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!

Humbly Serving

I think that all of us struggle with pride and humility. Or at least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself to feel better about it. But I feel the inner pull, the tension to seek after my own benefits and well-being before others. I struggle with it in my family, relationships, ministry, and pretty much everywhere. On most days, I submit to God and “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4). But I confess…I struggle with pride. 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

Women’s Discipleship Update

If I am honest with you, this new year of women’s discipleship has been challenging to me in all aspects: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In January, we celebrated meeting for a year. And while I didn’t verbalize my expectation, deep-down I was anticipating way more spiritual growth and eagerness to be transformed by Jesus than had actually happened.  After a couple meetings in the new year, I was discouraged and frustrated. Continue reading

Daring to Dream for 2019

This is our BIG prayer for 2019!!!

Every year we look back on what we have been a part of and reflect on what God has done (and is doing). We also begin to dream and plan for what the new year will bring, praying that God will continue to exceed our plans and goals with what He will do. After reflecting on what God did in 2018 through NTCC-Mbale (see post HERE), we are now daring to dream about what God might do in 2019: Continue reading

A Rare American Christmas!

We were so blessed to spend Christmas this year in the States. We were able to visit supporters, churches, friends, and family at an incredibly fun time of the year. Plus, we were able to remember COLD! (Gina and Adalyn were less excited about it than I was.) Having spent the past two Christmas’ in Uganda and away from family (for the most part), we truly appreciate the joy of sitting at the same table, sharing the same meal, watching kids open presents, and simply being together.

Continue reading