An open  letter to the person in the mirror! 

Dear person in the mirror,

I thought I’d introduce myself, I am you.

We’ve been around each other for a long time, but I feel as if I barely know you.

It seems as if you are always changing to meet, conform or shrink to satisfy the needs of others.

I know why… It’s the insecurity that has developed from years of people subtly trying to change you…

Turn you into someone you were never meant to be.

Shape you into what they feel you should be…. So they feel more comfortable around you…

This has caused an underlying insecurity that causes you to have a hard time expressing your interest, your true feelings or really knowing how to be yourself.

This has caused you to never feel good enough…

It’s even to the point where you have a hard time looking people in the eyes because you think they may see how broken you really are…

You think they may see how imperfect you now believe you are…

I understand that the pain from you past only confirms the insecurity of your present. 

I understand that the mistakes you’ve made make it hard to feel like “better” is not for you.

I understand that the pattern of broken, dysfunctional relationships has created an false image of what happiness is…

I understand…

But, person in the mirror…

Now is your time…

To Break free from the bondage of insecurity…pain… And bondage of your mind.

it’s time to learn who you are…

What are your likes and dislikes?

Who did God create you to be?

It’s time to….

Find your joy!

Find your peace!

Find your voice…

You see… You’ve stayed in their box long enough…

You see, status quo is not enough… God wants you to thrive!

It is now time for you to be free….

How, you ask?

Galatians 5:1 says, Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

In Christ… We don’t have to live in bondage to sin or to high expectations placed on us by others.

God made you perfect…

And in Him you can walk with your head held high, refusing to entertain the thoughts of the critical eyes that hold you up to and unreachable standard and simply fulfill what God has called you to do…

Nothing more… Nothing less.

Do it with confidence… And faith.

Ephesians 3:12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Person, in the mirror. Let’s do this together.

Break out of insecurity into the bold confidence child of God that you are called to be.

If it has not clicked… I’ll say it plain..

Through Christ… You are free…

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Will you take that freedom today…

You see, person in the mirror…

The choice only belongs to you…
Will you be made free?
By Candice R. Barlow

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Satisfied With “MY Singleness”

What do I mean, satisfied with my singleness?

Some may think of singleness as a disease that needs to be cured by a relationship, but in actuality, singleness is an amazing time in one’s life.

First, we need to deal with on a couple of things…the 5 W’s…Why, What, Where, When, and Who.

Why am I still single?

What am I doing wrong that I cannot find the right person?

Where will I meet that person at and how will it happen?

Who could ever love someone like me, I’m broken, I’m hurt and I have walls up?

Let’s break these questions down into categories and apply the Word of GOD…

  1. Why am I still single?

This question needs to be reworded…it should say, “Why not improve me to be the best me I can be until God sends my other half.”

Now with saying that, a spouse or mate is not a prize from a race you are running…it is not a reward for being devoted to your singleness without bitterness or spite.

Singleness is a gift. A gift to grow in GOD, a gift of free time for personal development, a gift of time to fine tune the gifts God has placed you, a gift to learn you before you need to learn anyone else.

We see so many conflicts in relationships because people get together and do not know who they are in God, in life, in talent, nor in their ministry. For example, a conflict may develop when you finally figure out who you are and it becomes threatening to your spouse or discouraged by your spouse. Of course, these things can be worked out by prayer and communication, but why not bring all you have to the table from the get-go.

Next, being single gives you the opportunity to please GOD… Let’s look at the Word of God and then interpret it.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (KJV)

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

This means, your time, your effort, your responsibility and your pleasure is to be found in GOD…Verse number 35 says, that you may attend unto the Lord without distractions… To be pure in body and spirit…The love of the single person’s life is Christ.

  1. What am I doing wrong that I cannot find the right person?

It would be an easy thing for you to say, “I need to change who I am to attract the right person.” Understand this, when God created you, He created the whole you, your personality, your quirks, your voice, your shape, your pet peeves, and your uniqueness. He did it with purpose and intent. He made you special. He created you strategically so that you can shine!

The Bible says in Psalms 139:13-14

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

This needs to be posted all around your home…I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

The NIV says, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!”

When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we are looking at GOD’s masterpiece…. God’s creation and when God creates something…It is Good!

  1. Where will I meet that person at and how will it happen?

When you follow the principles of God’s Word. He cannot help but to bless you…

So, instead of seeking the When and the How, something else needs to be sought after… Seek to Delight God

Psalm 37:4 (ESV) Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

There is a theme in the Word of God and that theme is to please God. We need to please Him in our words, actions and lifestyle.

How to we delight ourselves in GOD? We seek a relationship with Him. We pray, we read the Word, we study the word and we meditate on Him day and night. This way of living should be a lifestyle for every believer. Marrieds and singles alike.

  1. Who could ever love someone like me, I’m broken, I’m hurt and I have walls up?

We all have had life happen to us. We all have had hurt, pain, sickness, loss or some sort of suffering that has made us who we are today.

The first thing you should know is, God wants to heal you. He wants you to be whole and complete.

Understand, as humans, we all have weaknesses and we need a God that can take our burdens and help us to walk a life free in Him.

Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

No matter where you are at in your life, God is your portion forever, God is your strength forever, God is your hope forever, God is your provider forever, God is the lifter up of you head forever!

Psalms 116:1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.

Never forget God hears our cry. He will meet you at the point of your affliction and heal you, restore you, comfort you, keep you and love you with an everlasting unbiased love.

Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
God, is a God of action. When you understand that you have a God that hears you, you will understand that you have a God that wants to heal you as well. There is no amount of brokenness, hurt, shame or walls that can stop God from doing a mighty work in your life.

So, I close with this, seek to please God knowing He sees the big picture. Singleness is not a hindrance it is a helper. A time of preparation and equipping. A time to go deeper and refine yourself in the Lord.

This takes trust….

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

When you learn to truly trust the Lord you can be satisfied with singleness and know God has your steps ordered!

trust-in-the-lord

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Spiritually Starving, 4 steps to stay out of sin.

One of the worst things to do when you are hungry is go to Costco on a empty stomach with all the free samples they have to offer. Do not get me wrong, I love Costco! It is amazing and convenient, you get to stop at each station and taste the samples they have to offer, you can even have seconds if you want. However, the point is to just give you a little bit so that you can crave and desire more, and get the full package of what they are offering so that you will take home and indulge in it.
Have you ever got home and when you cooked it, it did not taste the same. Or it was not quite as good? Here is what I want you to take notice of, when you were sampling all you wanted to sample YOU WERE HUNGRY. The total amount of different samples that you tried depended on how hungry you were when you found yourself in the store looking to satisfy your craving.

I find this is the same concept for the spiritual realm that we live in. Some people are so spiritually starved they decided to buy into the first sample they get of the world or even a false religion. Again, when your hungry enough, anything tastes good. Hunger, spiritually speaking, is a void that needs to be filled. So, when people are hungry for that void to be filled they will try different things in order to fill the void or satisfy that spiritual craving. The more spiritually starved that you are the more worldly samples you will try. Drugs, Sex, Alcohol, satanic rituals, witch craft and the list goes on…You end up getting a little sample of the world, sin or false doctrine and because you are spiritually starving, it taste so good, it feels so good and feels so right. There is only ONE WAY to feel complete and it is through the Lord, Jesus Christ! Colossians 2:10 says, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power”

the-power-of-prayer When you begin to truly recognize that the various sins or pitfalls most people struggle with are actually spiritual battles you will be able to better equip yourselves in a way that you cant overcome any temptations. KNOW THIS…You can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13) You can overcome and you can stand firm in Christ. Remember YOU were created to first Worship God, and two be the mouth piece of the LORD! We are called to do great and mighty things for God and to reach this lost world! You were not created to fit in you were create to stand apart and separate from the world.

So, What do we need to do in order to not fall for the “free samples” the world has to offer?
1. We need to pray always! Stay prayed up, when you are full of God there is no room for anything else.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, ” Pray without ceasing.”
2. Stay in the Word of God. It will lead you and guide you in every area of your life.
Psalms 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
3. Surround yourself with believers that will bring you up.
Acts 2:42 says…” And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
4. Be consistent. No matter when you choose to pray or read the word, make sure you doing it EVERYDAY.
Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up”

With all my heart I know we are living in the last days, it is time for the church to rise up and be the church. Walking in Power, Anointing, Authority, Joy, Peace and Victory. It is time for us to reach out like never before and help others become aware of the scheme of the enemy! We can do it, though the power of the Holy Ghost!

If you need more steps to growth in God Check out the book 6 Steps To Your New Life In God: Practical steps to living a Godly life full of peace, joy and favor! On amazon, It will give you biblical guidelines to grow in your walk with God.

Here is the link:                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/Steps-Your-New-Life-God-ebook/dp/B00O98QWVK

 

Go Forth in victory Church!

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Intimacy with God is the Key

How many times have you felt as you were accomplishing great things for the kingdom of God, but you still found yourself with a sense of restlessness; stuck in the rut of “I don’t know where to go from here.”  As a believer in Christ there should always be a longing to do more and to be for more God. When you are prayed up and full of the Holy Ghost your spirit longs to please the King of glory.

We have all been in that position where we pray, we fast, we go to church, we live a set apart lifestyle, but still feel as if something is missing or not quite right. We have a small tugging that says I know that there is more. If you would allow me to speak freely for a moment I’d like you to follow my thought process that may somewhat challenge your walk with God as you know it. This may not be for everyone, and everyone may not accept it but here we go.

1 closer to God  Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” As believers we hunger and thirst for the things of God and He is so gracious to give us all the desires of our heart to serve Him to, to be ministers in His kingdom, to be preachers of the Word, and teacher as well. However, living a life full of ministry and feeling an antsy feeling, a feeling of there has to me more for me to do…Is one of the worst feelings you can have as a man or woman of God. You feel lost in a world of doing Gods work and for some reason you still feel restless and unfulfilled. I propose that “He is calling, Jesus is calling” that small nudge that says I need to do more, I need to feel more fulfilled is God stirring up your spirit and he is saying its my turn for your attention…Your FULL attention. You see we give our full attention to the people we teach bible studies to, we give our full attention to soul winning and we even giving our full attention to studying the Word of God to prepare for a message to be delivered at a venue. That is all good, and what we should be doing. What God desires uninterrupted one on one intimacy in prayer and so do you…

Please understand, I am not implying that anyone who is reading this article does not have a prayer life, I am simply saying for you to think on your time with God. Is it electronic free, distraction free, children free, chore-free, request free and time restraint free? As believers we need to find a prayer closet time that meets all those requirements, if that means you get up at 5 am or find time at midnight like Paul and Silas. That longing feeling needs to be filled with the sweet presence of the almighty God in an intimate loving way.

Psalms 63 1-8

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:  When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.  My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

1 2 Prayer

As  you begin to build up more focused time in prayer and you continue to develop that ongoing intimate relationship with God, you will begin to not only have a sense of fulfillment you will also have an abundance of overflowing joy that will change any atmosphere in any place that you walk into. Intimacy is the key to complete fulfillment, motivation and great success in life.

Isaiah 26:9 At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

A lot of time as adults we write off not being able to sleep at night as insomnia or we have so much on our minds that need to be taken care of the following day.  I challenge that thought…In the midst of our ministry filled, job filled, child raising filled life, could it be possible that God is saying you have some free time, can we talk, can we share, can we have some one on one time, lets build up that intimate relationship we had from when we first met and you first fell in love with me. Your relationship should never be out of obligation or habit, your relationship should spring up because of unadulterated love and that will turn into intimacy with God.

In Cynthia Heald’s book “Intimacy with God,” she makes a profound statement regarding the human longing for intimacy, she states:

There is a restlessness deep within each of us that compels us to search for the person, the place, the job, the “god” that will fill the void and give us peace. This restlessness drives us to find someone who will love us for who we are, understand our fears and anxieties, affirm our worth, and call our lives into account. To admit our need for dependence upon God requires humility and vulnerability, which paves the way not only for knowing God, but also for becoming intimate with Him.

There is also a profound statement from J. Oswald Sanders that sit on my heart and mind,“deepening intimacy with God is the outcome of deep desire.”

So those desires and that restlessness we have deep within us, tugging at us and pushing us in a direction that we are not quite sure of what we need to do “more” of could  possibly be God making us uneasy so we can seek Him on a more intimate level..Remember, Intimacy with God is the key!

I end with a scripture

Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth
I call to Thee, when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For Thou hast been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Thy tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Thy wings
PSALM 61:1-4

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When You Can’t Get Out, Let God In!

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Originally posted on Life of a Pastors Wife:
Ahhh!! The weight of life sometimes weighs us down; With the pressure of being a parent, a Wife/or Husband, a minister, and working a job; not to mention the bills piling up.…

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6 Steps To Your New Life In God

Praise the Lord Friends and Family!

I am excited to announce that God has blessed my with a Word to help people who are looking to advance their walk with Him! I happy and blessed about this new chapter in my life, writing and becoming an OFFICIAL AUTHOR! I thank you in advance for your support! I pray that this book will bless you as you read and glean from it as much as it has blessed me to write it!

(Note to buyer, your digital item will be sent once payment is received)

New Book Cover

"Buy

 

 

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Protective Garments, Apron of Prayer and the Word

aprons-85

Aprons have many different uses, they can be used for outdoors when gardening, they can be used in in the kitchen for cooking, in the art room for painting, in the hospital for protection or in the classroom for clothing protection…the main thing is blocks a possible hazardous situation for hurting you or ruining something that belongs to you.

Life in general will bring joy and will bring daggers. Life is complex and yet so simple. Your happiness depends on how you react to any particular situation at any given time. You can choose to worry and complain; or you can choose to take it by faith to God in prayer and leave it there.

The actual definition of apron according to bing is “protective garment tied over clothes: a garment worn over the front of clothes to keep them clean during working, especially cooking”

I would like to focus on one particular phrase in this definition, “protective garment.”

The devil is out to get us and uses the daggers and complexity of life to get us down. He takes the everyday trials, sickness and struggles that everyone deals with and magnifies them in our mind and makes it seem as if we are the only one who has to deal with these types of issues in our lives. He is a roaring lion, and looking to take us out…But there is indeed hope! God says in His word that if we put on the whole armor of Christ He will help us STAND against the wiles of the enemy.

Can I tell you that YOU have secret weapon….are your ready for this?

PRAYER! Yes, prayer is our “Protective Garment” and is simply communication between us and God.

anointed handsPrayer is our constant connection with God, yes this means on a daily basis.  Sometimes we may have to pray a few times a day to get us through. Prayer is our guard, prayer is our covering, prayer is our protection because it connects us directly to the one who gives strength. The bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength. With Gods strength we can muster up enough courage and confidence to give the enemy a black eye through our prayers and through our worship. Here is the key, in the middle of our trials we worship. In the middle of our despair, we worship. In the middle of hopelessness, we worship. In the middle of our kids falling away from God, we worship. In the middle of losing a job, we worship. In our ups and in our downs we worship! In the midst of putting on the Garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness we know Prayer is the Garment that protects us, protects our hearts, protects our minds, protects our families, protects our health, and protects our lives.

Psalms 91:1-4 says,

Whoever goes to the Lord for safety,
    whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty,
can say to him,
    “You are my defender and protector.
    You are my God; in you I trust.”
He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers
    and from all deadly diseases.
He will cover you with his wings;
    you will be safe in his care;
    his faithfulness will protect and defend you.

You need to know the type of apron, (protective garment) you need to put on for each situation that arises in your life. In order to do that we need to be equipped with the Word of God. The Word of God will guide in every situation that may arise in your lives.

So, lets look at some of the different aprons you need to have a fully equipped life:

  • The apron for Fear would be 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 
  • The apron for chaos would be peace. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
  • The apron for anger would be Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  • The apron for loneliness would be  Deuteronomy 4:31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.
  • The apron for a tough situation would be Romans 8:37″No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
  • The apron for a broken heart would be psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Dig into the Word of God and you will find the “apron” you will need for the situation you are going through. One thing to remember about aprons is that the get dirty daily and the apron you used the previous day will not be good for the next day becuase it is dirty and used. We cant depend of yesterdays prayer to carry us through today struggle. Make sure you have a fresh apron of prayer and Word daily to get you through whatever your day may bring to you. Your apron of prayer will be the key to protect you from any messy situations and from whatever the world or the enemy tries to spill on you!

I’m thankful to know know my redeemer lives and cares for me. I’m thankful God has already given the keys to over come the struggles that WILL arise in our lives.

“Finally, my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having gird your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–“

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