How to Train Children
 in a Woke Culture

“We have the responsibility to stand for the truth, for what is right,” Governor DeSantis said, adding that taxpayer dollars would not “be used to teach our kids to hate our country or to hate each other.” He added: “We also have to protect our people and our kids from some very pernicious ideologies that are trying to be forced upon them all across the country.”

You may wonder, “What is Woke and how does it affect our children?” Merriam-Webster defines as “chiefly US slang”, the dictionary defines the word as: “Aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” You will notice, if you read the articles, that in order to be “woke,” you must believe two things:

  1. That gender is a social construct
  2. That being white is bad

It’s ironic, because these are both things you are born with, but the woke crowd would tell you that one is fluid and the other is just wrong.

PEOPLE AT BEACH

Parent’s Responsibility in a Woke Culture:

Children are gifts that are under parent’s authority for eighteen years. As they grow into maturity, parents release them back to God. The Bible gives an example to follow: 1 Samuel 1:27-28, states “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” God is requiring the same of parents today. When they become adults, your relationship has changed. They now answer to God and their future success; therefore, parents are to train and lay a foundation that will sustain them during future life’s challenges.

Three Keys to Successful Training:

    1. Keep your child’s heart: Your child is trusting you to guard and nourish his/her heart. The key is to build a meaningful relationship by spending time and talking about their day. You are the most important person in their life, the primary educator, the spiritual guide, and influence. Quality time invests meaning into their life and builds healthy relationship. Treat each child as an individual. Your children have different temperaments, giftings and personalities. Study their uniqueness and honor how God has created them.
    2. Train your child’s heart: Training a heart simply means to instill morals, values and character traits. In other words, impart a moral code of right and wrong. Talk about racism in America. What are the results? What has resulted in shame, injustice, and, at some points in history, terrible violence. What does God think about this? We are all created by God in his own image, male and female,” Genesis 1:27. God loves everyone the same. “For God shows no partiality,” Romans 2:11. Train a child’s conscience to do the right thing even when no one is watching. Second, help them to understand that, while laws and legislation guard the principle of equal rights for all Americans legally, no law can change the heart. Someone who is filled with prejudice and racial hatred will not suddenly be filled with love simply because a new law is passed. Only when we are saved can we live out the mandate “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Mark 12:31. Jesus addressed racial divides, among other things, “in the parable of the good Samaritan,” Luke 10:25–37.
    3. Guard your child’s heart: Be their protector. Have them share with you who speaks into their life, the books they read, and what they are watching. Solomon said, “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,” Proverbs 4:23. A heart is shaped by what they think about all day long. Parents can help them to make wise choices. A Christian must realize that real racial reconciliation in the Church occurs when we prioritize our identity in Christ over our belonging to a racial category or ethnicity. Members of the body of Christ should feel more at home in their Christian family than even in their own ethnicity: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Galatians 3:28.

    As Christian parents, we should be “woke” to the love of God for our family in Christ: “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them”, 1 John 2:11. We should be “woke” to the light of the gospel, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers,” 2 Corinthians 4:4. We should be “woke” to the fact of temptation in the world, “Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit is willing but he flesh is weak,” Matthew 26:41. “We are reconciled with God and united to Christ”, 2 Corinthians 5:18. God is allowing us to be truly reconciled with one another. Real change and real answers to the problems of racism, injustice, other societal evils are found in God’s Word and in the peace He gives to all who love and seek Him first, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added to you,” Matthew 6:33.

Girl praying over Bible

Couple hugging

Breaking Unhealthy Soul Ties


Building Godly Relationships

What does it mean to be soul ties?

The definition is a spiritual connection or bond between two people. People who come into your life affect you on a spiritual, emotional, physical, and social level. A physical tie is the most common bond that people experience in their lifetime.

Healthy soul ties improve one’s life and overall well-being because they vibrate love, strength, and positivity. Ungodly soul ties, on the other hand, negatively affect one or both of the people that share the bond. Unhealthy soul ties are usually a product of sinful acts such as harassment or rape. In the demonic world, unholy soul ties can serve as bridges between two people to pass demonic garbage through one person to another. Sarah was able to break free of visitations from demons from an ungodly soul tie after an intimate relationship with her boyfriend. Even though she was a Christian, unknowingly, the enemy had permission to send demonic torment because a door had been opened through a physical relationship that formed an unhealthy soul tie.

In the Bible, it doesn’t use the word soul tie, but it talks about souls being knit together becoming one flesh. A soul tie can serve many functions, but in its simplest form, it ties two souls together in the spiritual realm. Soul ties between married couples draw them together like magnets, while soul ties between fornicators can draw a beaten and abused woman to the man which in the natural realm she would hate and run from, but instead, she runs to him even though he doesn’t love her, and treats her like dirt. Also, soul ties can allow one person to manipulate and control another person, and the other person is unaware to what is going on, or knows what is going on, but for no real reason, allows it to continue.

Signs of an Unhealthy Soul Tie:

    1. Irrational thinking – how they act and what they do does not make sense. For example, the family is saved, the wife’s classmates show up, go party, they sow seeds in her life of discontentment. A soul tie is formed; ie, she feels unappreciated, husband doesn’t show love, children are weighing her down. Irrational thinking has put a spell on her. She believes she is a Madonna and that other men will appreciate her more. Everyone else can see it won’t work.
    2. Evaluate self and others according to a previous context – a remarried couple tells his wife he has to work late; her thoughts go back to first marriage which she later found out he was cheating on her. She waits at the door with a frying pan thinking her husband might be doing the same. Any flashbacks of previous hurts reveal unhealthy soul tie. You cannot judge past by present.
    3. Shut down emotionally – you cannot give what you do not have. You must be in charge of your own soul. If not, you won’t talk and tell how you feel. Husbands will sit down in front of TV and turn wife off. Any wife would feel isolated and lonely. Husband cannot release his soul if he does not possess his soul. To feel a void, wives become shop-o-holics, they seek another source of happiness. They have no time for each other.
    4. Unhealthy desire attracted to like people, places and events – these result in an individual’s detriment. The goal of the enemy is to bring havoc in your life. People demonically influenced will be attracted to things that hurt them. Friends always hurt them. They are bound on the inside and needy. There is nothing on the inside to give them self-authority and determination.
    5. Lack of judgment and discernment – confusion on person causes one to make irrational decisions. They will say, “He hits me but I know he loves me.” Others will be able to see, but confused individual will not be able to see truth.
    6. Inability to establish and keep proper adult relationships – These people are like a large child in their development. All goofy and giddy, insecure and needy. “Do you still love me; answer yes or no”. Dining with a friend, “Are you mad at me? Circle yes or no”. They will wear you out.

Unhealthy Soul Tie is a counterfeit covenant relationship:

    1. Birth everyone is linked in their soul to those in their family. Unhealthy ones will cause you to dread family reunions; ie, Aunt Martha’s attitude, Uncle Barry’s boastfulness. Don’t allow their attitudes to influence you, pray for them, love them but don’t compromise.
    2. Marriage – Ge. 2:23,24 “Bone of my bone…cleave as one flesh.” In-laws are not to control. If divorced, legally bound in the soulish realm and it must be broken. People who have many past relationships find it very difficult to ‘bond’ or be joined to anybody, because their soul is fragmented.
    3. Sexual activity – I Cor. 6:15,” Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid.” Ge. 34:2,3 Dinah was raped and her soul cleaved to him. There was transference of spirits, a swapping of demons and you can’t get the victory until freedom.
    4. Listening to wrong people – You can hear, but do not open your spirit up. College students in philosophy class must keep the voice on the outside of them. Don’t allow the wrong voice to change your thinking or identify with it.
    5. Allegiance – gang network pledges their allegiances. They think the gang will take care of them, but there’s no future; there’s no life. You never see old gangs taking care of each other.
    6. Idolization – The American culture can cause us to look to others to fulfill a need. Hollywood has projected desires on people and bind their life even if they never met anyone. It affects the emotions and leave room in the soul.
    7. Vows, commitments and agreements:  Vows are known to bind the soul (Numbers 30:2), marriage itself consists of vows and binds the two people together (Ephesians 5:31), there is little reason to overlook the concept of vows or commitments as being a means to create a soul tie.

How to break a Soul Tie:

    1. If any sins were committed to cause this soul tie, repent of them! Fornication is perhaps one of the most common ways to create nasty soul ties.
    2. If gifts were given to you by the other person in connection with the sin or unholy relationship, such as rings, flowers, cards, bras, etc. get rid of them! Such things symbolize the ungodly relationship, and can hold a soul tie in place. Don’t hang on to such things that symbolize sin or that are wrong to give each other before marriage.
    3. Any rash vows or commitments made that played a part in forming the soul tie should be renounced and repented of, and broken in Jesus’ name. Even things like “I will love you forever”, or “I could never love another man!” need to be renounced. They are spoken commitments that need to be undone verbally.
    4. Forgive that person if you have anything against them. Do this verbally, and in Jesus’ name. Example, “Father, I ask that you forgive me for any unholy soul tie. In Jesus’ name, I now repent for any ungodly soul ties formed between myself and ______ as a result of _______________ (fornication, etc.).”
    5. Break and reject the soul tie in Jesus’ name. Renounce the ungodly soul tie and command it to go in Jesus Name! Do this verbally using your authority in Jesus Name. Example, “I now break and sever any ungodly soul ties formed between myself and _________ as a result of ______________ (fornication, etc.) in Jesus’ name.”
    6. Call your soul back to wholeness! Father, according to Ps. 23:4 “I call restoration in my emotions, intellect, will and desire & decree wholeness in my soul. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. My desire is to have healthy relationships and to serve you wholeheartedly in Jesus Name.”

Woman looking up and praying

Woman looking confusd

The Enneagram

A Christian Perspective

The growing popularity of the Enneagram has caused Christians to start asking whether it’s a helpful tool or whether it’s too conflicted in its origins. Before we dismiss the Enneagram because of the origin or the symbol that reminds us of a pentagram, let’s see if we can come up with some helpful answers to the most critical questions some people are asking.

We need a “knowledge of God and of ourselves.” But this pursuit must be balanced. Self-awareness is not the end but the means to cultivating a deeper union with God our Father and others. Your temperament and personality influences everything you do—from sleep habits to study habits to eating style to the way you get along with other people. Humanly speaking, there is no other influence in your life more powerful than your personality or combination of temperaments. That is why it is so essential to know you and to be able to analyze other people’s personality and temperaments, not to condemn them, but so you can maximize your potential and enable others to maximize theirs.

Unlike other personality tests that seek to describe only our characteristics, the Enneagram’s aim is to reveal our core fears and needs. It reveals the God-substitutes in our lives. As Tim Keller points out, “The most profound kind of self-knowledge you can know is the particular strategies you have for running and hiding from God.”

As listed on the Enneagram Institute’s website, the nine types include:

    • Enneagram 1: The Reformer is principled, purposeful, self-controlled and perfectionistic.
    • Enneagram 2: The Helper is generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing and possessive.
    • Enneagram 3: The Achiever is adaptable, excelling, driven and image-conscious.
    • Enneagram 4: The Individualist is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed and temperamental.
    • Enneagram 5: The Investigator is perceptive, innovative, secretive and isolated.
    • Enneagram 6: The Loyalist is engaging, responsible, anxious and suspicious.
    • Enneagram 7: The Enthusiast is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive and scattered.
    • Enneagram 8: The Challenger is self-confident, decisive, willful and confrontational.
    • Enneagram 9: The Peacemaker is receptive, reassuring, complacent and resigned.

Woman on latop thinking

Therefore, the Enneagram can be a window into understanding the triggers and difficult behaviors of yourself and of others. Also, how you may be projecting your own shadow onto someone else. It is also helpful because it makes general sins specific to us. God can use the Enneagram to place crosshairs on some of the root sins and strategies in our lives. Therefore, the Enneagram is meant to be a tool that frees us from the false self and opens us up more deeply to the transforming work of God’s Spirit. And, from there, it becomes a tool that allows us to love others more effectively, with more compassion, understanding, and intention. Our blind spots are powerful deterrents to our spiritual growth. To the extent that we remain unaware of what is motivating us, we are not free. “If I am hiding behind a blind spot, I am unconsciously trying to keep God, others, and myself from the love that God offers. Knowledge of the Enneagram has led me into a self-awareness that has drawn me closer to the heart of God.”

Lisa Rieck

We must remember the Holy Spirit, not self-awareness, fuels sanctification. As the Apostle Paul said, even the most self-aware person in the world has “the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out,” Romans 7:18. Self-awareness is not enough; we need the power of the gospel. Pastor John Fooshee teaches that a Christian does not live for their perfection, acceptance, success, significance, wisdom, security, joy, strength, and peace but from Christ and His Kingdom.

The Enneagram is not a one-stop-shop or a quick-fix tool. It is simply a tool for growth, that, like other discipleship resources can lead to deep insights about ourselves, our relationships, and God by opening our hearts in new ways to the Spirit’s work of moving us from the “old self” to the “new self”, Paul wrote, “in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self that is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth,” Ephesians 4:22-24.

The Enneagram is a framework that helps us see ourselves as we are and as we could be if we allow God to continually renew us and form us into people who are healthy and whole, and who reflect their Maker in glorious ways. There are benefits; such as: awareness at the level of motivation, increase consciousness and confidence, compassion for self and others and increase productivity and motivation. Our goal or purpose in life is to become Christ-like and to be equipped to fulfill Jesus’ commandment: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing then in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching then to observe all that I have commanded you” Matthew 28:18-20. The Enneagram is a tool that God can use to prepare us for life’s journey to fulfill His Commission.

 

MOTHER & DAUGHTER

New Year’s Goal for 2022

Keeping Home a Sanctuary

The start of each new year is a time to reflect on the year just past and make plans for the future. It holds a special blessing, with a promise of new opportunities and the possibility to change our lives for the better. A rewarding goal in 2022 is to make your home a place of rest and peace after a stressful year. Many of us protect our homes with security systems, lock the doors and take measures to protect our homes and families. But, what about spiritually protecting our homes?

A successful way to receive supernatural protection is to pray and anoint your home with oil. Anointing your home involves taking a small portion of olive oil, which represents the Holy Spirit’s anointing, and applying it with your finger to the posts of your door, both outside and inside your home while you pray God’s blessing to be released over and in your home. While the oil itself does not have any intrinsic value, in Scripture the act of anointing was seen as a consecration of a person or thing to God.

By praying and anointing your home, it releases the Presence of God and home becomes a sanctuary marked for safety, health, and peace. Praying Psalm 91 declares angels will come to provide and to protect from every danger—sickness, disease, attack, fire, and any other threat to your safety, health, and well-being.

How to Anoint your home:

Holy Oil

Follow these steps:

  • Remove anything that has a negative emotion from your home. This can be books, movies, clothing with certain pictures or symbols, or objects that have a connection to hurtful past memories or wrong spirits.
  • Command the power of darkness to go in Jesus’ Name. Any attempt of the enemy against your home or family must bow its knee at the name of Jesus. Philippians 2:9-10.
  • Plead the blood of Jesus over each room and your family. There is great power in the blood of the Lamb, Colossians 1:20.
  • Pray in every room the promises of God. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill every inch of your home. Pray that only His will be done and that everything that is said and done in your home will be pleasing to Him. This is a way of consecrating, or dedicating, your home to Him.
  • Welcome the Presence of the Lord. You are dedicating your home to the Kingdom of God where love, joy and peace will rule and reign, Matthew 6:10.

As you pray and place oil on the door frame in your home, do this by faith. God has given you the power and the authority, Luke 10:19. The oil marks your home for God’s supernatural protection, “The yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil,” Isaiah 10:27.

Sweet home sign

Declare your home is a sanctuary and His Presence is welcome! Proclaim the blessings:

Psalm 91, “Our home dwells in the shelter of the Most High and rests in the shadow of the Almighty. He is our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.”

Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord will bless us and keep us; the Lord makes his face to shine upon us and is gracious to us; the Lord lift up his countenance upon us and gives us peace.”

1 Samuel 25:6, “We greet you Lord and decree: ‘Peace be to us, and peace be to this house, and peace be to all that we have.”

Thank God for His abiding love and for keeping your home a sanctuary that is set apart to meet the needs of anyone who lives and enters into your home. It’s a reminder to those living in the home that the house has been dedicated to God and committed to walk in accordance with God’s Word.

FAMILY ON BED

MOM BABY LOOKING AT CHRISTMAS TREE

The Christmas Blessing


Creating A Culture for Spiritual Inheritance

Our words have a great influence in the lives of those around us. Speaking blessings can bring hope, encouragement, and direction to our families, friends, and others. Many can experience deepening relationships and spiritual encouragement as they receive the power of a spoken blessings over them.

A spoken blessing is a positive, Biblical statement that invokes the blessing of God in the life a family member or friend. The power of spoken blessings comes from the heart of God, Who Himself “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3. Jesus has asked us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:10. We have the honor of finding a promise and decreeing it over individuals to invoke a blessing. “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee; and the light shall shine upon thy ways,” Job 22:28.

Speaking a blessing over your family or friends is to decree with authority God’s promises over a need, a desire or over a circumstance and releasing faith into someone’s future: “God has given His promise, His oath, those two things are unchangeable for it is impossible for God to lie,” Hebrews 6:17-19. Therefore, a spoken blessing from God’s Word can become a tradition and a valuable way to strengthen anyone and create a lasting memory. Blessings lend a certain spirit that nurtures family connection, giving everyone a sense of belonging and helping all to celebrate generations of family. More importantly, traditions create positive memories for children in knowing that God’s Word is powerful and will sustain them and give them hope for the future.

With a desire to make meaningful family connections, God gave me a desire to start a family tradition called, “The Christmas Blessing”. The purpose was to create a culture for spiritual inheritance and to build an atmosphere of expectancy from my family when they asked, “What is the blessing God has for me this Christmas?” The Christmas Blessing is spoken over each family member from the youngest to the oldest. To find the right blessing, I would pray while reading the Word and ask God to give me a promise for each individual. When I found the right promise, it was an “Aha” moment. Each promise was written as a blessing and recorded on Christmas stationery. At the family gathering, while huddling around the tree, “The Christmas Blessing” was shared for all to hear. Those promises become prophetic words that were declared under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I became God’s messenger. The desire for “The Christmas Blessing” was presented with the purpose to build a culture of faith, give hope and encourage each one to trust in God’s Word and to know it was a personal message that came directly from His heart.

It often takes time and effort to search out appropriate blessings. Ask the Lord to make you attentive to His Spirit as you read Scripture, discerning which words, phrases, and concepts He wants you to share with someone. As you learn what God wants to accomplish, the Holy Spirit will instruct you (see John 16:13) affirming God’s will by declaring Biblical promises.

This family tradition reinforces values such as belief in God’s faithfulness, integrity in decisions, personal responsibility, and the value of forgiveness and love. The blessing also provides a forum to showcase role models and to celebrate the things that really matter in one’s life as we continue to watch the blessings unfold from year to year.

My hope is you will find a family tradition and make memories that will last for generations. God is wanting to encourage, give hope and renew vision over every family member. May your family receive the greatest breakthrough of all as you speak these words directly to each person. The Christmas Blessing will create a culture that leaves a spiritual inheritance as family connects in love and unity.

GIRL WRITING UNDER CHRISTMAS TREE

The Truth about Pokémon


Behind the Fascination

Truth is a universal topic that we all seek to know and understand. Whether it’s knowing the truth or speaking the truth both are found in a growing relationship with God. When we spend time in God’s Word and in prayer, the truth is revealed to us. The question is, what is the right way and how do we know if something is right for our children or even us personally? In the case of Pokémon, let us look at the “roots and fruits” of this game. The Bible tells us that we can recognize the tree by the fruit that it bears; Matthew 7:17-20: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

The Roots and Fruit of Pokémon

1. Pokémon is described as “Pocket Monsters”. This game makes some of its monsters out as friendly; thus, causing children to embrace certain evil spirits as friends instead of resisting them.

2. The game was created in Japan and the concepts of the game and trading cards reflect the principles of Eastern Religions and the philosophies that influenced them. Pokémon is the result of influences that are completely mystical and that embrace warrior religions. These belief systems are not compatible with Christianity.
One of the typical examples of the dark side of Pokémon is a character named Haunter; an evolved spirit that can hypnotize and has “dream eater” power (powered by the purple Pokémon energy cards which is psychic energy). His demonic power lets him drain the energy from his opponents.

Gremlin 
*

In Pokémon, the monsters actually die to their old self and evolve into the new, more powerful Pokémon. This is the teaching of eastern mystery religions and is spelled out in the Egyptian book of the dead and other occult religions. Through these children are subtly being indoctrinated into the theory of evolution and mysticism of the eastern religions.

3. Other philosophies are also evident and the influences of New Age Cults, Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism and Satanism in this game. In the practice of witchcraft, spirits are summoned and called to stay in a circle until needed to fight off bad spirits. In these practices, they develop relationships with the so-called “good spirits” to fight the bad ones. This is totally against scripture as the only spirit we are to call on is the Holy Spirit to combat evil spirits with His Holy Angels.

4. The trading feature has become addictive in many children. It is also creating bad feelings among friends. When a child doesn’t get the card they want, they feel bad; when they do get the card they want, they feel superior. This trading game is not fostering good Christian traits but rather greed, combativeness, extreme competitiveness, and obsessiveness. Family relationships have deteriorated and children no longer talk about themselves or others but rather about when they can make another trade.

5. Some parents are concerned about disturbing behavior changes. Their children fight and display anti-social skills instead of the proper ones. Instead of this game just being one of imaginative fun, it has become addictive and changed the emotional disposition of children. Since it is a role-playing game, some of the characters are not good and this opens the door for children to receive evil influences and even demonic invasion. Children can receive demon spirits by opening themselves up to the spirits behind Pokémon.

Now, what can we do about it and what are our responsibilities? First of all, we should pray and ask the Lord for the truth about this game so He can reveal it to us. Many parents just buy the toys their children ask for it. Parents must take a more active role in praying over and researching the toys, books, and games before buying them.

Parents praying with kids*

Determine if the game, video, or book involves supernatural power. There are only two sources of supernatural power — God or the devil. When it is beyond the natural, it either comes from God or the devil. If it is not from God then we should not be partaking of it.

If children have been involved for some time in these satanic games, they may need a prayer of freedom prayed over them as sometimes the devil can have a stronghold in their lives. Finally, any games, books, or cards must be disposed of due to the addictive nature of these things. Remember we are in a battle and we must stand on God’s Word to see our children protected and delivered from the influence of the wicked one. Their hearts, as well as our own, need to be guarded from all evil influences.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23. We encourage you not to let the seemingly little things, like helping choose your children’s toys wisely, be a door for unwanted evil influences in their lives. Don’t let this “little fox” destroy the minds and hearts of our children.*

 

A boy and girl
*
End Notes:

¹New Wine Online Website, July Posting, Pastor Brett Peterson

*Unsplash

*Betty Miller – Note: There is an excellent book entitled, Turmoil in the Toy Box, that will help parents to understand the evil influences that have influenced toymakers and thus passed this on to our children. Remember unless the toymakers have character and a godly influence they are usually making and selling toys with just a profit in mind.

Crowd of people with masks on. COVID-19

Comfort in Uncertain Times

Comfort in Uncertain Times

A Positive Response to Covid

Covid has put many into a spin of hopelessness, fear, and despair. As we listen to the news, watch those who are masked, not masked, those who do not stay six feet apart or wash their hands…many thoughts run through our minds. We are trying to protect ourselves from getting sick but if someone does not follow your rule, you form a judgment and unknowingly agree with fear.

It is human nature to avoid emotions that scare or annoy us and then to respond negatively. Who wants to walk directly into what promises to be a harmful experience? But by continually avoiding truth and ignoring the ‘fear’ within, anyone can be held captive that leads to an isolated, judgmental life. Therefore, fearfulness causes us to distrust others or even ourselves to do the right thing. We sacrifice our sense of community and togetherness. We stop listening or only listen to what we want to hear.

Typically, this involves hiding from any potentially stressful situation that might cause upset. This decision leads to isolation. Unfortunately, one is also hiding from potential challenges that can lead to growth and joy. No one can hide forever from fear. It’s going to strike, despite your best efforts to suppress it. And it is likely that it will strike at a time when you most need emotional composure. The good news is that once you understand and face your fear, rather than shove it into a distant compartment of your brain, it begins losing the ability to rule you and dictate your decisions.

Lady praying over Bible

Tips to Work Through Your Fear and Live Your Life

  1. Guard your thoughts. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life,” Proverbs 4:23. Whatever is focused on, one’s power is given to that thought. When fear is the focus, it will dictate life decisions and well-being. Fear is restricting and projects hopelessness into the future as to what could happen. For example, a son who lives in Texas, due to fear of Covid, does not want his parents from Georgia to visit their child. He had been listening to the news, watching others, forming judgments, and now his thoughts went to fear for the baby. The course of his life, due to fear, is isolation and preventing his parents to celebrate the joy of a new child.
  2. Seek Truth. Fear is a spirit that projects into the future whatever you are meditating on that it will come to pass. Fear has torment and makes you form judgments that lock you into discontentment, anger, and resentment. God’s Word cancels every fear. There is no power over you that God’s Word does not have power over. To break fear, repent, and renounce the agreement with fear and decree, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind,” 2 Timothy 1:7.
  3. Maintain your faith. Take time to schedule prayer and bible reading. Ask for wisdom to look at the situations through God’s eyes and to be able to walk with His Heart. A young wife suffered a stroke after going on the wrong pills. The doctor told her she may never fully recover physically and that she would not be able to have children. Through prayer, the Lord told her to “paint a new picture on the canvas of her imagination.” The negative report from the doctor put fear that was binding and restricting her vision for the future. Her prayer was, “Father, I want to see my future through your eyes. You said you would give me the desires of my heart; I choose to erase the negative words spoken over me and to paint a new picture in my heart of the future. I receive your promises of having children and walking in health.” Her mother drew a picture on a canvas, placed at the foot of her hospital bed. When she woke up, she saw her new future. Today she is healed and a mother of three beautiful children.
  4. Use God’s Word as a weapon against the enemy. Every day, our minds are bombarded with thousands of thoughts. Do those thoughts agree with what God says in the Bible? Or are they lies from the enemy? God commands us to take our thoughts captive and He gave us the Bible as our best weapon to defeat the enemy. Fear of Covid does not have to control you when you know you have the right standing with Jesus to overcome any challenge. We are to challenge our thoughts to come into alignment with the truth in God’s Word. If you have a problem, find a promise. God’s promises decreed and proclaimed cancel every lie of the enemy. How does God want us to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic…by the power in His Word, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” Isaiah 54:17.

AFRICAN AMERICAN READING BIBLE

WOMAN PRAYING WITH MASK ON

Don’t Let Fear Control You

Don’t Let Fear Control You

Let Truth Conquer Fear

We all struggle with our inner thoughts and emotions. Sometimes we can get trapped in them. It can feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over our heads. Fear can be paralyzing and can stop you from becoming the person you were designed to be. Your life is so much more than the fear you are experiencing. To experience freedom in Christ, and to grow in the grace of God, requires repentance, which literally means a change of mind. You can learn how to conquer your fears and be fearless. The following steps are truths that will set you free to live the abundant life Jesus has promised to every believer.

First of all, God creates within us a protective fear that is temporary and circumstantial for the purpose of keeping us safe. But God doesn’t put into us chronic, debilitating fear. That fear comes from the devil and is demonically inspired. The only answer for this type of fear is to take authority over it, bind it, and cast it from our lives as Jesus taught us.

Therefore, if fear is a God-given natural response when our physical or psychological safety is threatened. Courage is not the absence of fear, but it is living by faith and doing what is right in the face of illegitimate fear objects. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and the only fear that can overcome all other fears. Irrational fears compel us to live irresponsible lives or prevent us from doing that which is responsible and from being good witnesses. Behind every irrational fear is a lie that must be identified. Our purpose is to identify when fear entered and to break the stronghold. This prayer will allow the Lord to identify any controlling fear and to root out the mind-binding lies:

Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that I have allowed fear to control me and that lack of faith is sin. I confess I’ve agreed with fear, and ask that you forgive me. Thank you for Your forgiveness. I recognize that You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and discipline. I renounce any spirit of fear operating in my life and ask You to reveal any and all-controlling fears in my life and the lies behind them. I desire to live by faith in You and in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Renewing your mind is a process, but the process begins with acknowledging strongholds of fear that have legal rights. Identify any deceptions you were knowingly or unknowingly believing and agreeing with; such as fear of death, of never loving or being loved, fear of Satan, fear of embarrassment, rejection by other people, failure, victimized, becoming/being homosexual, controlling marriage, going crazy, financial problems, pain/illness, the future, never being married, confrontation, being hopeless, specific individuals, losing salvation, not loved by God, having committed the unpardonable sin. Other_____

Analyze Your Fear:

YOUNG MAN PRAYING*

When did you first experience the fear, and what events preceded the first experience? What lies have you been believing that are the basis for the fear? How has the fear kept you from living a responsible life or compromised your witness? Confess any active or passive way that you have allowed fear to control you. Work out a plan of responsible behavior and be determined in advance what your response will be to any fear or object.*

Father, in Jesus’ Name, I renounce the fear of (name the fear and associated lies) because God has not given me a spirit of fear. I choose to live by faith in You and I acknowledge You as the only legitimate fear object in my life. I receive the promise in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Thank you, Father, I receive and thank you for Your love, power, and a sound mind,” in Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

WOMAN RAISING ARMS ON MONTAIN

*The Steps to Freedom in Christ by Neil T. Anderson
*Pictures by Unsplash

Overcoming Strongholds

Overcoming Strongholds

Fear, Stress and Anxiety

Have you ever had someone you trusted, who should have played a friendship role in your life, deeply betrayed your trust, and hurt you? As a result, the enemy lied to you that no one could be trusted and you are on your own. You in turn then become fiercely independent, so much so that you have trust issues, which has then resulted in you struggling to trust God’s promises in your life!

Any wound we experience, hurt or disappointment makes our heart fertile ground for seeds of lies to be planted. On this foundation, the enemy then begins to build brick by brick, a wall of lies, inaccurate ideas about the person of God, erroneous interpretations of Scripture, prideful thoughts, and distorted perceptions of how God sees us and feels about us when we sin. Sometimes the enemy is so subtle in your thoughts, you have a tough time figuring out which is which. You just have to be careful to guard your thought life. Whatever you agree with, you give your power to that thought and it forms a stronghold.

What exactly is a stronghold?

Man stressed

A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern that has molded itself into our way of thinking. These strongholds have the capability to affect our feelings, how we respond to various situations in life, and they play a large role in our spiritual freedom.

Strongholds are built upon deception and error. These errors and deceptions which form strongholds can come from a wide variety of sources, including our environment, those around us, our parents, or even demon spirits. A person who has a demon behind their stronghold(s) may find it nearly impossible to tear them down and keep them down. This is because the demon will be working hard at rebuilding and holding those strongholds in place. They will be countering that person’s efforts to tear them down. It will seem as if they are hitting a brick wall, and even if they seem to make progress, it seems like their efforts are in vain because it keeps coming back.

How do you tear down strongholds?

We know that strongholds and imaginations must be cast down, but how? By being transformed through the renewing of our minds: Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

As our minds are renewed, we may prove (discern) what is good, acceptable, and perfect, and the will of God. These things are some of the very things that strongholds rise themselves against! Many people who are caught up in shame-based thinking do not realize that it’s God’s will and it is good for them to disassociate themselves from their past. Their minds need to be renewed, and as those strongholds come down, they will be able to see God’s will and respond.

Our minds are renewed and cleansed through the Word of God. Spending time and meditating on the Word of God washes our minds and corrects our false thinking patterns (strongholds). Ephesians 5:26-27, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

As we meditate and wash our minds with God’s Word, we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and we will come to know the will of God and discern what is right, perfect, and good. Our strongholds, which are based upon error and deception will not stand a chance as the light of God’s Word (truth) is shed upon those areas of our minds.

PRAYING HANDS ON BIBLE

Prayer to break strongholds:

Father, I ask in Jesus’ Name that you forgive me for agreeing with any strongholds of fear, stress, and anxiety. I renounce the agreement and break the lies that formed a stronghold. I agree with the Word of God, “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed,” John 8:36. I receive freedom and forgiveness from all strongholds. I bless myself with the mind of Christ and decree, “I have defeated strongholds by the blood of the Lamb and by my testimony,”  Revelation 12:11. Thank you, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. Amen.

Soldiers rasing the US flag

United We Stand

United We Stand

One Nation Under God

President Harry S. Truman once said, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” We do not have to look very far to realize there are many things which need prayer in our nation today. Fear is widespread. Anxiety has gripped many. Uncertainty has touched us all. Yet, none of those things are to move us as we stand together in unity and pray for our country.

There is a place where God commands a blessing. That place is unity. Our country is called the UNITED States of America. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word united is defined as: Joined; made to agree; cemented; mixed; attached by growth. The enemy has fought the most in our nation at the place of unity. He is doing everything he can to create division. Division in race. In politics. In gender. His plan is to divide. There is no commanded blessing from God where there is division, and he knows that. While we know it is not possible for us to agree on all things – We can agree on some things.
We can agree we desire the plan of God for our nation. We can agree we want the best for the people of this nation. We desire one nation under God. We can agree we want to please God with our faith and prayer life. Then let’s unify and pray for unity in our nation.

Together let’s pray that first of all, truth be revealed all across America. Then pray for unity. Unity in your home. Unity between man and wife. Unity with your children and grandchildren. Unity in your city. Unity in our government, and unity in our great nation.

Let’s lay hold of the promise in Psalm 133, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity…there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” Let’s stand together and bring unity back to our nation! For with God all things are possible, and nothing is impossible to him who believes.

Men praying

The following prayers for our nation are from Intercessors of America. This organization publishes prayer resources and unites Christians in prayer for our nation since 1973. Their mission is to inform, connect, and mobilize a network of those who pray and fast for America.

PRAY for these leaders to recognize their own inadequacy and seek the will of God. (Prv 3:5-8)
PRAY that they would fear God and that God would be glorified through their actions. (Prv 9:10)
PRAY that the idols of Washington, D.C. would be struck down, and only the one true God would be honored. (Is 42:8-9)
PRAY for God’s will to be done in our nation, and that our leaders would honor biblical values in their rulings, laws, and decisions. (Mt 6:10)
PRAY that any hidden agenda, deception, or subversive action would be brought to light and not profit. (Jer 7:8)
PRAY for God’s glory and presence to affect Washington, D.C. and our government in greater measure, that light will displace the darkness. (Is 60:1-2)
PRAY that any spiritual battle that wages in the Administration and its offices would result in a victory against any plans of the Enemy. (Eph 6:12)
PRAY that these leaders would encourage religious freedom so that our nation may be free to follow the Lord as it says in Scripture, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” (Ps 33:12)
PRAY that these leaders would have humility as they recognize that God has given them any ability they have, and that their lives should be lived in honor to the Lord. (Jas 4:10)
PRAY for protection from temptations to seek power, follow evil, and empower ungodly principles through the overcoming power of Christ. (Prv 16:25)
PRAY for strength to do what is right even if they see that it is not popular. (2 Tim 1:7)
PRAY that they would seek a community of believers to uphold them in prayer, encouragement, and accountability (Is 33:6)
PRAY that any ungodly plans put forth would encounter a spirit of confusion in its planning and would not come to fruition. (Mt 6:33)
PRAY that those hidden servants of God, Christ-followers within our nation’s government, would be protected, elevated, and guided as they serve our nation and the Lord. (Ps 91)

Boy saluting US flag