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Posted by: In: Uncategorized 06 Nov 2019 0 comments
Blog by Brandy Edenfield

 

Lord, help my unbelief! So many things in this life that I don’t understand. So much heartbreak and loss all around us. So many tragedies that I struggle to reconcile with the loving God that I know you are. So many questions asked by your grief-stricken people and I can’t find any answer that makes their pain make sense.

I know about free will. I know that we live in a fallen world. I know you see a big picture that I can’t see. But Lord, though I “know about” these things, my flesh is crying out for an answer that will bring some relief to your broken children.

 

 

 

Why?

  • Why do moms bury their babies?
  • Why do children suffer at the hands of those who were supposed to protect them?
  • Why do I live in freedom and plenty while so many others are oppressed and starving?
  • Why does the evil prosper while the good survive on scraps?
  • Why does a young husband wake up to feed his newborn baby, forever alone, b/c his perfectly healthy young bride “suffered complications” from the birth?  WHY GOD?  WHY?

 

 

You owe me no explanation, I know, but Father please help my questioning heart. I know you! I love you! I experience you daily! But, as I hear such pain and helplessness in the voice of your people, I struggle to understand.

 

 

Hard Questions Are OK!

I know all the “right answers” to these questions so please don’t comment “typically”, I just felt like someone reading this today needed to know that we all have questions. We all have parts of our faith that are weaker than others. Does this mean we are “lacking” or “less than” other believers? I don’t think so.

God knows my heart anyway so I may as well choose to be honest about my struggles, they don’t surprise or offend Him. In fact, I believe He honors honesty and loves teaching me when my heart genuinely says the following prayer from my heart:

 

Prayer

“Lord, I love you enough to want more. More understanding. More wisdom. More compassion. More authenticity. More goodness.  More love for others, especially the broken hearted. Ultimately, MORE OF YOU, LESS OF ME!” Father, soothe my heartbreak and weariness. Bless someone else through this word who feels all alone in their sadness and questions. Comfort them as only you can!”

 

 

 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 MSG
 “…God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for  us.”

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 18 Oct 2019 0 comments

Blog by Jessica Davis

 

The undetected hook!

I read this sign on a recent trip to an aquarium with my children. It immediately struck me. This nurse shark hurt those she had peacefully shared a tank with prior to that moment. Only after her death did they learn why. She was carrying deep unaddressed pain inside of her.

 

At some point in her life, she had swallowed a fish hook. That hook caused infection to rob her of her health and led to massive brain swelling which made her someone she was not previously. She lashed out at those around her causing injury to them before she ultimately succumbed to her condition.

 

 

 

 

What is at the root of your pain?

What hook have you swallowed that is causing you deep pain? Have you been wounded by someone you loved and trusted? That pain and unforgiveness could be your hook. Did you make a choice that you now desperately wish you hadn’t? That indictment against yourself could be your hook.

 

Do you have a secret you are hiding from the world fearing their judgment or rejection? Your secret could be your hook. Hooks in our spirit cause infection. That infection opens the door to even greater brokenness. That pain may cause us to lash out at others or even to hate ourselves.

 

 

 

There is hope

The pain is very real but so is the hope. Find a safe person and share your hook. Allow them to pray with you and allow God to perform the surgery your spirit needs.

 

 

  • This nurse shark couldn’t share her pain.
  • You can.
  • She couldn’t ask for help.
  • You should.
  • She couldn’t choose healing.
  • You are worthy of it.   #choosepeace #nomorehooks #free.

 

 

 

 

Prayer

Father, set our hearts free from hooks of rejection, pride, comparison, bitterness and ____________,  that keeps us out of the fellowship with you and others we desperately desire.   In the matchless name of Jesus! Amen.

 

Christians United Ministries

We are all about the heart and are here to serve you

through prayers and counseling.

774.567.0771 – Counseling or 251.241.9899 – Office

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 27 Sep 2019 0 comments

Blog Post by Brandy Edenfield

 

In the past month I have celebrated my 44th Birthday, 

with it came introspection over the last year…

 

 

 

What did 43 teach me?

 

  1. It’s ok to give more love to one child than another for a season. You give attention to the most hurting kid.
  2. God’s word is TRUTH. There is one truth. However, I recognize there is a “my truth” in my life that is mine alone due to my life experiences and the scope in which I view things through. My perspective.
  3. Loving myself is not contingent on being “the perfect” version of me- perfect look, perfect spiritual walk, perfect parent, perfect weight, etc. I can both, simultaneously love myself and be evolving into a better me.
  4. Conquering fear looks different than I thought it would. I thought “getting victory” over my battle with fear meant I would no longer wrestle with fear. It doesn’t always mean that. Sometimes I will still be SHAKING IN MY BOOTS scared. Like when I gave a speech in TOASTMASTERS CLUB about myself- it was a much smaller audience than most times I teach or speak and the environment was familiar, yet the intimacy of sharing my own personal story made me physically shake. On that day I learned this- sometimes God will call me out of my comfort zone and ask me to stretch into a place that’s unfamiliar and vulnerable, yes that’s scary- DO IT SCARED!!! Let me say that again: I know you’re scared- DO IT ANYWAY!!!
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And most things in my day to day life are small. I ask myself this question “will this matter in a year?” When the answer is “no” which it often is, I choose to let go (working on being more consistent here. Lol!)
  6. Cliché, I know, but lastly, this past year has taught me that the sun really will come out tomorrow. Tough days don’t last, tough people do.

 

 

 

I’m so grateful for another year to grow, learn and be more of who God created me to be.  I’m so grateful that the same Creator that made a sunset, made a beach and a mountain, made great humans like Moses and Billy Graham, looked at all He had created and thought this world needed a ME! WOW! That wrecks me every time! How can I not love myself and accept (the very flawed but changing and blooming) methat is THAT LOVED AND THAT NECESSARY!

 

What have you learned in this last year?

[This space is being left empty intentionally, it’s your space, your story.  Go for it, answer the question for yourself. Know you are very important to this time and season we all live in. ]

 

 

Prayer

God, thank you for creating us intentionally and with a purpose.  Help us to reflect on and see the ways you have been designing our days all along (from the most exciting and fruitful to the hardest of them).

Gratefully, In Christ. – Your created ones – whether we know it yet or not.

 

You are important! Your heart matters.

Reach out to us for prayer or a listening heart.

Counseling: 774.567.0771

or for all other questions call our office: 251.241.9899

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 20 Sep 2019 0 comments
Blog by Brandy Edenfield

 

If you know me well, you know that one of my favorite things in my life are the women that I call friends. It’s not a large group, but each woman is uniquely a large piece of my puzzle called life.

One of the reasons that I value my girlfriends so much is because for a long time I didn’t know that there was any value in a friendship between two women. The truth was, I didn’t trust women. I had had very negative experiences in my youth so I became very jaded in this area.

At 34, I was seeing a counselor (weekly) named Murphy. It was quite an expense for our family budget, but Brian and I both saw value in the work I was doing with Murphy. There was always homework!! EVERY WEEK she gave me homework and because our financial “buy-in” was significant, I completed every homework assignment she gave me. Approximately 10 months into our sessions, Murphy gave me my most difficult assignment. Frankly, I left her office annoyed & questioning her. I wasn’t sure I’d do this homework.

 

The Process

Let me set the stage for the assignment: God had been doing great healing in my heart over those 10 months. We had confronted so much of my history and reconciled so many things with God and people. He was truly transforming me. This particular Tuesday, as I sat in her office I recognized and spoke out loud my longing for a “girlfriend”. “just one” I told her with tears streaming down my face. She asked me this question, “Do you know any woman currently that you would be interested in having as a real friend?” Immediately I saw a face in my mind. I said “Yes, my old boss Dawn. We have gotten our kids together for play-dates several times over the last few weeks and I really like her. She is kind and doesn’t gossip. She’s happily married and is a good mom.”

 

 

 

Here comes the “homework” assignment: “This week, I want you to write Dawn a letter & ask her to be your friend. And also ask her to teach you how to be a good friend. I want you to sit with her as she reads the letter; have a conversation following it.” Stupefied shock overtook me! “WHAT?!” was the only response I could muster. She repeated the assignment to me. “This is childish Murphy, I’m a grown woman. This is how children do this, not adults.” Her response was a typical Murphy response “Trust the process Brandy.”

 

 

 

Trusting the Process

 

The following Tuesday morning right before my session with Murphy, I did my assignment and it went beautifully. To this day, 10 years later Dawn is my very best friend. Having her in my life has made way for so many other important friendships with women.

 

My point it this- healing/recovery is hard work. It requires commitment, courage & vulnerability. It’s uncomfortable & demands you to face hard things. It’s hard work. No one said it would be easy. BUT IT WILL BE WORTH IT! Trust the process.

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer

Father,  I pray that you will help me to engage the process of my own healing and recovery that I can be the friend I desire others to be to me.  Thank you for those you have sent my way in the process, those ones who stick closer than a brother come rain or shine on our journey together with you.

We are here to serve you; your heart matters!

Call our office at 251.241.9899 or

For counseling services call 774.567.0771

 

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 05 Sep 2019 0 comments
Blog Posted by Brandy Edenfield

 

As a mom, I recognize that there is one HUGE area that I seem to continuously fall short in. If you’re like me, you may be thinking “she can narrow it down to just one major area? I feel like I could come up with a list of 20 just off the cuff.” Well, me too, but I can, with certainty say I repetitively fall short in a major area with my kiddos. I make EVERYTHING a life lesson! And, sadly enough my husband does this also. THIS DRIVES OUR KIDS CRAZY!

 

 

God gave me the gift of a “counselors heart” so I’m always asking questions like:

  • “How do you feel about that?”
  • “What could you have done differently?”
  • “Where do you think that comes from?”

Brian was blessed with the “heart of a teacher” so he asks questions like:

  • “What did you learn from this?”
  • “Could a long-term plan have created a different outcome?” Or even simply
  • “Did you think this was gonna end well?”

 

 

 

We, as a parent team, are not great at listening to our kids. We are both leader-type personalities so we can dominate our kids with our ideas and plans for them in a way that makes them feel unheard.  We want so much for our kids to have an easier life than we had, learn lessons more simply than we did that we try (unintentionally) to rush them to a positive outcome. But don’t we all know that life has the ability to teach us things through experiences that our teachers and parents can’t teach with words?

 

My children need to figure some things out for themselves. My job is to guide them not strong-arm them to the result I’m wanting.Click To Tweet

 

 

So, we came up with a plan to help our communication. At the beginning of a serious talk, the “listener” will ask “Are you looking for advice or guidance or do you simply want me to listen?” You wouldn’t believe how much this one question can transform communication. It helps the listener to know what hat to put on- coach or counselor. It also helps in the area of self-control because knowing what my loved one needs, means if I choose the opposite, I hurt them intentionally so it helps me to do the right thing. Not always of course! I mess up FOR SURE! But my heart is good in that I long to be better. Brian & I continue to strive to be better each day as parents. And this is a tool we have learned to practice in our marriage as well.

 

Try this today with your loved ones. Let them tell you what they need from you and practice giving it to them. It will help heal your relationships and also teach you to be a better listener. After all, God gave us two ears but only one mouth –  that was purposeful! Listen more than you speak.

 

 

 

God teaches us this in James 1:19: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” Click To Tweet

 

Bless your day!

 

Prayer

Father, help me to be a person who is slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to be angry. To show value as you do. Thank you for helping me to grow in this.

In Jesus name. Amen.

Your hearts matter to us!

Christians United Ministries  http://www.cumi.live

Counseling: Call 774.567.0771

Office: Call 251.241.9899

 

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 30 Aug 2019 1 comment
Blog post by Brandy Edenfield

Change is so hard for me. Is it hard for you? Like, I really like the idea and excitement of the possibility of change, but the reality of walking out “change” in my life with joy and grace takes A LOT of intentional effort on my part.

 

My family recently made a move to a new city with my husband’s work. The opportunity was HUGELY exciting… four months ago! Our family talked about the “fun” of a new place. We had many conversations about “simplifying” our lifestyle since we were moving to a much smaller town and home. We hashed out details on how to be more intentional with our family time. Our kids were overjoyed with the opportunity to be going back to public school after three years in a small private school with limited athletics.

I personally felt hopeful for my work-life situation in this season. See, I have been a CPM (Certified Prayer Minister) with CUMI for nearly four years and in that time I have tried RELENTLESSLY to find work/family balance in my life. Constantly feeling like one area or the other was always lacking. So, my thought was, I’ll drive to the office to see clients one day, stay at my mom’s house and handle other office needs the next day. Creating in my life 5 full days to be wife/mom/homemaker and 2 full days to devote myself to work/ministry. EASY PEEZY RIGHT?

 

 

I literally used the words EASY PEEZY probably 50 times over that four months when laying out my plan to others. But remember, I’m not great at change.  So, recognizing that I need to be intentional in order to execute this well I laid out a plan to arrive 9 days before the kids start school which would also let me try out my new work schedule while their schedule was open. I HAD A PLAN!!!! 10-days ago my family made the move. All went just as we planned that day. IT WAS A GOOD DAY!

 

 

The following morning my father-in-law’s wife passed away. This meant getting our kids back to my mom in Foley the next day and then traveling to Savannah, Ga for four days to help with plans, attend the funeral & help him wrap up loose ends.

 

We returned an hour before Hailey’s senior year school orientation at which time we found out her transcripts were incomplete. Several other “unplanned” inconveniences presented themselves to us over the next few days. It was a whirlwind! And none of it was on my “agenda”.  Remember, change is hard for me.

 

 

 

 

But I truly wanted to do this well. I wanted to not only keep my peace but be a representative of peace in the storm. I would love to say it’s been a piece of cake and I’ve had total success.  For the most part, I have kept my peace. But I’ve also had moments of anxiousness in my belly. Moments of frustration with my family. Moments of missing my routine. And yes, even moments of wanting my mom (at 43) LOL.

 

 

What I know right now as I sit in this cute little coffee shop, inviting you into my struggles, is that I can make all the plans in the world (plan every minute & every detail- and I believe it’s wise to plan ahead) however even with all my human planning, LIFE HAPPENS! It’s messy!

 

 

 

I need to invite Jesus into my plans to HAVE HIS WAY! To teach me to be flexible. He reminds me that my peace comes from Him, not my situations.  He teaches me in these seasons that I need to be humble and to acknowledge He is God because His ways are better than mine.  So this morning, I took extra time to read & say thank you to My God who promises to be my refuge & hiding place. To be my burden bearer. And to give me a peace that passes understanding.

 

Do you remember to invite Jesus into it? He is so good at directing our steps as He faithfully brings peace in every anxious step we take.

 

Prayer

Father God, I am facing a lot of changes right now, (some good, some hard), I need your help to overcome and experience your peace in the midst of the journey. Thank you for your help. In Jesus name, amen.

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 13 Aug 2019 1 comment
Blog post by Brandy Edenfield

 

 

 

“I thought my healing would look different. I think most of us have a preconceived notion of what it looks like to be free and healed. I’m learning more and more through my process, and through helping others with theirs, miracles are instantaneous but healing is a journey. We walk out our healing, we participate in it.”

 

 

 

 

 

I believe it was about two years ago in one of our  CROSSING2FREEDOM classes that I first met Cheryl. Let me describe Cheryl to help you understand the magnitude of what I learned from her. Cheryl is a 6-foot tall private investigator | real estate agent. For years before we met, she was a bounty hunter. TOTAL HARD-CORE CHIC! This woman looked like one of the most confident, capable, powerful women I had ever laid eyes on.  She talked confident & educated. I must admit, I was completely intrigued and wanted to glean from her strength.

 

I remember watching Cheryl diligently take notes and ask questions each week. She was soaking it all in. At the weekend conference that followed the class, she was all in for every prayer and was visibly moved by each teaching. She came back for the next class when it started and in that first class, Cheryl shared something that pierced my heart and gave me a fresh revelation. I’ve since heard her share this truth multiple times since then and every time it brings me to tears.

 

 

Cheryl in all her 6-foot tall beauty said this:  “Before I took this class and learned about my identity, I would meet people and say (with an outstretched hand) ‘Hi, I’m Cheryl. Who do you say I am?’ And I would be whoever they said or perceived me to be.”

 

WHOA! That was a punch right to my gut. I too had lived this way subconsciously every day before I learned who I was in Christ. But I was somehow shocked that this woman battled with her identity. My experience and education should’ve safeguarded me from this shock, but it didn’t! How could SHE be insecure? God, used Cheryl to show me that we are all broken and in need of validation until we believe the truth about who HE says we are.

 

 

I recognize today that my healing does not mean I never struggle with my identity or my own insecurities. It doesn’t mean my self-talk is always positive and that I walk each moment in Godly confidence. It does, however, mean that I check my heart, my actions, and my words regularly to line me up with God and who He says I am. I recognize much quicker when I’m shrinking myself down to make others like me or to make them more comfortable. I recognize when I’m giving others the “mask version” of Brandy. And I readjust and choose authenticity.

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things is spending time with strong, “journeying” women that share the truth about themselves and their struggles. I love that Cheryl still tells this story every chance she gets and she always follows it up with examples of how she does better with this but how it still tries to creep when. She always points women to God’s love and grace to constantly be renewing her. I JUST LOVE THIS KIND OF HUMILITY and HONESTY.

 

 

 

I’m so grateful for my journey and the journeys of others that inspire me and encourage me. If you’re lacking these types of people in your life, pray for God to bring them into your life. And when He does, take off your mask & share your truth- THIS IS LIFE CHANGING!

 

 

Prayer

Father God,

Thank you that you bring the right people for us to link arms with and to do life with.  We love you and thank you for our identity is in Christ alone.

Help us where we are weak in this. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Would like to invite someone onto your journey or just to pray? We are here for you!

Counseling: 774.567.0771 | Office:  251.249.9899

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 30 Jul 2019 1 comment

 

When I hear the word restoration it reminds me of an old chest getting another chance to shine and be what it was once meant to be.  As a master craftsman begins the process of stripping away its old stain to make way for the new and replacing worn-out hardware…the latter beauty of that chest can be even more beautiful than the former because its aged lines and rugged edges of where it’s been coming through.   The renovator isn’t about making it altogether something else but upgrading the existing that it can be utilized a little longer…perhaps generations to come.  Never taking away one scratch from where it’s been because those scratches tell a story.

What are your scratches and dings saying about where you have been? Do you try to cover them in shame and guilt or will you bring them before the Master Craftsman and creator of all things, allowing Him to restore the beauty intended all along? Inclusive of every scratch and rut created along the way He heals the wounds but what if when the blood covers it also reveals the beauty, as it runs into every rut, every ding, filling every crevice along the way.  We are reconciled to our Master and all things are new.

 

 

“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a NEW creature; old things are passed away; behold, ALL things become new.'  – 2 Cor.  5:17Click To Tweet

 

Prayer

Father come to heal every place in me that I am tempted to keep covered in guilt and shame. I come now to the foot of the cross of Jesus and welcome His precious blood to flow to every place.  Allow every scratch and ding to tell a story about my faithful KING.  In Jesus name. AMEN.

 

       We are here to pray with you.

www.cumi.live or call 774.567.0771 

Crossing2Freedom classes are beginning soon, register at

http://www.cumi.live/crossing2freedom/

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 25 Jul 2019 0 comments

Crossing2Freedom

 

 

The cage door is open and we can fly…but how?

 

“If the Son, therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed…”- John 8:38

 

 So often we quote this verse and verses like them, without really experiencing them.  Are you living a life that looks free indeed?

  • Is it really a blessed life?
  • Your personal best life?
  • Is there any area of your life you would say is not up to speed?
  • Like your trudging through mud up to your waist and feel stuck?

You’re not alone, many of us have these areas in different seasons or circumstances of life.  There is good news, this kind of freedom can be experienced in EVERY area of our lives!  We only need to extend an invitation to Christ to enter that part of our lives and bring healing and wholeness.  This comes by revelation and by learning from those who have gone before to point the way.

We are here as a ministry to do just that.  Come join us and see what Jesus has for you in this season.  Perhaps you have dealt with a lot of hurts and have experienced a lot of healing already.  However, there is that one area that keeps popping up, it helps to remember this is a journey…not a destination.  There will always be those places.  You begin to recognize them more easily and are able to deal with them more quickly.

 We have the tools to help you live a forgiving living lifestyle. To experientially be an overcomer.   Our fall classes will begin very soon. Dates and locations will be posted on our website at: www.cumi.live/crossing2freedom/.

 This is also where you can register for the upcoming classes.  

 

Prayer

Father, I pray that this one reading this post right now will know how much you love them and how READY Jesus is to meet them right where they are.

Help them by your Spirit to come running to you instead of hiding in shame.  Let your healing touch be experienced by them.  In Jesus name, amen.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 12 Jul 2019 2 comments
Blog by Brandy Edenfield

 

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned through this ministry and the CROSSING2FREEDOM classes is this: when my immediate response to a situation or personality is big and quick, there’s a deeper root issue causing the anger or pain. I recognize now that in these instances I need to get alone with God & ask Him to reveal the root. WHAT GOD REVEALS HE WANTS TO HEAL.  I had a recent situation that made this abundantly clear to me. My 19-year-old daughter was home from college for the summer being a student-athlete therefore not permitted to work during “season” which starts early July and runs through until Christmas break. So, she needed to work hard & save diligently to cover her expenses for those 6 months.

Though we nagged relentlessly she drug her feet on getting a job for two weeks, leaving her with only 6 weeks to work & save.  Once she started working, she was not as strict with her schedule & saving as she needed to be and was ultimately gonna come up short at summers end. Her dad & I had concerns but vowed to not rescue her but to let her learn this lesson when it came.

 

 

With only two weeks left to work, she had a verbal altercation with a co-worker and was so upset, she left work. She called me crying hysterically & telling me all the horrendous things this young man had said to her. I wasn’t sympathetic. My response was “You left your job because someone was mean to you? Unacceptable! You don’t have the financial margin in your life to quit your job.” She didn’t like my response.

 

When Brian and I arrived at home, she told her dad the details of the situation and I felt completely enraged. So much so that I had to acknowledge that my feelings we far too intense to be just about this situation, so I excused myself into my bathroom.

I looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself “what emotions are you feeling? What pain is this hitting on inside me that I would feel such anger?” I began to pray, asking Holy Spirit to reveal the root. (Total transparency here) I didn’t feel anything come to me and I continued to be very angry.

 

Brian came into the bathroom and said, “Babe, I know you’re upset and this might not be the best time to say this but I think what she did was right. Leaving work was the right thing to do when management permitted her to be so disrespected by another employee. As her father, I’ve never spoken to her like that & we’ve raised her to stand up to people that think they can. Especially a man! She did what we taught her.”  

 

 

 

Y’ALL- at that moment I knew he was right. (But this is how faithful God is)- these are the words that came out of my mouth as my throat tightened up & tears poured from my eyes:

 

“When you are a young girl without margin in your life, specifically financially, you’ve got to compromise yourself.  Laugh at jokes that are inappropriate and disgusting. Tolerate an “accidental” brush up against you at the job.  Smile through conversations that make your skin crawl.

 

 

My husband stood there shocked, reaching out to me and said  “Wow! Did that happen to you?”  The reality was yes it had. More than once. I said  “Yes. The worst time was when I was pregnant with her was working so hard to save and get prepared for her birth, my boss was despicable but I needed the job for our future. His comments were so atrocious that I vomited twice.” As he hugged me I sobbed on his shoulder.  (By this time, I was crying so hard, the words were hard to get out). I Cried for the young woman inside of me that had to compromise who she was.

 

 

 

It was then that I cried for my daughter that had the courage to say No, I won’t compromise who I know I am, even if I don’t have margin in my bank account.” My tears of pain had become tears of honor, pride, and gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

I realized that the freedom that a young girl has when she has created margin in her life that is far greater than just money in the bank. She can say ‘NO! You’re not gonna talk to me like that!’ Or ‘I quit’.' Click To Tweet

 

 

 

This generational curse had been broken by my brave girl.  However, I had no idea that pain was inside of me. No idea how deeply I had been affected by that. No idea the shame & fears I was projecting on my daughters because of this issue in me. But I’m grateful that God knew and  HE saw fit to bring it up so He could heal my heart.  So, when your response is BIG and disproportionate to the situation, ask yourself & ask Holy Spirit “what’s at the root of these emotions?” WHAT GOD REVEALS HE HEALS.  

 

Prayer

Papa God!

You are so faithful to reveal those things that hurt us deeply, so that the matchless power of the cross can come to heal equally as deeply and completely. Thank you that our past doesn’t define us and that our future generations are healed in the place of our surrender to you.  Bless this one who will read this today and say #metoo.  Who needs a touch from you. Pull them close and heal their hearts and subsequently their future generations. In Jesus name.  Amen.

 

 

IF this has connected with your heart| Life in any way, please contact us.  We are here for you contact us at 774.567.0771.

Your hearts matter to us.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 19 Jun 2019 3 comments

Blog Post by Brandy Edenfield

 

Too many broken pieces! When you look around you or even AT yourself or your situation, what is the “too” you see?

  • Too Big?!
  • Too far gone?!
  • Too messy?!
  • Too much pain?!

 

Nearly four years ago, what I saw in my world was a close family friend named Jesse (we were raised like family and I called him brother) that had been addicted to heroin for 12 years. Jesse had struggled with drugs and alcohol for several years before he was introduced to heroin, so the destructiveness of addiction had been active for nearly two decades. Jesse had gone to four inpatient, secular rehabs, but each time he was back on heroin within days; twice he confessed to using in rehab. He spent his time with scary, dangerous people. He himself had become a user of people, a thief, and a liar. Those of us who loved him could barely remember the beautiful little boy that always smiled and laughed & told silly jokes. That boy was buried in the rubble of addiction. If I’m truly transparent, I should confess, I felt Jesse was a “lost cause”.   He appeared to be “too far gone.”

 

 

At this time, I was active in Christians United Ministries (*C.U.M.I), teaching the good news and hope to broken people daily, yet I looked at Jesse’s life and felt complete hopelessness. I remember one particular night, [after a late-night call from Jesse telling me he had been badly beaten by some dealers he owed money to], I hung up and fell to my knees in my bedroom, sobbing, saying to my husband “my brother’s gonna die from this. I don’t believe even God can rescue him.” I recognized that night that I PERSONALLY needed to see a miracle. I went into my prayer closet asking God to show me His glory and His might by healing and delivering Jesse. See, I was tired of hearing about “Gods power” and how “He still does miracles.” from other people. I was even annoyed at myself as I spoke these words to others, knowing I couldn’t make these declarations wholeheartedly. I needed to see Him do a miracle. My faith was at an all-time low.

 

 

But God!

Two months later, through many difficult circumstances, Jesse called one night, ready to take the help we offered him, to come from Pennsylvania to Alabama and go through a one-year TEEN CHALLENGE program. I’m so grateful to say that in August, my brother Jesse will celebrate four years sober and serving Jesus.  Little did I know, this was just the beginning for me!

Let me digress for a minute- I was raised in 12 Step programs and had long since decided I had had enough of addicts and their “recovery” journey. For years I steered clear of all things and people dealing with addiction. It was too painful and statistically, it was discouraging.

 

 

 

Through those two months before Jesse accepted help, my heart grew so heavy and burdened not just for Jesse, but for people in addiction. I began to feel deep compassion and pain for these people that were fighting this powerful stronghold. My heart hurt as I had never experienced. God was calling me to intercede on their behalf. I submitted to this. I prayed and petitioned on their behalf daily.  I did not, however, want to be part of their stories.

GOD HAD OTHER PLANS! He changed my heart. He started to bring back all the lessons I’d learned for years growing up around recovery and deliverance. My heart started to say “yes Lord, where do you want me to go?” And His response came in the form of phone calls to our ministry from people looking for counsel/help with addiction or loved ones with addictions. I continued to ask for courage and grace to walk out this calling and He continued to hear my prayers & meet my needs.

 

Walking it Out!

Several months ago, during prayer in our office, we were praying for a local women’s group that we would be bringing Crossing2Freedom (*C2F) to starting the next day. I felt a painful urgency in my prayers for these ladies. During this time, I was reminded of the story in Ezekiel 7 (titled VALLEY OF DRY BONES). In my mind’s eye I saw dry bones everywhere I looked. I felt the scripture come alive in my heart “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” I felt hope stir up in my heart, knowing how this story would go.  AND IT HAPPENED!! Those bodies started to breathe! Not only did they breathe, but they became a great army!! HALLELUJAH!

As I type this, I’m overcome with hope and encouraged by the promise from our MIGHTY GOD that He will do what He promises! He will raise our dead, dry bones to life & create an army in the midst of a dry valley! C.U.M.I has since linked arms with several addiction/recovery ministries in our area am I am so grateful to be part of what God is doing.

 

 

YES INDEED- that “too big, too hard, impossible” thing in your life is a set up for a miracle! JESUS does BIG THINGS! In fact, I believe the bigger the mess, the more He rejoices in the resurrection evidence that HE ALONE can manifest.Click To Tweet

 

 

I don’t know if you’re encouraged, but I know I am! I serve a BIG BIG GOD- the God of the impossible. Nothing is too big or too hard for Him.
Read this story for yourself- pray for hope and speak life into your dead situation. Your God will show up & show out- it’s what He does.

Prayer

Father,

I ask you to breathe life into my circumstances and into those around me.  I trust you and believe you can cause these dry bones to live again.  Thank you in Jesus name. AMEN.

 

The prophet of God spoke to those bones and he heard a great rattling as the bones reconnected and he saw muscle and flesh grown over those bones. The prophet heard God say “Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.” 

–  Ezekial 7

 

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 31 May 2019 1 comment

Blog Post by Twila Crawford

 

Ever have one of those days or even seasons that it seems like everything you have believed you were to be about or your purpose is coming into question, seemingly hijacked?

 

You’re dredging through mud up to your waist?  One moment you were confident,  bold,  and ready to tackle all that was inside you, a dream becoming reality kind of stuff…but then…that season creeps in…suddenly everything seems upside down and you begin to believe perhaps you made it all up?   Spiritual amnesia sets in and you can’t see clearly anymore.

 

I know I have had those moments, even seasons. Remember we have all had these moments at one time or another.  We have a very real enemy that doesn’t rest. Read on, there is hope for you.

 

 

 

'For I know the plans I have for you, ' says the Lord.  'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.' - Jer. 29:11Click To Tweet

 

 

 

Truth Bearers

 

Friends this is when God sends those special people around you that speaks into your life in such a way that you feel like you could create a whole universe and are fully confident it will be inhabitable…all the while you are shaking in your boots at the mere thought of it all?

 

They point you back to Jesus and will remind you of all that God has been building on the inside of you on your life journey while lovingly dispelling the lies that are robbing you of your purpose and vision. After all, they see the bigger picture of you and what’s in there even when you can’t.

 

 

Scribes

 

When you get stuck and lose your way they are scribes who remind you where you were and how far you have come.  These ones have superman like vision to see right through all of your muck to help you see the jewels buried deep inside. Yes, your universe-creating ability to them is a done reality and they will stop at nothing less until you can see it for yourself.

 

Moving forward is the only option in their eyes…they will help you find your missing tools.  That universe is becoming more possible, heck even plausible.  Community is so important. Find your people, you will need to remind them and they will be there to remind you.

 

Prayer

 Father, thank you for those whom you have put on our journey that point us back to Jesus and remind us of who we are.  They are jewels in your crown. Priceless.  Champions of the faith who build up and equip your body.  Let me be one of them.  In Jesus name. AMEN.

 

 

Posted by: In: Faith 21 May 2019 0 comments
Blog Post by Jessica Davis

 

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”#weakisthenewstrong #Hepromisestostay                                                                                                                                                                                      

-2 Corinthians 12:8-10

 

 

 

Brokenness as a doorway

No one craves brokenness…but perhaps we should.  The literal translation of verse 9 is that when we are weak, God comes and pitches a tent over us and dwells with us until we are strong. I’m learning to be ok with waiting in my brokenness as long as He stays with me.

 

 

 

Prayer

Father,

Let me embrace brokenness as a doorway to intimacy with You, through the cross of Jesus, rather than something to be feared and ran from.  Holy Spirit lead me there. My heart longs for healing and to experience the strength of His protection and love.  In Jesus name.

 

{Need a little extra help walking out this season of your life?  We are here for you, contact us at 774.567.0743}

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 09 Nov 2018 1 comment
Blog Post by Anonymous

 

Tears on the floor.  When people ask me exactly what it is I do, I always begin with explaining our prayer methods and how much freedom we gain in our lives when we purpose and choose to forgive and break the bonds of the enemy on our lives. The short answer is that I facilitate Holy Spirit as He heals the brokenhearted. This picture, however, says it so much better than I ever could. One evening as I led a precious soul through a difficult prayer to forgive herself, the pain began to overwhelm her. I slid my chair closer to hers and laid a hand on her knee in support. The jacket across her knees was soaked with her tears.  That’s when I looked down and saw the tears on the floor. They represented 20 years of self-bitterness locked inside.

 

Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves.Click To Tweet

 

 

 

 

As my client freed her tears, God freed her heart.  These tears are her freedom poured out.  It was an incredible moment to be present to see God heal that place in her. So grateful He let me be in the room when He did that work in her heart. This is what we do at Christians United Ministrieswe take your hand and walk with you as God heals and restores. This is the real life of what God allows us to do.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations”.Isaiah 61:1-3 (NLT)

 

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, by my free will I choose to forgive ________________ (the person) for _____________(what they did).  I release them and cancel their debt and obligation to me and mine to them.  Lord, I know I can’t change them, I can only change myself.

I command all negative trigger points through sights, sounds, smells, taste, and feelings associated with any spirit of trauma to be broken in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I cancel all shame and guilt. I repent for my part and/or sinful feelings and responses to this situation. I forgive myself because you have forgiven me. I cancel all of satan’s power and authority over me in this memory/situation.  Set this straight inside of me Lord.

Thank you, Jesus for loving me, Holy Spirit, heal, my mind, body, spirit and soul. Tell me YOUR truth. What is it Lord You want me to know?

In Jesus name, I pray.

Amen

Based on James 4:7 Using the 4 Steps to Freedom Model [Personalize to fit your prayer needs.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: In: Missions 01 Oct 2018 4 comments

Blog posted by Twila Crawford

 

 

This morning I awoke grateful for another day, but a bit sad and disoriented, thinking I was late for something.  Ever have one of those times that it takes a minute for you to wake up enough to realize you really are in your home and not somewhere else?  My disorientation was due to me just arriving from Guatemala.

 

The CUMI team of 10 people went to love and minister among some of the most humble and amazing people. We were there to minister to the Achi Tribe of people now re-located in Rabinal and Pacux. They are survivors, or children of the survivors of the 1982 Rio Negro genocide, one of five that took place.  To say this outreach was impacting in our hearts and souls was an understatement.

 

From the first moment to the last, as they shared their stories, they had a captive audience. They stole our hearts!  The torture and trauma they went through, the human soul is unable to grasp and was never meant to carry. Click To Tweet

 

Yet that is not what captivated us the most.  It was rather the constant phrase on their lips; “gracias”, always accompanied with a gentle hug and smileNever once did I hear them complain.  As they told their stories they gave God glory for their lives.  Only as we met with them individually or in the personal conversations did the gravity of what they endured come to the surface in tears.

 

BEING JESUS TO THE LEAST OF THESE

‘Banners of Love’ Guatemala is the ministry we served through:

  • Prayer Counseling.
  • Feeding programs for young and old.
  • Ministry to:
    • Malnourished children and their parents.
    • Church leaders
    • Local leaders and their staff
  • Participated in the annual Celebration of the grandparents who survived the massacres.
  • Repairs made around the ministry house and yard.
  • Filters of Hope, Tuscaloosa, AL provided over 40 water filters towards helping the people in this village have clean water. (More filters coming soon)
  • Sharing the gospel and our testimonies on the radio, reaching others locally as well as nationally.

We all worked together with ‘Banners of Love’ team and accomplished more than we could ever imagine through the power and love of God.

TENDER MOMENTS SHARED | A HEART CRY HEARD

Jan Hicks was sharing a story about her eyes being drawn to a flower lying on the ground during the Guatemalan Independence Day Parade.  As her eyes were drawn to the flower, without a word, one of her spiritual sons picked it up and placed it behind her ear.  A touching moment for both of them, knowing it was a God hug.

As I heard this story my heart turned to the stories of the Achi people and this is the poem that developed inside of me:

Heart Cry of a Trampled Tribe

As the parade music resounds,
I spot the little red flower lying there on the ground,  

Beautiful crimson petals all around.

Seems a bit normal, un-profound.

 

Yet as the parade passes by,

I could hear a faint heart-cry…

Of a people of a tribe.

 

We are trampled don’t you see?

Our babies dashed against the granite stone,

Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters all,

Wiped out in genocide….

Another people their fate to decide.

To fulfill their own desires and selfish pride.

[A dam they wanted and for this, we died].

 

Justice, justice was the cry…

Why, oh why, did they all have to die?

A response arose from a faraway place…

The Creator responded outside of time and space!!!

On that hill, the King of Justice hung,

On a cross, blood running crimson…

Crying out equally loud: come, come by Achi and Kekchi

People.

 

Justice served: Redemption today in your land is heard.                                               

-Jesus

 

 

PRAYER

Father,

Thank you for your love for all peoples everywhere. Thank you for the privilege of getting to be Jesus’ hands and feet among the Achi Tribe as well as here at home.   Continue to show them who they are in you:  LOVED and FREE.  In Jesus name.  Amen.