Tag Archives: Brilliant Living

My Vulnerable Journey To See

eyes-cropped-smallIt has taken me a lifetime (I’m 46 years old), literally to understand who I am in the Body of Christ. What is my role? Although this blog is a little bit about my personal journey of what I myself have perceived as a strange gifting of the Holy Spirit, a seer, this blog is intended to make you think about how your spiritual gifts are being used in Jesus Christ’s Church today.

Are you holding back your spiritual gifts?

It is my authentic prayer for you that you seek like never before for Godly insight so that you may be made a worthy of the calling on your life. Because our Lord is gracious, merciful and kind, He does provide allowances for our lack of courage to step out and boldly do what He asks us to do. Today, I pray you go a little further in your walk toward boldness and courage because we are at war and all whom He calls are soldiers of His Kingdom, like it or not.

If we are soldiers, who are we fighting against? We live like we’re fighting humanity and each other way too much in the Church. We have to learn to stop ourselves from thinking on this elementary level. We are more brilliant than this. The Holy Bible clearly says we fight NOT against flesh and blood. Ephesian 6:12 says,

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

God does not hide the fact that the enemy is the ruler of this world and we are called to shed light into the darkness that is all around. It is a difficult task if you take that seriously. Being a warrior for Jesus is not easy, not comfortable and will cause you to seek the face of God for strength, wisdom and courage to keep fighting and keep standing for the Truth of Jesus and His Way of life and eternity.

Eternity

This thought of eternity is so uncomfortable for some human beings because the enemy has taken a great focus to counteract what Jesus has taught about it as he does with all spiritual teachings of Jesus.

Religions around the world have adopted reincarnation as a way to believe we will just evolve forever. The challenge with that way of thinking is that we will never need to be accountable to the Spirit of God. This way of thinking actually takes God out of the equation because there is no logic to it, all the while our minds being blind to think this is God’s way. However, it contradicts itself.

Another way to eternity is to become so blinded by the carnal mind that hell becomes a desirable place. That sounds crazy, but I am telling you the truth, otherwise there would be no Church of Satan. Hell is perceived by those who have been completely given over to a carnal way of existing as a place of power.

I could go on for days with the enemy’s devices for blindness in the Church and in the world.

However, the Word of God in Isaiah 14 says this about the enemy’s leader, you look upon him narrowly and consider him and will think, is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? Satan’s power and those of his leading will come to an end. Without focusing on the drama of hell and only the reality of the condition of the spirit, the spiritual environment will be absent of God.

No demon will bow to satan. Every knee will bow to our Lord Jesus and forever and all eternity the demons will know that the choice they made to follow was one that was unable to be undone. Even now, they are very clear, more than we are as humans, that they took on the essence and nature of evil and there is no turning back. Now, they have a responsibility to “be” who they chose to be. They have one focus to kill, steal and destroy and take as many souls with them as they can to the place originally created for the devil and his demons. It is the job of all that is evil and we need to be fully aware (as the Spirit allows) to understand the schemes and the workings of the devil. We’ve got to be much more enlightened by Jesus’ Church so we are not in the blind and we can start taking back lost ground.

Why do I say this? Because the enemy has the upper hand too often.

However, there are a few of us who have always seen things differently. Not only do we exist to draw people closer to Jesus, but we see things from a spiritual perspective, rather than a worldly perspective most often.  In other words we recognize the impacts of worldly things on spiritual and heavenly things. This has been a big challenge for me because I have clearly felt like an outsider and wondered and begged God to answer why I see things differently than others. The more I see the Truth of Jesus and the things the enemy does to handicap God’s children, the more the Lord encourages me to lead this charge.

I would be a liar if I said that so much of the time I do not want this calling. I just want to live a normal life, but I’m not normal. I perceive things most people do not perceive. I admit that there was a time a few years ago when the spiritual world got to be so much, I told the angels, demons and God to to just leave me alone. I needed a break. So they did for awhile. That has to do with the intensity of the gift and my willingness to grow in it.

What Do I Do?

Last year was one of the more difficult journeys of my life. With the loss of my dear Brother Zach, I started to write a book called Saving Zach. Truth be told, he was possessed with alcohol and demons.

Eight years ago after 18 days of no alcohol and hanging on for dear life, double-tied to a hospital bed because he kept breaking the straps, I brought my Bible into the hospital room. He was making disgusting snake gestures with his tongue and slivering his body like a snake as far as he could slither down the bed. Then the demon spoke and He said to me very exorcist like, I am going to kill you.

I let my mother know she needed to get someone from the church and exorcise the demons. I didn’t feel strong enough to take that on and I felt I was too close to him. We were only 11 months apart and we had a unique kind of bond. I didn’t think I could do it because I thought the devil would somehow use my love for my brother against me. We needed someone he couldn’t tempt in that way.

However, my mother did not follow through. They were not exorcised, but they quieted.

Last year my brother fell off the wagon again, but the damage to his body was so tremendous and of course I prayed for his healing. I prayed the Lord would release him from the grip of the enemy who had bound him as a child and convinced him that God couldn’t possibly exist after such a painful childhood. He opened the door to the enemy and life was a living hell until the Lord released him this last summer.

In his last weeks I spent 18 days with my brother, but his mind was not there enough for me to make sure he could give himself back to God. He was a strong Christian as a child and he loved the Word of God and he loved Jesus.

I waited every day for my opportunity, but it never came the way I wanted. So I laid hands on him and I prayed fervently for his soul. I ministered to his completely broken body and massaged his legs which ached from being in bed for 3 months. I felt a kind of peace and I knew in my spirit I was doing all I could and everything else was up to my Lord and his ministering angels.

My brother spoke of a white lightening creature in the room and struggled to discern what was real. I hoped it was an angel from the Lord. Finally I surrendered to God’s way and I had to leave back to California. My brother wanted to go home desperately, but he didn’t know what home was. He begged me to take him home and my heart felt like it was being ripped out of my chest watching my beloved brother suffer so much torment and mental confusion. I didn’t realize he probably meant take me to heaven.

The Lord gave my husband and I a Word before I left to Idaho to be with him in those final days. I asked him to release him from the bondage and God said, “I am releasing him.” I didn’t know what that meant exactly, if he’d live or die. But, I knew he was going to put an end to his suffering and he would by His grace, make a way for my brother to get back home as he had been begging me, to heaven. I knew he was going to heaven because if he was going to end up in forever torment, he would remain imprisoned and God would have not promised to release him.

Although I was grateful to my Lord for those words when I had prayed for twenty five years for my brother, I still have memories of his suffering that I wish I could shake, but perhaps due to my ministry, never will.

As I was there going through the emotions of watching him fall apart in every sense of the word, my heart just wanted to save him so badly. I started writing about Saving Zach.

What happened after that was everything in my life began to fall apart, or be taken from me and I was tested, all the while hearing the Lord speak to me, “keep standing, keep standing no matter what.” And although I felt so weak from the experience of it all, I now understand what the Lord meant when He said, I am made strong in your weakness.

Here I am today seven months later after incredible testing and three and a half years of sifting to tell you, we exist to let this hurting, sick and tormented world know that it is Jesus who saves the Zach’s of the world.

The memories of my brother Zach and his sufferings encourage me all the more to take back what the enemy has stolen, to bring healing to the nations and exhort the Church to stand against all the schemes of the enemy.

It is not enough to know who wins in the end. This journey to follow Christ is about becoming the Church in all it’s glory. 

You are His Church. You are His hands. You are His mouthpiece. You are His heart. Go, go, go!

Who Am I in the Church?

I am daily in prayer for those that are afflicted around the world, for the leaders of our world, for movie stars who will rise up for the cause of Christ, the leaders of the Churches, for the occult being called out, for those cults that use the name of Jesus to come to know the True Jesus, for the spiritually, mentally and physically tormented and the like.

I pray for the for the Mormons to find the True Prophet, the Catholics to find the True Pope, the Muslims to find the True Holy God, The Christians to Know Jesus deeply, the Satanists to find True Power, for the Buddhists to find True Peace, for the spiritualists to find The Holy Spirit, for the Jews to find the True Messiah, for the Luciferians to see the Great Deceiver and for the Hindus to find Jesus as their path to liberation.

I pray for the angels of the churches, an increase of God’s grace, for the Holy Spirit to expand Himself, for a piercing of our heart for the Great Cause of Jesus, I pray for spiritual, political, and economic climates and for the Word of God to come alive in the hearts and lives of humanity and so much more.

I am burdened and rung out at times with responsibility in ways most people cannot understand for the time that is coming and for the preparation of the Lord’s Church.

In Preparation for Ministry

I have spoken with satan who introduced himself as Lucifer and been threatened of course with death to stop ministering to the Saints of God.
I have had a lengthy conversation with a demon who God used to shed light on their unchanging nature to lie.
I cast spirits out of my home even as I write.
I have received angelic visitations (not ever having studied about angels).
I have received visions from the angel Gabriel about heaven and hell and they were interpreted by him as well.
I have seen and felt more demons than I could ever count.
I experience the demon’s curiosity about humanity.
I experience types and levels of evil, some being more powerful than others.
I experience the deep respect of Holiness by Jesus’ angels.
I experience the angel’s praise and honor for God and His throne.
I experience the desire of Jesus to give good gifts to His Children.
I experience Jesus deep desire to have His children desire Him more.
I experience Jesus’ desperation to see us grow spiritually to prepare for what is coming . . .
and so much more!

And all of this does make me weary and tired at times since I am human and very imperfect. However I raised my hand and said, I will do whatever you ask of me. Still I have told God He has the wrong girl because I long for the simpler life. I  have told Him I can not do this work after such tremendous torment from demonic/unclean spirits. It is so far out of this world that it humbles me because the responsibility I carry to Jesus and His Church is beyond enormous for me. So I understand how difficult it is to be a True Follower of Jesus and be willing to do anything He asks to prepare for His ministry and His coming.

If you are a True Follower of Jesus then this blog should not be so much of a surprise because as I speak the Lord has been preparing your heart and helping you to come to terms with what it means to truly follow after Him.

I want to encourage you

We are still learning and growing with our spiritual gifts, but we will move forward for the cause of our Lord Jesus, whose face will shine upon us and His Spirit will take us to our knees where all true power lives.

We cannot stop. We’ve got to remain focused on Jesus’ Good Plan and stop trying to direct God. He knows what He is doing. We are not God so we need to have Him take us out of our conservative or charismatic box or whatever box you’re in, and take Him out of our limited-vision box. However big or great or loving your visionary box is, His vision and plan is perfect.

He will NOT be put in a box. His Word says, “we see in part and we prophesy in part.” Even those like myself who see spiritually and prophetically still see pieces. We’re not sitting around “doing readings” on people and we don’t have all the answers to everything in the world. We are called and anointed like every other Christian and we have to keep our eyes on revealing Jesus in all His glory.

We must go to our knees. With all humility, His Throne is where His power to keep us going and moving forward in our gifts comes from.

I want to encourage you today to pray for bigger ears to hear and bigger eyes to see what the Spirit of the Lord is saying so that we will become the Church in all its glory. With those eyes and ears, pray for discernment and I believe God will honor His Church.

How Do We Turn The Tables?

We must turn the tables and gain some ground in the Church.

In our fear of taking the focus off of Jesus and giving more power to the enemy, we want to teach and speak only a little about the enemy, or tread very lightly. Although, I don’t believe this is keeping the Lord’s children from knowing Christ, I do think it is giving the enemy and his kingdom the right to have a heyday by means of sickness, mental illness, addiction, strongholds, family attacks and even curses, worldwide. In addition, we still have a large amount of Christians who don’t believe in the enemy or hell. Which, is absurd and makes me wonder if they understand why Jesus needed to come to earth in the first place. It was to undo satan’s deception that led to an imperfect, unclean and unholy world.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Not all things are caused by the enemy and also understand that Jesus is so good that He alone can turn every evil into something good. This is one way Jesus takes power back from the enemy.

What I am clearly saying is that we, as the Church, are not utilizing our God-given power or gifts as we should and the Lord has told me that “My Church is sick” and He asked me “to help heal the Church”. I assure you I will do my best to educate God’s children in these deeply spiritual matters that have been swept under the carpet or been taught an elementary level. Never will I say anything that goes against the Word of My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Always, always, always I will point you back to Him because all authentic truth, purity, love and power exists in Him.

But, I do see things and it is our spiritual gifts through Christ that play a HUGE part in the big scheme of where the Church is heading and the Revelation of God’s Holy Word. 

Life here on this planet is the place now where we CHOOSE CONSISTENTLY between the two camps, what is good (life) and what is evil (death). The Spirit of the Lord has to reveal this to us in its entirety because it is not all about living morally, that is the fundamental and human way of thinking about it. However, a deeper spiritual understanding is to consider that doing righteously, is more about doing what is right in the sight of God. To one person something is right and to another something else is right. Only the Holy Spirit can lead each one individually to the the right path for the pre-ordained plan for each human being called according to His Purpose. 

Understanding that incredibly magnificent distinction (CHOICE) is what will have us go from warming the pews, chairs or bleachers to living for Christ’s purpose and continuing to seek the good things Jesus has for us. If you do not choose, the devil will choose for you.

You need to KNOW you have the POWER through Christ to choose. Choose the Good things of Christ. Choose to build His Kingdom and take dominion or the devil will take dominion because we have not taken rightful Kingdom authority.

By ignoring the enemy (not referring to resisting, this is temptation) and remaining ignorant to the open doorways to evil, ie. being religious, lukewarm, arrogant, selfish, self-seeking, cruel, undisciplined, uneducated regarding spiritual matters, untalented (not using God’s talents), unspiritual (not letting God lead us spiritually), stubborn (also not letting God lead us) we have a Church that is sick in every sense of the word. We play in the enemy’s camp and he accuses us before our God all day long and says if they’re going to continue to open the doorways to my realm of authority (anything evil or opposing Jesus), I’m going to persecute the heck out of these Christians, therefore re-crucifying Christ.

Jesus triumphed over powers and authorities by way of the Cross and this is why Paul says not to re-crucify Jesus by continuing to sin because he understood that it opens the doorway to the enemy’s domain. Jesus is persecuted because we (His Body) are persecuted and He is trying to let us know authority has been given to us to overcome the enemy when He attacks us. However, we cannot have it both ways. You cannot live for God and play in the enemy’s camp by being like the devil in the way you live (character) and the way you believe (following your own way).

Colossians 2:15tells us, “…and having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Paul also says we have been set free from the bondage of sin so stop living as if you’re not. Paul knew better than anyone on the planet at the time how the enemy works. The Bible says he had a thorn in his flesh from satan. Every day he lived with that thorn being fully aware of who put it there and still he never stopped following Christ. So clearly he has proven that we can still do what God is calling us to do in spite of the enemy if we will STAND and FIGHT. Paul had to have understood that to overcome the enemy, to be used by God, to see God’s Good plan come to pass, we had to have the mind of a spiritual warrior. Through the armor of God, we overcome, we win the battle and finish the race. However, I’m sorry to say we don’t apply these Scriptures in Romans 6 enough when it comes to understanding the Spiritual Truths of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus is the Way and The Key to the Kingdom of God where no death and no darkness exist. Until then we need to wake up and start being like Jesus. Do the Father’s will and stop worrying about everyone who does not know your heart or your spiritual conviction.

All that said, I believe most of our problems and lack of success in the Church are not because of the enemy, but rather because we provide the way for satan to take authority. Respond with the authority of the Word and keep your heart and mind pure before God so that the Holy Spirit will move on your behalf and give you the strength to overcome.

Do not let satan, the accuser of the brethren, get the upper hand in your spiritual journey. We were created to be MORE BRILLIANT than our current spiritual behavior.

We were born, we do exist and we will die physically or spiritually. You get to choose. We must look at life and death from a logical and Christ-like spiritual point of view. He was the great Spiritual Teacher and He did teach spiritual truth at an extremely high level and it is why parables, metaphors, prophecy and revelation are and were ways of communicating Spiritual Truths. He said, “let your ears hear what the Spirit of the Lord says.”

These are spiritual truths that have to do with Kingdom things, sometimes difficult to understand through our human mind so we need to search for the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and righteousness. 

The 5 Things I live by

  1. Seeking Jesus’ face
  2. Approaching the throne of the Almighty God
  3. Studying the Bible
  4. Discerning spirits through the Word, prayer and God’s leading
  5. Praying diligently

These are the secrets to become all that God intends you to be. We will all see more and more what the Lord wants for His Church and His Children if we just keeping doing the 5 things above with pure intention of God’s will.

With Grace & Brilliance, Amen

 P.S. Please use respectful responses should you respond to the blog. Thank you

by Jenene Stafford ] The Jesus Woman

We Need More Miracles

I know I’m abnormal. At 46 I’ve learned to accept and appreciate that about myself. I actually love meeting other abnormal people too. It reminds me of the beauty and creativity of God.

I think we need more abnormal or peculiar people in the world. It helps others around them to wake up a little, see things differently. We need that.

Part of what makes me so abnormal are my experiences in life and the way I spiritually perceive things. As an example since I was six years old I have been mesmerized by Jesus, truly intrigued with Him as a healer and compassionate God who walked the earth. He really stood out for me. I started resonating with him at a very young age. Somehow I believed he really did perform miracles and I thought with a childlike mind about it and still do. It just hasn’t made sense to me that we aren’t doing what he did a lot more.

Therefore I’ve been on a journey to get answers.

Along with that a gift of heart wrenching compassion came for the forgotten, starving, sick and heart broken. Honestly remember experiencing physical pain when I saw starving children on television and started imaging myself becoming more and more like Jesus. Constantly in the question of “Why don’t we see more miracles?”

As a child I obviously didn’t realize the personal sacrifice, study, prayer, testing and pain that would come along with being abnormal like Jesus. I see myself traveling the world to bring healing to children, men and women.

Am I speaking into being what has not happened yet? No. I’m speaking into being what has already been shown to me. The miracle is in believing in what He prophesies to us and stepping into our anointed/sanctified roles as his Daughters and Sons of God.

This calling requires wisdom in order to bring healing to those that are experiencing physical, spiritual or mental suffering. I do not take this Jesus-inspired calling lightly at all. I have at this point in my own life experienced so much personal pain, abuse, brokenness and wrongful judgment that I prefer to go and be with Jesus if He is not going to use me to shed light into the darkness of people’s lives. Since I have been assured that day is not coming as soon as I’d like, I trust my God to work miracles at my willingness to be used for a purpose that is completely beyond my own abilities.

I believe God is waiting on us to #1 go deeper, #2 step up and #3 believe in miracles with the humility of a little child.

Are you ready to partner with God’s Spirit?

Love & Grace,

Jenene

 

Put On The Shield

by Suni Bradford

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Do you feel small and beaten down?  We all do at times but we don’t have to continually stay in this state. Life can sometimes feel completely overwhelming, like we are being attacked from all sides. It may feel like we have no control over anything. Circumstances such as losing your job, a spouse, the car breaks down, the kids off the hook rebellious, on and on…

Life is life. Things are going to be challenging. We can learn to stand strong, chest out against the enemy’s ploys to divert us from the truth. The truth of Jesus Christ our Savior. The plan of the enemy is to destroy us. Oh ladies, God’s great (Predestined) plan for our lives is far beyond satan’s ability to destroy it. He is tenacious. He is a liar. He wants to win and the crazy thing is, he actually thinks he can be greater then God. This is never a fight he will win. Our God is greater. Unfortunately, we sometimes let him win in many areas of our lives. We can unintentionally let him in by not protecting ourselves. I have let him into my life in many areas such as when battling with self esteem, self control (food & unwholesome talk), patience.  The lies he tells us are subtle, examples being; you can’t possibly think you could get that job or you’ll never be able to quit cursing, that’s just who you are.  Not true.

The truth is that we have an abundance of protection available to us.We serve a great God. Not a God of  condemnation but of love for His children.  He lifts us up to higher standards, one’s of goodness and peace. He is our greatest cheerleader. He created us and knows what we are capable of.  These truths can be known and lived by looking to what God’s Word tells us about Himself and what we are in Him. When we are doing what we know to be right (walking in obedience to God’s teachings) we are being protected.  When we are not, is when satan sneaks in.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) .”

We must stand on God’s word. He is our shield.  The last portion of Joshua 1:9 is a word to hold onto. “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

So grab your shield, study it and live in a new way.

Love ya Sisters,
Suni

Lady Warrior Is Called to Fight

by Jenene Stafford

About a year ago, the Lord began to give me small glimpses into the future of my life’s work and ministry. A year later I realize the Lord has literally dropped into my path extraordinary trials, unreliable people, overwhelming circumstances and unfamiliar territories to get me back on His path, rather than my own.

Does that sound strange or familiar?

Why would our God make the maze of life and ministry so incredibly challenging?

It can only be the wisdom of God who would train his disciples for life in this way. Would we continue to keep our eyes focused on Him when everything seems to be coming against us, even our closest and most intimate human relationships?

The answer is “yes”. We will continue the journey.

That is not to say that our eyes have not been muddied with the mud that has been slung and with it has come moments of unclear vision.

When I started this website, I knew the Live Brilliantly Today! slogan was absolutely divinely appointed. I have asked the Lord over and over to show me as plainly as possible exactly what this message of living brilliantly today meant and what the vision for this site would be.

God simply giving me the answer would have been too easy and not nearly as transformative as the path of “experiencing” the meaning and the preparation for myself.

The message of live brilliantly today is now beginning to live inside our (Cindy, Suni and I, Jenene) existence and we are experiencing the deeper secrets of its meaning.

The meaning is multi-faceted and full of spiritual and intellectual intrigue. What started as a spiritual journey, became a mental conquest to get it right and now I believe we have come full circle to realize the meaning is a combination of spiritual and intellectual pursuit.

That enlightenment in itself is an epiphany and just like God, it is brilliant because it is from God. It would have not been the same if we (Cindy, Suni and I, Jenene) had not been surviving and fighting so relentlessly to see women healed and how we play a part in that.

To realize that at the core of the Christian woman’s life must be the understanding that we are to stand and be strong in the power of His might, not our own might. In so doing, we release ourself from our own inadequate human strength and rely fully on the power and strength of the Spirit of the Almighty God.

During this journey of transformation, we have felt and learned the balance between humility and confidence, remaining confident in the ministry we are called to and humbled by our own new found inabilities.

Therefore, it is all I can do, to not scream from the rooftops what we’ve known all along, but seem to have had moments of forgetting along the journey. I believe you will be able to relate. Found in Matthew 6:33-34 Seek (aim at and strive after) first the Kingdom of God, (His way of doing and being right) and His righteousness and then all these things you need for your ministry shall be provided to you. (I added a couple of my own words there.)

Often we leave out Matthew 6:34, but the context is incomplete without it.

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I used the King James version in verse 34 because I believe it is the most accurate in its description of portraying the evil that exists in each day. Iin spite of it the Lord will provide all that we need to accomplish His plan for our lives.

This brings me to another foundational teaching for living as a warrior for Christ and letting His light brilliantly shine through our lives.

Arguably the Apostle Paul being the most brilliant, passionate and scholar minded of the apostles beautifully uses the metaphor of the Armor of God to describe our walk as dedicated and fully committed followers of Christ. Even to the point of recognizing and describing that our walk is in fact, a battle and our identity is that of a warrior. If our identity is in Christ, then Jesus himself was also a warrior. He was a warrior for the Father’s purpose for His life. He did his Father’s will. He came, fulfilled his ministry and went home to be with the Father, and continues to intercede on our behalf. I look forward to that journey myself.

I’ve been a Christian most of my life and I had been very familiar during my life’s journey with many pieces of the armor. But, the Lord has revealed to me lately that there were some pieces missing. It’s almost as if the Apostle Paul knew that would be the case as the Holy Spirit emphasized our need to put on ALL God’s armor in order to stand against all the deceits of the devil.

Ephesians 6:10-17

Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude (righteousnessand right standing with God,

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the Good News] of the Gospel of peace.

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.

What pieces can you see are missing for yourself?

To revisit where this all began . . .

And so my mind began on a journey of uncovering why the word brilliant? I immediately thought, the brilliance is the light of Christ and we must live with Him at the core of the Christian’s life.

I denied that “brilliance” had anything to do with intelligence. My own Father, as far as I know was one of the most intelligent brilliant minds, unable to access Christ in his thinking, but went from being an atheist to believing in God. I stopped giving any credibility to the intellectual because I saw that it couldn’t save the spirit of my Father. He spent his entire life consumed and obsessed with learning. He said he was unable to pray or meditate because he was unable to “stop thinking”. Truth be told, I have his genes and my mind is challenged to sleep. But, the greater truth is Jesus was brilliant in every sense of the word. I will not know until I get to heaven if my human Father was ever able to find Jesus in his spirit, regardless of his overly thinking mind.

Jesus, however, was truly brilliant and He had to be able to defend the gospel and have conversations that were relevant to the people He was called to minister to. Why would it be any different for us?

He had a ministry. His ministry lasted 3 years. His life, however, was spent in preparation. In that preparation He learned the art of what we now refer to as Christian apologetics. He knew the religious, philosophical, and political arguments of the day, as well as the culture as it related to the religious practices.

In order to live brilliantly today! as Christian women leaders we must be prepared as God calls us individually and uniquely to share The Secret of Jesus to those people He will put on our path.

On my journey the Lord has put many groups of people on my path, coaches, healers, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus who tend to overall share a common thread in this country. Although each religion is distinctly unique and different, the commonality is the pantheistic point of view that is prevalent more in America. Or a more commonly used term heard in America these days is “All roads lead to God”. (The dictionary definition is below.)

What may come to many of you as a surprise that many Christians have fallen into the American Way trap. The spiritual movement occurring in recent years in America is one that is of Western materialism blended with Eastern mysticism. It is what Ravi Zacharius refers to as The New Spirituality in his book called “Why Jesus”. Even Christians fall into this trap of a blend referred to as Weastern Spirituality.

pan·the·ism

[pan-thee-iz-uhm]

noun

1. the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God’s personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.

But, I’m not going to go into this right now. However, I highly recommend this divinely inspired masterpiece of a book. (my opinion).

I share that information with you so that you can see that our journey to see women healed and the lost be found is at our deepest core ministry purpose. The way to sharing the brilliance of a life in Christ is to begin to live brilliantly ourselves. That message is for all women leaders who are seeking God wholeheartedly in the pursuit of His divine purpose.

Sometimes we have to get lost a few times to discover that we have seen this scenery before. Along the journey we may lose ourselves and tire, but in the process we find the Lord.

The Lord has called us to reach many with the One. Soon, this site will transform into all that Christ desires for it to be. We are working on getting out of His way.

 

Let Your Light Shine

by Jenene Stafford

Yesterday I was watching a video from a well known female coach. In her training video, she said “Please don’t take a offense to what I’m about to say, but if one more woman says she wants to be a light, I think I might scream. What does than mean anyway?”

It got under my skin.

But, I got her point and it was well taken.

So many women talk about being a light and letting their light shine, it’s sounding over-used.

Perhaps it leaves people feeling good, but it needs to be followed up with what it means.

The world is becoming more “spiritual” and letting their light shine so how do we set ourselves apart as Christians?

You are a light of the world- like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

One thing for sure, Jesus made a declaration!

He didn’t say I think you should be a light, He said, “You are a light.”

So be encouraged! He was letting us know that being a light is a position of authority and favor. This is what it boils down to for me:

  • We bring light to all the platforms God makes available to us
  • We impact the world through good deeds
  • We glorify the Father in Heaven by being recognized for good deeds
  • No one will know you credit your successes back to the Father unless you verbally give Him the credit as someone following His example
  • (Matthew 5:17-20) In context, you better make sure you’re living righteously and not just trying to look good, but keep your heart and motives pure (unlike the teachers of religious law and Pharisees.)

Live Brilliantly Today!

Jenene

Best Practices of a Bold Christian Woman

Everything done in excellence first took a lot of practice.

  • Worry about what God thinks, not what other women think
  • Dress to feel like yourself, not to impress others
  • Diligently seek out the woman in you God can use
  • Never ever ever compare yourself to others
  • Acknowledge your self every day for how far you’ve come
  • Tell your thoughts to shut up as often as necessary
  • Worship God everyday
  • Pray all day long, silently if needed
  • Measure your success based on your willingness to do God’s will
  • Say “yes” to God more and “yes” to others a lot less
  • Choose wisely in accordance with God’s prompting
  • Learn to recognize the voice of the Liar and put him in his place
  • Ask yourself “Is that something Jesus would say to me?”
  • Ask yourself “Is that something Jesus would say to others?”
  • Remind yourself daily of what you’re committed to
  • Bring the light to every situation, even when it makes you look bad
  • Remember this life matters, but the next one matters more
  • Stop and ask a homeless person their story (pray first)
  • Kick your self in the rear when you judge another woman
  • Kick yourself in the rear when you envy another woman
  • Tell yourself to “stop it” as often as necessary
  • Love, love love as this is the greatest commandment of all time
  • Seek endless amounts of power everyday (through the Word)
  • Share your story just like your Father did
  • Remember, your story can change a life
  • Remember, your story can change someone’s eternal destiny

Sisterly Love

By Suni Bradford

I was working at Macy’s in the bay area at the time, organizing the front of the store that faced the inside of the mall. When I looked up and saw a women going up the escalator. She was exposing all without realizing it. She had tucked the back of her skirt into her panty hose. My co-workers and I were laughing. At first we thought maybe it was a candid camera setup. But I didn’t have the heart to let her continue cruising through the mall if it wasn’t. She was very grateful. Thank God for compassion.

Disclaimer: This following is not intended to make anyone feel guilty but to show that we can live more joyful lives when our hearts are in the right place.

Sometimes when talking with friends we get caught up in gossip, judgment and character assassination of others. Inside and outside of church. Ouch… These are not attributes we can brag about.

As Christian women, can we be honest with each other? Holding our sisters in Christ accountable is a sensitive matter as it can be very embarrassing and it must be done with love. The guilt and shame we feel when someone brings things to our attention may cause us to react. The need to defend my motives and myself is an automatic response. What we hear may hurt at the time but when we look at the truth in it and ask for God’s help to see what we need to do to be what He wants us to be. So many times we are not even aware of what we sound like to others. We must be careful if professing to be christians among non Christians, we are being watched.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.

Humility can be a catalyst for growth; if we take the awareness’s of our shortcomings to heart. We need each other to help us stay focused on the good. Treating others well just feels right. We are not perfect and never will be but we can continue to grow into more loving women.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

When we hold each other accountable in a loving way we can grow together in our friendship, in our walk with Christ causing a larger impact by inspiring others to do the same. My hope is that we can build Christly character by filling up our minds with the word and that will attract others to Christ because of what they see in us as believers.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Live the life worthy of the calling you have received. Hallelujah.

Let’s love, pray and grow together.

Suni


Untapped Potential

By Cindy Grasso

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”

- St. Augustine

[dropcap] W [/dropcap]e just don’t see things the way Jesus does, least of all, ourselves.

My favorite miracle that Jesus performed was his very first one. It is when he changed water into wine. I love it because it is story of untapped potential:

“Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.  Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”  They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” (John 2:6-11 NIV84)

He chose six stone jars made to be used for ceremonial washing that were sitting along the wall. The wedding was over, the reception had begun and these six stone jars had been passed by countless times that day.  They had been set side, empty and unused.

We often think that these three things are a sign that God doesn’t want to use us:

• set aside
• empty
• unused

And yet it is exactly what qualified them to be used for Jesus’ first miracle.

This is for every girl who feels that she has been passed by. For every woman who has served faithfully, quietly and fearfully.  For everyone who has poured out their lives for others and now wonders, “What am I good for?”, “Does God want to use me?”

The answer is a resounding yes! There is more for you. There is untapped potential  within you and it is just waiting for the Master himself to say the word. He might use you in ways you never thought of, doing things you didn’t know you could do, but nonetheless, He desires to use you.

I love those six jars and the picture they present. They are vessels of a miracle and all they had to be was there, empty and available. These are three things I can do!

To be a vessel of a miracle, you have to:

• be there (where Jesus is).
• be empty (I always feel empty).
• be available (for whatever).

Jesus instructed the servants to fill each jar up to the brim with water. He never even touched the jars or the water they were filled with. My friend, miracles don’t happen because of a magic touch but because of a heart of faith. I think one of the reasons why  Jesus never did the same thing twice, in healing people or performing a miracle, was to help us see that divine intervention does not impact earth’s natural laws because of a method or a formula, but because faith expressed in love.

Jesus told the servants what to do –  I love that he used servants to perform this miracle. I believe God longs for more than just to “perform” for us, He delights in partnering with humanity and using mere servants to do the amazing, mind blowing, incredible things that literally change our world.

Jesus turned plain ordinary water into the very richest wine, aged to perfection and with a depth of flavor that only comes with time and expertise.  Yet, he needed neither time or expertise to do it. Do you think that God can’t use you because it is too late or you don’t have enough education? All God really needs are vessels that are empty and servants who follow directions.

• Untapped potential comes in plain packages and is executed by stepping out in ordinary obedience.

It didn’t seem miraculous to fill the jars with water- who would have thought the water would be turned to wine? Jesus did. There are a lot of things you can do that don’t seem like anything special on their own, but “with God”, ordinary moments become extraordinary testimonies of God’s grace and glory.

• Untapped potential means, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

God isn’t limited by our traditions, wisdom or time tables. In fact, I think God likes to challenge the “norms” that have been dictated by limited resources and limited mindsets : “But you have saved the best till now.” Just when you think God can’t do a thing with you, He can fill you up to the brim with fresh living water then pour you out to bless others as fine wine.

• Untapped potential brings glory to God and causes others to put their faith in Christ.

This life ain’t no American Idol or talent show to see how great you can do something. When God uses your availability to do a miracle, all the glory goes to God.  When he takes your mess and makes a message, all the glory goes to God. When it is obvious that the power or talent or ability isn’t yours but God working through you- all the glory goes to God.

We worry what other people will think of us, so we hold back and yet, if God uses us in something so far bigger than who we are or what we can do on our own- that is when God gets all glory! That is when people put their faith in Jesus, which is where it belongs. I am but a vessel to be filled up and then poured out. Availability is so much more important than ability. So, stop worrying about all you don’t have and start asking God to use whatever you do have.

To gain access to the untapped potential of your life:

1. Be where Jesus is – you will find him with the hurting, the needy, the broken, the sick, the lonely and the lost.

2. Be empty – of your pride, fear, doubts, expectations.

3. Be available – to be used for whatever He desires. Are you limiting God because what he is asking you to do is too small, too ordinary or just out of your comfort zone? Lift your limitations.

4. Be obedient – don’t despise the simple things, for in them hide the true treasures of life and the blessing of being used by a miracle working God.

I love to hear from you and am delighted with every comment. Thank you for taking this time and discovering the keys of allowing God access to your untapped potential!

Basking in His Brilliance,

Cindy

Jesus Loves The Bad Girls, Do You?

By Jenene Stafford

I didn’t grow up with Joan and Ward Cleaver as my parents. My childhood was no picnic. It was really tough and I honestly wondered if I would survive those first 26 years. Looking back I can only believe it was a miracle from God that I went from a victim to a survivor and ultimately a thriver.

Sometimes when we’re punished inappropriately by our parents we create an identity for ourselves. In my case, I was a good little girl, who felt like a bad girl.

At some point, I became that and began living out the lie. For nearly 40 years I suffered with a BAD GIRL complex even when I was way beyond living like a bad girl.

Anytime I didn’t do something just perfect, or if I made a not-so-good decision I would get physically sick to my stomach.

If my husband didn’t like something about my work in our company I would worry and feel sick about it. It was really weird.

It took me years to figure out why I constantly would physically feel like I was in trouble if I didn’t do everything perfect.

But, after years of digging to find this deep-rooted hang up, a faithful God freed me completely of this.

Along the way, I discovered something wonderful about Jesus. He gets you and me better than anyone.

This is the truth about Jesus . . .

He loves the “Bad  Girls”

He is unconditional love, contrary to what many may think right now. This comes with a disclaimer: This doesn’t mean you’ll live life without some major hurts and challenges along the way.

He is the Savior of our souls and our constant stupidity and trouble we tend to get ourselves into. He’s the person that says, “Well done, my good and faithful child, when it takes everything not to have a sexual affair that every pour in your body is craving.”

He’s the God who comforts you when you’ve just finished watching 2 hours of porn and you’re now sick to your stomach and your spirit aches and your body is still unsatisfied.

He’s the lover of the Mary Magdalene’s. He’s the God who sadly watches his molested daughters grow up to be prostitutes, knowing that every suffering of evil can be used for good.

He’s the Jesus that says to the Father, “Forgive them for they know not what they do”, after we’ve just aborted our child. He’s the healer of our guilt, not the cause.

He’s the God who desires above all that we come to know Him personally.

Jesus didn’t come to condemn us, he saves us from ourselves and accepts us no matter how many wrong choices we make. But, what he does not do, is force you to believe he is real. He’s not only some great prophet that lived a couple of thousands of years ago. He was all that and so much more. He died a horrible death and rose from the dead 3 days later, proving to the world that he was God in human form.

He’s the Father to the fatherless. The love to the woman with an aching heart for a husband. He’s the comforter when we turn to him. He’s the healer of our broken hearts and broken bodies.

He’s our greatest teacher.

He speaks to us.

He makes us new so we don’t have to keep living in the past with all it’s mistakes and pain.

His arms are always open if we’ll let him help us. He’s a gentleman and doesn’t push his will on us. He gives us freedom to choose.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, he never did anything like that for me.” I’d have to ask you, Have you ever fully surrendered to Him?

He wants to be in your life. Jesus isn’t a far off God like some like to think. He’s an intimate God. He is our Spiritual Father and he can love you better than any human father ever could.

He knows every hair of your head and made you completely and uniquely different than every other woman on the planet. That is so cool!

The more we trust him and learn about him the more we’re able to see him working in our lives. He’s the only reason I survived the first 26 years of my life. He’s the most amazing, full of humor, wise, creative, loving, forgiving, kind, gentle, powerful, humble person I know. The best person on the planet can’t even measure up because he is perfectly God and his Spirit still lives on with us.

Our spirits are all craving something more and we will try everything to fill that void. Underneath it all, it’s a real God we want to know. We’re all on a search for a real and living God.

I’m here to tell you, Jesus is all that and more. His love is so far out of what we could ever imagine and his peace will save you from suicide.

He’s the God that heals us of our broken lives and broken spirits. He’s the God that heals you of addictions to alcohol, drugs, food, prescription drugs, co-dependency, pornography and every other hang up.

He is faithful to us, but we haven’t done a very good job of being faithful to him. We ignore him because we want to do things our own way, even when his way is far superior.

He is a place of faith, hope and true love.

He is waiting for you to get that He gets you.

Live Brilliantly Today!

Jenene, xoxo