Tag Archives: Encouragement

The night that Jesus was about to be betrayed and preparing to go the cross, He was troubled. In the Garden of Gethsemane He went to pray to the Father and He asked the apostles to keep watch. You likely know the story that they fell asleep three times. Consistently the Lord repeats Himself in threes when He really wants to make a point. The fact that Peter fell asleep three times and then denied Christ three times and was asked by Jesus, do you love me? three times sends a strong message in preparation for Peter as the rock of the early foundation of the Church.

Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. “Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Matthew 16:18 says “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Often times verse 19 gets missed in getting the whole picture of the power and authority that Jesus was giving to Peter and Jesus Christ’s leaders today. 19 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The lessons Peter was learning were a sifting of the enemy and used to humble Peter to recognize he could not accomplish his calling as Peter the rock if he didn’t have a wake up call to what it meant to follow Jesus. More importantly in the big scheme of things, was the willingness Peter needed to have to build the early foundation. He needed to understand (1) the schemes of satan, (2) the value of prophecy being fulfilled and he needed to have a (3) huge burden for the lambs and sheep

I can only imagine that Jesus was thinking I wish I didn’t have to go to this extent to undo the damage of Lucifer, who lost his angelic title as the “light bearer” and became satan, the great deceiver of the nations and the deceiver of Israel. However, can you imagine how it must have felt for a Sovereign God to watch His chosen become completely blinded by satan the author of paganism, evil, idolatry and deception. When I try to my get small human mind around this I can’t even handle it, but I get a sense that if it were me or you, we would be infuriated with wrath. When I think of how blind my own children are and watch the enemy toy with them constantly it infuriates me. So it was with God. This is really the story of the Old Testament and the New Covenant through Jesus Christ.

As Jesus knew the only way for the prophecy to be fulfilled was to go to the cross and take upon Himself the wrath of God, which was the cup He was referring to when He said to the Father, but if there’s any other way, then let this cup pass. He knew there was no other way. Jesus had to die by the hands of the Jews to fulfill prophecy and He had to rise again to confirm His Messianic authority.

The Church That Fell Asleep

In Revelation Ch 2 and 3 there is a message to the Churches from Christ that basically puts the errors of the church into 7 different categories of the things Christ Himself has against the Church. I am going to start teaching about these various character flaws in the Church. Even though theses were messages that John was taking to certain churches, they are prophetic. For this blog I want to talk about the Church that has fallen asleep. 

“To the angela of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spiritsb of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

If I take what Jesus is saying to heart, and I do, I believe right now He is preparing to to be the Sovereign Judge of the Church. He said above ” what you have received and heard, hold it fast and repent” and also I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God”. In the Garden Jesus said,Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation”.

I want to remind you of what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane because Peter and the two brothers fell asleep. I believe Jesus spoke directly to Peter letting him know He was accountable for the other two. He was also establishing Peter’s leadership role.

Also, he refers to this Church as falling asleep and not knowing when Jesus will come like a thief. When He comes to this Church he will say “your deeds were unfinished in the sight of my God because you fell asleep.”

Sometimes it can seem like Scripture is contradicting itself and that’s because we don’t study it enough or investigate further. The Bible is a Book of Miracles and Miracle Workers. It’s a story of prophets, disciples, kings, judges, apostles and disciples that overcame evil through God the Father and Jesus the Son. It is a prophetic book and that’s why we need the Holy Spirit to teach us and help us understand.

The Bible says, in Jeremiah 11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

So if we are not finding the above Scripture to be true in our life, perhaps we have fallen asleep. If that is the case, the only reason we don’t see the plan or the good is because we have fallen asleep and this is another open doorway of the enemy.

Everything the Lord has against the Church is caused by a spiritual tactic of the enemy. Everything. I say that because I know God is good and His plans are good and dark spiritual forces are used to do evil. Anything that goes against God’s plan is evil at work in our lives. With free choice, we often give the right-of-way to the enemy and we are not using the keys to the kingdom of heaven, but rather opening doorways into the kingdom of darkness. The keys to the kingdom teach us how to be OVERCOMERS with authority while we’re here battling. This word “authority” is extremely important to learn to live by as a Christian because the enemy will steal authority where you will allow him to all day long.

12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”He says, 11  I have “plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. He refers to in those days, that time is NOW. He is referring to end times. God is listening He is not being silent like He was 2400 years ago. It’s a great time to talk to God. But, let’s not forget verse 13, “If you look for me WHOLEHEARTEDLY, you will find me.

So stay awake, repent, get back on the horse, talk to God and open your eyes bigger because God’s eyes are scouring the earth to find worthy souls. And satan and his kingdom, they are seeking vulnerable ones. Who can be more vulnerable than someone who is asleep.

Obviously the Lord has a lot of deeds for us to do and we want to accomplish those deeds and not waste time on the ones outside of His will. We must rise with authority.

As much as I have had my fill of satan and all his demonic forces, we cannot be blind anymore because the time is too short. It is not possible to love a Christ without believing that we have an enemy. That is a Church that is asleep and many will come to know that satan does exist perhaps after it’s too late if we don’t start growing up, spiritually speaking. The statistics for Christians who do not believe in satan or hell are tremendous. They are completely and blindly missing the mark.

I write this blog today because the visions that the Lord is showing me have changed in the last few years and even more dramatically in recent months so I know the spiritual season is changing. The Sovereign God and the Judge of the Churches is coming sooner than we think. Last week as I was praying and asking Jesus to show me His face, this is the face He showed me below:

Revelation 1:13-16-And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

I have never seen this particular face of Jesus until now. Help me wake up the church. The Judge is coming. Please pass this blog on by liking it or tweeting it out. 

References

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7109-hallel

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

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

Inspired by a High School Student

by guest blogger Nicole Banks

My name is Nicole Banks and I am a senior at Bella Vista High School. We have a Christian club called Revive at school and we meet every Tuesday at lunch. As one of the four leaders of the club it was my turn to speak in our group. I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about. Over the summer, the verse Hebrews 13:5 really impacted me. My youth pastor had shown me this verse and it is forever in my heart. I felt that this verse could help others the way it had helped me. When it came to speak I was ready and so excited to hopefully relieve someone else of the struggles that God had taken from me.

Tuesday, at lunch God stood beside me as I spoke of his love. The verse Hebrews 13:5 was such a powerful verse but I had never acknowledged its importance. I heard it so many times but until it was applied to my life I didn’t appreciate its peace. Hebrews 13:5 says “I will never leave you or forsake you.” I have struggles with something my entire life that I know a lot of other people do to…That feeling of being alone.

Things in life that happen to us make these feelings more prominent. Many people struggle with this. Life throws us down constantly and most of us just take it. Things like: stress, guilt, lost relationships, illnesses, death of a loved one and much more can sometimes make us feel alone in this world. BUT WE ARE NOT. When you are in that moment, where it feels like no one is around to hear you out. That fear of rejection or judgment. Like no one cares… We couldn’t be more wrong. God cares and He’s listening without judgment. God has our backs, he has your back.

We question if this is true when we physically can’t see Him. Just because we can’t see Him doesn’t mean he isn’t putting his arm around your shoulder and holding your hand through it all. And when we feel alone, we like to feed that sadness. You know what I mean. Listening to that beyond depressing song, watching that heartbreaking movie, isolating ourselves from everyone else, or even surrounding ourselves with people we know will disappoint us. When we are at THAT breaking point because everything in our day just went wrong… you were late to school or work and someone was rude to you. You failed that test you stayed up all night studying for. Someone shoved by you in the hallway and you just kept moving forward. When you got home it wasn’t an oasis because your family was at war with each other or there’s financial problems you can’t solve. And you just can’t seem to find peace and you feel alone. In this moment you pray. God is listening and He is begging you to just TRUST in Him, so that He can grant you that peace and take those hurtful feelings away.

We feel alone sometimes and this affects us in such a harsh way. But none of us deserve that feeling. God is standing by your side waiting for your call…He has no judgment and He loves you so much. Hebrews 13:5 is God saying “I will never leave you or forsake you…” He is telling you; I will never leave your side, I am here. Through it all. I will never forget about you and I will always love you.

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.

 

Don’t Be Discouraged

This morning I knew I needed to blog, but my mind and heart are discouraged right now and I know I’m not on this particular journey alone.

Someone else needs to read this.

My insides are being turned inside out on this journey to become the woman God can use for this ministry. Do you know that sometimes the Lord calls us to lead even if we DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.

Have you ever felt like you’re walking around with a blindfold on and God’s just directing you here and there and everywhere. Yet you know there’s something beautiful on the other side.

A promise.

A vision.

A purpose.

I want to give up today. I want to throw in the towel. I want to say “I gave it my best shot”.

Then I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone, like I’ve been here before. I recognize this scenery, but yet I always feel surprised that I’m here again.

That place of being UNABLE.

That place of I CAN’T DO IT!

Then I realize the Lord needs me right where I am. He needs to break me of thinking I can do this. He needs me to realize that all I have to do is be willing so HE can do the work and He can get the glory.

I looked up discouraged online and this story below of the Lord directing Joshua to get off his rear end (my words) after Moses had died.

It wasn’t an accident this scripture was divinely handed to me on a silver platter at my point of being totally distraught.

I hope you are encouraged to KEEP GOING if the Lord has given you a vision for His plan for your life or your ministry.

Joshua 1:1-9 (Message)

After the death of Moses the servant of GOD, GOD spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the Hittite country—and then west to the Great Sea. It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Find You On My Knees

by Jenene Stafford

I felt like I hit rock bottom this morning in my journey to find God’s purpose.

How could it possibly be fulfilled in the midst of the challenges of my life? I am apparently lacking faith in this very annoying and hormonal season of life. Yuck!

Sometimes God is very direct, but vague. I am constantly left with more questions. I despise my “control freak” limitations. I imagine myself annoyingly saying to God, “Could you give me a little more to go on please?”

God, being the gracious God He is gave me an answer this morning.

But, the answer didn’t look the way I thought it would look. It was more like, “No, I’m not going to give you a little more to go on so get over yourself, I have everything under control.”

Notice, He said, I have everything under control, implying that I don’t. That’s not too hard to figure out! I cannot believe what a failure He is having me be. It’s been said that most people fear success. Not me, I fear failure. In fact, I downright hate it. Basically my personality is being destroyed in the midst of it.

Imagine that! God is changing my natural personality. Transformation is painful. Now I have to trust that something beautiful is going to come out on the other side. Right now it feels ugly.

I just want to say, “God, if you tell me what the point is, it would move things along a little faster.” See, I even want to tell God how to do His job.

I didn’t realize it, but my focus gets off of God sometimes during the journey of discovering what’s next. My determination can become to find the answers to all of my questions instead of the desire of my heart being to know God’s will for today.

I hope you get a good laugh at this and I’m sure some of you ladies can totally relate. The journey is seriously challenging and the answers are found on our knees. We have to hold on to His Word and forget all that comes against His plan, including our own voice and our own plans.

Jer. 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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

Now That’s Good News

by Suni Bradford

I recently attended a festival that was designed to share with people the truth and love of our Savior. The message of His desire to have a personal relationship with us.  I wondered how many had heard the message of hope before.  Perhaps, they hadn’t felt the call or perhaps before they never responded. They may have been embarrassed and still others felt the strongest most overwhelming call of their lives.  They felt it emotionally as well as the physical pull from God.  The message which said, “I am love, come to me”. I remember that feeling very clearly when the Holy Spirit first spoke to me.

I got to experience a daughter, who was already a believer see her father come to Christ. She shined as you could see the joy radiating from her.  I had to ask them if I could take a picture of them.  I used her camera so she could see and remember this very special day.  Incredible.

The unselfishness and sincere desire to share the love, hope and life we all can have in Jesus Christ was beautiful.  From the great man that had vision, to the performers along with all of the many people that volunteered and served in one form or another to make this life changing event happen.

As I watched and listened to all the chattering of excitement, laughter, singing to praise music and the fabulous smell of kettle corn, I felt such joy and so blessed to be part of this great family. The whole experience was a reaffirming of His greatness. I could feel the energy in the air by the lives given over to the amazing God and by the reviving of a believer’s faith.  The wave that rolls out around all involved can be an accepted and welcomed drenching. Or it can feel like you’re on an abandoned ship.  Jesus stilled the waters before and He’ll still them again.  Fortunately, we may be attacked for our choice to change and live a different life.  It may make friends or family members uncomfortable as they do not understand this “God” we have found.  It takes great courage and I can guarantee that this new life is worth the risk.  So, be brave little engines and live boldly today.

The saying be brave little engines come from a cartoon called Thomas (the tank engine) and the toy workshops, theme song.  The first verses goes like this.  There are times to be brave and times to be strong, when you are lost and all alone.  You might be somewhere strange and dark, but long to be safe at home.

I think that the people that have accepted Christ, were being very brave and strong as they felt lost and alone and they heard God.  Even if they were in a huge crowd they heard His call. When we feel we are in a dark place, God offers us a safe home and He is always there waiting with open arms.  Now that’s good news.Congratulation and welcome to our family.

So again,  be brave little engines and live boldly today.

Love to all,  Suni

Choose to Do God Things, Not Good Things

by Jenene Stafford

Hi Ladies,

Today Suni and I were having a conversation and as I was giving her a little personal coaching, this divine moment showed up and this statement flew out of my mouth.

I said, “Suni, you can spend your life doing good things or you can spend your life doing God things. It’s your choice.”  Suni was so excited, she said, you’ve got to create an ebook or product with that title.

Needless to say, I give God all the credit because He inspired the thought. Anyway, she left a few minutes later and I spontaneously created this video.

Since I know that all of us in our heart of hearts want to live our divine purpose and walk the God-inspired path for our life, I put this video together to help.  I pray it will inspire you to have a breakthrough in the area of purpose.