Know Your Enemy

To live a victorious life we must know our enemy and understand our personal weaknesses.

Military leaders study the strategies of their enemy as they prepare to defeat them. Sports coaches watch recordings of the opposing team to learn their strengths and weaknesses. We, too, must know our enemy and where he is going to try and defeat us.

Most of us who are followers of Christ know who our enemy is. But often we are unprepared for his attacks because we don’t understand our own personal weaknesses.

It helps to spend time reflecting on life to see where we failed and how the enemy got the best of us in the past. Then, with God’s help, as we recognize theses areas of weakness we can guard from future attacks.

Photo courtesy 123RF Stock Photos

Heart Affections

“The nature of human beings is to be inactive unless influenced by some affection; love or hatred, desire, hope, fear, etc. These affections are the ‘spring of action,’ the things that set us moving in our lives, that move us to engage in activities.” ~ Jonathan Edwards

Our heart affections, desires and dreams, determine our actions; which in turn, will determine our future. But without our will being put in place to take action these desires and dreams never take life. 

For as she thinks in her heart, so is she.~ Proverbs 23:7
The actions of our will are a barometer, a visual side effect, of the deeper, inner affections of our heart and soul. Good or bad, what our heart desires can and will come about. This is why it is critical that we guard what’s in our hearts.
Sick inside : sick outside.
Healthy inside : Healthy outside 

What’s affecting your heart today?  

Photo courtesy of 123RF Stock Photos

A Force-Field of Favor


As a child of the Most High God, we are privy to something very special — His Favor.

The Bible tells us:

…the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless ~ Psalm 84:11

Now you may be asking, “How can I have a blameless walk? I’m only human.”

God doesn’t expect us to do that ‘blameless walking’ all by our self. There is no way we could do that in our own power. We would fail every time. But when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, God The Father, sees us through Christ, as blameless. When we give everything to Him, when we put Him first in all we think, do or say, He will honor that and bestow the favor and honor spoken of in that Scripture.

Well, I like to take it a step further…

I see God’s favor sort of like a spaceship force-field. It surrounds me completely. It goes before me wherever I’m going, preparing the way, opening the door, touching those I will meet, so that I have favor in all that I do.

The key is to look for it—expectantly. Not in an arrogant way, but knowing that as children of The King we are special not because of who we are, but because of whose we are! 

For You, LORD, bless the righteous one; you surround [her] with favor like a shield. ~Psalm 5:12 HCSB

Father God, thank You that I’m Your child and you have surrounded me with Your Force-Field of Favor. Help me to see Your hand in all I do so that I may glorify you Name.

How Hungry Are You?

As an avid bird watcher, I regularly put out feeders to attract birds. The problem is, not only do I attract birds, but the squirrels end up eating more seed than the birds.

After spending countless dollars feeding more squirrels than birds, I finally decided to take on the battle. I invested in a “Squirrel-Proof” feeder that actually did what it advertised — allowed the birds to have full reign of their food.

Thinking the birds and I had won the victory, I soon discovered the Styrofoam cooler, where I stored the bird seed on the patio, had small holes gnawed in it. Drat. Those pesky squirrels had gotten past my special feeder and found the main stash!

I dashed to the garage for our hard plastic ice chest and put the remaining seed in it. Take that squirrels!

Well, if you’ve ever battled with squirrels, you know what’s coming…

Yes, it wasn’t long before the hard plastic ice chest had holes gnawed through it, too. Those squirrels knew where the food was and were determined to get fed. Alas, I moved my seed stash to the garage. If the squirrels found it there, I was in real trouble!

How hungry are you? Are you pushing through any barrier to be fed?

Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God. ~ 1 Peter 2:2 MSG

Treading Water in Times of Trouble???

Many of us are in seasons of transition; job, finances, relationships maybe even in our recovery journey. During these times we often feel like we’re treading water; not making much progress but expending a lot of energy just to stay afloat.

The Lord is my light and my salvation-so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger-so why should I tremble? When evil people come to destroy me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will know no fear. Even if they attack me, I remain confident. The one thing I ask of the Lord- is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; for he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high, above my enemies who surround me. At his Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. –Ps. 27:1-6 NLT

Let’s find hope in this passage for our struggles:

  1. Make God Our Stronghold: We must know without any doubt that God is our protector. He will not let us drown!
  2. Abide with God Daily: Set up camp with God; get in God’s boat, live with Him.
  3. Be Astonished by God: Stay in awe of God of his love and mercy. Find joy in His creations; delight yourself in Him throughout your day.
  4. Seek His Fellowship: In God’s presence we will find direction for our life; His shining light with show us the pathway.
  5. Get the Big Picture: No matter how hard times may be, it helps to keep things in perspective. Look up; see things from God’s viewpoint. He really does have a plan!

It’s important that we learn how to live and act during times of pressure. God wants to be the stabilizer in our lives. If we try to do it on our own we will fail. We must determine, one day at a time, to follow God and His plan for our lives. Patiently waiting; confident that He will protect and lead us all the way to our victory!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

For some weeks now God has been prompting me to write this blog. I don’t know if it’s the pressures of a recent full time job, the waiting for our new business venture to be funded, living in a one room hotel with my husband, son, two dogs and a snake or just plain fatigue that has squelched my creative writing juices… but I’m trying to get back in the groove today. Apologies in advance…. I’m a little rusty; it’s been too long since I’ve written anything but a simple email or a Facebook post. Sad really.

In 2007, as a supporter of Richard Foster’s ministry – Renovare, I was introduced to a most excellent book – Deep-Rooted in CHRIST, The Way of Transformation by Joshua Choonmin Kang. Foster suggested reading it as a weekly devotional for the next year beginning in January 2008. I read as suggested and because of it’s depth have continued this year as well. In his book, Kang talks about many things, but what has been speaking to me lately are the sections on caring for the soul, the comparison of our soul to soil and its fruitfulness.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the Parable of the Four Soils:

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” – Luke 8:4-8

When growing things: flowers, trees, fruit, etc… the soil is often overlooked and not seen as important, after all it is just dirt. It’s not as glamorous or interesting as choosing the flowers and plants. But as any gardener knows, to grow a healthy plant, first you must have healthy soil. In fact, the soil is literally the foundation of the garden. Good soil must have proper texture, structure and fertility to grow strong, healthy plants. If the texture is sandy with loose particles, the air and water move too freely and the plant doesn’t get any. If the texture is tight, like clay, the plant will get no air or water at all. The structure must be loose and crumbly but not too dry. The soil must be fertile, fed with essential nutrients so that it can in turn feed the plants. It should be tender, free of rocks and weeds, ready for potential growth.

It’s the same with our souls. How can we make sure that the soil of or soul is healthy and fertile ground? We can’t let the soil of our soul be hard like clay; trampled down with past hurts and wounds; breeding only bitterness and unforgiveness. We can’t be a rock garden; sandy and shallow, hearing the Word on Sunday morning but not allowing it to change us during the rest of the week. We mustn’t allow the worries of this world, the riches and pleasures to consume us, becoming overgrown with weeds. The seed of the Word won’t grow unless it can get down in our soul deep enough to make a root. It must have room to grow not being choked out because there are too many other things there.

In the verse above Jesus says, “the birds of the air” steal the word. Later in the chapter when he explains the parable to the disciples he interprets the birds as “the devil who comes and steals the word from their hearts.” In Ephesians 2:2 the Apostle Paul describes Satan as “the ruler of the kingdom of the air.” I find this quite intriguing. What is ruling our airways today? Are we allowing the things in the air to steal the Word from our hearts and our souls?

Let’s examine ourselves today. I personally ask God today, to keep my soil tilled. I want more than anything to be learning and growing daily from what I hear and read in God’s Word. I determine not to let the things of this world distract me and take priority in my life.