5 Ways to Whack Satan

It was Sargent Singer’s Pizza Circus where I whacked my first mole. My 10th birthday party was there. Since we usually had parties at home, I was beyond excited to have a party at the pizza place. My friends and I were entertained by singing animals and arcade games. One of my favorites was the Whack-a-Mole.

I wielded an oversized padded sledgehammer and waited for the moles to pop out of their holes. As tiny sculpted mole heads came up one at a time out of the six holes, I attempted to whack them back down. But as soon as I saw one and swung, he would duck back in the hole and another would pop out from a different hole across the board. It was frustrating and gratifying all at the same time. The more moles you actually whacked back down, the higher your score.

Sargent Singer’s is long gone. And while I haven’t played that arcade game in years, I feel like I’m playing it all the time – only I’m whacking satan instead of moles. He pops up in one area of my life and I bop him over the head with all my might, but before I can settle back down in satan-bopping satisfaction, he rears his ugly head somewhere else.

The constant whacking and swinging can leave one worn-out and overwhelmed. Before you throw down your padded sledgehammer, let’s talk about some ways you can battle the enemy.

1. Stay in God’s Word
The Bible is God’s gift to us. If you’ve been in church any length of time, you’ve heard that so many times it feels a little bit like a Christian greeting card. But it’s truth. When you learn the power of God’s Word, you’ll understand.

So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 NIV

The more time you spend in His Word, the closer you will draw to God. And His Words will get deep down in your heart so that you can pull them to memory when you need them.

2. Use God’s Word
When satan rears his head in your life, whack him with scripture. Use “the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17) Even Jesus quoted scripture when satan tried to tempt Him. Pick a good power verse that deals with an area where satan tends to pop up and memorize it. Then when he shows his head, say it out loud. Satan can’t read your thoughts, but He can hear you speak.

3. Remember Who Satan Is
Satan is a LIAR. That’s not a rumor I heard in high school. I didn’t read it in the Huffington Post’s latest article. It’s Truth. The Bible says it. Jesus himself condemns satan saying, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 ESV)

If you hear satan telling you something about yourself, your marriage, your spouse, your friends, your health, your finances…you name it, know this: IT IS A LIE. Jesus himself said there is no truth in him. So stick out your tongue and tell satan, “Liar, liar. Pants on fire!”

4. Listen to Praise Music
When you are struggling with letting your thoughts snowball into a giant mess of anxiety, put on some praise music. Let the words of praise and thanksgiving fill your ears and your heart. As you listen, find things for which to praise your Heavenly Father. Lift your hands and dance. God is good. Music is used all through the Bible for worship. Let it fill you and change your outlook on your situation.

5. Pray
God is with us all the time. He is the Almighty Creator of all things. Unlike, Amazon Echo’s Alexa, you don’t have to be in a certain room to ask questions, and you certainly don’t have to call Him by a certain name. He will hear you when you call. Ask God for help. He really is all powerful and all knowing. Those aren’t just sayings people say at church. It’s Truth. God has the capability of lifting you from the situation you find yourself. And whether He choses to lift you out of it or teach you from within it, you can be assured of this – He will be in it with you.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2 NIV

Ask God for strength. Ask Him for wisdom Pray with other believers over your situation. Prayer is powerful.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NIV

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Don’t let satan steal from you. So grab your padded sledgehammer and keep on whacking.

Carol

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The Power of a Story

In days of old, before Snapchat and Facebook, before Instagram and Twitter, before removable type and the creation of mass produced literature and books, there was story telling. It’s the way one generation would tell the next of family heritage and how the world works.

Everyone loves to hear a good story. But let’s be honest, we also have the need to tell our story. Don’t believe me? Have a look on social media. What do you think everyone is doing? They are telling their stories.

I ate this incredible dinner at Ye Old College Inn. If you go, you have to try the Po’ Boy.

I got an Instapot for Christmas, and last night I made dinner in nine minutes! No lie!

Baby Charlotte just took her first steps! Our lives have changed forever. #sheisrunning

We are all just telling our stories. And somehow in doing so, something amazing happens. For some, telling them brings healing. For others, listening and learning how others have walked through similar experiences has given strength and inspiration. We cry together. We laugh together. We pray together. And through it all, we draw closer. We find similarities in each other and we find courage to face another day – all through stories.

There is power in telling your story.

Social Media’s newest trends are videos and live feeds. More than pounding out the words on keyboards, we want to talk and share. We want to tell our tale where others can truly listen in real life – or at least as close to real life as we can get through a computer screen.

Jesus was a story teller, too. He used parables to teach people life lessons. He found it was an effective way of sharing the gospel with examples the people could understand. Christ wanted to make the Word of God become more than words read by a priest in the temple. He wanted it to be real in their lives – to have meaning. He wanted it to affect the way they worked and lived.

Tucked in the pages of Exodus is the story of how Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came to visit him and bring his wife and sons to him. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert. His wife and two sons were back with her family in Midian. Now remember, the Midianites did not worship God. Moses had taken a foreign wife who worshipped other gods. So when Jethro, came to visit Moses in the desert, Moses told his father-in-law how his God miraculously saved them from the Egyptians. He also shared how God had provided food and water for them in the desert.

Here was Jethro’s response:

Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. He said, “Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
Exodus 18:9-12 NIV

Jethro had an encounter with God. He heard Moses share everything the Lord had done for them, and Jethro became a believer in the One True God. The Bible says he confessed God (“Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods.”), and he brought a burnt offering to the Lord.

Jethro’s encounter with God was a direct result of Moses sharing his story about God’s deliverance. God used the recounting of His goodness to draw Jethro to Him.

What amazing things has God done for you? Has God placed someone in your path that might benefit from your story? Never underestimate the power of your story – or the power of your God. Today, share one amazing thing the Lord has done for you and see how He will use it.

Carol

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What Is This World Coming To?

“Hurricane Harvey Death Toll Hits 70”
“Hurricane Irma’s Death Toll Now 73”
“In Puerto Rico, Death Toll from Hurricane Maria Reaches 16”
“Death Toll Rises to 360 in Mexico Earthquake”
“Massive wildfires in U.S. Northwest destroyed habitats, threaten wildlife”
“At Least 59 Killed, 527 Injured in Las Vegas Shooting”

These headlines read like an Apocalyptic book on the New York Times, Best-Seller List. But unfortunately, they didn’t come from a popular page-turner. They are the actual headlines from news stories posted in the past 30 days!

Since waking up and reading of the Las Vegas shooting at the Jason Aldean concert, I’ve been at a loss for words. When finally I found a couple of them to string together, all I could manage was, “What is this world coming to?”

Honestly, it’s a little scary. It makes you want to lock the doors and stay at home. And those of us raising children right now are taking lots of deep breaths.

In my quiet time, I’ve been reading in Revelation. It is written by the Apostle John, and in it he describes some visions where the Lord has revealed some information about the end of times. In chapter 4, John sees God on his throne. You need to read the description for yourself. It’s incredible. As a fellow writer, I imagine he had a hard time using mere words to describe what he saw. As we move to chapter 5, John tells us that in the hand of the One on the throne, God, there is a scroll with seven seals.

And an angel asks, “Who is worthy to open this scroll?” Revelation 5:3 says, “But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.” NOT ONE WORTHY PERSON.

You can imagine how excited John was to hear and see what was inside God’s scroll. But then no one was worthy enough to open it. John was so sorrowful, the Bible says, he “wept and wept.” That’s how I’m feeling about the world right now. I want to weep and weep. Are we that evil? That full of sin? That perverse?

The answer is yes.

Our world is so broken. There is sickness and sorrow beyond the grasp of my mind.

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10 NIV

But before we fall into complete despair, we need to read on in our passage in Revelation.

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. Revelation 5:5-6 NIV

The Lion of the tribe of Judah is Jesus. Jesus is worthy of opening the scroll! Then John heard the voices of “thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand” angels as they circled the throne. They sang in a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Rev. 5:12)

Let’s stop for a minute and let that sink in because what’s coming next is equally as good. First let’s focus on that number – “thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.” I recently attended a football game, and the stadium held 103,000. So, I imagine at least that many angels if not more. But catch that I said “angels.” It’s one thing to have that many people, but we are talking about heavenly beings.

And these heavenly beings are singing “in a loud voice,” the Bible tells us. They are singing praises to Jesus. Can you imagine if you were John and seeing all of this? It gives me chills.

Then it gets even better. Here’s what the Word says:

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” Revelation 5:13 NIV

I need you to fully comprehend this. First we have over a hundred thousand angels singing praises to Jesus. But then John hears EVERY creature praising God (“to him who sits on the throne”) and to Jesus (“and to the Lamb”). John didn’t just leave his description at EVERY. He goes on to say, “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them.” In other words, every man, woman and child, as well as every animal and living thing will praise God.

So first you have a huge number of angels singing praises, then you have literally EVERY LIVING THING praising God and Jesus all together.

It. Is. Amazing.

So why do I share this with you in light of these recent events?

Your enemy, the devil, would have you focus on the division between the people of this world – the blacks and whites, democrats and republicans, conservatives and liberals, Christians and Muslims. He would have you focus on everything wrong with the world. He will discourage you and incite fear. But don’t accept his lies.

Because just when you feel like there is no hope, just when you feel like there is no good person left, there is Jesus. And HE is worthy. He is worthy to save us all. And that, my friends, is good news. It’s the best news of all.

So, if you are struggling with the events in this world or just the personal events happening in your life, don’t weep and weep. There is hope – and it’s Jesus. To Him be all the praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever.

Carol

11 responses to “What Is This World Coming To?”

  1. jerralea says:

    This is a good word, Carol! I’m so glad there is hope, and that hope is Jesus!

  2. Libby Bridger says:

    Thank you for sharing Carol. That was a great word that is very much needed today.

  3. Karyn says:

    As many times as I have read this passage, today it is just what I needed. Thank you:)

    • Carol says:

      Isn’t it amazing how God speaks through His Word and how passages you’ve read again and again can jump off the page at just the right time? His Word is certainly living and active. All praise belongs to Him. 🙂

  4. Sabra Penley says:

    Thank you, Carol. How much we need this encouraging message!

    • Carol says:

      Thank YOU Sabre for visiting. We have to keep reminding each other that Jesus is Sovereign. 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  5. Peggy says:

    Thank you Carol for reminding us of our eternal Hope in our precious Jesus, so good to hear amid the turmoil of this world.

    • Carol says:

      Thanks, Peggy. Satan would so love us to focus on the turmoil. And it’s so easy to get caught up in all of it. But we can’t focus on two things at once, so we must choose to keep our eyes on Christ instead. I’m so thankful that He has overcome this world! 🙂

  6. Excellent article! Very encouraging good news, in a world filled with the opposite. Well written, Carol. You are a talented wordsmith.

When Someone Gets in Front of Your Miracle

He was desperate.

Yet in that despair came a glimmer of hope. He’d heard stories of the one they called Teacher. He’d never seen any of the miracles, but there was talk of him healing the sick and even raising the dead.

So with a modicum of faith, Jairus went in search of Jesus to help his daughter. When Jairus found him, the pomp and circumstance that usually accompanied synagogue leaders such as himself, crumbled as he fell at Jesus’ feet. In despair he cried, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” (Mark 5:23 NIV)

So Jesus went.

The Bible states it simply. Christ didn’t ask questions. He didn’t give instructions for the disciples to pass out tracts while he ran on his miracle errand. He just went.

Jairus must have been thrilled. I imagine him trying to move briskly in the direction of his home suppressing the urge to break into a sprint. But there were all those people. I would have run, shoving men and women as I went. Shove now, apologize later. There was a life at stake after all.

Then this woman showed up – hoping for a miracle of her own. The embarrassment over her “unclean” condition was perhaps what motivated her to touch Jesus in secret. She probably thought, I’ll keep my head covered and just touch his clothes. He is so powerful, even the fibers woven to adorn his body will be enough. No doubt, she intended on slipping out of the crowd as soon as she was healed, but Jesus was aware of her presence.

He knew that power had gone out from his body. (v. 30)

“Who touched me?” Christ asked, wanting to look upon the face of the woman with such faith.

Let’s freeze that moment and talk a minute about those around Jesus and what they were thinking. We know the disciples were thinking their Lord was loco (crazy). The Bible doesn’t tell us their tone, but one can only imagine.

After Jesus’ question, their response was, “You see people crowding against you, and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” (v. 31) I can almost see the sarcasm dripping from the words.

What I want to know is what is Jairus doing? This man is desperate for his daughter to be healed and is afraid she is going to die. If it were me, I might have been silent on the outside, but I’d be screaming on the inside, “Let’s go! Okay, okay. She’s healed already – besides the fact she totally jumped in the ‘I need a miracle’ line. Let’s go!”
Back to the situation at hand.

In terror, the woman came forward and collapsed at Jesus feet. The same feet Jairus gazed upon mere minutes before. Her story came spilling forth, and instead of criticizing her, Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

But before Jesus can even finish speaking these words, some men from Jairus’ house approached Jairus with the nightmare he had been trying to avoid. “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?”

Can you imagine the agony? He succeeded in getting Jesus to come only to have his daughter die before they could arrive. Once again, the Bible is silent on Jairus’ response, but we can infer from Jesus’ next words that Jairus was upset.

“Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” (v. 36)

Can I share with you the words that struck me? “Ignoring what they said…”

How many times have you heard the worst? Perhaps the doctors have given no hope. Maybe your family laughed when you shared your dream. You thought you heard the voice of God, but now you are not so sure.

Take Jesus’ advice – ignore what they said. Then don’t be afraid. Just believe.

Sometimes in order to achieve the impossible, we have to disregard the obstacles. When God is in it, all things are possible.

You see, Jesus went on to Jairus’ house, telling the people there the girl was asleep. And guess what the people did? They didn’t fall down and worship. They didn’t even run in her room and place a mirror under her nose. Instead, “they laughed at him.” (v. 40)

But Jesus went into her room and brought the child back to life. She got up and had a fruit snack. (Just a guess. Dried figs would qualify as a fruit snack, right?)

So today I ask what impossible task are you facing? Perhaps you need to ignore the discouraging words and the laughs.

Then don’t be afraid. Just believe.

 

**Re-post from 2012. I ran across it today, and it ministered to me. I hope it does the same for you. 

Carol

One response to “When Someone Gets in Front of Your Miracle”

When You Don’t Know What to Say


As the elevator doors shut, a hand darted in between and stopped them. The doors slid open, and I saw my college roommate and her mother. “Oh, hi!” I chatted “How was the funeral?”

They got on the elevator, and I pushed the 7th floor button so we could head back to our dorm room. At my question, my roommate and her mother shared a look. I could almost feel her eye roll as she told me, “Sad. It was a funeral. What did you expect?”

I shut up quickly knowing I had done something drastically wrong. We had a long awkward walk down the seventh-floor hall for me to think on it. I opened the door to our shared room and held it for her and her mother to come inside. I darted over to my desk and busied myself shuffling through notebooks and folders for Monday’s classes while my roommate and her mother spoke in hushed whispers.

Soon, her mother left. I would throw out an occasional “Do you want some popcorn?” or “Are our suitemates back yet?” just to test the waters. She mostly answered with one word replies.

I knew she must be sad as her young cousin had just passed away. She found out the week before – from me. Our suitemate, who lived in her home town, got the news before my roommate’s mother found out and could call her. When our suitemate came through our shared bathroom to tell her the news, she wasn’t there. Just me. So, I was put in charge of letting her know. After I told her, she quickly called her mom and headed home over the weekend for the funeral.

When finally I worked up enough nerve to ask what I had done wrong, my roommate let me have it. “My cousin died in a car crash, and I had no clue. So, when you told me, you said it just like that, ‘Your cousin died.’ You could have shown some sympathy or let my mom tell me or something.”

I tried to dig my young self out of the hole where I stood. But there was no use. The damage was done. I hurt her. In my concern for myself (“You mean I have to be the one to tell her?”), I spit out the words like I was giving a weather report and didn’t consider how it would sound. Then when she returned, I asked, “Well how was it?” Not in a hushed calm, “Did everything go okay?” way. Instead I asked like you’d ask someone who attended a wedding, in a “Okay, give me the details” kind of way.

I can tell you this now, as a forty-three-year-old woman, and see the error of my ways. But at nineteen, I was completely clueless. My roommate eventually forgave me, and we moved past it. But God used it to teach me something – what we say is important. And it’s important to say something.

So, as I’ve been watching the news and reading the news feeds over the events that happened in Charlottesville, I’m reminded of the importance of my words. What I’ve learned over the years since that experience, as I’ve walked through the deaths of family members and friends, is the best thing to say is, “I’m sorry. I am hurting with you.”

Instead, we second guess what we say because we’ve seen how people respond on social media, and we are worried we will be attacked. We are concerned for ourselves. But the focus is never supposed to be on us. It’s supposed to be on others.

Friends, people are hurting. They are afraid. They feel unheard, unseen, unimportant. And all of those are contrary to what God’s Word says. God sees us, hears us and we are chosen by Him. We are to treat each other with love and mercy. MERCY!

That mercy should extend both ways. For those who are speaking out and are wondering why their brothers and sisters are silent, show them mercy. For those white supremacists who spew hate? And some of them even claim to be Christ followers – know they are not. “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20 NIV) But we must show them mercy, too.

Sometimes showing mercy means keeping your mouth shut. But other times it means opening it up. When you want to say something, and you just don’t know what to say, open your mouth and say, “I’m sorry. I’m hurting with you.” And leave it at that.

Friends, we need Jesus. All of us. Let’s start lifting each other to Him.

“Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 1:13-14 NIV

Carol

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