HALLOWEEN

HALLOWEEN

If you take it to extremes, do we want our children playing with darkness by dressing up pretending to be devils and witches? On the flip side, do we want them to hide in the basement with the lights off on Halloween in fear of the night? Both are a little extreme. I personally chose to guard my children’s mental chalkboards when they were younger. I explained that some people think pretending to be a witch is fun, while we do not. I explained why. I also told them that GOD made the seasons and the harvest, and that is what we celebrate. We carve pumpkins, eat way too much candy corn, and love to dress up, but our heart is celebrating God’s creation, not partnering with the demonic. My kids have not chosen to go Trick-or-Treating in the past, even when given the chance. I believe they made that choice because they know by experience that God’s Kingdom is life-giving and fun, and the other kingdom doesn’t feel so good. It is so important to walk in balance with our beliefs. If we teach our children to fear the junk we see this time of year, we are falling into the trap of the enemy. The demonic likes to go on joy rides and see who they can taunt. If we teach our children to fear it, then it becomes a fun game for the darkness to watch your child jump. I take the game out of it by simply teaching them and equipping them with TRUTH. I am super sensitive to atmospheres, and there is junk hanging around that stuff in the spiritual realm – that is why it is there! BUT I have power and authority over that. When they were younger, this was the time of year when the nightmares would increase. Instead of coming to me all upset in the middle of the night, they would wake me up and say, “Mommy, will you pray for my chalkboard? I saw something at the store, and it is scaring me.” They knew the fear they were feeling was from something they were exposed to and saw with their eyes. If we were to walk by something and my child began to partner with fear or made comments about it, I would stop and address it. I would make sure they had a proper understanding of it and not allow it to create fear for them. It isn’t the decoration of bloody body parts that is bad – it’s just plastic! A big part of this is simply addressing the principle behind it as ‘not of God’ and asking, “Is that what you want to partner with?” Skeletons can be scary, but I would tell the kids, “It’s just bones, and God made bones. We all have bones, but what makes them not good in this situation is that people interact with and focus on death, and we believe God wants us to focus on that which is alive.” When you decorate your house with demonic junk or let your children dress up as devils and witches, you are inviting spirits in, and it will take whatever small window of opportunity and use it. Have you seen America’s Funniest videos where a parent dresses the child up in a witch or devil outfit and then turns the camera on where they see themselves for the first time in the mirror? They aren’t afraid, they are terrorized. Or the videos of dads dressing up like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the young boy nearly wet his pants. There is fun joking around, and then there is fear-based junk that is not something I want to introduce my child to.

I do not want to give the enemy a foothold anywhere in my home. As for me and my home, we serve the Lord – His power, His Spirit, His love, His Kingdom! I wonder what people would think of me if I allowed my children to see all of the photos going around Facebook or the news. Don’t child psychologists warn against children being exposed to that? And yet a trip down the aisle of Michael’s is loaded with beheading, body parts, grandma holding up two decapitated heads with a smile on her face and half mangled bodies. Oh yeah, it’s ‘just’ Halloween! Don’t get me wrong, I am not a party pooper, but that is a little extreme, even for my adult eyes. I will also note that we baffle with our mouths wide open at how people can do such horrible acts and then go home and eat dinner. They are capable of doing it because it isn’t their first experience. They are desensitized to it. They have been inundated with images as part of their training so that it isn’t a shock or big deal when the real thing happens. That is the seduction and grooming process of the enemy. Be led by the Spirit and then walk in freedom!

DON’T ABDICATE YOUR THRONE

 In January 1936, the King of England died. Following royal protocol, his eldest son assumed the throne, becoming King Edward the Eighth. But in December of that same year, only months into his reign, King Edward stunned the nation when he formally abdicated the country’s throne and the many benefits of royalty. What is especially alarming is the phrasing of the official decree, which ended in these haunting words: “I, Edward the Eighth … renounce the Throne for Myself and for My descendants.” Imagine. With one stroke of the pen, this man sealed his fate and the fate of his children and grandchildren for generations into the future. As parents, we, too, occupy a throne in the sense that God has given us a position of authority in our kids’ lives. We mustn’t renounce that influence. Children don’t need us to be their friends – someone telling them what they want to hear. They need a parent – an authority figure willing to speak the truth into their lives. Of course, we should listen to our children and consider their views carefully, but our kids should not be allowed to run the home. That’s our God-given responsibility. So, take the lesson of King Edward to heart. Abdicating your authority could risk your kids’ future for generations to come. 

I COMMAND

I had the privilege of ministering to a group of moms in an 18-month rehab program for drugs and alcohol. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would go when I said yes, but I have to say these mamas have stolen my heart, and I have fallen in love with them. They are so hungry for change and transformation. One precious mom sobbed the week before telling me of her daughter’s outbursts and anger. She would get so triggered by her daughter she would have to leave the room. I gave her tools and taught her how to partner with Holy Spirit in her parenting. The next week, she was so excited to tell me that her daughter had another meltdown, and while she was leaving the room, she could see her daughter NEEDING her (before all she could see was the anger), so she went back to her and just held her. She said out loud, “Spirit of rejection, I command you to leave my daughter,” and her daughter went limp and said, “Mommy, what did you just do to me?” OH my goodness! She walked in her God-given authority over the spirit tormenting her daughter and got free. Jesus!

SETTIG CAPTIVES FREE

I am seriously high-fiving Jesus right now. A mom called and shared that she sensed something was going on with her TWO-YEAR-OLD. Yes, she’s young. Yes, she is learning self-control. Yes, she has a strong personality, but the mom could tell there was something else spiritually happening. She couldn’t see it, but she could feel it. The mom had a tragic pregnancy loss before her being pregnant with her daughter. The doctors told her the chances were high that this pregnancy would not end well either. The mom had a ton of grief (rightfully so) and fear with her pregnancy. While the mom wasn’t doing anything ‘wrong,’ she was parenting with fear and anxiety, and her daughter came under the fear (yes, it is possible even from the womb). I led her in asking for forgiveness for letting fear scream at her and for partnering with it, and then we prayed, telling it to leave her daughter. GUYS!!! This mama dealt with the spirit of fear with her *2* year old, and it was RESOLVED. Many adults are still battling with fear and anxiety because they didn’t have a parent who had eyes to see. This isn’t about blame but a serious testimony of, “This is what it looks like when you parent with HIM.” Jesus is my HERO!

WE WELCOME WHAT WE FEAR

I once asked several seasoned parents for parenting advice, and all of them said, “The one thing I feared is the ONE thing that happened.” I feared that my children would consume drugs, drop out of college, and get discovered, and in each case, it happened. We welcome what we fear. Something happened with my son, and I called my mentor, saying, “My worst fear came true.” We talked it out, and it ended up being a much smaller ordeal than my heart originally felt. At the end of the conversation, she said, “Lisa, the problem with this whole thing is your opening statement. You were carrying around fear over your son.” She was right. I was partnering with fear long before anything happened. We invite what we believe and partnering with fear actually gives it a legal right to influence circumstances. God has not designed us to manage fear but to trust Him in all circumstances. Peace and authority are my weapons in the face of fear. 

HeartWork – Whatever your greatest fear is, surrender it to God and declare His truth over the situation. Fear is not your friend. Spend some intentional time today surrendering the fear and exchanging it with His Truth.

BLOW IT OUT

From 2018 when wildfires broke out in Redding, CA:

Friends, around noon today, a fire that could be seen all around broke out. It is fast-moving as we have high winds today. Our land is dry, and we need this fire to be out. They have already evacuated some and moved the previous evacuation center (which is down the road from us). Grab your kids, tell them there is a fire that needs to be blown out, and prophetically have them blow and declare that this fire will be stopped in Jesus’ name.

EXPOSURE TO FEAR

Sometimes we have been exposed to things that need to be dealt with. The number one response from parents worldwide is childhood ‘reoccurring nightmares.’ The nightmares stemmed from kids being exposed to ghost stories, scary movies that Mom and Dad thought were cool, shows about violence, news shows that walk through murder, rape, or abuse stories, the COPS show, etc. I want to advocate that even if your child isn’t watching these shows, you can still be inviting fear into your home when you are entertained by what the enemy does! Parents, you are the spiritual gatekeeper in your home, and what you allow in will greatly impact your child. Which Kingdom are you partnering with? The greater point is that children need to be intentionally TAUGHT tools to use when fear comes. They do not need to be harassed day and night endlessly with fear. Jesus trumps fear… ALWAYS!

SPEAK LIFE

When I was 24, I had a drug overdose and wasn’t found for three days. The first officer on the scene declared me DOA (dead on arrival) and literally went to get the body bag. The second person on the scene declared he found a faint pulse. I love that part of my story because it is so richly prophetic. Light always trumps darkness, and it only takes ONE person to declare life to that which appears to be dead. No matter what you are going through in your marriage, with your kids, your finances, health, or circumstances, DECLARE LIFE and watch God resurrect that which looks, feels, and appears dead! As I walked out my three-month hospital stay, which included being in a coma, kidney failure, liver failure, and respiratory failure, my brother got so tired of the ongoing grim reports spoken over me from the medical staff that he put up signs all around my room that said, “No negative words spoken here.” I am here today because LIFE was spoken and declared over me.

YOUR VOICE MATTERS

As believers, we have a mandate (an official order or commission to do something) on our lives to carry things to the throne. Pick an area that you want to lift up today and release your prayer. While personal prayers are so dear to the Lord, I encourage you to widen your eyes, and together, let’s cover issues and topics that affect our culture and generation (ex., abortion, drugs, leaders, homelessness, salvation, etc.). Your voice matters!

DEPRESSION VS. OPPRESSION

Do you feel depressed? Years ago, I plopped down on the chair and began to tell my mentor that I was depressed. I felt heavy. My mind was like a thick fog, and my heart felt like it was carrying around a bag of rocks. Little brought me joy and being motivated to do basic daily chores was hard. We began to ask Jesus about what was going on in my heart, and within a few minutes, I said, “Oh, the depression is gone.” She replied, “That is because you weren’t depressed.” Confused by her reply, I asked for understanding. She began to tell me that depression is rooted in our body and has to do with a chemical imbalance. Depression is real and affects many. But she went on to say that OPPRESSION is the pressure the enemy puts on us that feels, looks, and sounds like depression but is rooted in the spiritual realm. Oppression feels like a python snake squeezing you. True chemical imbalance depression is cured by medication to regulate the hormones in the brain. But oppression is cured by taking authority in the spiritual realm, aligning our thoughts with His, and declaring truth. When we do those things, the oppression flees. If you are feeling a heavy weight of ‘depression,’ try moving into a place of intentional worship, declaring out loud, commanding it to leave in Jesus’ name, and worshiping! If you feel a shift, it was oppression. This goes for adults and children!

BUILDING WALLS

 A parent was asking me about the child who slams their door and remains in the room upset. Their question included, “I can’t control them,” and something profound rose within me. No, they are right that control-based parenting is ineffective for the long haul and does little to address the child’s heart. However, I think there is a lot of space between “I can’t control them,” and “there is no way I will lay down my authority that fast when the enemy comes to build a wall with my child.” Let me explain. The purpose of a wall in the natural (bushes, fences, room dividers, retaining wall) is to hold something in and/or keep something out. It creates a physical boundary line that communicates “you can’t get through.” We build walls in our hearts when we are hurt or afraid to keep the bad out and to self-protect ourselves from getting hurt again. This makes logical sense, EXCEPT #1. It keeps the bad out but also keeps the good out. #2. It traps the bad so that it can’t escape and causes us to carry the hurt/offense around. #3. God never intended us to carry the job of self-protection. That is His job. When the enemy is working my child to build a wall to keep pain in (and me out), I agree I can’t control them, but boy, mama bear comes out in the spiritual realm. I bind whatever is in operation, ask Holy Spirit to bring into light whatever is in darkness, release comfort to their hearts, and I go after their love language BIG time. When I see my child struggling and needing the comfort of a wall to feel safe, I BACK OFF from parenting their flesh and wrong behavior and go after their heart. My goal isn’t to have perfect kids. My goal is to keep their heart in the palm of my hand and teach them a lifestyle of going to God even in the complicated and messy places. Control? No. Power and authority, YES!