I have ten-year-old twins, and one has always been more mature, taller, developed faster, and learned easier than the other. They are only a minute apart but have never looked like it. I have guarded against comparisons and tried hard to express value for where they are in all areas, but some of the differences were obvious. In the last several weeks, the younger twin has sprouted! I was talking to her about the drastic ‘overnight’ change, and she said, “I think it is because of Chris Gore.” I asked what she meant by that, and she told me that at camp, he taught them the power of their tongue and to bless their bodies. She said ever since his teaching, she has spoken blessings over her hands, mind, personality, etc.! Come on! She has grown inches – both figuratively and literally – by the power of blessing herself. Wow! Wow! Wow!
I BLESS MYSELF
- Authority, Testimonies
When we sneeze, we release something into the atmosphere. Our words shape the world around us; like sneezing, we release something healthy or unhealthy: life or death – blessing or curse. Worship is a powerful ‘sneeze’ into the atmosphere that pushes away the darkness and brings life to dry places. I invite you to participate in this hour of worship – play worship music in your home for 24 hours. Open our windows and let it change the atmosphere around you. Let’s corporately saturate every molecule of this earth with the edification of our Defender, our Rescuer, and our Victor because we know the truth and how this spiritual warfare will end. People have always underestimated the power of worship, but the enemy does not! Will you use your home as an instrument of releasing His Kingdom at this hour?
I love Monday mornings. I have the house to myself and crank out a ton of work! The Lord said to go to the prayer house and just sit with Him. It took me a moment to lay down my agenda, but here I am. Someone walked up to me and handed me a note containing a prophetic word so spot on, so big, so encouraging, and life-giving that all I can do is sit here in AWE. He sees me. The prophetic is a coffee date with Jesus. Take a risk today and ask Jesus what He wants to say to someone around you.
My son got an invitation to go on a friend’s boat. I had peace and said yes. However, several hours into it, I realized it was the same lake a sweet friend’s husband passed away at. We also had a recent story in the news of a nine-year-old that drowned in the same location. Fear was knocking loudly, and I began to rehearse all these different scenarios and thoughts in my mind. Suddenly I realized nothing had happened, and yet I was reacting with my emotions as if it had. I identified it as the spirit of fear, told it where it could go, and slammed the door. Just because fear knocks does not mean I need to answer the door!
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.”
A young girl had trouble staying in bed at night because of recurring nightmares. During a coaching session with the mom, God revealed a spirit of rejection that was affecting her due to some earlier life experiences. We used our authority over the spirit of rejection, and the mom messaged me to report that her daughter went to bed without fighting. WHY? Because the issue had nothing to do with her bedroom, sleep, or being alone and had everything to do with what she was encountering in her room. You cannot manage spirits. You have to use your God-given authority over them!! Period. It is for FREEDOM that Christ gave His life!
I was so encouraged by this testimony from my friend. They were selling their home, which was located by a power line. The agent’s photographer erased it from the photos to make it look nicer. He was really proud of his work and spent a lot of time editing the photos, so my friend didn’t say anything but sensed it was not fully accurate. They had an offer that fell through, and when my friend asked the Lord about it, he sensed God telling him to change the photos back to the original. He asked the agent to change the pictures and asked God to increase the price. He sold it for 25K, HIGHER than the previous asking price with the altered photos. My friend went on to share, “I feel like the closer we go with God, the higher the level of obedience He requires.” YES! I agree! Character matters. Obedience matters.
When we first became a solo family, I asked God to show me how to restore my children’s faith and trust in males. I was concerned that they would project their hurts onto God, and that concerned me. At church one Sunday, I was mesmerized by a senior man being so affectionate with his bride of 60 years. It was like my eyes turned, and I was then drawn to the father who was tickling his giggling son. Then my eyes locked onto a man who faithfully came to church week after week to serve. I suddenly realized God was showing me examples of healthy males all around us. After church, I sat the kids down, and we began to talk about all of the men in our world and how each of them reveals a part of God’s design. We called these examples the Purple Heart Dad. Each one of them made up the whole picture of what God has designed for men. For years whenever the kids saw a male doing something that was a reflection of a good father, they would say, “That guy just _____. He has a purple heart.” God was building their view of a godly man. I want to thank ALL of you men who are loving your wife, protecting and shepherding your children, walking in your calling, leading people and walking in integrity. Others are watching more than you realize, and God is using your life in ways you cannot see.
I was in a really intense season – probably the most significant spiritual battle I have ever walked through. Sometimes you just get credit for staying in the game and not quitting. Yet here we are, sitting as a family, all on our laptops, writing out our testimonies to encourage others. I have tears in my eyes looking around the room at my kids typing away, eager to share their journey with others. The enemy may do his thing, but GOD is still on His throne, and as for this house, we serve the LORD!
A father of some teenage children had the family rule that they could not attend PG-13 or R-rated movies. His three teens wanted to see a particular popular movie that was playing at local theaters. It was rated PG-13. The teens interviewed friends and even some members of their family’s church to find out what was offensive in the movie. The teens made a list of pros and cons about the movie to convince their dad that they should be allowed to see it. The cons were that it contained ONLY 3 swear words, the ONLY violence was a building exploding (and you see that on TV all the time, they said), and you actually did not ‘see’ the couple in the movie having sex – it was just implied sex, off camera. The pros were that it was a popular movie – a blockbuster. Everyone was seeing it. If the teens saw the movie, they would not feel left out when their friends discussed it. The movie contained a good story and plot. It had some great adventure and suspense in it. There were some fantastic special effects in this movie. The movie’s stars were some of the most talented actors in Hollywood. It probably would be nominated for several awards. Many of their Christian church members had even seen the movie and said it wasn’t ‘very bad.’ Therefore, since there were more pros than cons, the teens said they were asking their father to reconsider his position on just this ONE movie and let them have permission to go see it. The father looked at the list and thought for a few minutes. He said he could tell his children had spent some time and thought on this request. He asked if he could have a day to think about it before making his decision. The teens were thrilled, thinking, “Now we’ve got him! Our argument is too good! Dad can’t turn us down!” So, they happily agreed to let him have a day to think about their request. The next evening the father called in his three teenagers, who were smiling smugly, into the living room. There on the coffee table, he had a plate of brownies. The teens were puzzled. The father told his children he had thought about their request and decided that if they ate a brownie, he would let them go to the movie. But just like the movie, the brownies had pros and cons. The pros were that they were made with the finest chocolate and other good ingredients. They had the added special effect of yummy walnuts in them. The brownies were moist and fresh, with wonderful chocolate frosting on top. He had made these fantastic brownies using an award-winning recipe. And best of all, the brownies had been made lovingly by the hand of their own father. The brownies only had one con. The father had included a little bit of a special ingredient. The brownies also contained just a little bit of dog poop. But he had mixed the dough well – they probably would not even be able to taste the dog poop, and he had baked it at 350 degrees, so any bacteria or germs from the dog poop had probably been destroyed. Therefore, if any of his children could stand to eat the brownies, which included just a ‘little bit of crap,’ and not be affected by it. Of course, none of the teens would eat the brownies, and the smug smiles had left their faces. Only Dad was smiling smugly as they left the room. Now when his teenagers ask permission to do something he is opposed to, the father just asks, “Would you like me to whip up a batch of my special brownies?”
I am pretty good at processing my heart. Messy emotions don’t make me uncomfortable, and I know how to press into them for growth and freedom. But divorce kicked my bum in this area. I felt stuck and unable to know how even to process my emotions, much less do something about them. I have always had older female mentors speaking into my life, and I leaned on them heavily this season, but I had this insane desire to find a non-Christian male counselor. I wanted to get feedback outside of my usual circle. I only went once because I got what I needed in my first meeting. I was lamenting about all of the issues between my ex-husband and how I just wanted to put a pretty bow on it and THEN divorce. I hated the unresolved conflict because I didn’t want to leave things so messy. He said to me, “Lisa, the meaning of divorce is unfinished business. If it were resolved, you wouldn’t be getting a divorce. You need to learn to be okay with not having it cleaned up.” Whoa… It freed me from the broom in my hand that so desperately wanted to clean up every area of the mess and make it neat again. My heart couldn’t partner with throwing the broom on the floor and walking away. Instead, I decided to give my broom to Jesus to deal with the mess as He chose best. It was one of the most challenging aspects of my divorce, yet one of the most freeing.
“Jesus, I hand You the broom to clean up my mess and to turn my mistakes, immaturity, and weakness into something beautiful. I hand over all the files and ask that You deal with them according to Your power and grace. I no longer hold myself captive to a mess that is too big for me to clean up.”
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Perhaps you are not going through a painful divorce, but maybe you have an ending relationship, were let go from a job you loved, or are strained with your adult children. If there are issues that are undealt with, and it is causing you added pain, hear this: Your job is to LOVE Him. His job is to pick up the broom.