COMMUNION

COMMUNION

Look at this precious testimony from a mom embracing taking communion together as a family.

“We had out-of-town company get to our house last night, and we didn’t do our normal evening family devotions and communion. My kids went to bed, and I was up talking with company when, an hour later, my 7-year-old daughter came out of her room, didn’t say a word but went to pour herself juice and break bread for Communion. She sat at the table like this and prayed while she partook. Then she came and hugged me and simply said, ‘I felt like I needed to do this.’ And went to bed. My mama’s heart burst.”

PRACTICING THE PROPHETIC

When I was teaching the children about the prophetic, I asked the kids to ask Papa what He wanted to say to the front desk gal at the doctor’s office. Kids barely recalled who she was, but were confident God knew her, and we asked anyway. One got “God’s not mad at you,” another got “It’s not your fault.” The youngest one just drew a picture of a dog. And another got a picture of a present with the message, “Something good is coming your way soon.” I wasn’t sure if I should release the words since they seemed a little out there, but I felt God was telling her it was okay. When they arrived, she was away from her desk, but her computer screen had a picture of her and a dog. When she returned, they asked her if that was her dog, and she started crying. I felt led to share the prophetic cards, and then the lady shared that something awful happened to the dog, and she felt like it was her fault and shouldn’t be trusted with another dog. The cards meant a lot to her hurting heart and removed the guilt. Our flowing in the prophetic as a family has allowed us to be the light to those around us.

TWO CORE VALUES IN PARENTING

Do you know if you stacked up all of the books available to parents today, it would reach over two miles high? That is a lot of parenting advice. I have come to the conclusion that I have two driving core values in my parenting. #1. Teach my children how to go to their Father and LISTEN to what He has to say. #2. Give my children tools to deal with the hurts, lies, and offenses that come their way. Being connected to Him and being empowered to deal with the enemy’s darts sets them up to handle any and all circumstances life brings their way.  If I can lead them into a lifestyle of knowing their Father and identity, I will have given them the necessary tools to not only survive but FLY.

GOOD NEWS

God has been highlighting my son to me for months now. Something just wasn’t quite right. I didn’t know if it was hormone issues, a heart splinter, or something else. I would cry out to God to reveal what was going on, and slowly the picture came into focus over a period of about six months – He isn’t a believer! There was a noticeable difference between him and the girls with attitude, interest in spiritual things, and even joy. God began to show me that when they were little, and we were going after hearing God’s voice, I would say to them, “Where does God live? In heaven? Out in the field? No, He lives in your heart,” but that isn’t actually 100% true. It is true that Jesus passionately loves us, and we can hear His voice and even play in His Kingdom, but each person must choose to receive Him and invite Him into their hearts. I believe the Lord allows children/us to play in the Kingdom so that we will enter the Kingdom, but playing in the Kingdom isn’t always the fruit of salvation. Matthew 7:22. I was keenly aware I could not go to my son directly and tell him, “Hey, I don’t think you are really a believer,” as that would have crushed him. I waited. I prayed. I cried out, and I waited some more. I knew God was after His heart and needed to let Him do the work. I continued being alert to His leading. It isn’t that my son didn’t know God, he did. It was that deep inside, he knew something was missing. He lives in a culture where kids are powerful, heal the sick, and hear God well. While my son was able to still participate in these things, he was keenly aware there was a space between his relationship with God. Others were modeling what he didn’t have. While it should have created hunger, instead, it created a wall of separation, and he felt exposed. It is hard to stand up against a culture and say, “Hey, I am not experiencing this!” We came home from church, and chaos broke out. I gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy some alone time. I sat in the living room asking God what was going on, and He told me to invite Hudson to sit with me. We sat face to face, and I could see the anguish in his eyes. I began to ask him about the space between him and God. A large teardrop fell, and I knew this was the moment I had prayed for. I asked for forgiveness for not clarifying when he was younger that someday he would need to make his own choice if he wanted Jesus in his heart. Such a sigh of relief validated his confusion over the months, perhaps years. I explained fully what salvation means; he was a sinner and has fallen short, Jesus died on the Cross for HIM, and Jesus longed not just to talk to him but actually reside and live inside of him. I passionately believe salvation isn’t just for the soul to enter heaven someday, but that salvation is for our mind, body, and spirit. We began to pray and ask Holy Spirit what parts of his mind, body, and soul needed healing. God had me ask if it was hard for him that his earthly father is very kind, even provides well for him, but doesn’t touch and interact with him. The tears began to pour out, and I asked, “And do you feel that way with Father God? That He is good, loves you, and provides for you, but that your heart longs for Him to touch, encounter, and embrace you?” With tears and the sweetest tenderness, Hudson became a Son!

LOOK BEYOND THEIR FLESH

Picture a toddler screaming and crying in the middle of the grocery store. No matter what you say, he turns a deaf ear to you. He is kicking and flapping his arms hysterically – a total and complete meltdown. Everyone is looking at you in the checkout lane, wondering why you can’t control your child. You feel the piercing stares of judgment. How would you respond? 

How about this scene? Picture sitting in a country club – the kind where they eat lunch in diamonds and pearls – and in walks an elderly man and four children. The children are all nicely dressed but unruly, bouncing all over the chairs and disrupting the people around them. The youngest won’t stop crying and the eldest are bickering. The guests are getting more and more agitated at this appalling site. Judgment and stern looks are being thrown towards the man allowing such disgrace to intrude on their well-to-do luncheon. 

What would you say if I told you the young toddler above was dealing with a double ear infection, and his eardrum just popped? Is the issue the meltdown or bacteria in his eustachian tubes? I am sure the words ‘eustachian tube’ were the last thing on your mind, but that area of his body is raging with pain, and nothing else matters to him at that moment. What would you say if I told you the rest of the story of the kids at the country club? Finally, the affluent guests couldn’t take it any longer and called the manager over to request the immediate removal of such nonsense. The manager replies, “Oh, I am so sorry. That is their grandfather, and they just came from their parent’s funeral. They both died in a car accident last week.” 

I share this to make a strong point – we have to look beyond their flesh and have to discover what is REALLY going on inside of them. Spanking, time outs, discipline, removing toys, withholding dessert, doubling chores, yelling, ignoring, giving them an electronic or bribing them with a sugary treat is as foolish at that moment as treating a broken leg by doing laundry. When we are empowered with the truth of what we are dealing with, we will be so much better and help them overcome and win the battle.

SHE IS DIFFERENT

I took my twins on a day trip to go shopping. I had an allotted amount in my mind that I wanted to lavish on them. I envisioned spending the whole time focusing on them and making them feel seen and special. The first two stores were on my list, and I zoomed in and out at record speed, knowing we had a lot of ground to cover. We went to Forever 21, and two hours later, Emma was ready for the dressing room. There was no place to sit, so I camped out on the dirty floor as the girls giggled, tried on their clothes, and came out to show me. An hour later, Emma is still putting on her fashion show, and I am growing agitated. I rebuked my inner attitude and told it to be joyful (it didn’t work, but I tried). I have never been so excited to leave a store. We entered the next one, and the same thing happened. The first 30 minutes were fun exploring the store, but an hour later, Lauren and I sat there with her pile of selected items waiting for Emma to come out with outfit #88. I released my frustration by commenting, “Are you almost done?” with a tone that communicated I wasn’t enjoying this as much as she was. I felt like I was going to lose it and heard the Lord say, “Go ahead, but you will have to clean up your mess.” As I sat there processing the mess I was about to make (and weighing if it was worth it), I suddenly saw clearly that this wasn’t a case of Emma doing something wrong but about us having utterly different shopping styles. God showed me a picture of releasing my frustration in a way that communicated to my daughter that there was something wrong with her and that she needed to conform to make me comfortable. I realized this is how young girls shut down and turn from their true selves. They are raised to keep mama happy and deny their true selves to keep connection and peace. This is never a child’s job description, and we need to be super careful we are managing our hearts so that we don’t unintentionally shut down our true selves. Suddenly, I noticed that Emma came out of the room with her original clothes on but still had a pile to try on. Her entire demeanor was different, and the joy was gone from her eyes. I asked her why and she said, “It’s okay. I realize I took too long,” but her real heart was sad and disappointed. I wrestled with managing my own frustrations and caring for her heart. We sat on the bench outside the store, and I began to tell her what God had shown me. It was uber important for her to see that her style of shopping stretches me to the core, but that didn’t mean her way was wrong. She was NOT in sin or disobedience, nor was anything wrong with her. She would have giggled the entire time if she had been with peers. However, I explained to her that shopping with me meant she might need to tone it down a bit, not because it was wrong, but to honor those around her. I checked in with her a couple of times to ensure she wasn’t partnering with lies or feeling like something was wrong with her just because I am wired differently from her. I gave her examples of times I have stretched others and had to learn when to tone it down to honor them while still being true to how I was created. It is a dance of learning how to manage our hearts and parenting our child’s hearts.

CLEAN VESSELS

When I travel, I intentionally spend time with the Lord once I get to the hotel to be in His Presence and allow Him to align my heart to whatever He wants to do. While I know my message enough to do it in my sleep, I want HIM to show up, interrupt me and feed the people through me in whatever way He chooses. As I was sitting with Him, I sensed strongly that I was to ask my daughter (then 9), who was with me, “Jesus, is there anything we need to confess before ministering this weekend?”. The question felt out of the blue, but I trusted He was doing something. As we asked, my daughter became agitated. She was wringing her hands together and didn’t want to talk. Oh my. I told her that she could have some time to process it, but that Jesus was highlighting something for a reason. An hour later, she was still upset and shut down. I felt conflicted about what to do as a ministry leader and also as her mother. I heard God say, “How would you respond if she was a team member,” and I knew immediately if a team member was struggling with unconfessed sin, I would allow them time and freedom to work through it but would not invite them to minister. Why? Because while we all fall short of the glory of God, Jesus was highlighting something specific that He wanted to deal with BEFORE we ministered. It would not be loving of me as a leader or mother to allow someone to walk on a platform if they had something the enemy could use against them. I told her, “Baby, you can take all the time you need to gain the courage to work this issue out with Jesus, but I love you too much to have you minister with me tonight. There is no pressure to be anywhere other than where you are right now, but as your mom, I need to cover you.” It was hours later that she finally, with great effort, came to me and told me why she was struggling. Whenever she goes to bed at night, she gets these sexual thoughts in her mind. At first, she knew she should take them captive, but they kept coming at her. She stopped taking them captive and allowed her mind to ‘see’ things. She was very emotional. I asked her what she thought she had done wrong, and she replied, “Mom, I wasn’t pure.” Oh, no, no, no, baby. You were being tempted by the enemy and needed some help, but you didn’t do anything wrong. The enemy was using it against her even though he was the one doing it, not her. There is a world of difference between something coming from within and something coming on you. I helped her walk through forgiveness for the things her eyes saw, and we asked Jesus if He forgave her. We then asked what lie she was believing because of it, and she heard, “Something is wrong with me.” We asked Jesus how He felt about her. Hours later, we were on stage together ministering, and guess what God did during ministry time? He had me go after sexual purity. Jesus was showing us there was something in her that needed to come into alignment BEFORE we could go out and fully be His instruments. Could you imagine me calling that out when it was an area she was walking in shame? The enemy would have used it against her. Jesus is so smart, and we can trust Him to lead us.

GOD WANTS TO SPEAK TO YOU!

Too many believers have limited their relationship with God with the written Word (which is very important and must be our anchor of truth), but He wants us to relate to Him, hear Him, feel His love, and experience Him. I liken the difference to wives whose husbands are overseas; while they may exchange beautiful love letters, it is not the same as the wife whose husband is there every night holding her, kissing her, and protecting her. The latter is the kind of love Jesus wants to have with us. We all know no marriage would be healthy or survive without communication. That is how personal God wants our relationship with Him to be. How could anyone find that level of intimacy with someone without talking, listening, and responding to each other? I have often heard people say that they believed God loved them in the “He loves the world” sense but had never fully understood how much He loved THEM personally until they heard Him speaking to them. 

Let’s invite Holy Spirit to do what He does best. Pray out loud: “Holy Spirit, I invite You to come and remove everything and anything acting as earmuffs. I want to hear my Father’s voice more and more. I grant You permission to teach me anything You want about my Father’s voice. Come and have Your way with me.” Do we think that after all He went through to get us to come to Him, He suddenly has nothing more to say to us? God wants to speak to YOU!

SHY IS A LIE

Testimony from a mom – “One morning, our six-year-old was being funny when we asked her to pray about something. Her head was hanging down, and her hair was in her face. She said she doesn’t want to because she is shy (she has said she is shy before but is my bold adventurer!). Warren and I asked her what Father was saying to her. It took a while, but she finally whispered, ‘I’m powerful.’ So we asked if it was true or a lie that she was shy and spoke a few other things God has said to her. She knew it was a lie but was cowering in fear. I knew she could see in the spirit realm, so something was obviously going on. I remembered a story you had shared about Hudson kicking a lie out the door. So I shared it with her, and she thought it was funny. I asked her if she wanted to kick out the lie that she was shy. Still acting timid, we went to the door and together said, ‘I am not shy,’ and kicked it out the door. She shut the door and began to have this tiny smile. Then, she whispers, ‘Mommy, it’s like we kicked all the sneaky, snaky things that aren’t God’s friends out the door.’ Oh, my word. Our daughter has gotten so many words about being bold, powerful, and filled with God’s light. Blessings on our children’s destinies and callings! Thank you for sharing testimonies; they are powerful!”

TENSION GONE

This is a GLORIOUS testimony of a mom who had lots of tension with her stepdaughter. She tried everything, and nothing worked until she partnered with Holy Spirit!

“My ten-year-old stepdaughter lives with us, except for every other weekend when she would visit her mom. When she would return, she would have an attitude and contempt for us. She also shared that she felt ‘awkward’ hugging our family. I felt like these were all symptoms that caused her heart to hurt. Lisa did a private Q&A with a few of us that brought a lot of feelings to light, especially grief and belonging. She brought up journaling, and I immediately felt led to write my stepdaughter a letter and let Holy Spirit lead me in what to say. She said she loved it and immediately connected with her brothers! Two weeks later, she came home from her mom’s, and her attitude was COMPLETELY different. She ran to her brothers and hugged and kissed us all. I am BLOWN away by what has happened. It took maybe 15 minutes to write the letter; it took her 10 minutes to read it, and yet Holy Spirit has completely CHANGED our relationship.”

STANDING ON TWO SOLID LEGS

Years ago, God gave me this picture of a spiritually healthy child with two solid legs to stand on. One leg represents the releasing of the Kingdom (identity, destiny, hearing His voice, healing the sick, Bible knowledge, prophesying, etc.). The other leg represents the tools needed to deal effectively with the things from the enemy that cut off the other leg! One without the other makes for an imbalanced and frustrating walk with Jesus. That vision is one of the founding motives for this and is in alignment with John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”