Thursday, October 27, 2011


"Do not be anxious about anything..." Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

"You are not liked."

"Who are you to think you could do that?"

"Why did you say that? Everyone thinks you're annoying."

"Your kid just illustrated every inadequacy you have as a mom."

"You are invisible."

Have you ever been taunted by these thoughts? I have. Why do we let such destructive words fall hard on our souls? Toxic thoughts are so dangerous because they leave no room for truth to flourish. And in the absence of truth, lies reign.

The other day I was discussing something with my husband and I said, "I know you think I'm being annoying and overly protective about this but..."

He stopped me and said, "How do you know that's what I'm thinking? Please don't hold me liable for saying things that are really only thoughts in your mind."

Wow. He's so right. He hadn't said those things. I was assuming he was thinking them and operating as if those toxic thoughts were reality.

I think we girls do this way too often. People aren't thinking about us and assessing us nearly as much as we think they are.

As Christian women we should hold our thoughts to a higher standard. How dare these run away thoughts be allowed to simply parade about as if they are true and manipulate us into feeling insecure, inadequate, and misunderstood! Oh how much trouble we invite into our lives based on assumptions. We are instructed:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me - practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9 NIV 1984)

This is probably a verse you've read before. But, have you thought of applying it to your every thought...especially the toxic ones?

We are to think on, ponder and park our minds on constructive thoughts—not destructive thoughts. Thoughts that build up not tear down. Thoughts that breathe life not drain the life from us. Thoughts that lead to goodness not anxiety.

So, here are three questions we'd do well to ask ourselves when thoughts are dragging us down.

1. Did someone actually say this or am I assuming they are thinking it?

If they actually said it, deal with it then. If I'm assuming it, that's unfair to them and unnecessarily damaging to me. Instead of staying anxious, I need to seek truth by seeking God and asking Him for peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

2. Have I been actively engaging with truth lately?

The more we read God's truths and let truth fill our mind, the less time we'll spend contemplating untruths.

Thinking run-away, worrisome thoughts invites anxiety. Thinking thoughts of truth wraps my mind in peace and helps me rise above my circumstances.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

3. Are certain situations or friendships feeding my insecurities?

If so, maybe I need to take a break from these for a season.

I need to seek friendships that are characterized by truth, honor, and love.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Good gracious I know this is tough stuff. I know these issues can be more complicated than three simple questions. But it's a good place to start holding our thoughts accountable.

After all, how a woman thinks is often how she lives.

I think we need to read that one again, don't you? How a woman thinks is often how she lives. May we think upon and live out truth—and only truth today.

Dear Lord, reveal to me untruths throughout my day that can so easily distract and discourage me. Help me see You and Your truth in all I do. You have taught that only Your truth will set me free. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2011


My beautiful girlfriend Claudia wrote this and it moved me to sit in His presence grateful for the fact that I share the same beliefs she does! So, I celebrate her by sharing it here on my blog.

As you read it, I ask you what do you believe?!

I believe that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distances. The same goes for true love.

I believe that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take it's place.

I believe that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want him or her to doesn't mean they don't love you with all he or she has.

I believe that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe that you shouldn't be eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe that your life can be changed, in a matter of hours, by people who don't even know you.

I believe that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I believe that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is Submission To God A Loss Of Freedom?

Many people believe that if they submit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, they will lose their freedom; they cannot do anything that they want to do in life. A tragic flaw in this reasoning is that a person who is not under the lordship of Jesus is not free. The Bible says that you are in bondage to sin, to the lusts of your own flesh, to the whims of an evil spiritual opponent who wishes you destroyed, and to a world that is alienated from the one who brings true freedom. Or as Bob Dylan put it:

You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may the Lord
but you're gonna have to serve somebody.

This myth then precipitates another lie: You can be a disciple of Jesus without a radical submission to Jesus in every area of your life. This desire to have it both ways took on a very seductive heresy a few years ago when we heard about Jesus being our Savior but not our Lord. This is a lie. If He is not Lord, He is not Savior.

Simply put, you cannot serve two masters! In both Matthew and Luke this statement references serving God and money. Jesus says you will inevitably love one and hate the other. The same is true of serving God and Satan. ultimately, one will bring a comfort and devotion and the other will be completely uncomfortable and unwanted. Which will be the one that brings you comfort and devotion? God or Satan? In choosing God there is freedom. Im choosing Satan there is bondage of every kind. Look into the eyes of those whose choice is not God. You will see a deep, dark, torture. Their life is never peaceful, their spirit is never at peace.

Prayer for Today: Help me Lord to know that there is no loss of freedom, yet a full measure of freedom, in submitting to you in my life. Be my Savior and let me live in the protected, provided for, reality that a life with you brings!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Hard Truth!!!

I struggled for several weeks with whether I should really answer a question that a friend, wanting my opinion, posed to me. I didn't struggle with the wisdom I would share. Nor did I struggle with my ability to communicate the truth in a way for it to be understood. My struggle wasn't even about my friend’s reaction or our relationship long-term. My uneasiness was focused on the lifestyle adjustments that this new wisdom would require. It would require him to do one of the hardest things in life to do. And that is, change.

It was a hard truth that needed to be heard, but it would be much harder to implement and live by.

This is the same reality that we face in the area of holiness. Many of you that are reading this today know that holiness is not a denomination, nor a cultural phenomenon. It is a biblical mandate that still holds true, despite its branding of being out of date, out of style, or even that it requires what I call 'spooky religious' behavior.

The mandate of holiness is a hard truth that can be hard to discuss and converse about, but it still requires change, accountability, consistency, maturity and obedience.

New believers don't believe that it's attainable. 'Churched' Christians minimize it as old fashioned. Carnal Christians ignore it. And rigid (Pharisaic) Christians use it (the concept) as weapons to belittle and manipulate others.

With all of this division, God’s Word still carries the expectation and requirement that holiness is the standard, which leads us to the question: If God’s Word expects it, how do we actually live that out in our daily lives?

1 Peter 1: 13-16 provides clear instruction on this process of moving toward holiness. Indeed, it is a process that is more marathon and triathlon than sprint and quick jogs. This passage shows us in a very practical way how to begin to live out holiness in our daily life.

Peter writes to believers, in a simple approach, that we must:

1. Prepare Ourselves (v. 13)
2. Purge Ourselves (v. 13)
3. Position Ourselves (v. 14)
4. Purpose Ourselves (v. 14)

We prepare our hearts, minds and bodies to act in a way that pleases God. This requires an intentional plan of action that puts us on alert to doing God’s will. It is the same effect as when we drive a car and immediately our sense of lawfulness arises and we begin to check our speed, confirm that we are buckled in, ponder our tag expiration, etc. When we prepare for holiness, we alert ourselves to the presence of God.

We purge our hearts, mind and bodies of things that don’t reflect the character and nature of God. The good news is that God doesn’t require us to complete this process alone. He has offered the Holy Spirit to be an active part of our lives and thus enable us to live according His Word.

We position ourselves on the hope that the grace of Jesus Christ provides. This provision is one that is of faith, hope and love – all of which are unconditional. We position ourselves to live holy lifestyles when we extend to others what we have been recipients of.

Finally, we purpose and commit to living holy regardless of the adjustments, change and awkwardness it takes. The tension that comes from pursuing God is well worth enduring and embracing. This hard truth may hurt our toes, but it’ll help us walk better.

Scripture Of The Day: "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do." - 1 Peter 1: 14-15 (NIV)

By Overseer Christopher J. Harris

This week's topic: Holiness

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


As I travel my path, the best I can provide as a guide to others, is that they truly understand how powerfully placed they are. It is when we don't really believe that God has erected us in our current situations and environments because He is doing something there that we diminish the power of the altar He has built out of our very lives.

Have you ever considered why the attack on your life and ministry amplifies as the intensity with which you press into the realm of the spirit increases? What if I told you that your life, much like that of the Ark of the Covenant, symbolizes God’s presence? The fact is, the devil trembles as the sound of your voice engaged in prayer echoes through the heavenlies. He trembles because you and I are walking, living, breathing altars.

In ancient times, and still today, altars served the purpose of being a place where sacrifice and offerings were presented to a deity. Due to the intensity of worship that was performed at these structures, they functioned as flags, signifying territory and ownership. In other words, altars spoke to their environment and dictated the lordship of that territory. Hence, there was a consistent struggle in the Old Testament as Israel’s polytheistic neighbours sought to replace the altars of God with the altars of Baal and Ashteroth amongst others.

Know this: where altars are erected, principalities wage war. Therefore, God instructs the Israelites in Deuteronomy 12:2, “Ruthlessly demolish all the sacred shrines where the nations that you're driving out worship their gods—wherever you find them, on hills and mountains or in groves of green trees. Tear apart their altars ... obliterate the names of those god sites.” (The Message)

When we walk in holiness, undefiled by the systems of the world, we stand as altars erected strategically throughout the land, draped and dripping with the blood of Christ. The presence of our lives then, as altars, tells the enemy that we will not hand over this space or territory without a fight. We are altars erected in our homes, on our teams, in our places of work, our cities and our nation. YOU ARE AN ALTAR OF GOD! A symbol, a reminder, of His presence and His intentions to destroy the enemy that is gripping and controlling those around you.

However, broken altars surrender territory; hence we must guard our altars diligently. In other words, when we walk in unrighteousness and allow sin to corrode our spirits, we surrender precious territory to the enemy. We must NOT compromise. What if you walked into a church, with a friend, and the cross had a naked woman, or a buddha hanging next to it? The cross would lose some power to the other images placed along with it.

Today, do not take it lightly; your life is an altar that affects the atmosphere around you. You are a symbol of hope, and power, and change. Therefore, live a life of holiness.

Scripture Of The Day: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” - Psalm 29:2 (NKJV)

(Thanks to: Kerri-Ann Haye-Donawa)