Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement, Shop Christian Products

From Trials to Triumph, From Bound by Sin to Set Free!

Bam! Bam! Bam! My head bounced off the wall behind me. Anger and rage, as if something dark had completely consumed his body. Blank, black, nothingness in the eyes of my father, as I looked back in anger and disbelief.

How could he?

Why would he?

I did everything he wanted me to—where did I go wrong?

Thoughts racing one hundred miles per hour through my head—as I experienced demons face to face.

The demons of my earthly father—stared deep into my soul—as I prayed- “Lord, help me! Forgive him for he knows not what he is doing.”

In the split seconds of this all unfolding—I remember thinking I hope the picture on the wall above me does not fall and hit us— how far is he going to go—When I get my feet back on the ground—I am out of here!

He finally let go, as my feet hit the ground, the words spewed out of my mouth—like word vomit “YOU ARE FLIPPING (only I said the real one—the big one—the “F” bomb”) OUT OF CONTROL—I AM OUT OF HERE!”

I quickly walked towards the door—grabbed my purse—in attempt to exit without any further exchanges.

I knew better than that.

As more words of hate, anger, and bitterness spewed from his mouth towards me—I stood in shock, anger, and disbelief—after everything I have done and been through—this is what I get?

And there it was again—the word vomit—It was like I had zero control over my words—and out it came— “IT WAS MY SON—MY SON—THAT THEY TOOK AWAY! HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL?” I screamed, before I quickly left—giving him a dose of his favorite angry gesture—I slammed the door behind me and b-lined home.

I lived next door at the time, so I did not have far to go and there was not much distance between us—we literally shared a yard. This was the beginning of the end, the boiling point that would bring me to where I am today. After about thirty-one years of struggling, fighting, and going through some of the darkest days of my life—It was time to Rise!

Rise Up! Be the woman I am called to be—take my life back—find my freedom and joy once again.

After many years of praying, seeking, and crying out—God answered me. His answer was NOT one I expected nor one I liked.

He said to me, clear as day—”Stephanie, are you going to listen to Me, God the Father, or your earthly father? You cannot live to please us both. Seek first my kingdom and all things will be added to you.”

“Ok, God—I am all in—I don’t know what this means or where you are going to lead me next—but I am all Yours.” I said, “You lead the way.”

Take a journey with me through a season of devastation, loss, abuse, and heartache. From victim to victor—from trials to triumph—from loneliness to surrounded by God’s love and presence.

Read through my time of struggle and see the relations to your life trials. Learn that no matter what, God is on your side.

When the pressure is on—it is not a time to quit—it is the time to rise up!


To read the rest of my testimony get your e-book or paperback copy on Amazon!

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Discovering Absolute Truth

One who is sincere in searching for the truth will ask questions either directly or indirectly. Questions that help lead them to the truth, such as: What is truth? Where can I find it? How do I know when I find it?- and so on. On the other hand there are those who lack the sincerity of finding truth and often settle for the mindset- truth is whatever is true for me. The problem with this thinking is many people believe lies, false truths, and even have little to no knowledge of something, then go on to claim facts about a particular subject can not be true. This is a distorted way of thinking and living- robbing the person of the absolute truth which can and will set them free.

The good news is that the truth can be discovered, defined, and experienced. Making the reality- that what a person believes- DOES matter. Truth matters.

What is truth?

Dictionary.com defines truth as that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

Truth can not be altered and refers to things how they really are- no matter what people may believe. In the world we live in today postmodernism advocates that “something is true, if its true for me.”

Christians deny this definition because we believe in absolute truth, meaning that truth is truth- regardless of a person’s personal experiences. In order for something to be considered “truth” it must be measured, but NOT against what they believe- but against absolute truth.

God is the Absolute truth and is the foundation for all truth because He is truth.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

God loves truth and hates falsehood.

Proverbs 12:22
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

God can NOT lie!

Titus 1:2
in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

Because God is truth- He holds His people to His standard of truth. Psalm 51:6 tells us we will desire the truth in our inward parts. People of truth exhibit behavior that matches their words. They seek to be accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

How can we be people of truth?

We can ask God to help us. Ask Him to lead you, guide you, and teach you what is true and acceptable to God. (Ps. 25:5) The Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, will lead us to the truth of God’s word, give us receptive hearts and minds, and submissive will to know the truth, be the truth, and do the truth. When someone is sincere about seeking the spiritual truth, the Holy Spirit, will bear witness in our spirit through God’s word and we will know it is the truth.

In order to be a person of truth you must be genuine and authentic. This includes being honest with yourself in all areas of your life. Truth will not settle for anything less than honesty with yourself and others. When you seek the truth- it has a way of shining the light into the dark areas of our life- so that we can clean it up, dust it off, and move forward in truth.

When we are people of truth and know the absolute truth, we will behave accordingly. Truth will inspire us to live authentic lives and speak authentic truth. Truth will refuse to rename sin in our life or the lives of others. Truth will urge us to speak the truth to people- out of love- as we seek peace with others. Truth will prompt spouses to be faithful to one another. Truth will stimulate parents to live consistent lives before their children. Truth will inspire us to pray that God’s will be done.

How can the truth help me?

Truth will help you be prepared and equipped to do battle against the enemy- Satan- the father of all lies! Satan and his demons will flee from the truth. If you are in truth with God you can withstand and quench every fiery dart from the devil. No weapon formed against you shall prosper. You are protected by the full armor of God. (Eph. 6:12-18) The belt of truth has to be in place before the rest of God’s armor will fit.

Truth plays a large role in helping relationships. We have to be truthful with ourselves and others in order to be able to help them. We also have to require truthfulness from those we are trying to help. We have to be able to speak to hurting people from a place of truth and experience.

The hurting souls around us need to learn truths such as:

  • Their relationship with God is not based on performance, but on His grace and what He has already done for them- Salvation is a gift from God- not to be earned only accepted. (Eph. 2:8-9)
  • In a relationship with Jesus, they are a person of worth and value- perfectly and wonderfully made. (Eph. 1:4-5)
  • They need to accept, they are human with failures and limitations and where they are weak He(God) is strong. (2 Cor. 12:9)
  • Their pain can be used by God to help them grow and mature and then help others. (Rom. 8:28-29)
  • They can experience freedom and joy in their life with Christ. (Gal. 5:1)

The Freedom’s of Truth

Jesus promised us that the truth will set us free.

John 8:32
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When people know the truth- that is Jesus Christ- it sets them free from the lies and deceptions of Satan. It breaks the bondage that spiritually and emotionally binds us. The truth of Jesus can break chains and generations of sin- deliver us from the pain of our past- and break us out of the imprisonment of our emotions and thought life. The truth will help people rebuild their self-image and worth and see themselves as the unique and powerful child of God that they are.

In absolute truth that is Christ- we can be all that He intended us to be- it gives us the freedom we need to enjoy building an intimate relationship with Him.

Psalm 100:5
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Just as prisoner’s long for their freedom- those bound by sin and engulfed by a negative thought life long to be free of the sins and bondage that is keeping them miserable. Jesus tells us that we can have that freedom by knowing the truth- which is Him.

Truth is not an abstract concept- it’s a reality and absolute truth can not be changed, altered, or skewed. Jesus came into the world to ‘bear witness to the truth’ (John 18:37)- He was truth in the flesh.

Jesus frees us from the consequences of sin, from self-deceptions, and from deception from Satan. The truth in Jesus will set you free! Free from sin’s death penalty and the destructive, corrosive effects of sin and deception in our minds and over our life.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Your truth and for the opportunity to know it and live it. Lord, help me to see Your truth in every area of my life, if there is deceit happening in me or around me- expose it in Your light. God, as I seek You and the truth- guide me, protect me, and surround me with Your love. I want to know You more, know Your truths and live a life of freedom and joy just as Your word promises. Thank you God for being a trustworthy and honest Father. Lead me in Your truth and teach me Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and gird my waist with Your truth so that I can withstand the schemes of the enemy- in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen


Free with Kindle unlimited- $2.99 E-book- $7.99 Paperback
Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

FREE GIFT: Mercy

Do you like free gifts? No strings attached, a gift that you do not have to earn? What if the gift that is being offered could guarantee you happiness, joy, peace, and overflowing love and acceptance? Would you accept the gift? Would you be willing to receive it and all the benefits that come from the gift? That is what I would like to share with you today….God’s mercy which is an absolutely FREE gift to anyone and everyone whom is willing to receive Him.

Mercy is defined as disposition to be kind and forgiving, the feeling that motivates compassion. Our God is a merciful God, as he sent Jesus, His only begotten son, for those of us who are needy, imperfect, and weak. He sent Jesus to be our help, to rescue, deliver, and save us from death. To die for our sins, so that we may have eternal life. Yes, that is right, Jesus was tortured and ultimately killed for sinners like you and I to be saved! WOW! That is one great example of how merciful, compassionate, and loving God is.

What this means is you can’t force God to love you, he loves you freely. I find peace in knowing that God’s love will NEVER change. You also can’t earn God’s mercy, He has already given it to you, all you have to do is freely and openly receive it. God’s mercy is an overflowing mercy, and the Bible tells us, at least 44 times, that God’s mercy endures forever.

God’s word, the Bible, has many references to how God is a God of mercy.

Psalms 59:17 (NKJV)

To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of mercy.

Exodus 20:6 (NKJV)

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Deuteronomy 5:10 (NKJV)

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

I Chronicles 16:34 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

We make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God daily, that is what makes us human. Its our reaction and responses to the mistake that determine if we are going to grow in God and with God or grow away from Him. When you make a mistake recognize it and choose to react differently.

Don’t Say.. I am not what I should be, I will never get there, I am a bad person, I have failed, what is the point…

Do say.. I made a mistake and I am sorry. I am thankful that You, God, are a merciful and forgiving God. Lord have mercy on me and forgive me for my sin(s).

Psalms 51:1 (NKJV)

Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.

 

It’s a journey with God, a walk, made up of many, many small steps. As you walk with the Lord, you begin to grow and He changes you from the inside out. God is looking for progress not perfection and He wants you to be happy and celebrate your progress no matter how big or small it may seem.

I myself have struggled with this very concept, God doesn’t expect us to be perfect and to change over night, I mean He should know right? He created us and He is the one working in us and changing our heart. So if God created us and God is the one changing us then why do we act like God is surprised when we mess up? Truth is, God is not surprised, you and people in this world around you might be surprised, but God is not.

Dr. Phil Willingham, pastor of Heartland Christian Center, said it like this during one of his sermons…

  • Justice is GETTING what we deserve
  • Mercy is NOT getting what we deserve
  • Grace is GETTING what we DON’T deserve.
  • The word “mercy” is used 252 times in the Bible and it literally means, “Love in action.”

Truth is none of us really want what we truly deserve.

Either by nature or by nurture many people believe God is a fickle God and you never know what He is going to do. This is not true the Bible tells us exactly whom God is, what He wants for us, how to handle the world we live in, and what to do when we “mess up” along the way.

Receiving and accepting mercy is not an easy task for many people.

After a lot of reading, studying, and research, this is what I have found (I am sorry I didn’t keep track of my sources) Here are a few reasons why it’s difficult for some people to receive mercy ….

1. They were never given mercy as a child.

2. They have perfectionist temperaments and usually only see what is wrong instead of what is right.

3. They have learned an improper teaching of God’s character.  (God is NOT mad at you! However if you have a rule-oriented, religious attitude, you will think God is expecting things from you that He is not. You will feel pressure continually feeling like He is angry or displeased The Bible says God is slow to anger.)

Psalms 103:8 (NKJV)

The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

4. They feel mercy is not fair. Its given to those who do not deserve it and that is difficult for some to grasp. (But…..If we are all honest with ourselves we know we have all done things that we (or God) are not proud of and that puts us in the I don’t deserve God’s mercy category).

The struggle with mercy could be linked to our struggle with accepting genuine love (not worldly love). Mercy is love in action, so as humans, we often unknowingly compare Gods love with those whom we love and interact with in the world daily. Here is an example from my pastor that helped me….

Human love often looks like this…

I love you….UNTIL you frustrate me.

I love you….UNTIL its easier to love someone else.

I love you….UNTIL you make me mad.

I love you….UNTIL (you fill in the blank)

Gods Love looks like this.

I love you….UNTIL eternity, no matter what.

Gods love is unchanging and unshakeable.

Gods love is steadfast and knows no end.

I ask you today, if you have not already, will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you done this? This is GREAT NEWS and calls for celebration! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior does not change you overnight… you must spend time with Him in His word (the Bible) and learn about who He is and the promises He offers to those whom accept Him, seek Him, and love Him with all their heart.

My prayer for you:

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus I pray that this post will reach those whom need to hear your message. God I pray that you open each and every one of their hearts. I pray you give them eyes to see the way you see things. Ears to hear Your word and direction. I pray they would have understanding and clarity about what you are speaking to them today. God I pray they accept Your free gift of mercy that You offer to each of us that are willing to be faithful and follow Your path. God I pray that they will have all the mercy they need in Your name. For your ways are higher than our ways, and Your plans are better than our plans. God I pray who ever is reading this will be moved by your spirit and put their trust in You and Your Word. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.