Inner Beast

i try to sleep

but i can’t

cause when i close my eyes

i see you on my mind

beating past pain into the present;

i’m exhausted

but the beast is alive

growling so loud

i can’t focus on sleep;

the beast is crushing all my dreams

beneath his feet

as i am barely breathing

to survive yet another night of

these terribly terrifying nightmares

i can’t shake

cause when i step out of the water,

i’m still drowning;

water above my head,

and although i can swim,

it doesn’t matter

cause the fear paralyzes

me fully

and i’m stuck

as the beast closes in

to devour my entire vulnerability;

this isn’t just a nighttime deal,

this is me daily.

~Bethany Anne

Loneliness And Fear

Loneliness and fear go hand in hand.

When we are surrounded by our fellow warriors enjoying sweet fellowship, loneliness and fear are melted away.

When we are alone at the midnight hour or rising in the black of the dawn, and there is no one there to encourage us, that is when we face the test.

Will we stay in touch with headquarters and hold our quadrant, or will we retreat to bastions of self indulgent comforts to drown out the terrors of the dark?

Either way, there’s a price to pay.

If we stand and fight, we may die.

If we retreat, we will live with the dread of a future battle that still has to be fought.

If we retreat long enough, we may convince ourselves that the battle is un-winnable.

A life lived in perpetual retreat is a living death.

So, how do we find camaraderie and courage when we are alone?  

Who is going to help us hold our quadrant?

Who is going to speak to our soul: “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm, and you will see the deliverance that the Lord will bring you today.”?

It is not enough to win the day; we must win the night, too.

This is not a part-time war that we are engaged it.

It is perpetual; it is relentless; it is no exaggeration to say that it is a fight to the death.

The enemy wants to kill us, and he will not leave us until we learn how to vanquish him.

May God help us.

No, really; God help us!  “Give us help against the enemy, for the help of man is in vain.”

The Holy Spirit is called the comforter, the counselor, and the Spirit of Christ.

We must be filled with the Spirit if we are going to live and die for Christ.  

If Christ himself is going to live his life through us, we  need all the help we can get, and I don’t mean maybe.

There have been many casualties of war that have resulted from underestimating the enemy.

Our enemy has been around since the dawn of time, and he knows the territory.

He has far more experience opposing God and his children than we have opposing him.

Only God knows how to deal with him effectively. So, “Let us submit ourselves to God, resist the enemy, and he will flee from us.”  Let us say continually, “Come, Lord Jesus.  Come, Holy Spirit.  Come, and lead us home.”

~ Brad Heilhecker

What Fuels You

Do you let stress and worry consume you?

How about anger and resentments?

All that is counterfeit fuel. Oh, it may keep you going but it’s wreaking havoc on the inside.

Let’s get still today before the Lord. Let’s invite Him into our situations and our life completely so we can be fueled well with Christ’s burning love.

It’s a much better fuel!

~ XXOO Michelle

What Will You Choose?

You must think that I’m weak,

that when I fall,

I won’t get back up,

that eventually, I will fail,

but you are wrong;

yes, I am terrified,

but I will run towards the enemy,

not away from it;

fear only remains as long as I give in

but I am done;

and no, that doesn’t mean

I’ll never be under attack

or feel fear ever again

cause I know I will,

but I won’t let it keep me enslaved;

I will fight back

I will be free, eventually;

We are warriors

and warriors fight

backing down is NEVER an option

making excuses,

running away from the storm,

hiding from the enemy

isn’t who we are,

it isn’t who I am,

it’s not in my blood;

my blood flows through me strong

and this body is my instrument

to use to push back the enemy,

to fight,

to use all the force I have

to crush darkness under my feet

where it belongs;

fear is meant to be destroyed,

but it can only be if you decide to follow through

it is up to you,

in your own life;

you can be a slave to fear

or free in Christ,

the choice is up to you;

what will you choose?

~ Bethany Anne

Easy As That 


Years ago, a surgery that was considered common and routine, took a turn for the worst. I was experiencing a lot of pain and it wouldn’t go away. Within days, I was taken back to the hospital for an exploratory surgery. It was the only answer. 

At the time, I was a single mother trying to keep life, together, within my capabilities. And for anyone who can relate to this, or to the constant juggle of life’s responsibilities, you might be able to join me in a mutual understanding when I told myself, “You don’t have time to be sick.”
I was ordered to bedrest for an indefinite time. 

Easy as that right?….Um….No…Not for me…..

Deep down, I felt a strong sense of responsibility to take on the day to day activities and my pride assured me that I could take care of everything on my own. The enemy made sure doubt would be the icing on the cake. He told me, “You can’t afford not to work, who will pay your bills? No one will take care of your children like you do. What if something happens to one of them? Tiffany, you…know….you will be all alone and life will go on without you.”

An overwhelming and paralyzing fear crept in. It imprisoned my thoughts, actions, and reactions. 
Easy as that!….FEAR took over…

After the third trip back into the hospital, I was exhausted, frustrated and done. 
I broke. 
I looked up to God and I surrendered to all of who He is.
I repented for not giving my fears, worries, and life over to him. 

Why is it, that we discover, at the end of a difficult season, there may have been an easier way to have gone through it? I made some of my difficult situations harder than they had to be. 
Sometimes…even now….I still do. 

Thankfully, God is in everything. Even when I stand in the way, it doesn’t stop Him from being ALL. Even when I took over, He was still moving. 

Jesus said, 

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:30 NIV

God wants us to go through Him. He wants us to trust and have faith in the promises He has given so that we may have rest for our soul. If you are facing a trial today, may you find rest and comfort in Him. Be reminded that His burden is light. He wants to take your burden and replace it with His comfort.

Dear Jesus, 

Help me to see when I am full of pride, not considering the strength available in you. Continue to guide me, even when I try to get in your way. Thank you for having mercy and grace over my stubborn heart. Thank you for loving me when I fall short. I thank you for all of your protection and love. In Jesus name, Amen.

 ~Baring His Beauty,

    Tiffany Thomas 

Love Overcomes Fear 

  

The need to be loved and validated as worthy of something better was undeniable. Somehow, I knew finding a safe place (like church) would be the answer.

Between the ages of 17-21, I had lost three immediate family members. My mother was murdered, my mother’s younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident and my Grandfather was killed while working under his truck. All three deaths were separate from each other, yet tragically unexpected.

And for a girl who had already lived life stripped and lost, the deaths of these closest loves ended up feeling like a confirmation of a generational curse bestowed upon me. The emotions this stirred up within me were chaotic and irrational. Nothing in life made sense.

Not only did the dysfunction of my childhood hinder me, so did the inability to understand the loss of my family members. It created a sense of powerlessness which controlled me with anxiety and fear.

For years, I couldn’t shake it. I lived in constant fear of a pending death of the next loved one. Who would be next was always a lingering question. 

It was a trigger that ignited a raging mess.

Eventually I was done feeling weak, being victimized by a fallen world. I was tired of living in the insanity of my emotions. Instinctively, I knew that finding a church, finding God, would ease the pain of my loss.

Anything had to be better than living numb and depleted. Though fear would go on trying to keep me captive, God started to reveal His goodness to my heart. The more I’ve learned about having a relationship with God, less fear controlled my circumstances.

Because I was bound by a misplaced loyalty to fear I hadn’t been able to trust or to learn about the freedom God desired for me. I was a prisoner of fear.  Ultimately, I had been led by the negative emotions instead of the loving heart of God. Fear had prevented me from moving forward into healing and the life He had created. It kept me from understanding God and the freedom he wanted to give me. And it stole much more. Years and relationships that were meant for His goodness were taken.
But God, with his gracious heart, pursued my broken heart. As my perception of who He was became my anchor, my heart softened. I began to believe and have faith in who He was and His word. I began seeing and experiencing new defining moments in life, ones not led by fear. They consisted of faith. At times, fear can still be my first reaction. But then I hear the whisper of God saying, “Fear not, I am with you.” My loyalty was once misplaced. Now, I lay it down at Jesus’s feet.

Whatever you may be facing today, rest knowing God is with you right now, waiting to walk with you through your circumstances. May you be blessed today.

        ~Baring His Beauty,

           Tiffany Thomas 

Conquer 

  

Worthy Thought:

If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. 

Pray and then go out and do it.

                       ~Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

For I know the plans I have for you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. 

Jeremiah 29:11-12 

May The Force Be With You 



 

Thanks to Amy Tippins for sharing her story with us from Her personal blog

  

 1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Where fear resides God cannot…unless you invite Abba to take away the fear. 

 For the past 2 years I have lived in fear. Fear that I would never be financially stable enough to become a parent. Fear of my business not being successful enough to support my family. I fear that I will run out of the mental bandwidth to handle a business and a child. I fear I will never be chosen by a birth mom. Yes, I have strong fears and sometimes they drive me to tears.

What I can attest to is that when I turn my fear over to God and asked for him to calm my heart, He always seems to come through in a way that is so much greater than I dreamed.

Society beats fear into our subconscious every step of the way in life. Growing up, it was preached to me that “certain types of girl” blessing from God never include “happily ever after” or a family. Guess what, THIS “certain type of girl” who goes against what is accepted as a “good Christian girl” found a love that accepts me in all of my faults and wonderful characteristics. I held out for what I am worthy of. I pushed forward and trusted in God despite my fear.

Fear is darkness. Think of one of the most classic movies, Star Wars, Luke lost his ability to use The Force when he allowed fear to entire his mind. When he feared his father then darkness (and sin) entered his mind and heart. When our hearts and mind fill with fear, then our actions become selfish, divisive and counter-productive to building love in our lives. To be fair, fear is as old as sin….it is the source of all sin. I lost the inability to fight fear at birth and so did you.

Most days, I have to say “This one isn’t under my control”. That scares me, but it is ok because I am not in control of this world. Somehow, when I whisper those words and ask God to fill my heart with faith then he fills my heart with peace. Most importantly, I know he won’t fail me when I invited him into my place of fear.

Fear is limits

God provided my perfect donor, a man who loves me so much that some days I shake my head at my worthiness of him, and God saved my house from going onto the auction block over a year ago. When I took the path of gratitude in my business, he tripled our business in less than 2 weeks. Yep, I think once I learned to say “Oh, I so do not have this handled” and say it with peace in my heart then he handled everything far beyond what I thought was possible.

My Abba (Father) covers my fear with His love, He is bringing my child home, and he has been creating a business that will is covering our financial needs. Yes, I don’t need to live in fear, BUT I am only human. So, He will be patient with me in the meantime and whisper into my ear “I know the plans I have for you”.  ~Amy Tippins 

Unravel Me

IMG_1182

Unravel-(ŭn-răv′əl) verb
To separate or disentangle the threads of;
To free from complications; make plain or clear; solve:
To take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement)

That word “Unravel”, we normally think of it being used negatively, like clothes that have started to wear out or something good being ruined. But recently I heard it used in a song lyric. I watched the Bethel Live Worship Experience of “We Will Not Be Shaken.” I have been a Jonathan and Melissa Helser fan for quite some time so I was excited that they have joined Bethel. On this worship event they sang the song, “No Longer A Slave.” In the song, he sings …”You unravel me with a melody; You surround me with a song, of deliverance from my enemies, till all my fears are calm.”

That line in the song, like an electric shock jolt, has Unraveled me in the best kind of way.

God speaks to me a lot through music. I can even hear a secular song and turn it into a worship song to the Lord. I am a huge music fan and although I love many genres, this season of my life I limit my secular music, so 99% of my music now is Christian worship music. I believe the things we sing about have power, so if we are singing about drinking and cheating and pining after an old lover, that is where our mind goes and where our mind goes, our heart and body are soon to follow. So vice versa, if we are singing of freedom, deliverance, filling us up with more of God, forgiveness, …. Our mind, our heart, and our actions will reflect it.
I use music also as a background or prompt for praying. I love to play a song over and over as you know, and those usually become a Song Sundays post. But, God is not limited to speaking to us through songs just on Sunday, and I have found lately, the songs I have been sharing with you all on the blog have been some of the most powerful songs as the backdrop to some of the most powerful intercession of prayer, not only in my life, but in the lives of many people I know. They have also ushered in some mighty big revelations from God. So, as the definition of unravel above states, “to free from complications; make plain or clear; solve.” That is exactly what God has been doing as I have been praying for Him to “Unravel Me Lord.” Not just unravel me with a song, but with Your word, and Your Spirit.

My new friend and an upcoming blog post feature said;” every great story has a backstory.”
So here is my little backstory…

I was a child gripped by debilitating fear for most of my life. Strangely, most of my friends think I am bold and fearless. While, there are many areas, and also a video to prove, where I am bold and fearless, there are areas in my life where I am still gripped by debilitating fear just as that little child was. I grew up in a dysfunctional family. It is no secret, nor does it define me or make my family any less worthy or loved. When you have an unstable childhood you learn to fear and worry. I won’t go into all the details in this post, but, I learned fear and worry at a very early age. I have vivid memories of my grandmothers worry stone that she would rub. I would sneak off myself sometimes asking the worry stone, to remove the worry and fear I was feeling. I know now that only the Great Cornerstone is capable of taking our fear and worry away; not a grandmother’s worry stone.

I also dipped my hands into more scary stuff as a child and young adult. Things like séances, Ouija boards, raise the table, bloody Mary, not to mention countless scary movies. I also dabbled with horoscopes, non-biblical dream interpretations, tarot cards, mediums, and psychics. All of this, and the worry stone, can create strongholds in our life and we have to pray and ask for forgiveness and make sure to cut those sins and the practices of those things off of us. We need to seek God and God alone for direction and answers.

I recently wrote this in my journal:
When we are seeking answers, go to the ultimate Source of Divine Revelation. God holds all the answers you seek.

When I renounced all that behavior and fully repented that it was wrong, that I was wrong, I felt many areas of bondage begin to leave me.
I had just begun recognizing that my health is a huge area the enemy likes to keep me bound in fear with. I came across that revelation recently after I had a season of fear waiting for some test results for health stuff going on and felt like I had conquered that fear with God and the help and prayers of my friends. I had felt very much at peace and God delivered me and all was well… for a time.
So why now was fear shooting up again in my life in my health and other areas?
Recently I read that Fear is one of the most common sins of our spirit that can be hard to recognize as sin. I knew that already on some level, but it was not at a deep heart level knowledge until that statement sort of jumped off the page and hit me right between the eyes.
Then I started to unpack, unravel if you will, some more threads from the Lord. Unlike unraveling threads in a garment that can render it unacceptable or useless. Unraveling the threads of revelation from the Lord are a very good thing and make us much more useful and valuable.
I started to ponder, had I fully repented to God for letting Fear take over my Faith? Or had I just trimmed it back enough, but failed to stop watering it with my unbelief? That is why it kept returning. Fear will always grow when we keep watering it with unbelief. Fear is a sin and that sin can be deeply rooted. Aha! that is why it keeps shooting back up.
Then I started thinking….
Was I sorry that my sin was blocking God’s power to fully work in my life or am I truly sorry that I hurt Christ with my sin?
There is a difference. Faith unlocks the door to God’s power, but it is honest and true repentance that opens it.
That revelation, well, you guessed it- It unraveled me!
We sometimes think, oh everyone struggles with fear or the fear of something, so we make light of it. There are so many lists of phobias out there that some can even get comical. But when you really unravel them, they are all fear, and fear is sin.
As my family and I have taken the Communion Experience challenge and started to do communion each day, God has been working some stuff out, so again you could say, He is unraveling a few things – so as I begin to acknowledge Him, He is directing my paths and showing me lots of direction in many areas.
Then when I felt like He was somewhat done on the subject I got yet another huge revelation:

When the impasse to God is at last removed; by our sincere repentance, our health, both physically and spiritually will be restored.

What impasse have you allowed to come between you and God?

That impasse (sin) that had so easily entangled me, was Fear. Fear and unbelief.
I had a double whammy right there blocking me. I was continuing to water fear with unbelief and no matter how far I thought I had cut it down it kept shooting up because I needed to take it out at the root!

I have prayed Lord; I believe help my unbelief, but I had not ever repented for my unbelief or for fear. I had doubted God and His promises so no wonder I was still a wave being tossed about in this whole fear thing. The enemy was having a field day in my mind and it was time he got to packing and moving out- for good!

And this word Unravel and the song…the one that unraveled and wrecked me in a good kind of way, has now become my declaration and prayer.

God continue to Unravel me! Unravel us all from whatever is keeping us bound. Remove all the strongholds that are keeping us in bondage. Let there be no sin or impasse keeping us from being whole and restored. Let us repent fully and completely of our sins and for anything and everything that does not bring You glory. Let us get this revelation that we are no longer a slave to fear. Remove these rooted lies of the enemy. Burn away that which is not of You with Your Holy consuming fire. We are a child of God!, the Most High God, that split the sea so we could walk right through it! Drown all our fears in Your Perfect Love!

The song sings:

You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God!

Our courage can only be determined by the extent to which we will dare to claim and declare all of Christ’s promises as true and available to us.

Claim, Grab, Don’t let go of God and His promises; that is where we find the courage to overcome- not only fear, -but everything!

There is NOTHING that by the Promise of His Word and the Power of His Spirit we won’t overcome.

There is a spontaneous worship moment in the song that captures my heart and makes me think of Restored Ministries Purpose and Mission.

“I am surrounded by the arms of the Father
I am surrounded by songs of deliverance
We’ve been liberated
From Our Bondage
We’re Son’s and Daughter’s
Let us sing of our Freedom! “

I can hear all the clinking of the chains being broken off of many many many people. Can you hear it? The more you sing and share of your freedom; the more you consume and share His promises with others; the more we are liberated in all areas of bondage to fully #LiveRestored.
XXOO, Michelle Bollom

Hear this amazing song here

http://youtu.be/5kWIbo19t5Q

and then get on out to Itunes and buy it!

Start declaring your freedom.