"Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of the wind among the trees. "
There are times in my life when it is so easy to believe the lies from satan instead of believing God and his truth. I am so thankful that in those times God not only uses his Spirit, his word but also a simple song to point me back to him.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
One hundred years from now may it never be said of this generation of ezers (warriors) that we folded our hands and left God's kingdom work to others. May it never be said that we ignored the cries of the helpless and focused on ourselves.
Half the Sky is a disturbing expose of the world's dark and largely forgotten underbelly where the misery and abuse of women and girls break the scales of human suffering. But I am at a total loss for words to describe the feeling that swept over me at the end of the book, where, while recognizing that Christian organizations are deployed in this fight, the authors threw down the gauntlet for the rest of the church to step up to the plate. I was jolted to read, "Americans of faith should try as hard to say the lives of African women as the lives of unborn fetuses." What troubled me most about this open challenge to the church was that Christians are not the loudest voices to sound the alarm, nor are we the most visible at the forefront in addressing this humaniatarian crisis. - Half the Church, Carolyn James
In the book, she talks about how we are often held back either because of the small vision we have of ourselves or because we listen to the wrong messages today about what women in God's kingdom can and can't do. James, then moves the discussion to the devastating crisis that is happening to women and girls all over the world. She lays down the challenge for women who follow Christ to be on the front line of this war against modern day slavery and the sex trade. As I have read through this book I am just hit with the thought over and over again...how in the world can I even sleep at night when other women and girls are living hell on this earth? I want to stop worrying about my 1st world problems and focus on the things that matter to Jesus. The statistics are sickening.
300,000 girls in the US are in prostitution
2 million children worldwide in the sex trade industry (UNICEF)
80% of human trafficking victims are women and up to 50% are minors (US Dept. of State)
1 out every 3 women in the world has been raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise violently abused in her lifetime (UN Development fund for Women)
But we can do something about it...together. There are so many ways to help.
God created his daughters to be kingdom builders-to pay attention to what is happening around us, to take action and contribute.- Carolyn Custis James
I want to introduce you to my friends, Shanita and Melanie.
They have just published their first devotional book. The book is named It's Over: Finding Freedom By Breaking Negative Strongholds. Melanie and Shanita are incredible Christ followers, their love for Jesus overflows into the lives of others. They are the friends who always leave you better off than the way they found you. I count their friendship a big blessing in my life. I am so excited that they have written this devotional. It is a 9 week study on breaking free from strongholds in our lives.
A negative stronghold can be described as an incorrect thinking pattern that molds itself into your way of belief. These strongholds have the ability to affect your feelings and control how you respond to situations. Negative strongholds will change who you are and how you behave. They may also present themselves as an inner child of your past, something in your background, or an episode that occurred that you have locked away in the back of your mind. Although put away, these former experiences feed and control certain behaviors today and manifest themselves as worry, depression, discouragement, or failure just to name a few. It is satan's job to make negative strongholds permanently control your life. God knows your strongholds and He knows that satan uses them to ruin your relationship with Him. He wants to protect your identity.
-Shanita and Melanie
I know I have strongholds in my life that affect my relationship with Christ. We all have them, but I know for myself it is easy to ignore them because they just become part of who I am. It doesn't have to be that way. I am excited to spend the next 9 weeks working through scripture and the questions and thoughts that Melanie and Shanita have shared in this devotional to help me breakthrough to a deeper relationship with Jesus. You can buy the devotional book at their website.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
This beautiful watercolor print hangs in Elyse's room. It is one of my favorite posters. The artist is Katie Daisy. Go check out her Etsy store and be inspired! I love her work. I love to use watercolors but nothing I paint ever looks like this! :) This print is a daily reminder for me to be filled with Joy no matter what my circumstances. I am also reminded every time I look at it that God gave Katie her talent and what a creative God I serve.
"Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it! -E. Lutzer
I follow Christ and try to bring him glory in what I do. I am fallen and imperfect and so thankful for Christ who died for my sins. This blog is just a way to share how our family is trying to grow deep roots in God.