There’s Only One Word For This!

I had no words, so I asked the Holy Spirit how I should pray.

I have so many people on my heart for various reasons, and I’ve come to a loss for words when I pray for them.  As I asked for this wisdom I was reminded of the most powerful prayer we can pray.  I was reminded where it is that we find everything we need and where all that we long for is discovered.  One word came to my mind to offer on behalf of my friends – “Jesus”!  This is all the Spirit spoke to my heart, and He is more than enough.  This is where restoration not only begins but where it is complete.

A Broken Heart – JESUS!

A Broken Home – JESUS!

Financial Issues – JESUS!

In Sickness – JESUS!

In Loneliness – JESUS!

In Need Of Forgiveness – JESUS!

In The Valley Of The Shadow Of  Death – JESUS!

In The Valley Of Depression – JESUS!

I offered no other words, but as I spoke His name over each person that came to mind all the trials of this world suddenly became powerless.

Throughout my childhood and into the beginning years of my marriage, I struggled with the words “thank you” and “I love you”.  I was full of gratitude and loved deeply, but when words are rarely heard, they can feel like a foreign language rolling off your own tongue.  I remedied this problem by putting into practice a very simple solution, I started saying them.  As silly as it sounds now, it wasn’t easy for me to speak these words at first, but the more I did the easier they became.  Now I value every moment I have to sincerely express these emotions.

About six months ago I realized how rare it was for me to say the name of Jesus.  I talked about God and had no problem with referring to Jesus as Lord, but to say His name was more rare than common.  I sang gospel songs for years that used His name, but to actually speak the name of the One that I call friend did not come easily.  With my new awareness I had to ask myself , Why don’t I say His name?  Why is it so uncomfortable for me to do?

I don’t know that I have one good reason to give you in answer to my self-imposed questions, with the exception of my previous childhood example.  So, I drew from the lesson I learned with those most precious words of “thank you” and “I love you”, and I applied the same prescription to solve this newly discovered language barrier – I started saying His name.

Having my tongue tied up in knots and unable to breathe His name out loud, as I would with any of my other friends, kept me from so many blessings and freedoms.  When I say “blessings”, I’m not at all implying Jesus to be likened to a genie in a bottle, that when called on He gives us all the earthly toys we want.  No, He’s a much better father than that.  The sweetest blessings to me are seeing a prayer answered for a hurting friend, or witnessing a lost soul meet Jesus and come to know that they are worth far more than their social status or job title.  This freedom can only come one way, at the name of Jesus.

“For this reason, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed upon Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11

When we are a part of God’s family, it isn’t bondage that makes us bow our knees, but the joy of our freedom in Christ.  I get more and more excited as I think on this topic and discuss it with friends.  Will you allow me to elaborate on my thoughts for just a moment?

The scripture states that, “every knee will bow…and every tongue will confess…”  I don’t know about you, but I always read this scripture with the mindset that this is a futuristic happening.  My mind heard it as, “When Jesus returns at the end of time, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.”  But that’s not what it says!  It says that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – PERIOD.  This excites me because I realize that now, at this very moment, there are knees bowing as I speak His name.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  -Eph. 6:12

If we are wrestling here and now then we need now power.  What is our now power?  Jesus!

““Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (Again, it’s in the now, not just somewhere in the future).”  -John 14:12-14

If we are going to do greater works than Jesus did, then we must recognize how that’s even possible.  How can I have faith to be victorious if I don’t know where faith begins?  Just think, when we speak His name, all that we are wrestling in the spiritual world must bow and submit to the authority of Christ.

Many have given me the humbling compliment of “You’re Strong.”  My strength is knowing that my strength is only because of Christ in me.  I am not “strong” by my own merit.  I’m lost without Him.  I’m too tired without Him.  I’m too broken by this world without Him.  But JESUS!!!  He is my energy to press on.  He is my wholeness.  In Him alone I am found!

My Peace – Jesus!

My Hope – Jesus!

My Joy – Jesus!

My Healing – Jesus!

My Ability To Forgive – Jesus!

My Ability To Trust – Jesus!

My Ability To Love – Jesus!

On The Mountaintop of success – JESUS!

Anything Good In Me – JESUS!

My Source Of Strength…

“Darkness knows its Lord and the prince of darkness is not its lord.” – Pastor Austin Cagle

JESUS!!!

They Bow Down.

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

The Parable Of The Talents does teach us a great deal of truths about how we should handle the money filtering through our hands, but if that’s all we think this lesson is about, I fear we miss a much deeper understanding of what wealth really is.  Where in scripture was Christ simply money-focused?

How Much Does Heaven Cost?

I’ve looked at several different sources to give me a definition of the word, “talent”.  Most every one of them gave a long list to its definition, but when given the definition of a monetary value, it was placed at or near the bottom of the list.  So, how would I define the word talent?

Talent – It is an ability God has given.  A spiritual gift that usually will operate with a natural gift.  The footnote in my study Bible says this, “From this parable comes the modern use of talent to refer to a natural gift.”

Not using, or misusing our God-given gift is what this parable is about.  If we are not using our spiritual talent, then what we are doing in the natural will have little eternal value.  Every action should be motivated by love for the Master, for Christ, not out of fear.  To do this, you must understand love.

“Fear is a sad thing when a person dreads losing something valuable so much that he hoards it instead of putting it to good use. So it is with a spiritual gift also.” – Martin G. Collins

I’ve thought a lot about what someone recently said to me, “People only ask what they want to know.  If they don’t ask, there’s no reason to tell them what’s on your mind, because they’re not ready to listen anyway.”

Really?  Who told you to shut up, and at what age were you?  Why are you still allowing them to silence you?  This is nothing more than a manipulative way of telling someone their thoughts are not worth hearing.

If a person lives with this belief system, they will bottle up their own talent and rob us of who God created them to be.  They will become a puppet for others to filter their talent through, because they will never learn to voice their own heart’s desire.  The passion that God created them for will be buried under a mound of other people’s ideas.  Eventually, that person so beautifully created in God’s image, with a special gift all their own, will only mirror someone elses life.  Sorrow of an unanswered calling can only fill this heart.

Eventually One Will Rule The Other

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser, (the one who told you to shut up*) of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, (God wants you to speak*) and they did not love their lives to the death.”  -Rev. 12:10-11

If we’re not willing to share our testimony, how will others know we can relate to what they are going through?  How will they know we’re safe?  You will be surprised how many people are ready to talk.  They simply need someone they can have confidence in.  How freeing is it to hear when others are facing or have faced a similar struggle to yours, to know you’re not alone?  If we want to be used by God, we must be willing to share our testimony.  In sharing, we will find freedom, and help others to find freedom also.

The enemy has tried to rob me of my talent(s) all my life.  While in my mother’s womb, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck twice, keeping my lungs from fully developing.  When I was two years old, both my brother and I almost died from whooping cough.  There were years of abuse at different levels which lead to depression and a longing to end my life.  I became the silent child in hopes not to stir the boiling emotions in others around me, I had to keep the peace.  I was in a major car accident the day after my seventeen birthday, that should have thrown me through two different windshields, but God urged me to put my seat-belt on just moments before impact.  I could go on, but I will conclude with the sudden and tragic death of my husband, in January 2006.  According to many, I had a right to quit life, to give up in despair.  But, because of God’s word being poured through so many different talents, from so many different people, I remember why I press on.


As a child, I was so afraid of people that I would not give my grandmother a hug without her cornering me.  God decided to use one of my biggest fears and called me to speak, to share, to pour into the lives of others he brings my way.  If I remain that silent child I once was, if I am afraid to speak what’s on my heart, I am burying my talent.  It’s not that I think I’m always right; I have much to learn.  But if I don’t share, I also avoid dialogue that might teach myself and/or others a deeper truth.  Many times I have gained a new, healthier perspective in these heart-to-heart exchanges.  Allowing ourselves to teach and be taught by others, opens us up for God’s correction.  When God brings correction to me, I can then pass it on, so others may avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made.  I’ve just multiplied my talents!

Are your talents, natural and spiritual gifts, gaining interest?  Then don’t despise what you think is a small beginning.  If you are open to Him, He is using you.

“In the end, what God commends and rewards is not brilliance, popularity, or cleverness, but faithfulness and obedience to Him regardless of human recognition or praise.” -Martin G. Collins

Earthly treasures are not wrong to posses, unless their value outweighs the value of your eternal home.  How much is a soul worth in dollars?

To have five talents or one is not what’s important, it’s whether or not you are increasing them and giving it’s growth back to God.

~Shannan

Lets Personalize This and Get Real:

Am I operating in my gifting or being a puppet for someone else?  When will I believe my God-given gift is valuable?  If God thought me worthy enough to give it, why should I let man tell me it’s not good enough?  Am I seeking His blessing or man’s approval?

2011, Keeping It Real!

Click here for this blog in a nutshell.

Read more: The Parable of The Talents web. Commentary.

*emphasis added

I Know He Hears Me

Two years ago I was on a plane headed to South Carolina for a trial date over the death of my husband.  I started to feel myself slide down that slippery slope into depression.  Without hesitation, I began to beg God to rescue me.  I did not want to start crying on the plane because I knew this would be a flow of tear not easily stopped.  All of a sudden, an unguarded laughter came rolling from several rows behind me.  It was the sweetest sound I had ever heard.  That day, God hugged me through the giggles of a child.

Do you want to know how I know the Lord hears my prayers?  I remember the “small” ones He’s already answered.

God’s got you my friend!

~Shannan

2011, keeping It Real!

My Favorite verse all through childhood was John 14:14.
“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”