Thursday, December 27, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
(An Article I penned in 2004 just seemed appropriate to share today when so many people I know and work with struggle with the "not again" syndrome. Myself included. Thankfully, we have hope)
Monday, November 5, 2012
Remember the best way to fight and win our battles, is on our knees in prayer. Amen!
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Putting on the Armor of God Prayer
Friday, September 21, 2012
I'm guessing, if we were all honest, every arm would be stretching skyward; because at one time or another, every one of us has doubted either God's existence or something He promised or said in His Word.
I know there have been times when I believed what God promised in relation to you, but doubted whatever it was applied to me.
Even worse, there have been moments when I was crushed by despair, moments that had me questioning our King's existence.
When this happens, as it inevitably will from time to time, looking up proves to be the best answer for me.
And I don't mean ONLY looking up, but also: Looking out, looking around, looking over there, over here, and in the pages of The Word or an inspirational tale of triumph, ultimately looking away from my own situation to the great beyond where God is visible to my hurting heart.
There's just something about a starlit sky, crashing waves, and towering fir trees that inspire me to believe in my Creator. A newborn's face, a kitten's paw, and a swaying palm tree are all evidence of His majesty and unfathomable creativity. Seeing His creations has a way of renewing and refreshing my wonder. Wonder tends to lead to worship, and worship inevitably draws me closer to my King.
Remember, we serve a King who wants to be found, who desires a deep and intimate relationship with all who reside in His kingdom. A King who is willing to show the palms of his hands and the hole in His side to one doubting Thomas is a King who understands our tendencies toward unbelief and uncertainty. He loves us no less for our questioning.
Are you in a place in your life where God seems distant? a place where He doesn't feel real? I promise, He's there, He's here, and He is (forgive the cliche') everywhere. His love for you is painted across the night sky, growing in your garden, visible in a baby's smile and living in your heart. Just look for Him. He won't run away or hide. He wants to be found.
Practical Princess Warrior Tip: Some days the best we can do is say: "Lord, I love you; help my unbelief. Lord, I love you; help my unbelief. Lord, I love you; help my unbelief."
Though we can't touch his side the way Thomas did, ultimately, He will find the just right ways to touch our hearts, leaving no doubt who loves us most.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
I am so pleased (thrilled) to announce that Soul Defenders is now available in paperback. I'll share the link in a moment.
First I want to share with you about the power of a story. The Bible is filled with stories, stories about people, people like us, people who make mistakes and fall short of God's glory. Thankfully, these same people find mercy and love in the Savior, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through fiction, although its fiction, spiritual truths can be found, especially if that is the intent of the author, which indeed was my intent. Nuggets of truth are often buried in the words of a story, treasure waiting to be found by the reader. I know I've found my fair share of jewels between the pages of a book. In fact, as a new believer, I read a great deal of Christian and inspirational fiction. I found myself eager to see what The Word had to say about what I was reading. I was drawn closer to our King through the stories authors were faithful to write.
I, too, wanted to reach wounded warriors and our yet-to-be embraced friends, who do not yet know our Savior, through my writing. That's why the following comment on Facebook touched my heart. This is a gal who I mentor. She has no consistent spiritual upbringing, and has never really wanted to talk about Christ with me. I gifted her this book for her Kindle Fire, knowing she loves to read. Here's what she said: "YYYYYYAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!! Read soul defenders. it is awesome and defintely inspiring. I prayed after i read it."
That's how God can use our stories, even fiction, to touch others and change hearts. I'm looking forward to my next meeting with this lovely sixteen-year old girl who God's placed in my life. We'll have a lot to talk about.
If you have someone, maybe addicted to drugs, or who has run to the arms of our enemy for fulfillment, consider sharing this book. I believe it can make a difference. Do you have a book or books that touched your heart? - please share in the comment section. Just as important, do you have a story to tell? Maybe it is time for you to tell it too.
Click on the link below to purchase a trade paperback copy of Soul Defenders.
Monday, September 10, 2012
I wrote the following article in 2008. It still stands true today, four years later.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
First, before I share today's message, can I just share how much I love this image of the princess entering Heaven and the Lion (our Lord) welcoming her ... someday. I can only imagine.
Okay ... here we go:
Friday, September 7, 2012
It's arrived! My book, Soul Defenders is out on Kindle and will be available in print by Monday on Amazon. I'm so excited to share this tale of spiritual suspense and warfare with you. Every Princess Warrior should be prepared on all occasions to fight the good fight. This book is a reminder that we do not fight against flesh and blood.
Here is the link to purchase. Please, please, spread the word and share the story. Thank you and God bless you, sisters.
Order Soul Defenders by Carol Van Atta
I'll provide the link to the trade paperback as soon as its available.
For more reading ... take a peek at Liz Curtis Higgs latest Bible Study book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Girls-Still-Got-It/dp/1578564484/ref=la_B001IOF77I_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347035119&sr=1-1
Monday, May 21, 2012
I'll let you know when this is released as an Ebook. Hopefully, in print as well.
Take a moment and think of the books you've read (both fiction and non-fiction) about the topic of spiritual warfare. The Bible, of course, being our best resource. Share your favorites in the COMMENT SECTION. I'm always looking for good reads on this topic.
And always remember, if you are a daughter of the King of Kings, you are on the winning side. Amen!
Monday, April 9, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Please read a New Year's Article I wrote a couple of New Years ago. Hopefully it will inspire, encourage, and challenge you, thus reminding you, as God did Esther, that you were created for such as this.
Let us reign real in 2012!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Oh, ladies; I'm not sure where to start with this message. So, I'll start with what triggered the writing of this entry.
I logged onto my email and was surprised (and a bit perplexed) by the lead in to a story ... Too sexy for the pumpkin patch. That's right. A story about a couple who was kicked out of the pumpkin patch for getting overly frisky amongst the future Jack-o-Lanterns, and amongst the crowd of kids and parents, who turned out expecting some clean fall fun, not a full blown strip tease fiasco. If you're curious, I'll provide a link at the end of this story. You'll want to open it without children present.
Although, like me, you may have already caught wind (or an eyeful) of the trashy escapade. If not, let me provide a brief summary with my own commentary.
I know. I might sound a little rude. But truthfully, the whole thing breaks my heart.
A sixteen (now 17?) year old girl and her 51 year old husband are frolicking and photographing their obviously pre-planned attention-getting outing. Being an inquisitive reader, I did more than glance at the photos, I read the torrid tale, and learned that this oddly matched couple, with the approval of the girl's mother, married and are trying to peddle their pornographic behavior as another reality TV show. Yes, another one.
Mom spouts off at the negative comments they're receiving by saying that all the women are simply jealous of her daughter's beauty. Granted, she's a pretty girl. Catch that? A girl. A kid. A teen. A teenager with a ton of make up and very little clothing publicly preening and posing and making out with her much (much, much, much) older husband.
What makes this so maddening and saddening is the fact that this gal is promoting herself as the "All American" good girl. Her mother made sure to state, for the record, that her daughter is a good Christian girl who remained a virgin until her wedding night. In addition, this girl Tweets/Twitters, to 47,000 plus followers, about very sexually charged topics along with Bible quotes ... all in the same tweets.
Call me a prissy prude, but I'm just not comfortable with a this girl publicly proclaiming Christ and then using her sexuality in such a blatant and garish way. How can this possibly line up with God's Word? It can't.
Remember 1 Peter 3: 3-4 says:
Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
Another scripture talks about how ultimately outward beauty will fail. We will all age and change. Our lasting beauty comes from within.
This sad spectacle is wrong on so many levels. I don't think anyone in their right mind wants to see their daughter parading around in what this girl is parading around in, not to mention, having her pictures splashed across every web browser and tabloid paper in the nation. I believe the adults in her life are using this girl's hunger for fame and fortune to fuel their own misguided agendas. And then to slap a label on the whole thing and say its all okay because she's a "Christian."
Deep breath. (I'm saying that to me, but you can join me if you like)
What should we do about stuff like this?
As Princess Warriors, let us remember our roles. We are to be godly and graceful (grace-filled too) not gaudy and garish. And we have a lot of work to do in order to combat what young girls and women see in the media and in the halls of their schools everyday. We may see the destruction in this pumpkin-patch-girl's life, but others, who don't know better, see a possible path to success, and sadly, a way to achieve attention, adoration, and opportunity.
It's up to us, Princess Warriors, to show others just how exciting, fulfilling, and, most importantly, a life-saving a relationship with Christ can be. So, when you have to head the pumpkin patch, or any other event this fall, leave your daisy dukes and go-go boots behind (maybe it's time to toss them?) and put on God's goodness and grace instead.
And consider some simple steps for representing Christ:
2. Be friendly
3. Pray (if you see a bikini clad woman in the pumpkin patch, pray for her)
4. Dress appropriately (no, not like a fuddy-duddy, but with your Princess Warrior role in mind)
5. Have judgement free conversations with the younger women/girls in your life. Ask age-appropriate questions about their views of success, and if appropriate, their thoughts on our sex-saturated society. Listen. Ask open-ended questions that don't require a yes or no answer. And listen some more.
6. Consider mentoring a teen or younger woman. Share your experiences and values. Most importantly, just be there and share your time and love.
7. Always be prepared to answer questions about your faith. Many people see others (like our pumpkin girl) publicly proclaiming their Christianity but actually living for the enemy. Know in advance how you'll handle these types of conversations with grace and goodwill.
Let us be the lights in the darkness (and in the pumpkin patch too). Keep reigning real!
CAUTION NOT FOR YOUNG EYES/link to story and photos: http://www.thesuperficial.com/courtney-stodden-pumpkin-patch-kicked-out-10-2011/courtney-stodden-pumpkin-patch-1024-12
Friday, September 30, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
You're probably wondering about my title: Mystical Monday. I'll get right to my explanation.
On a local radio station that I occasionally tune in to, I discovered something rather disturbing. Every Monday evening they have a talk show format, and focus on the supernatural and the mystical. They interview witches, mediums, folks that practice what we as Christians know are dark arts. What's so scary is these women (I haven't heard a man interviewed) cheerfully share about their lives and spiritual practices. They promote their practices as the answers to happiness and excitement. The host giggles right along with them, while listeners call in and ask questions. It seems so innocent (and intriguing) to the average person. The topics are fascinating and the format easily lures the listeners in.
I realize that to unbelievers we are often considered radical wackos, yet somehow, someway, all these other bizarre beliefs are embraced and discussed openly on popular public radio programming. The guests are given respect and are even honored as they peddle their brand of spirituality. I've yet to hear of a Christian guest participating on this program. I find that more than a little frustrating, although not surprising.
We have exciting supernatural stories to share with the world; stories that can change lives for the better. We serve a God that can raise the dead. He can renew our minds and restore our hearts. He can turn ashes to beauty and water to wine. That's good stuff! That's true stuff! The real deal. Yep, we serve the only real God. The Creator of Heaven and of Earth.
Sadly, though, the truth is shunned and the enemy's lies are touted as the truth. Sin isn't something to giggle about, nor is it something to embrace. But every Monday, in a welcoming way, a certain radio station promotes the Highway to Hell as the Path to Paradise. Maybe not intentionally, but unfortunately it's happening.
What can we as Princess Warriors for Christ do to combat programing like this?
1. We pray. Pray for God's truth to reign. Pray for the radio/TV hosts/writers to experience a spiritual awakening. Pray they come to know Christ as their Lord, Savior, and King.
2. Be prepared to answer tough questions without becoming defensive or combative. Too often we find ourselves defending our faith with anger. It's frustrating to see how easily folks buy the lie yet refuse to research what's real. Rather than letting our emotions gain control, consider in advance what you might say when conversations about supernatural and mystical matters arise. Hollering about Hell isn't going to get the results we hope for. We can stand on the truth with love. People are searching for answers. Let's have some to share.
3. Take action. Contact the source directly and voice your opinion. Contact your friends and have them contact the source that is spreading these messages that masquerade as truth. If enough people stand up, the powers-that-be can't help but notice. Again, we do this with love. We can be firm and deliberate without being dreadful.
A number of years ago, there was this TV show that I loved. It was an evening drama about the world following a nuclear attack. They discontinued the series after only 12 episodes, leaving numerous questions unanswered. Thousands of fans called, emailed, wrote letters, and sent peanuts (long story) to the network. Finally, the network relented and aired another partial season to wind things up. In our case, we're asking for someone to turn the programing off! Same idea though, right?
Or ... we could take another path and instead request that they include the Christian point of view on their programing. Why is every so-called path explored, but Christianity ignored? Hum ... just a thought.
Ladies, I'm sad to say that too often I simply ignore situations like the one I'm visiting in this post. I find myself thinking: "There's nothing I can do about this. Why bother? Blah. Blah. Blah." I give up without a fight.
I know I'm not the only one. Can you imagine if every warrior for Christ stepped up and stood up for the truth? We could make significant differences in the world around us.
So, what are we waiting for? At the very least we can do what is always best; we can pray.
My commitment ... to pray for this radio show, the station, and the people involved. I will ask for their eyes to be opened to the truth. I will also email this radio host and suggest (strongly) that they consider featuring a Christian. They are very interested in so-called supernatural power. Well, I know where to find that power! Amen!
My challenge to you, sisters, is simply to pray. Pray for God to infiltrate the airwaves. Pray for ways to make the truth known in the media. Pray for creative opportunities to share the truth of our salvation. Pray.
That's all for now. Until next time! Keep reigning real, one step and a prayer at a time.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
In a world filled with hostility and hatred, it can be difficult to love. Especially those folks who are hostile and hateful! But we, of course, as Princess Warriors for Christ, are called (actually, commanded) to love.
When I speak at retreats, I often share an amazing story about God's grace and love. I'd like to share this story with you, precious reader.
Click below to read (WARNING:You may want to grab a tissue!)
Remember to reign real by loving boldly.
Monday, June 20, 2011
God's Word clearly instructs us to take our thoughts captive, making them obedient to Christ.
I used to feel pretty confident in my ability to do this. I was quick to share the amazing results I was experiencing by simply filling my mind with God's Word, allowing His truths to combat the many lies I'd embraced over those "before Christ" years. As Princess Warriors it is critical to our well being that we keep our thoughts on our King. For if we allow our thoughts to wander, we can end up straying in both word and deed.
I should know.
I've experienced what feels like an endless barrage of difficult situations in my life over the past year. Health issues, financial challenges, family problems, major changes at work, a big move and downsizing, and the list goes on. I am well aware that I'm not the only one facing tough times, but I had, for years, prided myself on my ability to rise above and face my future with my sword drawn and shield in place. I'd managed to keep my helmet of salvation secured, my feet shod in the Gospel of Peace, and the belt of truth buckled around my expanding waistline. We'll talk about that expanding waistline in a minute.
Anyway, as more new hardships were hurled my direction, I began to struggle. My Shield of Faith grew incredibly heavy. Lifting the Sword of the Spirit seemed like too much of an effort. In fact, many days went by when I didn't bother putting on the armor at all. I listened to the raging voices of negativity filling my head, even agreeing outloud with the life-crushing words. "This is too hard." "I can't handle this." "It's never going to get better." "Life's too much." "How could I be so stupid?" "What's wrong with me anyway?" Fighting started to seem fruitless, and I've been feeling more like a failure than a leader.
I'm sad (embarrassed even) to say that this Princess Warrior has become weary of fighting. I've been trying to fight alone, something I know doesn't work. It's time for me to come clean and say that I've been depressed. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have been eating, reading, and playing computer search and find games to numb my feelings. I'm here to remind myself, and maybe you too, that anything short of God Himself, doesn't work. Nothing fills our aching hearts but Him. And sometimes, life is hard and we are going to feel down in the dumps. But the truth remains, no matter how discouraged, disgusted, or discarded we feel, our King still loves us. And when all else fails, His arms are open.
Maybe you too have used mind-numbing techniques to cover your pain. Perhaps you've eaten far more than your body needs in an attempt to stuff the fear and frustration down ... or played too many computer games, or spent hours on Facebook rather than spending time in God's presence.
It's hard to admit when you've been putting everything but God first. Sure, we can mutter the right words at the right times, but are we really believing them? Living them?
I believe I am not the only one feeling weighed down by life right now, discouraged by negative thoughts and emotions. But no matter what lies the enemy tries to isolate us with, we are not alone. God is still with us. He is still waiting. He is still loving. He is still on His Throne.
If you've isolated yourself, maybe it's time for you to run into your Heavenly Father's arms, make a phone call to a friend, go forward to the alter at church ... for certain it is time for us to take action, the type of action we know comes from God. Anything else will eventually fail. Only God can lift the weight from our shoulders and remove the hardness from our hearts.
Sharing that I've been struggling is never fun. But in order to be victorious warriors we have to be honest, open, transparent, and willing to admit we need help. After all, we're in an army. We're not fighting alone. Let us lift those fallen fighters to their feet rather than judging how they landed on the ground.
And let us remember: When all else fails, God's forgiveness frees us to fly on the current of His love once more.
I'm ready to fly again. Are you?
Sunday, April 24, 2011
He is Risen! Christ has defeated sin and death, giving us a brand new lease on life. What a great time to plan, prepare, and pray for new beginnings. Is it time for you, precious Princess Warrior, to take that next step up? A step up and out in faith, walking boldly in your calling ...
Personally, I find Spring a perfect time to consider new beginnings. An article, I orginally wrote for the New Year, fits perfectly now as we celebrate the new beginnings Christ provides for us every day. Let's celebrate the fact that he left His grave clothes behind and embraced life eternal for us.
Simply click on the following link to connect to my article on new beginnings: http://powertochange.com/experience/spiritual-growth/newbeginnings/
Friday, December 24, 2010
Then it hit me like a snowball in the face -- splat! This was a program featuring people complaining about EVERYTHING. Tis the Season to moan and groan. I stopped chuckling and hit the off button silencing the next storyteller half way through his tirade.
I occurred to me, once again, how easy it is to complain rather than rejoice and celebrate. We live in a world that easily embraces the negative often ignoring the positive. Granted, there's a ton of not-so-nice stuff happening everyday. Yet, there is an array of awesome happenings if we open our eyes enough to notice them. It's so easy to complain. Talking about what annoys us feels natural. Some call it a good "bitching session." But these so-called sessions have nothing in common with our King's calling.
God instructs us to think about those things that are positive, uplifting, and good. We are to fill our minds with His Word. NOWHERE are we told to have a time of unrelenting complaining. Quite the opposite. We are reminded to give thanks in all things and celebrate the glory of our mighty King. Christmas is when we celebrate the Prince of Peace's arrival, a time to love and share good cheer. Yet, I was instead listening to a popular radio station enlisting people to complain, and enjoying it. Shame on me!
What if instead that same station had invited folks to call in and share one positive, amazing, or miraculous event that had transpired in their lives? What if listeners were instructed to share something positive that happened? What if we were encouraged to list what we were grateful for? What a difference (for the better) the answers to those questions would make.
There's more than enough negativity in our world today. We certainly don't need special public sessions to complain about it. Rather, let us proclaim the goodness of God and celebrate the successes and surprises we are privy to everyday if we look with our "God glasses." Seeing the world through His grace and glory, knowing there is a future far better than our greatest moment on this earth, is more than enough to cause celebration and sing His praises.
Like the princess in the picture above, we can keep our eyes focused on the eternal destiny that will someday be our home, and we can find plenty of reasons to celebrate right now. Tomorrow is the greatest reason of all, the biggest birthday bash of all time ...
Why complain when the Savior Reigns? He is the Ultimate Gift. Let us unwrap His love and live like we know the Greatest King of All. Because we do.
Merry Christmas Princess Warriors.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Over the past few weeks, I've seen my fair share of kooky commercials advertising everything from socks to sauce pans, tools to Tshirts. One add series has really caught my attention, and not because I enjoy them. In fact, they bug me, a lot! Anyway,these particular TV spots feature a woman who I call The Target Lady. Yes, are Target ads. If you've seen it, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, let me give you a little description:
Target Lady is counting down the days to the holiday big sales. She is racing down the isles of the store (Target, of course) pushing a cart as she attempts to get in shape for the BIG DAY. In another add she says she hasn't slept in days. She's standing by mini-model of Target that she's apparently created on her kitchen table. In every commercial she appears overly animated, with eyes bugging, and a maniacal grin stretched across her face. She is a bundle of nervous energy as she waits for her day of shopping frenzy. Her life-purpose is to shop at Target.
Nothing against Target, or any retailer. I just find these commercials very eye opening. In all their exaggerated glory, there are some major parallels to the chaos that can easily reign in everyday life during the Christmas Season.
As Princess Warriors for Christ, we are reigning real for Christ, fighting the good fight, which actually involves spreading peace. Fighting with peace? Contradictory? No. Part of the armor are The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace. Wearing these sandals demonstrates our readiness to enter the world, as chaotic as it can be, and share the Good News -- Christ's Gospel of Peace. He gives us His peace. (See more info on wearing the sandals)
I don't know about you, but I don't always feel "peaceful" during this hectic time of year. Waiting in long lines and traffic jams aren't typically peaceful scenarios. I don't respond well to drivers crawling up on my car's bumper or grumpy people in line. Yet, as a Princess Warrior, I am supposed to bring peace to the world, and that means instead of yelling at that angry driver who speeds by fist (or finger) raised, I need to pray for him and remember there really is a Reason for the Season and it isn't hitting the best super sales, but hitting my knees in worship of the One who saved me from a life of sin and death. A Savior born in a filthy stable who now sits at the right hand of God in the heavenlies.
I guess if I'm honest with myself, I can admit that I've felt a bit like the Target Lady at times. Not about grabbing gifts, necessarily, but about all that needs (or, I think needs) to be done in order to make Christmas just right for my family and friends. When what truly is most important is celebrating the birth of the Christ and the freedom and peace He provides.
Granted, our world is not at peace, but peace can still live in our hearts. God give us the ability to walk in the world without being part of its chaos. And there are things we can do to keep focused on the real reason for The Season, and our existence, any time of year:
Please consider the Three steps to experiencing God's Peace (adapted from my Pastor, Dave Pauli's sermon last night, titled: Experience God's Peace this Christmas.
1. Learn to walk in the light of the Lord.
a. In His presence - Give God your day. Before your feet hit the ground, acknowledge His lordship over your life. Most of us wake up to worrying thoughts. Our daily to-do list is foremost in our minds. Instead, turn your attention to God, allow Him to direct your daily path right from the start.
b. Choose obedience - It's impossible to experience total peace while clinging to sin. The old saying: If you want the Bible's blessings live the Bible's Way-make a whole lot of sense. 1 John 5:3 (CEV) We show our love for God by obeying His commands, and they are not hard to follow.
2. Become a student of His Ways - Psalm 119:165 (NCV) Those who love your teachings will find true peace ... Spending time with God and learning to "live" His Word provides peace and a ton of other blessings.
3. Let go of conflict - Ephesians 4:3 (NIV) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 1 Thessalonians 5:13 (NIV) ... live in peace with each other. Colossians 3:12 (NIV) As God's chose people, hold and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I wish I could share all the stories and examples found in this simple yet highly practical teaching, but I can say one thing, peace involves choices. Choices we as Princess Warriors must make. We must choose to take steps that allow God's peace to reign in our hearts so we can spread it around in our world. Amen! We are, after all, Christ's hands extended to a hurting and often chaotic world.
Together, let's say no to being like the Target Lady and yes to experiencing and spreading the peace of our Lord this Christmas Season and the rest of the year.