When you hear, “You’re just not strong enough.” Part One

Out of all the posts I have ever written, this one has been the most difficult. I write and teach from the trenches of my own struggles and victories. Most of my battles are fought in my mind. It is on the battlefield that fiery missiles of weakness, fear, addiction, and living like my past is always going to overshadow my future, are launched at the core of my heart. Satan’s a great shot. You see, there comes a time when you have to deal. You can ignore the past, all those things you did or didn’t do, maybe your parents divorced early on like mine did, or maybe you are a victim of sexual abuse, this life is full of horrific situations. I don’t know what you’ve endured, or what you hide behind your smile. I hid so much behind two coats of mascara and Cover Girl that I had a mask for every day of the week. But the time will come, when there’s no stopping it from surfacing. Maybe you’re there right now.

Some of us have a past worse than others. Yours could be that you grew up in a wonderful home. Even though my parents were divorced, they both still loved me very much; I didn’t have a bad childhood. However, from an early age, I had issues with self-esteem and lived in fear of everything. I struggled with relationships and would analyze what others would ‘like’ me to be so that I could fit the mold. I struggled with who the real me was for years. My husband has been married to so many different Shana’s that even I wonder which one is his favorite. Smiling.

When the Lord was preparing me for ministry, I had to deal. Like I said before, Satan knew my past. He had walked along side me all those years, watching, taking strategic note of my strengths and weaknesses. He has been doing the same thing with you too. It wasn’t until I took a step of faith and asked Jesus into my heart, that Satan decided to launch a full on war on my mind. It was subtle at first and then he sent an army after me. I have a feeling you know exactly what I am talking about.

Over the last few years, the Lord has dealt with me on my thoughts and words. Negative thoughts produce negative words. I found that I was given the gift of righteous anger. It took me some time to put a name on it. I began to see all the places that the enemy was using to produce fear, stress, low self-esteem, and addictive behaviors. I built an arsenal of Scripture to fire back at the enemy’s army. To my own surprise, I began to see victory after victory. It has been through this process that I am with the HOLY SPIRIT winning the battles one by one. In part two, I would like to introduce you to some ways that I have gotten closer to Jesus. How that I am digging deeper into the truths of Scripture so that you can live stronger in Christ too.

That’s what LIVE STRONG MINISTRIES is all about. It’s an individual’s journey to living stronger and finishing well. Stay tuned for Part Two.

Living Fearless,

Shana

WARNING: This is not a method; this is a relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no amount of self-talk or feel good quotes of the day here. Please understand my heart; I do not want to mislead you. This took years of tears, gut-wrenching confessions, leaning into Sisters in Christ that were safe, and all the while my precious husband and children had to endure the craziest parts of me. But now, they get the best of me..

 

 

 

Locking Arms with Younger & Older Generations-Part Three

Paul knew that his time on this side of the dirt was short. He wrote 2 Timothy from a prison cell in Rome and would later be executed. This letter is passing the torch to future generations.

I love how Paul encourages us to pass the torch too, in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”

The study of God’s Word is truly a work. It takes dedication and discipline to rightly explain the word of truth. Sunday School is so important also, I love gathering with sisters in Christ over our Sunday School lessons and discussing how the Lord is using the weeks lesson for every day living.

Paul then goes on to tell Timothy, “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that come by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

Once we have been taught, the hard work sets in. Being faithful to the things we have learned, walking out in the wisdom that has been given to us. Scripture corrects us when we do wrong so that we can turn away and do what is right. Important also, we must join up with a local church for fellowship and to be equipped for sharing the Gospel. I am finding that we can do this with a healthy balance of inreach and outreach in our churches.

Stay tuned for the final part of our series, Part Four.

Passing the Torch,

Shana

Locking Arms with Younger & Older Generations-Part Two

In the last post, we saw how Paul locked arms with Timothy so that he could raise up the next leader of the Church. It was by Paul’s commitment to the Gospel of Christ Jesus that he mentored and was a spiritual father to Timothy. This leads me to ask, “What are you doing in your circle of influence to raise up leaders for the Kingdom work ahead?” Are we, like Paul pouring our lives out as an offering to God? Invest yourself in people. If you don’t like people, (I hear that a lot), then pray that the Lord will give you a love for people. This reminds me of a song I heard this morning:

Hosanna:

“I see a generation
Rising up to take the place
With selfless faith, with selfless faith
I see a near revival
Staring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees..”

Then it goes on to say:

“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity..”

Turn this song into a prayer. Use it to call out to God for a love with selfless faith. Ask the Lord to heal your heart and make it clean. (Romans 12:9-16) Cry out to the Lord to show you how to love like He loves you, breaking your heart for what breaks His… We must be on our knees, for a generation to rise up and take over. We are the body, we alone cannot be the body, there are many parts. (I Corinthians 12:12)

Pray this prayer today, seek His face in how to follow Paul’s pattern of raising up this next generation for the Kingdom work ahead. If you feel led, please comment below on how the Lord is responding to your prayers of leadership. Give a testimony of how you are being used to lock arms generationally! Stay tuned for Part Three…

Eyes open,

Shana