The Struggle

the enemy has taken territory; its time to take it back

Oh my gosh! 21 day prayer journey and I have to say that I am failing at keeping territory the enemy snuck in and stole. That’s right, that thieven enemy entered my territory and managed to take a piece of territory that wasn’t his. How you ask? Well, as much as I hate to admit it, he came at me from the subtle check this out isn’t it the new book in that series you have? approach.

You may or may not remember me mentioning in one of my earlier posts that reading is a weakness for me. I mean put me in a library, leave me food and water and I can easily get lost in the world of books. I have hundreds of books on the bookshelves at home and probably two or three hundred easily on my tablet if not more. Yeah, its that bad. In fact it had gotten to the point I quit purchasing google play cards to keep myself from buying more books. And I had started purchasing google play cards to prevent myself from overspending in our checking account. Yep, bookaholic for sure. So of course after about six or seven months of not buying any books I finally broke down and bought a google card so I could buy a book.

Bought a book and I was fine, read it went on about my business. Started the 21 Day Prayer and there he was, my enemy, leaning against the counter tapping on a book that just so happen to be the next in a series I was reading. I leaned over for a closer look as he slid to the side to allow me a good look at this book I’ve been waiting months to read. Listen, when it comes to Christian romance & suspense, I’m there. Love a good mystery to solve as well.

So my enemy flicked the book open to give me a sample of what was inside. I was hooked. I sat down read the book and when I was finished with it I happened upon two more in a different series that I was reading so of course I just had to have those as well. Needless to say, my prayer time suffered, my devotional time suffered and my blogging suffered as well.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

He stole my time and I let him do it. Didn’t plan on letting him take it but because I wasn’t diligent with spending my time in the Word he was able to sneak in and take over. He’s cunning, sneaky, and if he can’t get to you by intimidation, he will come at you like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And once he has you, the mask comes off and he’ll be laughing in your face at the chaos he creates.

Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

May we always make time for the Lord, seeking, searching, praying for His wisdom to guide us on the slippery slope of life. God bless!

Behind the Door

Hey there! What do you see when you look at the door? Do you have grand visions for the new year or is it just another door? Another year of the same old things? Have you already decided that nothing’s going to change and you are basically stuck in a rut? I’m thinking if I were your enemy, this is going to be a great year for me since you’re already feeling defeated. I’ve already won because I’ve worn you down to the point that you can’t see beyond your state of chaos. Good news for me bad news for you. One less prayer warrior out there standing in gap praying.

It’s time to open the door and change how you view your present and your future. It’s time to take back what the enemy stole from you. It’s time to pray. Pray believing and knowing with confidence that He will hear and answer according to His purpose and in His time.

Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Prayer is such a powerful tool. It has the power to change the way you think, feel and act. It can fill you with hope, peace, comfort and impact others around you. It can open doors that seem shut to you. Have you ever had someone ask you to pray for them and you said you would? Did you stop and pray right then or did you go on about your day and prayed later? I have to be honest here, I’ve stopped and prayed right then, but there were times when I’ve also gone about my day saying I would and most of the time, I did. But sometimes I would forget until the next day. Sure I prayed but did my prayer have as much impact as it could have if I had stopped to pray right then?

As we enter into a new year, I’m working on being better at taking the time to stop right then and pray when someone asks for prayer. If someone takes time to stop and ask for prayer, then I need to stop and make the time to pray with them. 💗

I’d like to challenge you to join me on a 21 day prayer journey. Keeping a prayer journal I imagine you’ll see changes in how you pray. Pray before you start you day. Sounds easy enough but not always the first thought that pops in one’s mind. Psalms 51:10 “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” This is a good way to start your morning before your feet hit the floor. Pray for yourself. That’s right yourself. Talk the Lord as if He’s right there with you, because guess what? He is. If someone asks you to pray for them, don’t put it off instead, pray for them where you are. [Don’t be shy, boldly pray for that person-you don’t have to shout the prayer for all the world around to hear- just don’t put off the prayer because of a public setting. Guilty. 🖐 I have done that. Put off praying because of a public setting and felt bad afterwards.] Pray throughout your day and when someone comes to mind to pray for them, stop and pray even if you don’t know why. God knows why He put that person on your heart. Pray for your family. Pray before you go to sleep. At the end of the 21 days something’s going to happen. How you handle situations will be different. Even seasoned prayer warriors find a renewing in their own prayer life when they stop to refocus and renew their spirit man. You may find that Jesus is one hundred percent at the forefront of your life when maybe He wasn’t always at the forefront of your thoughts. You’ll probably begin to see life from a different perspective and even though your circumstances may not fully change, how you handle it does. You may find with continued open communication with the Lord that things seem to fall in place. The chaos you may feel begins to fade away. Will every day be perfect? Doubtful. In fact I can almost promise you that you may feel under attack even more so and it would be easy to back off and not pray as often. Don’t do it. Don’t back off. I encourage you not to give up, but instead press in and keep the prayers coming. Pray. Take back the territory the enemy has taken from you. Put the enemy on notice that he no longer is in control.

On the side bar you’ll see the 21 Day Challenge. I’ve listed some scriptures that encourage me to press in and pray. If you decide to take the challenge with me, I’d love to hear from you at the end of the challenge and let me know how it impacted your prayer life. You may be that person who never really had a prayer life or maybe your a seasoned prayer warrior whoever you are at the end of the challenge you’ll find you’ve changed. Behind the door you’ll find the Lord waiting for you. Are you ready to see what changes are coming your way? I’ll be praying for you! God bless!

2020 Celebrating A New Chapter

Can you believe another year has flown by and we’re looking at 2020? Seems like yesterday I was sitting around with coworkers talking about expectations for 2019. And now here we are at 2020. Last year was a year of growth and change for me. I made some new friends. Wonderful women that I still keep in touch with even though we no longer work together.

I send out devotional texts during the week and last year I added a few more people to my list. I started working in ministry again and love it! I’m a reader – ha! ask my family and they would probably say I’m a bookaholic if there’s such a thing– and one book that really caught my eye was, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer from the movie War Room. It has changed the way I pray. Ever have one of those I wish someone had taught me that when I was younger moments? Yeah, its that good and I would highly recommend it. It isn’t just for women even though its written that way. The message in there is for anyone who wants to pray. Really pray. For some it will change the way you pray, for others maybe not so much change the way you pray, but refresh your spirit.

I went through another phase of grieving my mom in 2019. Its been three years since she passed away and I thought I was through with grieving. Sometimes some little thing will remind me of her and I’ll say “God tell mom I love her and miss her”. Once I saw this little Asian woman, someone’s okaasan (mother) and/or possibly their sobo (grandmother), that reminded me of mom and I was like “I want to kidnap her and take her home with me so I can take care of her”. 🙂 Of course I didn’t and I wouldn’t because she was someone’s okaasan or possible sobo and that just wouldn’t have been legal anyway! But she sure did remind me of my own haha (mother). And yes, you just got a mini lesson in Japanese. 🙂 That’s another thing I’ve been working on Japanese. Mom’s native tongue even though she’s no longer here it makes me feel closer to her.

I started this blog and I’m really excited about it! I must admit when I first started blogging I was nervous about it. Still am because this is new territory for me. I have another blog that I post devotionals on but I don’t really write posts like I do here. The thought of people all around the world able to read what I write was a little intimidating for me because I am by nature the person in the background not the person up front where everyone can see you. And let’s face it, in a way a blog is like a stage for all the world to see. But I realized that I am doing what the Lord put on my heart to do and as long as I’m obedient that’s all that matters.

John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

I am looking forward to 2020 and excited to see what’s next!

Where Does It Lead?

Life is good. Things are going the way you planned or so it seems until you come to a fork in the path you’ve followed your whole life. You look at the path leading to what you think is life. Its well worn, wide, easy to maneuver and as you study it, you can see off in the distance people making their way with ease. You think to yourself, I’m doing good, so I must be headed in the right direction until you notice for the first time, an off beaten path. It’s narrow, not as easy to maneuver and when you look off into the distance, there are very few people in sight. It’s no wonder, as you look at the path, it’s overrun with weeds and rocks; it looks as if its rarely if ever traveled. You think to yourself, no way am I taking that path. Yet, it intrigues you and as you study the rarely traveled path, you find yourself swept up in the crowd of people leading you away from the narrow path and on up the wide well worn path you’ve always been on. Swept up in the crowd, you soon forget about the narrow rocky path until you come upon another crossroad. You begin to wonder if you’ve missed these off beaten paths in life and if so, how you missed them. You stop to study this intriguing path that like before, it’s narrow, rocky and very little evidence of anyone ever traveling it. Your interest is peaked to say the least and you feel a spirit of adventure bubbling up inside making you curious enough to want to check it out. Just as you start toward the path, you are once again swept up into the crowd of people dragging you away from the narrow path. This time, the narrow path stays on your mind and you determine that if you should come upon one again you won’t hesitate, you’ll head straight for it not stopping for anything.

Matthew 7:13, 14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

You see your opportunity ahead as the path begins to split once more; this time your prepared and you make sure you are on the side that will take you down that narrow, rocky, less traveled path that has peaked your curiosity. You can feel it inside, this sense of adventure, that something exciting is about to happen. You manage to take the path less traveled and as you begin down the path, you can’t help but to wonder if maybe you made a mistake. You feel uncertainty creeping in but you’ve already started on the path so you choose to move forward. Then it starts. Subtle little whispers of your past. Things long forgotten. The enemy begins working on you trying to break you. You wonder if its worth it to continue on this path. Worthless. No good. Nobody cares what happens to you. And then you hear get off this path and follow me if you want to live. Stay here and you will surely die. You begin to doubt and think maybe he’s right. But then you hear a new voice. An encouraging voice. Stay on this path if you want life. I am with you always.

Maybe you are feeling a tug in your spirit daring you to take an adventure, one that will change your life forever. You can’t help as a bubbling excitement begins to well up inside making you ready to get started. You look around and realize that not everyone feels the same as you and some of your friends no longer want to associate with you because you’re different. You find yourself taking the narrow, rocky path alone, but that’s okay because you just know you are supposed to be on this path that seems to be leading nowhere.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your rememberance all things that I said to you.”

You are not alone in this great adventure. The Father sent us a Helper, the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us to maneuver this thing called life. As you continue on this path, you begin to feel guilty. Guilt over things that happened in the past. Shame kicks in rearing its head dumping even more guilt on your shoulders. You begin to think that you made a huge mistake taking this path and you seriously consider turning back. Instead something seems to pull you upward to continue following the path that’s bringing up everything you wanted to forget. Thought you had forgotten. Grudgingly you continue up this path that seems to have lost some of its appeal. But something begins to happen and you start to notice things that you hadn’t seen before. The air around you is different. It doesn’t seem as oppressive as before and you notice your burden seems to be getting lighter. You see a light that you hadn’t noticed before and you can feel the warmth of it even though its still too far away to see where it’s coming from. So you decide to follow the light to see where its source comes from. The next thing you notice is the guilt shedding its ugly head and in its place you find forgiveness. Shame soon follows and you feel a true sense of peace in your life. You find yourself alive and experiencing life with fresh, new eyes and you are see the world in a whole new light. You tell others about your new discovery and while some will come to see for themselves, others will turn away. You’ve planted the seed, the rest is up to them.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'”

Where does it lead? The choice is yours, I’m praying for you!