About Me

Hello! And thank you all for sticking with me, many of you for years! I am only a couple followers shy of reaching 200 and felt it would be a nice change of pace to share a bit about myself.

But first, in a nutshell, I started Hopesong blog in 2016 when I realized that I had so much to share about my spiritual journey. My husband and I were going through a two year ministry school through our church at the time, called Zion.

It was honestly the most defining moment in our lives, as everything we believed and hoped for in Christ came to light and became tangible for the first time. We saw miracles, we were a part of miraculous signs that could not be explained. And God opened our eyes to more. As well as helped us to discover our true identities in Him and to heal from the hurts in our past.

Once we graduated, God led us back to our hometown to Hope Family church. Looking back, I see that we were not just called here to serve but to be served. To “do life” with other Christians. That was something we couldn’t do at Zion. It is a church specifically designed to equip believers and deploy them to their regions.

Pastor Dan and Erica showed us what a spiritual family should be. They are the truest definition of the term I’ve ever witnessed. And I know God wanted us to have a home and to be more than just spiritual leaders. He wanted us to become brothers, sisters, mothers to His people and to feel that same connection for ourselves.

I am fully convinced that every believer should feel this connection, somewhere. We are a body and a body should be one. God made us to belong, not to be apart.

That aside, I began writing again and then pulled away as I busied myself with the church, marriage, and factory work. But God was still on the move in our church, and in our lives.

Aaron and I began a ministry of our own, using Hope Song as our new YouTube music channel. We played together on the worship team, Aaron became the worship leader of our church. And we also worshiped as part of Burn. A growing group of worshippers in many regions who share a goal of transforming their towns, states, country with continuous prayer/worship.

Alongside our worship ministry, I am also head of the preschool class at our church. Which is something else God highlighted to me since before I went into factory work I worked with children and felt His anointing on it. Making windows just wasn’t as important as raising the next generation to know Christ.

After that, I found out I was pregnant, had James during the COVID pandemic, and am writing today on the flip side of what all that entailed. It was a dark moment amidst my greatest blessing. But things are looking up now and I have come away from this recognizing how much I need God in my life.

You see, my husband and I have surrounded ourselves with God ever since we were little. We have sought Him and have sought a blameless life. We wanted to give God everything and pursue Him with a ministry career.

I can’t name all the studies, sermons, conferences, seminars, and Bible studies we have attended or even led. And yet, God showed me this year that no amount of time and knowledge can pull me through life’s storms. The only one who can save me from myself is God. I can’t go forward without Him, in fact, I will backslide and fall into a pit just as anyone.

It was a humbling and scary realization. That I really must rely on God fully. That a relationship with Him is all that will do. Because if I pull away from Him I don’t carry Him with me-I forget who I am and who He is! Yikes!

I know I said that this was the story in a nutshell. But I wanted to share this and be vulnerable for the sake of all my readers who are just as human as I am. I don’t want others to make the same mistakes and to think they are alone. That feeling of loneliness only comes and takes hold when we walk away from God. And it will only go away when you return to Him.

And so a bit about myself- aside from everything I shared, that is.

I’m 27 years old, grew up in Marion, Ohio in a Christian home. My parents actually became Christians not long before I was born. I have no siblings, and struggled to find acceptance in school, since I was a total tomboy.

My social life really didn’t begin til 6th grade, when I finally switched schools and discovered what true friendship was like. From there I started growing in confidence and even began singing in the praise band at our old church with my dad.

Still, I was the shy kid who wore glasses and didn’t mingle too much outside of my group of friends. No one knew that the book nerd was actually a rockstar outside of school. I was invited to join a Christian rock band called Faithful Redemption and God opened so many doors for us to go professional someday. Unfortunately, it never worked out and I lost so much more than just a dream when it all fell apart. I lost some dear brothers.

Alongside music, I also loved art and writing. My English teacher awarded me his “best English student” senior year and I received the same from my art teacher. One drawing of mine even made it to an art museum for a show. Later in college as I pursued an associates in social work, I also excelled in writing. The professor kept one of my works for future students to read.

When it came to sports, I really didn’t do much after middle school. I used to love basketball and cross country (even though I had asthma). But once basketball teams broke into A (the best), and B (second best) and cross country races became 3 miles instead of 2, I was done competing.

I did things only for the fun of it. I had no desire to stand out and be popular in school. And so I even refrained from singing in plays and concerts because I had experienced that having talent didn’t always make good friends. I guess in some ways I was afraid I wouldn’t be accepted and that’s why I never even tried for it.

Toward the tail end of my high school days I met Aaron at our childhood church. Oddly enough, I knew his sister and dad quite well before I knew he even existed. We joined a new contemporary Christian band called One Way Worship which also fell apart as its members went to college and moved away. All that remained was Aaron and I.

Aaron truly helped me climb out of my shell and blossom. He always believed in me and pushed me when no one else would. I owe him so much and didn’t make it easy on him. My identity quickly meshed into his even before we were married.

And because of this I share many of his interests and he shares mine. From Harry Potter to anime, Christian singers and bands to alternative genres ranging from country to rap. We love the outdoors, good food, board games like settlers of caton, and laughing with friends.

Some interests that still remain my own (though he supports me fully) involve writing and art. I am currently writing my first novels and hope to publish them professionally in the near future. Surprisingly they are Star Trek novels. I’m a huge fan and feel quite comfortable writing about pre-created characters I am familiar with.

The only difficult hurdle will be finding an agent and getting my novels approved by Paramount (who exclusively owns Star Trek). All their novels follow a specific list of guidelines and rules which I’ve made sure to follow.

Someday I hope to write my own Sci-fi novel that tackles spiritual and societal issues we face today in such a way that the reader is influenced unawares. Star Trek was able to do this when other shows couldn’t because on the surface it was just fiction.

There’s so much more that I love but I’m going to cut it short because honestly, I’d love to hear from all of you what your interests/hobbies/gifts are! 😊

Thank you all for reading and for all your support and prayers. God bless!

The Best is Yet to Come

My little boy is one!

As many of you have read from my previous posts. This year and last have been particularly difficult. With COVID, pregnancy/and birth of our first child, James. As well as our spiritual struggles as we sought to remain Faith-filled and close to each other and God in a world torn and warped by fear.

Now, we finally have climbed and clawed from the valley and, standing on the peak of God’s goodness, we see that the valley really wasn’t so deep and treacherous. It was our own mind, our disconnection from God that made a canyon out of it.

I keep discovering that my fears were pointless, over and over. From COVID, to health issues with myself and James, and financial hurtles. Everything I worked myself up over, giving away my joy and peace, never amounted to anything worth fearing.

God was with me and my family/friends.

COVID -my family and I caught it in October and the symptoms were very mild. God actually brought a blessing from it in that my husband (who was working 70 hrs a week) got to stay home with us for two weeks!

My health- since the birth of my son I had struggled with dizziness/lightheadedness as well as some other concerns which have all disappeared!

My son’s health-from breathing issues (strider), to acid reflux, illnesses, and chronic constipation have all disappeared. He just saw a GI specialist Friday and she gave him a clean bill of health saying that the constipation issues will right themselves out and Miralax will keep him regular til then.

Finances-The pregnancy and birth expenses, unexpected house expenses and struggles from COVID have all been covered one way or another. Aaron has been blessed with a great, stable, job and has so much favor there! He also was able to get a new position which allowed him to not only be home more but to pursue teaching music lessons (currently he is booked!).

God has also surrounded us with people who love us more than we can imagine. Their prayers and support has kept us from backsliding more than we realize.

Our marriage was also greatly tested during all this and God has brought us through, stronger and more in love. As love is ultimately a choice, an offering of sacrifice.

My son celebrated his first birthday on my birthday (he was born May 30th and I was born the 29th), and it was honestly a rough day but everyone came and it was so refreshing to see a mask-less room of smiles.

James has really grown into a beautiful, funny, strong willed, smart, and loving soul. He is very tall for his age, has 8+ teeth, and is always on the move. He loves sweet things, meat and potatoes, and chipotle with guacamole. Food lifts his spirit like nothing else 😂 but he also adores music.

Smash cake time!

He keeps me on my toes and I often go from stressed out of my mind to laughing and wanting nothing more than to hold him close. He’s the greatest blessing of God I could ever receive or “borrow” for this short time…

11 month picture

There is nothing more difficult or rewarding as being a parent. Life is just all the more sweeter, and imagining the days and years before I new James really gives me perspective of how much fuller my life is because he’s in it.

So, standing on this peak of God’s goodness I am in awe at the view.

Difficult times will find us all. And our minds will go through battles that leave us feeling alone and even cursed. In the middle of your pain you might lose sight of the mountain, the promises of God. But just remember that He is the God of the valleys and of the mountains. And He is working all things out for your good. Fighting your battles when you are unaware.

And so long as He is victorious, you will be too. Allow your valleys to mold you and grow your faith. And when you reach those peak moments, don’t forget to thank God and look at all He has done for you.

It’s time we stop asking, “what else could possibly go wrong?” And start saying instead, “the best is yet to come!”

How has God blessed you this year/last year?

What valleys has he helped you through?

My Shelter in the Storm

“Yahweh, you’re the bedrock beneath my feet, my faithfortress, my wonderful deliverer, my God, my rock of rescue where none can reach me. You’re the shield around me, the mighty power that saves me, and my high place.” -Psalms 18:2

The constant battering of life can very easily leave one asking, “where is God?” Especially during times of endless storms, late nights, and stress filled days that seem to drag on and on. In those moments it takes extra strength to acknowledge truth and to count blessings.

Sometimes we get this grande idea that as Christians we can literally calm the storm, like Jesus did on the boat. Only, was not His original plan to ride it out? He was even sleeping! All the while everyone else was in a panic, believing they were going to drown.

The storm they faced that day was a literal one. But Jesus would go on to face many spiritual storms that He was destined to face and surrender to. The greatest of which, His arrest, beating, persecution, and crucifixion.

Yet even in His darkest moment God never abandoned Him. Even though Jesus felt cut off because of His pain, God never left His side and the power of God still rested upon Him. Jesus chose surrender, He chose to die, when in reality He could’ve easily called fire from heaven and ordered angels to rescue Him from the cross.

There will be times in which you will tell the storm to stop and it stops, and other times in which the storm rages on despite your longing for the sun. It’s in those moments we either choose to remain the same or allow God to mold us into something that can withstand any storm.

The devil wants you to become blinded by fear. Storms are powerful, loud, chaotic, and destructive. Spiritual storms are even more so. He wants you to lose control, to become distracted by his attacks that you lose sight of God and His presence amidst the storm.

When you lose sight of God, only then do you start to sink. Giving the devil authority to harm you and your family in ways he wouldn’t have had the authority to do before.

Soon all you will see is what the devil wants you to see, and you’ll start doing his dirty work by seeking out those things for yourself. You’ll turn your anger and resentment off of him and unto God, forgetting yourself and your true enemy.

I’m guilty of this. But thank God that today (in the midst of one of those never ending storms) He gave me a new perspective.

I’m laying in bed, my son, who turns 1 in just a couple days has been battling an illness after being sick off an on for a couple months and dealing with chronic constipation since 6 months.

I’ve waited for hours in waiting rooms, gone through doctor switches, have even played doctor myself more often than not, trying to help my son. But every time I’ve reached out to doctors I’ve hit dead end walls. I’ve often felt the same with prayers.

The stress these last few months from constant turmoil has really taken a toll on me and my marriage. And today, on the brink of having to cancel my sons birthday I’ve looked forward to like an anchor all this time I’ve come to realize that God still has been good to me.

He’s the real reason I want to have a celebration. Without Him I wouldn’t be where I am today, holding my albeit sick little boy, but my greatest blessing nonetheless. I’d go through hell and back for him, and let me tell you sometimes it feels like I have.

Celebration or not, I choose to thank God anyway and to be thankful. We are so blessed to have access to medicine, income, a home, and beautiful property. To be healthy overall and my son as well! We are blessed to have family and friends wanting to celebrate and bless us in return at James party. Those blessings remain regardless of the devils schemes.

And as I shook my head earlier today, thinking, “what could possibly happen next,” as my husband went to mow and found a flat tire I realized I was going about it all wrong. The devil might be making jabs at our property, peace, unity, and joy. But ultimately they were merely jabs and not devastating blows.

God is with us.

What I’d forgotten was that the same God who calms the storms is also the shelter amidst the storms. He gives you the tools you need to overcome every attack from the enemy.

Sure it would be easier and less painful if God never let the devil take a shot at us. But then we would have no reason to grow, no reason to rely on God, no chance to taste the victory He paid for in blood.

I really don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I do know God will be there. Providing and protecting in ways I don’t always see until after I’ve had the time to reflect.

What is God doing for you amidst your storms?

Does your list of blessings still far outweigh your list of woes?

No matter what day you’ve had, thank Him for it. For every good thing comes from Him, and He is your shelter in the storm.

Play it Safe or Lack of Faith?

“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” -Psalm 91:5-6

After the birth of our son last May, we quickly realized how expensive medical care can be. Fortunately, we were part of a Christian sharing organization which covered all our expenses.

With COVID and the added monthly cost of baby James to our “insurance”, we began to question whether it was worth paying since neither of us planned on having another child anytime soon and any “what if’s” pointed toward a lack of Faith. Or at least, that is what some Christians were saying.

I surely didn’t want our money to be sowed into our fear. Nor did I want to plan for scenarios that, in Faith, I prayed would never occur. Things like debilitating injuries, severe illness, or some other calamity of the devil. And so I wondered, was it a lack of Faith to play it safe?

In the general sense even the most radical Christians wear seatbelts, wash their hands, lock their doors, carry a gun, have smoke alarms or emergency protocols in case of fire or tornado. Of course by law we must pay certain insurances and follow safety and precautionary rules, whether on the road or at work. Isn’t that just being smart?

As I sat at church, I noticed a fire extinguisher wasn’t far from the entrance door. And it made me realize that there really isn’t a definitive line to cross when it comes to protecting yourself, your property, and those under your care. God doesn’t hate the material, otherwise He wouldn’t have placed us in a material plane of existence where quite often we rely on the material to survive and thrive.

As with everything, God cares most about your heart behind it. He cares about the spiritual, the everlasting. Do you have health insurance out of fear? Or is it merely something that felt like the right thing to do for your family?

If in your heart God is the supreme provider and protector, and you have no fear of the future and trust in Him, then any action on your part to “thicken” the hedge, so to speak, is of no concern to God.

We too are called to stewardship and to protect that which God has entrusted to us. And carelessness on our end can lead to destruction. It’s like stepping out in traffic thinking God will save you. Or jumping out of a plane without a parachute. We are called to be reasonable and wise, to partner with material things in order to bring about the Will of God on the Earth.

That being said, there will be times in your life that the Holy Spirit will direct you to take a leap of Faith into the unknown, without any foreseeable help. It will feel very much like stepping out in traffic blindfolded or out of a plane, free falling.

Jesus sent out His followers, the 12, without provision at times, and yet that wasn’t always the case as we read in Luke 22:36:

“‘But now”, he said, “take your money and a travelers bag. And if you don’t have a sword sell your cloak and buy one.”’

If you find yourself in need, God will provide. If you have all that you need, God has already provided. You see, everything belongs to Him and will someday return to Him. And so I leave you with this;

Seek the Lord.

Peer into your heart and determine why you take actions to protect your property, your self, and your family. Whatever you’re bound to by law is biblically lawful to obey (ex. Using seatbelts), anything that is purely choice, look at closely. Let the Holy Spirit either confirm or convict you on each matter and ultimately accept the peace of the Lord over all these things, because He loves you.

It is not God’s Will that any harm befall you, your household, or your church. But you should always be positioned to say, “Lord I give it all to you,” if He ever asks. He is your treasure, and heaven is your storehouse.

As for me, until I have perfect faith. I am going to do everything I can do to protect my family and friends. And trust God with all the things I can’t control. Because even with the best protections I still need God.

What Remains

“But the Word of the Lord remains forever.” -1 Peter 1:25

I was blessed enough to take this shot overlooking my parents neighborhood after a spring storm. I knew a rainbow was going to appear, everything was right; the sun was bright and the rain was falling beyond it, God’s promise was going to manifest and I didn’t want to miss it.

As I type this I realize that we often do “miss” it. We don’t walk in His promises and the farther we walk away from them the harder it is to find them again.

For months now I’ve been faced with a mountain. A, what should be, simple problem to fix has made me furious with God and confused beyond reason as to why I can’t seem to overcome it.

My problem is just one example. I know many people who’ve struggled their whole lives looking for the answer, whether that’s healing of the body, restoration of a relationship, or a dream come true.

I want more than anything to answer that deep seated question of “why?” And I know the response is always the same and never satisfying: “we live in a broken world and Jesus promised us we’d have trouble.”

But what did He mean by trouble? Didn’t He demonstrate with His own life what He meant? Trouble existed solely in the devil’s schemes, in the persecution of Christians and those who believe in Jesus.

He said the world wouldn’t accept us because it didn’t accept Him. That we may just have to face (and turn the other cheek) to verbal/physical abuse all in the name of Jesus. Many believers even suffer death at the hands of unbelievers weekly.

As far as I know and from what we’ve seen Jesus do. He never suffered illness, nor deformity. Never turned away someone asking for healing of such. And never dealt someone an ailment or injury in return.

No one can fully understand exactly what took place when Jesus died, what He did in death, and what it really signified when He arose from the grave. Likewise, no one can fully walk in all that He paid for.

You see He gave us back what was stolen from us in the garden. He bathed us and washed us white as snow, and He tore the veil, opened the symbolic gates of Eden and called us His new Holy temples!

Despite this, our minds are still caught up in the past. We spent so long as lost sheep, as slaves to sin, separated from God that we can’t readily/easily believe the Truth of the New Covenant.

We live our lives in the “in-between”, feeling broken and sinful and looking forward to eternity free of it. God wants you to live in the now and experience the freedom and gifts that Jesus has ALREADY given us.

Yes, Heaven and the new Earth will be amazing! But we are called to bring Heaven down today. To release the Holy Spirit to move through us in the Earth. What a privilege it is that we get to serve and demonstrate the love of God.

His love remains. Whether I am angry, confused, broken, and when I’m not seeing Breakthroughs. God is the same. I am the one who changes, the one who fails to get it right and see clearly the things of God.

For the first time in my life I began to experience what it felt like to pull away from God. And let me tell you that in pulling away I never felt so alone. Demons didn’t wait to torment me with thoughts and feelings that I used to never entertain.

I felt like Peter, taking his eyes off Jesus as he stepped out of the boat and stood upon the water. In no time at all he was sinking and afraid. Alone.

I’m still angry, I’m still hurting. And I still don’t have the answers I seek. But I know that pulling away from God isn’t the answer but the final blow. I won’t find my answer outside of Him, and so if I really want to have my answer I must do the opposite and run to Him.

Thank God He remains. He waits for us to return with open arms and forgiveness. I saw myself for what I am apart from Him and I really am nothing. If He isn’t the core of my being I don’t want this life, nor do I deserve it. I don’t even deserve the answer that I seek.

The rainbow in the sky signifies more than anything how lost we are. How God could very easily and rightfully have destroyed all of us. But instead He chose for us to continue. He wanted us to continue and to someday be reunited with Him.

Show Him that you aren’t done yet. That He can rely on you. That you love Him regardless of what you see and experience. Thank Him for all He has done and all the things He does that you don’t see. Thank Him for your life, your time here to fulfill your destiny and call. And know that you can never get “too” close to Him. There is always more, so much more.

After Easter

This Easter was the very first I spent at home.

I can’t even remember a time when I missed both Good Friday and Easter service! But there I lay in misery (very sick with a sinus infection), as my husband took our baby to church without me.

I knew the church would be packed, the kids ministry filled. And that America at large would be handing their children Easter baskets filled with toys, eggs, bunnies, and chocolate. After attending church (possibly for the first and only time this year).

Being stuck at home gave me pause to contemplate Easter. As a new mother I’ve come to think more deeply about matters I once overlooked. I want my son to hold Easter and Christmas sacred. I don’t want him to get swept into a sugar rushed frenzy thinking, “what’s in it for me?”

I’m not saying that Easter baskets are bad, or egg hunts and other games. So long as when you ask your child what Easter is about they don’t answer, “getting gifts, eating candy, bunnies and eggs…” etc.

I know it’s hard to grasp what Jesus did for mankind. It was bloody, it was unselfish, but it was the only way to cleanse us.

We protect children (and should!) from the dark horrors of evil. But sometimes I think we shield them too much or even unnecessarily.

Working with children I’ve learned that many of them are very aware of this world. They see it on the news, on the computer, through video games, and even from their parents and life situations.

They need tangible real truth in order to find a real hope that never leaves them, and that they never outgrow. The truth can be messy but there is a way to get the point across without going into every detail.

I mean making your kids watch the movie, The Passion of the Christ, probably isn’t a good idea. But showing them a crown of thorns and explaining that what Jesus did wasn’t joyful for him like what their coloring pages represent, but quite painful and hard.

Making them aware that evil does exist and we truly needed a savior to save us. That the devil is real and he is defeated. But he does still roam the earth seeking to destroy God’s people in many ways.

Teach your children not to fear but to put on the full armor of God. That they are powerful and have authority that makes demons flee because of the Holy Spirit within them.

As time passes, year by year, this world only darkens. And our walls of protection around our children are crumbling in its wake. It’s so vital that they don’t crumble with them. Unprepared for what’s out there.

Would you rather the world teach them what is right and wrong? Why things are what they are? Who the enemy is?

As my son went to church I cried.

You see I know a little about the pain of letting go. He’s never really been apart from me for more than 4 hours or so, and not with his dad, at church.

It might sound silly, but as a first time mother you go through this a lot. Every time you let go of your child you are letting go of control. You are letting go of your heart and believing and trusting it to come back to you.

Someday my little man will be a man, and I’ll still be feeling this weight as he walks out the door and gets behind a wheel. As he faces this world and its many temptations and fleshly desires. It’s lies and persuasions masquerading as truth and goodness. I’ll have to trust him and know that I did my best to prepare him for it all.

I titled this post After Easter because every day we should thank Jesus and remember His great sacrifice for us. Every day we live in the “after” days, the new covenant. And that is something to celebrate! Jesus is alive!

And now I get to feel an even greater depth of this sacrifice as I hold my son. Jesus died for him before I ever knew him, before his first heartbeat, his first cry…his first sin. God paid for it all.

May God bless you all, as you continue to remember Jesus and as you bring up the next generation in truth. May the Holy Spirit guide you in all things and fill your hearts and homes with peace that passes understanding. Amen.

Dependency

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” -Isaiah 41:13

The word “dependency” is often tied with negative emotions. Who really wants to be dependent upon anyone? Sure, there are moments when we are grateful for help, but at the end of the day, we would often rather have not needed it at all.

Even children wish to grow from their dependency and become independent adults. But what children don’t realize is that though they will out-grow their dependency on their parents they will never out-grow their dependency on God, nor should they.

Mankind was created to depend on God. But God did give man a measure of power and responsibility; to tend and rule over the garden and its many creatures and to subdue the earth. But most importantly, God gave man a free-will.

The kind of dependency God wanted was the kind we see in a marriage relationship, in which both co-labor together in love. He wasn’t looking for slaves but friendship. And the only genuine friendship exists purely on choice, just as a married couple chooses love, even when the feelings of love aren’t always present. Love and dependency on God is a choice.

The devil knew that he could persuade Eve into believing the lie that God was unfair. That she didn’t need to depend on Him but could depend on herself and become “like God.” He taunted her with the promise of a freedom that was really a chained cell that would bind mankind for generations. Until Jesus came, died, and unlocked the prison door.

Now, we can restart and make the right choices. We can depend on God and He can depend on us (since He has limited Himself to working through us), and we can resume our assignment to subdue the earth (light up the darkness/take back the kingdom).

I don’t know if this word spoke to you today, I do know that we all struggle at some point with this desire to do it all by ourselves. Though our sin is forgiven we cannot erase the thoughts or ideas that the devil placed in our minds, just as we can no longer be ignorant to this world and it’s horrors like when we were children.

The devil is still whispering spiritual independency into the ears of sons and daughters of Adam and Eve today. He asks, “is God really all-knowing?” “Is He really good?” And those thoughts spiral into, “does He really exist?”

It is no wonder that the world keeps seeking all knowledge, keeps redefining what is good and keeps pushing toward relativism, the idea that we are gods.

When we do life on our own it’s very messy. We start to feel weighed down, exhausted, burned out, depressed and powerless…sounds like bondage doesn’t it? If you are carrying this weight today lay it at the feet of Jesus and say:

“Lord I’m tired of going it alone, I renounce the lies of the devil and reclaim my freedom in you, in the shadow of your wings I find rest, strength, and power. And unconditional love. Thank you God for never leaving my side, for helping me and blessing me more times than I can count. I no longer chose self, I choose you.”

You will accomplish so much more with God than you could ever accomplish alone. I promise you.

Destroying America

Those who seek to destroy America seek to destroy God.”

When we first stepped foot on the rich and wild soil of America we did so in the hope of establishing a foundation of freedom and equality. We weren’t looking for a tyrannical leader or government to lord over us anymore. We wanted a democracy, a ruling body whose powers were limited and in the sole hands of the people. The government existed merely to serve and protect.

Gone are the days when we could embark with them in memory. History books used to be the source of trusted knowledge but our country has destroyed knowledge, labeling it as evil. Now, not even a simple google search for truth is easy, and the voices of young troubled minds seem to scream louder than that of our true historians or scientists.

They say America wasn’t founded in God, that our forefathers were evil men who rebelled and fled from a just society. That the tyranny and religious persecution which led often in burnings and countless slaughter were in fact the more acceptable society over this free and equal one.

When our forefathers sought religious freedom they sought freedom from the Roman Catholic Church, at the time. The crusaders killed hundreds and citizens were forced to bow and obey, to pay taxes and follow rigid laws. That is what they wanted to escape from, as Christians they wanted to worship freely. To branch into other sects of Christianity and yet all live together in harmony as sisters and brothers in Christ. It wasn’t freedom from God or even the Catholic faith they sought, but from man, and what mankind had twisted for personal gain and power.

Beyond historical text we see the proof of their faith in how America progressed and how society was formed. People today forget that equality wasn’t man’s idea but first and foremost God’s. Our foundation as a country has always sought to mirror the Word of God. It’s morality and laws come from His Word. And no matter what people try to say, they can never erase this truth. Our country was built upon God.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of they United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Does that mean we mirrored His Will perfectly? Absolutely not. We owned slaves for many years, we forced the Indians to live in harsh conditions and treated them as less than human. The past era represented a different mindset, shared throughout the world. What we would be appalled to see today was quite common and acceptable back then. The world was young, sinful, and barbaric.

Remembering how we were and who we’ve become is vital. Otherwise, our sinful natures will drive us backward in development. America was a newborn but I am proud and thankful that we founded her and can enjoy all the sacrifice and freedom today because of it.

Israel is a prime example of what the world longs to do to our Faith. They are often attacked from every side merely because they exist and hold fast to their beliefs. America is strong but that doesn’t mean she is safe. The same hatred that longs to crush Israel is after us as well. 9/11 which is already being erased and forgotten by our youth is a prime example of this hate.

It may seem like a hatred for America on the surface but dig deeper and it’s a hatred for God, the Christian God we stand for. Why? Because if you truly saw the world for what it is you would know that this is a battleground, a kingdom that belongs to the devil. And wars are being waged over hearts and minds even in times of peace. The Lord God rises us up and the devil manipulates and brainwashes others in order to tear us down.

Today, America is being transformed from the inside. The devil is undermining everything we worked so hard for. But he’s smart, he knows that outside attack makes the country unite, like Israel. If America falls it will be because we let it fall from the inside.

That happens in many ways:

1. Destroying the Bible, its historical ties to America, and its inner meanings and morality in which we built our society upon.

2. Destroying/erasing our historical past and figures which were quite radical in their beliefs for their time. With their destruction we destroy their legacy and wisdom which propelled us to change.

3. Glorifying pagan beliefs and societal views. As creatures of worship if we remove the Christian God from the throne room of our hearts another god will surely seat himself. In other words, the devil.

4. Dehumanization and persecution of all who differ in belief. They might wave the flag of equality, but really they demand conformity. Instead of celebrating differences they erase them…by any means necessary.

5. Hyper emotionalism- feeling offense at everything, zero tolerance, a mentality of anything that causes discomfort is bad. Entitlement breeds from this.

The list goes on and you can see the destruction we have wrought already. The great divide in our country over party, race, religion, wealth, and age. If left unaltered, we will have the exact tyrannical society we escaped from years ago.

The future they seek is very bleak. But God isn’t done with America yet.

Just as He isn’t done with you or me, He isn’t done with us as a country. We just need an awakening, a revival…and perhaps you and I were placed here for such a time as this.

Don’t give up on America yet, this is your assignment whether you like it or not. We are Americans and if we carry that title we carry that responsibility, the same baton that our forefathers carried has been passed on to us. It’s our job to make sure their sacrifices and struggles weren’t in vain.

Unstoppable Love

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” -Matthew 8:1-4

I used to believe that every miracle Jesus did was to demonstrate to the world that He was the Messiah. That each act of power had a purpose in mind. To spread His ministry, challenge the Pharisees, or even propel Him toward the cross.

I guess I never really realized that many of Jesus’s first miracles were done in secret. Often we see him telling those He healed to keep quiet about Him. He even shuts the mouths of demons who knew He is the Christ. Mary even gets the “it’s not the right time, mom!” treatment for asking Him to do something at the wedding they were attending.

And yet, despite all of this, Jesus still healed everyone who asked for healing. He still turned water into wine at the wedding so that the celebration could continue. And He still cast out demons, knowing they would recognize Him.

The Leper who was healed in the passage above didn’t do what Jesus asked and instead told about Him all over town. This hindered Jesus’s impact in the city and He had to continue healing people outside its walls.

And so why did he risk it? Why did He heal people, like Peter’s mother-in-law who had a fever, or the paralyzed man by the pool of Bethesda? Surely, He could’ve waited and healed them when the time was right instead.

“Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.” (Matthew 20:34)

“I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come from a great distance.” (Mark 8:2-3)

“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14)

“Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,He said. Be healed!”’ (Mark 1:41)

Jesus carried the all-consuming love of God inside Him. It was this great love that drove Him to heal and help whenever opportunities presented themselves. It was a selfless love that cared not what would happen so long as people were completely restored.

He didn’t heal from afar but got right down in the muck with people. The leper is a great example of this because lepers were considered the “untouchables” of society. They even had to yell, “unclean!” If people came within six feet of them unawares.

Six foot distancing sound familiar? Jesus didn’t just reach out toward the man, He took those six feet toward him and touched him! Can you imagine? Living for years with the identity of being unclean and never feeling the warmth of another human’s touch?

We’re to be moved by that same compassion toward today’s “untouchables.” Because we are God’s hands and feet in the world. How else will people know His love if we fail to demonstrate it? You may just be the only Jesus someone ever meets!

Notice also how Jesus never once went down the healing line like, “you’re healed, you’re healed, you can wait because God wants to teach you something through your illness.” Or “you can be healed, but to you I’ll give cancer to so that I receive some future glory from it.” Is that love? Does that sound like Jesus? And yet, these kind of beliefs are in our churches today.

The truth is in the Word. And in the Word we see the heart of God which holds nothing back and doesn’t hesitate to pour out love and healing upon us. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the true heart of God on the earth.

If ever you find yourself doubting, turn to Him, read Matthew/Mark/Luke/John and place yourself in the story. You are the leper, the tax collector, the paralyzed man, the bleeding woman, the adulterer, etc.

Jesus wants to climb over your walls, and into your pit, into your pain. And pull you out. He has compassion for you, so much that He would’ve died just for you.

Never forget that.

Doubting Thomas

“But he (Thomas) said to them, unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” -John 20:25

There is a reason the disciple, Thomas (also known as Didymus), is labeled as “doubting.” The passage above points to the fact that he was a man who needed to see in order to believe, and yet he was one of the 12 apostles that Jesus had chosen to be His followers and closest friends.

Apparently, he died much like the other disciples, being martyred for his gospel of Jesus. So why do we use the phrase, “don’t be a doubting Thomas,” which overlooks everything else the man accomplished for Christ?

“So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “let us go, so that we may die with Him (Jesus).” -John 11:16

I find it interesting that Thomas still performed miracles with the others when Jesus sent them out in Matthew 10:1-42 and Luke 9:1-6. There was no mention of his doubting then, and if it existed, even in his heart….miracles still took place.

One evening as I grumpily wondered why my prayers weren’t being answered, I remembered Thomas and realized the truth. He believed more than me.

It wasn’t a matter of Faith, we’ve all been given a measure of Faith. It is all in how or if we use it. We are never lacking in Faith to the extent that miracles can’t occur. Jesus clarifies this by saying even a mere mustard seed of Faith is adequate (Matthew 17:20).

Faith only requires action, otherwise without works it is dead (James 2:17). And Thomas has surely walked by Faith more often than not. He lived with Jesus! I’m sure his deeds also far outweigh my own. What have I truly accomplished for Christ?

And so I say, BE a Thomas. Don’t let your doubts stop you from seeking truth and exercising your faith. Follow Jesus even if you don’t have all the answers because let me tell you, “you never will!”

We are today’s disciples. And although we are very different than the 12, from the clothes we wear to the way we speak. We carry the same Holy Spirit. And if He is the same yesterday, today, and forever than I don’t think He changed His mind about miracles either.

I don’t know what it takes. I really don’t. There are days when I feel like prayers are mere wishes, days when I start to place more faith in myself or doctors. Sometimes I don’t even want to try anymore because my hope is so deferred. But at the end of the day I refuse to believe an easy lie over a difficult and painful truth.

The problem isn’t prayer and it isn’t God. It’s us. Something has taken what was simple and made it feel impossible. Or rather, someone. The devil doesn’t want us to release the Holy Spirit in power on the earth (his kingdom). And so, I believe the problem in our hearts began with the creation of the “religious spirit”, that is mere works without faith, condemnation over conviction, rituals without love. It forces all low but never rises up. It robs our hearts and minds of power and true wisdom and stagnates the growth and impact of a Christian on the world around them.

We all have this false doctrine engraved in our hearts to some extent. But I’ve tasted the freedom of truth and have seen that there is so much more we are missing that Jesus paid for. That we aren’t merely sinners saved by grace but coheirs of the kingdom, given power and authority to do even greater works than Jesus on the earth! (John 14:12)

Once you experience truth, no one can take it from you, and no amount of falling, no amount of demonic attack can make you forget that truth. You’re allowed to doubt my friends, you’re allowed to have days when you can’t take a step further. But you were not made to rest in that state of mind. Dust yourself off and start over, because you know the truth and the world needs the truth to come alive.

I can’t deny who I am in Christ. I will always come around, full circle, back to Him. He is the only way, and my only hope. He is the reason I live, do, and someday, die.

Thomas wasn’t perfect and neither are we. God shines brightest in our weaknesses and there wasn’t a soul God partnered with that didn’t need Him, nor didn’t need repentance. He likes to work through us broken vessels and that in and of itself is a miracle. He transforms us and that is miraculous!

I don’t know if this word is for someone else out there. During this pandemic, I just see a lot of people falling prey to this thought of powerlessness. Stop asking God, “what will YOU do?” And ask yourself, “what will I do?” Speak aloud the reality of heaven you want to see on this earth, in your workplace, in your home. Stand on the truth and speak it until you believe it!

Put that God-given Faith to work and you won’t have time to doubt.

May God bless you all ❤️