Battle Plan

theif

Satan is a thief and a liar. He steals things from us. He lies to us. He wants to destroy us.

He is here to steal, kill & destroy. His ultimate goal is to destroy you and keep you from your purpose. He loves when he trips us up. He knows exactly where to hit us, how to hit us and what weapon to use that will cause the most damage. That is why it is important to have a battle plan. We are at war. We are in a spiritual war.

ephesians6We are at war with principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.

Anyone going into battle, has a plan. A battle plan, a strategy to defeat the enemy. Ephesians 6:11-18

Do not stress or worry! There is good news! The enemy will lose the war! Jesus wins in the end! He died for us. He bore the weight of our sins. He has the keys to death, hell and the grave. (Revelation 1:18)

Ephesians 6:11-18 describes the type of battle we are in and how to protect yourself.

Verse 11 says to put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand .

What is the whole armour of God?

  1. loins girt about with truth
  2. Breastplate of righteousness
  3. feet shod with the gospel of peace
  4. shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked
  5. helmet of salvation
  6. Sword of the spirit -word of God

Verse 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 All of the above help us in our battles. Lately my focus has been on prayer. I used to dread praying because I never knew what to say. I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all when praying. I started writing my prayers and saying them like I meant it and things have been changing. I don’t have a space that I can go in and shut the door but my laundry room is my space where I can be alone with God even if it is for a few minutes.

Prayer changes things and it is a good weapon against Satan. I’ve been  reading a book called Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. It has changed my perspective on prayer. I needed this book to help me see where I was lacking in prayer and to realize that my passion for prayer was gone. Each chapter has a strategy that Satan uses and how you should pray to overcome each obstacle, temptation and problem he throws at you.

I challenge any woman reading this to get a copy of this book. Being specific and having a plan of action in prayer are important!

I come from a family of pray-ers. I don’t think that is a word but it is now. My Mamaw Nickels could pray for anything or anyone. I knew God heard that woman’s prayers. I used to love being at hers and Papaw’s house when they prayed. I loved listening to their prayers. They always were so thankful and they prayed with passion and all their might. They prayed at their couch. My Dad is another praying man. I used to sneak up on the stairs when he would go upstairs to get away and pray so I could sneak a listen to him praying. I didn’t know until recently that he did the same thing to his Dad (Papaw Nickels) when he was younger. My Grandpa Wagoner would always get so choked up when praying over a meal. He was so thankful for all of the family and you could tell that he was thankful. It always made me cry. I used to sit with my Grandma Wagoner sometimes in church. She was a silent pray-er but she always cried and knelt in the pew and I felt that she was praying with all her heart. My Mom used to help me prayer as a kid. She taught me to say the prayer for food and to pray for my family. I am so grateful that she did.

I believe it is important to have good Godly examples in your life that you can look up to. People that have it and make you want to have it too. I am thankful for my family.

I am grateful for the book that I am reading (Fervent) and how it  has changed my prayer life. Reading has made a little light bulb go off in my head. It has finally clicked!

I challenge each and every one of you to make a battle plan in prayer and make sure that you wear the full armour of God.

Love from above!

Iva Mae

Waiting in the Hallway

Waiting is hard. Especially if you have been waiting for something for a long time.

I told my Mom today I don’t know why I get my hopes up for something when it is never going to happen. She said something that struck me.

She said “It’s hard to be in the hallway waiting for a window or a door to open…BUT Praise him for what you have now.”

waitingIt really is hard to wait in the hallway and see doors that look like they will open but don’t. For a moment you’re thrilled and excited and you think this is it!!!

…But it isn’t. The door doesn’t open.

This has happened to me several times in the past few years. I have been praying for God to move and it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m getting worn and impatient. It is hard to wait when you want something so badly. I’ve been angry and sad. I can’t understand why that when God knows I am unhappy and miserable that he hasn’t moved yet. I don’t think I’m supposed to understand. I’m simply just supposed to wait.

Sometimes we go through things and we don’t understand them. It is just God protecting us from something that is not His will. I’ve always prayed that His will, not mine be done. His will is best for me and I know that, sometimes I just get tired and grouchy. I become a bratty child.

I don’t know how God puts up with me sometimes! Sometimes I can’t stand to be around myself!!! Seriously!

I woke up this morning with Psalms 62 on my mind. Psalms 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

How do I know that what I’ve been wanting might be the worst possible thing for me or what problems in my life it could cause. Writing this reminds me of when my husband was looking for a job a few years back. He found a position that required him to attend training sessions for the job. After the second day he told me he was never going back because they wanted him to lie to the elderly and be dishonest about problems so that the company could get more money. I was so proud of him for doing that.

I was reminded of this so that I could see that what I wanted may end up being like that. Not what you want at all and completely wrong and unethical. My husband refused to take a position that would require him to be dishonest and misleading. That was the right choice! It didn’t matter how much money they said he would make he chose to do what was right by him and by God.

Today I choose to be thankful for a prayer that hasn’t been answered. I know in God’s timing everything will work itself out and God will open up a door that no one else can. Like my Mom said, I will be thankful for what I have now. I am blessed!

On another note, I was anointed at church on Sunday for some of the health issues I’ve been dealing with and today is the first day in a long time that my stomach hasn’t hurt or bothered me. I am especially thankful for that!!! I’ve been sticking with a no dairy no meat diet for over a week. I’m prod of myself. Last night I even made some Vegan Mac n’ Cheese. It was pretty good last night but it was better today!

I encourage you to wait on God for whatever it is you’re praying for. Don’t be discouraged when he doesn’t answer right away or doesn’t give you the answer you want. Remember that God answers things in His timing. PERFECT timing and it will be better than what you imagined.

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Romans 12:1

  
Some of you may agree with me and others may not. That is okay. I’m not writing this for a debate or to cause controversy. I am simply writing what is on my heart. 

Romans 12:1 …present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you , which he have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 

Lately I have been having some digestive health problems. I learned a few months that when I cut out dairy and meat, I didn’t have problems. I was okay with that but I struggled with it because it made me different than others. I struggle a lot with being different than everyone else. It’s dumb really. I hate sticking out or having attention being drawn on me. It freaks me out! 

I decided the other day I didn’t want to have to eat differently. I wanted to be able to order a pizza, eat it and be okay. My Mom and I were working on the finishing touches of my cousins shower invitations and we were hungry so we ordered a pizza from Papa Johns. It used to be my favorite pizza. I love their breadsticks and garlic sauce. We ordered a small and breadsticks, so we split the pizza and each ate some breadsticks. We finished the invitations and she took me home. ( I walked to her house with my dog because it’s less than a mile) 

When I got home, I got so sick! I was so sick I felt like my insides were dying. I knew why. I ate cheese. It looked so good and it tasted amazing but I knew I shouldn’t have eaten it. I knew it wasn’t good for me. The reason I became Vegan a few months back, was for ,my health. I knew better but I couldn’t resist. 

In the above verses it talks about presenting your body as a living sacrifice and that your body is a temple. I didn’t treat mine that way. I am now suffering the consequences. I am still having a lot of problems and my face has broken out so badly with deep painful pimples. This happens when I eat dairy of any kind. 

I don’t think that by doing something like eating pizza is a sin but I knew what it would do to me and I did it anyway. How many times have we done that with other aspects in life? It looks so good and we know it’s wrong but we do it anyway. Sex before marriage will cause a lot of problems. There is pleasure in sin for a season. Then you have to reap the consequences. 

I have been feeling convicted about the way I treat myself. I haven’t been taking care of myself or loving me. I have been so negative about my body image for gaining weight and have eaten poorly because I was upset about my weight. Really dumb I know.  I need to start looking at myself the way God does and loving myself enough to take care of myself. It’s not easy going Vegan. I struggled with what to eat and what to look for in ingredients. It’s not easy but in the end it will be worth it because it is what is best for me. 

By the way, labels lie. They say dairy free but when you read the ingredients, turns out it has a milk product in it. 

I know this post is very different from what I normally post but I just felt lead to share what I am currently going through  after speaking with a friend today about this. 

I am going to try to start exercising and eating healthier so that I can treat my body the way it deserves to be treated. After all our bodies are to be presented as a living sacrifice and those who are saved, are the temples of the Holy Ghost. 

I will try to be more diligent with posts. My lap top is broken and I don’t have a computer so I am using my iPad and I hate typing posts with this thing!  Hopefully one day I can replace my lap top. 

Love from above,

Iva Mae ❤

Broken </3

We hear the word broken and typically the first thing that comes to mind is – “How are we gonna fix it?” or “How are we going to replace it?”

We have broken cars, washers, refrigerators, lawn mowers, plumbing, bones, lives, families, hearts, dreams  and homes.

What is the actual definition of broken? Is it something so far gone that it cannot be fixed? It is something meant to be left broken or is it meant to be fixed?

According to Oxford Dictionary Broken is:

  1. having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order:

synonyms: smashed · shattered · fragmented · splintered · crushed

  1. (a person) having given up all hope; despairing:synonyms: defeated · beaten · subdued · demoralized · dispirited

So broken is something damaged. It can be something that isn’t whole (one piece), It can be shattered, crushed, smashed or splintered. It can be something that no longer works. It can even be someone who has given up.

Recently my husband and I both have broken bones. I broke my toe and he broke his finger. I was angry when I broke my toe. I was so angry. It was an accident. Accidents happen but I didn’t want something like that to happen to me. I have too many things to do and I couldn’t walk as fast and could barely walk at all. I thought how could something so small cause me so many problems? My husband went roughly through the same thing. He couldn’t put his boots on or take them off. He found himself frustrated that he wasn’t physically able to do something. Both of us have had a lot of physical pain associated with these breaks.

I found myself really behind on my housework, laundry, dishes and everything else. My house was a mess and still kind of is. All of that got me thinking about how our bodies work. My toe is a small member of my body but when it is broken, my entire body and life suffers. The same goes with the body of Christ. When a member is broken, no matter how small, it is noticeable and until there is healing the whole body will suffer.

When a person is broken that doesn’t mean we need to fix them or that they are no longer worth saving. Jesus came to save the world and provide healing to those who are broken. God tells us so in His word. Isiah 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

by his stripesWhen we are broken we need rest. We need God to pick up the pieces and make them whole again. Our church had a revival a few weeks ago. I was only able to make it to one night. The night I went, the preacher preached about being broken by things we allow into our lives and by circumstances. He had a flower pot and spun it around in his hands and threw it up and caught it. He said we allow more and more things into lives and we let our vessel get loose. The next thing you know your vessel ends up so loose that it falls from your hands and breaks. He threw the pot behind him and it broke into many pieces. He said you can try and try to pick up the pieces but you can’t. He also said you can’t be used when you are a broken vessel. God won’t use a broken vessel. (One reason when members of the body of Christ are broken the whole body suffers)

broken pot

The only way to get whole again is to get down on your knees and ask God to heal you and forgive you and to help you. He got down on his knees as he said this. He said God will pick up your pieces and he will put you back together again. He held up a new pot for us all to see what God can do with our lives and vessels.

flower potAt the time I was struggling with many things and I felt so convicted over his message. I had been broken for a long time and had not gone to God for my healing. The preacher went on to say that we could have broken marriages, lives, vessels, witnesses, homes whatever and that God would heal it. I felt so overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit telling me to go to the alter and ask for forgiveness and healing. I am glad that I did because I walked away feeling whole again. I walked away with hope and with a renewed heart and soul.

Sometimes we have to be broken to be made whole. God can make you whole. He can restore you and revive you. He will pick up your pieces and put you back together. It may be painful. The healing may be a process like the healing of a broken bone, but don’t give up!!! Keep praying, keep reading, keep trusting and keep the faith!

Whatever is broken in your life whether it be; your marriage, your heart, your life, your mind, your spirit, your witness, your finances, your body – come to Jesus and ask for a healing. If you’ve let sin slip into your life, come to Jesus. He will give you healing and forgiveness.

I always feel awkward writing a prayer but I need to do what is on my heart.

God,

I ask that you speak to the hearts of those who read this. I ask that you would provide healing in whatever aspect of life that it is needed. I ask you to give them a renewal of their hearts, souls and minds. I thank you for what you’ve done and what you will do. I ask that you flood each person’s life who reads this with your love. God we know you are exceeding and able to do all things and we know that you will. I ask that if someone is reading this and they used to be on fire for you that you would stir up their hearts and start a fire in them again. I ask you to give peace and comfort and joy to those who are without it. Lord we ask that if there is someone reading this who doesn’t know you, that they will come to know you. Use us Lord and let us be your vessels. I ask all these things in your name, Amen.

My hope for you is that you will come to the well that never goes dry and that you will get what you need.

Love from above,

Iva Mae

His Eye is on The Sparrow

sparrow

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Often I feel like I don’t matter and that my problems don’t matter to God. That is NOT true at all. If it matters to me it matters to God. He cares about me and he cares about my problems and my circumstances. He says in His word that He knows when a sparrow falls and to FEAR NOT! We are of more value than sparrows. If God knows when a small little bird falls, He knows what we need when we need it. It matters to him. We are important to Him!! We can go to Him with our problems, cares and worries!

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

God says in His word that he is a place of rest! He is also a refuge and a help when we are in trouble (Psalms 46:1). We can go to Him and be safe no matter what is bothering us. A refuge is shelter or protection from danger or trouble; a place that provides shelter or protection. Asking for help can be humbling. It is for me. I’m so independent and have been since birth. It’s a good habit that has it faults. Especially when it comes to asking for help when I need it. I still somehow think I can do it on my own.

1 Peter 5:6 & 7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

God’s word tells us what to do. We just sometimes do not want bother Him. I feel that way often. I believe that what I feel or what I am going through isn’t worthy of God’s time, but that is wrong. God says so clearly in His word to cast all your cares on Him.

I woke up this morning with the song “Better than a Hallelujah” by Amy Grant on my mind. The words “We pour out our miseries God just hears a melody. Beautiful the mess we are the honest cries of breaking hearts are better than a hallelujah sometimes” just keep going through my mind over and over again this morning. I said God what are you trying to tell me. I started reading and all of the verses above just spoke to me. I don’t have to fear, I don’t have to worry or hurt. God can take that for me. He wants to or He wouldn’t have told us in His word to cast all your cares upon him for he cares for you.

better than a halleluiah

It’s a learning process every day as a Christian. I’m learning something new and understanding something more than I did before. I know now not to worry about taking anything to God, big or small, he will help me.

God Bless!!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

What a Friend

prayer

The past few days have been so trying on me. Nothing really bad has happened but a lot of little things just building up. My mood has been sour and I’ve been hateful. I went to the grocery this morning and was upset that I went over budget. It may not seem much but the end of the month beginning of the month is tight. A lot of things come out and we don’t have much wiggle room. I was upset and worried. I turned on my Pandora station and started putting away groceries. The song What a Friend we have in Jesus came on and I started listening to the words and the first 2 lines just spoke to me. I started crying and  because how stupid I have been for not taking every little thing to God. Then I started praising God because I can take everything to him in prayer. I was so overwhelmed with love and the presence of God. As I started writing this 10-12 doves were on my garage roof and most ended up looking at me.  I couldn’t get a picture of all of them as when 2 would land 2-4 would fly off. It just made me so happy. I love to hear doves. God gives us signs if we look for them. I know this was my sign from God that everything will be okay.

Acts 6:4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

This past week I’ve been lacking in my reading and praying. I’m thankful for the little things God gives us to remind us of His love and that he is here for us.

doves

WHAT A FRIEND

What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

O, what peace we often forfeit, O,what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Check out the song by clicking the link below

http://youtu.be/8WbCjEBclEY

God bless!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Falling Short

Many times in my life I have fallen short. I’ve missed the mark. I’ve judged someone & given the guilty verdict without a fair trial. We all do it from time to time. That doesn’t make it right. Sometimes our motivation for the judgment is fear. The not knowing that makes us instantly put a stamp on someone.

falling short

It is hard to love everyone no matter what they’ve done. I have asked God many times, “How do you love everyone the way you love them?” In my mind I couldn’t possibly love the way God loves. God loves with PERFECT LOVE. I don’t love with perfect love. PERFECT LOVE casts out fear. (1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”) God can do what I cannot. I am not perfect. I will fail and fall short.

Thank God, that He can love us perfectly. He is the only one that can love us that way. When something bad happens to someone who has wronged me or someone I love, I tend to say they deserved it and feel a sense of satisfaction that justice was served. I am wrong to feel that way. Proverbs 24:17 “Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.”

Short-2

Ouch! I hate to admit when I am wrong, but I’ve been wrong. I challenge you to ask God to show you where you’ve fallen short and ask him to help you make changes and to love more like him. We’re not a perfect people but we’re loved by a perfect God.

I will pray for you all and ask God to help you. I ask him every day to show my where I’ve done wrong and help me to do right.

Love in Christ,

Iva Mae