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Posted by: In: Faith, Uncategorized 16 Apr 2019 1 comment

Blog post by Brandy Edenfield

 

I Love Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

'If I’m real with you, worry is a struggle for me. Not just “worry” itself, but also, it’s the “sister struggles” that partner with it - 'fear & control'.   Click To Tweet

 

Fear has been the greatest tool of the enemy in my life for as long as I can remember, specifically the “what if” fears which invite worry.  As a little girl, I remember being very fearful of getting lost or left somewhere. I tried to control this fear by staying close to my parents at all times, even in our house. As a teenager, I had a deeply rooted fear of being disrespected or dishonored publicly. I tried to control this through aggression & defensiveness. As a young woman, that fear of rejection showed up in my life in the form of using people & rejecting others before they could reject me. I tried to control this by hardening my heart. My life was full of so many broken relationships. As a new mom, I experienced an extremely isolating fear of my daughter being harmed. Growing up in the north, I’d heard lots of stories about the racial division in the south, so in the first few months of mothering a bi-racial child in Savannah, Ga, my fear that she would be harmed took great hold of my heart. I tried to control this by staying in the house (doors locked & curtains drawn) for days.  Add a husband & two more babies- fear & worry & my need to control grew. The “what if” fears were a constant for me:

 

 

  • What if one of my kids get sick with a serious disease?
  • What if one of them gets hurt while I’m home alone with them & I don’t know what to do?
  • What if Brian has an accident at work or on the way home? 
  • What if he decides he doesn’t want to be married anymore? What if I do?

 

 

 

 

WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF????

Fear was CONSTANT in my everyday life. Thank God for Jesus, Murphy Toerner (my amazing counselor), Jan Hicks & CROSSING2FREEDOM classes. Because of them and their impact on my life, these strongholds were broken off my heart.

But don’t we know the enemy is a liar & schemer? Isn’t he relentless? In the areas I got free in, I became confident that those doors of fear were closed forever. So, he showed up in new ways. As God was opening doors professionally & in ministry, I began to have some new & powerful fears:

 

 

  • What if I can’t do this? 
  • What if the gifts they see in me aren’t enough or maybe not real?
  • What if being in full-time ministry costs my family greatly?
  • What if they ask me to become a “religious rule follower”

 

 

 

 

The list went on! I began to feel deep insecurity & started focusing on all my “lack” rather than Gods power & promises. I got caught up in the trap of “performance”- trying to earn my spot at the table. More fear!!! And in the midst of this season- we faced the toughest season of our lives with one of our children. It was a fight for her very life & ya’ll… the fear in this season was nothing short of TORMENTING! The fear that I opened the door to robbed me of my peace, stole my sleep & kept my body in revolt. It was tearing our life apart! The more fearful I got, the more I worried. This depth of worry was projecting fear into the future so I was cursing the future in addition to fear in today. So, I grappled for control- any control. I became a drill sergeant; a helicopter mom; a tyrant.

 

 

In our darkest day- Brian & I CRIED OUT TO GOD– we yelled at Him, we challenged His character & goodness OUT LOUD! Why were at the ends of ourselves! TRULY!

Smack dab in the middle of this desert, God gave us a word- SURRENDER!Simple word, right? Sure, it’s easy to say, but SO HARD to walk out in real life.
We asked a God to show us what that needed to look like. And we actively fought for our peace.

 

 

BREAKTHROUGH

For us that looked like:

  • Verbally renouncing fear, worry & control from our house, our hearts & our family.
  • We fasted.
  • We were consistent in prayer, meditation & devotional each morning.
  • We leaned into each other instead of trying to go it alone.
  • We changed what we watched on tv & what we listened to. 
  • We prayed TOGETHER every night.
  • We sought outside help from counselors, pastors, friends & even doctors. 
  • We talked about our struggles with real transparency.

 

God did what He does! He healed our hearts! He broke the chains of fear in my life! Is life magically carefree? NO! Is fear a distant enemy I no longer think about? NO! The enemy is real & he throws darts at my soul CONSTANTLY! He hates me & everything I love so he’s relentless in his efforts.

 

Here is what I can say for sure- God is bigger! He’s badder! And He’s tougher! He has good gifts like Peace, Love & a sound Mind for me. These are PROMISES! His promises for me & mine! These are GUARANTEES!!I can hang my hat on them.
So as Brian & I actively did our part, He, of course, was right there honoring us & giving us the fruit of His spirit! He took my fear, worry & control & He filled their spots in my life with peace, honor & rest.

 

PRAYER

 “Heavenly Father, I come before you confessing all of my fear, anxiety, and control.  I repent of the fear of ________________ and renounce it today.  I repent of the idolatry of it and for the lies I have believed about you. I trust and believe you. Break the power of the tormentors over my life as I choose the path of surrender.  I choose to lean into you and trust your highest best for my life. Help me Holy Spirit to learn and understand this path.  Teach me what leaning and relying upon you looks like in this life journey home heal my heart and speak your truth.”   – In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Life has challenges- but we can live a life free from the chains of fear & anxiety.
Surrender is the key to peace!
Bless you♥️

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 06 Mar 2019 0 comments

Blog Post by Ann Kling

 

Last week, I listened to a choir rendition of “The Lion & The Lamb”. As the final chorus reached the crescendo, it moved me to tears. Yes, Jesus is both The Lamb of God and The Lion of Judah.

As I pondered the words lion and lamb, I remembered the old saying, “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb”. Click To Tweet

 

This March could lay claim to the lion as storms and high winds marched across the country. It remains to be seen if it will ease out like a quiet, meek lamb.

 

 

 

 

Fierce Winds

We watched as the fierce winds broke off limbs from our massive oak trees and strew leaves and debris across our neighbor’s yard. I like to hear the wind whistle through the pine trees lining many of the lots in our community. I can hear it faintly blowing at the end of the block, gaining volume and strength as it rushes past my house. Did you ever wonder where does the wind come from and where does it go? Probably. Most have entertained that question as a child.

 

 

 

 

 

The mystique of the Wind

It is a mystery that you can’t see the wind or grasp it in your hand. You can only see the results of it passing by:              

  • An East wind divided the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross over on dry land
  • Jesus spoke to the wind and waves, “Peace, be still” and they obeyed
  • The floods came, and the winds blew down the house built on sand
  • A mighty rushing wind filled the house where they were praying in the upper room

 

 

 

My curiosity about wind led me to read John 3:7,8 where Jesus answered Nicodemus’ question about being born a second time. Jesus said, “Do not be surprised that I said to you,’ You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” This prompted me to research the meaning of the Greek word for wind.Pneumameans: wind, breath, spirit

 

John 20: 22 Jesus breathed on them (disciples) and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.Click To Tweet

 

Wind of the Spirit

Just as we can’t see the wind, we cannot see the inner work of the Spirit within another person. But just as we can see the results of the wind blowing through the swaying trees, we can see the results of the Holy Spirit indwelling a believer.

Love                             Patience                                  Faithfulness

Joy                               Kindness                                  Gentleness

Peace                          Goodness                                Self-Control

Next time I see March roaring in like a lion, I will be thinking of The Lion of Judah working in my life through the wind of God, the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

“Father, may others see the good results of Your wind blowing in my life, so they may desire to have You work in their lives too.”

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 11 Dec 2018 1 comment
Blog Post by Brandy Edenfield

A friend of mine tearfully shared yesterday their unworthiness to receive Gods love & healing. What God started in my heart as a response has been on my mind ever since, expanding to overflow & growing my gratitude. So, this is my take on it!  People were separated from God because of sin. The only way to the Father was through sacrifices & rule following, so many rules in fact that it seemed the odds were stacked against them.

In my mind, I imagine a meeting of God, Holy Spirit & Jesus. In this visual, I see God shaking His head in frustration with people (He wasn’t surprised, just… annoyed.) Jesus, seeing the Fathers’ frustration and full of compassion offered Himself up, “Send me. I’ll go to them & teach them. I’ll be the final sacrifice.” And I imagine Holy Spirit(The great counselor) saying “this is a beautiful thing. I love it.” So, the Father, in sadness because He loves His son SO DEEPLY, agreed.

 

 

 

 

LOVE GIVES

 

A perfect baby was created inside a virgin(an untainted vessel) and was born in a nasty, dirty stable with animals (I won’t even go into the spiritual metaphor this was for us & our mess.) This child was pure perfection! A teacher to great scholars before He was a teenager. He grew up to be a kind, compassionate man. HE LOVED PEOPLE! ALL PEOPLE! And here’s the crazy part for me- HE LOVED THE REALLY BAD, MESSY PEOPLE A LOT! He spent time with them, even when religious people judged Him. He spent His adult life teaching about His Fathers wonderful heart for them & The Fathers love for all mankind. ALL mankind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

He simplified all the rules (there’s more but here’s the list of them:) 1. Love God 2. Love yourself & from these two loves, Love others. (See, what He was telling us was important; to live a life FULL & OVERFLOWING with LOVE. Click To Tweet

 

When we love God most, that changes who we are. When we learn to see ourselves the way He sees us & love & honor ourselves, we’re more generous with our love & our giftings because He breaks the lies of the enemy off of our hearts & our insecurities aren’t in control anymore. (SO, THEN we love others in the most beautiful way- from our overflow!)

 

 

 

 

LOVE LAYS DOWN LIFE FOR OTHERS

He poured Himself into people. And the time came for our ransom to be paid. To pay a debt with His life that was mine (and yours) & He prepared Himself. As the day drew near, He spent a lot of time talking to His Father. The heavy weight of what was before Him was so immense, He literally sweats blood & asked the Father “if there’s another way, do that instead (paraphrased)”. But He knew He was the one- the only perfect sacrifice– to end all sacrifices. His life would pay humanities debt IN FULL! 

 

 

 

JESUS was betrayed by a man He loved DEEPLY! He was beaten beyond recognition! LITERALLY- beaten to the point that it changed his appearance, almost to the point of death. VICIOUSLY BEATEN! The plan they made for his murder were HORRENDOUS, truly beyond comprehension. They made fun of Him & they tortured Him. All along, He had the power to change His situation with the blink of an eye. YET HE PRESSED ON!

 

 

 

 

LOVE IS A CELEBRATION

At one point, as the weight of my sin & your sin– the sin of all people was on Him, even the Father had to look away. Jesus was the ONLY person to ever experience a moment of “God turning His back on Him.” In the hopelessness of that moment, He asked “why have you left me? (Paraphrase)” The Father was with Him once again!

In complete agony, He still did what Jesus does & forgave the sins of a neighboring criminal & promised eternity with Him. And in His final moments on this Earth, He had great compassion for all people & on our behalf, He pleaded with the Father to forgive us & have mercy on our ignorance. Then He spoke the words “IT IS FINISHED!” And He SURRENDERED His life!

Oh yes!, there’s more– the powerful resurrection that fulfilled the promise of new life for those that believe in Him, but that’s for another day. The point of this post is to say this- NONE OF US ARE WORTHY OF THIS! NO NOT ONE!!! We cannot be good enough to earn this love that He freely gives & we cannot be so bad that it changes His love! NONE OF US DESERVES SUCH LOVE & SACRIFICE! It’s a gift! FREELY given if you don’t know this Jesus, please let me introduce you– you’ll never be the same! NEVER! His love & a relationship with Him changes EVERYTHING!!

 

I’m here if you need a hand to hold on your journey. This is why I say “Merry Christmas”- HE’S THE REASON! Be blessed today. Click To Tweet

 

 

PRAYER

Jesus,

Thank you for showing me the way of love. I only need “to confess with my mouth and believe with my heart and I am saved”.  I receive your love, forgiveness, and grace into my heart.

Thank you for coming to this earth, for taking on my Sins on yourself and giving me the gift of eternal life.  We will be together forever. I am looking forward to this for myself and others.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

Christians United Ministries is a non-profit ministry that is bringing hope and healing to broken hearts and lives. Would you consider giving a year-end gift to continue to bring this ministry to so many who need a revelation of Jesus healing power and love?  “The receiving is in the giving”.  Thank you and Merry Christmas. [Go to www.cumi.live/donate]. 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 03 Dec 2018 1 comment

Post by Brandy Edenfield

 

 

 

Sitting with my tree this morning & thinking about last night’s group & these words from a book we are reading (the author speaking of women) describes us as:

 

 “warrior, courageous, fighter.”

 

As I let my mind dissect the meaning of each word, it begins to wander into the lives of women I know- some of which I don’t know well but I follow them on social media or they’re a friend of a friend or a parent of a kid I know or they live far away.

 

 

 

 Warrior | Courageous | Fighter

Many different women in different situations. I suddenly realize I’ve lost focus & try to come back to these three words & I feel the gentle urging of Holy Spirit in my heart say “Think on these women, they’re not “distractions” they are the evidence of these three words that I’ve allowed you to witness, the proof that I created women as mighty WARRIORS, COURAGEOUSLY moving through each day & a with a deep down FIGHTER spirit as they conquer their situations. Acknowledge what is often overlooked. These are MY GIRLS, in whom I am well pleased!”

 

  • So, to the woman that is separated and navigating through her first Christmas alone but found the courage to buy new decor for her tree, declaring a fresh startI SEE YOU!!
  • The mama raising five boys on her own, yet taking care of herself at the same time to show them what a superwoman looks likeI SEE YOU!
  • The woman who has lost a child yet finds a way to walk with others through the same nightmare, teaching about “new normal” I SEE YOU! 
  • The woman that has dedicated her life to homemaking & being home with little ones, trying desperately to find joy in the diapers & tearsI SEE YOU!
  • The working mom that has the heart of an entrepreneur & a fierce desire to contribute to the working world yet battles guilt & feels judged by others because she loves workingI SEE YOU!
  • The woman who’s had her heart broken by a man she loved & trusted & yet finds the courage to believe that love still exists as she enters a new relationshipI SEE YOU!
  • The woman packing up her life to move across the country because she believes with all her heart that “there’s gotta be more”I SEE YOU!
  • The mother whose child is battling addiction or depression and you desperately try to surrender your child to the Lord & trust Him to be all they need yet battle with fear & worry to the point that it’s consuming you- I SEE YOU!

 

I SEE YOU ALL!!! HEAR ME- I SEE YOU!!! And so, does the Father! He sees you in the shower when you cry so no one else can hear you. He sees you balancing your checkbook wondering how in the world you’ll manage all the bills, let alone make Christmas gifts happen. He sees you when you’re in your car all alone & screaming because you’re so angry or overwhelmedHE SEES YOU!!

 

PRAYER

 

At this moment- if you’ll close your eyes & settle your mind, you’ll hear Him say:

Baby girl, I see you. And as I look upon you, I see my masterpiece in whom I am very proud. I know this is hard, but you are stronger than you think. What I will do in you, through this situation is more than you can imagine & it will change the lives of others. Trust me with your pain & your burdens, I’ll bring you peace & rest. But in the meantime, I SEE YOUmy princess! I SEE YOU!

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 15 Aug 2018 0 comments

Blog Post by Ann Kling

Have you ever observed a preschooler trying to place blocks into the same cut-out shape? Yep. The round peg fits the round hole and the square peg fits the square hole. It is amusing to watch the drama played out. Some will try and try again until they succeed. Others will throw the blocks in disgust while a few will just walk away, thinking it is impossible.

In 1443, Korea decided that to use Chinese characters for their language was “like trying to fit a square handle into a round hole”.  It is interesting how far back this saying goes.  The definition according to Free Dictionary is  “a person who does not fit in or is not comfortable with others or a particular situation.”

 

Am I a square peg?

After meditating on this topic for a week, I suddenly realized all my life I felt like I didn’t fit; I didn’t belong to my family of origin. I asked my parents when I was twelve if they would help me find my birth parents. What?! They were shocked. Yes; I look just like my daddy.  I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  Partly, because my mom rejected me and gave me mixed signals while my father was sweet but not emotionally connected to me.  Since this time I have gone to Crossing2Freedom classes and prayed through to forgive and release my parents.

I started thinking about being a Christian, a born-again follower of Jesus. Being a square peg that can’t fit into a round hole pretty much describes how we feel in the world’s system and often around unbelievers. Click To TweetThe Bible has lots to say about this, and I jotted down a few:

  • Do NOT copy the behavior and customs of the world. Romans 12:2
  • You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil. Ephesians 2:2
  • Don’t let ANYONE capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that comes from human thinking. Colossians 2:8
  • Some people claim they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live. Titus 1:16
  • Keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. 1 John 5:21

 

Stop Trying to Fit!

The world jokes about a “square” person being a party pooper. Of course, they say much worse things about Jesus and His followers; some even kill, maim, enslave, or imprison Believers.  Think ISIS for example.

So, according to the Word, if you are a square peg then you MUST STOP trying to fit into the round hole (the world’s system without Jesus). It won’t work. You will just scrape up your edges (ouch!)  and still not fit. Just CELEBRATE life with Jesus and be glad you no longer fit into the round hole.  How shall we respond to those who do fit into the round hole and try to pull us back or deliberately shun and hate us?  Realize “the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.”  1 John 2:15,16.

  • Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15
  • Pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43,44
  • Forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
  • Let your good deeds shine.
  • Walk in humility 1 Peter 5:5
  • Love others and honor them Romans 12:10
  • Be kind and gentle and live in peace in as much as you are able.
One thing I have learned: It is only when I surrender to Holy Spirit for His power can I respond in love to those who don’t understand my relationship with Jesus, who try to shove this square peg into the world’s round hole. Click To Tweet

But, if they do not see any difference in the way that we live and their own lifestyle, why would they even be interested in what He has to offer? Can others say, “they have been with Jesus.”

 

Prayer

 

“Father, I am thankful that you have rescued me from the world’s system, filled me with your Holy Spirit, and have guaranteed my eternal life with you. Empower me to love and forgive those who still fit in the world and who try to make me fit too. May my life reflect your truth and your love, so they will desire to become “a square peg that can no longer fit into a round hole.”