My Voice

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

I’m literally wiping away tears writing this. As a nation, the places that were labeled as “non-essential” now are beginning to open. I literally hated how the word “essential” and “non-essential” acquired new meanings this year. Every single person, every single role is essential in the framework of our lives on earth. I understand why many places were closed nation wide for a designated time, God was able to grab our hearts and show us how to live- He used what the enemy meant for destruction to be a blessing in our lives, so I’m not talking about that. What I hated was how there were people who called themselves “essential” over others who were called “non -essential”. I hate how the world operates in darkness and we as the people follow so easily what others start saying and even doing.

As believers, we say what God says. Period. After all, what does the word believer mean anyway? I believe in Jesus, the son of God, who was the word of God and became flesh for us. The word of God manifesting! So if I am a believer, I believe what God says over what the world says. What does God say about church?

Did you know that there is a motion to keep churches closed across the world? And in this very nation that was built under God? Why? Are their leaders who have labeled churches as non-essential? Is there talk about keeping churches SILENT- keeping churches from being able to sing praises to God in the house of God? Yes… that is happening right now.

If you are a believer, where do you stand on this? Does God say anywhere in the Bible to fear sickness and disease or to be your own protector or to avoid going to church or to not sing Him praise?

So then, why are believers across the world finding themselves saying “oh, I don’t need to go to church. I know God” and “I’m going to keep my church safe by not coming because I don’t want to cause anyone harm in case I have been exposed to disease” and “I don’t mind going to church without having praise and worship time”.

This! This is what has literally brought me to tears! The church! The very church JESUS SACRAFICED His life for saying this! If you have said or thought these things, don’t take offense, instead ask why you are offended? Ask God if you are following His word or if you are being fooled out of your shepherd’s care.

I get it, fear is a spirit that is trying to run rampant in this world. Fear has always been the most powerful tool for the Enemy. Why? Because Faith is the most powerful tool for God’s children to overcome the enemy.

Faith is the CONFIDENCE that what we hope for will actually happen; faith assures us of things we EXPECT and CONVINCES us of the existence of things we cannot yet see.

Fear is also confidence, expecting, and being convinced of things. So fear really could be considered faith. but fear is faith in the world or the god of this world, our enemy and the things that scare us because “it could happen”.

God instructed us “do not fear” and “take heart “over 300 times in the Bible. I saw where some translations have shown 365 times in fact. That means God gave us a verse to overcome fear for each day of the year! Even if 365 times is not agreed upon by the whole church- God made it clear for us, his people, to not be overcome with fear and to find His strength in our heart where He occupies, rules, and reigns.

When you find yourself thinking or saying “I don’t need church”. Can you stop for a moment and think about the deception behind this? Now, I know that the church is people and not a building, but I also know that God instructed us to have a place where we the people gather together in a holy place- where more power is made available! God created people to have connections and those connections are strengthened when together. Same goes for the cells and organs in our own physical bodies!

What about the deceptive reason of I’m not going to go to church because I will protect others…. Can I be real honest here, are you God? Does God need your help taking care of his children? Did you become the good shepherd? Then, let’s not exalt ourselves higher than we are. We were created in God’s image, yes. We have been given the power of God’s holy spirit and the wisdom of God, yes. But we are not God. We find all that we need in God. He is our source. We obey Him alone.

Jesus recognized the enemy in Matthew 16:23, “Get away from me satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s!” . This was not long after Jesus had said “..Upon this rock I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH and all the powers of hell WILL NOT CONQUER IT. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden from Heaven. Whatever you allow on earth will be allowed from Heaven.

Jesus went on to say “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish thoughts, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it, but if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Matthew 16:24-25.

And if I were to say “I don’t need to go to church”,
1) I would be fooled because a sheep separated from it’s pack is more likely to be devoured, right. 1 Peter 5:1-9, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God [don’t be self sufficient], for He cares for you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”

2) I would be causing others to stumble. I could cause another believer or even non-believer to believe they don’t need church either. The enemy is sneaky like that. My husband and I both have said we can tell that our lives grow dim if we have missed a couple of church services in a row. Yes, we go to church every time they are open… why? Because we KNOW CHURCH IS ESSENTIAL to our life!

CHURCH IS ESSENTIAL. Why would we even consider the idea that it’s not if we call ourselves the sons and daughters of God? Recognize the enemy sneaking into our lives to steal the only thing that can stop him! The church! The body of Christ!

Jesus said in John 10, “I tell you the truth anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold rather than going through the gate must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize His voice and come to Him. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. After He has gathered His own flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His voice [do you still recognize the voice of your Lord?] I tell you the truth I am the gate for the sheep…Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go FREELY and will find GOOD PASTURES. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. MY PURPOSE IS TO GIVE THEM A LIFE OF ABUNDANCE.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he is not their shepherd. And so the wolf ATTACKS the sheep and SCATTERS the flock. [this is what is trying to happen] The hired hand runs away because he is working for himself and doesn’t truly care about flock of sheep.
I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold YET. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be ONE FLOCK with ONE SHEPHERD
.” [our purpose is know God and make Him known]

What is the world pushing and underhandedly stealing from us? Church… Praise and Worship… the ability to lay hands on the sick to see them recover… the ability to gather together to make tremendous power available on site! Now again, yes, I know we are the church in our homes right now [praise to God, He is reaching millions across the world], I know we can praise and worship in our homes, I know we can lay hands on the sick if they allow us to come over wearing a mask and gloves, I know in the spirit we are all connected in our prayers even if we aren’t physically together. But who is the god of this world? The devil is, but through Jesus, we overcome the world while living in this world.

BUT God says, “LET US NOT NEGLECT OUR MEETING TOGETHER, as some people do, but let us encourage one another, ESPECIALLY NOW that the day of His return is drawing near.” in Hebrews 10:25. And in verses just before this starting in vs 21, He says, “And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him… Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for GOD CAN BE TRUSTED TO KEEP HIS PROMISE. Let us think of ways to motivate and stir up one another, to spur onward to the acts of love and good works (which is the kingdom of God).”

We see that we are to help each other all throughout scripture! We saw that there are still sheep that Jesus is leading to His sheepfold! So if church is not considered essential, and chruch cannot open and be hindered by not allowing praise and worship, are we not becoming a stumbling block to those who God is leading to an open church– to experience the glory of God on a greater level than they might find at home by themselves?

Matthew 18:6-7 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. What sorrow awaits the world because it tempts people to sin.

I know I do not want to hinder others from getting to experience the glory of God! God gave us the ability in this nation-the United States of America built on the foundation under God- to come together and worship our God. If we say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord all the days of our life”, do our actions reflect that declaration? Are we raising our kids to be in fear and silenced, not knowing that we are the church for heaven’s sake! We are the lion that crushes the heads of serpents.

God chose David, the son labeled the least of his brothers. To me that sounds a lot like the church right now, we are labeled as non-essential/ the least of organizations in comparison to businesses, stores, etc across the very world God himself created for HIS KINGDOM! God saw David’s heart and God knows the heart of His church, because He himself is at the center! Thank God, Jesus Christ is the head over this body and that we find redemption and provision in Him. David praised God his whole life, even when everyone said he shouldn’t.

Psalm 34: 1-11, “I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless TAKE HEART. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name TOGETHER.
I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He FREED ME FROM ALL MY FEARS. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with JOY; NO SHADOW OF SHAME will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard, He surrounds and defends all who remain in awe of Him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him! Fear the Lord, you His godly people, for those who fear Him WILL HAVE ALL THEY NEED.
Even strong, young lions sometimes go hungry, but THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD WILL LACK NO GOOD THING.
Come to me, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to honor the Lord….

Why would we allow our God given voices that carry the authority, the power, and the glory of God to be hindered? Light flood the eyes that aren’t open so that they can see what is slowly and underhandedly going on across this earth!

Isaiah 51:7-1 “A Call to Trust the Lord. Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults. For the moth will devour them as it devours clothing. The worm will eat at them as it eats wool. But my righteousness will last forever. My salvation will continue from generation to generation….Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem SINGING , crowned with everlasting joy…I, yes, I am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your creator, the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. Will you remain in constant dread?…For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea, causing it’s waves to roar. My name is he Lord of Heaven’s armies. And I have put my words in your mouth [to speak] and hidden you safely in my hand. I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. I am the one who says to Israel, ‘You are my people. Wake up!.”

What do you choose today? Do you choose to silence yourself because of what the world says? Or Do you raise your voice to praise God like all of creation does? Creation has no choice but yet the sun, the sky, stars, the birds of the air, the animals of the land and see, the mountains and the valleys, the trees, even every every rock sings praise to God whether you realize it or not. Are we going to allow the enemy to silence the power God gave us: the choice of our voice?

photo shared from google images

Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Sending my love, Sara

Simply Bloom

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

Going into this year, I heard the word “abundance”. As this year started, I’ve battled with not understanding this new season, it’s unfamilar and honestly I feel unproductive. I’m not really doing as much, yet there is alot going on on the inside of me. I have struggled with confidence, strength, joy, obedience, peace, among the rest of the fruits of the Spirit.

I find myself looking back at times, but I don’t give up and I choose to keep going forward, knowing I have to walk this season out to the promise, and each day trying again. I’ve watched God reveal to me issues that I didn’t even know were hiding/ pushed down in me. I have not enjoyed facing them because I haven’t struggled with them in many years.

The Lord has been trying to refine me- which is something I’ve prayed for! It sounds beautiful and our spirit yearns for what He desires for us, but refining isn’t comfortable to our flesh. We arent in control- that’s tough for a control freak like I have been.

Refining in the fire of His glory actually BRINGS OUT the impurities that we have allowed inside of us to the surface so that they can be removed. Impurities that became mixed into who we were created to be, that were making our lives dull instead of clear and bright, now separated because we have become sanctified!

Through salvation our Father (our Care taker- our Gardener- our Craftsman) RESTORES us..to..our..purpose!

God REDEEMS our very design, the masterpiece He created us to be.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done; therefore, none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:9-10

Salvation is not a one stop moment like so many of us were taught. Salvation is a continuous lifestyle of bringing the kingdom of Heaven on the earth. Salvation comes from the greek word sozo, which means “to save, to keep safe, to rescue from danger and destruction, to save one from disease, to make well, to heal, to restore, to redeem, to deliver from the penalties of sin”. TO FLOURISH, crowned in His Glory!

Recently, I heard the Lord say that I am in a season of pruning. This morning’s message was absolutely on time and so,so good for me!! I am so thankful God positioned me and my family in this body we call our home church!

Pruning isn’t cutting back because you aren’t good enough. Pruning comes after you HAVE BEEN fruitful! Pruning is to trim back a flourishing tree from being overcrowded, unable to be all that it was designed to be! Pruning is so that we don’t start clinging to the ground or to weeds or to anything else that would change our direction of growth.

Like tendrils on a plant reaching for any support it can find. Our support needs to be in Christ alone, not seeking strength from anything else. We flourish in God’s strength.

Screenshot from today’s online message at Beyond Church

Pruning allows more light in where the sun would have been blocked by too much foliage from past seasons of growth. No sun means stagnation and rot.

Pruning helps eliminate the reaching and clinging to things that can entangle us (self desires/ distractions). Pruning sets us back up to flourish so that we can keep growing toward our purpose by remaining in our place—which is IN HIM!

Uky.edu

I will recall His faithfulness and share my testimonies, but I will look ahead to the new growth no matter how different it looks. I don’t need to compare myself in other seasons or to others. One of my favorite quotes is:

A flower does not think of comparing with others, it simply blooms.

We simply bloom, we allow God and His word to plant us, grow us, fertilize us, prune us, and bear fruit. We intentionally seek Him and humbly follow Him, but we don’t strive to be the promise He has shown us we will be!

-Pastor Nate Schlegel, Beyond Church

I will choose daily to participate with God in the season He says I am in. He knows best because He knows me best-I am His masterpiece! A masterpiece could be described as a unique, one of a kind, beautiful design that took a lot of time, detail, and refining.

Think of an artwork masterpiece. Think of a written masterpiece. Think of a musical masterpiece- there are many elements to that one song that makes it truly extraordinary. The structure includes intro, verses, pre-chorus, chorus, and bridge. The composition of dynamics, the melody, and the rhythm all working together at the right time is what makes it a masterpiece. And a lot of times a masterpiece is NOT seen or recognized as the masterpiece it is until it is complete.

God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is made FULL and COMPLETE by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself. – Ephesians 1:22-23

When I was studying the word masterpiece, one person wrote “you have to know your purpose when you’re creating a masterpiece”. God knows the purpose for which He created you for, so follow him and trust Him. Remember what Paul said in Ephesians 2:10,

For we are God’s masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the GOOD THINGS He planned for us long ago.

The Spruce

Sending my love, Sara

A Culture Revolution

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. 2 Corinthians 5:17

This year, the Lord has been showing me things that I didn’t know were inside of me. I didn’t know they were a part of me, but He did. He sees what we can’t or what we have refused to see. I’ve been seeking the Lord on why this season has been uncomfortable because I’m not really “doing” anything like I have in other seasons of leadership or fighting for my life, or my marriage, or my family?

I want to be who God has created me to be and I am willing to do what He says to do, but I know there is this balance of working hard but not striving, a resting but not being lazy. I could almost describe this year as a “stand still” in a sense. I know there are seasons of planting, and seasons of growing, seasons of fertilizing, and seasons of harvesting and He has revealed to me that I am in the season of pruning and refining.

God references refining throughout His word, but why? Why does God need to refine us if we are already born again? A lot of times, believers can think “we already have our salvation ticket to Heaven, we just have to hold on until our time comes.” The moment we prayed our salvation prayer, we received Christ’s salvation but there is more to it. Our spirit awakened and we were reborn and in that instant we received the fruitful seed of what salvation fully includes. That seed God gives us will grow just like He promised it would through a life of being transformed. A culture of cultivating the fruit of salvation one day at a time.

We know that God warns us to not copy the culture of the world. The culture of the world is dark, rebellious, diseased, selfish, violent, and unsuccessful. We have to humble ourselves and allow God to transform us through His word. See, His word is a mirror for our lives. Just like when we look into a mirror, we see things we may not have known were there. When we read His word and remain in His presence these things that we didn’t even know were there are exposed.

For me, one thing He has shown me is where there has been a self-made strength. I’ve gone through a lot, each of us have gone through times of hell and high water. The Lord showed me where I slowly started building up a self-made strength because the world hurts, its unfair and cruel and hard. I knew of God, but I didn’t know Him. He would reveal himself to me as I was growing up and I slowly allowed Him in, but I still had my “so-called strength to lean back on in case I needed it”. This year He showed me it’s time to dig out that corruptible foundation I cling to (unknowingly) as an extra safe guard because He is my rock, my fortress, my safety.

Don’t get me wrong, what I have come through is because of His strength in me. I can’t even begin to take credit for it. His strength and word is part of my foundation, but my foundation needs to be strong at all levels-every square inch. He has shown me the self-made strength parts will crumble eventually, so let’s get them out now before you go into the next season I’m equipping you for.

“By my power I will make my people strong, and by my authority they will go wherever they wish. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Zechariah 10:12

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into trials, for we know they that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love. Romans 5:1-5

A true child of God is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people. Romans 2:29

Last year, the Lord started highlighting the concepts of “culture” and “cultivate” to me. I love how He always starts building on revelations and what’s going to be needed.

Culture can be defined as the attitude and behavior of a group. To culture something means to develop life and to maintain that life in conditions suitable to grow and flourish.

To cultivate can be defined as to prepare the land for harvesting; to develop, improve, grow, and maintain something in it’s culture.

So as believers, when we prayed and received our salvation; remember, we received the necessary seed to develop a life in Christ, right! He gave us the culture (attitude and behavior) of His kingdom through His Holy Spirit and Christ Jesus living inside of us. This is where most of us stop though. We are so thankful for our salvation! But God gave us a seed…. Why?

Photo taken by Joshua Lanzarini

Because God’s desire is to CULTURE AND CULTIVATE that seed for a massive kingdom of Heaven harvesting! God prepared the land and then gave Adam and Eve the instructions.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night”. Genesis 1:1-5

This light that God spoke of when He said, “let there be light” took an entire day! Check out my blog post: 24 hours

https://crowned-with-everlasting-joy.com/2020/05/21/24-hours/

Remember this light was not visible illumination yet, but this light was the CULTURE, the very essence of who God is! God knew the first step was to transfer The SUBSTANCE of HIMSELF (everything good=light) on to earth! Think about this for a second. Out of all the days of creation, day 1 can seem pretty simple at surface level. Why did He dedicate a whole day to just this?

God spent ONE entire day transferring a piece of Heaven onto only a piece of earth. He was cultivating, preparing the land for His people. God was defining the culture of what life on earth should look like. God was not only culturing the earth, He was and still is culturing His children for kingdom life. God developed life and He prepared the conditions to maintain it.

God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over it…” Genesis 1:27-28

 We see that God created male and female for a purpose of undivided unity. We see that God created the human race (variance of color is never mentioned). We see that He said to “be fruitful and multiply over the whole earth” and that He has given them everything that has life, He was instructing them TO MAINTAIN THE CULTURE, TO CULTIVATE THE LIFE HE GAVE AS AN EXAMPLE in Eden upon the WHOLE rest of the Earth! And that He gave them His Power, His Spirit, His Blessing to cultivate His culture of life. A culture revolution. This next scripture was mind-blowing to me,

When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the Lord God had NOT YET sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. Instead springs of water came up from the ground and watered all the land. THEN the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground, He breathed the breath of life (HIS GLORY/HIS SPIRIT) in to the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living (SPIRIT FILLED) person. Genesis 2:4-7

God created the earth and it was flourishing without the help of man by providing an internal source of living water. God couldn’t send an external source of water (rain) yet because His children weren’t there or ready to begin cultivating yet. So many of us struggle when trying to find our purpose in life and it is outlined right here at the beginning of creation in the first 2 chapters of the 1st book of the Bible.

How can we cultivate (develop, improve, grow, flourish, and maintain) the Kingdom life culture in this world?

And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the attitude and behavior (culture) of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think [through renewing your mind on the word of God]. THEN you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good, pleasing, and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

We cultivate this kingdom life by the CONTINUOUS renewal of our minds. Often times that last step, maintenance, is the toughest one. To maintain something is hard to do through all the different seasons we face. Think about it.. To maintain your shape, body..to maintain the healthiness of your garden… To maintain the cleanliness of your home…etc. Here, we are being told to maintain the culture of life itself.

Photo taken by Elizabeth Lies

To maintain life is to enable the state of life to continue at the SAME LEVEL. For something to continue living, there has to be the same level of life support by providing the necessities it needs to survive. Again this “same level” of life is defined in the culture God created that first week of salvation and then through the life of Jesus.

So how do we know if we are maintaining or cultivating this kingdom culture? Just like anything else, through check-ups/examinations and repairing it regularly when something gets out of balance. When are we having these check-ups? What are we doing at these check points? What is the culture of your home? Your church? Your city? Your nation?

Satan knows he does not have the power to overtake God. So what did Satan do- he tried changing the culture God prepared through deceiving Adam and Eve. What did God do in response? He sent us us Jesus for a culture revolution! We no longer had the ability to cultivate and support life at that same level until Jesus cleaned the slate for us! Jesus is the life support! In Jesus, we have everything we need to cultivate God’s culture!

Today is the anniversary of our nation that was won and given to us by God. Our past mistakes don’t matter, but our future decisions do. We are facing a culture revolution. The enemy is working non-stop for his culture to thrive on a greater level than we have seen in our nation, but God is victoriously transforming His people and this nation for an even greater culture revolution.

Our mission is to cultivate, to enrich the culture God set up in the beginning and through the victory of Jesus Christ! We, His church, gets to transform our nation. We get to develop a culture shift and “break up the old ground” of our previous culture, cultivating the ground full of honor, humble humility, unconditional love, peace, unity, and all things defined as “light”. It’s time to say “let there be light”.

Photo taken by Lance Becker

Sending my love, Sara

A Crown for a Crown

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

Yesterday, while I was working on the work that God led me to do with “Crowned with Everlasting Joy”, I was searching in Isaiah for a certain scripture, and I came across this in Isaiah 49: The Lord’s servant commissioned.

“..The Lord said to me, ‘You are my servant and you will bring me glory.’ I replied, ‘but my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.’ The one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring [His people] back to Him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, ‘ You will do more than restore [my people] to me. I will make you a light to the gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

The Lord grabbed my heart and told me to receive this scripture as my own. He knows what my heart has dealt with since the moment He led me to into this new season. As I’ve shared in my writing, I’m not one to usually care about things like what others think about me and the approval of people “to an extent”.

I’m not perfect, but the social acceptance of “likes”, etc hasn’t ever bothered me until I started sharing for a purpose on a “bigger level”. A level that required more humility and obedience to what God says without any care for how others respond or don’t respond.

One of my best friends, who also is my Pastor, encouraged me to just be me. To know that God chose me for the work He gave to me and to be confident in that regardless of anything or anyone else.

See, i found myself measuring my success of carrying what God gave me well based on how many people responded by reading, liking, or commenting about it. Dumb.. i know.. But, in all honesty, I just felt like I needed encouragement from people who are dear to me. Old friends, new friends, best friends, work friends, family, etc.

Like a child learning how to walk- it’s new, it hasn’t been walked out before and encouragement helps the child to keep going even when they fall down. Granted, I’m not a child and i don’t need encouragement to that extent, but this year has been a new season from day 1. Circumstances and “land” that I haven’t been in before.

I found myself looking inward and hurting in this new, uncomfortable and unfamiliar season instead of looking ahead to The One who led me here. To the one who has equipped me for this time! This season! This hour! To the One who has gone before me, preparing the way and who surrounds me on all sides for His divine purpose! Crazy, because I was so excited to begin, but I soon discovered that with each new season of growth, i can’t “wear the same clothes” or “use the same tools” as I did in the previous one. I have to keep going with the foundational truth that He led me here because He chose me for this work regardless of “how important or helpful” others view it and choose to read it or the fact that most of those in my circle choose to not read it. The enemy tries to get us to look at who doesn’t demonstrate value, which in most cases is a lie. God leads us into the truth that our purpose is greater than we can see. Our purpose impacts and helps more people than we know.

The fact is I will continue to write, I will continue to share, I will continue to grow in humility, I will continue to grow in unconditional love, I will continue to resist the spirit of offense, and I will continue to be thankful for each of the relationships that has been gifted to me with no strings attached. Sure, would I love for each one of them to want to read my writing, yes. And not for the purpose of making my name known because that’s not my heart; but instead for Godly conversation starters and revelation expansions with others, for sharing the power of God’s word to be received in their own circumstances, and for releasing the fullness of God’s saving word in their God given connections.

We can’t cultivate kingdom culture alone. We need each other. We need each other’s gifts. We need each other’s connections. We need to be poured into and we need to pour into others. Each of us carry power that others need. Honestly, I’m comfortable doing things alone to an extent, my 35 years of life circumstances have molded me to be more comfortable operating independently (with God) versus dependently on other people (with God).

It’s ironic to me because I love loving on people! I love encouraging people! I thrive on being WITH PEOPLE! But yet… human nature teaches us that people disappoint us, so we live with a wall up to various degrees of thickness.

I remember when our Pastor shared this revelation, “our love for people has to be greater than our expectations for them”. I love how God gives us word not only in season, but also in advance for the next season. A layer of foundation that we need to keep walking toward our purpose and destination. This was one for me!! I’m thankful for those who extend this grace to me too!

So after God highlighted that set of verses in Isaiah 49 and showing me that I am walking in His plans, I saw an incredible post from somebody else that I’ve never met (through someone sharing it)! It referenced a scripture around this current Co-vid-19 pandemic. The post was beautiful and at the very end – almost seemingly less important there it was… she referenced how “corona” means “crown” in one of it’s definitions. Light bulb went off in me! Wow! A crown!

God directed me to write for the purpose of spreading His word and cultivating a kingdom culture, right. God gave me the title for this cultivating tool (this blog): “Crowned with Everlasting Joy”, which as yall know from my homepage is founded from Isaiah 35! This is the scripture that God gave me to prophecy in the last season and to expect in THIS season! And then the subtitle to this blog found on every post is “A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9”, right! God guided me to use this because it references God given wisdom! We know that God said in His word that “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (they don’t know me)” Hosea 4:6.

So… Is anybody else seeing the correlation or what God was showing me?! The world who does not know God, says there is this deadly weapon that is known as the coronavirus= a “crown of virus” to destroy people, BUT GOD says He has given us a crown of what…. Everlasting Joy, Grace, Beauty, Wisdom, Salvation, Health, Blessing, Life which is an even more powerful weapon-deadly to our enemy because the name of Jesus WINS!!

God says I set before you the choice of life and blessing or death and cursing, what do you choose? What crown will you choose to wear?

Photo taken by Jared Subia

Jesus traded His heavenly golden crown of blessing for an earthly crown of thorns and cursing! Why? Why did He take on the curse of the earth- all disease and death as a result of sin? For our salvation! So that we can wear His righteous crown of life and blessing! He wanted to bring us salvation (deliverance from the curse) so that we don’t have to “wear the coronavirus” even though it mocks us and stalks us. We rise up, take our place, honor wisdom, fight with God’s word, send the enemy’s armies to flight with praise, and choose to receive the promises of God found in Isaiah 35, Psalm 91, and all the other scriptures He has given to us!

He is such a good, good Father! We are His chosen sons and daughters! We get to trade our earthly crowns for heavenly crowns AS WE LIVE HERE ON EARTH!!

Photo taken by Jared Subia

Much love, Sara

Watchmen

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

Isaiah 52:7-10 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem! Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the Lord has comforted His people. He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has demonstrated His holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God!

Image shared from wol.jw.org

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life (Jesus) brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can NEVER extinguish it. John 1:4-5

Watchmen by definition is a body of people employed to keep watch in a town at night; to guard property at night.

We know that we live in a dark world, a culture that has become one that operates in the dark. Scripture tells us that even though we as believers live in this world, we are not of this world.

And I am certain that God, who began the glorious work within you will faithfully continue His process of growing you until your life (His masterpiece) is complete on the day when Christ Jesus returns…Live a cheerful life, without complaining or division among yourselves. For then you will be seen as the pure children of God, shining like bright lights in the midst of a dark, brutal and perverse culture. Philippians 1, 2

We as believers know that together we are MEMBERS of the the body of Christ who have all been called (employed by God) to use our individual gifts to keep watch in our areas, shining bright, and ensuring that the kingdom of Heaven is operating on earth.

I remember when our oldest was 4 and we were eating at Red Lobster. She saw a picture of a lighthouse on the wall and out of nowhere said, “that’s a picture of a church!”. I remember sharing about how God spoke so beautifully to me through my 4 year old about what a church should always look like. We are to be beacons of light for God and all His people. To light up the surrounding area, guiding others along the right path to safety. Most of us have heard of this like-ness to a lighthouse, but my 4 year old hadn’t. She discovered that through the spirit. Our children can be better watchmen than we as adults are at times, who else can testify to this?

A beacon of light by definition is a strong light positioned in a tower that can be seen from far away to warn others of danger ahead.

We are all divinely placed in such a strategic way (like watchmen in towers) for the kingdom of Heaven to illuminate/cover the earth. Any invaders (anything not a operating by the kingdom of Heaven: sickness, depression, lack, strife, evil) must be exposed by shining light immediately on them and exposing their attempted work in the dark.

Image shared from Desiree M. Mondesir

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God…For God who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:4,6-7

So we see and operate from our “watch tower” far above in Christ through the Holy Spirit. We can see because we are the vessels/ containers of God’s indistinguishable light.

Think about it, the brightest area is at the source of the light itself. The light of God is the glory of God. And the glory of God is the presence, the power, and the goodness of God.

Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new covenant, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?..That first glory was not glorious at all (people could not bear to even look at the brightness of the glory of God seen on Moses’s face) compared to the overwhelming glory of the new covenant… Since this new covenant gives us such confidence, we can be very bold... So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord- who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image... We are confident of all this because of our great trust (faith) in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of His new covenant. 2 Corinthians 3

Image shared from KPMG

SUCH GOOD NEWS!! Remember what was spoken in Isaiah 52:7-10 at the beginning!

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

Calling upon the Lord is so much more than just having a positive attitude, it’s actually using our voice to speak into existence the word, the very power of God! Did God think the world into existence? No, He spoke. Did Jesus think away the enemy from his temptation in the wilderness? No, He spoke and rebuked with “it is written”.

Salvation means much more than just the forgiveness of sins and going to heaven one day. Salvation comes from the greek word sozo, which means “to save, to keep safe, to rescue from danger and destruction, to save one from disease, to make well, to heal, to restore, to redeem, to deliver from the penalties of sin.

We know throughout new covenant scripture that salvation and the kingdom of Heaven is to affect our lives here on the earth.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:9-10

Isaiah 49:5-6 The Lord’s servant commissioned. And now the Lord speaks- the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel (God’s people) back to Him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore my people to me. I will make you a light to gentiles (not yet God’s people), and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

When God says the word “will” in His word, we know that is a commandment. That we can hold steadfastly to it. God cannot lie and He is our Judge who brings His righteous justice (through Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins) for our favor. He watches over His word to make sure those who are speaking and enforcing His word (as watchmen for His kingdom of Heaven) on earth will see and experience the glory and salvation of the Lord!

The world can look at our circumstances through the lens of our natural eyes, but when we look through the lens of our spiritual eyes we see things differently! We have been given a different lens/ special glasses to see what the world can’t see.

The world sees doom and disaster, worldly statistics and laws of the flesh, but we see light and blessing, life and spiritual laws outlined in our covenant through Jesus for the blessing of Abraham given to every generation.

Think about how soldiers can see at night? They put on their night vision glasses! Night vision by definition is the ability to see in the dark.

Believers have been given such a device too! We have been given the spiritual vision that by faith we can see, operate, and attack from, as God’s called and anointed watchmen in this world of darkness.

Our Youth Pastor said, “the pandemic in hell is that light is spreading all across the world in a way that’s never been done before!” HAHA! That just roared up in me! Light is penetrating the darkness! Light is causing confusion and destruction in the enemy’s camps all across the world. Remember the Light of the world is Jesus and He and the armies of the living God is dispersing the enemy camps in different directions, unable to retaliate.

Let’s be like Gideon and choose to trust God even though the world sees us as “the weakest” compared to this pandemic causing virus and it’s suffered consequences. Let’s be like Elisha seeing that there are more for us than against us and pray for those around us to have eyes that see what we do! Let’s be like all the heroes of Faith, the watchmen before us, outlined in Hebrews 11.

By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Hebrews 11: 33-34

Much love, Sara

Rise Up

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

Yesterday, I was following Pastor Lynn Hammond as she led prayer over our nation in the midst of “the giant” coronavirus. In prayer, she said “we command mystery in the enemy’s camp”. That immediately sounded off in me!

Earlier, I had been listening to “Done Being Afraid” by Here Be Lions and that too caused eagerness and excitement to rise up inside of me! I immediately thought of David when he heard the news of the giant Goliath.

The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and made camp. Saul countered by gathering his Israelite troops to face the Philistine army. Then Goliath, a Philistine champion, came out to face the forces of Israel. He was over 9 ft tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat weighed 125 lb. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of us his spear was heavy and thick, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 lb…

Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight? I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me…I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army. The Israelite army continued to run away in fright. One day, David saw and heard what was going on in this battle. David said, ”Who is this pagan Philistine anyway!? That he is allowed to defy the armies of the Living God!? Don’t worry about this Philistine! I will go fight him!” 

David’s own brother tried talking David out of it, trying to make him feel foolish and doubt himself, but David refused to let it move him or change his speech. King Saul even doubted him and tried to talk David out of going to battle, but David persisted and refused to be talked out of the confidence he had in his covenant with God! 

David replied, “…When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from my flock, I go after it and rescue the lamb from it’s mouth. If the animal turns on me, then I just catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I will do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the Living God! The Lord whose power protected me before will rescue me from this Philistine!”

God has already shown us how to fight against any giant that threatens and taunts His people! Do not fear, take your place and pray in authority, praise God for the victory, and trust that He is our provider, our defender, our healer! This doesn’t mean to be foolish and prideful by just going up against this virus with your own way of thinking. God’s word shows us to honor those in authority, which means not going where large groups of people are because our government has issued certain recommendations. 

New statistics try to get us to fear by looking at the situation with our own physical eyes. We naturally see “the roar” and “the flashy-ness” of the virus which are facts, but the truth is this “giant” has no authority to operate here. Don’t let others around you talk you into fear and out of what God has already promised you in His covenant. 

When others around you magnify the details (the roar and flashy-ness) of this virus whether its regarding health, economy, etc- RESPOND with “who is this demonically assigned coronavirus that it is allowed to defy God’s children, his church, the armies of the living God!”

We know that this country has many unbelievers sure, but this country was founded on God’s purpose to be the United States of America UNDER GOD where we trust in God in all things. Yes, this country has tried turning it’s back on God like the Israelites did over and over again too. The fact is God is with us- Emmanuel through Jesus Christ. Our constitution starts with “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our future generations.”

The Covenant Blessing of God is given to believers whether we live like it or not, it is outlined in Deuteronomy 28 as:

Set high above all the nations of the world

Blessed inside the city

Blessed in the country

Blessed children

Blessed in work

Blessed with food and necessities 

Blessed coming in and going out

Victory over the enemy who attacks you, they will come at you in 1 direction and disperse from you in 7

Blessed homes

Blessed workplaces

God will bless you IN THE LAND THAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU

In Matthew 6, Jesus told us when we pray to not babble on as “religious” people do, but be sincere. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him. When you pray with your heart, God will reward you openly. Pray like this:

Our Father in Heaven, Glory to your name. May your kingdom come (manifest your kingdom here on earth), May your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven (we have to know that His will is victory and life and blessing to be able to powerfully pray for His will to be done). Give us today the food we need (We acknowledge you as our provider). Forgive us of our sins as we have forgiven those who have harmed us. Rescue us from temptation and tribulation. Rescue us from all evil. For you are the King who rules with power and glory forever. Amen

These promises and prayers are part of our foundation as believers! So let’s take our place with the power of God inside of us! Let’s MAGNIFY Jesus and our victory over the constant news about this virus. Let’s COMMAND confusion in the enemy’s camp today, just like when God defeated Goliath through David, causing confusion and defeat in the enemy’s camp!! Rise up and know that your words are powerful! Are you creating fear in those around your or are you encouraging others in the promises of God!

Lyrics to “Done Being Afraid” mentioned above.
We’re done being afraid
We won’t be stopped
We can’t be tamed
The blood runs fierce within our veins
We’re done being afraid
We’re moving out of shadows
We run straight to the battle
We’re gonna rise up
And Roar like a lion Fear will not have it’s way
Fear will not have it’s way
We won’t be chained
We won’t be slaves
It’s our time
It’s our hour
We will not run
We will not cower
We shake the earth with freedom
Here comes the kingdom
We’re gonna rise up
And roar like a lion

Photo by Miguel Bruna

Much love, Sara

OVERFLOW

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

Throughout His word, God illustrates that He is reaching for everyone. Like a powerful river, He is breaking through the desert rock where hope has been lost.

Her desert will blossom like Eden, her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found there. Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air….my justice will become a light to the nations. My mercy and justice are coming soon (promised to us before Jesus). My salvation is on the way (found in Jesus). My strong arm will bring justice to the nations. All distant lands will look to me and wait in hope for my powerful arm… Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults… My salvation will continue from generation to generation… Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness… For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar. My name is the Lord of Heaven’s armies. And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. -Isaiah 51: A call to trust the Lord

Even the wildnerness and desert WILL be glad in those days. The wasteland WILL rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display His GLORY, the splendor of our God. With this news, STRENGTHEN those who have tired hands! [Who is tired in your life that God has made the connection through you to reach?] Encourage those who have weak knees [What people in your life have grown weak in the situations they are facing?]. Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong and do not fear (take Heart) for your God IS COMING TO DESTROY YOUR ENEMIES! HE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU! And when He comes, He WILL open the eyes of the blind, and He WILL unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame WILL leap like deer, and those who cannot speak WILL sing for joy! Springs WILL gush forth in the wilderness and streams WILL water the wasteland. The parched ground WILL become a pool, and springs WILL satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds WILL FLOURISH where desert jackals once lived. And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of HolinessThose who have been ransomed by Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Where in these promises by God does it say that God will just hold your hand and watch as the victorious plans He had for your life fall away? Where in God’s word does it say that Jesus came to destroy only part of the works of the enemy? Where in God’s word does it say that God takes pleasure in SENDING his children hardships and destructive trials to grow them in holiness? No where! But He can turn what the enemy meant for good and growth!

What God spoke was that He is coming to SAVE YOU through Jesus Christ himself. By the power of His Holy Spirit, your life will be full of His glory. To bring life more abundantly in the land of the living..

The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil….We know that real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money (or any part of THE BLESSING: healing, peace, joy, freedom, etc) to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion (doesn’t release/give)- how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions…For God is greater than our feelings and He knows everything. 1 John 3:8-20

Many christians quote James 1:2-4, but they have been taught to take it out of context, leaving out James 1:12-18. Let’s read it as one, not isolating one from the other so that light can flood our understanding for what He is wanting to do in this world.

Dear Brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing…God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death (barren/ desert land). So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good, pleasing, and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting a shadow. He chose us to give birth to us by giving us His true word. And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession!

Isn’t that incredible! We know that we are His prized possession! Who would send sickness, lack, trouble to their prized possession? Do you as a mother or father want to send those types of things to train your children? God said these trials and troubles would come because He is giving you the enemy’s playbook. He is showing you the “plays/ tactics” that the enemy uses to try to take us out on this earth with, BUT GOD! God says, He is with us and when we choose to partner with Him and receive the fullness of His love and salvation through Jesus we can endure and grow for the glory ahead- because God already ruled that we have the victory ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who CREATED them. Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf. Gather the nations together! Assemble the peoples of the world!..I am the Lord, your Holy One, your creator and King. I am the Lord who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea… But forget that because it is nothing in comparison to what I am going to do (in and through Jesus). For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will CREATE rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will even thank me for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed. -Isaiah 43: The Savior of Israel and The Lord’s Promisee of Victory

This is God’s will for your life! These are the plans He created you for, to be vessels of His living water reaching the whole earth!

People are thirsty, they are literally dying! The Bible says, “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Do the people in your life know that God made a way for them to be healed from common diseases or even the audacity of cancer?! From migraines? From fear! From lack! Do the people in your life know what the Bible actually explains God’s will for their lives entails!? That God’s will is actually not a mystery! Just because something happens, doesn’t mean it’s God’s will. ALL Believers need to know that!

But Sara, my brother died when friends and family prayed fervently for hours.. I don’t have the answer as to why that happened, but I do know what God said and He cannot lie. We know that we live in a world full of death and decay where the enemy rules over the “waterless land”.

In Isaiah 7: 7-9, God explained that even though the outcome looked bad, that disaster would never happen, but the king was full of more fear of man and what it looked like on earth than he was full of awe and trust for what the God of Heaven’s armies said to him. God went on to say, “unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm”. The king had a choice to make. His actions chose fear of man..

“We know that we fight against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against the mighty powers in the dark world, and against heavenly places. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, every piece, so that when the day of evil comes against you, you will be able to firmly stand your ground doing everything you can to stand.” Ephesians 6: 12-13 

This is powerful! REFUSE to let the weight of your faith go on YOUR shoulders. God didn’t just give us a covenant of FAITH alone, the other major part of His covenant to us is GRACE. It’s so incredibly easy for us as Christians, to strive to have faith and be weighted down with what was meant to be a gift. God’s gift of this measure of faith is not meant to wear you out “ trying to let all the water out at once” to save everyone in your life or to be the “solution to everyone’s issues”. Jesus is the solution, Jesus is the water, you are simply the “channel” who allows His living water to reach and saturate others so that they can flourish.

Jesus is the solution, Jesus is the water, you are simply the channel who allows His living water to reach and saturate others so that they can flourish.

“But when Jesus heard about [Lazaraus being very sick], he said, ‘Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death.’…. Jesus knew the fact that Lazarus had died, but Jesus also knew the truth that he would wake up alive on earth. “Jesus told Martha, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha agreed with, ‘Yes, he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.’ (This is what a lot of us settle for while we are praying… eventhough this is true and full of peace for sure, this wasn’t the will of God for Lazarus to remain dead.) Even Mary was upset and settling with the fact that her brother had died, BUT “Jesus responded, ‘ Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?’ So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to Heaven and said, ‘Father Thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it outloud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.’ Then Jesus shouted, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in gravecloths, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, ‘Unwrap him and let him go!’

Wow! How many times does a friend come to you about a prayer request? Do you respond with “oh bless your little heart, I will be praying for you. I don’t know God’s will for all this but I hope you get better”…

Excuse me, but hold my trashcan full of throw up to that Christian response! Now, I’m not saying that to be harsh, but I’m saying this with compassion!

What was the point of Jesus?! God sent His children to carry the light of the world in Jesus Christ, who is the very word of God in flesh, to everyone! We know His will is all things good!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may OVERFLOW WITH HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

So if we are to overflow with this living water of Hope to others, what is this hope we are giving to them? I have had friends, family, and patients respond and look at me with uncertainty and even offense that I dare say what God has said about the impossible made possible even leading up to the last hours of someone’s life on earth.

What did God say? We are to be rooted in Him, to stand firm on God’s will for others’ life even when they are literally staring at death. I know what God has done for me and for so many others through out time. I know that prayer isn’t supposed to just be this check the box phrase or even praying from a place of uncertainty (ex: Maybe God’s will is for Joe to have cancer… uhh the answer is no, Nancy, it’s not.) Again everything that is good is from God. Good is from God, bad is from satan. God can turn everything that was meant for bad INTO SOMETHING GREATER FOR HIS GOOD! So someone’s diagnosis or someone’s death IS NOT the good thing that God turned their life into?!

Jesus spoke. “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED EVEN BEFORE YOU ASK HIM! Matthew 6:7-8

God knows the plans He has for you- they are good and not for disaster. His plans are to give you a future and a hope. When you pray He will listen and IF you look for HIM wholeheartedly, you will find HIM, spoken in Jeremiah 29:11-13. Ephesians 1 and 2, we know that “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” “God blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be Holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. THIS IS WHAT HE WANTED TO DO AND IT GAVE HIM GREAT PLEASURE.”

God says we have all been given the same measure of faith in Romans 12:3. Do you ask yourself “why then, does Sue demonstrate so much more faith than I do? She obviously has more faith than I do. I want to have her kind of faith!” You do! If you have enough faith to believe in God without seeing Him, then you have enough faith to believe everything He has said in His word to you.

Its all or nothing!

Let me say that again, you either have faith or you dont! It’s not picking and choosing. The deception of our minds says “well I can have faith for shelter, but I just don’t know if I can have faith for the healing in my body.”

If He said it, it became yours the day you believed He is your Lord who took all your sin, defeated every curse, and brought you into the blessing of His covenant at calvary!

Jesus paid the price for THE BLESSING IN YOUR LIFE with His own blood! Your salvation and baptism declares to the world that you belong to Jesus! You includes all of you, not just a portion of your life and not only some times! Its you! All of You! Every day!

Today I ask you, are you going to say that the magnitude of what Jesus did for you isn’t enough? You more than likely wont ever “say” that, but what do your beliefs and actions reveal in your heart?

I’ve asked my girls, what are your actions saying to Jesus right now? I think too often, we are fooled into thinking that just because I didn’t actually say it, it’s ok. It’s not, guys, because out of the heart, the mouth will eventually speak. And if you think you have a situation that cant be fixed, then you more than likely wont be saying anything God said to get you out of it.

Is this not crazy, how our actions and inward thoughts literally tell Jesus “what you did for me on the cross wasn’t enough.” This literally makes me sick and breaks my heart for Jesus! Take a moment and try to imagine EVERYTHING about the day Jesus was crucified for you. He endured it all with the joy knowing everyone one of us would be set free if only we chose to believe! He was physically, mentally, and spiritually beaten beyond recognition because he literally took on every curse! He bore our griefs and sorrows that day, He was separated from God, himself! We can’t even begin to imagine this in it’s entirety! But He did it, He did it for you because He loves you!

How can we begin to show him that same kind of love? The answer is by simply choosing to believe Him when Jesus said, you are healed, I have come to not only bring you life, but life at it’s fullest! Every weapon the enemy forms against you CANNOT prosper if you choose to believe me because I am in you.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in genuine faith.. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you? 2 Corinthians 13:5

So that same measure of faith is there IN YOU! The well of living water IS IN YOU. We know that the measure of your faith is endless, and overflowing.

For the scriptures declare, “Rivers of living water will flow from His heart”. When Jesus said “living water”, He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him after He has entered into His glory. John 7: 38-39

Well I don’t know how to envision that Sara? What really is “the measure of faith” anyway and how does that relate to a river of living water?

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot YET see. Faith involves confident action in response to what God has spoken to you.

So I envision this initiation of faith, as someone initiating the movement of water. Something has to get the water moving for it flow, right? That something for us is Jesus. God started the motion, the flow of the water in and through Jesus. Jesus is the the water, His word to you is the current and that current of water is powered by His Holy Spirit. The new covenant made it easy for us to live a faith-filled life! We get to choose daily to simply receive and live a life based on the word He speaks to us! Every morning, He looks at us with mercy and unwavering love through Jesus.

So if you are still struggling to envision this. Imagine the scene from Finding Nemo, when Dory and Marlin were picked up and set in the current of the ocean by Crush, the sea turtle. None of them were doing the swimming right, the current was doing all the work carrying them to their destination quicker than they could have in their strength alone. The new covenant is the same way! So we get “to travel” through life experiencing the promises of God by this limitless supply of faith He has given to us!

So another way to envision this, is some people talk themselves OUT of this current. It’s actually hard to get out of a current of water, right, but that’s what we in our culture tend to. We take steps out of this source of life either by choices we make or by weights that pull us out. The weight of fear is heavy. That’s why so many people today struggle with letting go of fear, it’s hard in their own strength, they can’t do it alone. They need the chain breaker in their life. They need to see Jesus for who He is.

This is what the Lord says: Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But BLESSED are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:5-8

The difference is that some people have their faith released and some have their faith restricted like a dam.

My question is do you believe God can do these things He has promised? Is there something holding you back from believing that HE WILL DO these things?

Even the enemy and his army know that God will do the things He promised. So why would we want to operate on a lower level than them? The New Testament gives numerous examples of demons, trembling, falling, and running away from Jesus.

Jesus explained “when an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes to the desert (seeks WATERLESS places) to gain back its strength” in Matthew 12:33.

So if demons know they have no power, no strength, no authority in the presence of Jesus (where the river of living water flows), why do we not know/ believe this?

We cannot allow the enemy’s army ANY of the waterless land in our lives to regain strength or operate in. The only way for thirsty people in this waterless wasteland to get on the great, flourishing road that God spoke of in Isaiah 35, is by the river of faith that God placed inside of us. Where is our faith at? Are we living in a way that resembles only a little stream of “this water” to flow.

Who is on the other side of the dam in your life? The vast measure of faith is already inside of you.

What is the measure of how small the river is on one the left side of the dam? Do you see how VAST and MIGHTY the source of water is on the other side of the dam? Many christians don’t even realize the measure of faith God put inside of them.

What believers are living with a dam up in their lives? Holding back all that GOD WANTS TO DO through their life? Think of all the people in your life that God can reach through your life and change their circumstances.

We know that everywhere the river of life flows there is salvation from sin, disease, and destruction. God’s word contains the very faithfulness of God. For every believer has been given the same measure of faith.

So open up the dam and let His word flow out of you to save not only your family, but all those along your river. Are there people in your life that need you to bring God’s powerful word to the them?

Much love, Sara

Shooting Stars

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

“When you don’t know where to go and you’re feeling all alone, look inside yourself, you’re so much more than you know.

When you’re stuck and out of time, you can cross the finish line. You’re a champion, you’ll always be a winner.

You can be anything you want if you believe in who you are. You light up the whole world. You’re shining so bright. Anything is possible, when you look into your heart.

You’re a shooting star

When I’m down and feeling scared, I know I should take a chance. The world is sitting right here in the palm of my hands.

I’m flying higher than before and giving up is not a choice. I’ll push the doubt aside and step into the spotlight.

I can be anything I dream, live a life that’s made for me. I’ll light up the whole world. I’ll be shining so bright. Anything is possible when I look into my heart. 

I’m a shooting star.”

I love how God can speak to us through anything and everything. Our oldest has wanted the Barbie Star Light Adventure DVD for a while. We surprised her with it for Valentines Day this year. She was jaw dropped excited. As the girls were watching it, I found myself turning my head constantly to watch it as I was cleaning the dishes, yes…. I am a 34 year old mother who watches Barbie apparently. haha

Sure this Barbie movie had some typical cheeky material, but the heart behind the storyline was great. It made me think of 2 Corinthians 3 and 4, where Paul writes,

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord- who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image. Therefore, since God in His mercy has given us this new way, we never give up… For God who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like the fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not ourselves!

You had no idea I was going to be giving a synopsis of a BARBIE movie, right.. haha but I can’t seem to dismiss it, so here we are. Haha If you have daughters, this could be a visual tool for God’s word in their lives. I love doing that with our girls.

So in this movie, the stars start to lose their light and begin to disappear. Essentially people forgot to look up, so the stars lost their purpose. Barbie was chosen to join a rescue team to save the stars. She felt unqualified and didn’t know the gifts that she carried. 

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

She was chosen for this mission before she was even born to restore this light to the galaxy. The different gifts inside of her equipped her to be the leader that she was called to be. Her dad always called her his shooting star. We know the words we speak are powerful and prophetic.

The Lord gave Jeremiah this message, I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my _____ to the nations” –Jeremiah 1:5

Her dad always encouraged her and reminded her to “listen to your heart for the answer and follow it to the end. Everything comes from your heart- courage, hope, and leadership. Do this and you will never go wrong.”

Barbie’s dad gave her Godly wisdom! Haha I love it! We as believers know that everything we do flows from our heart. God tells us throughout His word to “take heart”, “do not fear”. The heart is both the physical life source for our bodies and the spiritual life source for our spirits. We get our strength and everything we need from our hearts- why, because Jesus lives in the hearts of believers.

I pray from His glorious unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.. Now all glory to God, who is able through His might power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we can ask, think, or imagine. – Ephesians 3:16-20

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and a good name in the sight of both God and man. –Proverbs 3:3-4

Barbie had the gift to hear and see what other people didn’t. She saw deeper than what her eyes could see and her ears could hear. She was gifted in hover boarding- that was the gift that everyone could see, which was the gift that positioned her in the right place she was called to be. Like David in 1 Samuel 16 and 17. David was the youngest of his brothers, he was a shepherd, and known for being the best harp player. God placed different gifts in David that he would need for the call on his life. Gifts that didn’t even go together per say. Harp player, fierce shepherd, and mighty warrior. 

As people got to know Barbie, they saw these different gifts inside of her and that made her the real leader, like David in the Bible. My husband said this the other day and it just stuck with me, he said, 

“A leader is a person, not a position”.

Each of us were created with a purpose with multiple gifts; gifts that are for each season in life. God chose us to carry his light into the world, to let it shine bright. To bring the kingdom of Heaven onto the earth where nothing is impossible. To be victorious in Christ.

A shooting star is actually not a star, but cosmic specks of dust that burn up as they enter the earth’s atmosphere, transforming this “dust” into “light” for all to see. I find that fascinating! We are man created from dust, refined by the fire of God and transformed into light for this dark world. Refine means to free from impurities and to improve. 

My girls know one of my favorite scriptures to live by is, 

Do not copy the culture of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by renewing your mind. Then you will know God’s will for you is good, pleasing, and perfect. Romans 12:2

Much love, Sara

Why I started Young Living EO?

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. Proverbs 4:9

In 2018, 2 years after having a near death experience, I was still going through a lot both physically and mentally. God had established me spiritually and that is the only reason I’m here today. Without a shadow of a doubt, had Lance and I not followed God’s leading to move to this city in 2008, joined the church He wanted to place us in in 2013, grown in the word of God and what it means to be a believer, and honestly pray in the Holy Spirit I would not be here today.

What was supposed to be my 1st mothers day with our 2nd baby girl, Scarlett, I was being transferred out of the ICU to a normal room to start the long recovery process. Had the enemy had his way, Scarlett would never have been able to share a mother’s day with me. It’s still heartbreaking to think about, I’m literally crying as I’m writing this, I still get emotional because the enemy is that bad, but my God is that good! So many people asked me over the last few years, how can you live a life so full of faith and with so much love for God the way you do after going through all that you have gone through?
My answer is how could I not? Even through hell on earth numerous times, my God has been my rock just as He promised me He would be in Matthew 16:10. Jesus told Peter that Peter was blessed because the Father had revealed to him that “Jesus is the Son of the Living God and upon this rock (Jesus) which is the foundation for the church and that all the powers of Hell will not conquer it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth, you forbid in Heaven. Whatever you permit on earth, you permit in Heaven.”
Every major step I have taken in my life has drawn me closer to God. Whether they were good steps or not good steps- that’s how good God is. God draws us when we are close to be closer and He draws us to come close when we have taken steps away. Our choices are significant. Our choices direct our paths. When we make the choice to look at Jesus and redirect to follow Him, we don’t have to go all the way back the way we came. God has an emergency exit to propel us “sideways and forward” at the same time. God’s grace is supernatural and He gets us right where He has called us to be without it taking the “natural amount of time” the world says it will take! That requires faith in God and love for God.

My passion and a major part of who I am is sharing with others how much God loves them and encouraging them to simply believe God at His word. This passion didn’t come with having a perfect life. This passion has and continues to come because I have dealt with voices of “you are nobody, you are not good enough, you are just annoying, you will always be overlooked, you are ugly, etc”; depression, suicidal, and even when the enemy couldn’t get me to “follow into suicide”, he has tried killing me more than once. Yep, it’s true.. Crazy, not really.. The enemy has taken away more friendships than I can count. He took away “perfect health”. He took away “beauty”. He took away joy, peace, money, etc. He even tried taking away my marriage and family, not only through physical death, but also through love death. But just as God promised vindication and redemption of all things that which are stolen, He continues to bring them even more back into my life. Divorce is rampant and an epidemic in our country because a covenant means nothing today for a lot of people. I fought hard spiritually for my marriage and my family- for my promised land I shared about last time not once, not twice, not even three times so far in our almost 12 years of marriage. I wasn’t alone in this fight, I know Lance’s spirit fought hard and I know God’s covenant to me wouldn’t fail!

You see, we were established by God. We were growing roots that we didn’t really even “know” he was planting. Again that’s how amazing God’s love for you is! He is planting you right where you need to be. He is tilling the soil (pulling up the weeds in your life) so that your roots can grow deeper to not only withstand the storms ahead, but to be fruitful enough to “cross pollinate” others in your life. I wasn’t backing down from the promise He gave me.
Every attack to our marriage got deeper and deeper. That’s not shocking when you think about it. 1) we had increasingly more to lose 2) we were walking increasingly more into God’s plans for our lives 3) there had to be a shaking and a de-weeding to be able to keep “coming up”; because where there is light, darkness cannot be. There was “hidden darkness” in us that needed to be removed. Some we were aware of and some we weren’t until it raised it’s ugly head. BUT GOD! Once we started going to our church, that was the game changer for our lives. God was able to “really begin” his root work in us from that point.

So while I was pregnant with Scarlett, the Lord began leading me to increased knowledge about the Holy Spirit. I honestly found myself thinking…okay, that’s weird, God. You are going to have to show me this is real and not “Cuckoo” stuff. I had recently started going to our church’s Thursday morning prayer that I felt totally unqualified to even be part of, but I was obedient in going. I remember the first time I heard them praying softly, but powerfully in the spirit (tongues) in the middle of prayer and I thought to myself, “oh geez.. what is this? What’s happening”.. I opened my eyes in discomfort and everyone was normal and calm (haha, no one was waving a weird doll or anything around me), so I kept praying quietly and even thought, “God, I can’t think clearly to pray effectively with all these sounds going on around me… how am I supposed to pray here” (haha which if you pray in the spirit you know this is the point exactly! To pray in a way that bypasses thinking!) When it was over, I left and thought okay, what was that… “why on earth did you tell me to start coming to this? I don’t need to go to that? I can’t even consciously pray while they are praying like that.” I remember where I was driving and He just grabbed my heart and said “I told you to go there to be part of this, you will go again, and I will show you this is real”.
Scriptures began jumping out at me in my normal bible reading (I wasn’t looking for it) and I asked Him to show me more on how this is real, because “I will not be made a fool” here in doing something that is not real. And He did. While I was closer to halfway pregnant with Scarlett I was baptized with the Holy Spirit one evening after one of our church’s bible college class. Our Pastor’s wife was there and she actually came over to me because she could tell I was frustrated. I was frustrated because nothing was coming out of my lips. I was silent, when I could hear the others beginning to pray in the spirit, I started comparing myself and crumbling to disappointment in myself. She took me aside (she is one of my very best friends) and we stayed after the class was over. She believed in me, she encouraged me, she prayed for me, she taught me how to let go of my head and to give in to my heart. I knew I could see things with my heart that my mouth couldn’t say because I had lived a life cultured to rationalize and live based on what made sense. That night I began to pray in the spirit- only like 2 sounds came out, but I knew I had finally received the gift of praying in the spirit that God gave me long before I was born. So from that point forward, I began praying in the spirit. Who knew 9 months after having Scarlett, that gift would save my life.

During the 2 months leading up to May 6th, my body began shutting down. I saw doctors, they dismissed everything and tried saying it was something that it wasn’t. I knew that because I had peace with truth and warnings with false diagnoses and treatments. I prayed even more fervently in the spirit as each day passed because the worldly system I was given was failing. Every avenue the world had to offer me was a dead end. 9 days before May 6th I went from bad to worse, I became bed ridden and lethargic. I went from still breastfeeding my baby to not seeing her at all. My husband had just gone through losing his father to an aneurism a week before this. (It’s like I was given the anointing and grace to be there for him and our family, but as soon as the funeral ended I was barely able to get out of bed.) My husband was sleeping in another room because he had to become the sole provider working 10 hour days out of the house and then the other 14 hours at home for me and our daughters- one who couldn’t even walk yet and was freshly learning to not be able to breastfeed anymore (that’s a huge transition for a baby and a momma). On the morning of May 6th, he came into the bedroom and noticed I never even turned my nightstand light off. The Holy Spirit grabbed his heart and told him to get close to me and from there he knew God said take her to the emergency room again now. He began talking to me and realized I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I couldn’t move much. He took the girls to school and came back to the house thinking I had gotten up and ready to go, but he found me still laying there barely able to move or open my eyes. He took the covers off me and saw how extended my abdomen was and he was shocked. He then took my tshirt off to get me dressed and saw how thin I was. My bone structure was visible in my lungs and my back. He had to carry me to the car. Before leaving, I told him to grab my bible and my journal because we weren’t leaving without them. You see, my spirit had been fighting and prevailing for me every second through that point. My body was dying, my mind was leaving, but my spirit was PREVAILING. I couldn’t eat anything for about a week before that, and mentally speaking I was “not there”, I said enough to get by, but that was it. What I did for those 9 days was lay there praying in the spirit constantly, continuously streaming sermons that God led me to “somehow”, and writing in my journal. As the days grew closer my penmanship was terrible and the words “don’t even make sense” now that I read it, but I believe (which means KNOW) that God was speaking to my spirit. Our spirit understands and speaks things our minds can’t comprehend. My spirit fought for me and won!
Once he rushed me into the ER, they had me in some sort of glass room QUICKLY. They were working fast and knew it was a true emergency. Guess who was on call that day.. One of my best friend’s dads, Dr. Thomas Kelly. Coincidence? Not at all… He knew this was life and death and he needed me in the OR immediately. As soon as he walked out of the room to prep for surgery, the peace of God came upon me like a wave. I “opened my eyes” for a “steady amount of time” and I looked over at my husband, who had just asked the surgeon “what does that mean though? What are we looking at post op?”. Dr Kelly had no answer for him, but God did. God spoke over me and through me saying “don’t worry, everything is going to be okay” to Lance. (Not in a “if I die, I’m ok” way, but in a way that meant every cell in my body is taken care of.) They then placed the angio tube in my chest.

Before I went back to surgery, Lance and my parents told me that I lead a powerful prayer that had even my nurse in tears. I can’t take credit for that? That was my spirit, that was the Holy Spirit of God operating in me! My surgery was long, but blessed in every detail. I was hours away from death, almost septic, should have had to have had my intestines removed, but GOD! I didn’t die and none of my intestines had to be removed! THAT IS A MIRACLE! Those of us trained in medical science know the magnitude of this! Long recovery, but I made it because I didn’t quit and I had all the right people around me to carry me through, including the Holy Spirit.

Lance took this because I finally got my angio tube out after about 10 days. He took this picture to show family and friends how much better I was looking…. Gross, I looked even worse than this guys!
I slowly started gaining my weight back, but I also started losing my hair. This was taken about 6 months post surgery.

So about 15 months after nearly dying, God began preparing me for something even “harder”, it was another attack on our marriage. It was going to be big, but I had no idea how big. He began preparing my heart by the leading of His spirit. He showed me, “you are going to have to dig deeper on what my unconditional love is and you are going to have to operate in it, it’s your choice”. I thought what? I love people? I think I love people more than most people I know? But I obeyed, grudgingly and “blind in a sense” as to why.
No one cheated on each other, but the spiritual attack of darkness, blindness, and division rose up. I could barely breath most days, but my spirit was already established, leading me, and fighting for me. I had days of questioning suicide again (I hadn’t had those feelings in close to a decade), but those days where the thought would try to suffocate me, I kept going! I wrote down in my journal things like “the fact that it’s this hard to breathe today, means that my victory is just around the corner!” and I would make myself laugh out loud. It was hard, but I knew I would never give in to it! My life had been saved!! And for what? It certainly wasn’t to die and it certainly wasn’t to live a broken life without my husband or my children.
We came through it all, all glory to God, but not long after our breakthrough my body starting showing signs of unexplainable issues. Stress is like a poison. I was in flight or fight for so long (about 6 weeks), once my body “relaxed”, my system was already in a bad state. I went to a dr who prescribed me a non-titrated dose of steroid to help my body overcome what it had been through mentally and physically. A few days after taking that, my body began to shut down in a different way than before. My lymphatic system stopped working correctly and I had terrible pain in my feet that proceeded to worsen to the point of not being able to walk or even lay down comfortably. It took about 2 months for it to slowly travel up and out of my body.

Is that not one huge ankle!
Starting to move up my shins
starting to spread up to my knees.
Look at those knees!!
Finally starting to feel and see relief. I could actually start walking again. See how my left ankle is normal!

A week or two after the last symptoms of lymphatic issues, a friend of mine was hosting an introduction to essential oils class and I had the leading on my heart to go. I’m glad I did. That night I had my body scanned by an itovi scanner –super simple and easy, but totally accurate like the testimonies that had already been given. I started using a few of the oils, but no interest in sharing about them because honestly I just still wasn’t sure about them. Not until probably a year later, I started to use more of the oils and product line. I discovered that these were all beneficial and truly could be great tools for God to use in people’s lives, so I knew I needed to share about them.
I wanted to learn more about why and how they worked and what is the foundation for this company, etc. I have always loved science, especially biology, and as well as you already know reading/writing. The more I study science, the more I see God in all of it. We see so many scientists trying to prove God doesn’t exist, but they are only increasing the proof that everything revolves around Him. I can’t wait to share some of my notes on this topic soon. So of course, medicine should revolve around God too.

I am not here to complain about modern medicine, I am living proof that God uses modern medicine! He did for me! God is greater than the strengths of modern medicine and He is greater than the weaknesses of modern medicine, too. God is central to life, that’s unquestionable. He is in every bit of life whether you realize it or not. God wants us to allow Him to be involved in every area of our lives. He is always ahead of us and He is always leading us.

I so badly wanted God to just heal me without modern medicine those weeks leading up to May 6th, 2016, but I find it fascinating that He had to heal me through the very thing that caused the issue in the first place. See, in August of 2011, I showed my first symptom of the meckels diverticulum issue (rare/ born with it), but the dr I saw did no testing to find out the problem and just prescribed me a double dose of strong antibiotics that I later found out was the 2nd strongest common antibiotic regimen that can be prescribed for someone with a KNOWN, PERSISTANT bacterial infection. I did not have a bacterial infection… I took it against the leading of my heart (I remember where I was when my heart warned me not to) and 3 days later I began to suffer with an autoimmune disease that was brought on by wrongfully prescribed medication which then covered up/ “hid” the real, deadly issue going on in my body for the next 5 years. I actually ended up having 2 years of no autoimmune issues (ZERO) from March 2014 to March 2016 after the leading of the Lord to pursue natural healing measures after being told I needed to get on immune suppressants (because after taking a medication that caused me to be in the hospital for a week with pancreatitis that required a stint placement (that was later removed)).

I heard a loud and clear warning to absolutely not go through with this. I didn’t know why at the time, but I knew God said “no” and that was good enough for me. In that 2 year time period my body was redeemed and regenerated cell by cell. We had a healthy pregnancy and I was filled with the holy spirit- victoriously equipped for that near death battle ahead.

God used modern medicine to save my life in 2016 and again to complete my body redemption from the emergency surgical incision diastasis recti in 2019 with my same surgeon who was used to save my life the first time. I’m so thankful for him and all of the incredible surgeons, nurses, doctors, and health care professionals. Again, I am one! I have and use my degree in dental hygiene where I am around modern medicine daily, but I refuse to say there is no other way for treatments when I know there is more. I pray with my patients, Yes, I do. I pray with them for their lives, I pray with them for their overall body health, and I pray with them over minor “dental issues”. God’s love covers the whole scale. His wisdom and methods of wholeness are greater than just “one” way to do things. My goal is for everyone to be open, let go of “pride” in the way of thinking, “well I don’t believe in silly things like essential oils”. Is that what you would say to God if He has given these to you as the tools he wants to use? In my opinion, why not use something God gave us to fight with? (The organic chemistry of plants). Who are we to tell God what to use?

Our Promised Trip last year! Every detail was BLESSED!

God didn’t put us on this earth to be victims. He gave us everything we needed. Modern medicine was created to be good and a lot of the times it is more than good! I have witnessed it in my own life, as well as multiple friend’s lives, their kid’s lives, and family member’s lives. The issue is that there is a missing link too often in the health issues we are facing and I believe that link is found and rooted in plants. Essential oils sourced THE RIGHT WAY, which Young Living is the pioneer for and still holds the highest standards for this, are incredible tools God gave us. Organic chemistry proves it. If you are interested in learning more, email me and I’m happy to help you get started. And please don’t go buy just any essential oils. That’s dangerous and unproductive. Get wisdom and knowledge, join a trustworthy group, even email me for help.

Much love, Sara

Promised Land

A garland of grace and a crown of beauty. – Proverbs 4:9

Next month marks 3 years we have been living in our shome. “What is a shome?”, you might ask. It’s our shop, but currently our temporary home until we build our forever home. Our house will be about an acre in front of our shome. We have asked the girls what they are excited about and what they want for our house. They have said “another bathroom”… haha and all 4 of us agreed with AMEN! 1 bathroom for 4 people can be pretty frustrating especially at night time! Hinley remembers our old house, so she told us, “I want that box thing you put your clothes in”. We burst into laughter because this sweet 7 year old does not even remember what “the box is”…it’s called a “closet”. I have said a dishwasher-Hallelujah! If you don’t already know this about me, my least favorite responsibility at home is washing dishes…. And I have to do them constantly. I can almost hear the quiet humming sound of my dishwasher now!

Our bedroom view
Kitchen
Bathroom

In all seriousness though, we have loved our shome life. I wouldn’t take back a single day of it and I’m not grumbling to get out of it. The Lord has blessed us in this season. Honestly, we wouldn’t have been able to keep making house payments with the medical bills we faced from me. We love to be able to bless others and that wasn’t going to change because we know we are here for such a greater purpose than having all of these “things” that the world strives after. I only work 2 days out of the week “away from home” and I love that schedule, when I have prayed about trying to “work an extra day out of the week”, I just never have peace with it. I know God is wanting to do something greater and I believe that is with my writing. My writing may not pay me financially right now, but I know it is part of my call and purpose in life. My heart is to reach those who are struggling with fear, hopelessness, depression, and suicide with the encouragement and love of God. My payment in that work and the work I do at home with our girls and as a wife is a payment that is so much sweeter than physical money.

Scarlett “journaling” with me in my bedroom
Hinley “helping me” with my computer work

God knows how the world operates, which means God knows we need money. Money is important to live, but money is not the reason to live. Money is not a subject to be ignored in church, money is what funds the “church’s mission and purpose”. So yes, could I strive to find more work to make more money? Sure…but miss out on the beauty and joy that God has prepared for me to have the other days out of the week I work from home,no way unless He says to. When God speaks, we listen. When God gives direction, we follow. It’s seldomly easy for our flesh, but if we keep refreshing and renewing our minds in what God says, we can keep walking toward our “promised land”. The money we need is found in the harvest He promises. Do you know that even recently I found myself worrying about money. I even got to the point of considering going to give blood even though I’ve been told i shouldn’t because of my history and my weight. Dont get me wrong, giving blood is NEEDED! I needed a blood transfusion 4 years ago and Im so thankful for whoever donated that blood. Praise God! But that is not what God has instructed me to do. I found myself thinking like Sarah in the bible did when before they took “the promise” in their own hands and thought of ways to help God…. to strive instead of simply receiving. As long as we are working hard on the things He has entrusted TO us to steward we can be confident in the blessing that He is bringing. We cannot work hard and strive to do things He didnt instruct because that is just distraction and usually slows down the momentum of what God is wanting to bring into our lives.
Our land has been a promise to us. God has reminded me through different battles to “look out and see where I have placed you, Sara”. This place, this piece of land is not for nothing. Your past seasons and your future seasons are in line and for a greater purpose.”

Future house spot!!
This is Lance’s latest hard work. He forgot to take a before picture, but this is a night and day difference from before! This will be the view from part of our front porch area.
CanNOT wait!

We have owned our land for almost 5 years now. God actually showed us our land back in 2013- so 7 years ago, but we backed off of it because we weren’t sure if we could buy it financially. Almost 2 years go by and our land is still for sale! It’s been for sale for YEARS! SEVERAL YEARS in fact before we even saw it! I thought “how crazy that no one has bought this land yet”? I saw the beauty in this land from the beginning, before all the HARD WORK my husband has already put into it. It’s like God saved this land just for us! Every time I would step foot onto it, I would feel this unexplainable peace. It’s like my spirit knew this was the plan God had for us. We looked at other land options, some that seemed perfect, some that didn’t- but I knew in my heart they weren’t for us because I didn’t have that peace when I walked on them. The day we had to make our decision, we drove back and forth twice to the final 2 land options and there was no doubt which one was our promised land. The asking price even dropped to our maximum amount we could pay and from that point forward our promised land became ours.

BEFORE: Totally overgrown- can barely see through it
AFTER: Gorgeous! We could actually see between the trees that separates our shop from where our house will be.
My shop kitchen sink view! Gorgeous!

That’s pretty cool to me to know how God has created our own promised land. No one else may see the full beauty in it, but you do because deep inside you know it’s yours! We have about 11 ½ acres – it’s more narrow than wide, but it has flat parts and high parts and the tree lines aren’t a straight line to get around. There is the flat part on the highest part of our land (which is where our house will sit) that is just beautiful, it has a beautiful view where the front porch will be to watch the sunset overlooking a little pond and the back patio area will be nestled near one of our tree lines. My husband has spent sooooooooo much time cleaning up our land that pictures CANNOT EVEN DO IT JUSTICE! He is seriously is one of the hardest workers I know! He works practically every day whether its at his job or on our land. He amazes me with his work ethic and His love to help others with what they are working on. Man, I love him. Did you know we celebrated being together for 17 years this weekend! Yep, and I remember it like it was yesterday! He gets more gorgeous inside and outside! Give him a thumbs up if you see him!

So all this to say, when we found ourselves going through troubled times in the last 3 years, God would remind me “I gave you this place. This land is yours to occupy and it will flourish. This land is my promise to you and part of my vision for you. My glory will cover this land and darkness cannot take camp here. Get up and speak. Prophesy and draw the line over this place for not only this land, but the home you have made here-your family.” One day it was so strong on my heart to drive to the edge of our driveway, so I did and I drug my heel into the ground from one side to the other making a boundary line. I declared what would be allowed to cross this line and I ordered what couldn’t cross this line. You think that sounds crazy? It shouldn’t? Remember what we war against is rooted in spiritual things. The things we see are fruit of things we don’t see. As I’ve said before, God gave us all the power and authority through His spirit and His word as we live and reign in Christ Jesus. Consistent prayer will produce fruit. I knew our land would be fruitful both spiritually and physically. I’m excited to share with you guys our building process as the year goes on!

Here are some scriptures that God revealed to me for our promised land: our home.

“The time will come”, says the Lord, “when the grain and grapes [the harvest and the fruitfulness] WILL GROW FASTER than they can even be harvested! Then the terraced hills will drip with sweet wine [fruitfulness to enjoy and share]. I will bring your family back and you will rebuild your home to live again. You will plant vineyards and gardens (seeds of Joy, Abundance, Protection, Overflow, Unconditional love, Unity, Freedom, Victory, Health, Prosperity, etc); YOU WILL EAT OF THOSE CROPS AND DRINK OF THAT WINE [You will taste and see the fruitfulness of this promise]. I will firmly plant you there in your own land.. You will NEVER AGAIN BE UPROOTED from the land I have given you, says the Lord your God!” – Amos 9:13-15

And I will put my spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. You will live in [the promised land] I promised your ancestors. You will be my people and I will be your God. I will cleanse you (de-weed you). I will give you good crops..I will give you great harvests from your [land], and never again [will the enemy] scoff at you. – Ezekiel 36:27-30

“For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken!”, says the Lord…I will teach your children and they will enjoy great peace. You will be secure under [my reign] that which is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away. You will live in peace, where terror will not come near. If any [form of the enemy] comes against you, they will go down in defeat…No weapon formed against you will prosper. You will silence every voice that mocks you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; THEIR VINDICATION WILLL COME FROM ME! I, the Lord, have spoken!” – Isaiah 54: 10-15

Your promised land is not just a physical piece of land, this includes every aspect of your life. My promised land is not only this land, but my husband and these 2 beauties! I have the Blessing God outlined in Deuteronomy 28 and so do you! Go read it.

You have been given the authority of God, the victory of Jesus, and the blessing of Abraham! Operate in this and settle for nothing less than your promised land! The enemy is crafty and wise, but his wisdom and ability falls incomparably short to the ability and wisdom of God. Your loving Father has so abundantly given His grace and anointing to you.

Much love, Sara