Miracle on the Mountain

Sometimes God uses a process of healing to cultivate intimacy and trust, and other times He chooses a miracle.

“Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins–He said to the man who was paralyzed, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.'” Luke 5:23-24

About noon, my foot gently slipped while walking over gravel on the way to the dining hall at Eagle Rock Retreat Center. We had all been hustling about in preparation for the Deeper Still retreat to start later that day. Nothing big. My foot didn’t hurt and I continued walking and talking with a friend as we made our way to lunch not thinking another thought about my stumble.

Seven hours later, the Deeper Still retreat had started. Three team members made their way to the front of the room to share their testimonies before we all broke into small groups to share our stories. Out of nowhere, I began to feel excruciating pain build in my left ankle. The longer I sat, the worse it became. It was difficult to focus on the stories being shared up front as I tried to hide my wincing from the agony in my ankle.

Feeling like this could be spiritual and an attack since I was leading a small group that night, my first inclination was to press through and not let this hindrance hinder.  As I stood up when it was time to break into groups, I realized this pain was not only real, it was worse than I thought.  I took off my cute boots, opted for more sensible shoes, and made the trek from the main building to the building next door where we would meet for sharing our stories.

As our group shared their stories, the pain intensified and while I was able to hide the wincing in the big group, it was more difficult in the small group to hide my pain. This is true in life as well. It is easier to hide our pain in crowds than in close-knit settings.

After a few stories, I knew if I didn’t excuse myself from the group, my foot could go from a nuisance to a distraction. By this time, my ankle was swollen, red, and hot. As I stood up to excuse myself, I realized I couldn’t walk on my left foot at all. One of the other sweet team members carried me on piggy-back to the main building. Four team members loved on me and cared for me, brought me ice and ibuprofen, and prayed for me.

Tears ran down my face as I endured the pain, but those tears were for more than just a sore ankle. A fresh internal wound had shaken me prior to this retreat and internally I was hurting far worse than my ankle. My wobbly foot reflected the unsteadiness in my soul. Insecurities had risen from this heart wound, revealing the need for a more deeply rooted anchor that would not be easily shaken.

Over the past several weeks as I had tried to work through this heart wound, internally I was extremely wobbly.  When we feel wobbly, we may reach for external sources to try to steady our steps and we may even hope for a piggy-back ride while we work through the painful process of recovery. As we search for our foundation, we may try to find security or confidence in people, performance, possessions, or positions. But these were never meant to hold us up nor can they. They are not God. There is only one God and only He can hold us up and give us true and lasting security.

Other times, people reach for external substances or addictions such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, or food, but it isn’t limited to those. Anything used to replace Jesus is a stronghold that is less than adequate and dangerous. It will not comfort longterm, and only leads to destruction.   

As I sat there with my foot elevated, numb from ice and tears falling down my face, I knew the Lord was very close to me (He is always close to the brokenhearted-Psalm 34:18). I said to Him, “Lord, you know I am already hurting internally and now this?” My heart was sad as I knew that if I couldn’t walk in the morning, I would need to go home. It would be too much of a distraction if I couldn’t walk the next day.

I quietly whispered to Him, “Lord, would you heal me? If you don’t heal me, I’ll have to go home. I can’t not be able to walk.” With those last words of the night, I went to sleep.

Morning came. I hesitantly put my foot on the ground and stood up. No pain! No wobbling! I was completely healed! There was no more pain, swelling or anything! I even danced later that day! God had completely healed my ankle!

How sweet of Him to restore my ankle to wholeness and take all the pain away. What a beautiful promise and reflection of what He is doing internally as well, not just in my heart but what He was eager to do in every hurting heart on that mountain. He is Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals.

Sometimes God uses a process of healing to cultivate intimacy and trust, and other times He chooses a miracle. 

This miracle was a faith builder for every participant in the room and a declaration from Him that the same God who heals the lame, is able to forgive all sins and heal the brokenhearted.

All I know is that I couldn’t walk and now I am healed. I was blind but now I see. I was wobbly and now I am standing firmly on the Rock. He is faithful. He is unwavering. He is never wobbly or insecure. We can count on Him to be our strength. He will carry us to a place of healing, firmly rooted and secure in His love. There is no other anchor that will hold. Only Jesus.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ” Psalm 147:3

Father, forgive us when we look to anything else to be our source of comfort or security. May you be our Rock and firm foundation. Thank you for how you heal and bind up our wounds. Thank you Lord that you care about every detail of our lives. Thank you for being our Healer.  Lord, we ask you do it again this weekend in Fallbrook, CA, as another retreat is being held there this weekend. Do it again and heal every heart there. You are the miracle worker and we love you.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Grief with Abortion

When we are free of guilt and shame, then we can name our loss and grieve our loss in a redemptive way.

People have many thoughts about abortion, mostly political at times. To think this issue doesn’t touch us is not reality. Statistics show one in four women in our churches have had an abortion, not to mention the men affected by it as well. It is all around us and we need to talk about it.   Today, I want to share another side to the story, to think about the lives lost and also those all around us who are alive but deeply wounded from a decision made long ago in crisis. As my 11-year-old daughter said in the moment of grace when I told her about my abortion, “People make bad decisions when they are hurting and scared.”

The world doesn’t allow or make room in our society for women or men to grieve the loss of a child in pregnancy. If someone loses a child through a miscarriage, we call it is miscarriage instead of losing a child or a baby. If someone has an abortion, there is a whole other element of shame and guilt because it was intentional.

Someone who has an abortion pays for someone to end the life of their baby. So how in the world do you grieve that loss? And do you have any right to grieve that loss or even acknowledge the loss?  So you just go on with your life and try to forget it ever happened. And you hope that no one will ever find out, so you live in silent shame, guilt and a wall barricades that part of your heart. Denial and secrecy become your allies. You hide behind that wall and can never let anyone ever get too close because to be known, fully known is too risky.  You hide hoping no one will be able to see you have secret to keep. This secret robs you of fully embracing your relationship with the Lord and others. A part of your heart is dead and you can’t explain it and may not even be fully aware of it. This loss is too much to come to grips with, so it stays hidden, unnamed and unspoken of. However, there is a pain, an ache in your soul from a loss you have never grieved.  For you cannot grieve your loss if you cannot name or acknowledge your loss.

Christians don’t know what to do with it. They don’t know how to comfort you or help you grieve your loss. And you certainly can’t tell your friend who had a miscarriage about it because they wanted to have their baby. It is not a pure grief, it is a muddy pond of grief. For it to become a pure grief, guilt and shame have to be extracted from it.

But too often, we as Christians pile shame on top of the shame already put on those with abortion wounds and the grief of that loss is buried somewhere under all that shame, unable to be identified or expressed, but the wound is seeping and causing all kinds of issues in a person’s life.

It takes revelation from the Lord Jesus that He has once and for all paid the price for all sin. All sin. And the Lord took our guilt and shame and nailed it to the cross with Jesus. Jesus took it all so we could live healthy and whole and in freedom. He came to bind the brokenhearted and to set the captive free.

When we believe we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and we are free of guilt and shame, then we can name our loss and grieve our loss in a redemptive way. 

We believe Scriptures support that these children go to heaven to be with Father God.

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. “ Ps 27:10

”But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.“ 2 Sam 12:23 (David is grieving over the death of his child with Bathsheba)

“And the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecc 12:7

“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body there is also a spiritual body.” 1 Cor 15:44

There is a part in the Deeper Still retreat on grieving and reconciliation. In the retreat, tangible symbols are used as a way to help us enter into hard things that our brain has otherwise found ways to avoid processing. Often we have been emotionally disconnected from our heart and so we have formed a well-worn path in our brains for how we process painful things.

For women and men who have had abortions, it is crucial that they understand the work of the cross, Jesus Christ has made the way to reconcile us first to the Father, and then to each other. Jesus paid the price for these moms and dads to be reconciled with their children. This profound truth allows them to embrace the existence and humanity of their child without the guilt and shame of once rejecting them. This opens the door for healthy release.  Emotions can include thankfulness, sadness, sorrow but also joy. This array of emotions is normal during the process.

We have seen such beautiful expressions of healthy grieving during this time and mothers and fathers are finally able to connect in a healthy way to their children in heaven and then release them in a healthy way into the arms of Jesus. This kind of healthy grieving can only be explained through a supernatural miraculous work of Jesus Christ. He is the Healer, Restorer, and Comforter of our souls. 

Father, I pray for those with abortion wounded hearts to be able to accept your forgiveness, healing and finally be able to grieve the loss of their children in healthy ways. Lord, we recognize this is impossible without your hand moving and your healing touch in these lives. Father, I specifically pray for those coming to the retreat this weekend to enter into this grieving and reconciliation and fully receive all the healing you have for them this weekend. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen. 

For more information on grieving loss due to abortion or to find out more about our Deeper Still retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org.

*(Part of this post was taken from the Deeper Still Training Manual and Retreat Manual written by Karen Ellison, the founder and president of the Deeper Still ministry. Karen has a book coming out in 2019 called Healing the Hurt that Won’t Heal. More information on that will be provided in the coming months.)

Across the Borders

“He has delivered (me) us from the domain of darkness and transferred (me) us to the kingdom of his beloved Son ... Colossians 1_13

 

Today’s post is written by our dear friend and Director of Operations for Deeper Still, Jacque Murphy. Thank you Jacque for sharing your heart today. 

“He has delivered (me) us from the domain of darkness and transferred (me) us to the kingdom of his beloved Son … Colossians 1:13 

Recently I had the chance to take a mission trip with my church to Tijuana, Mexico. My heart in going on this trip was to share my personal Deeper Still testimony. For two years I had it on my heart to share my story with the women of Tijuana. I believed, they too, much like me, carried shame and guilt because of abortion in their lives. 

Abortion crosses all borders and pays no partiality to ethnic or country lines.

The last day our team had planned do to a ladies’ retreat for a church there. Everyone had tasks to do and I asked what was my task. A team member encouraged me to go somewhere and just prepare. I was humbled that they would allow me to take time to prepare my heart. 

The place where the retreat was being held was in a condo on the beach offered by someone from the church. The windows painted a picturesque view of the ocean and breezes from the Pacific Ocean swept through the room. As I looked out over the water, I asked the Holy Spirit to fill my heart to overflowing. I began to praise Him for the freedom He had given to me and wanted that same freedom for these ladies as well. I asked Him if there was anything I needed to say I haven’t said before. 

While reading through my written story, the Lord brought to mind things I had forgotten. I remembered the old feelings. In my mind, He took me back to that time. As He did, I realized I still had these feelings lurking inside of me today. Even though I’ve read through my story a dozen times before I felt there were so much more the Lord was showing me this time. As I read through my story, I began to have a clearer understanding of what I’ve been forgiven for. The price of my freedom was great! 

The Lord revealed it wasn’t fear that had a hold of me but rather shame. Shame had become a part of my identity. Shame reared its ugly head often, eagerly reminding me of my failures and my faults. Shame’s accusations stole my voice from me. Shame squashed me as it continually attempted to keep me under its thumb.

I had received freedom from the shame of my abortion at my Deeper Still retreat but that was just the first layer. Shame had been a part of identity since childhood and its roots were vast and deep. Shame had hid out and dressed up in a guise of humility and or at times embarrassment. It focused on my failures and flew falsehoods that I should be ashamed because I wouldn’t want to be too puffed up or proud. 

This past year the Lord has reminded me in several ways of who I am in Him. When I began to believe it, shame would be right there to remind me of my failures and that I wasn’t enough.

In Mexico, the Lord showed me it was time to take off that coat of shame and put on my robe of righteousness and believe who He says I was in Him, a daughter of the Most High King; clothed in a robe of Righteousness, with a crown on my head, and wearing the family signet ring. That coat of shame fell off. The lies I believed that I wasn’t enough fell off.

This precious gift of freedom was given to me not by anything I’ve done but it was freely given to me by Jesus Christ himself. Jesus came to give Life to its fullest and I feel full!

I know I’m not done yet.There’s more for me and for you. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life! He is the way to freedom, He is the truth of our foundation, He is abundant life.

Isaiah 61:1-4 has never been more truer in my life…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them a beautiful head dress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of morning , and the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that he may be glorified.”

Father, thank you for so great a love. Thank you that you have transferred us out of the darkness and into your wonderful light. Thank you for how you continually bring new revelation of who you are and who we are in you. Lord, for those continuing to walk in shame, will you light up the darkness and reveal the great exchange you have in changing a cloak of shame in for a robe of righteousness. May we walk in the fullness of all you have for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Today’s post was written by our dear Jacque Murphy, Director of Operations for Deeper Still and team member. Jacque has been serving with Deeper Still for 7 years. She lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband Darryl, who is also a Deeper Still team member. She also is a proud mother to two US Marines and a daughter. Jacque enjoys a good cup of coffee and playing with her dog Mercy. Her passion is to see the abortion-wounded set free and find their identity in Him. You can read more about Jacque at http://www.godeeperstill.org

jacque murphy

New Planned Parenthood President is Right about One Thing

Lamentations 3_40

“Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:40

Last week a new president of Planned Parenthood was announced, Dr. Leana Wen. In an interview she shared her reasons for deciding to take on this new position. Her tone indicated that she deeply believes in the cause of Planned Parenthood and has resolve to fight for and inspire others to fight for what she considers a right for all women.

Twenty-five years ago I entered the doors of a Planned Parenthood. Three heartbeats went through that door–mine, my boyfriend and my unborn child—two left, and one was silenced. The two hearts that left physically intact were emotionally and spiritually shattered.

As I listened to Dr. Leana Wen, a deep place within me grieved as she truly believes she is fighting for a just cause. She used terms like “healthcare” to describe abortion. She tells a story of a young lady who died in the emergency room she worked in because of a home abortion, a young lady who was too scared to go to an abortion clinic and that she believes this death was due to a failure in our system.

She is right. This death was due to a failure in our system—a system that fails to teach who we are as created in the image of our Almighty God. A system that fails to teach that if God is for us, who can be against us. A system that fails to teach that God can and does work all things together for good and His love is above and beyond all we can ask, think or imagine. Oh that we would search out and examine our ways and turn back to the Lord in our system.

If our system taught those truths, then this young girl might have seen her pregnancy and situation differently. She may not have sought out an abortion—legally or illegally. Every life lost matters.

There indeed is a failure in our system.

I meet women all of the time who did not physically die from an abortion—but their heart did that day. That day, a part of their heart became dead. They are hindered in their ability to mother, to nurture, to have healthy relationships with friends and in marriage. They are breathing, but not fully alive.

Every life lost is devastating and women die from abortion procedures at abortion clinics. Some have nearly died and not received medical treatment needed due to the abortion clinic not wanting to gain negative exposure.

Dr. Leana Wen also stated that she wants to “Fight for our most vulnerable individuals on a bigger scale.” This statement also grieved my heart. There are two vulnerable individuals we need to address.  One is the woman who may not have the emotional or financial support she needs, and the other is the baby whose life is at risk. Both of these need to be addressed.

The woman who is pregnant is vulnerable, perhaps alone, hurting and at risk.  She does need support. She needs the body of Christ to come alongside her, love her, support her and help her. However, abortion does not help her and to claim it does is to deny the reality of the pain abortion brings. God cares for the broken hearted. God will make a way when we turn to Him instead of trying to “fix” things on our own. He is saying, “Come to me, trust me. I can make this all turn out for good.”

The other is the baby whose life is at risk. There is no one more vulnerable and defenseless than an unborn child. The womb is intended to be a safe place for a child to grow and develop. Our society has made this safe haven into a war ground between a women’s right to her own choice and the precious life she was given to carry. The choice to have sex or not is the choice we have, except of course in the case of rape. But rape is tragic enough without the added trauma of abortion in a person’s life. Death on top of death is never a good solution.

Dr. Leana Wen sees abortion as mainstream medical care. She stated reproductive healthcare is healthcare and women’s healthcare is healthcare. Healthcare is healthcare. What I hear her saying is that abortion is healthcare. Abortion is basic healthcare, like going to the doctor when you are sick with a cold.

In some cultures this is a common thought and I have heard it often—getting pregnant and having an abortion is like getting a cold and going to the doctor. How far our society has fallen when our mentality of life is reduced to getting rid of cold, and ending a pregnancy is compared to eliminating a virus.

This is heavy on my heart and is indeed a heavy subject. We too must fight for our most vulnerable individuals and speak truth in order to change the failure in our system—the failure of not teaching the truth about who we are as sons and daughters of God, and that every life is precious and God ordained. Every life. Every single one is precious.

Dear Lord, I pray for Dr. Wen. Father may she see every life as precious. Lord, may we as a society have our eyes opened to the truth of our identity in Christ and who you made us to be. May we value each individual life and honor and respect each other as image bearers of the Most High. Oh Lord, how our heart grieves. Lord we ask for your light to shine on the darkness and for your truth to expose the lies. May we as a society choose life and our hearts would turn toward you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Aligning with the Accuser

Forgiveness and grace place us back in a position of honor even though it isn_t what we deserve.

“He said to her, ’Women, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’  And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” John 8:10b-11

Father, forgive us for often partnering with the accuser. Forgive us as the church and body of Jesus Christ for aligning with the accuser instead of lifting our brothers and sisters up who have brought their sin into the light of your presence and confessed it. Far too often they are met with condemnation and judgement rather than grace and forgiveness. Lord, help us as the body of Christ to do better in embracing our sisters and brothers and helping to restore them to the full place of honor you intend for them to have as your son or daughter. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

As the Church and body of Christ too often we fumble in how to react when our fellow brothers or sisters in Christ come to us with their sin. We act shocked and often respond in condemning ways. We unintentionally cover our brothers and sisters with a blanket of shame instead of reassuring them of their covering in the blood of Jesus Christ. Shame attaches to identity, can lead to self-hatred, which can cause a downward spiral of devastation in a person’s soul.

When we shame others, we are aligning with “the accuser”—the enemy, who is all about shame. He is the one who accuses. And our self-righteous, self-hating flesh is all to eager to agree. When we do this, have we not eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thinking we have the right to judge, condemn and put sentence on those who have sinned?

Grace cannot grow in the hard ground beneath the shadow of that deadly tree.

And if the offense was against us personally it can be even more difficult to maneuver our way from accusation and seeking justice to the life-giving place of grace, mercy and forgiveness.  

We live in a sin filled world full of fallen people. It is impossible to live on this earth without experiencing offense.  When someone sins against us, it can cut to the core ripping our heart in two. Emotional pain can feel physical if the impact is severe enough. There have been times when I wanted those who hurt me to experience the same pain they caused and feel the weight of shame.

The offense may have been horrific and God saw it all and He is the great avenger of injustice.  God understands the violation was great. He is not asking you to forgive someone who is innocent but someone who is guilty. 

Even after I thought I have forgiven an offense, a part of me may still be tempted to cry out for justice and want recompense. Sometimes we need another round of forgiving, or possibly seventy times seven before it begins to work through our system to remove the toxic effects of unforgiveness. We may even need a booster shot later when our hearts are exposed again.

Words from the book The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson express the Lord’s desire for restoration to an even greater degree.  

“Forgiveness restores the standard…Your forgiveness restored me back to the place of honor. Repentance means, ‘to be restored to the pinnacle, the high place.’”

Forgiveness and grace place us back in a position of honor even though it isn’t what we deserve. That is what grace does and that is what grace is. When we forgive another, it isn’t saying I forgive you but I still am going to treat you as I think you deserve to be treated. This may be the most difficult part of forgiveness—to give honor to those who we decided are undeserving of honor. God loves even the worst offenders. It is difficult for us as humans to completely grasp this kind of love, grace and forgiveness.

I pray we all can flourish in the fertile soil of grace under the Tree of Life, choosing grace over judgement and choosing honor over accusation. Let’s no longer align ourselves with the accuser but instead let us as the body of Christ be a life-giving place for our brothers and sisters to bring their sin into the healing grace of the light of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Your True Worth as an Image Bearer

May there be a deeper revelation in the body of Christ of who we each are as image bearers, how valuable we each are and of our worth because of who God says we are--and no other measure

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

Father, there is a lack of understanding of who we are as image bearers of the Most-High God. This lack has caused a barrage of violations from the worst and most horrific offenses to the subtle ways we dishonor one another daily. Oh Lord, will you give us your heart and your eyes to see others as image bearers, created as sacred and full of value and worth. Heal our hearts and lands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Worthiness is a truth I have struggled with most of my life. Whether due to words spoken or not spoken over me as a child or life choices that resulted in catastrophic fallout. It is not only me, most Christians struggle with walking in worthiness. We even feel it is prideful to feel worthy and coddle those unworthy feelings blanketed in pride of our humility.

Jesus calls us worthy. God sent Jesus because He decided we were worth the cost. Not that we did anything to deserve it. No. Our worthiness has nothing to do with us or what we do or don’t do, it is grounded in who we are created in the image of God and the price Jesus paid for us. Those truths and those alone determine that we are worthy.

When Eve took the fruit of the Tree in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3: 1-6), for a moment, she forgot her worth. She forgot who God had created her to be. She forgot who she was—an image bearer of God with all dominion and authority.

As a body of Christ, we too have forgotten who we are and who every person is—an image bearer, sacred and full of value as a son or daughter of God.

For years I have prayed Ephesians 4:1, that I would “Walk worthy of the calling with which I was called.” Last week, as I prayed this again while struggling with feeling unworthy (not due to any specific sin on my part, just not fully understanding who I am), I felt the Spirit of the Lord say the following in my spirit:

“Walk worthy. Walk in the worthiness you already have in me. It isn’t about a list of things you do or don’t do, it is about who you are in me. Walk in your worthiness.” 

Who we are created to be as image bearers has been weighing heavily on me. The Lord has been revealing more revelation about the value we have in that we are created in the image of God. The enemy hates us for that and it is his goal from before we are born to destroy and demolish the sacredness of our life. 

From the moment of conception, there is a plan to kill, steal and destroy who God has created us to be and many times those plans come to fruition in various ways. 

From abortion and the most horrendous abuse to how we treat one another in our marriages, and how we speak to our children or even the clerk at the store…it all matters, and it is all about how we value life and others around us. Every life is sacred and deserves to be treated as such–with full honor, seeing each other through the eyes of our Father. 

If the world had this revelation, that every life is sacred, created in the image of God with divine purpose and destiny there would be a stark decline in child abuse, pornography, marital strife, contentions, suicide, murder, sexual abuse, or rape.  

All of this is very heavy on my heart. I know God is bigger and we are not to carry this weight but I feel like I am tasting just a portion of how the heart of God is grieved by this. 

I pray for there to be a deeper revelation in the body of Christ of who we each are as image bearers, how valuable we each are and of our worth because of who God says we are–and no other measure. 

If this message blessed you, would you please share this message of life, healing and worth with your friends on social media. Praying this message spreads to the ends of the earth. Thank you. –Sue Molitor, Deeper Still 

 

Prayer for CareNet Conference

Life more abundantly (1)

“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.”  John 10:10

Father, we lift up the Pro-Life CareNet Conference to you and ask for you to bless all going and all who are working to prepare for this conference. May every Kingdom purpose be completed. We ask for you to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask, think or imagine. Heal hearts, change lives, give all of those attending a deeper revelation of who they are as image bearers as well as who others are as image bearers. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Next week is the CareNet Conference, a national pro-life conference held for all pregnancy centers under the CareNet organization. The Deeper Still Ministry will be there as well with a booth to represent healing the abortion-wounded and the vital role healing this wound has to the cause of life. 

Many abortion-wounded women and men will attend this conference. Please pray for those who need deeper healing or are suppose to start a Deeper Still Chapter to be led to our table.

Thank you for your prayers. Some additional ways you can pray given from CareNet include:

  • Protection for those traveling to and from Atlanta. 
  • Blessings upon the keynote and workshop speakers.
  • Renewed energy and deeper empowering of our conference attendees 
    for ministry.
  • That abortion supporters would come to a point of repentance.

For more information about how you can pray and fast for this important time, click below on this blog post link: https://www.care-net.org/get-involved-blog/fast-and-pray-2018-national-national-conference

We appreciate you locking arms with us in the cause for life and healing for the abortion-wounded. Thank you! 

How I Fight My Battles

God is fighting for you and interceding on your behalf

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Often we feel like we have to fight and claw our way, pushing into the promises of God. The flesh schemes and strategizes how to best position itself for the intended outcomes it hopes to achieve. There is a better way.

The other day my son was distraught due to something happening at school. It seemed unfair and his frustration level was nearing the level of the just giving up range.

My first inclination was to send an email to someone in the school who could possibly help if notified, then Exodus 14:14 entered my mind.

Instead of sending an email or fighting in the flesh, I prayed with my son and asked the Lord to intercede on his behalf and fight for him and also prayed for the parties involved.

The next day, just when my son was about to hang up his hopes and quit the activity that was causing him grief, the Lord intervened and the very thing we prayed about happened in that moment. The Lord had fought for him and won.

If I would have sent an email, perhaps there would be been a change, but my son would not have directly seen God fighting on his behalf. He knew God did that for him, not me. God’s victories are always better than the ones we fight on our own.

Perhaps you too have been facing a challenge and you need a victory. Perhaps you have fought and fought, striving to achieve to no prevail and you are weary from the battle.

God wants to fight for you. Lay down the weapons of the flesh, surrender to the Lord, and ask Him to fight for you. Worship and pray. Then watch and expect to see Him move. He has the victory. He has the battle plan. With Him, you’ve already won…

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to BE STILL.”

Father, thank you that you have already won the battle. Thank you for fighting and interceding on my behalf. Lord, I confess that at times I fight in my flesh, feeling the need to defend and protect myself. Forgive me Lord. Father, I am laying down my earthy weapons and ask for you to fight on my behalf in the battle I am facing of ______________. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

 

 

Thank you Message From Karen Ellison

Please click below to hear a personal message of appreciation and ministry updates from Karen Ellison, the founder and president of the Deeper Still ministry. 

Thank you from Karen Ellison (3min 8 sec)
karen video

Offense Can Hinder Healing

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to

 

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3

Father, let us walk worthy of the calling set before us, with all lowliness, gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. May we be quick to realize the schemes of offense from the enemy and stand in unity and peace in ministry and with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Offense is a tool the enemy of our souls uses to steal, kill and destroy. He uses it to steal from relationships, kill contentment, destroy marriages, lives, and even ministries. 

Merriam-Webster gives five meanings to the word offense.

  1. An act of stumbling.
  2. Something that outrages the moral or physical senses.
  3. The act of attacking.
  4. The act of displeasing or affronting.
  5. A breach of moral or social code.

In Ephesians 4:3, Paul made a point to “beseech” his brethren to endeavor to keep the unity, implying there must have been a need to do so.

Human nature is human nature and does not change over the course of time. The Holy Scriptures are encouraging us today 2000 year later with the same charge—walk worthy of the calling, with lowliness, gentleness, and longsuffering, bearing in love, keeping the unity of the Spirit in peace.

Not that this is always easy. Offenses come. The enemy will make sure of it. Our part is how will we act when they come.

Offense is a sticky web and wants all it touches to be entangled by it. If we don’t take the bait, we stay free. If we take the bait, we are caught fighting a battle we were never meant to fight.

We must also be careful to not be the one to offend, to start the offense. There are some who feel it is their responsibility to expose and speak ill of others. This is sticky ground. Does God really have people in the business of exposing faults or shaming publicly?

All of these actions hurt people. There have been times offense has reared its ugly head and sadly there are times I have been caught in it. I understand the wounds an offense can bring. It would be easy to go about spewing my hurts. And at times, I am sorry to say, offense did seep out of those wounds.

The irony is offense was hindering me from receiving my own forgiveness and healing. My offense was hurting me not the one who offended me. This is how offense operates.

When we bring an offense, we must remember, we are attacking. Perhaps someone stumbled and offended us (intentionally or not), but it is not the correct response to respond in offense. It only hurts us and others.

The definitions Merriam-Webster has given for offense are all negative. None of the consequences of offense are positive. The Lord will fight for you. The Lord will defend.  We need only be still. 

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14