FREE TO DANCE

Freedom! Webster defines it as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” Sounds a bit like breaking out of the chains of bondage, escaping the darkness that surrounds our thinking.   The good news is: freedom awaits!

My life was spent dragging chains around until I allowed Jesus to control my life. Heavy bonds of shame and condemnation as a child, ropes of fear as a teenager, chains of victim mentality and the lie of post traumatic stress as an adult determined my every action, thought, and word.

Jesus came to set the captives free, to open the doors to freedom. “Yes,” I said and walked through the door. I won’t lie: it is not easy; it is not a cakewalk to climb off the path of slavery to sin and begin the journey of living for the Kingdom of God. When freedom comes, the heart dances, the feet skip, the soul is filled with joy and peace that surpasses human understanding.

I compare the freedom I now feel to dancing through the garden, or skipping among the roses. My husband shakes his head when I twirl from room to room in the house, kicking up my heels as I praise the Lord who set me free. I invite everyone to join the journey living absent from constraint in choice or action and present in the Light of the Lord.

Nancy Knauff

Selfies…

Why we’ll never be the same.

One picture, two picture, three picture four. See a flaw? Discard, do over… one picture, two pictures, three pictures four.

Self esteem takes a hit with every delete. A pattern is established putting forth just the best pictures even photo shopped when possible.
What 99% of us miss during this process is the work if the enemy tearing down our self image. Exercising the critical spirit at work and entering into agreement with the lie that unless you look a particular way you are unacceptable even to yourself.

Image it is all around us, often at work at the subconscious level. We don’t stand a chance, we are bombarded from the very beginning to perform and conform to a less than healthy norm.  Children’s cartoons shape image, Disney certainly plays s large roll in this matter.

For example…
I took 12 pictures this morning discarded 9 why?

If you have read my bio you know I am transparent for the reaching, teaching even using my own shortcomings to help others.

I deleted 9 pictures for the following reasons:
Lighting too low
Crooked smile
Bad angle
No smile
Forehead too big
Neck wrinkles (BIG ONE FOR ME)
Bags under my eyes (ANOTHER BIGGY)
The other one was better
I’m sure it was a repeat of another negative thought.

I know you have your own list of reasons to delete. What is important in this moment is to take a moment before the Lord. This is about identity; you are a masterpiece the handiwork of your Creator.  Would you stand before God and question His work? Would you question His great love and the care that He has placed in forming your being in His hand? Knowing that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for YOU, you are going to deny His sacrifice for you.

It goes this deep, because the Lord cares this much and the enemy knows it.

Let’s go from selfies to selfless.

Prayer – Today I renounce the Critical Spirit with all its manifestations and fruit.

Declare and decree the following statements out loud:

I come out of agreement with the Critical Spirit and all of its manifestation and fruit.

I come out of agreement with the lie that I am not beautiful, smart, that I am not good enough, that my acceptance is based on my performance and appearance.

Critical and judgmental spirit, I am not your friend and you are not my friend. I command you to leave me now and I cast you out in the name of Jesus to dry and arid uninhabitable places.

 

Go ahead take another picture only this time declare and decree the truths of God and truly live!

I pray that God richly bless you today.

In Christ. Be blessed.
Cherie Bauguess

How does a high school English teacher end up living in the middle of the desert in Mexico?

Ten years ago, if someone had told me that I would be living in the middle of the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, I would have laughed sarcastically in their face and told them what a ridiculous idea that was. But God is the one who usually laughs at our plans for our lives and says, ‘No, this is the way we’re going to do it.” And lo and behold, our Heavenly Father is the one who led my husband and me to desert life in Mexico, and now I’m the one who’s laughing in pure joy!

Nine years ago, I retired from teaching English at a large high school in Great Falls, Montana, and two years after that, my husband, David, retired after 33 years as a mailman with the Post Office. We knew that we wanted to get out of Montana after living there most of our lives and to get away from the snow and cold and the vicious winters that we had survived there for many years. One of our friends from church told us about some land they had in a little town called San Felipe on the Baja Peninsula and said that if we ever wanted to go down there, we could stay on their place. I got to looking on the internet, found a real estate agent who handled places in the tiny town, and we began to contemplate possibly traveling to Mexico just to see what it was like…and maybe do the ‘snowbird’ thing for awhile.

The real estate lady I talked with said that San Felipe was too small of a town and there wasn’t very much to do there, and we should instead go to a town across the Sea of Cortez called Puerto Peñasco. She said to just come down and try it out for six months. She would find us a decent place to live, and we could lay on the beach and drink margaritas and relax. It sounded quite intriguing to me, and immediately God started working on me.

 

Two months later, we packed what we thought we would need for six months into our 1998 Cadillac Deville (which of course, included a satellite and a receiver so David could enjoy his Direct TV!), strapped my pink bike on the front bumper, and we set off for our adventure in Mexico. I had no idea what we were getting into, but God did.

 

We pulled into town to meet the real estate lady, and immediately I had this overwhelming feeling like I was coming home. That feeling had only happened

one other time in my life, and I thought it was so strange that it had happened again in this town because as we drove into Peñasco, I remember thinking how dirty the place was with trash and garbage all over and half built homes and buildings and soooooooo many dogs running around everywhere. It was actually quite a filthy town, I thought.   There was really nothing appealing to a tourist coming into this town! So when I had that feeling like I was coming home, I couldn’t believe it, and I was wondering exactly what was going on.

 

But God, in His amazing wisdom and His timing for EVERYTHING in our lives, knew exactly what He was doing by bringing David and me to Mexico. That very first Sunday we were there, we went to one of the two English-speaking churches in town, and it was the next week-end that God has us involved in serving food at a Saturday mission site in the barrios. And that was just the beginning…

 

Today David and I are the directors of the Peñasco Christian Fellowship Mission Center one mile north of the city. We host church groups from all over who come down to do service work and ministry in the area, and God has us serving many different people. But I always think back to ten years ago, and if someone would have said, “Hey, Cheryll, you’re going to be the director of a mission center in the middle of Mexico,” I would have cracked up laughing in their face! God does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?
Cheryll Medina

Dream with God

Since I was a little girl, I have had the desire in my heart to come to the USA. The only thing I knew about this country was that there was freedom here, and I loved that. I wanted to be at a place where you can speak freely about what you think without being in danger to be put in prison or a concentration camp. Being born and raised in a communist country like Bulgaria, you could not freely express your opinion about the system, and one of the major weapons the communists used was fear. You had to do what you were told to do in complete obedience and submission. Both of my parents and my aunt were members of the communist party. My aunt was a very active member and held a leadership position in the party. She adored communism and worshipped it. For some reason I didn’t like the system and the “silence”; I had all these questions: why couldn’t a person speak freely and say anything about it? I hated to go down the streets waving flags and shouting “Glory, glory to the communist party”. There was something inside of me that was in total disagreement with this, and many times when we had to do it, I lied that I was sick in order to avoid going to the event.

Every summer vacation I spent with my grandpa and grandma, and I enjoyed that time so much. In the evening hours my grandpa would listen to a radio station called “Free Europe”, and I would sit with him listening about the freedom in other European countries and the USA. I started dreaming that one day I would go to the USA and live there. It was a dream in my little heart that began to increase year after year, and I started believing that this was possible.

My grandma was the first person who told me one day about Jesus and what He did on the cross. I remember asking her to tell me the story about Him over and over again. As a little child I started praying to God and asking Him for different things. I didn’t know how to pray and what to say but found some religious prayers in a small orthodox calendar and memorized them. God started answering my prayers and giving me the things that I asked for. At that time there were no books about God; the Bible was forbidden, and you could not find any around. I decided that if I am going to the USA one day, I needed to learn the language, and for that reason, I went to English school at the age of 14. I left home and moved to another town not far very away from home. There was unbelievable brain washing at school; we were taught that there is no God and asked to write an essay as a homework that says “God doesn’t exist”. I still can hear the words of my history teacher saying that Jesus Christ was a myth, that this man never existed on the face of the earth, and all the stories about Him were not real. The day that I had to write an essay I was “sick” again and stayed at home. I knew in my heart that God was real, and He does exist; I didn’t have any knowledge or understanding, but I knew that I knew He is real!
I started dreaming with God about America. There was such a great love in my heart about this country and the people. It is difficult to explain it with words, but I was longing for a place of freedom and liberty and from the radio broadcasting, I knew this was available in USA.

After high school graduation I was accepted as a student at the most prestigious university in Bulgaria. During this time there were changes that took place in the country, and the communism came to its end. This was the time when I met three guys in my group at the university who were different than the others. There was something in their eyes that caught my attention, and I wanted to spend time with them. One day they invited me to church, and the rest is history.

Now I live in the USA, the country that was in my heart since I was a child, and God is using me to minister to people here and in other nations. I am so blessed to have all of my friends who supported me and were here for me during difficult times: my spiritual Mom who taught me Godly principles and imparted so much into my life, my leaders and pastors who believed in me and helped me to grow in my relationship with God. There are so many things to be thankful for. When I look back, I see God’s hand all over my life, how He led me to the place that He wanted me to be. The circumstances were shouting too loud that it would never happen, it is impossible, but God is far above all of that, and my Heavenly Father is the One who brought me to this country. My passion is healing and deliverance, and I walk in the destiny that He has for me. Nations are in my heart, and I know this is my call, to bring freedom and healing to all of those who are oppressed and in bondage. When you dream with the Lord, all things are possible!

I want to encourage you today not to give up on your dreams, desires and passions. Keep going, keep pressing, the answer is so close. Only people who give up never succeed. If you give up, you already lost, but if you don’t give up, you won’t lose anything; in fact, you will win and have victory at the end. It is never too late to start dreaming with God; He wants to dream with you. As Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
God is a God of hope and future, no matter what your situation looks like, what is going on in your life now or how impossible it may look like. Don’t give up. Start to dream again with God, and you won’t be disappointed! He is the answer and will give you the desires of your heart.

Dani Tzanova

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