Satan, You Can’t Have My Children

Going into this book I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I was a little intimidated by the title.  Afterall, it’s a little “in your face” to satan.  For someone who doesn’t really go after stirring up the pot, I certainly would rather not stir up the darkness.  That’s my flesh talking for sure!

I’m reminded often of the power I have at every turn of every moment of my life.  Christ in Me!  The Hope of Glory!  The God who rose from the grave and turned water into wine!  The God that defeated Goliath and withstood the fiery furnace, the God that created man from dust and thousands of years later walked on water.  The very God where darkness cannot be found — it’s not allowed!  That’s the power I have — because Christ lives in me and through me!

With that in mind . . . I read this book!

First of all I must let Ms. Iris know how thankful I am that God laid these truths upon her heart, gave her the spirit of obedience and put them on paper.  They were a true testament to the nature of who she is in Christ and who we all are who call on the name above all names!

Our children are so precious!  More than legacies and more than little people.  As Ms. Iris says, they are unique spirits clothed in an earth-suit of their own.  As parents we spend the majority of our time caring for the earth suits, but little to no time nurturing their more valuable identity — their souls.  Robbed of their innocence, the truths of the Kingdom and their dependence on Christ alone, our children are wandering in the desert and clinging to false faith, false hope and false love.

It is our responsibility as parents to protect them from the scalding arrows of satan and his never-changing lies.  We must PRAY!  Pray for our children at all times!  Present them at Christ’s feet, surrendered but not silent!  It’s past time to be intentional about talking, praying and teaching the Truth, boldly, honestly and fearlessly to our children.

I could go on and on — this book fired me up!  Can you tell?  Every Christian parent should read it for no other reason than as a reminder that our battle is not against flesh and blood — and our children are walking aimlessly inside the lion’s pride.

Click here to learn more about his book!

by:  Mark Cruver

Living Redeemed

“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you — I, Whom you have redeemed.”  Psalm 71:23

As an early teen, I mastered the art of cashing in on others carelessness.  It was the perfect arrangement and the reward was sweet.  You see, back then (you know I’m getting old when I have to say that), beverages came in tall 12 oz. or 16 oz. glass bottles.  Remember?  Depending on your age, you may have to learn instead of remember.  HA!

At any given moment you could walk up and down the street and find any number of bottles along the roadside, in the ditch or even in the trash.  Thrown away and discarded, these bottles had value!  For me, it was a cash-cow!  I quickly learned that if I collected them and took them to the gas station market right down the street, they would give me 10 cents for every bottle.  That was a no brainer for me!  Do the math!  For every 10 bottles I got a whole dollar!  It didn’t take me long to fill the brown-paper grocery bags with my collection of discarded gold!  And I walked away with a refreshing Nehi Grape Soda and a candy bar — that’s what I’m talking about right there!

I was talking with my son recently about what it meant to be redeemed.  This childhood experience of mine was what came to mind.  To redeem something means to exchange something for it’s value!  It truly is a “cash-in” moment.  So when God says that we have been redeemed — that would suggest a few things.  First of all, it suggests we have value!  Even in our state of sin and disobedience, He reminds us that He has already made the exchange — He’s already “cashed-in” for us!  Second, it suggests in the exchange there are winners!  At the gas station, the attendant won because she received benefit from the glass recyclers and I received my Nehi!  It was a Win-Win!  It’s a Win-Win with Christ and me too!  Christ wins in fellowship with us, knowing that His child is trusting in the life He intended us to live.  I win because I CAN live without condemnation because of Him!  And third, once I hand over those bottles — I don’t have to carry them anymore!  And let me tell you, if you’ve ever tried riding a bike holding two paper sacks filled with empty glass bottles you’d come to realize how challenging that really is.  I can’t say I didn’t lose a few bottles along the route.  Like our walk in Christ, we no longer have to carry the burden, sit beneath the weight or position ourselves under the pressure of the past any longer.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  II Corinthians 5:17

We are no longer bound to those things, the chains have been loosened and we have been set free!  We are able to then sit in the shade of His everlasting love and enjoy the sweetness of His delight and sip on the “Nehi” of His Spirit that lives within us.

But it’s one thing to know the meaning of redemption, it’s another walking and living redeemed.  What in the world does that look like and how do you do it?  It starts with faith — belief in trusting the Savior because what He says is true (Isaiah 45:19).  Through belief you teach your heart and mind to know and recognize the truth!  What looks like reality isn’t always true — that’s why your compass has to point in the direction of “He” at all times (see yesterday’s post).  Then, and only then, will you walk as does the blind man.  You become fully dependent upon the ONLY one who can redeem!

What does this look like in your life?  We all have issues, crisis, struggles, challenges, worries and busyness.  How do you live redeemed?

All Rights Reserved

The only right a Christian has is the right to give up his rights.  -Oswald Chambers

My nephew is 3 years old.  Lunch for his brothers and sister were being prepared for the day and they were being carefully assembled on the kitchen counter.  His mom grabbed the block of cheese from the refrigerator and began slicing pieces off for each of their lunch boxes.  No one was eating the cheese at the moment, it was for later.  But this little guy was ready, right now, to get his cheesy prize.  His logic was clearly, “if there’s cheese, then I get some.”  Unclear to him this was false logic, because once he found out he wasn’t getting any cheese, his happy, sweet and innocent self turned into a thrashing, loud and tearful torment.  What in the world just happened?

He felt he had a right to get cheese.  All the pieces were in place for this to be true . . . he was there, cheese was there, mommy was there, his mouth was there!  Cha-ching!

I have been challenged lately in my life in much the same way.  There are circumstances where I have felt all the right pieces were present for a very specific outcome.  On more than one occasion these moments have never turned out as I had imagined they would . . . or should.  So, upon departure I would find my anxiety to be high, my criticism to be sharp and despair to be looming near in the shadows.  What in the world just happened?

It’s all about my rights!  In those moments, much like my nephew, I thought I deserved something.  A pat on the back or a certain comment, maybe just a positive look to assure myself things are just fine.  The fact is I don’t NEED any of those things.  Sure, I’d like them and it would be added coolness to get them, but all of those things are already being met in and through Christ in me.  I just need to learn, and trust, in living in that truth.  My worth, my identity is found through Christ.

“I am the vine, you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

by: Mark Cruver