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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!


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Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

I am sure you have heard the famous question of, “Do you see the glass as half empty or half full?” This question is usually asked when trying to determine if a person is pessimistic or optimistic.

However, I recently heard another pastor (I don’t remember who) state that what people are forgetting is that the glass if refillable!

WOW!

Such an obvious yet deep statement; one that I never really looked at before now.

It is typical of the world we live in to make you believe there are only two options; in this case half empty or half full. In other cases, it may look like; we are to believe what the government and the ‘majority’ are saying or stand against them.

Pushing an outrageous agenda that an individual is either supportive of the misguided opinion or you are a hate filled bigot who must be stopped is another example of today’s society deceiving you to believe it is one or the other.

BUT GOD! There is ALWAYS going to be the original set standard of truth, morality, purpose, and creation. The Bible warns us of the days that the world will perceive lies as truth and truth as lies. We must remember our roots and stand strong like a tree that is planted by the water– we shall NOT be moved.

Going back to the cup analogy; there is another popular saying that comes to mind and that is, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” Referring to self-care, if you continue to pour out your love, patience, understanding, and so on, but you never refill the cup eventually you will have nothing left to pour out; your glass will be empty.

The point is, you do not have to be conformed to the worlds’ view and perception.

The glass is neither half full nor half empty– the glass is REFILLABLE!

When you are feeling down and like your glass is half empty, I encourage you to dig into scripture and fill your glass back up with good, pure water (the Word) and have confidence in knowing that the Lord knows we all need a ‘refill’ that is why His Word tells us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

God knows that the world is going to persecute, distort, and attempt to leave you feeling empty. That is why His Word, the Bible, is full of encouragement, truth, and promises you and I can count on.

We must be careful not to buy-in to the lie that our cups are half empty and we definitely do not want to be refilling our cup with the ways of the world.

If you don’t refill with the correct pure water (truth, the Word of God, and Jesus), your cup will contain filthy, tainted water of the world; which can leave you feeling more empty than ever before.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Lord, I come to You this morning so thankful and humble for Your promises and that You are a promise keeper. Father, sometimes we see our glass as half full and other times half empty. God, You know our hearts and struggles, forgive us for quickly falling trap to lies in the world. God I pray You help us to remember that You are our cup and our cup is refillable! God remind us that we cannot pour from an empty cup and that we need You, Your Word, and Your faithfulness to refill us with good and pure water. Lord help us to remember to call on You when we are feeling weak or empty. Help us to not allow the world to fill our cup with dirty tainted water that will only poison our souls and those around us. Lord, I cry out today fill our cups! Give us the renewed strength, patience, and love we need to continue to spread Your love and kindness to others. I thank you for Your many blessings and claim these promises today in the name of Jesus.

Amen


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Daily Devo- Let your light shine

Philippians 2:14-16

Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

In a world that is so corrupt, twisted, and perverse, as Christians we need to be mindful of the fact we are a beacon of light for the lost. We should clearly stand out among those who live in the ways of the world.

We aren’t perfect and we certainly do not have all the answers. BUT we do have God on our side, which should give us rest in knowing that He is always in control.

The local church in an imperfect institution full of imperfect people resulting in many non-believers believing that church goers are hypocrites.

When we are not within the “box” of the church, we need to remember that the only introduction or experience with Jesus that some people have is by watching us.

Although we are not perfect and sinless, there should be a definite difference between our actions, reactions, and life choices than that of one who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Strive to be the light in someone else’s otherwise dark world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being the beacon of light in my life. Thank you for lighting my path, directing my step, and working on my behalf. Lord, I confess that there are times that I get wrapped up in the ways of the World and Your light within me dims as I unintentionally ignore opportunities to be someone else’s beacon of light. God I pray that You would ignite a fire in me that I can’t ignore or miss. Use me Lord to be the light for those I interact with each day. Help me to be a better example of You. Let Your love that shines so brightly in my soul, burst through each broken crack in my life. Teach me how to share Your light with others in Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- Let Jesus Explain Himself

The Lord’s response in Luke 24:25-27 “foolish ones” seems abrupt but in reality it is a lesson on education. Foolish ones literally means without knowledge. Just like when the two men were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus- we are often ‘handicapped’ by our limited knowledge and information.

‘Slow of heart to believe’ has a connotation of ‘retarded and slow’ in trusting God for what He had claimed and promised. Jesus than provided the remedy for spiritual ignorance- gain more knowledge and information. Jesus was a teacher and shifted their focus and attention to key passages in the Old Testament. These passages explained the Messiah must suffer before being glorified.

How does this apply today?

When we are struggling with great disappointment or hurt- we should realize we are likely lacking knowledge and information to make real sense of what is happening in God’s bigger picture. We should be teachable and in constant contact with our Teacher so that our knowledge, understanding, and faith will grow.

Luke 24:28-29

We should be learning how to keep the conversation going with God. There are circumstances through-out our life that will naturally nurture or prevent against the development of our spiritual lives.

The key here is to recognize when we are losing contact with God and allowing self efforts and unfavorable circumstances to waiver our actions. Recognize the lost connection and quickly reestablish the conversation and closeness with God.

Luke 24:30-32

In Luke 24 the men’s eyes were ‘held back’ from recognizing Jesus until the last supper. When Jesus broke the bread and blessed it their eyes were opened.

The word ‘opened’ is built on the same root word as ‘foolish’ and ‘ignorant’ and it means to penetrate the mind.

Once the two men’s eyes were opened, they recognized who He was, and they began to recognize Jesus in their past encounters.

Just like the saying goes we only understand what God is doing backwards. In other words- we can’t see what God is doing while He is doing it BUT once we get through it we will have the knowledge and understanding to recognize Him and His hand in the entire situation.

As the scripture goes on, Jesus’ supernatural disappearance didn’t inspire any recorded comments from the men. Instead, they reflected back on having been on the road with Him and how Jesus was walking with them during their time of ‘internal conflict’ from lack of understanding.

What can we learn from this passage?

Jesus isn’t just a Sunday visit- He is with us where ever we go. He leads us, guides us, and helps us through even when we do not see Him working. Recognizing Christ in scripture and in our life experiences should be a through-the-day process- happening daily- not an isolated event.

Take Jesus with you where ever you go.

Remember to pray and ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what He is doing- to give you knowledge and clarity- to teach you and help you grow in Him. Recognize that we only see a very small portion of the ‘bigger picture’ and ask Jesus to help you trust in His ways.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Jesus, I put my trust in You alone- You are a good Father who loves me unconditionally. I confess that I lose contact with You and our closeness suffers. I am easily overtaken by my lack of understanding and become blinded and slow at heart to believe. Jesus, help me not be overcome by my limited understanding and relay on Your divine plan. Draw me near to You, Jesus- help me to have open eyes and an open heart so Your word will penetrate my mind and soul. Lead me to a deeper relationship with You- help me to see You in my everyday encounters- and carry Your word with me through out the day. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- March 24, 2017

John 14:14- If you ask anything in My name I will do it.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- February 28, 2017

Hebrews 13:8- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever