Shut It Down, Don’t Tolerate

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Since July of 2010, my family has had zero tolerance for sickness. That means if we sneeze, we rebuke it in the name of Jesus. If we have allergies, we rebuke them in the name of Jesus. If we have pain, we pray over it immediately. We don’t just sit down and tolerate it. We war over it. We join together. We turn everything in our house from whatever we were doing to praying the Bible, praying messages of healing and testimonies of hope, stories of God’s children being redeemed and restored. 

We stop and pray over one another throughout the day. We constantly have our ears open and our hearts going, and we listen for discouragement. Even when we are away from each other, we are praying for each other. All day, we pray in the Spirit over each other. We don’t stop. We don’t cease.

However, the person who is fighting or warring can sometimes take ownership of the illness that has come at them, taking it on as part of their identity. They can begin to tolerate it bit by bit. Instead of seeking help right away, they’ll say, “Oh, it’s only a sniffle. I just need to blow my nose. It’s not that big of a deal.” We need to realize sickness is always the beginning of death. You shouldn’t tolerate it for a second.

Way back in 2016, I sustained a neck injury by being super-silly. No alcohol was involved. It was my daughter’s birthday, and our family was over. I guess I liked the spotlight. I like to dance and have fun. I simply enjoy living. So, I walked on my hands, and I did the worm or the centipede. I did handstands against the wall. Well, I fell out of a handstand and onto my head and injured my C-1 and C-2 vertebrae. I had crammed my cranial arteries up into my skull, which messed up my blood flow. It made me want to pass out. I felt horrible. Oh my goodness! I couldn’t lift my head without blacking out.

I stayed in bed until two. During that time, I couldn’t do anything about my condition. I was simply weak. I wept, unable to war. My family began to war over me. As I lay there, fear began to creep in. Thoughts of, “What if I can’t walk? What if I’m not okay? What if this doesn’t stop? What if…?” filled my mind and kept me from focusing on what kind of glory God was going to get when my miracle happened and everyone saw how He worked it out this time.

He had worked it out before for me. He will work it out again. He is the God who gives good and perfect gifts. He cares for me. He loves me. He is not against me. He is for me. This might be a weapon that was formed against me, but it couldn’t prosper. Instead of rebuking all the symptoms and words against me, I was agreeing with them. I wasn’t agreeing with the truth. I was agreeing with those words against me. I began tolerating it. The more you tolerate something, the more it sets into who you are.

I had to come to a point where I drew a line in the sand and decided, “I’m not going to bed until I have this turned around.” Fear is not from God. He says in the Bible, over 365 times, “Do not fear.” Yet I was in fear. So I decided, “God, I am going to surrender everything no matter what it takes.” 

I began repenting and surrendering and truly confessing everything I was struggling with. I had not been sleeping well, and I spent the night in about eight hundred positions. I was up a million times in the middle of the night. But every time I felt any symptom whatsoever, I simply said, “No. In the name of Jesus, I cut you off.” And every time, it left immediately because I have been given authority over my body and I began to use it. Because of that, I put my foot down and stopped tolerating this weapon that had been formed against me. 

You have to decide early on, if there is a weapon formed against you, whether you are going to tolerate it or not. Some people will think this is so stupid because it’s not that big of a deal, but it is a big deal. Every weapon has the opportunity for fatality. I’m not finished with my work on this earth, and I know I am not. So in Jesus’ name, I can stand on God’s promises He has for me and not tolerate something, not the slightest bit.

Check your own life and see if you are tolerating any weapons that have held you up. Are you tolerating any mental what-ifs that have kept you from moving forward? Shut them down today and stop tolerating them, in Jesus’ name. 

It’s Not Blood That Makes Family; It’s Love

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Recently, some friends of ours had a family emergency with one of their daughters. One of the onward-looking daughters had to witness her family member go into this crisis. She was just in turmoil. She was so upset. As she sobbed, I sobbed with her. Then I began to think about their family.

Their family has four biological children and three adopted children. The daughter I was holding was adopted into this family. I held her and wept because of her pain, even though I knew her sister was going to be just fine. My heart was broken with hers because she loved her sister so much.

As I thought about their family relationships, I realized this daughter I was holding had been adopted into this family. She wasn’t blood-related to her sister. She was adopted. Then this thought came to my mind: It’s not blood that makes a family; it’s love.

If you are struggling to fit in or be accepted by your family members, maybe you simply need to look around and redefine family.

One Key to Happiness: Family




Everyone’s searching to belong. We search to belong to a family, a friend circle, or some other sort of group.


I’ve recently started taking back my health. I joined a gym and signed up with a coach. There are like a hundred of us fighting to take back our health. What is incredible is the community and the fellowship with like-minded people. It is ridiculous. We’re all fighting, we’re all standing, and we all encourage each other because we are in the same race. It is awesome.

When people become Christians, they start searching for where they fit within the community of believers. They wonder, “Where do I fit in? Where is the place of community for me? Where am I going to be encouraged and loved? Who will hold up my arms when I’m about to fall into temptation?” We’re striving for the kind of community I have at my gym.

“May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.” (Genesis 28:3 NIV) 


I think we can find what we’re searching for within our own families. The problem today is that families are dysfunctional. Parents don’t stick together. They get a divorce. Strife steps in and tears down the bonds in marriage and families. It tears mother from daughter, father from son, sibling from sibling, and families splinter.


Even in school, what do we do? We promote segregation of the family. You go into your grade, and your siblings go into their grades. You don’t see each other all day long. When you do, the older one probably looks down on the younger ones because they are not the same age. School categorizes everyone by age.

I believe the ultimate community we are all searching for is provided through the family. A family doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be united. I think God set it right there in front of us: “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples” (Genesis 28:3 NIV). Ask people from big families. They have built-in friendships and bonds that small families may not experience.
Pray with me:

I pray today, Father, that the walls we have built up in our families and close friendships would be torn down and we would choose unity over having our own way. I pray that we would be like-minded, that we would be one as Christ is one with God. I pray that we would choose to lay down our life over taking up our platform or grievance against each other. I pray that we would no longer be easily offended by one another and that we would encourage each other every single day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus’ Name and the Authority to Use It

In 2003, I didn’t have a clue that Jesus’ name was literally above every other name that could be named on earth. I had no clue that it was a name that had power in it or that it was for my use in my life to speak over mountains so they would be cast into the sea. I had no idea that I could use it in my family’s life while praying over them or for them. I had no idea I could share it with strangers at the grocery store and see them be healed.

In 2003, I was blind. I knew there was a God who loved me, but I wasn’t convinced that He was for me. I had no idea that He had left me with the same power that raised Christ from the dead.

From August of 2003 until about November of 2005, I dug into the word of God daily, searching and striving, hungrily devouring every page and every word. I would be in awe of who God is, who Jesus is. Hebrews says that Jesus is the exact representation of God.

I had an idea of who God was from the Old Testament and what I had been told by my church. I had an idea of who God was. I thought He was a God who was on a throne, dictating and controlling. He was kind of our puppeteer, if you will. Yet how could He be controlling a stepdad who was abusing his daughter? How could He be controlling my behavior? How could He be willing to put me through all of that? I’ll tell you how. He wasn’t. He was not. 

He is a God who is sitting on a throne and sent His Son, who loves me so much, to bail me out. He sent His Son through every temptation that I would ever walk through. He left His Son on the cross to die. When Jesus ascended to be with God, He sent His Holy Spirit to come and live inside of me. He sent a piece of Himself to live with me, inside of me. It is a deposit guaranteeing my inheritance. Once He puts it in, He is not taking it back until He returns. It’s fully mine. I have full ownership of it. It’s part of who I am. I am in Him, and He is in me. 

When you look at the attributes of what comes with the Holy Spirit, you see power. It is delegated power from God. It is like the alien mother ship sent me down as an alien, part of His kingdom, to take back this world. Hello? Yes. 

He didn’t do it so I could spend every single day suffering and worrying about myself and taking care of myself. He gave me the same power that raised Christ from the dead and the name of Jesus Christ, which is a name above every other name, and the authority to use that name so that I could live life to the full and share it with others. How do people know we are His disciples? They know by our love. Amazing! Oh my goodness. I had no idea. 

I was not taught in church that Jesus’ name was above every other name and God had given me the authority to use it. It’s not my name. It’s the name of Jesus. It’s what He did for us. It’s the finished work He already completed. I have it. I have the opportunity to exercise it. I can have a trial come into my face—a sickness, a doctor’s report, bills, strife, teenage rebellion—but it cannot contain me. It cannot take me.

If I pull out the weapon of Jesus, whose name is above every other name, the giant must fall. The mountain will be reduced to dust because it is just a molehill under the name of Jesus Christ. I have the power to use that. It’s true that I have the power to complain. I have the power to agree with all the turmoil and all the trials that come in my direction. I also have the power to choose to stand in the name of Jesus Christ, in His name and His authority and His finished work.

I once was blind, but now I see. Scripture says that it’s for lack of knowledge that we perish. I once didn’t know, but now I do know. I have the knowledge. I have the relational knowledge of knowing God intimately and deeply. I know that I have access to the name of Jesus Christ, a name above every other name. 


iKan Parent: How Writing the Book Changed My Life, Part 1

I finished writing a parenting book recently. I’m thinking, “Why am I writing a parenting book? I’m not even finished raising my children.”

I have been searching for wisdom and counsel from people to help me because I am in a struggling season with my kids. I have teenagers, and I don’t really know how to parent in this season because I have not done it before. I reached out to mothers who had done it before and gone before me. Honestly, I got empty counsel. I would receive counsel like, “Just pray. I don’t really know how I raised good kids. I just prayed, and then God did the work.” 

I am led to believe that is not all they did. They probably messed up a lot of things. They probably apologized a lot. But they don’t know. They haven’t reflected enough to give godly counsel to women who are trying to do the same things and are trying to avoid the same mistakes they made. They don’t know how to guide them.    


Now I am seeking the Lord, trying my hardest to bite my tongue and figure out how to get through this season. I felt like the Lord was saying, “You know what, your thirteen-year-old daughter asked you to write a parenting book. Ask her if she still wants you to write it. If she does, I want you to do that next.” I talked to her about it and said, “I don’t even know if you like the way I parent anymore. Maybe you want me to write a parenting book so you can know what not to do. I don’t really know. But would you still like for me to write down how I have raised you to date? If so, I am going to start that book because you asked me to.” 

She said, “Yes, Mom. I want to know how you have raised us. I think you did a really great job training us, especially in the beginning.”

So I began to write this book. I didn’t know God would show and give me wisdom and practical advice as I went back and reflected on raising my kids from birth until today. I didn’t know how much He would give me wisdom on how to move forward. I feel like He has made me a wise woman from writing this parenting book.    

When you are writing a story, it is like holding up a mirror and seeing your own reflection. When I don’t see my reflection, I don’t truly know what my flaws are. But when I look at a mirror, I can immediately see pimples and bumps on my face, ingrown hairs on my eyebrows, or wild hair. The closer I look, the more flaws I see in my face. That is what writing is like. It’s as if you are holding a mirror and you are reflecting on who you are and what you have done. You can see every flaw of your life.

When I began to write this parenting book, I started in my past with my childhood. I recalled my childhood and what made me want to become a different kind of parent from my parents. I reflected on my husband’s childhood. I reflected on those first years of being pregnant. I reflected on how I would wake up with my firstborn and feel like it was Christmas every day. I reflected on those terrible twos and terrible threes and how difficult those seasons were.

As I reflected, God gave me all the answers I needed for the exact season I was in. I may have a parenting book to share tips and tidbits for anyone who would like them, but the truth is that it changed my life, my family, and my responses. It is when we reflect. The process of writing this book changed my life. It’s not the book. It’s not what I did. It’s the process of drawing it out, reflecting, and remembering.

The first thing I am going to talk about is my marriage. I remembered my husband’s story and how he was raised—he was actually abused by his dad. His dad would burn his fingers with cigarettes. He would hold my husband’s head underwater and yell at him. He was abusive. He beat my husband’s mother. Whenever his father came in drunk, his mother would put my husband at the bottom of the clothes hamper and throw clothes on him, telling him not to get up and not to move until she came to get him. Sometimes he would stay in the hamper for hours. He was three then.

As I reflected on that, I thought about those events in his life and how they had to make him a timid guy. He hates temper and anger. He hates to get in trouble. It stems from the little boy who was under those clothes in the hamper. I reflected on what kind of wife I am today and how I nag him and get him in trouble. In what ways do I cause him to be defensive? In what ways am I stealing from him and making him feel like the little boy who was under the clothes in the hamper? 

As I reflected on his childhood, I realized all of that pain made him the gentle man he is today. A mutual friend of ours was flying from Houston to Oklahoma City, and she happened to be on the same flight as my husband. It was midnight, and her baby cried and screamed and flailed throughout the entire flight. She said, “It was such a God-given blessing that I sat next to your husband. He is the gentlest man I know on this earth.” That gentleness comes from this man who was a little boy at one time. His parents chose him for a purpose he wasn’t designed for. He was hurt. It created in him a gentleness such that if I become a radical, pushy, bossy, feminist woman, I can actually hurt him and cause him the same pain. 

Reflecting back on this and his life made me truly respect and appreciate my husband. I made a commitment to myself to watch my tongue more closely. I haven’t reflected on that for seventeen years. As I reflected on it, I recognized some ugliness in my own attitude. Sometimes it’s not even in my mouth, but the attitude in my heart towards him needs to change. Sometimes, we need to look back and reflect because we need to change who we are becoming today, and we forgot somewhere along the way. 

The second thing writing this book did in my marriage is it led me to recount our first year of marriage and how in love I was with my husband. I remember thinking, “It’s not possible to love anything any more ever.” When I thought about my unborn first child, I wondered how I could possibly love her as much as I loved my husband. Would I love her less? Would I love her more? I didn’t really know, but I loved him so much. After she was born, it was as if my heart grew seven times. Love expanded. I have never ever loved the way I loved my daughter. I didn’t even know such love existed. 

As I reflected on that situation, I fell more in love with my husband. I had forgotten how much I loved him and his heart and how much I appreciated him. Can you believe that? Seventeen years, and I have forgotten how much in love with him I was. Reflecting and writing this parenting book reminded me of my new love. The Bible talks about our relationship with God. It says, “Go back and do what you once did in the beginning.” Because I wrote this parenting book, it revived my love for my husband, and I have gone back and done what I did in the beginning.

Every person has a story. Writing down your story is pulling up a mirror and helping you reflect on the beauty and pain God had in your past. It will help you reflect on how you cared about someone once and how you let all these little annoyances and pet peeves get in the way and cause you to lose sight of what is truly important. For me, in my marriage, I loved my husband deeply once. Some dumb things got in the way, but as I reflected, I came to love him even more today than I ever have before. 

As I reflected on my own childhood and how I was raised, I noticed some little things I had brought into the teenage years with my children. It is frustrating to have your kids leave a pile of mess for you everywhere you go. The room is a wreck, they leave the food on a counter, they come in and set their stuff down, and they kick their shoes off. Their stuff is everywhere. You like your house to be picked up and cleaned. When people drop by, you don’t want crap everywhere, yet that’s what your kids do. They fling it and leave it everywhere. 

In the last couple of years, I heard myself hound and hound, nag and nag, “Pick up your stuff.” “Come get your shoes.” “Get your bag.” I have actually made fun of them with a little skit like, “Hey, Mom!” I kick off my left shoe and my right shoe, and I throw stuff all over the house. That is how our house ends up looking like a bomb went off half the time. 

As I recounted being raised, all I can remember is being nagged about my stuff all the time. That is what I remember. I remember being nagged: “Pick up your room.” “Pick up your stuff.” “Your room is a mess.” “Your room is—,” like a broken record. So, I’ve never been this way while raising my kids. I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to choose relationships over cleanliness. I wanted to choose my children before I choose chores. Yet, here I am finding myself nagging and nagging and nagging. Maybe I’ve nagged them even before I hugged them good morning. My first thought is, “Pick up your stuff,” not “Good morning.” 

In your young years with your kids, they are ornery. Ridiculous behavior is something so precious to you. You love it like, “Oh, I love it when you’re ornery! Look at the mess you made. I love this mess. Your messiness is so beautiful. Your rottenness is so cute!” All of a sudden, they become teens, and instead of you saying, “Oh, come here. Good morning! I want to kiss your rotten face!” you want to say, “Your rottenness makes me mad.” A change happens, and it begins to separate the intimacy between you and your child. Your expectations change. So do your love and your hugs. Maybe it has become more conditional because you are becoming more and more frustrated. Maybe you are keeping a record of wrongs. You are measuring—making a molehill into a mountain. 

As I recounted my childhood, I remember not being hugged much. I remembered being told, “Hush, I am on the phone.” I remember my mom saying, “Listen, I am tired. Let me go change my clothes, and then I’ll talk to you,” but she never came back and talked to me. I remember feeling pushed aside and placed last. I remember feeling like the least important person on the earth. In fact, when I had my first daughter, Spencer, I was in the hospital holding her, and my love had just exploded. My mom was sitting in the room, and I asked, “Mom, did you ever love me this much?” She said, “I still do.” My mom has been gone for nine years. To this day, I am still baffled by that comment. When does intimacy between a mother and a daughter grow cold? When does intimacy between a father and son change? The love didn’t change, but the behavior did. The action of showing the love was different. 

As I reflected back upon this, I realized I don’t want to leave a legacy where my kids aren’t sure of how much I love them or how much I care about them. It changed my behavior. It shut my mouth. Who cares if my house is messy for a few years? Come over and step over some stuff. Come into our house filled with love, peace, and junk. We live in it. As I reflected, I counted what I truly valued. I value their hearts more than I value a clean, organized home. How cool is that? 

As you write your story down—because every person has a story—you will reflect and see where your weaknesses truly are so you can change. It will empower you to make the change. 

Inputs, Processes, and Outputs: Marriage and Finances

Let’s talk about inputs, processing, and outputs for our finances. Right now, transparently, our cash flow is pretty tight. So my husband and I are saying our output is tight cash flow. We’ve got to go back and evaluate what we are inputting and what we are processing every month.

Our inputs, our income—is there enough of it? Our processes are our bills, our saving, and our giving. All of those things sucking it out leaves us with a final output result of either money left over or money in debt. It’s the same thing with cash flow. You have to go back and see what is going in, what is coming out, and how you are arriving at the final part. It’s so simple just to look at that.

Sometimes, in our processing, our spending can be a comfort to us. When we have new things, it takes our eyes off the pain or trouble in our lives. It gives us this high, and we feel excited about getting this new thing. Every time we get a new input, it makes us feel good, which leaves us with an output of being cash-flow tight. Does that make sense?

It is the same thing in every area of our life. We are able to look at the inputs, the processes, and the outputs. For example, if my marriage is not in a good place, that is my output. I always use this as the measurement with my husband. Like, “I want a 10/10 marriage. I don’t want a 2 marriage. I don’t want to get old and be like, man, I settled for a 2 marriage my entire life.” So when I recognize that my marriage isn’t a 10, I stop and say, “Hey. I want a 10 marriage. I don’t want a 2 marriage. I want to maintain a 10 for our whole life.”

My husband knows my talk. What we do is look into the input and say, “What’s going on?” and recognize when our marriage starts to slide down out of a 10. It’s generally because we become busy. So we put aside date nights. There are things we used to do but now simply don’t do anymore. In the processing, maybe he is so busy at work that he is not pursuing me like he once did. He is not pursuing his wife in seemingly minor ways—in the kitchen by cleaning up or by calling me during the day. I may be speaking negative words over him, which is making him feel discouraged, so he doesn’t truly want to pursue me.

That is essentially how we process our marriage. What is going on in your thoughts? Can you remember how much your husband cares about you or how much your wife actually believes in you? That is the processing. It’s about forgiving and forgetting and not letting bitterness grow in your heart. It is truly taking control of those opportunities to have negative thoughts against one another or throw each other under the bus when we fail. When we evaluate those inputs and processes in our own marriage, we will end up with an output we want. We will have a 10 marriage.


Communicate Clearly

I’ve had a super-busy day, trying not to feel overwhelmed or lose my peace as I run around like a crazy woman, just doing the next thing. I’m not thinking about how long the list is, but I am pressing forward as hard as I can to continue to knock out one thing after another.
As I pulled out of the church parking lot, leaving my daughter behind for a band practice today, there was a car too fast to pull in front of. It looked like he was going to go past the turnout. But no, of course, when he got closer, he decided to turn in. There was no use of a blinker. The driver of that vehicle is probably not a good communicator. I would venture to guess that his wife doesn’t really know where he is. He probably doesn’t communicate too much to anyone. He doesn’t tell people where he is going.
Whether you realize it or not, brake lights are a message. It is a voice on your car that tells someone, “Hey, we’re slowing down. Just a warning, there is a slowing-down period up here in front of you.” A blinker is an indication that says, “I am turning left, and since I’m turning in where you are pulling out of, you can pull out safely. I just want to let you know that because I care for you so much, I wanted to share that message with you.” Yes, you can communicate kindness and messages with your vehicle. You don’t have to be selfish, thinking about how and what you are doing. You can actually communicate with others.
Communication is key. When we are not communicating, it causes frustration. It opens the door to all kinds of strife. We should communicate with our families, our spouse, our friends, and coworkers. Let’s not be secretive and stay behind closed doors. Let’s open our mouths and use our voices. Let’s use our blinkers. Let’s use our body language to communicate clearly what we are actually thinking.
Think about how you communicate. Are you doing a good job? If you don’t use your blinkers, you are probably not using your voice, either.

Jesus’ Name—You Have Authority

In 2003, I didn’t have a clue that Jesus’ name was literally above every other name that could be named on earth. I had no clue it was a name that had power in it or that it was for my use in my life to speak over mountains so they would be cast into the sea. I had no idea I could use it in my family’s life while praying over them or for them. I had no idea I could share it with strangers at the grocery store and see them be healed.

In 2003, I was blind. I knew there was a God who loved me, but I wasn’t convinced He was for me. I had no idea He had left me with the same power that raised Christ from the dead.

From August of 2003 until about November of 2005, I dug into the word of God daily, searching and striving, hungrily devouring every page and every word. I would be in awe of who God is, who Jesus is. Hebrews says that Jesus is the exact representation of God.

I had an idea of who God was from the Old Testament and what I had been told by my church. I had an idea of who God was. I thought He was a God who was on a throne, dictating and controlling. He was kind of our puppeteer, if you will. Yet how could He be controlling a stepdad who was abusing his daughter? How could He be controlling my behavior? How could He be willing to put me through all of that? I’ll tell you how. He wasn’t. He was not.

He is a God who is sitting on a throne and sent His Son, who loves me so much, to bail me out. He sent His Son through every temptation that I would ever walk through. He left His Son on the cross to die. When Jesus ascended to be with God, He sent His Holy Spirit to come and live inside of me. He sent a piece of Himself to live with me, inside of me. It is a deposit guaranteeing my inheritance. Once He puts it in, He is not taking it back until He returns. It’s fully mine. I have full ownership of it. It’s part of who I am. I am in Him, and He is in me.

When you look at the attributes of what comes with the Holy Spirit, you see power. It is delegated power from God. It is like the alien mother ship sent me down as an alien, part of His kingdom, to take back this world. Hello? Yes. 

He didn’t do it so I could spend every single day suffering and worrying about myself and taking care of myself. He gave me the same power that raised Christ from the dead and the name of Jesus Christ, which is a name above every other name, and the authority to use that name so I could live life to the full and share it with others. How do people know we are His disciples? They know by our love. Amazing! Oh my goodness. I had no idea. 

I was not taught in church that Jesus’ name was above every other name and God had given me the authority to use it. It’s not my name. It’s the name of Jesus. It’s what He did for us. It’s the finished work He already completed. I have it. I have the opportunity to exercise it. I can have a trial come into my face—a sickness, a doctor’s report, bills, strife, teenage rebellion—but it cannot contain me. It cannot take me.

If I pull out the weapon of Jesus, whose name is above every other name, the giant must fall. The mountain will be reduced to dust because it is just a molehill under the name of Jesus Christ. I have the power to use that. It’s true I have the power to complain. I have the power to agree with all the turmoil and all the trials that come in my direction. I also have the power to choose to stand in the name of Jesus Christ, in His name and His authority and His finished work.

I once was blind, but now I see. Scripture says it’s for lack of knowledge that we perish. I once didn’t know, but now I do know. I have the knowledge. I have the relational knowledge of knowing God intimately and deeply. I know I have access to the name of Jesus Christ, a name above every other name.

Love vs. Lust


Love is blind until the end of time … or until the other person grates on your nerves. Then you will see clearly all of those things that drive you crazy that you skipped over at first. Your vision was kind of hazy in the beginning, before you were able to see clearly. Your love was blind. Blind love does not see any faults, but sooner or later they do come up—and that’s when you hit the rocks.

Marriage gets hard because at first you didn’t scrutinize. Your love was blind, so you bought lies. You only saw what you wanted to see until the lust wore off and all you were left with was the real person underneath.

Lust will blindly accept another’s flaws at the expense of family and friends. Lust will throw others under the bus to defend itself, but in five years, the people who were in lust will be complaining of the very things you noticed and warned them of. You told them; you reminded them; you shared with them; you sent up flags. You told them there may be despair in their future, but they wouldn’t listen. Their ears were clogged. They were blind. They couldn’t see anything but what they wanted to see. 

It’s not faith. No, it’s flesh. It’s not love; it’s lust. Lust hides the flaws because the attraction is so strong. But love deals truthfully with every flaw. It doesn’t hurt others to defend the ones you love. Instead, it works together to find unity in the will of God.

My Friend. My God.

God, You cover me in cloaks of grace and love.
I will live my life for You.
I have fallen short of Your glory.
Let Your mercy rein and cover my sin.
Let Your grace hide all I have been.
Let Your love consume me now.
Make me new.
Like a hammer, life hit me hard, but You caught me in Your web of love.
I am new.
My heart and mind will change.
Only for You, my heart will sing all of what You do.
You took my life, a life of sin, and said you can start again. All you need is to ask and receive all I have for you.
My life is not my own, but please let me show I am new.
My life belongs to the Savior of my soul, the Redeemer of my life.
You have done what only You can do.
You have won me.
You love me.
Your love stays with me even when I’m beneath the sin no child of Yours should know.
Can You show me I’m not too far? There’s still hope for me?
You came to me.
I didn’t choose You, but You chose me to be part of Your family.
I want to know, do I show what You did for me?
Do I shine with Your love?
Do I give to the least of us?
Am I a friend to the lonely?
Do I go beyond religion?
Do I show all You want us to know, that You are never mad, never angry, never bitter towards what I’ve done, but You love and still call me son?
Your grace is with me.
I will be a family to those who cannot see; I will be their eyes.
To those who cannot hear, let me be their ears.
To the girl who ran away and lost herself, she needs to know that she can still follow You.
Give her Your hand and save her from sin.
She is Your daughter, and You love her still.
To the boy who lost everything, all your days trust the Lord. He is good. He will follow you, too.
God forgives all we’ve done.
He will still call me son.
He doesn’t want anything more than for us to know His love.
His grace carries us in this rat race.
He covers my sin and will carry me till the end.

• Authored by Josh Pugh •