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Posted by: In: Uncategorized 05 Sep 2018 2 comments
Blog Post by Twila Crawford

Have you ever wondered or asked yourself the question, “Love me…Love me not?” and where it originated from? I know I have. Let me share with you a vulnerable time in my life and the healing journey to hope and freedom I have that set me free. The question of “Love me….Love me not” originated in my heart when I was raped at the age of 7.  I didn’t feel safe to tell. Fearing my dad, who was a violent alcoholic, my mom would oftentimes be the object of his wrath. So I decided in my little heart that it was safer for me and everyone else not to tell. Little did I know that a part of me would be stuck in the trauma of that moment hidden from my own heart. Buried in feelings of being abandoned, betrayed and unprotected. My choice of silence and the resulting pain of such a trauma impacted my future choices in life in a huge way. Failed marriages, bumpy relationships with others and an unhealthy fear of God. I used words to build walls, to control environments and situations I felt particularly vulnerable in. There was a “No trespassing” sign over my head. I sealed it with a vow in my little girl heart that I could not and would not rely on anyone, not even God fully.

An unloving spirit seeks to bring you into agreement with rejection in order to become a part of your identity.Click To Tweet

God never left me…as a loving Father He patiently set up circumstances and people that would bring about the healing I so desperately needed and deeply desired.

 

REACTIONS | PERCEPTIONS | ACTIONS

As you can see for me, the question of “Love…Love me not” was cloaked in rejection, abandonment and self -protection. What about you? Have you ever asked the question “Love me…Love me not?” from the deep places of your heart? I believe most, if not all, of us have in one season of life or another. [We were created for love and community: when that is missing, it causes many doubts and fears to arise in our hearts].  When we ask the “Love me…Love me not” question in the first place it’s an indication we are stuck in rejection, self- rejection and self-hatred. As stated earlier, the result of trauma and wounds found in relationships that were perceived as once safe, where you loved with you heart fully open. Being driven by fear we are incapable of being vulnerable or transparent. This leaves us without the possibility of having healthy relationships until healing occurs. Some of the unhealthy responses I experienced due to wounding were:

 

  • Being hyper critical of others.
  • Anger rooted in all kinds of fears.
  • Compromising spirit due to not knowing who we are due to wounds.
  • Unworthy.
  • Isolation.
  • Depression.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Highly talkative to build walls around your heart.
  • Walled off.
  • Vows of never going to let anyone in or hurt me again.
  • Sickness and diseases begin to attack the body, mind and blocks our spirit from being able to receive the love of God for ourselves. Making it impossible to truly love ourselves or others.
  • Retaliation among other things.

 

HEALING | INTIMACY IS POSSIBLE

Through Crossing2Freedom I made the choice to make this healing journey [it is a journey not a destination in that we will be on this journey until we meet Jesus]. All of the things I was afraid to see or admit were brought to the forefront. God began to heal and restore my heart to love Him, myself and others as Jesus my rescuer did come and deliver me from this deep darkness. The vow was broken. I am free. How about you? Are you ready to be free? I encourage you on your own journey to be brave. There is peace in the freedom and knowing that He, pursues you, is bent on having your whole heart. He is trustworthy.

 

Jesus states in I John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.” He deeply loves and desires us. The road isn’t always easy, because it does mean to courageously look at in the light of truth, all that you have been afraid to see. Now I can entrust myself to others and trust Abba to protect and keep my heart and relationships in Christ. This is LOVE! There isn’t a love me not anywhere to be found. He who sets free, is free indeed!

 

Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather; the Spirit you receive brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry,“Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

 

 

PRAYER

Abba, I ask that you begin to lead this one on their own healing journey to never have to ask the question, “Love me…Love me not?” ever again.  But to fully know they are loved, accepted and known by YOU.  Let this truth be their new reality:  in that you so loved the us that you provided your Son Jesus as an atonement to restore |heal | deliver us to Yourself and to be all that we were created to be before the foundations of the world. In Jesus name, AMEN!

 

 

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.”

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 23 Jul 2018 1 comment
Blog Post by Jessica White Davis

I have spent the past few days reading research on trauma.

  • How it affects us in every way- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • How our brains store memories of trauma and how our bodies remember even what our minds don’t.

This picture represents trauma to me. It was an accident. My rational mind knew that. But as soon as I saw the shattered mirror, my mind and body betrayed me. Suddenly my heart rate sped up and I broke out in a sweat. I was driving a friend’s vehicle and less than half a mile from having to tell her what had happened. In my mind, she was going to explode on me. I pulled into her driveway and found her standing outside. Nausea rose and my hands were shaking. I got out of her truck and braced myself as I told her about the bird which had hit her mirror as I drove along the bay. Her response? She simply said ok let’s get some tape. I expected and prepared for an explosion. There was a trauma place stored in my mind and body which caused me to expect the worst. What I received instead was grace. The tape that held this mirror in place also mended something in me. Well, that and the prayer my mentor gently led me through later that evening….

Even the deepest traumas can be made whole in the hands of a loving Father. What we see as shattered may be just the thing God uses to heal something in us we could never heal on our own.Click To Tweet

 

Prayer

Father,  I commit my pain into your loving hands and ask that the blood of Jesus go into every cell of trauma and bring healing.  Remove every sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell associated with this trauma.  Thank you for putting the cross between me and this trauma, healing the joy center of my brain and bringing every cell of my body into its original design and vibration no longer ruled by fear and terror, all low-level anxiety must go. In Jesus name.  Amen.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 16 Jul 2018 0 comments

Blog by Ann Kling

For Christmas, my neighbor gave me a Poinsettia with beautiful red leaves. By Easter, all the leaves had dried and fallen off. I started to trash it but noticed some small green leaves. So, I kept it, not knowing what to do with it. Even though I fertilized and watered it, the leaves are still small, and some fell off. Just as I was thinking of tossing it, I heard the words, “root bound”.

Ah, it needs a new and bigger pot. Simple solution. My husband reminded me that I couldn’t just transfer it to a bigger pot. There is a process for the plant to be able to thrive in its new home. He explained pruning back the part of the plant that is no longer growing, to take a knife and slice through the roots to loosen them from the compacted soil and to add new soil to the bigger pot for the plant to grow in. When something is root bound, it must go through this painful process or it will do no good to transplant it. I’m sure it will be thriving before long.

 

 

In need of transplanting?

This started me thinking about my life and the various times I was root bound and Holy Spirit had to cut my roots to transplant me to a larger area.

Jesus talked about how Father is a gardener and He will prune the dead branches. In Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

 

We can get root bound in all kinds of ways. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, occupationally, etc.Click To Tweet I experienced being root bound spiritually after 10 years in my first church after salvation. In prayer, I kept asking, “Isn’t there something more?” My spirit hungered to grow. I felt the season I was in, was longing for a new one. Like a root bound plant, I needed a bigger pot. A place spiritually where I could grow and get more Son (Jesus). Pruning can be uncomfortable. So can staying in the same pot. I got to the point where the desire for more was stronger than the desire to stay the same. Even though it was a painful process to be pruned and the roots cut loose, God moved me to another denomination to reveal what I was missing.  Even though I missed everyone, my spiritual growth was exponential.

Another time in life, we were root bound by possessions. Jobs, status, etc. God pruned our roots by having us sell or give away all of our possessions and fly halfway around the world to live on a small island for a year to share the gospel. That was a severe root pruning, but it increased our faith, deepened our love for others, and enlarged our understanding of the Kingdom.

 

A few years later, I experienced another root pruning. I was emotionally root bound.  I had been programmed in childhood to be co-dependent and a people pleaser. Holy Spirit began to show me how my roots have been choked out and bound by this behavior. He revealed that living my life this way; I was not growing to the fullest potential and plan He had for me. He taught me what it meant to live a life of pleasing God and not people. Although this was a painful process of feeling emotionally raw from releasing old, unproductive ways that had me bound, it was so liberating how God healed me and replaced the pain with freedom and peace. God removed the emotional bondage, cut away that which wasn’t growing and loosened the roots in preparation for His plan and higher purpose for my life. I got a bigger pot to grow in! His rich, fertile soil once again produces much fruit. He expanded me and expanded my capacity to love people unconditionally.

 

 

Are you willing to submit to the process?

If God saw that you were root bound and not able to exhibit the beautiful fruit He created you to be, would you cooperate with Him and allow Him to prune your roots and transplant you into a spacious place?Click To Tweet

Or would you resist the pain involved and try to survive in your current condition? How long will it take for your desire to grow and change be stronger than your desire to stay the same?  There’s the pain of change or the pain of regret. Which category do you fall into?  Oftentimes, God’s promises are on the other side of change.

Lots of things can cause us to be root bound:

  • Generational influences
  • Negative Words
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Addictions
  • Emotional Scars and the list goes on and on

Allow Holy Spirit to reveal if you are root bound in an area and why. He will gently cut away the roots and set you free.

Psalm 18:19, “When I was fenced in, you freed me and rescued me because you love me.” CEV

 

Prayer

“Father, I give you permission to reveal to me any area of my life where I am root bound. I desire to be free to spread my roots in a spacious place and bear good fruit to show Your glorious love to others. I accept your gentle root pruning, so I can be set free. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 04 Aug 2017 0 comments

How many thousands of drug-filled needles rules my life?


Jan Hicks, Pastor and President of CUMI, has truly been a pioneer towards the cause of helping people walk in the freedom God designed for them to enjoy. Her ministry is dedicated to the pursuit of inner healing and we pray that you are blessed and divinely inspired by the word God has given her to share with all of us.

Jan is also an international speaker, teacher, author and Christian Counselor. She welcomes you to connect with her through the official Christians United Ministries  Facebook page.

I encourage you to press in and read on to receive the blessing of the following blog post on the freedom and forgiveness available through Jesus – Golden Veins!


Guest Post by Jan Hicks

Pride, shame, guilt, fear, false expectations….using what I thought protected me, were the many tricks of the enemy to destroy me. At 30 years of age, I wore my true feelings inside and had a mask of “having it all together” outside.

A nurse and divorced mother of two amazing young boys, I put a needle filled with cocaine in my arms – how could I? What led me to that choice? What was I thinking? What about my children, my job and my family?

Like most addictions, it’s driven by another source, rooted in shame. I carried a sense of pride in my achievements and guilt from my failures. It began the moment a man in my life challenged me as I discovered his addiction with a statement something like, “You can’t help me with something you know nothing about, you would be addicted too.”

That was like a dare, a challenge to prove him wrong. At that moment, I stuck out my arm to prove to him I could do cocaine and not get hooked. I knew I was not as weak as he was and I told him so …… the rest is history.

For 12 years I stole, lied, cheated, bought, sold, traded whatever I needed for drugs of all types. I was addicted.

Escape Route

How did I get here; how do I get out? I didn’t know the answer. I knew what I needed to do but those thoughts were like a vapor that lasted a short time before something else took its place. I was broken and no one could fix me. I was broken and I could not fix myself.

The night I surrendered to Jesus, wasn’t planned, wasn’t prepared, just happened. I started seeing the engine of the train of brokenness I was on and a glimpse of how to get off.

I was reminded of the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, repairing broken pottery by highlighting the cracks, the brokenness with real gold. The pottery when treated this way, was more valuable than it was when it was whole. I knew I was broken, I did not know I was valuable in any form. I saw a picture of arms with gold over the veins that reminded me of that art form and it hit me – that was a picture of Gods forgiveness to me, for my choices.

Beauty for Brokenness

God started teaching me to see my scars as beauty instead of brokenness. I began the process of embracing my flaws and imperfections while allowing the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn out my impurities and bring healing and wholeness to those places where my choices, decisions, pride, fear, control, and more kept me in bondage to the enemy.

Discovering that I was not alone, I found that many others understood the journey of my bondage and my surrender. Many, like me, understood that even after surrender, the feeling of more brokenness emerged. The fear, shame and guilt of facing the truth of where I’ve been, what I’ve done surfaced. Learning how to grant myself the grace to forgive myself is when freedom really came.

When I truly forgave myself, only then could I really begin to make changes.

Today is the Day

Maybe that’s you today, regardless of the addiction or wrong choices you’re beating yourself up for. You’ve prayed and tried and cried and tried again, but you continue to beat yourself up and are your own worse enemy. Now’s a great day to see your broken places, tried by fire, filled with gold and become an art piece of God’s pure LOVE.

Forgive yourself. If HE has, you must. Just start by being willing and giving Jesus permission to heal you. That is your choice as well!

Let me lead you in this prayer:

Prayer

Father, forgive me for not accepting Your forgiveness by holding myself in bondage to the lies of the enemy. I am forgiven; you have forgiven me. I cancel, break and destroy all the assignments of the enemy against my life. I release myself and forgive myself for choices long past. I am no longer who I was, but I am who you have called and created me to be. I am an overcomer, I am a winner, I was created to succeed. With your help Lord, I will continue to grow and learn from the Holy Spirit who will lead me each day as I give Him permission to move. Thank you Lord, speak into my heart and tell me what you want me to know about myself now. Who do YOU say that I am Lord?

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scriptures for Meditation

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

~ Mark 10:27

For no word from God will ever fail.

~ Luke 1:37

being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

~ Romans 4:21

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

 ~ Jeremiah 32:17
For you, God, tested us;
    you refined us like silver.
~ Psalm 66:10
This third I will put into the fire;
    I will refine them like silver
    and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
    and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
    and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
~ Zachariah 13:9

The Art of Kintsukuroi


The Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, repairing broken pottery by highlighting the cracks with pure gold, involves fire and the close attention of the smith. The smith puts the ore in the fire to burn out some of the impurities, then takes it out and shapes it, then back in the fire. All the while he keeps a close eye on his precious metal.

The goal of the silversmith or goldsmith is to fashion a precious metal until it is pure and shines bright. He heats and works with his metal until he can see his reflection in it. One can only imagine how the silver or gold feels about this arduous process.

Psalm 66:10 says, “For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” Just as the silversmith refines his precious metal in the fire, God refines his precious children in the adversities of life. He does this for the same purpose as the smith puts his ore in the fire – to remove any impurities so that we will shine brightly and reflect His image. While we are in the “fire” He never takes His eyes off us, but keeps a close watch to determine when we’ve had all we can take for now. Better than the smith with his metal, God is with us in the fire as we are being refined.

God has said, “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” Zechariah 13:9.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 29 Jun 2017 0 comments

About the Author

Jan Hicks, president of  Christians United Ministries, has committed her life to helping people walk in the freedom God designed for them to enjoy. Her ministry is dedicated to the pursuit of inner healing and we pray that you are blessed and divinely inspired by the word God has given her to share with all of us.

Jan Hicks also an international speaker, teacher, author and Christian Counselor. She welcomes you to connect with her through the official Christians United Ministries website, www.janhicks.org, or through her official ministry Facebook page.

We, at CUMI, encourage you to press in and read on to receive the blessing of the following blog post on the magnitude of our value in Christ – you are NOT one in a million!

 


Post by Jan Hicks

Are you valuable? What if I said you are NOT one in a million….but instead you are one in 500 Million!  Wow, that’s right.  On the day you were conceived, 50 to 500 million “cells” were released heading towards one egg to create YOU!  Can you imagine? Let’s put that in a different perspective. The combined population of the USA, Canada and Mexico in 2015 was 484 million.  Can you see yourself as “one” person standing in the midst of 484 million others? Can you imagine God looking down saying, “you are the one”.  YOU….!

The Father’s House, New Property Prayer

Identity Theft

That is a foreign statement to most of us and beyond our imagination. You see, the enemy of our soul wants us to feel unimportant, just another face, a nobody, the black sheep of the family, no good, the mess up.  If the enemy can steal our identity, then we easily accept rejection, depression, loneliness, fear, abuse, disease and turmoil as ‘normal’ in our lives.  We lose our Peace and Joy because we reject ourselves.

Loved & Chosen

God does not want us to figure this out; HE wants us to accept it as fact that we are valued and valuable.

Jesus wants to remind us so we can remind ourselves daily – “I am not rejected.”  That no matter what life looks like, feels like, acts like, the fact is, you were chosen and loved from the moment of conception and beyond.

Today is a great day to tell that Unloving Spirit, the FALSE Identity that you have accepted, to get up and get out of your mind, body, spirit and soul. It’s time to say, “God I repent for believing the lie. Help me receive the truth of who YOU created me to be.”

Prayer

Pray this prayer out loud:

Father I may not feel like it, but I break the lie and today I accept the truth that I am valuable,  I am loved, lovely and lovable. You created me to succeed.  I cancel satans power to use this false identity against me.  I break satan’s assignments against my life.  I repent for not trusting you Lord.  Teach me how to do that Lord and how to love myself so that I can love others and accept your love Jesus.  Holy Spirit, I give you permission to heal my heart and release my true identity into me.  Lord speak your truth to me….who am I?  (now wait a moment and make note of the first thing that comes to your mind….)

I bless you today and always in the name of Jesus Christ – the living, loving Savior.

Scripture for Meditation

…‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

~ Mark 12:31

Posted by: In: Events, Uncategorized 19 Mar 2017 0 comments
Posted by: In: Faith, Uncategorized 06 Jan 2017 3 comments

 

hidden-images-blog-pic-jan-2017

By: Brandy Edenfield

Brandy EdenfieldWe’ve all seen those Hidden Image pictures right? You know, the ones that appear to be one thing, but there is actually another image inside the picture. My husband is one of those people who can see the hidden image rather quickly. While I, on the other hand, could squint and cross my eyes a hundred different times and still never see the hidden picture. Even after he tells me what I’m looking for or he says things like “Concentrate. Look through the picture” (whatever that means, I still don’t know!). And to this day, I’ve never been able to see even one of those hidden images.

During the time that God was preparing my heart to write this blog, I was invited into two situations in the lives of two families close to mine in less than 24 hours. Initially both events stirred deep sadness and confusion in me.  First, our close friends of 17 years reached out to Brian and I for counsel and direction, announcing their separation. We were shocked! These people love Jesus. They both say they still love each other. How does this happen?

Second, a call about a family friend whose 16-year-old daughter attempted to take her own life and is now in a coma on life support and the prognosis from the doctors isn’t good. My heart physically hurt for this poor mother who was reeling with fear and guilt. And what compounded my hurt for her is that this family doesn’t know Jesus, so these parents are facing this without the hope and peace that He alone gives us in a crisis.

My heart was breaking for these two families. I had so many questions. I needed to get with God. I needed to ask Him why?  Where was He in this? How could these awful things be happening on His watch?

So you can imagine my surprise when God began to reminded me of these frustrating pictures. I began asking Him how these pictures relate to Him and to us? And though my human mind will never fully understand His ways, here is what I feel He showed me: God sees everything from a very different view point than we do. A much bigger picture. Our view is like someone who’s standing inside a massive fore. His is from that of one looking over the top of a miniature model of a forest. Yet it’s the same forest.

My human eye sees the hurt, the fear and the sadness. I even sometimes perceive from my view that the enemy is winning. I can not see from His view, but I can imagine some possibilities: the broken marriages that our friends will help repair through their testimony of restoration. Or how their children will have healthier marriages because of the communication and commitment that was demonstrated for them by their parents. Or the new level of joy and ministry God wants to take them to.

Or the salvation of an entire family who were completely lost and without hope before a crisis showed them they couldn’t make it without Him. Or a healed 16 year old, that uses her life to speak to other girls battling thoughts of suicide and depression and the lives saved because of her work. Or maybe even just renewed and restored  relationships in their home.

We won’t know until we get to Heaven how our lives and the lives of others have all been woven together to create His perfect picture.  On this earth, we are similar to me with those hidden image picture. Our questions of “why?” or “how?” or “what if?” are equivalent to me squinting and crossing my eyes. We are unable to see the bigger picture from where we stand. We can’t see it yet. Not here. But, He is God and He is good. One day we will see the intricate ways He used the details and the hurts in our lives to bring more people to Him. By faith we believe in the HIDDEN IMAGE.

Scripture for Meditation

“ The Lord looks from Heaven: He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth.” ~ Psalms 33:13-14 (NKJV)

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 20 Aug 2016 1 comment

by Brandy Edenfield

As y’all may have noticed from my last couple blog entries, I am a HUGE lover of words. I love the power of words, the way one word can create a picture in our minds. The way it can stir up strong emotions and move us to action. I like digging into the meaning of a word and asking God to show me what the picture of that word looks like and how it applies to me and my life.

I was reminded this morning of the first time I felt this “love for words”. God dropped a word into my heart through a friend just months before I gave my heart to Jesus. I met Kenny at the restaurant I worked at in Raleigh, N.C. when I was 19 years old. Kenny was a 24 year old, skinny, white guy from Chicago and also the Lead chef at the restaurant. He was kind to everyone and had a joy and acceptance that overflowed to every person he met, no matter how “bad” the person was. Everyone loved Kenny.

After several conversations, I learned that Kenny was a Christian rapper and to my great surprise, he was VERY GOOD! He introduced me to several of his songs and some other artists that he liked. One day, he shared his story of rescue from a life full of crime, drugs and gangs. In sharing his truth, he said “God reached into my nightmare and paid a ransom to set me free when nothing and no-one else was willing nor had the resources to do so.” He shared one of the songs he wrote that described this “ransom”. It talked about bondage and slavery in a way that touched my heart so deeply. He painted a picture of captivity that he was powerless to break free from.

I didn’t know Jesus personally at this point, so I couldn’t fully grasp what Kenny had experienced, but it felt real and powerful when he talked about Him and I found myself wanting to know more about HIS Jesus. I grew up knowing of Jesus and remembered all the stories and old hymns from growing up in church, but THIS Jesus seemed more dominant and commanding. Much more like a mighty superhero than an old story about some guy that lived thousands of years ago. We talked several times over the next few weeks and I listened to his CD over and over and that one song became my favorite and I memorized every word.

One night while laying in bed, I couldn’t fall asleep and those lyrics played continuously through my head. The word “ransom” hit me hard! I didn’t recognize the images in my thoughts as the Holy Spirit then, but I know now that He made that word relevant in a way I could understand it through pictures. In my minds eye, I saw a young woman snatched up off the street, and placed, kicking and screaming into a black van. She was beaten, gagged and tied up. There were several large men surrounding her in the back of this van. The picture then changed to an old abandoned warehouse where she sat tied to a chair in middle of a room, gagged and blindfolded. I could feel her terror and fear. It felt so real!

Then a phone call was made to her father, a ransom demanded to be paid to ensure her survival. The price tag was EXUBERANT! MASSIVE! And the girl slumped with discouragement, not knowing if it was even possible for him to obtain that amount of cash, specifically in the short period of time that they demanded it be paid in. Then she heard her father boldly say “DONE!! Anything for my precious daughter! Where and when?”

The time and location were set and the transfer was made. She was released into the arms of her father, met with tears of joy and relief. She asked how he made it happen? He responded “I traded all that I had to pay your ransom because you are the only thing that matters. Being reconciled to you was worth everything.” Her ransom was PAID and she was FREE!

RANSOM: Price paid to return a possession or person.

Jesus paid my ransom! He paid the HIGH price that ALONE, set me free from bondage and captivity.

Isaiah 43:1b (NLT)
Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name: YOU ARE MINE.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 05 Aug 2016 0 comments

by Brandy Edenfield

 

Talking with a young lady last week, I had the opportunity to share with her one of the most profound “nuggets” of truth God has ever dropped into my heart. I’ve gone back to it time and time again over the last several years and I’ve shared it with others many times. Maybe it will settle into your heart as it has in mine.

I was in a season of transition, just moved from Baton Rouge to Foley, left an amazing church and some incredible friends and wrapped up 18 mos. of heavy, hard inner work with my mentor counselor, Murphy Toerner. Murphy and I had worked through some major rejection issues and most freeing, we did a lot of work in the area of “religion” and legalism in my life and my family. I came to Foley free of so many heavy weights that had held me captive for years.

God strategically placed us in an environment that, no doubt, was where we were supposed to be, we felt certain, as a couple that this was right. But being in this place challenged every mindset shift I had about myself and who God truly was in my life. There was a heavy spirit of legalism and a strong push by our leadership to “perform” and “look the part” as a Christian. Oh how this stirred up turmoil in my spirit. I wanted to walk in the freedom I had found; yet I knew I was suppose to be in this place. Many days in those first few months, I cried out to God asking “How could you call me back to such oppression and suffocation?” Brian and I would pray and fast, yet the answer was always the same, “This is where I want you to be.”

One afternoon it felt especially overwhelming at a women’s luncheon. I was sitting in the most gorgeous setting, enjoying some food and fellowship with these ladies, and I felt COMPLETELY out of place! They were all soft spoken, meek, proper “church” women. And me? I’m loud, opinionated and outspoken. And I simply did not fit with these ladies. So I created an opportunity to excuse myself and proceeded to have a giant pity party for the rest of the day.

Ancient Egyptian HieroglyphThe next day, during a conversation with Murphy, I burst into tears and told her of my experience the day before and how I just didn’t fit in with these ladies. “They’re so churchy and sweet and proper and God just didn’t make me like that. Why? Why didn’t He make me soft? His word says ‘Blessed are the meek.’ If that’s what makes us blessed, why didn’t He give me that?” AND HERE COMES THE NUGGET!!!!

Murphy, in all her infinite wisdom, says to me (in her most maternal, loving voice) “Baby girl, He did. You just have a wrong idea of what ‘meek’ means. In the ancient Egyptian language, many years ago, they often used pictures to describe things instead of words (hieroglyphs). Honey, do you know what the beautiful picture for meek was?” Through sniffles, I said “No ma’am.” She said “The picture for meek was a velvet covered brick. Soft on the outside but strong and unbreakable on the inside. Your inner strength is that, powerful and bold. But your heart shows on the outside and it’s kind and gentle and trustworthy because it’s real and authentic. He didn’t create you to BE like anyone other than His son.”

A VELVET COVERED BRICK! This truth has set me free in ways that I can not fully express. I’m free to be who He created me to be and not what He created someone else to be. I hope this sets you free to be uniquely you too!

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 25 Jun 2016 2 comments

Brandy-Edenfield_blogbanner

“For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.”
Psalm 72:12 NIV

Seasons of change in life can be so exciting. But if you’re like me, change can often bring with it a real spirit of fear & even insecurity. I thought I had crucified these two emotions in my life (well maybe not crucified them, but certainly minimized them SIGNIFICANTLY). It took a lot of time & prayer & work & it was hard, but I was walking in the victory of knowing these two emotions didn’t control me anymore like they once had.

Fast forward to this season of counseling others & me asking God to grow my compassion, mercy & understanding for the broken-hearted. “Help me to understand your grace on a deeper level.” WOW!!! Not a wise prayer! Because He is faithful and we truly gain these spiritual gifts ONLY from experience. So, I have found myself in new territory. A space in life where all things “black & white” somehow seem much more grey when you ask Him what His love & grace looks like in the “tough cases”. Truth is, I’ve been floundering a little, realizing I “know for sure” much less than I thought. ENTER FEAR & INSECURITY!

Then add in a new, exciting job for my spouse and some major changes in the life of my 16 year daughter in regards to her biological father and his family. Folks let me tell you, my world has flipped upside down in the last two months. The fears & insecurities that have stirred up inside me have been nearly paralyzing at times. I have TRULY not experienced such a storm of spiritual warfare in my life. It’s really been a daily battle to just to keep these horrible spirits from tearing me and my life apart. I’ve questioned myself and my life in ways I thought I never would. I’ve faced fear & insecurity in a physical way that I never have before. It’s humbling & it’s real. The spirits come on strong and battling them in prayer has been a “repeat real” that I’ve spoken over and over.

But I can see His grace & love for me so much clearer from this vantage point! It’s all about Him & finding myself in HIM & believing His love & plan for me is ONLY good. He wants me to have more love & grace & understanding for the broken-hearted because I am her. I am broken & damaged & in need of my savior & His grace.He alone can crucify these evil spirits in my life. Yet, through these tough times, I have learned that I need these lessons from Him because they teach me to keep my eyes on Him & to know that my strength & joy come from Him ALONE! I can not stop negative thoughts and fears from coming into my head, but I can choose to give them to God and not entertain them. God is my defender and in HIM I can place ALL my trust.

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 17 Jun 2016 1 comment
Ashton Brook photo

Ashton Brook

A little girl was flying a kite on the beach today. She would run and keep her eyes on it. As she ran, it would fly higher and higher. She would yell in excitement because she got the kite so high. As soon as she would look away from the kite, it would fall to the ground. Every time she would get it in the air, get excited, look away, it would fall…

Girl Beach KiteIs that just like our fellowship with God at times? We get it going good and its fun and exciting, but we get distracted and look to other things, then our fellowship with Christ falls away.

We have to pick it up and get it going again! Only this time we must keep our eyes and focus on HIM so it keeps going until it’s so high that we can tie off the kite and find rest in knowing that our fellowship is secured. We can then go help others with their kite and help them get there kites in the air! …but we still have to keep checking our kite, because sometimes they fall even when we think they are secure and WAY up in the air. The higher they are the less likely they will fall but we must stay focused…

Are you focused today on the only thing that will take you higher?

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 27 Apr 2016 1 comment
Brandy Edenfield

Brandy Edenfield

Asking God what He wanted me to share in this second blog and feeling a whole lot of uncertainty for about a week now as nothing came. Oh, how I could write an entire book on God’s “quiet” seasons in my life. The times when I struggle with patience because His voice is silent and I know this means “wait”. It’s SO HARD! And I began to feel that His silence was a leading to share about waiting, but this morning I ran across an old story I read quite some time ago (author unknown) and I immediately felt it was the right word to share.

“A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

“Feel the carrots” she said. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then took the egg and broke it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, she asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted the coffee. The granddaughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, grandmother?’

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.”

What is God calling you to be in your situation? Are you hard like the carrot, rigid and unwilling to be flexible when God requests it of you? Matthew 12:6 MSG says “There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this scripture meant-‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’- you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this.” Are you like the egg, so fragile and easily broken that every obstacle  tempts you to abandon the race God has called you to run? Psalm 31:24 MSG says “Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.” Or maybe you are like the ground coffee beans, simple (in your flesh), individually a  seemingly un-noteworthy presence that is just “existing” and feels lost in a crowd? But combined with Christ, you are a world changer. ISAIAH 40:29 NLT says “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 15 Mar 2016 5 comments
Brandy Edenfield

Brandy Edenfield

How many times in my life have I enthusiastically started something only to quit before I’ve finished it? A new book, new class, new exercise routine/eating plan, new form of discipline with my kids or communication style with my husband. My determination and commitment are always so strong in the beginning, yet it dwindles through the “process” and I end up throwing in the towel and going back to my old ways and behaviors. Can you relate?

We’re often enthusiastic starters, but so many times we miss the joy that God wants us to experience – the joy of completion. The joy we feel when we can look back and see that the work was worth it. The joy that comes when we can analyze our process, dissect it from the beginning to the end and recognize a tangible shift in our behavior or mind set. But such joy isn’t a a gift we receive freely, it requires something from us. Effort and commitment. Similar to a marathon, we have to push through pain and exhaustion, hills and rough terrain and utter discouragement and choose to press on even when we feel like quitting. We must reach down deep inside and determine that we will see it through no matter what the enemy tries to throw at us to get us off track.

We are called to be “like Jesus” and He never quit anything. Remember, even in His last agonizing moments as He hung on the cross, He didn’t hang His head or breathe His last breath until He spoke those powerful words, “It is finished.” He finished His work here COMPLETELY, leaving no prisoner in bondage; no sin unforgiven; no broken heart left in pieces; no enemy undefeated. He was victorious in His completed work here on Earth. And He calls us to do the same. FINISH!

As we find ourselves half way through this semesters Crossing2Freedom classes, you may find yourself struggling with your commitment to see it through. Please let me cheer you on with this beautiful FIGHT mantra from Gods word:  Phil. 3:14  says “Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the Heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us.” As you press on and continue to press in, be encouraged that your loving Father promises you this:

“He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion.” Phil. 1:6
Our hearts desire is to look and talk more like Jesus isn’t it? In order to do so, we have to learn how to follow His example of finishing well. He conquered death until victory was won and eternity was secured for His children. He completed His task and He is sitting at the right hand of the Father cheering you on and LOVING you through your process. DON’T QUIT! The reward will be GREAT!

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 10 Nov 2015 0 comments

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