Tag Archives: abuse

Hidden People

15 Jul

Anyone that knows me well knows that I have a heart for women and kids at risk. Women that are beaten down, grieving, suffering and children that have suffered in ways no child should suffer, children lost in the system. The hidden people, I love them most.

My time spent working with the girls of Hansen House, sexually trafficked, thrown away, hidden from the world girls, the boys here at Crossroads Hope Academy and Gator Wilderness Camp, all have opened my eyes to the widespread evil done to children and rocked me to my core. Honestly, it’s bigger than my mind can grasp. It humbles me in a way I can’t even describe. I almost don’t want to. But I have to.

As I had the honor of sitting in a room of 23 broken boys yesterday, I just loved them. As they sang and played instruments, my heart filled with a love for them that I know is also God’s Love. I wanted to rescue each one and fill their wounds with hope and love. These boys are broken in ways you can’t even fathom, walking through abuse and circumstances you didn’t even think could be real they are so horrendous and dark.

The church is under attack, true, and maybe, just maybe, we need to be sifted and shook up, to grab hold of truth and walk closer with God. Maybe we can stop pointing fingers and be changed and transformed within our own souls for God’s purposes.  This one enemy we have has been very busy lately. He has devoured marriage upon marriage, family upon family. He is attacking people when they are weakened, with illness or hardship. This one, just one enemy, is telling this world dark lies, he is lying to people who do terrible things to the babies so they grow up and do terrible things.We have to be wise. There is a very sick underbelly of this world, buying and selling children. Some sell their own babies, for drugs or because they suffered themselves.

Sadly, these are just two homes, two last resort homes because the behavioral issues are so deep, that just a few miles apart are home to are over 40 kids that need hope. These are just the ones that are local for me, one small corner of the world.

Oh Lord,  but my heart is on fire to see miracles in their young broken lives. I love my women and my heart wants to  encourage and to build up every broken woman with a strength and peace and hope that is far beyond what she is walking through and what she has left behind. A strong woman knows she can do the same for others.  But these kids! These children, have my whole attention; my whole heart.

What is the answer? I don’t have it, but I know God does. I covet the prayers of everyone for these kids. For a ministry that captures the families before they do the damage they have done. A ministry that has triggers and that walks beside them, before they harm, helps build them up, helps to heal what is broken in them that makes them cause a child to stumble so far. It is a church need, a church ministry, that needs to rise up and reach out and build up and end the generational abuse. These boys are being ministered to in beautiful ways. But there will be more and the numbers seem to grow.

We simply need God back at the core people! To lead us. To step in where we don’t see need.  We need clarity, and compassion. We need to see truth, we need to see what we need to see. We can’t live under rocks. You don’t have to step in to pour into lives unseen, but we must care!  We must decide where the boundary is.

Satan wants you to be rejecting of this. God doesn’t need you to do anything about this.  I do know one thing however, God loves those children, very much.

Here is my absolute truth. I know that my God can do this, with or without me, but I can’t do anything at all without Him in me. He will open eyes, He will open doors He needs opened.  He has been teaching me lately to listen and to move on His promptings. I have learned to be obedient in those promptings. He is building me up, testing me, making me strong. He humbles me when I get too self-reliant.

Of course, Satan is doing his very best to distract me, derail me, get me off track. We have one God.  And though there are monster’s everywhere, we truly only have one enemy. One.  God is bigger.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, fear of anything else is the beginning of your downfall. As I move towards the ministry God is designing, God will make a way.

Romans 8:26-30  (TPT)

26 And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede[a] on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs[b] too deep for words.

27 God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings,[c]yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny.

28 So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. 29 For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined us[d] from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him.

30 Having determined our destiny ahead of time, he called us to himself and transferred his perfect righteousness to everyone he called. And those who possess his perfect righteousness he co-glorified with his Son!

 

 

 

 

 

The War

27 Aug

As we look back over our lives, there are many battles won and lost. This is true of every life that walks this earth.

Most wars end with deep human loss.  Like Hiroshima, an addiction or affair, or the shock of an unexpected divorce announcement; The devastation is  something you didn’t see coming, you didn’t plan for it. You are completely devastated by it and you must start from scratch to rebuild from.

The pain slowly dies, and healing begins. Scars form and memories slowly fade, changing the landscape of a life. From that destruction, growth and renewal begin; new things happen. When in this time, you are fortunate to find deeper faith, when you guard against bitterness by forgiving, this is where true miracle happens. God fulfills his promise to bestow beauty from ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) What was meant to break you becomes a part of your testimony of strength, and how much God loves you.

When we are at the bottom, when our spirit is crushed, when we cry out  to Him…He comes closer to us. (Psalm 34:18). How sweet is amazing grace as we begin to heal from that devastation and destruction.  His grace is enough, we slowly begin to heal, we forgive, we seek forgiveness and we grow. Hope builds and joy returns. Redemption.

Now, I ask you to pause and imagine what it must be like for the person that has caused significant damage to heart after heart. What of the one, always on the move, onto the next thing, hoping this is the one thing that will finally bring them happiness. What must that look like, when all they see behind them is lives tossed aside, hearts crushed by destruction? How it must feel to be that one that has to keep hiding, lying, running, always avoiding looking behind. What must that feel like?

This is the liars cycle, the abuser’s cycle, the addiction cycle. This is the cycle of unforgiveness and holes the size of humans inside hearts so lost and dark. This breaks my heart as it must break Gods. Not the gravity of the sin behind them but the distance they  keep from God Himself as He longingly holds his hand out, offering sweet redemption.

As a Christian, so desperate to walk this world like Christ did, with deep compassion and love for the broken and lost of this world, this should break your heart; Even if the bomb was dropped in your heart! This doesn’t mean we have to walk with this person, but we must offer the gift of Grace (forgiveness).

Humans want penance and a reckoning. God simply wants reconciliation.

There is only one healer that can miraculously set a person free from what must be complete hell. To be a slave to darkness and sin with no idea the freedom that salvation brings; that Jesus brings. To be so lost. We are all broken  but it is the lies of Satan himself that tells a person, they are too far gone. It is only in salvation that one can begin to see this metamorphosis take place. It is only in absolute, utter surrender.

We as the body, longingly to look like Christ, should bear deep compassion for those that will suffer in their shame and unforgiveness; never understanding the gift that is there for the asking. Jesus died and set us free from our past.

Paul (Saul) was a murderer of Christ followers. He was there in the stoning of Stephen! He was freed from that sin and shame . Paul said “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”(Hope and believing the promise)~ Isaiah 43:18 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” Paul knew what the crucifixion set us free from.  There are epistles upon epistles about this very thing.
Stop letting your past keep you locked in darkness. Let Hope and Grace choose for you, None of us is righteous; Not even one.

Grace is grace and grace never ends. Nothing is too far or too much or too big for God. He just gives us more grace!  ( James 4:8)  That said, you can empty a soul of it’s past sin, but like a parked car –you are not going anywhere even if it has power. You MUST engage in a gear to move forward and reverse is the wrong direction.

Lean in, seek to understand the mercy that is in Christ, ask God to change you, to forgive you. It is only then that you can begin to heal. And accept the gift that is Christ… because my love, no one is too far gone. No one.

Here are a few great links.

A few great songs:

Listen and hear the lyrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A0irzN9hOk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqjU2taeGrA

Todd White is a former addict turned preacher…. He is the real deal, full of hope and wisdom. Great sermons.
https://www.youtube.com/user/ToddWhiteChannel

More Than Love

29 Jan

Deciding whether to commit to or to end a relationship is a serious, but important question that anyone that has ever been in a relationship has to ask. This can be so difficult and honestly, requires many decisions, not just a broad question of do I love Him/Her.

Not asking the hard questions is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous. You may love someone, but commitment is far more than love. There are certain things to consider that may help in making the best decision.

When someone hurts us, we naturally want to share our hurt with someone but be choosy and think long and hard before you overshare your concerns with those that love you most. While you may get over what someone does, they may not. This can be unwise as it may slant any future decision making advice you may need from those that know you best.

A Pastor, a counselor, a couple you respect, with no emotional tie to you, would be a great place to start when seeking advise about concerns you may have, any fears or issues that may keep you from taking the next step towards or away from your partner.

Pray, Pray, Pray!

Do NOT skip this step. Talk to God. He is the most objective listener. Lay your heart and your future at His feet and sleep on it for a while. Give God your time. Spend time in the word. Pour your thoughts out to Him. Pray for discernment and wisdom, (HIS), then be quiet and allow Him to answer you. Do not be impatient. Let Him work on your heart or let him guide your wisdom. He will.

Take time to do your lists. Like prayer, do NOT skip this step.

First be general and just start writing down anything you love, like, dislike, or feel may be a red flag. Then rate them as a pro, con, good quality or area of concern.
Then, go deeper…Dig deep and be completely transparent and honest with yourself. Take everything into consideration. Does he/she bring positive or negative consequences or concerns in the areas of career, finances, faith, personality,are they positive or negative, if you are raising children, what are the concerns and consequences of behaviors or personalities with your children: How will this affect your lifestyle, your hobbies, community involvements, alone time. What are the potential lifestyle changes, will they add to or detract from your life. *note: do this when you are not upset, and not when you are high in love. Do this when you are able to truly be open and objective with yourself.

You should have a clear idea forming of what your concerns are and what you can let go of. I feel I must clarify this here. If you have been in abusive or unhealthy relationships in the past, take your list to a professional. Make sure you are not making choices out of habit, overlooking or not ranking a red flag, a red flag. Sadly, when we make those mistakes over and over, we have to take the bull by the horn and seek a professional to advocate for us until we are strong and sure of our own ability to advocate for ourselves.

Where there are behaviors that are red flags, and you choose to move forward, then you must write out clear and concise rules of engagement, a clear boundary of behavior that is acceptable and behavior that is not and concise consequences for behavior that is not healthy.

Behaviors that suggest a need for a clear and defined boundary/consequence are abuse of any kind, cheating, drugs,alcohol, gambling, porn. Set the boundary, and if they cannot abide by the contract, you cannot overlook or make exceptions. You must decide to end the relationship and put that in writing as the consequence. Then you BOTH need to abide by the rules.

Finally, Let go of what doesn’t matter. The best part about making a deep list is that you seek wisdom, discernment, with open and objective analysis. Make a logical decision that just may go against your emotion or your feelings for someone. If you find the good far outweighs the bad, then you have your answer. If you find the bad outweighs the good, then you have your answer. If you find it is somewhere in between, you have to explore, ask questions, set boundaries and seek help to make your decision.

Love is not enough and love will not sustain a poorly thought out, bad relationship. The level of success in your relationships depends greatly on your willingness to be honest and thoughtful about who you choose to commit yourself to.

But God!

25 Jun

HIS words, not his words,not her words, not our words.

But God…
But God says I am wonderfully made
But God says I am his prize
God gives us all we need. Even scripture to back up His promises and to show how much He loves us!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you are saved

But God said, You are made new! You are not the past.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
But God said… You are now Holy because you believe!
1 Peter 1:16 (NIV) for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
But God said, I am enough! I am all you need.
Psalm 16:5 (NIV)Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
But God said, don’t look there.. look here! Renew your mind but hearing me!
Romans 12:2 (NIV)Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
But God said, you are wanted, you are my prized and cherished prince and princess!
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
But God said, hey! I made you just the way you are, I don’t make mistakes, be strong in that.
Ephesians 2:10(NIV)For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
But God said, Wipe those tears. You are not alone, I dwell within you. You are strong!
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
But God said You are a child of God.
John 1:12 (NIV) But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children
But God said you are a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life.
John 15: 1, 5 (NIV) I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me–and I in him–bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing
But God said you are a friend of Jesus.
John 15:15 (NIV) I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father
But God says.. I have been justified and redeemed.
Romans 3:24 (NIV) But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
But God said, I am adopted as His child, I am a fellow heir with Christ.
Romans 8:17 (NIV) And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)–if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him
But God said, I have been accepted by Christ.
Romans 15:7 (NIV) Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory
But God says I am wise and beautiful
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NIV) He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption …
But God says, I am not alone, the Holy Spirit dwells in me.
1 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV) But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with
But God says, don’t let the cruelty and heart ache of this world define you. That has been set free by Christ!
2 Corinthians 3:14 (NIV) But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away
But God said You now share the righteousness of God in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God
But God says that I am no longer under anyone’s rule but his and I am His child and an heir.
Galatians 4:7 (NIV) So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God
But God says!!! I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 1:3 (NIV) Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ
But God says!!! I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.
Ephesians 1:4 (NIV) For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love
But God said! I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ.
Ephesians 1:7 (NIV) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
But God said, I picked YOU! This is all for you.
Ephesians 1:11 (NIV) In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will
But God said that YOU have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
Ephesians 1:13 (NIV) And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)–when you believed in Christ–you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit
But God said, Who cares who breaks promises here. I never break mine!
Ephesians 1:13 (NIV) And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)–when you believed in Christ–you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit
But God said I am mercy and love, You are made alive with Christ.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV) But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you are saved
But God promises that I am seated in the heavenly places with Christ.
Ephesians 2:6 (NIV) … And he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus …
But God says, HUSH! Don’t listen to the criticism..YOU are God’s workmanship created to produce good works.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them
But God says.. You are MINE by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13 (NIV) But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ
But God said, Look around, you aren’t alone! You are surrounded by your whole body of believers..
Ephesians 5:30… The Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus
But God says.. No! I didn’t make you weak! I made you STRONG! I am HERE!
Ephesians 3:12 NIV… In whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ’s faithfulness
But God says.. He guards my heart and mind.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV) And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
But God says.. I got this!! I will take care of all you need.
Philippians 4:19 NIV And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus
But God says here, here is this beautiful jacket I a made just for you. Because you are my beloved.
Colossians 3:12 NIV Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience
But God loves me and has chosen me.
1 Thessalonians 1:4 NIV We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you
But God says.. I made you in MY image.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV) So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them.
But God says, I loved you so much, I longed for you’re here, I let my Son die so we can be together.
1 Peter 1:18 (NIV)For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,
But God says.. Hear Me! You are strong in me, you are beautiful and designed by me.
2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV) That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
But God said, why are you looking down! I designed you! I pursue you all the time!
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed body;all the days ordained for me were written in your book,before one of them came to be.
But God said. Do not worry about a thing! Read this promise from me to you! I got this!
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
But God said! I am enough for you!
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
But God said, let go. Surrender to me. I will take care of you.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 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. “
But God said, You are precious! Yet you let doubt in. I won’t let you down!
Matthew 10:31 (NIV) So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.