Tag Archive | Spiritual Warfare

I Looked in a Mirror and What Did I See …

“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)

I looked in a mirror and what did I see … a monkey looking back at me.

Well, not a monkey exactly. But I do have to laugh at myself. Currently my hair sticks up in all directions. It seems to have a mind of its own and does as it pleases. I wonder how my husband can sit across from me at the table and not burst into laughter.

Sometimes I see a different me though. Sometimes I see a confident, attractive woman who’s ready to face the world head-on. I wonder what life will throw at me today. But it doesn’t matter because the Lord and I can handle it

Sometimes I see an older woman, whom I barely recognize. She’s homely and insecure. And I wonder how Gene can still find beauty in such a body. But he does. He says I have inner beauty my health can’t touch and that’s what he sees when he looks at me.

I squint at the image in the mirror. I still can’t see the inner me.

Why do I focus on my outward appearance when the ones I care most about don’t see me as I see myself?

God says I’m wonderfully and fearfully made (Psalm 139:14). He also says I’m created in His image (Genesis 1:26). That’s pretty special. He says I’m worth dying for (Romans 5:8). That’s almost unbelievable. He says I’m His handiwork—His masterpiece—created to do good work (Ephesians 2:10). If God says all these good things and more about me, why should I question my appearance or demerit His creation in me?

Where do the negative thoughts about my appearance come from?

He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Satan wants to destroy believers. He attacks us physically by means of diseases, broken relationships, financial ruin and intellectually by means of the lies we tell ourselves.

The Lord reminds us to not conform to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). That verse continues with proving God’s will…His good and perfect will. His will is not for us to condemn or belittle ourselves. His will is for us to be confident, battle-ready servants of Christ.

Now I have a choice to make. Do I believe the father of lies or Jesus Christ, who is Truth (John 14:6)? Of course, I choose truth. I have to work on renewing my mind to believe what God says about me and to see what Gene sees in me.

How about you? What lies has the enemy told you in an attempt to destroy your confidence in who you are in our Risen Savior?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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Speak Life

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. (Romans 8:10-12)

Join the Lord’s Army

This morning between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. I will receive my third chemo treatment. These treatments consist of Benadryl to prevent the reaction I had the first treatment, a drug to help prevent nausea, steroids, and two different types of chemo. That’s an arsenal of meds!

I’ve heard many people refer to these treatments as poison. And perhaps it is. But that seems like a negative outlook to me. Now, I’m not one to follow the positive and happy thoughts crowd. But I do believe our words carry punch. We can speak life or death into any situation. I also believe God wants us to speak life not death.

How do we do that?

Speak the truth according to God’s Word. What does the Bible teach about the situation I’m in? God has given me life and in Him I have life abundantly. Jesus heals through many different means. He also has a plan. He has numbered my days…not the doctors.

Speaking truth and life involves a positive attitude. When it comes to the drugs with which they’re filling my body, I’ve decided to look at it through a different lens. God has given the doctors the knowledge of how to use these drugs to combat the disease that has invaded my body. Therefore, I think of these treatments as an army—God’s army if you will—sent to fight the war going on within me. The enemy is sneaky and strong. I didn’t even know he had attacked. But I’m grateful the doctors discovered the invasion when they did. That was an act of God to start with.

Now, He has sent an arsenal of meds to combat the poison already in my system. Yes, the meds destroy the good with the bad. That’s the sad reality of any battle. However when the battle’s over and victory won, the good is restored. I know the Master Builder and trust Him to reconstruct my body. He lives in me. He is the Commander of the army and the Restorer of my soul.

I live in victory.

How about you? How do you speak life in your situation?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 

 

Be a Service Dog

All Scripture is God-breathe and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

Lab 3 4 webBecause of a disabling disease, my friend Joan employs a service dog. This dog tirelessly caters to her every need from handing her shoes in the morning to replacing them at night. There seems to be no task he can’t accomplish short of driving her van and paying her bills. Impressive animal in deed, but he’s new at this. Although he’d been trained for two years and had earned service dog status before entering Joan’s household, he still has somethings to learn. You see, Joan is also deathly allergic to latex. The agency, which trained him, did not train him to detect latex. Joan has to do that herself. Not to worry, she trained her previous dog for her specific requirements. No doubt, she can train her new companion.

Joan hasn’t told me exactly how she managed to train her first dog to sniff out latex. But the end result saved her life more than once. One of the funniest stories she told me about it was, the dog grabbed a bag of chips from her and won’t let her open it. The only thing Joan and her husband could figure out was the company must’ve changed the ingredients in the glue used to seal the bag to include latex. Now that’s a sensitive sniffer. Joan could tell you many instances where that dog spared her a trip to the hospital and perhaps saved her life.

Like Joan’s dog, we are in service to our Master. He is training us to “sniff out” dangerous situations and warn those around us. We need to heed our Master’s voice. We need to develop sensitivity to demonic activity and satanic devices that could potentially destroy not only our faith, but also other’s souls. We need to warn those around us of the pitfalls set in their paths.

The only way to accomplish the “service dog” status is by studying God’s word and praying for discernment. Then put into practice what we’ve learned.

How about you? What have you noticed about your environment that could be a potential threat to those around you, and how have you shared your concerns?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 

K is for Kingdom

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)

Join the Lord's Army

Join the Lord’s Army

When it came time for the Hebrews to enter the Promised Land, Moses had died, and God had chosen another man to lead His people into their inheritance. But before they could occupy the territory, they had to defeat the established kingdoms. Joshua believed and trusted God to do as He said He’d do and led the Hebrews into battle after battle, conquering the nations as God directed them.

None of the battles were won by the strength of Joshua’s army but by the strength of God’s hand. One of the most well-known battles is the battle of Jericho. God instructed Joshua to have the men, including with the priests, march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times. On the seventh lap, the priests were told to blast their trumpets and the men were told to shout. They followed the instructions, and the walls of the city collapsed.

Battle after battle, God miraculously delivered the kingdoms of Canaan into the hands of the Hebrews as long as the followed His instructions.

We, like the Hebrews, have to follow God’s instructions if we want to enter His kingdom. And as He did for the Hebrews long ago, God will deliver us from the powers, principalities, and kingdoms of the air. Jesus came to assure and secure our victory.

You can read the story of the battle of Jericho in Joshua 6:20

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter K?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

In a Dry Place

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. (Isaiah 41:18)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Cape Code Sand Dunes, which I’d visited many years ago. The dunes covered miles of land with no water in sight. I suppose if we’d walked far enough we would’ve come to the ocean. As refreshing as the “big lake” would’ve appeared, it wouldn’t have quenched our thirst. A dip in salt water may sooth a sweaty body. However, it does nothing to comfort a dehydrated body.

We didn’t walk the width of the dunes the day I visited, but we did walk miles and carried canteens of water to prevent dehydration. While we explored, the blazing sun burned our backs through our shirts. The sizzling sand scourged our feet through our sneakers. The glare from both the sun and sand stung our eyes. Yet, we plodded on, searching, digging, and sifting. No one forced us to endure the heat. We chose our own course all for the thrill of unearthing a piece of glass.

That excursion was the closest I’ve ever come to trudging across a physical desert. Nevertheless, I have spent plenty of time in spiritual deserts. I moped and struggled for years for lack of productivity, wondering why here and why now. And where exactly was “here?” How do I escape? My soul cried out with the Psalmists who penned, “How long, oh Lord? Why are You silent? Have You forgotten me forever? Turn Your face toward Your child and rescue me?” Although He seemed distant and far too quiet, the Lord had purpose in leading me through that parched land.

Here are a few things I learned during that “desert experience:”

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Next week:

We’ll be starting a study on Rocks. Yes, Rocks! When mentioned in the Bible, Rocks can be metaphoric and quiet enlightening. Our first Rock is found in Genesis 49:22-26.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Power of Water

 

“Whoever drinks the water I [Jesus] give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

Hunter water dish

EMPTY!


At 8:00 this morning, the heat and humidity began to rise. Going for a two-mile walk just about did Hunter and me in. We came home invigorated, yet panting and sweating. I poured water into the dog’s dish then filled a glass for myself. And the race was on. We gulped up our H20 like we’d just crossed Death Valley. Nothing quenches thirst like a tall glass of ice water.

Our bodies crave water for good reason. We’re 55-60% water depending on our gender. You knew that, right? But different parts of our bodies contain different percentages of water. For instance, our brains are 70% water. Our blood is more than 80% water. And our lungs are 90% water. Think about that. Our lungs consist of 90% water, yet we can drown on a small amount of water in our lungs (http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/h2o3.htm). We are truly intricately and wonderfully formed.

We cannot exist without water. However as soothing to the body and soul as it is, water is dangerous and destructive. Ask anyone who has lived through a flash flood, a hurricane, or a tsunami.

Here’s the thing:

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Next week:

We’ll consider dry ground. Is it the path of the enemy or of God? Prepare by reading Isaiah 41:17-20

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Fueling Optimism

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” (Ezekiel 37:9)

Wayne's Trout 4 webDo you remember the commercial for a carpet cleaner in which the lady kept saying, “It’s okay” in a sickening sweet voice every time someone yelled, “Johnny just spilled … ?” I wanted to slap that lady silly while screaming, “It’s NOT okay. Teach that kid some manners. Sit him on a seat at the table where he belongs.” And then at the end, the lady’s friend, apparently the mother of the klutzy kid, chimes in with her own gotta-brush-my-teeth-to-avoid-cavities sweet tone, “It’s okay!”

That kind of “Pollyanna” attitude cleans the carpet about as well as it helps cope with daily stressors. Tough stains take knuckle-scrappin’, elbow-bendin’, muscle-tautin’ work to remove. And whether daily stressors or huge disasters threaten our tranquility, relief comes through more effort than a cheery “It’s okay.”

Fueling optimism involves a more solid conviction than merely reciting “positive” quotes and Scripture verses.

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How about you? How do you fuel optimism to get through these trying times?

Next Week:

We’ll consider the power of water. Please prepare by studying John 4:7-15

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks