Spiritual Warfare is Real

I must confess: I am a skeptic when it comes to the unseen world and spiritual warfare. I have doubts and cynicism when I hear about about miracles or dreams. Don’t get me wrong: I know the spiritual battle is real. Scripture talks about it, and I have heard amazing experiences from people I know and trust. But my life experiences and “American-Christian Brain” cause me to still find it hard to wrap my mind around.

Lately, I have been walking through Steps to Freedom with the ladies in my discipleship group, and I am experiencing first-hand spiritual battles. Many of these  ladies have been in bondage to family history that includes cultural ceremonies, rituals to spirits, witchcraft, ancestral prayers, curses, etc. Many of them have battled culturally accepted rape, incest, and fornication. And several of them have built their identities on lies and have been trapped by fear. So as we go through these steps, my friends are renouncing evil and pronouncing God’s goodness; they are claiming His Truth.

And while this may seem exciting, simple, or harmless, there is serious spiritual warfare going on, which means protection is needed against evil spirits, curses, and retaliations for renouncing these evils.

In Matthew 12:43-45 (and Luke 11:24-26) Jesus talks about how when an evil spirit leaves someone, they look for some new place to make home. Our family (and even workers) experienced nightmares and restless sleep the night after I hosted my first Steps to Freedom meeting at our home. For real! Because I was naive, I didn’t even think to pray God’s protection against any retaliation that could happened from the process of freedom for my friend. So the next day, I began to understand the reality of this battle and my family prayed over our whole home and compound.

So I’ve learned some lessons: 1) Make sure my friends pray and continue to fill their hearts with the Holy Spirit so that they remain in Christ-centered spiritual freedom and that no spirits return to find “empty houses.” 2) Pray for God’s protection against any retaliations on our family, or anyone else, during this process. 3) While it is foreign to my previous life experiences and may seem “out there,” spiritual warfare is REAL.  4) I have peace because my God defeats ALL evil and I have not been given a spirit of fear.

So please join me in prayer as we continue this journey to freedom in Jesus Christ!

Adalyn Turns 7!!!

Happy Birthday Adalyn! It’s hard to believe this is her fourth birthday celebrated in Uganda. She has lived here longer than she lived in America. It has been a blessing to watch her grow and mature. She loves learning and playing, and we have enjoyed watching her thrive in school, with her friends, and in our community. As another year has passed, here is another round of questions to see where she is this year… Continue reading

Death Sucks

This post is a bit delayed because it took me several attempts to get my thoughts written down, and it still doesn’t capture the full expression of my feelings…

But, death sucks! I think we can all equally say we hate it. Even when we can celebrate the long life a person lived or know that person is going to be in heaven, it still sucks for those of us who are still here on earth.

What do you do to get through it? What do you do to mourn? How do you move forward? Continue reading

Life Goes On

One of the hardest things about living overseas is the amount of family and friend fun stuff we miss. Graduations, weddings, birthday celebrations, new babies, vacations, parties, and so much more. We know we can’t complain because we chose this life and we don’t regret our decision. But that doesn’t make it any easier when it feels like the world is moving on without us. And of course the world is moving on.  And so are we. Continue reading

Word for the Year

So I’m not fully sold on the concept of having only one word for the year, as I feel like God moves so much in a year and I don’t want to be constrained to one word. But I like the concept of focusing on something God may teaching me rather than feel scattered by all the possibilities.

As I woke up early one morning (not by choice), I was reading my daily devotional and the word that came to mind for me at this time is “FOLLOW”. In the past, I have followed God in choosing a university, I have followed God along with my husband in youth ministry, I have followed God to Uganda. But the “FOLLOW” I am challenged about is Matthew 16:24-25: Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Continue reading

Hospitality is a Gift

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:34-40

True hospitality, true service, true love…whatever you want to call it. I have enjoyed getting to know my Ugandan friends and how they view hospitality. Some Ugandans are beautiful examples of hosting others in their homes and they see the true meaning of treating people as if Jesus himself is visiting them. The “could be entertaining angels” is a very real perspective here. The true feeling of hospitality is when we don’t groan at daily interruptions of visitors, when we are willing to help someone in need, and when we open our homes and our lives to other people. Continue reading

Living in a Judgemental World

I have read a few books over the last months that have really challenged me in how I love people. “You and Me Forever” by Francis Chan was more about my relationship with the Lord and serving His people than it was about marriage. And “Tattoos on the Heart” by Greg Boyle with Homeboy Industries is a beautiful testimony of how people need Jesus but they won’t know Him without finding love first.

We all battle judgement, both in feeling judged and in judging others. I’m not sure anyone can go anywhere without knowing judgement. And judgement is equal opportunity – singles, couples, poor, rich, men, women, moms, dads, kids, outcasts, celebrities…the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, it’s part of our flawed human nature. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept it or let it handicap us. Continue reading