Strongholds-Lies We Believe

Although the majority of my posts are about abortion, adoption and infertility, I want this blog to be about the whole person.  Because the choices we make in life are often dependent on how we were raised as children, how we see ourselves and how we think society views us, I want to talk to you about strongholds.  Mental strongholds are lies and distortions we believe about ourselves, things, opinions, reasoning’s and offenses. So, I’m going to tell you about a lie I believed about myself and how it shaped a huge part of my life.

Infertility mimics a slow agonizing death.  The emotional and mentally draining wait each month hoping you’re pregnant usually ends in despair.  It can and does, consume all of who you are if you allow it.  In my post, Adoption An Answer For The Pain.  I share my hopeless feelings about my miscarriages and the way I perceived myself because of the infertility.

At the time, I didn’t realize my response to my inability to have a child was related to issues I’d had most of my life.  Poor self-esteem from being the “fat child in class”, and a teacher who in front of my entire 5th grade elementary class, continually, openly criticized me for having a weight problem.  I never told my parents what was going on.  I was too ashamed.  When you’re in 5th grade, you think teachers are always right, and this was proof that I was not “good enough, not worthy”. That year created a major emotional scar and a lie I believed about myself took root in my mind.

This was 1965.  Eventually, my mother found out, and God bless her, did everything she could to have the teacher removed from the classroom. During the process we found out the woman had been moved around from school to school with similar problems of verbally attacking certain students she particularly didn’t like for various reasons. (not just weight)

When people met me, usually I was told something like this, “You’re so pretty, what a lovely smile, your blonde hair is beautiful.”  But then they glanced down, below my face to the rest of me and the look on their face said it all.  “If you’d just lose a few pounds, you’d be acceptable.”  What I saw in their eyes was, “You’re not good enough”.  The teacher’s critical attitude securely reinforced this same belief.

I made friends when I could shove the lie down deep enough, but the pain always lurked just beneath the surface, threatening to jump out and tell everyone how unacceptable I believed myself to be. I share this with you because what we believe about ourselves and our circumstances has a major bearing on the choices we make in life.

When I speak to you about abortion, I stress how much God loves us.  How He made each of us unique, with special gifts and talents to expand His kingdom of light on this earth, and be a service to others.  Strongholds keep God’s light from coming through us. The lies we believe distort how we see things and judge our circumstances. They argue against who God says we are, His creation, formed in His goodness and glory and how very much we are loved and valued by Him.

Strongholds are open doors, opinions satan can use in our lives. We need to close these doors, slam them shut, lock them up and throw away the keys.  The lies cloud our perception about what God is doing and thinking about us and others.  When you don’t agree with God, you empower satan.  Lies form attitudes in our life and keep us from seeing our responsibility in situations. The spiritual side of ourselves becomes clouded, and we justify the sin in our lives and the choices we make from that belief as if they are “OK”.  The lie that abortion is legal, therefore it’s not murder and acceptable to do is a stronghold in our thinking about the value of life.  Satan uses this untruth promoted by our law and society to destroy life before the baby has a chance to be born and become a part of God’s family on earth. When you want to not be pregnant, it becomes a lie you can embrace to justify changing your perceived dreaded situation.  Strongholds take your mind to a place of negativity and hopelessness.

God says we are His precious creation, His children.  Believing abortion is acceptable keeps us from embracing God’s truth, and instead we believe our actions are justified.  Strongholds are the exact opposite of what God wants to happen, His knowledge about you and your child’s destinies and purpose.  Acts 17:26 (NIV)  26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

Strongholds are not demons.  You don’t cast them out.  You pull them down and out of your mind using God’s word.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5  New Living Translation (NLT)  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to pull down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Ask for God’s help.  Use His word to take your thoughts captive to who Christ says you are. Pull down the lies you believe. Ask Him to speak His truth to your mind.  Repent for the falsehoods you’ve thought were true about yourself and your life.  Ask God to show you how He sees you and your child.

Donna

Prayer For An Upside Down Heart

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:39

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.  Nothing.  Then, why do I feel broken?  When I neglect my time alone with Father God, I allow anxiety, fear and the cares of this world to invade my heart, and if I don’t rebuke the evil one’s lies and replace them with God’s word about His love for me, His blessings and His care, I wind up in a mess.  Stirred up, angry, resentful and anxiety ridden.

I need alone time, but I go to bed and hope it passes.  It doesn’t.  I wake up.  It’s 2:00 in the morning.

“Father God,” I speak into my pillow. “I just want to sit at your feet.  I don’t want to ask for Your help again because you’ve done that so many times, helped me, blessed me.”

“Yet, You tell me to ask because You love me so much.  But, I think what’s going on in my upside down heart can be handled by resting in You.  I listen and wait, but the noise in my head is so loud it shuts out everything else, and the harder I try, the more the silence crowds me.”

I toss and turn.  My sheets tangle around my feet and I stare blankly at the ceiling, hoping this time will be a night You show me Your face, Father God, Your plans for me and for the people whose lives you’ve planned for my life to touch with Your love and grace. I cringe at the last thought.  In this state, how can I help anyone?

Quiet’s cymbals crash in my ears, and I sense my breathing quicken.  I put my hands on my chest, attempting to slow it’s rise and fall, to calm myself so I can sense the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper.  “I know I’m not,” I speak into the dark. “But tonight . . . I feel lost.  I know Your Spirit lives inside me, so I can’t be without You no matter what I feel.”  That last thought signals my faith to rise.  I feel safe, and stop thrashing.

“So,” I whisper, “Help me, Lord, I love You.  Forgive me for allowing lies and fear to sit on Your throne in my heart instead of faith. I just want to be with You, now.”

I praise Him for His majesty and holiness.  Tears roll down my cheeks and puddle in my ears. “Thank you for loving me and holding me in the palm of Your hand and in Your unwavering heart.  You made me, You know all my days from the beginning of time.  You have a plan for me. Your constant faithfulness woos me.  Your strength carries me.”

The peaceful transition I long for begins.  I learned a long time ago about what the “deer panting for water” means.  As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.  Psalms 42:1

Only the Father will satisfy my thirst.  Peace floods me and washes over me in waves, and after some time praying in the Spirit, I feel the weighty pressure of His presence. It’s like my body is being gently pushed down on the mattress and my breathing slows.  Every part of me noticeably, physically relaxes.  The calm is amazing. Nothing can come to me that He doesn’t allow and I remember again His mercy. Literally, I don’t want to move because I don’t want to ruin the heavy beauty of the moment.  I wait for His voice, or for Him to show me a picture or give me a scripture.  I inhale the thick peace cocooning me.

It’s wonderful.  Every time is like the first time I felt the weightiness of Him here with me.  I long for this, His presence, and He doesn’t disappoint.

Everything I brooded over fades away. It’s just God and me.

I wait in quietness.  He loves me back to sanity and peace, forgiving me for not taking my thoughts captive to Jesus Christ which is how I ended up in the chaos of “what ifs”.

God created each of us to have an intimate relationship with Him.  He wants us.  Make a place in your heart for Him to dwell.

Can God find a resting place in you?  I hope so.

Amen . . .

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Person Can Make A Difference

Last Saturday, I went to the movie Olympus Has Fallen.  I really enjoyed it for a number of reasons.  One being, the movie was about my country, the USA, and how we would respond to a terrorist attack on our nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. and specifically against our President.  I understand it’s a movie, a Hollywood production in all its special effects glory.  But watching it made me realize, it could happen, perhaps in a different way or with a different country attacking, but it’s possible.

I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who want’s to see it and hasn’t, so I will simply say, it portrays the resilience and determination of the American people and our military’s willingness to fight for our beliefs as a country and to stand against evil, while revealing that our decisions through time for right or wrong can come back to camp on our doorstep.  The movie shows how one man made the difference for good in millions of lives, and what could have happened had he not determinedly moved forward with his beliefs and convictions that good will triumph.

Sometimes, I wonder if my thoughts and opinions stated in these posts are making a difference for good.  If I pay attention to the media and social networks, I feel like the world is spinning out of control and how can anyone change it.  That’s what we shouldn’t do, believe the media and social networks.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, my purpose is to keep my eyes and heart, (spirit) on Him.  Whenever I deviate from that, I end up walking in fear and anxiety. God’s word says:

every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.   John 4:3-5  New International Version (NIV)

The media and social networks, for the most part, speak from the viewpoint of the world.  How can I see what God is doing and what He wants believers to do by listening to the news media?  I can’t, and neither can you.  To know what God desires from us is to know Him personally, intimately.  Actively seeking His face and asking Him to change us into His likeness on the inside, (our spirit) so that we may go about showing the people in the world around us His kingdom, His light and His love. When I spend time reading the bible, I see God wants us to love and care for each other.  That’s the reason I stand against abortion, the murder of the children He created out of His heart of love.

The world’s conception of faith, or what the media calls religion, is that it’s sentiment and tradition.  Many people believe that faith in God is powerless.  Religious tradition is just that, tradition, which of itself without Christ’s life breathed into it is dead and useless. Only when people understand the dynamic qualities of God and His awesome love for mankind can they begin to see how He moves in the hearts of men, women and children to change them on the inside, remove sin from their souls, and cleanse them with the blood of His son, Jesus Christ.

This cleansing brings new life to us, body, mind, will and emotions, and fills us with His Holy spirit.  We become a new person in Christ.  From that moment on, when He looks at us and hears our prayers, He sees us as redeemed from sin, which before separated us from Him.  Now, I can boldly go through prayer into His presence with my requests as His daughter, and priest, with all the rights of an heir to God’s kingdom through Jesus.  This is power.  This is love.  This is beautiful peace, healing, abundance and hope.  Hope in God as my father, not in the frail, sin-wrecked ways of the world and their solutions, culture, and economies.

When I keep my eyes on Christ, I remember He told me to write to you, to share His love and plan for each of us, which includes the lives of the unborn and taking a stand to end abortion.  No matter what anyone says or thinks about what I write, they must remember this: I speak of the goodness of God and His love for mankind, including babies, children and families.  What I have to share with you is of God.  It’s not Donna’s plan for babies, mothers and fathers, it’s God plan.

His love for you is staggeringly abundant. Each of us, helping one person at a time, loving God with all our heart and soul, doing His will on earth as it is in heaven is a very possible, achievable destiny for each of us.  Careers and riches don’t follow us into the next life.  Only what is done for God will last.  One day, we all will stand before him and give account of our lives and actions.

Jesus sees our hearts, our reasons why we live like we do.  What will our thoughts and actions say about us to Him on that day.

I ask God to bless those who read my posts.

Take a moment to send me an email at: lightcradles@gmail.com or send a note to: Light Cradles, PO Box 1795, North Platte, NE  69103-1795

Donna

 

 

Baby Boxes Save Lives And Bring Hope

 Today our extended family celebrated the birth of a new baby!  We anxiously awaited her birth, and welcomed her into our lives.  At the same time, I await the arrival of my third grandchild and first granddaughter!  I can hardly believe it’s true.  So many years ago the thought of being a grandmother seemed like an impossible dream due to my infertility issues and miscarriages.  I wanted desperately to become a mother, and because two women gave life to their children and the gift of adoption, I have a daughter and a son and three grandkids.  I’m so blessed, but many mothers face insurmountable choices and often the consequences to the newborns are devastating.

I’ve been aware of different forms of “baby boxes, or hatches” for a long time, but today, I read an article about the resurgence of these boxes in numerous countries around the world.  The use of baby boxes are being implemented in European and Asian countries in an effort to save the lives of children from infanticide or abandonment and subsequent death. When an unwanted child is born and the mother is unable for cultural, religious, or emotional reasons to care for the child, and the babies birth would be a stigma placed on the woman for the remainder of her life, this safe form of anonymous abandonment is one way to save the child’s life who is then placed with an adoptive family.

Typically the boxes are at hospitals, and are an incubator with an outside door for the mother to place the baby inside, shut the door, which then signals the medical staff that a baby is inside and in need of attention.  The baby’s life is saved and protected.

The United Nations is promoting a ban on these boxes and wants the use of them stopped, stating they “violate the rights of the child”.

Infanticide is on the rise around the world.  Where are the rights of the child in that situation?  Any idea that saves the lives of children is a good idea.  Yes there are social, poverty and educational  issues to be addressed, and countries need to do this, but while waiting for these answers which will only be a small percentage of the problem solving, children are being abandoned and murdered.  These boxes are one way to encourage adoption and life for the children.

Adoption gives life and creates new families. Adoption gives hope for the future to desperate people waiting for a child to love and raise as their own.  Adoption is one way God answers these prayers for the birth mother, the baby and the adoptive family.

I know.  My children are adopted, and now our family is completing the circle with grandchildren.

God is so good.  Prayerfully consider adoption, or support people who are trying to save the lives of babies through pregnancy homes for mothers, or communities sponsoring baby boxes, and orphan care homes.  Save lives.  Love a child!

Here is a link to the article I read.  http://news.yahoo.com/europe-mulls-banning-boxes-abandoned-babies-075454911.html 

Donna

Giving Up Fear

Republican Paul Ryan, the United States Congressman from the first congressional District of Wisconsin, told a reporter during an interview that he gave up fear for Lent.  This was during a time his highly debated budget proposal plan was being presented to the House of Representatives, and due to it’s tough proposals on reducing government entitlement spending and downsizing the country’s deficit, the Congressman knew he would be politically and personally attacked by Democrats and Republicans, and that the news media would attempt their own textual and verbal assassinations.

The reporter asked him if the was serious, and was he doing it? The Congressman answered, “I’m working on it.”

Although the reporter appeared both amused and puzzled at his answer, the practice of taking hold of, or releasing thoughts and our response to them is not a new premise.

The bible states in 2nd Corinthians 10:5  KJV “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”   God’s word, the bible, says without faith it is impossible to please Him, and that He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind, Romans 8:15, Hebrew 11:6.

Thoughts and imaginations originate in our mind, the same place fear attacks us.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  Therefore, it’s not from God.  Father God is not double-minded.  He cannot and would not give us something He has already said does not please Him and that He told us is NOT from Him.   If it’s not from God, it’s from satan. Don’t take that fearful thought or temptation.  When it comes, recognize it for what it is.  Say, “NO!  I’m not going to receive this. Go from my mind, now!”  That’s one way to cast it down and get your mind back into captive obedience to God, who only wants good for you.  Then, ask God through the Holy Spirit to give you His peace, and thank Him for loving and caring for you in every area of your life.  You need to do both, tell the thought to go and ask God for His help.  Throw it out and replace it.  The more you practice, the easier it becomes and the less satan will bombard you in that area of fear or temptation. 

Because of our human nature and the world’s culture around us, our minds will always be assaulted with ideas that are not in line with God’s good plan for our lives.  He created each of us to live in this time and place, giving us talents, personalities, strength, compassion, abilities and determination to carry out His destiny and unique purpose that only we can bring to the earth and others around us.

Fear cripples, destroys and kills that destiny if we allow it to take up residence in our heart and mind.  God gave us a way out through His son, Jesus Christ.  Everything we need to live a victorious life is found in Him and His magnificent love for us. Give up fear by kicking it out!

I can’t end this post without encouraging women who are afraid the baby they long for will never be, or, by reaching out to women in a different position, who think if they don’t abort the child they carry, their own life will be destroyed.  Who’s telling you that? 

Not God . . .

God gave you the desire to have a child, don’t give up on the dream that came from Him. Tell the fear to go and start rejoicing and praising Him for whatever way He’s going to bring that child into your life! 

Abortion is not Gods plan. He gave the child life, so He wouldn’t tell you abortion is the answer.  It’s part of your destiny to give birth to the baby you carry.  He may choose another home for the child and a different path for you to walk, or He may show you He wants you to raise the child and for the two of your lives to be entwined as family.

Email me, or write.  I will answer, help and pray for you.  God is good.  He’s hope and mercy and loving kindness.

Donna

Living Life In The Calm And Storm

Nebraska author, Willa Cather said, “Some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”  It’s true, and we spend a large amount of time attempting to escape the stress of storms sometimes brought on by our own choices.

In Greek, peace means to get hold of quietness by eliminating what distracts and attempts to destroy serenity.  It’s a forceful removal. 

Not quite how our culture thinks of it, a deep-breathing, think about waterfalls and clouds state of mind.  I’m not saying that pleasant thoughts aren’t good for our blood pressure, but to achieve spiritual and physical calm often requires violent persistence on our part.

God is peace, and when you have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, you carry who God is inside your spirit.  You carry His peace.  Peace destroys the works of the devil against us.  Carrying sin in our heart keeps us from doing and having the things in our life that God wants.  Repentance destroys the barrier of sin that separates us from God, resulting in calm and sends a message to the devil that he can no longer attack us. 

Developing an intimate relationship with God through time spent with Him in worship, prayer and reading the bible, we learn to trust Him and know His heart towards us, which is good and loving.  This personal relationship causes us to want to keep our hearts clean from sin.  You want to be quick to repent.

No matter what circumstances seek to destroy your life, you can wage war against the devil by turning to God.  His peace is our weapon.  Jesus Christ is our hope and refuge, our calm.  Call on Him, trust Him to destroy the chaos around you.  He wants life in all it’s fullness for us, here on earth as it is in heaven.  We don’t have to wait untill we die.

Let me pray with you . 

“Father, God.  Don’t let us run from You but towards You.  You love us so much.  Nothing we’re going through is too hard for You to solve, and nothing we’ve done that’s sin, is too big for you to forgive, if we’ll just ask.  Come Holy Spirit in power, and help anyone reading this post to reach out to Jesus for His forgiveness, love and peace.  Help us take hold of this weapon inside us and make a difference for good in the lives of others around us.  Thank you for your goodness and mercy towards us.”

AMEN

Donna

Forgottten Places and Small Amounts

The more time I spend with God asking Him to show me His heart, the more simple details He reveals about our lives and how those details affect us.

I spent some time picking up the house from the previous week’s hurried schedule and during that time noticed the precious toddler window art left by my grandson on our glass storm door.  He loves to look outside and watch life “beyond the door”, while my older grandson can now open the door, but that’s a whole separate issue for another post.  I’m so blessed to have my grandchildren in my life!

I retrieved the window cleaner and wiped away the finger prints and lip marks from the glass, all the while hoping it wasn’t too long before he visited again and created fresh “art”.  While cleaning the glass, I saw the greasy smudges around the door knob, both inside and out, but what was under the outside door handle was not a pretty site.  It’s one of the forgotten areas to get wiped off, not as obvious as the glass and painted  surfaces.  I grimaced, cleaned it, and headed straight for the back door which was worse than the front.

I started up the stairs from the back landing, and noticed the grimy hand rail.  I exorcised the rail’s dirt along with other smudges on the wall.  Wow, I thought I did a better job with the details, but life gets in the way and it’s so easy to forget or neglect the everyday use areas that are not large, looming or smelly.  At the top of the stairs, I entered my kitchen, and noticed the wall next to the doorway was quite spotted.  It’s where we set the garbage just before we take it out, but sometimes, the trash sets for a day and we add to the bag before it goes out.  Thus, a dirty wall over a long course of time.

I know these are weird details to share, but the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I cleaned the wall.  He said,”It’s the same way in people.”   I stopped scrubbing and listened.  “How, Lord, tell me so I can learn.”  He didn’t answer then, and I went on to my next project, which was making cupcakes, white cupcakes.

I mixed the ingredients and carefully separated the egg whites, but a small drop of yellow yolk slid quickly and effortlessly down into my bowl of divided whites, threatening to discolor the entire batch.  I managed to get it out with a spoon, but the Lord, spoke again.  “Tell your readers that I see every detail of their lives, and they need to know how a little leaven, a little dirt, and what they think are small sins, can build up in their lives because they think those areas aren’t big enough to matter, but they do matter to Me.”

Scripture equates leaven or yeast, to sin. Galatians 5:9 “A little leaven leaveneth the whole batch.”  The best way to stay close to God is take care of sin, daily.  Confess it, repent for it (turn aside from it) and walk in righteousness.  Don’t ignore sin and think it doesn’t matter.  Sin builds and accumulates, and the more you feed or service it, the bigger and deeper it becomes.  The enemy, satan, wants you to believe the lie that sin is either to small to bother with, or it’s too big to forgive.  The enemy is the prince of liars and in him dwells no truth.  Tell God what needs cleaned up.  Don’t wait!

Remember, especially at this season of celebrating Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice for our sin on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, that Christ has already “cleaned you up”.  All He’s waiting for, is for you to reach out and take the gift He so freely offered.  You can’t buy the gift, or do enough good works to receive it.  Just tell Jesus you believe He is Lord, son the living God, and you want everlasting life with Him.

God knows every part of our lives.  He loves us unconditionally.  Small, large, forgotten, hidden sins and all.

Run as quickly as you can to His side, and let Him love you.

Donna