be alive and active in our hearts and lives.  God’s truth will always set us free.  You were made to be victorious.  The more we are in God’s Word the more we discover His heart of who He really is.

Have you ever had a first impression of something and applied it as truth?

What is your truth about church and Jesus?

Have you stopped going to church and/or given up on Jesus?

God will never give up on us.  He pursues us and desires to have a relationship with us.  You are loved beyond measure by a God who loved you first!  Would you like a deeper relationship with God and don’t know where to start?  Please message or comment below, I would love to help!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Right now Florida needs our prayers!  Join me in praying for Florida.  Pray the people of Florida are protected from the harm of the hurricane.  Pray the hurricane loses its speed and power.  Pray people will listen to the evacuation warnings and get to safety.  #PrayforFlorida

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The Struggle is Real

The other day I was sitting in Sunday school class and the pastor asked us questions about storms we go through as couples.  Couples raised their hands and said they had struggles with finances, loss of a job, unexpected sickness, a baby born were some of their responses.  Our pastor then asked, “How many couples have had a miscarriage or lost a baby?”  A surprising amount of us raised our hands.  No one would have ever known by looking at the couples in the room, that we had these deep struggles.  
There are so many of us that go through struggles in life that we keep hidden and in the dark. Many of us walk around with smiles on our faces but in reality, there are deep struggles going on inside.  
Some of us may have struggles that are hard to even admit.  They might be something we are ashamed of or the enemy has whispered lies that have led us so far astray we don’t know how to get back on course. 
The struggle is real.  We all have them.  Even godly people of the Bible had struggles.  
For example, King David had a wandering eye for another man’s wife, which got him into trouble.  One night when David was walking around his roof, he saw a beautiful woman bathing who caught his attention.  He was intrigued and sent someone to find out about her.  The messenger returned and informed King David, her name was Bathsheba wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers in command.  Even though King David knew she was married to another man, he slept with her and she conceived a child.  
To make matters worse, David covered up his mistake.  He concocted a plan for Uriah to return from the field and lay with his wife, to make him think he conceived a child with Bathsheba and not David.  When David discovered his plan didn’t work and realized his mistake would be exposed—King David had Uriah killed by putting him at the front line of battle.    
Talk about scandal!  King David’s wandering eye not only led to adultery but also murdering another man to cover up his mistake!  David had some real struggles.  
At what point do you think David should have came forward his struggle?  
If David had just opened up to God about what he was dealing with or asked someone to pray for him, the scandal could have been avoided.  Just imagine all scandals that could be avoided in our own homes and communities if we would just let someone pray for us?  Or if we would just entrust God with our struggles?
David did not go on to live the rest of his life allowing sin or his struggle to reign over him.  After being approached by the prophet Nathan, David said to him, “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:13).  David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).  Through David’s repentance and turning away from his sin, is what transformed his life to become apart of one of the greatest plans ever—the bloodline to Jesus.  
David had to learn the hard way.  His choices did not come without consequence.  Nathan tells David, “The LORD has taken away your sin.  You are not going to die.  But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die” (2 Samuel 12:13).    
Scandals.  They are everywhere.  Our government.  Our homes.  Our communities.  Our schools.  Even our churches.  The very place where we think we can feel safe and entrust another in prayer, is the very place the enemy attacks the hardest. 

No one is exempt from the enemy’s trickery, even godly people, even the anointed and appointed.
Here is the Real Truth. 
“But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 1 John 1:5-7
The struggle is real.  We are all human, we all fall short and make mistakes.  (Rom. 3:23)
Behind every struggle there is an enemy force at work.  
The dark is where the enemy does his best work.  
The enemy desires to keep our struggles hidden in the dark. 
When our struggles are brought into the light, the enemy can no longer reign over us.  
Bring your struggles into the light.  
1.  The best way to expose the plans of the evil one—bring them to the light.  
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  Ephesians 5:11 ESV
2.  No amount of darkness can ever extinguish the light of Jesus.  Keep his light inside of you.    “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:5 ESV
3.  Follow Jesus He knows the way.  Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12 ESV
The enemy has us scared to believe we will be persecuted and abandoned if we expose our flaws.  He  disillusions our minds to think keeping the struggle in the dark is a better option than getting help that is so desperately needed.  

Imagine what our world would look like if we were free from the reign of the enemy and exposed his evil plan by illuminating it with light?  Suicide wouldn’t be an option.  Abortions would not occur.  Divorce would be non-existent.
We don’t have to learn the hard way, like David did.  We can put an end to the enemy attacks, by allowing someone we entrust to pray for us.  Allowing their prayers to intercede on our behalf.  By surrendering our struggles to God and getting the help we need before it leads to our destruction.  
Hold onto God’s promises.  Stay in His Word.  Stay faithful in prayer!  This will allow our struggles to be brought to the light and allow God’s divine power to fight our battles for us.  
Do you have an an accountability/prayer partner that can help you get through your struggles?  
Do you have a pastor you can entrust? 
Do you take your struggles to God and allow Him to fight your battles?
I pray and hope this post is an encouragement to you.  If you are struggling with something, please don’t keep it hidden in the dark, bring it into the light.  Don’t let the enemy silence you.  Entrust another to pray for you, take it to God.  Allow God to fight your battles for you.  
Keep praying our hearts and minds will be guarded against the evil one, before it is the death of us.  The enemy is relentless and won’t stop until he has destroyed our lives, our families, our marriages, bank accounts, it is endless. 

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The Truth About the Facebook Fairytale

Chances are if you’re  living this day and age you are apart of the social media craze.  You have a Facebook account, Instagram, Twitter, snapchat, you name it.  You post pictures, sending messages of what you are doing in your daily life, painting a picture of what your life looks like.

Facebook doesn’t always tell the whole story.  It has become more of a fairytale than the real tale of our lives.  I love Beth Moore’s quote “Facebook is  Fakebook.”   Just because we see a perfectly posed family picture, a person smiling, doesn’t always mean everything is going perfectly behind the scenes.  The pictures we see are merely snap shots of what are really going on in our daily lives.

Sometimes Facebook can get the best of me.  Everywhere I look there are pictures of perfect skin, perfect makeup, perfect outfits, perfectly plated dinner plates, manicured houses, perfect vacations, the list goes on.  I then become disillusioned in thinking, ‘Wow everyone has it so together,’ then realize these are the deceptive lies of the enemy.  If I’m not careful I can fall into his trap of doubting my worth by comparing myself to others or being discouraged that I have not done enough with my life.

I am someone who is not always honest and transparent about what has been really going on in my real life.  I would like to be better about posting ‘Hey friend I’m struggling today, I could use your prayers, will you pray for me?’  Instead I coward to what others think of me for fear their comments of what they will really say.  Facebook has become a not so safe place where we can reveal the struggles of our daily lives, for fear of criticism.  We can’t expose our real battles we face for fear of insults.  Or we fear when we expose our vulnerabilities, there will be no where to hide once the flaming arrows start launching?

I’m not saying we should use  Facebook  as a place to spill our dirty laundry, but as a place where we can feel safe and encouraged;  not attacked.

This has made me think what is our purpose in using Facebook and what do we use it for? 

Are we using Facebook as someone who casts out the  first stone or the one walking away with grace?

Are we portraying lies and fake facades of a superficial life that will never last?

Or are we displaying God’s splendor, displaying His fruit that is evident in our lives, in what we post, making it all for His glory?  Are we being transparent and real truthful and honest.

How are we really using Facebook?  As a weapon of the enemy or an instrument of righteousness for God?  Let’s find out.

Do we use Facebook to encourage and build one another up?  Or leave not so nice comments and cast judgements upon what we see?  Or are we silent stalkers who like to look at others posts but choose not to like or comment, but instead make assumptions upon what we only see on the surface?

Do we use Facebook to tell God’s story of what He is doing in our life? Or as a facade putting together an assemblance of the appearance of how great our life seems?

Or does Facebook attack our minds?  Tempting and luring us to mindlessly scroll through everyone’s lives taking us away from what we should be paying attention to?

How does Facebook really affect us? Do we allow the enemy to fill us with his deceptive lies of dissatisfaction? Making us desire more of something we don’t have?   Making us wish we had the life of someone else?

Or do we try to compete, try to keep up with the  Joneses, try to rise above the shouts of the world to be heard, to barely hear the whispers of the Lord?

Or do we compare ourselves to others,  allow the seeds of inferiority to be planted, that I’m not good enough because I don’t have what so and so has?

Are we being lured into the trap of the enemy, using Facebook as his weapon of destruction?  Or are we protecting ourselves using it the way God would like us to as His instrument of righteousness?

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”  Galatians 6:7-8

Have we become disillusioned in the lies of the Facebook fairytale?  Thinking this is what life should be like?  I promise you behind every smile, every perfectly posed family picture, there is a struggle and battle that lies deep within, that is merely resting right beneath the surface.  Truth is, life is messy.  Facebook may not always portray life’s messy moments and tell all of God’s story.

Next time you use Facebook, say a prayer.  Ask God to help you use it for His glory, to pray for those you see who need prayer.   Offer a word or two of encouragement.  Become an instrument of His righteousness and  build His kingdom.

We can break down the walls of the fairytale, build the walls of His kingdom when we tell His story;  allowing the  author of our stories to shine through our authenticity.  Truth is, fairytales never last.  God’s story is eternal and will never fail.  We need to tell the real tale of our lives, to tell God’s story.  Don’t hide behind the Facebook fairytale, allow the author of your story to be known.

When we hide behind the fairytale, how will anyone ever know it is Only God that got us through our trials and Only God that provided?  Hiding behind the lies, hides  His story He has written, keeping His story hidden in the dark.  His stories need to be brought to the light for all the glory be to God!  Amen.

“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Romans 6:13

We are real people with real problems.  And that's okayClick To Tweet.

How will you use Facebook this week?  As a weapon of the enemy building up his armies?

Or an instrument of righteousness building up God’s kingdom?

Have you been  disillusioned in the Facebook fairytale?  How or in what way?

What truth has Facebook revealed to you?

How do you use Facebook and how has it affected you?

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First Encounter OR Second Hand Faith?

Today’s post is written by blogger Carol Dunfee.  This post was first published on
I grew up hearing stories about my grandpa. He passed away when I was a newborn, so I never got to meet him. My mom has told me that he was fun-loving. He treasured his two daughters. He loved music and often entertained his family with his guitar, his harmonica, and his singing. My mom has fond memories of singing along with him. She honored his love of music by singing with me when I was little. She encouraged me to dance and sing to the music playing in our house.  My grandpa had an indirect effect on me even though I never knew him.
Then there was Gramma. I didn’t have to rely on stories to learn about her. I got to meet her in person. She was my hero. She made everyone around her feel special and loved. She worked hard tending her enormous garden, canning fruits and vegetables, sewing her own clothes, and preparing the most amazing meals. She loved God with all her heart. I wish I had recordings of all our late-night conversations where she told me about her history and about her God. I knew her FACE TO FACE.
Many of us who are “religious”, know Jesus as I know my grandfather. I have heard wonderful things about him, but I never got to KNOW him personally. Religion tells us stories about the great things Jesus did while He was here on earth. It tells us that He is God’s Son and that He died on the cross and rose again to pay the price for our sins. It tells us that if we confess our sins and accept Him as Savior, then He will give us a home in heaven when we die.
Second-hand stories are great. They connect us to those we could never meet otherwise. I know who my grandpa was because my mom told me about him. Many of us learn about God through second-hand stories. These stories help shape our morals and values. They give us an anchor.
However, I don’t want to know my Creator only through second-hand stories. I want to KNOW Him first-hand. I want to hear His voice speak to me as I read the Bible and as I ask Him for guidance. I want to see His hand working in my family. I want to have His abundant life NOW!
He is not a list of rules or traditions. He is not defined by organized religion. He can work through those things, but He is not confined by them.
I want my children to know that He is real and available RIGHT NOW. How will they know if I don’t show them? I need to tell them the stories, but I also need to go a step further. I need to let them see that He is real in my everyday life. I need to continue to pray that they encounter His love and power for themselves.
Jesus is a real person. He loves you. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take your pastor’s or priest’s word for it. Search for Him yourself.
“But if from there you seek the LORD your God,
you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV
A note from Heather:  I hope Carol’s message today challenged you to not settle for second hand faith but to get your own personal encounter with Jesus.  When I think of first encounters, I think of Paul and Silas when they were beaten and thrown into the inner prison in Macedonia (which is the lowest, darkest, grotesque of all prisons) with shackles fastened to their feet.  They were imprisoned in a deep dark pit for healing a girl who was possessed.
Despite being persecuted and beaten for their beliefs they started to pray and sing hymns of praise to God while they were in this deep dark pit of a prison!  Their prayers and songs of praise echoed throughout the prison.
Suddenly an earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All the doors were opened and their chains fell off (Acts 16:26).  The guard keeping watch trembled at the sight of this and asked “What must I do to be saved?”  Paul replied “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).  In verses 33-34, it goes on and says this man took the prisoners home and washed their wounds.  Immediately he and his whole household were baptized.  The jailer then brought them a meal and was filled with joy because he and his whole household believed in God.
Talk about First Encounters!  We can’t just take the world’s word for who God is, we have to seek him ourselves to obtain our own testimonies.  When we have our own personal encounter with God, we believe because of our FAITH, not because of what someone tells us.

Have you had a first encounter with God?

Do you have your own personal relationship with God?

Do you have a personal testimony to share with others?

Meet Carol


I am a wife, mom, piano teacher, and blogger for Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry.  When I am not teaching piano, I live the crazy life of a wife and mom of three. I love it when life is neat and organized, but I find that rarely happens. I am learning to love the chaos.  To read more about Carol visit her blog at


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Does Our Faith Save Us?

The other week I went to a special viewing of the movie “Facing the Darkness.” It was a documentary produced by Samaritan’s Purse about the Ebola Crisis Outbreak in 2013/2014. It featured Dr. Brantly who was the first documented American to enter into the United States with this deadly disease. He was extremely close to death until a major breakthrough occurred.  An experimental drug emerged that could possibly save his life.  His only options were to do nothing and die at the expense of the disease or be given an experimental infusion drug only tested on animals.

I can’t imagine being in this situation, knowing you were going to possibly die in both situations. Dr. Brantly took a leap of faith and chose the latter, which ended up saving his life. He became the face of Ebola all over world. Dr. Brantly contracting Ebola showed the world, no one is excluded from this disease, it can happen to anyone.

His diagnosis was the catalyst for the Center for Disease Control pursuing a cure for a disease that spread and killed people at a very rapid rate. Because of the Dr. Brantly situation there is now a vaccine created for this virus.

At the end of the movie Dr. Brantly said something so profound. He said, “Faith is not something that makes you safe. My faith did not save me but got me through it. My Faith actually brought me to the Ebola crisis.”

Dr. Brantley’s situation asks deeper questions.

Is our faith enough to save us?

So many people in the Bible can ask the same question.

Did Daniel’s faith save him from being thrown in the lion’s den? No

Did Shadrack, Meschack, and Abendago’s faith save them from being thrown in the fiery furnace? No

Did the Israelites’ faith save them from being attacked by the Egyptians? No

Did Jesus’ faith prevent him from being crucified on the cross? No

You may be thinking, then what is the point in having faith if it doesn’t keep me safe?

These examples of faith did not PREVENT them from being put in scary, dangerous circumstances. Standing firm in their faith DID PROTECT them and allow for God’s greater plan to happen.

If Daniel didn’t have faith we would have never seen God’s power to shut the mouths of lions.

If Shadrack, Meshack and Abendago didn’t have faith we would had never seen God’s power protect them from being burned in the fiery furnace and how God was with them.

If the Israelites didn’t have faith we would have never seen God’s ability to part the Red Sea providing a way out from their enemies.

If Jesus refused to put his trust in His Father’s hands, we would have missed out on the greatest plan that ever existed—our eternal salvation.

Think about it. Each example of faith, including Dr. Brantly’s brought them to the heart of a crisis where their lives were at stake. Through each act of faith, we were able to see how trusting in God’s plan moves mountains and makes the impossible, possible.

How big is your faith?

Matthew 17:20 “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Our faith allows God’s greater plan to play out. Our faith does not save us, but God’s grace does.

Ephesians 2:8-9. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Our faith will not SAVE us from our bad circumstances or GUARANTEE us a life without struggles. Our FAITH will not prevent us from being thrown into a pit of lions, a fiery furnace, being attacked by our enemies or contracting a deadly disease. Having faith does not exempt us from harsh realities of this world.

Our faith DOES allow God to be in control and puts the trust in HIS capabilities. Our faith is the very thing that will get us through to the other side and live in the abundant blessings God has to offer. It doesn’t matter what circumstances we are up against, when we have faith we become OVERCOMERS in Christ. Our faith allows us to experience PEACE in the storms and JOY in our struggles because of what God has already gone ahead of us and done.

Where will you allow your faith to take you?

Our faith may lead us into scary, dangerous places.

Our faith will never take us where God’s grace cannot protect us.Click To Tweet

God’s grace and love are greater and bigger than anything in this world.

1 John 4:4 “ You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

How has having faith in God protected you in your hard circumstances?

All you need is to have faith the size of a mustard seed and you will see the mountains move.

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