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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!


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

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Devotional- Faith like Job

Struggling is a part of the sinful world we live in. Everyone will face times of struggle, trials, and tribulations regardless of their faith in God. The importance lies in how we react and handle life’s battles when they strike.

Job was a Godly man and had great faith and love for God, but Job faced a lot of suffering and loss. Job was a wealthy man who not only had a lot of money, animals, and ‘stuff’, but he also was in great health.

In Job 1 satan and God have a discussion about Job and his faithfulness. Satan basically says that Job only loves God and is so faithful to Him because God has blessed him and his possessions are great. Going on to express that if God allowed all of his wealth and possessions to be taken away, that Job would certainly curse God.

God allowed satan to have power of Job’s possessions and wealth but strictly told satan not to lay a hand on his body.

Satan left the presence of the Lord and went out to attack Job’s possessions.

Job lost his wealth, his animals, and all of his possessions. However, Job did not sin! Instead Job fell to the ground and worshipped God. In all that Job had lost and faced he did not sin nor did he blame God for any of it.

Satan tells God that all a man has in possessions he will give up for his life, but if He allows Job’s bone and flesh (health) be taken, that he will surely curse Him (God). So God allows this but strictly states to spare his life.

Job then loses his family, his friends, and his health. He is covered from head to foot in painful boils. Job still did not curse God or blame Him for what was happening in his life.

Instead Job cries out and curses the day he was born. (Job 3)

Job is a great one to look at for examples of how we should remain faithful in God during all seasons of our life. Job shows us that our love for God and our faith in God should not depend on how we feel He is treating us.

Satan is the author of pain, suffering, grief, and loss. He wants to use these things to separate us from the love and mercy of God. He wants us to remain bound by our feelings, allowing them to navigate our faith and love for God; keeping us from the awareness of God’s higher purpose for our life.

God is always near regardless of what our circumstances may look like or how we may feel, God is always good and near to us in our brokenness, pain, and sorrow.

Reflection

Do you think you would react the same way if God took away all your belongings, wealth, and health?

What is one thing God is telling you or showing you through Job’s suffering?

Do you allow how you feel God is treating you to affect how you feel about God?

Call to Action

What is one thing you can do moving forward to form a stronger faith in God, regardless of your circumstances?

I encourage you to set your feelings aside and seek the truth’s in God’s Word, allowing Him to guide your every step and trusting what He says over what you feel.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a faithful, patient, and loving God. For giving us the example of Job’s suffering so that we may see our own suffering in his story. Lord forgive us for falling trap to our feelings and allowing them to drive our actions and faith. I pray that each person who reads this will be touched by Your truth. Lord I pray you would expose our faithfulness or lack of to each of us, show us where we need to apply Your truth more and prune out the schemes of satan. Lead us in every area of our life. Open our hearts, ears, minds, and eyes to Your truth and protect us from the lies of the enemy. God I pray You would remind us of the example Job set when we face our own times of suffering and loss, help us to remain strong in Your truth and faithful to Your calling. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Devotional- Adam’s Guilt and Shame

Genesis 3

God gave Adam very specific instructions when he had his undivided attention in the Garden of Eden. Before God created woman– God was giving Adam the chance to live in full freedom through his obedience.

God saw that it was not good for man to be alone; He decided to create woman from one of man’s ribs to give man a partner or helper. Eve was what they called her. God blessed them for their perfect life together.

It was Adam’s responsibility to help Eve to understand God’s very specific direction’s regarding the Garden of Eden. (Do NOT eat from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil.) However, Eve was left susceptible and an easy target for the serpent to deceive– this is why ultimately Adam was held responsible for the sin that infected the human race.

Before Adam was confronted by God he already felt the inner feeling of awareness of wrongdoing. Adam was feeling guilty for having sinned and had a fear of his sin being exposed which made him feel shame.

These two key internal awareness’s were given to us by God as an internal corrective.

Some call this the still small voice inside telling you to do something or not to do something.

Instead of repenting and confessing his sin immediately Adam tried to cope with the feelings of guilt and shame on his own through denial (blaming Eve, who blamed the serpent) and avoidance (he tried to hide from God).

When we refuse to admit to our own wrong doing’s and confess our sins to God; we become bound by our sin–leading to excessive feelings of guilt and shame. The refusal to confess cuts us off from God’s redemptive healing and freedom.

Reflection

What do you feel God is speaking to you through the example of Adam’s guilt and shame?

Do you have a tendency to refuse to admit your wrong doing and take accountability for your actions?

What, if any, changes do you feel God is calling you to make?

Call to Action

Today is the day we stop avoiding and stop passing blame. Confess and own your sine to God and He is faithful and just to forgive! (1 John 1:9)

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord that you are a just and forgiving God. One who does not wish any of His children be bound by sin and stuck in their guilt and shame. Lord I confess that it is hard to confess and own up to the things we have done wrong, especially those things that have hurt others, but Lord through You I know I am forgiven. I pray that You would send Your Holy Spirit to fill our hearts and give us the courage to move forward towards healing, redemption, and true freedom. I pray Your guiding hand over each of us and ask that you expose any harbored feelings of guilt or shame, help us to lay each down at Your feet and move forward in victory.

I pray each person would seek to know Your truth, love, and forgiveness. I pray that each would rise above their sin and own their actions so that You may release the chains that bind them. I pray that each person who reads this will have open hearts, ears, and eyes for Your truth in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- The Problem with Pride

There is a fine line between the balance of confidence and being prideful of oneself. Confidence is on the positive side- you need confidence to be successful. However, on the other hand, pride falls on the negative side- often leading to self-destruction.

We want to be confident in what God tells us to do and who He says we are- we should have a healthy and positive self-image. But we have to be careful not to get a ‘big head’ about it and become prideful.

Pride motivates people to do what is best for themselves- even at the expense of others. Pride tells people they deserve to be rewarded, promoted, or acknowledged in some way. Pride stops people from admitting their weakness and reaching out for help. Pride is the greatest factor that stops one from seeking counseling, because they do not think that they need anyone else’s help to fix their problem.

Some people are so prideful they refuse to consult God with anything in their lives- instead they prefer to trust their own abilities and instincts.

Some people will have a healthy balance of confidence that leads them to success and then become prideful. They begin behaving in a way as to say that no one else could ever do what they do- giving themselves an exaggerated sense of importance and becoming prideful.

Pride is the root expression of our sinful nature. Pride is so full of itself that it can not listen to any other voice that is contrary to its’ opinion.

Pride is used in a negative sense in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Pride was the reason Adam and Eve violated God’s command- and choose to eat from the tree of knowledge. (Genesis 3:4-6) It was also the cause that motivated Lucifer to rebel against God- known as the fall of Satan. (Isaiah 14:12-15) Pride is what motivated Lucifer- a powerful angel of God- to set his will against God’s- he is said to be the culprit of sin. (Ezekiel 28:11-19)

In the New Testament Paul warns against several different expressions of pride. Pride can be dangerous to non-Christians and new Christians alike- when seeking salvation. Salvation must be a work of God and can not be earned through our own works. Reliance on our self to accomplish salvation distorts the message all together.

Salvation is a gift from God. It is because of His works alone- through faith in Jesus Christ- that we can be saved. There is no room for self-achievement within it- so that no one can take pride or boast.

Paul said it like this in Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Humility overcomes Pride

Pride tells people that you do not need anyone’s help. Humility tells people that they can not do anything without God. Humility is always looking for someone to help and listen to, not for someone to talk to. Humility is near to those who are hurting, focusing on the need.

Humility reminds people that God is the source of all gifts and abilities- that God can equip those that He calls. Pride is the arrogant refusal to allow God to be God. Pride tells people I am something without God- Humility says I am something because of God and nothing without Him.

How do you trade your pride in for humility?

Most importantly you will need a healthy view of God. Understanding who He is and who we are with and without Him. Spending time in His word- praying- and worshipping Him through all seasons of life.

Stop focusing so much on your own needs and wants and start praying and asking God how you can serve someone else’s needs. Be on guard- keep your eyes and ears open to situations around you through-out the day- purposely SEEK to bless and lift up others.

Give God thanks in ALL things- big or small- He has blessed you with them all!


Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your many gifts and blessings. Thank you for being a patient Father who is quick to forgive. Forgive us for having prideful attitudes and for relying on our own ways and our own abilities. God I pray You fill us up with Your Holy Spirit- we want to be confident in You and not prideful in our own ways. I pray that You would help each of us to be humble and look to help others. I pray You use us to lead others to Your love. God I pray for each person that does not know you personally- that they would seek You and find You. I pray for our nation as a whole remove the pride in us all and replace it with humility and confidence in You. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Road to Salvation

Today’s devotional is about sharing the road to salvation. A recent study I completed through the Christian University Online referred to it as the “Romans Road to Salvation”. This is probably due to the fact that it consists of 8 different scriptures all found in the book of Romans in the Bible.

Follow me as we take a trip down the “Romans Road to Salvation” and dig into scripture to see what the Bible says about salvation and its importance in our life.

Recognize that no one is free of sin- no one is perfect.

Romans 3:23 NKJV- 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Recognize the consequences of sin without Jesus

Romans 6:23 NKJV- 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acknowledge the sacrifice and love from God

Romans 5:8 NKJV- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Accept and confess- you are a sinner and need Jesus to save you

Romans 10:9 NKJV- that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Call upon Him-Invite Him into your life- You are saved

Romans 10:13 NKJV- 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Gift of Salvation

Romans 5:1 NKJV- Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

You are free!

Romans 8:1 NKJV- There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gift of salvation. For loving me so much to send your son to die for my sins. Lord I recognize that I am a sinner and fall short of your glory each day. Forgive me Lord for the sins I have committed. Lord help to give me discernment, strength through temptation, and ability to withstand the deceit from Satan. I am so thankful you are a forgiving and gracious God, regardless of my many short comings. It’s in Jesus’ mighty name I pray.

Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 24, 2018

Isaiah 1:18-20-  “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” 19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 6, 2018

Acts 2:38- Then Peter said to them, “Repent , and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 3, 2018

1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 2, 2018

Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- December 23, 2017

Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.