Do You Have a Rain Cloud Following You?

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Have you ever looked at your life/past or your family’s life and thought… When is this going to change?  This dark rain cloud is never going to leave me alone! I’m never going to get out of this mess or this cycle of dysfunction!  It can be exhausting and leave you feeling helpless.  Feeling helpless is the opposite of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

What sin patterns do you see in your family? Don’t know what I’m talking about?  What personality traits “run” in your family? Anger, fear, anxiety, insecurity, depression, entitlement, pride, racism, poverty, alcoholism, laziness, divorce?…..pick your poison!

What does it look like for you? We all have junk due to our families and our own poor choices that creep into our lives. They can leave us feeling hopeless with no way out!

In Matthew 1: 12-16, we learn about the genealogy of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.  In that long list of genealogy ( that most of us skip over) we read the name Jeconiah….that guy was legit cursed!  Like LEGIT. CURSED.  Through Jeremiah, we learn that God said none his offspring would prosper, no one would sit on the throne of David because Jeconiah was such an evil king!!! (Jer 22:30)

But that didn’t stop God from using Joseph in HUGE WAYS! God put Joseph in charge of raising HIS son, our savior, Jesus Christ! He made a way around the curse! He is God! He can always make a way!

Anytime words like stuck, no way out, like this forever, never change, or doomed  enter your thoughts, you can bet it’s Satan whispering lies to you.

Once you are in the family of God, your junk from your past or your family’s past has no power over you. It is true that Satan will try to use the sins of your past against you to jack with your mind and mess with your life.

God made a way through Jesus so that hope is never lost! God can overcome our past mistakes by the power of the cross!

Let’s say you looked at the list above and saw some sin patterns in your family and you want NO PART OF THEM!  Or maybe you didn’t, but some other situations came to mind.

Below is a prayer to break the power of these patterns in your life.  This might sound a little cookey, but I’ve prayed this with people over and over and over and it’s nuts what God ends up doing!!

Honestly…it’ super fun for me for me write this because I know freedom is on the rise.

I’m excited for anyone who continues forward and prays these powerful, sin pattern breaking prayers.

God’s blessing is replaced when we use the power of the cross to cancel the consequences of sin. Tweet that

That’s redemption!

Pray God shows you what steps of obedience should follow. You need to know the word of God (Bible)in order to grow in your faith.  You need the community of believers (church) to encourage you! These are important habits that allow us to continue to walk in freedom in Christ Jesus.

Surrender to God the junk in your hearts and lives so you may live in freedom from the effects of sin. Tweet that

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Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Amen. To. That!

My prayer is that God reveals to you areas where he wants to begin to heal and restore. There is freedom in Christ! Those words aren’t just a cheesy saying believers in Christ use to sound extra faithful.

They are said by people who have seen God do amazing things in their lives and the lives of their loved ones.  I pray one day you say those words and mean it too!

Click here to download your printable, Pattern Breaking Prayer!

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for Jesus and the cross. I praise you for making a way where we don’t have to live in a cycle of sin and dysfunction.  Jesus, show us what we need to surrender to you in Jesus name.  Help us to be obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and have mercy on us as we continue to seek you.  I pray that every eye that reads this comes to know the saving grace only found in Christ. Father God, reveal your love to your people.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

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How to Move Mountains in Prayer: 7 Days of Scary Prayers

how-to-2Have you ever prayed scary prayers?  They are the kind of prayers that are so big and bold and outside the normal prayers we pray before bedtime. Only God has the power to answer scary prayers. Have you ever seen God answer any scary prayers? I have.

Nothing has increased my faith in God like prayer.  It’s what keeps me praying and worshiping even when some prayers don’t get answered and the healings don’t come.  I’ll talk about prayer, teach about it, write about it, try to get you to start doing it all. day. long. if you’ll let me!

Jesus says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) That. sounds. crazy. Jesus! What Jesus is really inviting us to is a deeper faith.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray saying Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Then, He teaches us to pray/ask for three things:

1.Provision-Daily Bread

2. Personal Relationships- Forgive us as we Forgive others

3. Against Sin and Evil- Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil

When we pray on Earth as it is Heaven, we are praying and trusting God to provide for our physical, relational, and spiritual needs.

We are praying for the perfect provision in Heaven to unleash into our lives on Earth. (This stuff gets me super jacked in Jesus name… btw.)

But sometimes there are mountains in the way!!!  Some mountains we create on our own. Others are simply there because life. is. hard!! We live in a world full of trouble, strife, and hardship. And we DO have an enemy who hates us and will do anything to get in the way of us seeing God.

What does Jesus tell us to do with mountains BY FAITH??? He says… Tell them to move! That’s a scary prayer.

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In the physical world mountains are HUGE!  My dad lives in Montana. We would drive all around mountains on the way to our campsite… our destination.  It would take a while!

Jesus is always speaking directly to issues of our hearts and souls… the things that last.

In the spiritual world, in your Christian walk (heart)… what mountains are in the way of you seeing Heaven or experiencing and seeing God? What mountains are in the way of your spiritual growth?  Jesus tells us to move the mountains… not drive around them.

The Challenge

Will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers? For 7 days, let’s pray for mountains to move and Heaven to invade those places with His glory.

I love love love Matthew 16: 15-19- And on this rock I will  build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.

Let’s intentionally loose Heaven on Earth in Jesus name for  7 days. Tweet That

What do your mountains look like?  Are they financial? Relational? Physical? Do you need healing? We will pray through the Lord’s Prayer for 7 days.  Over these 7 days, I will send a prayer every day to your email that teaches you how to pray for a specific mountain to move.

I won’t be able to cover every mountain in 7 days, but it’s my hope that these 7 days serve as a jump start to a faith building prayer life!

Some of you reading this have had some really jacked up things happen to you and you don’t even know if you have a mustard size faith. If that is you, then borrow some of my faith and sign up anyway.  I have enough faith and hope to carry you. Yes. You. I pray for every eye that reads any word I write or say.

We can have perfect peace and provision this side of Earth.  We can have contentment in Jesus name.  It might not look like what you thought it would, but God’s promises remain true.

So what do you say? Will you join me? Starting Monday, January, 16th, will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers?  Will you join me as we seek God and tell mountains to move in Jesus name? I pray you say yes!

Click here for your Printable 7 Days of Moving Mountain Prayers!

You can find my Youtube teaching videos here to go along with them!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNIVIjoxuhUTximNwgd61sA

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for showing us how to pray. Thank you for Jesus. Father, help us to keep your words in our minds and hearts as we seek you! Give us the strength to trust you once again..or maybe for the first time. Jesus let us feel your presence and encourage us as we seek to move the mountains in our lives and the lives of our loved ones in Jesus name. Father, we can do none of this without you. You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

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#FiveMinuteFriday: Connect

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I don’t always want to connect. I mean I do, but sometimes I don’t want to put in the effort it takes to connect. Sometimes, I want to be a lazy friend, a lazy wife, a lazy mom, a lazy church lady.

Connections. Take. Effort.

With my family, friends, God, bloggers, social media. ect….it’s takes time to connect. However big or small the connection may be still requires some sort of effort.

But that’s not how God has called me to live. He hasn’t called me to not put in any effort.  God’s people are worth it.  God’s church is worth it.  My friends are worth it.  I am worth it.

Connections are what build relationships. Connections are what make people realize we aren’t alone.

Connections are what remind us God is extremely relational. Tweet That

When we fail to connect…we disconnect.

That is a dangerous place to be.  That leads to isolation and idle thinking with yourself.  You know, that whole devil’s playground mess.  I don’t know about you, but my mind can go to crazy places!

I need connections with God, family, friends, and social media (Yes, social media…I’m a huge fan) to remind me the world is bigger than me.

Take the time and put in the effort to connect this weekend! Actually get up and go to church, call a friend, have dinner with a family member.  You and the people around you are worth it!

Hebrews 10:25-Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and allowing us a way to always connect with you! You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Where do I stand?

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This is the most fun show! Prepping with the amazing Tanaya is always a blast! Lots of laughs…lots of Jesus. Tune in as we answer the questions, what did Jesus really mean when He said He didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets? Why did He start talking about this after saying we are salt and light and before murder? Who are the least and greatest in God’s kingdom?

It’s waayyyy more than you think! Set your alarms for 9:48 a.m. EST as we take a deeper look into the section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount! Grab your Bibles and journals and go to www.visionradio105.com See you then! (It will replay at 9 pm)

Here are the verses we will be covering. Read up!

Matthew 5:17-18

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished

Romans 3:31

31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

 Romans 10:4

Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Also Matthew 21-26

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for your word and for Jesus.  God I pray you prepare our hearts and minds to as we seek to know you a little more. Bless this time Father and may it glorify you and your name.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Why is Vanity Still a Problem? Ugh

why-is-vanity-still-a-problem-ugh I mean….why is vanity still a problem in my life? At 34, I would hope that I love myself enough and feel accepted enough by Jesus to not be concerned with vanity!?!?

I didn’t even know how vain I still was until I got the radio show six months ago.  My first thoughts were, I have to lose 10 lbs and bleach my teeth!

IT’S A RADIO SHOW for Pete’s sake!  And insta has awesome filters to take away any evidence of my unhealthy relationship with black coffee and I praise Jesus during consumption.

So why is vanity still an issue? We can blame social media, sure…but I’m tired of blaming social media for everything.

The truth is simple.

Vanity is an awesome distraction from the call on your life in Christ Jesus. Tweet That! 

You might be thinking that’s a stretch, but I disagree completely. Once you know who you are in Christ…it’s a fight to remember.  Satan will use vanity to keep our minds fixed on things that don’t matter.

I’ve had so many moments where I have tasted and seen God’s goodness. I know I am loved by God. I know I am accepted by Him and He is greatly pleased with me!

But I can easily fall into the trap of seeking acceptance from the ladies of the world. Vanity is a total distraction for those who have given Jesus their yes. I’m not saying we should all wear jean skirts and no make up- no offense if this if you….I also acknowledge this sounds offensive. But sooo much thinking on our appearance is a total waste of our time, talents, and calling as believers!

Think about it.  Let’s say you are getting ready for church.  We’ll keep our location holy. What do I wear? Ugh..I still can’t fit into those. Why did I have so many dang kids.  It’s their fault. I should really stick to a work out program. Have you seen what her name’s videos?? Girl. Is. ripped! I’ll just wear this. This outfit screams I used to be a teacher…

Now for make-up.

Geeze..I’m sooo pale. I need to do a sunless tanner but I’m still really bad at that…Thank you Jesus for Cover Girl. And eye liner…I’d die without eyeliner. I do still need to get that expensive mascara…this cheap mess sucks.

I’ll stop there. This self dialogue could go on and on and on. Think about how jacked up that two minute conversation in my head was! It covered me thinking badly about my weight, anger at my kids for making me fat, wishing I was more motivated and feeling like a failure, comparison to hot mama (who really is awesome) and then back to low self view of appearance, finishing with  discontent in what I actually have!!

And I’m actually a pretty confident person! I can’t imagine was super insecure people go through!

Maybe it’s just me…but I seriously doubt it.

This isn’t going to be your “love yourself” post, but it might just be time we realize how distracting vanity really is. I could have been praying or something before I went to church….isn’t that what holy people do?

Remember, Satan hates us! He doesn’t want us to remember how accepted and loved we are by our God who made us. People who know God and love themselves are dangerous in the Kingdom of Heaven. They live a focused life with of purpose.

Vanity messes with that.

So take a deep breath the next time you leave the house.  Slap on some of the cheap stuff and leave the house remembering everyone is usually in a hurry and doesn’t notice what you look like anyway.

But for real… Vanity is just that….vanity.  It has no root. It’s a surface picture. I have to remind myself this! The radio show is about me getting to talk to the world about how awesome a life following Jesus can be! I should be praising him…not worried about bleaching my teeth and outfits. That’s ridiculous..and a huge distraction from what I am actually called to do.

Serve, study, plan, teach, love, worship, and encourage.

We are called to do great things; big and small for God. Let’s take away any distractions we can in 2017! Tweet That

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and the cross. Father, I thank you for telling us we are the apple of your eye. I praise you that because of Jesus, you simply see us as your daughters who you greatly delight in! Help us Father to keep our eyes focused on you and what you have called us to do.  Forgive us for the times we fall under the influence of vanity. Help show us the areas in our lives where vanity is robbing us of real joy rooted in grace. Thank you Jesus. You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

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Salt Yo Self!

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What did Jesus really mean when He called his disciples Salt and Light? What did His original audience really hear when Jesus spoke these words to them?  It’s more than you think;)  What do His words mean for us today? Tune in to find out!

Set your alarms for 9:58 a.m. as we dive into the next part of the Sermon on the Mount. Grab your Bibles and note pads and click on visionradio105.com See you then!

Here are the verses we will be covering! Check them out before we begin. Don’t forget to pray first.

Matthew 5: 13-14:

You are the salt of the Earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled on by men.

Leviticus 2: 13

Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to ALL your offerings.

Numbers 18:19

Whatever is set aside from the holy offering the Israelite present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share . It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.

Mark 9:50

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt with IN yourself, and be at peace with each other.

Matthew 5:14-16

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven. 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your word and for allowing us fellowship with you through Jesus Christ.  I pray that every eye that reads this comes to be more in awe of you. Prepare our hearts and minds as we approach your word.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Do You Fear Disobeying God?

 

I'm no longer afraid of my sin...find out why.

Do you fear disobeying God?

I have…it’s the worst. Those situations usually leave me analyzing every decision I make. Is this what God wants me to do? Will this choice please him?  I want to “grow “ in the Lord, if I fail this test, will I miss what God wants for me? Yes…I’ve actually thought/felt all these things. Talk about a stressed out Christian who is lacking joy and peace.

The problem with this thinking is you walk through life with the emphasis on you and your righteousness instead of God’s response to our entire life…Jesus Christ and his righteousness.

I had a wrong view of God. I was so afraid every time a trial entered my life that it was some sort of test from God….and I was afraid of not responding correctly.

Then I started actually studying the Bible and learning who the God of the Bible is.

I also lived a little longer and realized adulthood is full of stresses and although God is right there with us…He isn’t presenting us with a test every time the waves of life come crashing.

If God tests us then there is a possibility we can fail God.  We can’t fail God. He is GOD! We can’t “let God down” because we aren’t holding Him up in the first place.  He is GOD! And even if He did test us…Jesus passed each and every test for us. That’s why we sing Amazing Grace so loudly!

Breathe in that freedom ladies.  Ahhhh

So no. God doesn’t test us, but don’t confuse a test with obedience. Obedience and disobedience are very different than passing/failing a test. Obedience is important and Christians should always seek holiness. Most people know when they are disobeying God.

Life’s stresses reveal things in our lives that don’t reflect the heart of God. Yes, James 1:3 reads, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. This is speaking to trials and suffering, but in a way that strengthens our faith!

This is where fear of failing a “test” can really keep us from experiencing God’s goodness. When I respond with fear, anxiety, or panic, I’m responding out of an unhealthy fear of God instead of resting in the love God has for me.

If I know God is showing me an area in my life/sin where He wants to grow me, I still always panic a little at first.  I still find myself expecting this huge dramatic event to “break me” down.

Don’t make the sin in your life a bigger deal than the Christ in your life who took away your sins. Tweet That

We must remind ourselves of the kindness and gentleness of Christ. I am His daughter.  He loves me so much and knows my heart. If God has something in our life/sin He wants to change or that needs “pruning” He is GENTLE in how He reveals it to His daughters.  Some people need a big wakeup call from God.

From my experience, those people “bracing for impact” are the ones God is MOST gentle with!

When Christ gently reveals sin in my life, it’s easy to confess and walk in repentance.  If you are stuck in fear of failure, you are afraid of God’s rebuke when He is trying to grow you in Him.

Isaiah 42: 3-4 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

This describes our Savior.  We are the bruised reeds in our sin.  He is so gentle with us that He won’t break his bruised children.  He stays with us, strengthens us, and purifies our hearts.

We are the smoking wicks.  Sometimes our light or flame isn’t as bright as it once was.  Life or sin happens and it seems like we have lost our fire.  Jesus doesn’t snuff us out!  Jesus waits with us until the oil (Holy Spirit) does His work and our wicks are able to light the fire again.

Now I’ve learned how to swim in grace and it’s much easier to deal with the areas of sin in my life.  I’m not afraid of my sin anymore because Jesus isn’t afraid of my sin. He tells me gently through His word or prayer and I gladly repent!

Repentance and confession are really important parts of spiritual growth.  Sin is a big deal and we should feel the weight of it at some point in our lives, but we can’t let the fear of our sin or the fear disappointing God keep us from resting in grace.

Still struggle with feeling tested by God? Let the words of my new favorite scripture wash over you.

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

and-what-does-the-lord-require-of-you-to-act-justly-and-to-love-mercy-and-to-walk-humbly-with-your-god-mich

You are His daughter.  If there is something in your life where God wants you to grow, He will reveal it…. gently.  He is a good good Father and you are loved by him.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus. Help us to remember that he paid it all on the cross.  Help us to learn what grace means.  Continue to teach us who you are so we don’t walk through life afraid that we are failing you. Help us to remember that because Jesus passed all the tests, we don’t have to be afraid when we fail.  Continue to grow us in your ways. I pray that every eye who reads this is overwhelmed by your goodness.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

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Y’all…It’s Radio Day!

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Can you believe someone gave me a microphone and asked me to talk about Jesus?? It’s amazing!! Tomorrow at 10:00 in the morning is the first episode of the Friends with God radio show on Vision Radio 105.1 FM!  I could’t be more excited. The radio station is part of a network that will play the show nationally!! EEK! I will be reining in this southern accent;)

Join me each Thursday morning at 10:00.  Know that prepping for the show is a precious time between me and the Lord and I pray that all are blessed as they get to know their Father in Heaven who loves them perfectly.

Go to visionradio105.com and thanks for your support! I pray at the end of each show you feel more secure in God’s love you!

xoxo-

Lauren

 

 

Kill Christian Comparison

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Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and for Him being the perfect sacrifice. Thank you for the cross and for seasons of life.  Father I pray that every eye who reads this comes to know your saving grace and goodness.  God, I pray you help us to feel so loved by you that we don’t look to the right or to the left,  but that we keep our fixed on your perfect, personal love for us.  Help us to trust you and seek you daily.

In Jesus name,
Amen