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Stand Tall and Firm In The Shadow of Your Past

Who is he that condemns you? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:34

Do you stand accused of something you did before you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  I someone constantly bringing your past up to you, even though you had asked them to forgive you?  Do they continually holding the offense that you did over your head with venom in their accusations?  Or maybe we should look at the other side of the coin.  There are many of us, than even though we are forgiven from the Lord and/or others, we cannot forgive ourselves.  Therefore, we are forever holding ourselves over a barrel and suspended in a cloud of guilt.  We can’t ever seem to stop thinking about the horrible things that we have done in the past.  It could be as simple as taking part of a high school prank that hurt someone’s feelings; or harsher offenses such as a lie that cost someone their job; or maybe some kind of accident that maimed someone severely.  Whatever or whoever that may be that persistently holds those transgressions is not working in the light of the Lord.

When you accepted Jesus and began your life in Christ, the scriptures are clear that you are a NEW creation.  (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)  And Romans 8:1-2 says that we who are in Christ are no longer subjected to condemnation.  We are made FREE from sin and eternal death.  Sin has dominion over us no more. (Romans 6:14)  So it is time that when we are faced with someone who is constantly reminding us of the terrible things that we did from our life before Christ; or even if you did something AFTER you found Christ and REPENTED for it, then we need to tell them we are forgiven and they have to let go of their anger and spite.  However, if it is the memories of our own that keep plaguing and tormenting us, we must learn to forgive ourselves.  It says in Ephesians 4:30 that we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit because we are SEALED into God’s grace until we are taken into God’s kingdom.  Hallelujah!  Don’t allow your flesh or the devil to keep lying to you by telling you that you are GUILTY of acts you have done in the past.  Once you repent for something, you are forgiven by God.  Whom the Son sets free is free, indeed.  (John 8:36)  The Lord is THE FINAL authority.  Period.

Be Blessed,

Cindy Simpson~Hembree

Power In the Name Of Jesus

Are You Wearing The Appropriate Attire – Part 5

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.

1 Corinthians 14:33

So we are at the final entry of the “Armor Of God” which is the Sword of the Spirit.  This is the one item that is probably the most difficult to figure out.  In order to use this part of the armor, one must be educated on how to utilize it.  You see, how can a person learn how to wield it if they have never been taught how to fence?  We may have to spend a little more time to study and learn how to use it, but after we grasp its ability, it becomes more intriguing.  Remember, the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  Within in its pages lies a treasure trove of information, wisdom and knowledge.  When we open the treasure chest, we recall that knowledge is POWER!  John Paul Getty once told his son, “Power is a strange thing.  When you get a little of it, you want A LOT of it.  When you get a lot of it, you want ALL of it.”  When we read God’s Word and find out that all of life’s answers are held in your hand, and the authority we are given, as Christians, your empowerment is  overwhelming!

Let me just give you some examples of what I am talking about:  If we have questions about things that happen in our life, all we have to do is ask the Lord about it, He will direct us to the right scriptures.  Case in point – I could not figure out why so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ had been overcome with sickness and diseases and were passing away.  I soon found the answer was written in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, this surprised me.  Another time I was really concerned about the growing reports of mosquitoes coming into the area carrying the West Nile Virus.  I told the Lord I knew how to fight demons and people, but how do I fight off insects.  In Psalm 91:4-7, the Lord showed me that I didn’t have to, He will take care of that problem.  When my husband and I first began in the ministry there was an individual who tried to destroy our good name.  When I prayed about it, I was quickly directed to the scripture of Isaiah 54:17, and was comforted by the Holy Spirit.  Finally, I was not raised in a loving home, so when I needed a blessing from my father, my heavenly FATHER stepped in through Deuteronomy 28 and gave me a blessing.   I could go on and on, but I think you are getting the picture.  The Sword of the Spirit is a special piece of the armor, indeed.  It pays off to learn how to use it.

Be Blessed,

Cindy Simpson~Hembree

ancient antique armor armour
Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

Are You Wearing The Appropriate Attire – Part 4

           “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?                  but we have the mind of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 2:16

Have you ever come upon an unexpected and frantic situation and it demanded that you make a snap decision, but you were in total confusion and had no idea what to do?  Of course you have.  How did you feel when it happened?  Were you frazzled?  Did you make a wrong judgement call?  Just by happenstance did you do the right thing?  Like most of us, the first thought is to go seek or call for help.  However, there have been times, for some of us who have been in circumstances, when there was no way or no one to call or seek. Here’s a great example of this type of dilemma – In 2009, I worked for a newspaper.  My title was staff writer and editor assistant.  My secretary was acting kind of funny on Friday before she left work.  The following Monday when I arrived at work early as I usually did.  No one was at work yet, the telephone was ringing. Upon answering, my editor was telling me no one was coming into work.  They were tired of the owners, and they were starting their own newspaper.  He told me to leave the keys on the desk and come and join them.  My husband was set to have surgery in two days.  I did not have a peace about what they were doing.  I tried to call the main office, but no one was there to answer the phone.  What was I to do?  It took me a few minutes to collect my thoughts.  Then the answer came to me.  DO YOUR JOB!  

I went out to find the stories; I answered the telephone; I type set the articles.  I held the office together; and when I was done, I went to the main office and took care of the business there, too.  The days were long and the pay was not that great but I did my best.  I was able to keep it together, plus take care of my husband’s needs in between my trips in and out, back and forth, around and bout.  Many people wondered how I was able to hold my pace and still keep my sanity.  It was nothing but God and I had on my Helmet of Salvation.  It helped me to think clearly; organize my schedule; rationalize the truth from the lies; not slip into a total mental breakdown.  Remember, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 tells us that the WEAPONS of our Warfare are not carnal but mighty through God. They cast down VAIN imaginations.  Because I was able to hold on to that, I was able to keep my mind focused on the Lord and know that He was going me to pull through the turbulent time.  I kept seeking the Lord when there were conflicts of time slots or the owners were not available for consultation.  There were some nights I would not get to come home until midnight and have to get up at 5:00 the next morning and go again.  I knew in my heart, mind and spirit this trial would pass. Three months later, we had a new editor, and I was set free from the chaos.

So, if you are going through a big trial and your head is spinning, make sure you wear the Helmet of Salvation.  It will totally help you keep your sanity.  As you just read, I know this from a first hand basis.

Be blessed,

Cindy Simpson~Hembree

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Are You Wearing The Appropriate Attire – Part 3

“How can people tell the Good News if no one sends them? As Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who announce the Good News.”

Romans 10:15

As you know, we are exploring the importance and the purpose of each item of the Armor of God.  It was mentioned in earlier blogs that the reason many Christians do not don the valuable armor is due to the fact they do not have understanding of the “why” the scriptures encourage us to wear the armor.  We have previously covered the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness.   Now we are “stepping” into being shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.

These spiritual shoes are important for two reasons.  We have to think what happens when we put on our shoes.  What do shoes do?  1) As everyone knows, shoes PROTECT our feet.  2) Shoes give us TRACTION.  3) One thing that most people DO NOT realize that shoes do is give us a FIRM FOUNDATION.  They give us a wider and more SOLID stand.  The reason we would need to have our feet protected in the spiritual sense is many times we never know what circumstances we are going to be stepping into. Being shod with the peace of the gospel of Christ will – keep us from stepping into unsavory places; provide traction when we get caught in a slippery situation; present assurance to get out of sticky circumstances; offer comfort when we are under the gun; contribute necessary boldness, courage and authority when confronted with contention These are the places and times we need to be standing in a solid place and be firm in our confidence.

Now we come to the reason that PEACE was the choice for our spiritual feet.  Jesus says in John 14:27 that before He leaves He was imparting to us HIS peace, which is much different from the peace the world offers us.  When a soldier is walking through the enemy’s territory, he has to be calm and collected.  If he were to be in total fear, it could cause him to act irrationally at the slightest disturbance (i.e. a snapping twig; a bird flying to a new location; a scampering squirrel), and alert the enemy of his location.  Not his could also endanger all the other members of his platoon.  Plus, many times we get caught up in longer battles than we sometimes anticipate.   When we have our feet planted in peace, it grants us the determination and stamina so we can withstand the  long haul.

Be Blessed,

Cindy Simpson~Hembree

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Are You Wearing The Appropriate Attire – Part 2

“Above everything else, guard your heart. Everything you do comes from it.

Proverbs 4:23

 It is important to stress how badly we need to wear the “armor of God” wherever we are..  However, one of the reasons that Christians do not don the attire is because they don do not understand the purpose of it.  So, this post is all about the “Breastplate of Righteousness” which protects our core.  What is so important about our core that we have to have it protected with the righteousness of Christ?

We go to battle nearly every day.  Back in the mid-evil days the warriors would wear a breastplate so they could protect their vital organs.  This is the same thing that the “breastplate of righteousness” does.  But instead of the vital organs of the body, it protects the vital in a spiritual sense.  It protects your heart, spirit and soul.  It helps to guard your heart (or feelings) from getting hurt; it helps your soul rationalize so not to return evil for evil; and finally it keeps your spirit from getting wounded and keep your focus on the Lord.

Spiritual wounds are really ugly and go much deeper than mortal injuries.  Not to mention the spiritual offenses can take much longer to heal.  Each person is different.  I have seen some wounds of the heart and spirit take as little as a few months; some can take a lifetime.  I have seen some painful wounds on some people have NEVER overcome.  Proverbs 11:4 says that “righteousness delivers us from death”, therefore it is imperative to wear the breastplate God has given us for spiritual warfare.

 

Be Blessed,

Cindy Simpson~Hembree

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Are You Wearing The Appropriate Attire? Part 1

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”

1 Corinthians 12

Have you ever looked at Ephesians 6:11-17 and thought why we would have to go through all that before we step outside our homes and into the world outside?  I mean, that is a lot to have to go through just to go to the office.  Or get on the subway; or even go out to dinner!  Why would we need to put on a WHOLE SUIT of armor.  Why couldn’t we just take our sword and cut down everyone who got in our way?  Actually, that is what most people do.  Christians and the secular society alike.  I find it interesting that one of the reasons we are so thin-skinned in today’s society is because we DON”T wear our armor.  And the REASON we don’t wear our armor is because many of us don’t understand the purpose of the armor.  I was one of those people, then one day, it was picture perfect.  

Whether we know it or not, we are always in battle against our enemy, the devil.  It is important that we are always prepared so that he cannot catch us with a TKO (Technical Knock Out), or knock us out of the game all together.   None of us would go out into a battlefield without the proper gear, otherwise, with the utmost certainty, we would be killed, immediately, once we caught the attention of enemy.  If that were the case, I would not want any troops in my company that did not have the appropriate attire.   Yet, this is what happens EVERY SINGLE DAY in the spiritual realm.  So, what does the “Armor of God” do for us?  In this and the next four blogs, we are going to find out the purpose of each member of the Amor of God” and how it works.  

The BELT OF TRUTH is something that we carry what God’s Word says.  When I looked up the word “gird” I found it meant ‘secure” as with a garment or a sword; and encircle as with a person or body part.  We know in our gut what is true.  But sometimes the devil tries to throw us some curve balls.  They are lies, but they are believable.  However, having on the BELT OF TRUTH, we can draw quickly from what we know to be factual and deem the devil a liar.  Several years ago, the devil tried to snuff out my light by telling me a lie.  Unfortunately, I believed it, and thought I had gotten way too bad for the Lord to ever forgive me for what I had done.  I was about to commit suicide, but before I was able to actually do the deed, I was led to go and read in God’s Word what it actually says.  I found out I had not gone too far off God’s path after all!!  If I had known the truth (which is God’s Word), I could have drawn from the BELT OF TRUTH, quickly.  Thank the Lord, I was literally guided in the right direction before I had gone too far.  

What does God’s Word say about truth?  In John 8:31-32, it sets you free; Psalm 61:7, it preserves us; Psalm 86:11 it springs from the earth; Proverbs 12:19 & 29:14, it establishes forever; Ephesians 5:9, the fruit of light comes from it; and in 1 Timothy 2:4, God desires all men to come into the knowledge of it.  So, now we know why we need to ‘gird ourselves with the BELT OF TRUTH.  Or better yet, encircle ourselves with the God’s Word, so that it is AT OUR CENTER!  Then you can call the devil out, and be like Inigo Montoya, in the Princess Bride, and tell him, “Hello, my name is John/Jane Doe, you have lied to me, prepare to die! Or at the very least, “Go back to the pits of hell where you belong!”

Be Blessed,

Cindy Simpson~Hembree

P.S. Next time we will cover the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

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Suddenly One Night He Was There!

We love Him, because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19

From the time I was nine years old until I left home, I was abused physically, mentally and emotionally.  A year after I moved out, I was in a relationship with a newly discharged U. S. Army soldier, which also turned abusive.  We were living together in the north central part of the United States, near some of my family members.  He was attending the local college.  He would go to school, then come home and want his dinner.  He was not happy in the relationship, because he did not feel I was good enough for him.  So if I did not have dinner ready or I wasn’t doing what he thought I should be doing we would wind up in a fight with fists flying.  Since we had been together, I had suffered several busted lips and black eyes, a broken nose, a sprained back and a dislocated jaw.  One evening, he did not come home.  This was very unusual.  I knew what was going on but I didn’t mind.  I really didn’t want him to come home.  This gave me a chance to have a nice long chat with God.

The clock was ticking away.  My boyfriend normally came home around 5:00 p.m., but it was already 7:30 p.m., then it was 10:00 and so on.  The television was turned off, and I reached for my Bible, if memory served me right, but I could not find anything in the scriptures that made sense or even soothed me.  Finally, at approximately 2:00 a.m., I began just speaking out to God and asking him questions.  “Why have I always been beaten up and beaten down, God?  “I was only nine years old when things started going bad for me, Lord, what did I do that was so bad?”  “Why was life so hard for me?”  “Why didn’t anybody love me, God?”  “Why wasn’t I worth anything to anybody, Lord?”

I wasn’t getting anything, I was just speaking and talking to an empty room.  Being raised, I had been taught about the Lord all my life. The household was run teaching the “laws of the Lord”, but the “love of the Lord” was omitted.  My parents may have beaten two or three times through the week, yet every Sunday they were in church crying and going forward at the altar call to re-dedicate themselves to the Lord.  An iron fist was constantly over my head at home.  I loved going to church, it was a nice respite for me.  I had a great regard for the God, but I didn’t know why.  I had never experienced any “manifestation” of God in our home, I just blindly loved God.

Finally, as I lay in the dark on the bed around 3:00 a.m., I got mad!  I, sarcastically, called out, “Alright GOD, IF you are there and IF you’re real, then you take me, and make me,  mold me and fold me into what You want me to be.”  No sooner had I gotten the words out of my mouth, I  SUDDENLY and literally felt Jesus enter into my body!!  It took my breath away!  If I had not already been laying down, I would have been knocked off my feet!  The weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders and I was so overtaken with joy I could not contain myself!!  I kept praising and thanking the Lord!!  Then, once I calmed down, something TRULY AMAZING happened!!

Everything went quiet, a tremendous peace came over me and a WONDERFUL presence entered the room.  Then, in a deep, sweet, calm, LOVING and audible voice I heard Him speak to me.  I will NEVER forget it!  He told me that He loved me.  He told me that sometimes He has to allow us to hit our lowest point so that we will reach out to Him.  He also told me His grace was sufficient for me.  And He was right.  He let me know He would always be with me no matter how many others would come and go in my life,  He would ALWAYS be there with me, no matter what the circumstance (Deut. 31:6).  Then, after all my questions were addressed, I was comforted.  With much peace in my heart and joy in my spirit, it was 4:00 a.m. and I finally was able to fall asleep.   When my boyfriend arrived home an hour later, he woke me and we had come to grips with our relationship being over.  I couldn’t allow this man to ruin the joy I had experienced that night.  The decision was made that we needed to go our separate ways.  A few days later, I left and made a new life for myself.

You see, it was the Lord’s LOVE that pulled me into believing in Him.  It’s HIS LOVE that makes me want to know HIM more and grow in that relationship.   He HAS always been there with me, in good or bad times.  He has been my friend, even when no other could be found.   Do you know the Jesus or the LOVE only He can offer?  Have you asked Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart?  If not, I know He is waiting for you to do so(2 Peter 3:9).  If you don’t know how, you can go to your local ministry or church;  if that is not an option, you can always call us and we will be happy to take you through the steps.  Don’t be shy.  I wasn’t, I was very agitated.  He will meet you where you are..  But one thing I can assure you, He will meet you with His LOVE.

Be Blessed,

Cindy Simpson~Hembree