Veterans are very dear to my heart. One day we were in the frozen foods aisle, and an elderly man was walking towards us in a brand-new shiny Veterans hat. I stopped and asked him if he was a Veteran. He was taken aback, and I quickly mentioned that his hat was so crisp and new. He got tears in his eyes and said he was a Veteran but too ashamed to wear his hat. A week earlier, his buddy had chewed him out for never wearing it and told him he needed to wear it with pride. That was his first outing wearing it. He pulled out his worn wallet and showed me a photo of all the medals he had earned, including the Purple Heart. He was injured as a Medevac but went to sign on for another term. I can’t fully describe to you what happened, but tears came pouring out of my eyes. I stood up straight, grabbed my son, and said, “Hudson, THIS is what a real hero is,” Tears began to fall from the man’s eyes. Another shopper stopped, I introduced them, and they stopped to shake his hand. Then another shopper came to salute him. This went on for a while, and we had a small gathering of people in the frozen food aisle honoring this hero. That man was full of shame but walked out of the frozen food aisle the hero he really was!
I SALUTE YOU!
- Playing in the Kingdom, Testimonies
We had just moved into our new home in California when I had the strangest dream about a yappy dog outside my patio. He wasn’t annoying me but trying to tell me something. It was so real. I woke up and sensed God telling me to turn the outside light on. I didn’t partner with fear but heard Him say, “Do not look outside. Just turn on the light.” I ended up staying up after that and never felt afraid as I knew God had my back but knew something was happening outside my patio door. It was the strangest thing. There is power in TURNING ON THE LIGHT!
“My three-year-old daughter and I have been butting heads. She has been disobedient and extremely whiny. I tried various methods to learn what was going on with my daughter. I finally sat her down with paper and colored pencils (an idea I learned from you). I asked her to draw Mommy a picture of how her heart was feeling. I left her quietly to herself. I returned shortly after, and all she had on the picture were black scribble lines. I asked her to describe to me what her picture meant. She said, ‘It means… that things just aren’t working out for me.’ WHAT?! That is a lie from the pit! I immediately asked her to ask Jesus if this was the truth. After asking Him, she said, ‘No, it’s not true.’ I encouraged her that we can laugh at lies instead of partnering with them. Together we laughed at the lie. Finally, we declared the truth, and she was immediately all smiles again.”
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!
I was teaching parents how to pray for their needs, and a father sent me this testimony. Wahoo!
“It works for vehicles too! We live an hour from town on a steep, windy, narrow mountain road. It was -15 degrees on the drive to town, and I hit a patch of ice, did a 360 turn, and slid into the snowbank. The car then wouldn’t start, so I had the girls and I pray. After praying, the car started, and we continued the remaining drive to town.”
Matthew 10:8 – “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” I love how God allows you to hear an answer to an issue you haven’t had yet. Years ago, I heard Chris Gore share the story of driving down the road with his daughter, who asked from the back seat, “Dad, if you could have one wish from Jesus, what would it be?” She then interrupted to say, “Oh, I know. You would want Charlotte (sister) to be healed (she is in a wheelchair).” Chris said, “No. If I could have one wish, I would want to have the revelation of who Jesus is so that Charlotte would be healed when I prayed.” He was acknowledging that if Jesus was here in the flesh, she would be healed, and he longed to have the greater revelation of the Healer, not just the healing. I have never been able to shake or forget this testimony. One of the things I value the most about this community is that they anchor their feet on the Word of God and camp out there until it becomes a reality. Our thoughts, opinions, and experiences do not lead our lives – the Word and example of Jesus do. If God says, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons,” then that is the bar in which we live regardless of our sight, emotions, or thoughts. If we are not seeing or experiencing what is written or modeled by Jesus, we aren’t afraid to stand and stand again until it becomes our reality. We press into His standard, not ours. We worship until we become so like Him in our minds. We cry out for breakthrough, not just in healing and raising the dead, but so that our hearts are aligned with His. Either He is, or He is not who He says He is – we get to choose which camp we will live our lives from. At the end of our days, may we be found to say, “I believe.”
Have you ever had a season where you knew God was leading you, but it did not make sense to those around you, and their well-meaning counsel caused you to doubt yourself?
It makes sense that their questions and concerns would plant seeds of doubt because part of what you are believing for is IMPOSSIBLE and foolish in the eyes of man. I had a ripped carotid artery that included a high risk of stroke or aneurysm. I was on blood thinners and bruised at the slightest touch. I was on a no-physical contact restriction, which was impossible being a newly single mom of four active small children. A spiritual fire began to grow in my belly, and no one around me understood it. I was so hungry, yet when I would try and explain it to others, I was met with a water hose. I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and did not understand what was happening, but I knew at that moment I was healed. I went to my doctor shortly after, who did a scan and said my artery was still ripped. I came home and cried to my mentor, saying I know that I know that I am healed, and she said these really powerful words to me. She said, “Lisa, no one would judge you for aligning yourself with the doctor given the seriousness of the issue. But you have to pick which one you are going to partner with – the wise doctor or what God showed you – you pick.” I told her there was no choice; I knew that I knew. I went off my blood thinners (If I was wrong, I was literally risking my life). But I had the gift of faith for it. Six months later, I had another scan, and the doctor said, “Hmmm, not only is your artery healed, there is absolutely no sign whatsoever of any past trauma (which is impossible).” It taught me to hold on for dear life to what I know that I know and to bless people for their care and wisdom but to know I am anchored to Him alone.
“I asked my daughter to ask Jesus what lie she was partnering with tonight after she was caught lying and sneaking (which is something she has struggled with for a while). She said, ‘God is angry. He is nervous that I will lie and be sneaky again.’ So I asked her which kingdom partners with anger – she answered the enemy. Which kingdom partners with nervousness? – the enemy. I told her to close her eyes again and ask again. This time she smiled wide and said, ‘He forgives me and is happy and wants to help me not to lie and be sneaky.’ The weight I saw lift from her was undeniable. She was later dancing joyfully to worship music my husband had been playing in the kitchen.”
Dear friend, we celebrate with you!
“We cried tears of joy tonight as we watched our precious baby girl give her heart and her life to Jesus!! This is the most important decision she will ever make in her whole life, and our hearts are overwhelmed with the deepest joy and gratitude that she belongs to Jesus! The angels are rejoicing, and so are we!! We praise You, Lord!! She said, ‘I feel so so so so soooooo happy and wonderful! Jesus lives inside my heart, and I live inside His heart, and He will never leave me! I can talk to Jesus! I want to listen to Jesus music and praise Him! I love Jesus soooo much! And I want to get baptized!’ She danced and sang and smiled so big the rest of the night, so full of joy and wonder! What a precious gift! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, JESUS!!! He is so worthy and so beautiful and so wonderful!! ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ (Matthew 19:14).”
One morning, Lauren (then 15) led our family devotions. All of the kids woke up super late and assumed that waking late meant we would forgo our new commitment to meet in the living room at 7 EVERY morning to spend time with Jesus as a family. We talked about the sacrifice it sometimes takes to follow Jesus and that if their outfit, hair, makeup, packed lunch, etc., were perfect, it would add little to their day, but giving God room and time to speak to them would fill them in a way the other things can’t. Lauren chose to read to us from her daily devotion about the urgency of the Lord’s return and making every day count. She had each of us think of one person in our world that needed to know they were loved, and then we asked Jesus to show us HOW. Lauren shared that God highlighted a new girl at school who was crying. When she asked Him HOW she could love her, He said to hand her a card with her phone number on it and invite her to come over for dinner and go to youth group with her. The Spirit of God was all over this assignment, and we spent the rest of the time praying for Lauren’s confidence to walk in love and obedience. The ONLY thing Lauren had planned was to read the verse. God showed up and did the rest. We don’t have to be a Bible scholar, school teacher, or executive leader to usher our children to Jesus. We need to be intentional about making space and have faith He will show up.