Still standing…

Hello, my dear friends. I mentioned a few posts ago that I felt a prompting from God a couple of weeks ago that asked me very clearly if I would still trust Him when it got really tough. I remember thinking, “oh boy, what am I in for?” But in my heart, I answered, “yes, Lord. I’ve trusted where You’ve led me this far, I will trust you when it gets really tough…”

Without sharing too much detail, I will share that a very close friend has experienced tremendous medical trials over the past two weeks, and, to be honest, spiritual attacks from all around have been coming my way and theirs. To say it’s been tough is the mildest understatement of the year. I have clung to those who love me for support, including, most importantly, my Lord and Savior. I’ve tried to be the best friend I could be, giving the doctors and their family members whatever information I could to try to help the situation, trying to keep their family members up to date with status.

One of the most surprising attacks I experienced was from one of my friends’ family members, who professes to be a Christian. They were nasty and rude to my face multiple times and sent various texts to me berating my character. I’ve chosen not to respond to them, with the exception of one reply to their message that my friends’ spiritual well-being was their primary concern. My reply was that it was my primary concern as well, which they followed up with more haughty nastiness.

When my friend first became ill, knowing this person professes to be a Christian, I thought it would make sense to gather together in unity to pray for my friend. Previous to these weeks, I had the utmost respect for this person, and had even hoped we could all become friends. I know that the Devil hates unity among Christians, and have no doubt this is part of the spiritual attack. I know deep down that they are hurting too, but I refuse to allow their insults thwart my friendship.

The reply I would have liked to send them, I’ll share with you all, my friends. Knowing they don’t follow my blog, they should never see it, though to be honest, it is as honest as I would be to their face. I just know that if I respond at all, they will just continue to find ways to twist my words or insult my character, and it just isn’t worth it. There is something cathartic about writing and sharing my reply with those I trust. Please feel free to tell me if you feel My answer does not honor God.

“With all due respect, you don’t know me or my story. You don’t know the path I’ve walked, either in sin or toward redemption. You don’t know my heart. Your opinion of me matters not to me. The only opinion that matters to me is that of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and I can confidently say that I am secure in my relationship with Him. I choose to follow where He leads not matter what, and I will continue to support my friend while they rebuild their health and their own relationship with Jesus. Your judgement of me only makes you look like a Pharisee.”

I’m working very hard to take the high road. I’ve seen their true character and they are not “my people”.

Over the past two weeks I have been so comforted by so many scripture verses that I read and shared with my friend. Today, driving home from the airport, after a week-long business trip, parts of Psalm 23 came to mind:

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou are with me, Thy rod and they staff, they comfort me.”

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Thou anointed my head with oil; my cup runner over”

My friends, be true. True to yourself and to God. Be kind. Do no repay evil with evil and turn the other cheek.

… and if you wouldn’t mind, please keep my friend and me in your prayers.

Be blessed,

SB

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The story is not over

Lord, I am so very grateful for your grace. I am so very grateful for your mercy, and I will live every day proclaiming your goodness.

Help me to shine Your light for others to see, a beacon for them to see You.

I am trusting You to bring goodness out of the ashes. You alone are worthy of our praise, and of all the glory.

The story is still being written… and I am forever grateful to be a part of it.

In Your Holy and Precious name I pray,

Amen!

pleasantly confused… and comfortably numb

In his book, This Present Darkness, author, Frank Peretti describes the forces of evil pervading the space around us, seemingly without our knowledge. 

We don’t like to think of the spirit world, but to be honest, I believe the verse that says,

Ephesians 6:12 New Living Translation (NLT)

12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

For me, this past week has been a dance with the spirit world unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.  I refuse to let Satan win – I hold to the scripture 1 John 4:4, “Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world”

Some of you know that I’ve mentored

people in various ways. One of the things that I always stress to my mentees is the importance of memorizing scripture… the inerrant Word if God, so that when spiritual battles come, and they will, they can stand firm in The power of God.

Psalm 10 No harm will come to you. No sickness will come near your house.  11 He will put his angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways. 12 They will carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock.  13 You will step on lions and cobras. You will trample young lions and snakes.  14 Because you love me, I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know my name.  15 When you call to me, I will answer you. I will be with you when you are in trouble. I will save you and honor you.  16 I will satisfy you with a long life. I will show you how I will save you.

Be blessed today, my friends

SB

Sometimes Christians are the meanest people

Colossians 3:12-17 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

It sounds so nice to read those verses and think, “yep, that’s the way everyone who loves Jesus should be”. But I’ve found so many more cases where Christians are really no different than the rest of the world. In fact, I’ve seen Christians actually be awful to one another, and it makes me sad. Just this week alone, I’ve had a friend who was berated by a pastor because of her tattoo, and I, myself have experienced the judgement of someone claiming to be a Christian.

It’s really no wonder there are people who don’t want anything to do with Christians. If we can’t be different than the world, how will they see Christ through us?

I want to let the peace of Christ rule my heart. I am so over nasty people who claim to love Jesus. I just want to bless others as I have been blessed.

Please, I implore you, be filled with Christ’s love and show people you care.

May you be a blessing to someone today.

In Him, SB

Still trusting

They say you never know how strong your faith is until it gets rocked. My friends, my world has been rocked in so many ways lately it would cause the strongest of the strong to crumble. My knees are wobbly at times, but God is carrying me!

I know that persecution comes because the Devil doesn’t want good to, but He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. I claim that victory in Jesus’ name

Stay strong, my friends!

SB

Will you still trust me?

Friends, I know I’ve been silent the last few months. It isn’t because I have not thought about writing, it’s been that I’ve been too busy chasing dreams. In my year of “wait” I have experienced breakthrough that I will eventually share. To be honest, it seems like a dream where I’m going through the motions, but the way I’ve seen God work in my life and lives around me in the past 10 months has been incredible.

I hear God’s voice in small ways and see His evidence in big ways.

Over the last week, I’ve heard God ask me if I will still trust Him when the world is crashing down. My answer is yes. I don’t know exactly what I’m about to go through but I’m trusting that I am following His will an plan for my life and I give all that I am to further His kingdom.

I am not looking forward to the lows, and ask you all to keep me in prayers. God is up to something that is bigger than me.. I’m glad to be part of it. I am praying that Satan has no authority in His plan, my life, or the lives of those around me.

Be blessed today, my friends.

SB