An Invitation to Invest

If you’re like me – when I keep my eyes on the crisis-de-jour in our world, I’m tempted to run and hide in my own “safe world” and wait it out. But my attempts to shelter myself do not protect me nor help anyone else. It is a false sense of security.

But…

When I keep my eyes on Jesus and join Him in His mission to  “rescue the perishing”, then a fresh courage rises up in me and I chose to engage in the lives of people who are desperate for healing. 

When you financially invest in Deeper Still you also demonstrate “Kingdom Courage”.  You, in essence, commission us to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus.

In the midst of chaotic times we are working hard to bring the healing presence of Jesus to all those He sends us.

In the last 3 months we have hosted 3 retreats (with Covid guidelines) and shifted our Chapter Leaders Conference to a virtual event. These have all been awesome events and we are thrilled with the outcomes. However, we have also depleted our financial reserves and as you will read in this e-newsletter, we have much on the horizon in the coming days in fulfilling His calling for this year! As we head into Fall 2020 we need to ask for your financial help. Our next retreat is this coming weekend. Our staff has been working diligently to keep things moving forward seamlessly, and I’m so proud of them.

Will you help us stay the course and finish our Fall events and activities fully funded? We know you are making many sacrifices this year already. We are asking the Lord to bless you as you sow into Deeper Still.

You can donate any amount as a one time gift today using the link below or scan the QR code below:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=JRSGRWK8UXLDE&source=url

If you would like to make a recurring donation, please visit: www.GoDeeperStill.org/giving

Thank you for investing in Deeper Still and, as a result, the lives of those who will enter into HIS safe refuge.

Until all are healed,

Karen A. Ellison

President, Deeper Still

Forgiveness, Freedom

Marriage: Forgiveness Part 1—What Does Forgiveness Look Like? | Doing  Family Right
“And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he forgave and prayed for them. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10

The purpose of forgiving people is not to let them get away with what they have done or to live as if their actions didn’t harm you. The purpose is to let yourself stop being angry, bitter and having to fight off resentment in every area of your life. This applies to forgiving ourselves as well.

In 1987, I had my first abortion. The consequences of that sin began a journey of me digging a massive pit that I threw myself into. My womb was empty at my hand and I thirsted for the child I had just killed. The realization of that set in immediately. So did unforgiveness. Self-loathing began, while self-destructive mode set in.

I was doing anything and everything to numb myself from the pain of what I had done. This included drugs, alcohol, partying, and men. At this point I was uninterested in the rest of my life. I was going through the motions. If it wouldn’t have been for my son, I believe I would have ceased to exist. My choices led me to two more abortions, 5 husbands and reckless living. My life was in shambles. Most of the relationships I chose were physically, sexually or verbally abusive.

Depending on your depth of unforgiveness and how long you’ve been carrying it around, it will certainly destroy your life. Unforgiveness is a killer to your soul and your health! I became callous, unsympathetic, and heartless. One of the men, whose child I aborted, told me I was the most coldhearted (I’ll be nice here) person he had ever met.

The weight of unforgiveness is grueling; it will paralyze you. I couldn’t live with the fact that I had killed my own children. Thus, my pit that I was living in.

24 years after my first abortion, I finally forgave myself (it was harder than natural childbirth). It was laborious to say the least. Grueling even. To offer myself forgiveness, seemed unattainable. By the grace of God, I did. Freedom came. To some extent…

“Bearing a grudge can hold you back and even damage your health.” Dr. Ken Hart. “It is a major reason why people don’t heal.” Bowie, MD

I was so full of bitterness, unforgiveness and hate towards the abusers, that my body hurt constantly. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2014. The causes of Fibromyalgia include emotional trauma, viral infections, and physical injuries. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.

In the spring of 2018, I went to my Deeper Still Retreat. Its name rings true, I did go deeper still. I went through the process of “Debt Paid in Full” where we were to forgive others, ourselves, judgments that we held against ourselves, and how we punish ourselves. I fought painfully hard to forgive the abusers. The stress of that process caused me to have a migraine that day. The amazing thing that took place through that act of obedience, is God healed me instantly of Fibromyalgia (which was caused by emotional and physical trauma). I was set free.

“Forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you MUST do.” Colossians 3: 13b

God delights in our obedience, especially when you obey Him in challenging times. You are positioning yourself for His blessings of peace and healing. That day my Savior gave me both. I have a joy that burns inside of me for what He has done for me.

He can do the same for you as well. Forgive, let it go. There you will find freedom… And forgiveness…

Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness. Where would we be without it? Help us Holy Spirit to choose forgiveness. We lay this request at your feet. You receive all the glory. In Jesus name.

Today’s post was written by Randi Stanton, who is a contributor for the Deeper Still Devotional Blog. Randi lives in Maumelle, Arkansas, and is married to Tom. She has two children, three stepchildren, and two gorgeous grandchildren. She also enjoys hiking in the mountains, playing with her dogs, reading and studying God’s Word. Randi serves on the Arkansas Deeper Still team. 

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.

Shame and Worthiness

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Ephesians 4:1

Funny how an event that happened early in our formative years can have lasting impact. Words have power, and shame showered on us from others leave us wet with a belief system rooted in falsehoods.

It is important to note that much of the shame we carry isn’t founded in truth. Shame has to do with identity, and the enemy wants nothing more than for us to be weighted wet with shame. Perhaps that is where the expression “like a wet blanket” was formed. Shame is a robber, stealing energy, calling, and confidence.

Shame places us outside of our identity in Christ and who we are as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, fully in right standing with our Creator God.

And we need to cast off that wet mess and tell it to go.

A couple years ago, I remember a specific time when feelings of unworthiness flooded my mind drowning out the truth of my worthiness being in Christ alone. This happened right before I served on a ministry team.

How often I had prayed the verse in Ephesians 4:1, “That I would walk worthy of the calling to which I was called.” Somehow though I never felt worthy no matter how straight I walked.

Sharing with a trusted friend how I felt unworthy, he questioned, “Have you done something or sinned that would make you feel unworthy?” In all sincerity, I couldn’t think of anything specific. It was just a general feeling of being less-than.

Over the last many months, the Lord has been showing me the root of this lie and how shame put on me by others in my youth led to social anxiety, low self-esteem, and fears of rejection.  However, I now am seeing how this “less-than” or “not enough” feeling is no more than a ghost, not based on truth.

In the light of truth, shame loses power, dries up, and fear withers.

The Lord gave me a different interpretation of Ephesians 4:1, as He has told me to “Walk in my worthiness.” –that our worthiness is founded on right standing in Christ, and not based on what we do or don’t do.  Our best works are as filthy rags compared to His glory. Most women who have had abortions feel unworthy. Our works do not impact our worthiness.

Instead of wearing a wet blanket of shame, we are clothed in a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). This is the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, will you throw off the old shame garment, and allow Jesus to place a beautiful clean white light robe on you?

Father, we thank You for Your Word and Your Truth. Today, we choose to cast off shame and allow You to place Your robe of righteousness on us. Help us to walk in our worthiness and believe these truths of who You say we are in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.

The Truth Around How Abortion Impacts Lives

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

In the beginning, the earth was without form, and void; and darkness covered the earth. Darkness has always been since the beginning. There is nothing new under the sun even before God spoke the sun into existence. In the darkness, the Spirit of God hovered. In a flash, both in moment and in vision, everything changed.

In the womb, there is only darkness. The Spirit of God hovers, creating in mysterious ways our finite minds cannot understand and He has always been and always created before time. It is too wonderful for us to know and how can our minds comprehend?

God speaks and there is light. God breathes and there is life.

Darkness is not unfamiliar to our God. He is well aware of the darkness and how to maneuver and create and transform the darkness into life.

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.” Psalm 139:11-12.

When God spoke light, the darkness was still there. There is both light and darkness, and until the day of Jesus’ return and the day He gloriously reigns, darkness will be.

Darkness deceives. When I was small I was afraid of the dark and thought there was a pirate in my room, on my closet door. Funny how the mind works. I slept with the light on for years and interestingly, the pirate never came into my room when the light was turned on.

There is a darkness out there, deceiving, sharing opinion as truth. Turning down the light one degree at a time wanting us not to notice the incremental change. A darkness that claims life isn’t valuable inside the womb and in fact, we aren’t even sure it is valuable outside the womb. If a life is an inconvenience or stands in the way of my “happiness” then it is harmful to me and worthy of riddance.

What a horrendous lie which has aided and contributed to the devaluation and annihilation of people groups, genocide, abortion, population control and other evils in this world. Any stand that is against humanity, created in the image of God, is evil.

We are in a battle for life, light, and truth, and there is hope. The weapons in this battle aren’t traditional, but they are powerful. Two of these weapons are our testimony and prayer. At first these weapons may seem small—in likeness to the boy who only had two fish and five loaves.  However, these two weapons are powerful in the spirit, and when flung create massive holes in the darkness. “What good will one testimony do?”, you might ask. The first one starts the crack, and all we need is a crack for the light to enter. Then as countless others share and we join together, one becomes a thousand and then an army is formed, standing strong with thousands to millions of candles burning brightly. Fighting together, each testimony and prayer weakens the enemy’s hold and light overtakes the darkness.

God spoke and there was. His words brought light. Words can bring light, and light begets life.

Today we stand against the lie that abortion doesn’t impact lives. In a moment of darkness, I made a decision to have an abortion. This decision impacted me in devasting ways. I went down a path of self-destructive behaviors in attempts to numb shame, voices of condemnation, and lies of unworthiness of anything beautiful and lovely. I was locked up, unable to escape from my prison. Even after I came back to Christ five years later, I felt unworthy of Christian friendships. I questioned if I could be a good mother and heard suggestions as condemnation. Abortion impacted my marriage, my relationships, my mothering, my confidence, my self-worth.

This is only a glimpse into my story and the despair and hopelessness I felt after having an abortion.

Jesus was and is the only One who can break through that kind of darkness. He knocked, and with one knock, He spoke, and the lies began to crumble, the prison doors opened, and light penetrated the dark.

Thankfully, the Lord has freed and healed me only by grace through the blood of our Lord Jesus. For twenty-two years I have been on a healing journey with the Lord, gently and tenderly leading me into deeper and deeper places.

I know firsthand the pain of abortion, and I also know through working with hundreds of women and hearing their stories, the holistic harm of abortion.

Abortion is a lie and as the truth is shared, pieces of darkness shatter and fall, and the Spirit of God hovers saying, “Let there be light.”

To read more of my story, you can go to: http://livingfreeinhim.blogspot.com/p/my-story.html

To hear other testimonies and stories, you can go to:https://www.godeeperstill.org/about-us/testimonies.html

Together we can bring light.

Today’s post was written by Sue Molitor. Sue works with the ministry of Deeper Still in International Relations. She lives in beautiful East Tennessee and loves spending time with her husband and 3 kids. She enjoys reading, coffee with friends, and taking long walks. She has been writing for the Deeper Still Devotions for 7 years and loves to encourage others and cheer them on towards finding freedom and healing.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.

National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children

Today is National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.

Today we honor each of these lives and recognize the humanity each one represented. These were humans–full of destiny and purpose.

As we reflect on these lives lost, let us also remember those who grieve a decision made in perhaps a moment of crisis that left a scar of a life-long regret.

Fr. Frank Pavone wrote the prayer below. Would you take a moment of silence to honor these precious lives and pray for those who have lost a child to abortion.

Lord of all Life,

You have entrusted us to the care of one another, and called us to be one Body in Christ. You call us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep. Hear our prayer today for our brothers and sisters who have lost children to abortion. Help us to understand the pain that is in their hearts, and to be a living sign to them of your welcome, your mercy, and your healing. Help them to undergo with courage the process of grief and the journey of healing. Never allow them to feel alone; always refresh them with the presence of Your Spirit., and of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Console them with the sure hope that you love and care for their children. Give them new strength, that even while they grieve what they have lost, they may look forward to all the good that you still have in store for them. Lord of healing and hope, give us all the forgiveness of our sins, and the joy of your salvation. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.

From Shame to Glory

No more whispers no more secrecy no more fear.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

“They’ll know,” she thought quietly near the back.

“It’s probably written all over my face: Liar, hypocrite, selfish.”

“As long as I stay in the back and close to the exit, I’ll be able to hear the word of God, and not risk anyone learning the truth about me. It’s better this way.”

“I gave my voice up the day I swallowed that pill. If I proclaim to be a Christian and stand up for truth and goodness, I’ll only be seen as a hypocrite.”

“If they only knew…” She ached inside as she tried listening to the sermon. She could hardly hear anything besides the many thoughts flooding her heart and mind.
These were just a few of the lies whispered to me by the enemy.

I believed my Savior forgave me with every fiber of my being. He was changing my life, healing and renewing my heart. However, even though I knew I was forgiven, I could not hear the word abortion without recoiling in my skin, feeling sick to my stomach, and wanting to run toward the nearest exit. Nothing in that sounds healed to me; triggered – but not healed. I was afraid to get too close to anyone at church, or any person for that matter. I believed that if anyone knew the real me, they would reject me.  For a while, I allowed people in from a distance.  For five long years I lived half alive; forgiven yet hiding in shame.

Then, as the Lord would have it, I was given an opportunity to serve at a Deeper Still retreat, helping cook meals for the guests. My aunt was the one who invited me to serve. For years I wanted to stop hiding and tell the people I loved about my abortion. But something in my mind always convinced me to stay silent. When my aunt asked to serve, I knew that God was telling me it was TIME- it was time to share my secret.

God instilled on my heart that if I was going to help at a retreat, I could not risk my family finding out while we were there, it would take the focus off of the guests and onto me. I called my dad and then my aunt. Both my dad and aunt were so gracious. They told me I needed to go as a guest and not to serve. I thought I was forgiven and didn’t need to attend… but boy was I wrong!

I love how God works. I thought I would be serving God’s kingdom by cooking meals, but He had mightier plans. He knows us so well. He knew I didn’t think I needed any more healing and that the only way to get me to a mostly family lead retreat would be if they asked first!

At the Deeper Still Retreat, the Lord brought healing on more levels than I even knew existed within my heart and soul. Not only did God forgive me, He revealed that He never intended for my voice to be silent and hidden. God used Deeper Still to give me my voice back. Instead of shame, I saw a testimony.

My eyes began to open to the hurting. I realized that if I had been hiding in shame for years, how many others were doing the same exact thing? How many others were also afraid to be viewed as frauds? Instead of hiding in shame and fear, He encouraged me to speak up. No more whispers, no more secrecy, no more fear.

And the lies that once silenced me, now were turned into opposite proclamations of truth!

“They’ll know HIM,” she proclaimed!

“It’s written all over my face: Forgiven, Loved, FREE IN CHRIST!”

 “I will no longer stay in the back, close to the exit, because I cannot risk anyone not learning the truth about Jesus Christ!”

“I gave my voice to CHRIST the night I asked for His forgiveness. I will proclaim to be a Christian and stand up for truth and goodness! I am not hypocrite.”

If they only knew…” She ached inside, wanting others to know Jesus is ready to release them from their own bondage.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for rescuing us from deaths grip. Thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and making a way for us to come to you – through believing in your son, Jesus. I pray for the ones hiding in plain sight, living in bondage to a lie that they are too shameful, too far gone, too damaged. I pray in Jesus name they would leave those worries at the foot of your cross and ask you into their hearts, if they have not done so already. I ask that you would give us godly courage to speak your truth to the ones in our lives. I pray your mercy and truth over us all and thank you for redemption. Thank you for healing. It is in Jesus’ holy name I pray… Amen.

Today’s post was written by Traci Young, who is a contributor for the Deeper Still Devotional Blog. Traci calls Broomfield, Colorado home, and loves spending quality time with her husband, baby girl, and two red doodles.  She left the workforce to become a stay at home mom and sees it as her mission field! Traci serves on the Fallbrook, CA Deeper Still team.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laying in the Lap of God

Whether you have 12 candles on your cake or 102, you have a Father who is celebrating you and knows you infinitely. You are His beautiful daughter--coming of age, becoming more like Him. His lap is always ope

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

My oldest daughter turned twelve recently. This addition of another lit candle on the cake also flamed a change in my heart. When the candles were blown out and the smoke lifted, I saw her in a new, and admittedly, scary way. She’s no longer an unsteady toddler or toothless elementary school kid. Her long legs far surpass the days of the dark oak crib that once towered over her. This birthday felt different; less celebratory and more serious–the ushering in of the coming of age–my little girl becoming a young woman.  This once little girl who was learning to share and use “big girl words” is now developing a mature, responsible, and more independent demeanor.

My first baby doesn’t need me as much; she has handled big things this year gracefully and without much help from me. 

I look at her wearing twelve year old skin and tears begin to well in my eyes. I can’t understand why I’m so emotional as I run my fingers through her dishwater blonde hair; this head in my lap that I’ve kissed so many times. She’s a good and perfect gift, just like all gifts that come from God. I look at her and recall the things I know about her- her favorite food, favorite color, what makes her happiest, what annoys her the most, who her best friends are and what she desires to be when she’s older. I know where she wants to go to college, who she wants to live with, and her favorite animal. I know weekends that she has to leave her dads and come back home always make her sad; I know living in two different houses is frustrating for her at times, and I know that often she feels like “she doesn’t belong anywhere”. I know what makes her heart ache and that coffee will always make it better.

Then I think, “If I can love her this much, how must God feel when he sees her?”

This thought then sparks a truth powerful enough to light every candle…If I can love my daughter this much, how much does my good good Heavenly Father love me? And as much as I yearn to be her provider and protector, how much more does my Heavenly Father desire to be mine? 

God’s word says He knows every hair on our head, and every tear cried, and every thought. He knows every sorrow and pain.

This is true for all of us. We are cared for, loved, and accepted by God, not because we could ever earn it but because we are His daughter. The worthiness given to us because of whom we belong to cannot be blown out because we fall short. We will always fall short, that’s why we need Jesus. With our heads in His lap, God wants us to trust Him and look to Him for all we need.

One of the greatest gifts given to me was the picture of God as a parent. Like the prodigal son can return home into welcoming, open arms, we also can return home, and our Father throws a party when one of His children come home, with cake and all! I picture God often in this way; especially when I need a reminder that I am loved and accepted fully regardless of where I’ve been or what I’ve done. My prayer is for all reading to know this truth:

Whether you have 12 candles on your cake or 102, you have a Father who is celebrating you and knows you infinitely. You are His beautiful daughter–coming of age, becoming more like Him. His lap is always open, and His love for you burns like an everlasting candle, unable to be snuffed out. 

Father God, You are the beginning and end of who we are. You knit us together with such care and take notice of us when no one else does. Thank you for your love and devotion; thank you for being the lap in which we can rest our weary heads; thank you for being our protective Father. Amen.

Today’s post was written by Ashley Gregory, who is a contributor to the Deeper Still Devotional Blog. Ashley lives in Mt. Sterling, Illinois and is married to Mark. They have 3 children and she serves on the Central Illinois Deeper Still team.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.

When the Storm Rolls In

Good Morning“Increased warfare and resistance should tell you one thing–You are getting close.” Nate Johnston

The storm has rolled in…

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy.”

We have an enemy who wants to rob us of our joy, peace, and faith, but most of all our faith. 

You know the sweet summer storm that rolls in out of nowhere. You’re sitting on the back porch swing on a lazy summer evening. Then lightning streaks across a distant dark blue canvas and the sound of rolling thunder claps in the heavens. It is a wondrous sight to behold. One of my favorite things to do is watch a good storm, especially the unexpected ones that cool off the heat of a long hot summer day.

However calming and even peaceful those summer storms are, I am talking about another storm. One that comes gradually and unexpectedly.

But when these storms come, just as I can stay safe inside my home, I can rest in the goodness of my God knowing He is my refuge. 

When the enemy has roared so loudly that lies flash constantly across the skies of our minds, we can know the truth of the Light that is right behind those clouds.  We need to get directly in the face of the enemy and speak truth to those lies and command our souls to be at rest. 

We must remember who our God is, who our enemy is not, and who we are in Jesus. He is not as powerful as God. He is a toothless lion and his thunderous roar is hollow. He is a defeated foe. 

We must stay on guard and prepared. The Lord has given us weapons to fight with. Ephesians 6:10-20 instructs us on how we should fight: “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may stand against the wiles of the devil.”

He gives us the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shod our feet with the gospel of peace, we have the shield of faith that quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked one, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. We literally are totally covered for the battles we face. This is how we stand strong when the winds of life strike hard, tossing trouble into our worlds. 

We are to continually be in prayer. Ephesians 6:18, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, stay alert to this end with all perseverance.” Prayer changes things. Call on prayer warriors and get others praying with you. Prayer has been key to quieting a storm in my life.  I see blue skies breaking through and see the sun (Son) on the horizon. 

Worship. Worship. Worship. When all I want to do is sit and cry, I worship. This brings me peace and strength. Worship hushes the storm inside, replacing thunder with shouts of praise to the Holy One. He is my Prince of Peace, my calm in the storm. The storm that blew in that brought tumultuous downpours, leaving me begging for shelter, is no longer threatening when I get still and worship. My storm may still be there, but the difference is I am in the presence of the Lord–the One fighting my battles. 

Most of all let us remember who we belong to. We are God’s children. No weapon formed against us will prosper. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord. We are victorious due to the price Jesus paid on the cross. Let us not lose our faith in the One who gave it all for us. He stated, “It is finished.” We have overcome! To God be the glory! 

Lord, give us the courage to stand and help us to stay sober and vigilant in this race you have set before us. Thank you Lord that because of You, we can have peace and rest in the middle of a storm. Remind us of the armor that you have laid before us to use when we are in the heat of the battle. I am thankful that you stand beside us and fight our battles with us. We cannot do it without you Lord. You are worthy of all praise. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Today’s post was written by Randi Stanton, who is a contributor for the Deeper Still Devotional Blog. Randi lives in Maumelle, Arkansas, and is married to Tom. She has two children, three stepchildren, and two gorgeous grandchildren. She also enjoys hiking in the mountains, playing with her dogs, reading and studying God’s Word. Randi serves on the Arkansas Deeper Still team. 

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.

Days of Deeper {Guest Post}

beckycrenshaw

 

Today’s post is written by Becky Crenshaw, a dear blogger and speaker friend.  This post is from a series written by Becky on 30 Days of Deeper.  Thank you Becky for sharing with us today! 

 

This morning, I am already in a tug of war.

Upon waking, I am battling my thought life and hearing the enemy whisper lies to me. Trying so hard to convince me that I am not a good enough momNot a good enough friend. Not a good enough wife. Not a good enough Christian.

Just not good enough.

He is tricky, that enemy of ours. He rarely comes to us by way of an obvious evil and dark force. No, it is usually extremely sly and serpent-like. Slithering his way into our thoughts and trying to steal our worth.

Telling us “we aren’t enough” is one of his most effective patterns because if he can get our thinking then the rest is cake. Our emotions and actions are birthed in our thought-life and our day goes to pot within a mili-second.

Good news is, folks, we don’t have to be good enough because Jesus already is.  And I am going with Him.

So let’s get ahead of our adversary this morning with a little refresher on the REAL US found in Christ.  Read these over and say them out loud. 

  • I am born of God, and the evil one – the devil – can not touch me. 1 John 5:18
  • I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns 1 John 3:1,2
  • I am a partaker of Christ, I share in His life (Heb 3:14)
  • I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling (Her 3:1)
  • I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Col 3:12, 1 Thes 1:4)
  • I am a son of light and not of darkness (1 Thes 5:5)
  • I am a new creation (2 For 5:17)
  • I am a temple, a dwelling place of God. His Spirit and His life dwell in me. (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19)
  • I am united to the Lord and one in spirit with Him (1 Col 6:17)
  • I am reconciled to God and I am a minister of reconciliation. (2 Col 5:18,19)
  • I am God’s workmanship – His handiwork born anew in Christ to do His work. (Eph 2:10)

LORD, THIS IS HOW WE FIGHT OUR BATTLES!!! WE CLAIM THIS TRUTH! WE WORSHIP YOU! WE WILL NOT BELIEVE LIES TODAY!  YOU LOVE US! YOU ARE ENTHRALLED WITH US!  WE THANK YOU AND SURRENDER OUR LIVES TO YOU!

IN JESUS NAME! AMEM!

Reflections:

  1. Of all these truths, which two mean the most to you TODAY?
  2. What is going on in your life that make these so important right now?
  3. Our Christian life is a continual “casting down lies and replacing with Truth” process. Take a journal and pen out lies that consistently come against you. Out from the lie, write one a Truth to combat this thought. Next time the lie comes against you, REMEMBER THIS.

 

Becky Crenshaw and her husband, Brent, live in Tennessee with their three, football-crazed and energetic boys.  Three children of which a doctor said she would never have. After losing her mother to cancer, Becky now has the great honor of caring for her 92-year-old grandmother, Ethel.

Brent and Becky served on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Tennessee for nine years, discipling college students and sharing the Gospel across campus. They are currently ministering to a new demographic in their city.  Brent serves as the Young Adult Pastor of their church, where they lead pre-marriage classes and help post-graduates plug into community with others their own age and grow in their own relationship with Christ.

To read more posts from Becky, you can visit her blog site at www.beckycrenshaw.com

When God Asks a Question

God has called

And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah’”? 1 Kings 19:9

When God asks a question, it isn’t because He doesn’t know the answer. So why does God, the One who knows all things from beginning to end, ask questions?

It isn’t for His benefit, but for ours. The questions He asks are to help us understand ourselves.

When reading in 1 Kings 19, there was something I hadn’t noticed before. God asked Elijah the same question twice. When God says something twice, it could be for emphasis or it could be that He wants to confirm and give assurance that it is Him speaking. When God asked Elijah the question, “What are you doing here?”, Elijah answered:

“I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your alters, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

The backdrop of this story is fascinating and if you have a moment, go to 1 Kings 18:20 to 1 Kings 19:21 to read it. In short, Elijah had just called down fire from heaven, killed 450 prophets of Baal, totally humiliated the enemy and an evil tyrannical queen, and then ran a marathon to Jezreel. This man had to have been exhausted. We should never face an enemy hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. There is no doubt, Elijah was all four. And so when faced with the threat being destroyed by Jezebel, it was more than he could handle. Any other day it wouldn’t have phased him, but that day… it did, and he responded uncharacteristically in defeat and despair and ran to hide in a cave.

This is where Elijah was when God asked him, “What are you doing here?”

Has there ever been a time in your life when God has asked you, “What are you doing here?” Maybe you have been through a very difficult situation and have been hiding or not being the person God intended for you to be. Or maybe you’ve sinned or responded poorly to a situation and you feel defeated and the enemy has you believing there is no hope, that you are alone, and God couldn’t possibly use you now.

If this is you, God is asking, “What are you doing here?” This isn’t the place God has for you to be.

The enemy is shrewd and starts with a small lie getting us off one degree. But one degree over time equals a far distance from where God called us to.

God has called each and every one of us.

If we aren’t going in the direction of our calling or living in our calling, then maybe we’re off course.

Abortion is one of those sins the enemy uses to keep us living in a cave believing we are alone and unfit for use in the Kingdom.

If this is you today or there is another sin or situation in your life that the enemy has used to keep you believing you are defeated and unworthy of Kingdom things, today, hear the voice of the Lord gently and lovingly saying, “What are you doing here,________.”

And then listen to words of the Lord as He directs and guides you into the next steps He has for you. The very next thing the Lord did for Elijah was remind him that he is not alone. The Lord God extinguished the lies of the enemy and built up his servant with truth.

When God asks us a question, it is for our introspection and reflection, and to give us confidence in our ability to hear.

Wherever you are today, be reminded, God is with you. He is for you. He asks the question, “What are you doing here?” as a course correction. His plan is for you to do great Kingdom exploits, and be used mightily as you follow His leading and direction out of the cave and into your calling.

Father God, we thank you that you lead us out of caves and into our callings. Lord, we pray for every person reading this or attending a retreat that has bought into the lies of the enemy that have been intended to defeat or destroy. Lord, we want to be where you want us to be. Lead us in your way everlasting, give us strength, and fill us with hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s post was written by Sue Molitor. Sue works with the ministry of Deeper Still in International Relations. She lives in beautiful East Tennessee and loves spending time with her husband and 3 kids. She enjoys reading, coffee with friends, and taking long walks. She has been writing for the Deeper Still Devotions for 7 years and loves to encourage others and cheer them on towards finding freedom and healing.

Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.