A Path Against Demons

ScreenHunter_01-Mar.-05-13.23.gifI don’t like demons. Who could possibly like something so fierce and evil and manipulating as a demon… don’t answer that.

I have my challenges, and if you read my posts here you’ll know I’m dealing with suicidal thoughts, cutting, depression, anxiety, fear and self-confidence issues in my child.
I’m now convinced that with – ALL – the many things happening, demonic activity is here. I already know believers can’t be possessed, but we can certainly be oppressed and where does the battle take place… inside us or outside our bodies or in the heavenly realms. Either way, demons are real and fear is a spirit – the Bible tells us so. The spirit of fear does not come from the Father.

I’m reading a book which is causing me to think about the subject of casting out demons. With the many issues we’re dealing with, it’s not far fetched to think it’s demons causing the whole charade.
But even if I have the authority to command demons to leave me, I’m not the one doing the work; He is! But casting out demons in others… I’m wondering if God wants me to be His instrument for such purpose. 

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We all have time periods of un-repented sin (unless you wish to “throw the first stone”) and demon spirits are sneaky. They’ll attach or enter through a keyhole at any given time…  Suppose my child has demons either in or attached to her, e.g. oppression, not possession, but in this case a fierce and ongoing oppression.
Suppose I’m growing in my awareness of their presence.

Some weeks ago my child asked questions about sexuality. Pretty common I would think albeit, a tad bit young. Same week I get approached in the supermarket by a man with very direct intentions and the following week, my daughter gets an email from a 21 year old guy looking for hot fun on a penpal website, posing as a 17 year old. All in this order and unrelated to each other. Could it possibly be that a demon of sexual sin was attracting these incidents toward us, is it coincidental (not likely!!) or is it just random sinful world stuff…

bb0d1a27ab87777151322eb61e463261.jpgLonging to rid us from this… I began praying for help, which led me to verbally telling the demons to go away in Jesus’ Name. It may be wishful thinking but I did actually feel like things were lighter for a day or so. But we got back in the rut… My kid needs to be built up and grow a strong relationship with the Lord. Otherwise banished demons may simply re-enter or re-attack.

I visited a friend yesterday. He knows my heart and situation. He prayed for me. Long and intense he prayed and asked the Lord to give me authority to cast out demons. He did this without me telling him of my own prayers for the same thing and it’s certainly not the most common thing to pray for!

Only the Lord can cast out demons, but could He intend for me to be His instrument? I’m not confused as much as in a waiting position. Waiting on hearing the Lord and praying for His protection in the meantime.

 

This is me right now. Pondering the Lord of mercy and light and what path lies before me.

A knack for trials

self-pity-darling-1300x866.jpg“I don’t need any trials in my life!”
I screamed from the darkness of the pit called “self-pity”.

Jesus said “In this life, you will have trials”

All the time, Lord??
Really… I just made it through one and now another spear has hit me right in the sore spot. Again!
I seem to have a knack for trials!

Jesus said “Take heart, for I have overcome the world”

I know You did, Lord… but what about me?
I can’t deal with the world much longer.

How come everybody else’s life is so good and perfect? Why am I the only one who is drowning in *rap? huh?

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I have an overwhelming desire to insert the text “Jesus said “because nothing on social media is reflecting real life””… but He never said that.
Wait… breathe… Do I want or do I need trials in my life?
While I certainly don’t want them, perhaps I do need them: For what happens when I’m allowed “time out”… I drift off and fall away from the One Who loves me at all times.

Jesus said “… And I will be with you until the very end of the age”

It doesn’t feel like You are all that close, Lord!… Really, it doesn’t!

Jesus said “I will send you a helper” (John 14:26)

A helper… Your Holy Spirit…  Maybe I’ve been so focused on the little round problem dangling in front of my eyes, instead of the Spirit inside me, that You gave me Lord. Oops…

Jesus said “The Spirit will give me glory, because he will take what I say and tell it to you” (John 16:14)

Yeah… 20150426_182543-1.jpg

Do you have a minute, Lord? Or a 100…?
Because I could really use a cup of coffee!

I struck out – Silencing an Introvert 2

I totally struck out on yesterday’s post! I mean really struck out…

My intentions were to write about introverts in the school system, but I got derailed and went straight into a self-pity party or something down that winding road!

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I can’t run from my feelings. I am truly both sad, angry and disappointed in school and teachers. For 3 years I have tried to be “a good Christian” about it, but now that I need to process it, it stings. When I’m done processing the whole thing, I’ll get back to the introverts in the school system.

I’ll get there… Because Jesus is with me and knows me and knows exactly how I feel.

Bloggers: Thank you for staying with me during these tough times. I need you and I love you and I pray Blessings into your lives! THANKS! 

Cut the Pain

I’m seeing things I don’t want to see and hearing things I don’t want to hear.
I’m living a life, I do not want. I’m in a war zone!
Lord, we get what we need and not always what we want.
But I don’t think I ever needed this!

cuttingMy daughter is only 10 and has a depression caused by severe anxiety. It has been going on for years and she has been on medication for about 10 months now. Only… Recently… Things took a turn I didn’t expect: Cutting.

Cutting is also known as self-harm, using a nice word – or self-mutilation, using a hard-core word. It’s a tangible pain that for a moment replaces an intangible and possibly unidentified pain of the heart and mind.

Istrongmomt’s gruesome for a mom to watch and not having many or any means of help. But the tough part of it is actually, that I must be “non-sensitive” to it. Meaning, if I can’t take it – handle it, my child will loose the only safe place she feels she has.
Lord, I really don’t think I ever needed this. 
All I can do is love her through it and patch up the cuts and sore places on her skin and pray, pray, pray… please Lord, no more!

My heart breaks in pieces all the time…
This is my life and I have to accept it, even if I don’t want to.
If I do not accept her condition, I can’t recognize the issues and ultimately help her.
Lord, I need You to help her.

During the years while battling this anxiety that paved the way to depression and now cutting too, I have stayed strong the best I could, but I’m done. I look in the mirror and I see a tired woman. Not one who is thriving in life, but one who is surviving.
Lord, I don’t want to just survive – I want to thrive!depressedmom

I visited a counselor the other day. I did it for myself… and after a test it was revealed that I can be placed in the box of “2-points from severe depression”. Until next meeting, I need to make an effort to do something daily for myself. Something that is good for me.
Lord, I need this.

But Lord, I want to have FUN with You.
To live, love, laugh, do and BE with You.
I know I prayed to be a woman of faith once… but Lord, this road is harder than rocks and my mustard seed inside is melting in the furnace. And it hurts, Lord. It hurts!


Lord, I really need to have some fun with You.

I really need You, now.

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Leave me in the mess – please!

Because only in the mess, will I be able to truly see the Lord’s hand at work.

Actually, please don’t leave me in the mess, because it’s the last place I want to be in!

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I don’t know about you, but I often find myself in circumstances and messes where this dilemma exists.
I love seeing how God works in my life. I really really really love it.
At the same time, I thoroughly dislike being in those situations.

Then, of course, an average person, preacher, pastor, sermon etc proclaims that if I didn’t sin, I wouldn’t be stuck in bad situations. While this may be true… I’m pretty sure Jesus found Himself in a few “bad situations” during His 3 years of ministry and He for sure did not sin!
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So… May I just conclude, that even if I were entirely sinless (yeah, that’s not gonna happen!), the devil would just come at me with all the more force and all the more temptations and all the more… catch my drift? And eventually he would either win over my poor selfish soul or kill me in the process, so to speak. Either would work for him because seriously; the devil would truly slay your newborn baby if he could! The guy has no clue how to spell “mercy”, let alone show it.

Sure… God always provides a way out: Yes indeed the Lord does!tumblr_static_tumblr_static_8l0munbqf6skwc0gsck400s8w_640.gif

But that will inevitably mean you have to get stuck in messes sometimes…!?! So while we do have the power to not sin, we will. The way out of it goes along “the narrow road”, but there are some HUGE gates along that narrow road!
Just saying…

 

So please don’t leave me in the mess… LORD!
Because only in the darkness can we all truly see the light. Amen.

The Jesus heart

It was 2012 January. It was cold and Japan was still much affected by the 2011 triple disaster and I was very much affected by the fact that our child had been traumatized in her Japanese kindergarten. overkwork.jpeg
My body was weak and my heart was slowly freezing. I was trying to recoup so I could help my child overcome. But my mental and physical condition was rather bad. I slept 2 to 3 hours pr. night. This was before my husband sent me off to the doctor to get some sleeping pills… (So glad he did!).

To get away from it all, we went to the mountains in the Kanto region near Mt. Fuji during that January. Just my daughter and me. I thought I needed to get away… It didn’t do my health much good, but the Lord gave me a Blessing I’ll never forget:
While there, we visited the Venetian glas museum, where Jesus met me in one of my deepest moments of despair.
Imagine an almost empty Venetian estate. Inside it’s full of various glass art, from facets to colorful engravings. The walls are all covered with gorgeous art and the ceiling with paintings of beauty. The lighting is soft and dim in most places and you can hear the smooth sound of water from fountains from almost any place inside the estate.Hakone_Venetian_Glass_Museum_002.jpg

The place was almost empty because it was out of season and my daughter was excitedly going from display to display, up and down the stairs, wow’ed by the beauty.
I was scared of the future, frightened at the present and angry about the past.

I looked up at the ceiling, wondering if life would ever work out – and saw the replica of the famous “Last supper” painted there. I found Jesus and as I did, it was as if His eye moved, looked at me and I heard His voice whisper “You will be okay!”.
Immediately I broke into tears. They streamed down my face… I kept focusing on Jesus in the painting. I refused to let the moment go… but my daughter was calling me and I had to wipe the tears and keep moving.

Jesusheart.jpgMy heart was both heavy and yet light. I knew I was in a rut, but I also knew that Jesus had spoken to me. His assurance took the burden off me. I can’t say that life got easy after this, but that day and the rest of the week in the mountains certainly did.

On our way out of the museum, I stopped by the gift shop and I saw a beautiful red glass heart pendant. I bought it despite the price tag being way over what I would usually pay for a glass pendant, and I call it my “Jesus heart”.
He glued my heart that day with His words.

It’s 5 years ago and it’s still fresh in memory and the heart still hangs around my neck.

Lord, I messed up your child!

All a mom want is the best for her child and absolutely NO mom sees her child for the first time and thinks “oh sweet baby, in 9 years you’ll be on prozac!“..01_09234317_504a2d_2733336a.jpg.

There is possibly nothing more painful for a mom, than to watch her child struggle and being in pain. My kid has anxiety and depression issues and it’s like walking through a maze trying desperately to find a way out! You have to keep moving and yet you feel stuck. Just when you think you found a way that leads toward the exit, you find yourself at a dead end. Again.

Before you get the idea that this is a whiny pity-party post, allow me just a paragraph of mercy before I reveal what the Lord did…

I burdened myself with a “good mom/bad mom” thinking routine. Ahem… Okay, mainly “bad mom” and let’s face it: The world out there can be pretty d* mean telling moms when they are bad moms!…
I can’t count the times I have prayed to the Lord using the words “I’m so sorry Lord – I completely messed up your child!” Why can’t I get it right? Why do I mess her up like this? Why does she have to struggle like this? Why are “everyone else’s” kids perfect?… (they are not, but it often looks that way from the outside).good_mom_bad_mom-253x300.png

Then I read a few pages in a relatively known author’s book, giving an account of her experiences with motherhood – and it hit me: She makes just about the exact same mistakes as me (only this one actually opens up and talks about it – freely!). Her kids are fine. Mine isn’t.
Just maybe my child’s struggles aren’t my fault – I thought and continued reading more pages in this book and gleaned from her daily prayer of receiving Gods portion for the day.in-the-morning-when-i-rise-give-me-jesus-kitchen-coffee-espresso-jeremy-camp-song-lyrics-religious-god-spiritual-church_6944136.jpeg

 

Next morning I gathered my warm blanket, got my coffee, my devotional and focused all my thoughts on Yahweh… asking Him for my portion for this day.
We had a cozy coffee morning together – Jesus and I.
It’s a really good thing He isn’t picky when it comes to coffee! 
I got on with my day… and everything went pretty smooth… And then He once again overwhelmed me!

 

It’s as if Yahweh refuses to leave me to my own devices for even a day. I wouldn’t want Him to… but since I broke down and longingly wanting to TOUCH THE SCROLL, He hasn’t left my side! Continually pouring into me and showering me with His power.
– Yes, power – I didn’t write Blessing for though it is a Blessing, being in such closeness to Yahweh is extremely powerful stuff. (if you want to read the post:  “Touch the scroll”)

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It’s unusual for me to read the Bible mid-day, but I didn’t get yanked away for a to-do list: I took my Bible and opened at a “random” page (there’s nothing random about the Lord) and read onwards from Isaiah 43 and while reading through the first 10 verses, I simply cried…
Just humbly cried because He is so REAL, so POWERFUL and so WITH ME.

I know, I know: A stressed out mom cries easily… but that was just it: I wasn’t stressed out! – I had prayed for my portion and everything had gone smoothly all day!… I was relaxed and in a good place emotionally, physically and – I thought – spiritually!

Yahweh WILL tear down the hedges of the maze, when He deems the time has come.
I forget that. A lot. But Yahweh won’t allow me to. Again.

Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine”.
Isaiah 44:3 “I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring and my blessing on your descendants”.

I read and re-read Isaiah 43 and 44 several times today and my Bible remains open on those pages. I can’t bring myself to close the book!

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Different in-difference

It’s not that people don’t care. They do.
It’s not that people don’t want to be involved. They do.
It’s just that people don’t want to help someone who doesn’t want the help. Or be disrespectful or an inconvenience – or perhaps even the other end of the scale; If others are already helping then why would I (need to) pitch in! Chat_Bubble_Huh.jpg

So instead of acting upon what can clearly be seen, like a friend or church member being ill, people regress into an indifferent state of mind; Telling themselves “She said she was fine. I must respect that, so I’ll leave her to her own devices, shrug my shoulders and tell myself “that’s what she wants”… Despite it being visibly crystal clear that the sick friend was not fine at all.

No, of course not all churches are like this!!…But sadly, many are!
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I truly believe that sometimes we need to love God enough to break the rules.
Now, before you slap my face… I mean the man-made rules, the courtesy rules, the “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone” rules…
Don’t you know?
Haven’t you heard? 
– We make Yahweh smile by loving Him – and putting a smile on the faces of our family in the unity of His body – in our faith. 
Jesus loves us – and enough to give away of… so pass it on, shall we? 

Illness and bad circumstances are no strangers to anyone I think… but I have seen several things lately that has thrown me off. One or two which I would actually have been willing to share but I would be breaking God’s rule of “don’t gossip” so I won’t.

What I do want to say about it is this:
When the people around you, friends and church family, do not take notice of your failing health or the expression in your eyes or if someone does take notice but do not ring the alarm bells to have help put into action, something is very wrong.
People take on the mindset of indifference.
I have a beef with that!
Love without action is wasted.
Prayers are great… but oftentimes within His body, more is needed.
When you can SEE that someone needs help – would you do more than pray for the person if you have the ability to help? 
In reality:
– Does a friend cross the line if they help you, without asking permission first?
– Is it inconvenient to have a meal hung on your doorknob?
– Is it a bother if someone would say “I’ll come by Saturday and mow your lawn!”?
I know we all have full plates; Our own family of course, a long to-do list, church responsibilities or we just can’t seem to get our act together… really? Are we all so caught up in ourselves that we can’t postpone or strike something from the list and go help someone? HELPING-HANDS-care.jpg
I’m not saying you as an individual should go all out and into the extreme to help others… well, actually that would be nice… but churches can make sign up sheets and you can write your name committing to help with gardening, bringing a meal or doing laundry…

If you really are indifferent, then you are lukewarm
and… well, Jesus was pretty clear about what He thinks of that!
But I’d like to think that most believers are not indifferent in the heart…
but the evidence of otherwise just seems to elude me.

If there is a struggle between the willingness to act vs a fear of being disobedient, then perhaps we can remember Ruth when she obeyed Naomi and went to lay at the feet of Boaz… but what did Ruth actually do?

She didn’t wait for him to tell her what to do, as Naomi had asked her to. No, she spoke up… and essentially asked Boaz for marriage.
She disobeyed Naomi, I believe, but I also believe that she obeyed God – “under Who’s wings she had come to take refuge”.
I think Ruth knew that her stumbling into Boaz’ field was no coincidence, for if you trust the Lord, then there are no coincidences… We need to LOVE those whom the Lord places in our path.
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This post was sparked by my dear friend Joel and he brought up Ecclesiastes 7:16-18, because it talks about the extremes… I personally prefer to look up several translations before settling on one that, to me, will make most sense. In this case, I’d like to read the passage in The Message translation:

Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 MSG

So don’t knock yourself out being good, and don’t go overboard being wise. Believe me, you won’t get anything out of it. But don’t press your luck by being bad, either. And don’t be reckless. Why die needlessly? It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.

The first part talks about pride I believe: Doing everything right all the time – appearing to be perfect and actually, I think that drives more people away than drawing anyone closer.
But don’t act in bad ways continually. If you break the rules all the time, you’ll get in trouble and people get tired of a troublemaker.
I love that last part that states:
See both sides of the coin and deal responsibly with reality;
With what we can SEE.
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We can obey a lot of good rules, but sometimes, we need to see the reality, step out in faith and act on what we can see – so we can help those within the body who are in need.  Even if it means breaking a man made rule.
And no, I’m not a Catholic despite two photos of Catholics are on this post, but it serves to illustrate “LOVE in action”.

Loosing faith – finding YAHWEH!

Possibly my faith in YAHWEH has never felt stronger, but I think I’m loosing faith in people. In the body known as the church. The unity we are called to nurture, protect and lovesukkot.jpg
I have no idea how to write this… I’m so sad. Bear with me though – it has a happy ending.

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The past weeks has been eye opening. Everywhere in the body I see fractions and the unity torn. From the communities I move in to the online world, I see love torn, lost, exhausted, stretched and twisted.
Love your neighbor as yourself is a command and a lifestyle.
I see a lot of empathy in the body, eyes full of compassion, offers of prayers etc. It’s all great expressions of love, but there’s little action.

What good is love, if it is not followed by action?
If love is present, but not shown?
If you can do more than pray, what stops you?

YAHWEH wants me to LOVE those He places in my path. It’s not up to me to choose whom I want to love. It’s not up to us if we call ourselves believers, followers of Christ or Christians (whatever the difference is) to pick and choose who “deserves” my love and attention. No!

24dd920aeb36e4084f92a75e5b2a34a8.jpg We are supposed to be known by our LOVE!

The healthy do not need a doctor, but they do need to be humble enough to pour out the Blessings the Lord has given them (does Boaz ring a bell?) – into those who are in need (how about Ruth?). Especially within His body. I’m very sorry if I step on toes now… but being a believer is not “just about witnessing to non-believers” (though that’s not a small task), but it’s also about being a part of a community that shares and loves and nurtures each other.
If we don’t do that, how can we be known for our love for one another?

I asked my Lord a while back if He would show me how He feels about this world He created. If what follows below is any indication, my YAHWEH is grieving:

It began with an email from a dear friend, Sue, who lives in Jordan. She had just returned from celebrating “Sukkot” in Jerusalem. It was the week before Halloween… and I have been wanting to find a celebration to replace Halloween with. Something YAHWEH would want me to celebrate. As I read Sue’s email about how they celebrate Sukkot “as a “picture” of events that are still to come: the “wedding feast” held for Messiah and His Bride, as well as “The 8th Day” which represents the inauguration of the Eternal Kingdom” and she told me about the various things they do.

Then I came to the 8th day celebration. Her description brought me to my knees, short of breath, in emotional pain and grief and my eyes literally flowed over with endless tears… This is an edited excerpt of her mail:

On the 8th Day, we begin by reading the last two chapters of Deuteronomy together.  Then, in a traditional service, there is a pause.  Everyone has a chance to go up and view the Torah Scroll (assuming the congregation has one), and ask questions, etc.  Because the scrolls are so delicate and expensive (many are also VERY old), normally only the ‘readers’ get to see or handle them, so it is a great delight to actually be able to view an opened scroll up close.  A Torah scroll is a truly beautiful thing, especially because it represents The Living Word, our Messiah Yeshua!  

After the viewing, the scroll is formally and ceremonially rolled back to its beginning position at Genesis 1 – not an easy process that takes at least two people!  Then the first Chapter of Genesis is read, beginning a new year of study in the Torah. The Torah scroll is carefully dressed in its cover, and then it is reverently but joyously passed from hand to hand in the congregation, while everyone dances and sings!  Gentiles passing in the street get pulled in to share the fun!  This is called Simchat Torah (The Joy of Torah).  It represents the way we will joyously celebrate with Messiah when He takes up His Throne!

As I was on the floor crying out to my Lord to stop this grief I was feeling, tears just kept flowing, my breathing was rapid, my prayers unceasing. It took about half hour for me to gather myself.
I know I have never before been overwhelmed by YAHWEH like that.
It’s crystal clear to me that what He asks me to celebrate is found in His Word.
And my mind kept going: I want to touch the scroll! Even thinking about it now makes me cry. Literally.
Love expressed – is love noticed! 
Expressing our love for God is to put a smile on His face when we celebrate the things He has given us in His Word to celebrate.
Expressing our love for each other is to put a smile on each others faces as we stand side by side, always welcoming newcomers in just as Jesus would.
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