I’ve Been in The Wrong Camp {Stronghold ~ Part 1}

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~ Hello! I am so excited to tell you about the plan for the next few weeks here at Faith2Shine! My dear friend, Beth Kinder, is about to launch her book-baby out into the world. This amazing book has been simmering in her soul for years and will be released to the public in just under 3 tenderly-short weeks from today. WE get to talk about it NOW as we have the honor of reading a pre-release sample. {pinch me!} There really are not words to describe the power of freedom being released from the bindings of this book. And I’m not just saying that because she is my friend- this word is absolutely timely for the world we find ourselves in today. This book ushers in the hand of God into those deep dark places of your heart and gently guides you to His light. This is the book you never knew you always needed. At the end of this post are all the links you need to see this book and meet the Author for yourself!~

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~I Have Been in the Wrong Camp~

I thought all along that I was “in”. I went to church. I prayed the prayers. I could even quote scriptures. From memory. And in context.

I was really living in the shadows, tucked far away from the light. You see, I hung out with the believers; I attended their meetings and called them friends. But I hid my tent on the other side of the wall. The wall of shame. Of doubt. Of fear.

And I was comfortable there.

I thought it was working for me; convinced I belonged and that this was a good life. In reality I was a prisoner allowed out only on work release; held captive by the long chains of perception. Weapons made of words had thwarted my worthiness, broken my faith’s foundation and bound me up in shame.

In “Stronghold” by Beth Kinder, she says “For everything good that comes from the Lord, the enemy places an evil counterfeit to ensnare God’s people.” And later says: “The stronghold of the mind will demand an allegiance of our affection and dedication. These fortresses encapsulate the mind and build a barrier that prevents us from ever finding the authentic refuge of the Living God.”

I was blinded by fears. And I poured affection over my shame.

But I was not lost.

Facades can only last so long. Mine came to a traumatic and bloody end, thankfully. And in the mess of all the rubble I opened my eyes for the first time in a long time. Light burst in and I finally saw truth, I’d been pitching my tent in the wrong camp.

“Where the Old Testament Stronghold was a literal place to keep the enemy out, the New Testament stronghold keeps the enemy in! It is a fortress designed by our adversary to keep us captive in the stronghold of our mind.” Beth Kinder

I had bound my self in absolute lies. Lies that I would never be enough, have enough faith, or strong enough to stand on my own. I hunkered into the falsities that I was unworthy of God’s attention, let alone His love. And I truly believed that I had nothing of any worth to offer Him. These lies kept me back from joy, held me captive from dreaming and pursuing. And the longer their fangs gripped my limbs the more of a shell I became, retreating myself to the barren place of shame.

And when I finally bled out all the lies I’d been trying to hold in I realized in their void was a hunger unlike any I’d experienced before.

I longed for truth.

John 8:32 says “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

And I craved freedom, like the desert craves rain.

This process of discovering truth began only 4 short years ago. I still have 30+ years of lies to unravel. But here’s the beauty of it, it isn’t an injury in need of a bandaid. It is a relocation of the anchor of my soul. I have moved my belongings from the fortress of lies and settled into the Shelter of the Most High God. He is molding, shaping and reframing the wounded places of my heart and putting a new dance in my step.

“God’s plan for the authentic stronghold is that we would be so sure in Him, so grounded in Him so confident in Him, so close to Him that we would live in the ultimate life-sustaining power of the Holy Spirit” ~Beth Kinder

Maybe you have found yourself hiding behind the enemy’s false walls and are looking for a way back into the light? Maybe you long for freedom, not the kind found in a formula, but the kind found in truth? Stronghold is not a formula, it is a flashlight. This book will help you to identify your prison, find the kink in the wall and then hand you a chisel.

Come, check out it for yourself! I want to chat about it, maybe even meet over coffee and hear your thoughts. Click the picture below to be connected to the Book’s website. You can read chapter 1 and there may be a freebie or two! (who doesn’t love free?!)

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Come back next week for a chat about Chapter 2!!

Linking up today with Meredith Bernard, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Kelly Balarie.

 

 

 

Sunday Selah but with Swords

I’m sure you’ve seen it by now. Its that picture on the beach. Restrained orange bowed low while violent black torments above. It haunts me. Maybe it does you too. We pause and shutter.

And then scroll on to the next cat video.

My head is comfortable in the sand. Ignorance truly is bliss and if I keep scrolling I don’t have to stay uncomfortably haunted. But here’s the thing… that image has been seared to the backdrop of our faith and ignoring it doesn’t lessen it’s power. In fact, it’s the power that is haunting me.

The power wasn’t in the men in black.

It was in the front line of orange. It was in their faces of steady and calm. It was in the resolve of those 21 men as they knelt in faith. My faith.

This wasn’t a battle of Islam verses Christianity, this was a battle of an evil devourer who was fully aware of the power within those men in orange. He is also fully aware of the influence our scrolling thumbs can have on stiff-kneed faith. And it begs the question: what if? Not what if it were me on that beach… but

What if we believed the Word of God as much as our enemy does?

What if we believed in the POWER of the Word of God as much as our enemy?

Storm in Panama City by Kim Hill

I read this blog post by my friend Karla and it got me thinking about the power of the Word.

And then I came across this post by Ann Voskamp… and I wept. My apathy is not going to protect me, nor is it going to abolish evil. But neither is my vengeful anger or my political prowess.

My sword is not a physical weapon. No, it is instead, a heart broken by a Love I cannot express any other way but in scarred knees and outstretched hands.

“Only the undeniable love of the Cross can crush undeniable evil.
Either Jesus is the answer to the ultimate problems of the human condition — or there is no ultimate answer.
…maybe now is the time that there will be countless thousands of us who we will bend our knees at the great shores of history and let ourselves be counted as The People of the Cross.” ~Ann Voskamp

Hello Gorgeous! {A Videoblog and a Giveaway!}

This past weekend was so fun I had to share it with you, not in writing but face to face! Ahh! So hello world, welcome to my kitchen!

Listen to the videoblog for details on how to get a FREE Identity booklet. Yep, free… well kinda, it’s gonna cost you some vulnerability. (grin) And below the video I’ll list out some great “You Are” scriptures to get you started.

 

I am loved and wanted: Romans 8:38, Romans 5:8, Isaiah 43:3-4, Jeremiah 31:3, Eph. 1:5, 1John 3:1

I am beautiful: Ps. 139:14,17, Psalm 45:11, Song of Solomon 4:7, Eph. 2:10

I am beloved: Song of Solomon 2:4

I am radiant: Matthew 5:14

I am a reflection of Christ’s love: 2 Cor. 4:7-12

I am more than adequate: 2 Peter 1:3-8

I am renewed: 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

I am accepted: Romans 15:7

I am delightful: Zeph 3:17

I am spiritually alive: Eph. 2:5

I am worthy, righteous: Isaiah 61:3, Romans 3:19-25

I am fully equipped: 2 Cor. 9:8

I am smart and wise: Isaiah 50:4, Prov. 31:26

I am strong: Prov 31:25, Psalms 18:1-2

I am honorable and full of joy: Isaiah 61:7, Prov. 31:25

I am chosen, anointed: 1 Peter 2:9, Rev. 5:10, Eph. 1:4

I am complete: 1 John 4:12

I am qualified: 1 Cor 1:30, Philipians 4:13

I belong: Gal.1:4, Gal. 3:26, Col. 1:13, John 10:4, John 15:15

I am free and forgiven: Romans 8:2, I John 1:9, Psalm 103:12

I am approved and validated: Psalm 37:5-6

 

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and Meredith Bernard.

Sunday Selah

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Happy Valentines Day!! (Ok, I’m extending the celebration ~grin).

Love and Romance these days are strange words. Society wants us thinking they are words about power and sex. Let me just tell you, they are not.

Your worth, your love-ableness, is not determined by power or sexuality. In fact it’s not determined by anything that you do. Your worth was determined at the cross, long before you did anything – let alone exhibited power.

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So today – revell in the Love shed for you.

Soak in the Love given to you.

Stand tall, head-held-high for the Love shining in you.

In case you missed it – this post was written last week just for you.

And because I needed this reminder- I’m sharing this list of true love too.

 

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Come visit on Wednesday for a Giveaway!! Oh… and over the next several weeks I’ll be chatting about an AMAZING book about to launch (here’s a sneak peak). Seriously, this book is going to set your faith on FIRE and cause your heart to soar. Trust me- you don’t want to miss it.

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

What is it about love that makes a bride blush with overwhelming beauty? I remember my wedding day, and the moments getting ready. I’d worn white before, I’d even wore tule before. I’d had my hair done before, and worn make up countless times before. But this day was different. I felt different, I looked different.

I felt radiant, beautiful.

It was a glorious day, rainy, but glorious. As I slipped on my gown and into my shoes my heart began to beat with anticipation. A crown of sparkling gems was placed on my head and a final touch to smooth the veil seemed to ignite a joy deep within my heart. I turned and looked in the mirror and there are not words. There just aren’t. Holding my breath we began to walk down the isle and I was overwhelmed with emotion. My heart pounding louder than I’d ever heard it pound before. I know there was music, trumpets to be exact, but I couldn’t hear them. I know there were other people but I didn’t see them. All I saw was the feeling of love. The call of my identity, the draw of belonging. Love stood at the end of that isle and I was perpetually drawn to him.

It was in the all consuming covering of love that I radiated beauty.

It was a love that had been offered to me, and a love that I accepted. Vulnerabilities had been shared, struggles had come and would come again, imperfections had been made aware and past moments had not been kept secret but truly that is what made those vows, that acceptance of love all the more strong. Each step down that isle was another deeper into a commitment of being loved and giving love. And it made my face glow.

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It is in the giving and receiving of love that we radiate beauty.

I am His and He is mine. We are the Bride of Christ, and love thrives in communion with Him.

“I am my beloved’s and He is mine.” Song of Solomon 6:3

His love pulls you in and holds you under the shadow of His wing. He fills your soul and ignites your heart.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”  Jeremiah 31:3

His love endures forever. Nothing can separate us from the covering of His love, the sustaining and protective power of His love.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus”. Romans 8:39

As the realization of His love settles over your heart, your face will begin to glow. Your soul will sing a love song and your heart explode with praise.

The feelings of beauty, of confidence, of security come from the acceptance of His love for us. When we melt all of ourselves before Him, in the revelation of His love we will become immune to the noise and distractions that weigh us down.

Let love radiate in glorious harmony.

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Linking up with Meredith Bernard for Woman to Woman Wednesday as well as Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart.

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