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!

A Mailbox Hug!

Why do I worry about what one thinks of me when I am loved by many?

I opened up my mailbox today and pulled out three different envelopes from the same amazing family.  I’ve only gotten to truly know them over the last few months but have developed a special bond with each member of this family of four.  The oldest of the two children asked if I could be adopted as their big sister, but since I’m only a couple years younger than his mom, we all agreed that my official title can be, Aunt Shannan.  To be given such a space in this beautiful family is an honor.  They have loved me beyond the call of duty.

Let me share with you some of their love…

Thank You God for taking me to the painful places of my life, making me face them, tearing down my walls, and healing the brokenness, so that I can see and appreciate all the genuine and incredible people You’ve placed along my path.

Over the next little while, I’m going to write more about the walls I had built.  I’m going to explain why this self-protection is so damaging.  I pray that all who read this will find strength and courage to face their own repressed emotions, and come to a place that will allow them to let others love them.

If I open myself up and allow others in, I may face the possibility of rejection by some, but I will also have the assurance that I will be accepted by others.

The pain of disappointment is only temporal, but Love’s touch is eternal.

~Shannan

With Great Passion

Remember The Promise

Sometimes all we have to hold onto is the thin thread of hope we can only feel after the rain of tears has washed our mind clean of worldly perspectives.

Could this ray of hope that’s found deep in the core of my heart be the strength of the One who is holding me?  Could it be, it’s at this moment I will hear the voice of Almighty Abba whispering to me His promises of vindication, restoration, healing, and peace?  It’s in this brief moment of silence between the last tear to fall and the deep breath that I can hear Him, “Hold on.  Don’t let go.  I’ve got you.” Listen for Him!

This world has been tainted by sin.  It is full of corruption.  Our minds, if we’re not careful, can be consumed with the deception of the enemies lies – slowly killing our hope.  Each lie we choose to believe is a deathblow to our real purpose.  We become a fallen soldier.

Can you hear Him?

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” -Jeremiah 1:5a

God fashioned us and breathed His breath of life into us for a specific reason.  We were well thought out and with great passion molded in His image, at this moment we were given everything we would need to serve a beautiful purpose here.  We must stay connected to our life breath in order to fulfill that purpose.

When the weight of gut-wrenching pain from loss, another disappointment, and rejection presses heavy on our chest, let’s cling with all our might to that ray of hope.  It’s the rock on which we’ve built our house.  There’s a purging in the storms we face and they’re heartbreaking to say the least, but Jesus gave His promise that He will remain with us.

“and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20b

His promises do not end here.  He also gave a promise of abundant life filled with peace and safety.

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” -John 10:9-11

Even recently I have faced breathtaking disappointment, but I am choosing to cling to Jesus.  Will you stand in hope with me?  Let’s continue to trust the One who loves us sincerely!

~Shannan


“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” – Psalm 23