This past Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent and as the calendar would have it, Valentines Day! The holiday all about the heart! I have never observed or participated in Lent but of late have been in awe of its significance and purpose for the believer. I live near New Orleans, Louisiana where Mardi Gras is practiced with an abandon. We are the only area in the country where the week of Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday" the schools take a week-long holiday. The parade season is over a month long, and I have heard it said by many that it's their favorite time of year - even more than Christmas. Really?
My first experience with Lent was marked by heading to Walmart to do some grocery shopping early on a Wednesday morning after "Fat Tuesday." Checking off my list that morning, I kept passing people in the isles that had ash marks on their foreheads...
Each year, I ask the Lord for a specific word to focus on for the coming year! I search the scriptures for that word and ask the Lord to teach me. It's been quite a journey. I have learned much. Mid-November I was having a conversation with my team. I don't remember the context but I remember what I said, "You have to know your purpose!" Immediately, I felt a strong impression, this is your word for 2018. Purpose! I thought YAY! Check that off my list!
My team and I finished our conference and I came home....sick. I've been physically sick since that time. I have spent a great amount of time through Thanksgiving and Christmas sitting in my comfy, quiet time chair, reading, praying and trying to get a diagnosis. Pneumonia was the final diagnosis and recovery has been brutal! I have wrestled not only physically but also spiritually as I have...
By: Jodi Aiken
Have you ever felt lonely? I imagine everyone has felt this way at some point in their lives.Sometimes the feeling is short lived, and other times it is a lengthy battle. I know I am losing when I hear the Enemy whispering lies and I begin wondering if there may be truth in them.
To be honest, I struggle with loneliness more than I care to admit.
Lies such as:
* Your friends have forgotten about you.
* You are not needed.
* Protect your heart, and keep others at a distance.
* No one else feels the loneliness you do.
* You are all alone.
Has the Enemy whispered similar lies to you?
When we are in a state of loneliness, the suffocation of it can prevent us from fighting. We fall limp at the feet of the Enemy hoping for a glimmer of light from God to strengthen us.
During one of my battles of loneliness, I went before the Lord and...
By: Anita Cook
Life is hard. Ministry is messy. Jesus never shied away from the messy and ran head on into the difficult. He touched the unclean and hung out with the outcasts, thieves, and adulterers. Jesus sought out, lived with, and loved them all, no matter how unfathomable their mess might be. He loved them lavishly, knowing full well that many would betray Him anyway. Have you ever been betrayed? Blindsided by someone or something? The very last someone or something on earth that you would expect to happen in your family? Me, too. In the moment, it feels inconceivable; the mere shock of it all seems to halt everything. The initial rationale for me is that he or she would never, that this just cannot be true. I've felt trapped. In a quandary of sorts, not knowing what to believe or how this could be happening. Total disbelief and a searing ache cut to your core. Questions, so...