Featured

Welcome!

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome to Lessons ‘n Blessings! This is truly my first blog post on this platform, and I am so excited to finally start sharing the journey through life’s lessons and blessings from God. There is so much to share, so much to experience, and I invite you to embark on this adventure with me!

XOxo ♥,

Dionne Renae

welcome to the summer

Conversation Starter Series #1

Busting Myths on Why People Stop Attending Church

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a “Non-Traditional Christian” – The views and opinions reflected in this blog are from a person who has served in various roles in ministry, but has not held the role of Pastor or (the top leadership role in a church / ministry). 

I am a Christian… who does not regularly attend church services in person or online virtual services at this point in my journey with Christ. For many people this fact alone will make you question if I am even “saved” at all – since I am not attending a service every week. I hate to break it to you, but you were programmed to have this negative opinion of people who do not attend church habitually. While in the past I did attend church regularly in person, virtually/online, or listening to replays, I have often heard the ministry leader (Pastor, Bishop, Prophet, etc.) express a particular disdain for people who profess to be followers of Christ, but do not attend Church. They lump everyone from former church members, regular visitors, and those who have actually fallen away into the same general categories. They are labeled as disloyal, opportunists, unfaithful, troublemakers, heathens, backsliders, unrepentant, lazy, ignorant, undisciplined, and overall failures. The notion is that such people are actually enemies who deserve to get “what is coming to them,” because they are not protected under the covering of the church or ministry that they left anymore. Instead of reaching out to a person who leaves, even under stressed and undesirable circumstances, an attitude of a holy “good riddance” is given instead.

Now the truth is sometimes when a person stops participating with a church or ministry, it is for the best, the best for that person and the fellowship that they are leaving. The problem is that, most of the time the reason for why the person has left is not expressed by the person leaving to the congregation, which leaves room for gossip, conspiracy theory, and misinformation to take root regarding the situation. A person who does not like the person who left will be all too happy to explain and share all of their negative perspectives on the separation. And if that church or ministry is prone to “Pastor Worship”, the person who leaves will almost always be depicted as some type of villain, possibly possessed or a witch/wizard/warlock. Blame for any ministry problems and failures during the time of that person’s attendance can freely be put on the person that leaves, using him or her as a convenient scapegoat. (For more on this, check out the book Charismatic Control by Steven Lambert, ThD)

Of course, what has been described are the extreme cases and there are some people who leave that are not missed – no one notices that they are gone. However, the negative stereotype is broadcast through many sermons, teaching messages, as a warning of what can happen to a person who does not attend. Many Modern western churches are built around the model of fellowship being the anchoring element, upon which the foundation of the ministry is built. There is nothing wrong with that, except, when the goal becomes to keep people in that one location as long as possible. After learning about the Kingdom of God and how that was part of Jesus’ mission on earth – to expand and spread the “Good News” regarding it, I realized that church assemblies are supposed to equip and build up people to engage and expand the Kingdom of God beyond that church location. So why is it so confusing and perceived so negatively if a person moves on, away, or fellowships with believers in a different assembly?

Let’s discuss this! Feel free to repost this on your social media page and start a conversation with your family, friends, and contacts.Whether you agree or disagree with what has been expressed in this blog, this conversation needs to happen.

There are scriptures that are used to “teach” why not participating with a church is bad/ undesirable.The one that I remember being referenced the most is stated as, “Forsake not the assembling of the saints…” When the scripture from Hebrews 10:24-25 actually says: 

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Which other scriptures have you heard in regards to church attendance? 

There are some churches/ ministries that pronounce judgements or curses on the people that leave by declaring things like: They will not find success, or the protection/favor of God will not be with those who leave, or declaring that they will be handed over to Satan – implying that the person renounced their confession of Christ as Savior and is no longer saved.

Have you ever heard something like this being preached or declared in a church service?

A person may decide to end fellowship and participation with a church/ministry for all sorts of reasons. Below is a list of reasons why a person may stop attending, please share other reasons that are not listed and/or discuss with your network.

  1. The church/ministry was not a good fit for them – anything from the time of service, worship/teaching style/ location or expectation from the church to the members could be incompatible with a person’s ability or desire to attend.
  2. There is another church/ministry that the person wants to attend.
  3. The person does not agree with the doctrine or practices of the church
  4. Personal or corporate conflict – a disagreement with a church member or leadership that distracts that person’s focus away from worshiping God.
  5. Church hurt – a person was hurt by a person, or people (sometimes leadership) to the point that church attendance (at that location) causes trauma and becomes too painful to attend.
  6. A person moves away to another city/state/country
  7. A person is not growing, has no opportunity to serve, or feels like they are regressing (going backwards) in their faith. 
  8. God/Holy Spirit told them it was time to move on -to another church, to step out on faith, or whatever personal directive from God.
  9. The person is not well received by the people of that church. Usually for religious reasons: the way that the person dresses, the zeal and enthusiasm of the person, or a host of other reasons
  10. The person is condemned and gossiped about at the church, and it is no longer a safe place for them to be.
  11. The person is overwhelmed by the surmounting issues at the church: disorganization, quarreling amongst members and ministry leaders, scandals, power plays, and etc.

People who have bad experiences at church as children/teens/young adults often leave and never come back. Even people who are older but are “babes in Christ” or “unChurched” have a window of time that if they have really bad experiences at church they might leave and not come back – at least not back to that church. What are your thoughts on this? What can be done to encourage children, teens, young adults, and new Christians to not just attend church but to develop their own personal relationship with Jesus? What has worked? What has not been tried yet?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out globally in 2020 – although prior to the pandemic many churches were adopting the technology to have virtual church meetings, online broadcast of services, and even virtual church campuses – the overall tone towards virtual or online members seemed to be negative – like these people are too lazy or undisciplined to attend church in person. This discounts the fact that there are many reasons why a person may choose to participate online rather than in person. At the end of the day,since this technology has become available it has done more good for churches and spreading the “good news” of Christ than harm, in my opinion. Instead of a sermon being preached in a local church and only the members in attendance at that time being the ones to hear and receive from it, that same message can broadcast in real time globally. This is no different from radio broadcasting, tapes, videos, CDs, or DVDs of the messages going out from a local church. So why is there an underlying negativity about it? What would happen to the global Church if these technological options were no longer available?

Below is a list of reasons why a person may choose to attend a service virtually instead of in person. Feel free to discuss and add to the list in the comments section or on your social media page.

  1. Location – The person may not live close enough to the church that they would like to attend to fellowship in person.
  2. Transportation – The person may not have means of transportation to attend in person
  3. There can be times, especially when a person is growing in hearing the voice of God, that in person services/meetings can be distracting – this way the person can stay in the presence of God and not be distracted by church politics, or whatever else that may be going on.
  4. Wanting to “visit’ with a church before becoming a member. A person used to have to physically visit church after church in person before deciding/being led to join one.
  5. Hunger for the Word of God – when a person is growing they may hear ministers with various teaching/ministering styles that they are drawn to. Participating online means that they do not have to choose one service over another, they can attend more than one if they desire.
  6. A person may be in a place where they are seeking guidance from God on whether to leave or stay at a particular church and watching online gives them a broader perspective regarding that decision
  7. Everyone does not have Sunday off from work, some people choose to watch/listen to the service while they work so that they do not fall behind in the teaching and to stay as much in fellowship as possible with their church. 
  8. Not everyone is comfortable in crowds of people that they do not know. Introverts may need time to build up motivation to attend in person, because a lot of services are designed for extroverted people: Go hi-five 3 of your neighbors, Hug 5 neighbors sitting next to you and tell them…, Tell the person sitting next to you…Now everybody hold hands while we pray….
  9. Not all churches are the same: Some churches have loud and wild praise and worship, while other churches are more dignified. Some churches heavily lean on audience participation, while others are quiet and respectful during preaching. Some churches have activities and meals after service, while others send everyone on their way by 12 noon. Online attendance gives a person the opportunity to witness the culture of the church without awkward situations if they do not “fit’ in that culture.

Before getting to the place where I now no longer attend weekly services, I was a faithful church attender. I didn’t just attend, I served in various roles, because I wanted to not be a hearer only, but also be a doer (James 1:22-25). In that time of serving, I found out what goes on behind the scenes in some (not all) churches and it changed the way that I viewed Church as an institution. In some ways it helped mature me, to adjust my expectations and remove the mysticism regarding the building, practices, and administration. It did also have negative effects on me, as I was deeply hurt, multiple times, in various situations. Regardless of the bad experiences that I had, I also had many of the best encounters with God there. I saw first hand the movement of the Holy Spirit, I learned to recognize the Presence of the Lord and the flow of the anointing. I am a witness to seeing people get healed, set free, and delivered. I know that the Power of God can fall to a degree that everyone is touched, and this is the reason why I also believe that the same Power can not be contained in a building, in a service, at a specific time. That same Power can move through a broadcast over the radio or online. It can move with the same strength and momentum through a tape, CD, DVD, or replay. Why try to limit God to an in person meeting? If we believe that He really is God, then we know that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM!

I personally believe that I have grown the most while not attending church on a weekly basis because I had to learn how to hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit, read the Bible for my own edification, and apply the revelation that I was receiving to my own life. My hunger for the Word increased, and my prayer time was unhindered. No other person was involved with “measuring” where I was at in my walk with God, and He also began showing me how to walk with Him instead of waiting until a crisis was at hand. I am not perfect at this, I still have times when it would be helpful to have a community of like minded Believers in Christ that I could go to for help, however God has kept me – even without having that. This is not the ideal situation for any believer- please do not think that I am glorifying not participating with a Church. However, it is not necessarily a bad place to be depending on the things that are happening in your life. I wanted to start this conversation with you because it’s time. It is time to remove this “territorialism” and “Pastor worship” from the Body of Christ. The rivalries and discord amongst local churches, between denominations, and regarding doctrinal differences must end if we are really going to expand the Kingdom of God and fulfill the “Great Commission.” 

Attending services or online are options that are available to all believers and one option may be better for one type of person than for another. For a secular example – I attended college courses both in person and online. I had successes and unique experiences with both, when I wasn’t doing well – had failures and challenges in both. So there is no magic bullet – no perfect answer. What is working now for a person may not be ideal later on or in a different circumstances. A person is not “more Christian” if they attend in person, or a person that should be looked down on if they attend online or have taken a break from attending weekly. What matters is that however a believer is continuing their Journey with Christ is that we are all in the Family of God, One Body with many parts. Instead of trying to discount and disqualify people from salvation, let’s trust God that through the in person services and online, and other technological formats that His messages of love, peace, salvation, acceptance, freedom, and grace are reaching those whom He desires to reach – Christ desired ALL to be saved – and that the seeds being planted through all ministry will produce the harvest of Revival that many of us have been longing for. 

Thank you for reading this, especially for getting this far in the blog post. Please do not let this be the end of your interest in this topic. Please have conversations about this with other believers and post, or make reference to this blog on your social media to keep this conversation going.  

Bonus Question: What would happen if all Christians/Believers/Followers of Christ utilized all of the resources that are available: services, books, radio, CDs, DVDs, MP3s, replays, blogs,websites, and podcasts to build themselves up (Jude 1:20) and to advance the Kingdom?

Blessings Always,

Dionne Renae 💜💜💜

Spiritual Warfare vs. Occultism

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Can you tell the difference between Christian Spiritual Warfare Strategies and Occultic operations of witches, warlock, and workers of iniquity? Have you ever been deceived into participating in evil works against someone out of judgement, dislike and / or offense at the person? Have you ever committed to a wrong approach or strategy in a group setting even though it went against your core beliefs? If you answered yes to any of these questions or are not sure keep reading… This is a conversation that has been needed for a while, but has not really been discussed as directly or openly in recent years.

In the United States of America we are approaching the one year anniversary (if you can call it that) of the January 6th Insurrection of the US Capitol building in Washington DC. This attempted coup from the former US president not only shook the nation, but it sent a strong signal around the world concerning the moral and ethical decline of the political system in the United States. It was something that had never been done to the level, scale and fierceness in our nation’s history. The amount of disrespect, violent threat, and pure insanity that took place leading up to and on that day is something that I hope this nation never experiences again. So what does this have to do with Spiritual Warfare vs. Occultism? Where is there a connection? Well, let’s first look at who participated in this “Insurrection” and “attempted coup”. It was people on various levels of political leadership – including the former president, and all other types of people. Wealthy people, who could afford to travel across the nation to attend the rallys and the storming of the US Capitol Building, militia groups that believed that they were “defending” the country from Joe Biden, from communist, from liberals, from whoever else they deemed a threat.And there were curious people who just wanted to show support for the former president…. This is actually the most dangerous group because they did not necessarily have premeditated plans to participate in an illegal breach of the US Capitol building and yet in the heat of the moment they joined in. With all of the fallout from the destructive activities on that day many people who participated, still maintain that they did nothing wrong and that they are in fact heroes for doing what they did. This article is not about the motivations and intentions behind the January 6th Insurrection, but it uses that event to show an extreme outcome when people become indoctrinated into occult agendas with the pretext being something that sounds good or just. 

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

As Christians in Westernized modern churches, there is a lot of power, influence, and flexibility that is displayed and practiced as part of a social norm. When one of the world’s “superpowers” is a Christian nation the opportunity to show the world what “One nation under God” looks and operates like is tremendous. However in recent times can we really say that the reign and rule of God is really being expressed in our nation? The people who seem to portray themselves as doing God’s work seem the most combative, willfully ignorant, and stubbornly committed to strategies that do not work for all, only those in their group. This raises the questions: Are we really adhering to the principles of the Bible? Is love truly the motivating factor moving things behind the scenes? Is this the way that Jesus would actually handle things? Has Christianty become a political movement – making the same mistake as the children of Israel? Wanting a natural King/President to fight our battles instead of our Heavenly Father? Can people tell the difference between right and wrong anymore? 

In the last ten to 15 years there has been a mass exodus of people leaving the Church (not necessarily Christianity) that very few have been willing to address. It may be that regardless of the increased focus on creating relationships and trying to get people to stay connected with study groups and service ministries that the love that attracted them is now waning. The truth is that many practices in local and international churches are not scriptural and end up wounding, discouraging, and even turning people off from even wanting to be a Christian. There is misplaced passion and enthusiam that would allow a person to in religious righteousness fiercely oppose abortion rights to the point of not being able to love or accept a woman who has made that choice at some point in her life into the body of Christ. Can a person who stands for such morally just causes love and accept a person who has fallen short or has differing views on those topics? It’s what Jesus would have done, so why is the Church having a hard time with this?…  

Photo by Amanda Klamrowski on Pexels.com

Rejection and Shaming as a “Spiritual Warfare” tactic?

In every church congregation, local or international, there is going to be a time when a member falls short, backslides, or commits an abominable sin. In some cases, it may not be that the member is actively committing sin, but it was a part of their past that has come to light. How is the church supposed to respond? Should everyone gossip about the person, but act like they don’t know anything when they encounter the person? Should the sermon be about the sin that this person is accused of to show the congregation that this church will not tolerate that type of sinfulness and to put pressure on that person to come forward in repentance? Should the person who is now known by their sin (and not much else) be given a code name so that they can be reviled publicly without censorship? Should the atmosphere of that assembly become so hostile toward the person that has fallen that they see no other recourse but to leave— and in most cases never come back? Oftentimes using these ungodly tactics to “deal” with a church member’s sin (actual, perceived, or accused) is seemingly justified by the scripture 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 in which ends by encouraging the church at Corinth to “ Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” This is the scripture that makes it seem like it is the “right thing to do” when dealing with a church member’s sin. What most people seem to miss is the context of this scripture. This scripture is talking about people who are unrepentant and flagrantly expressing their sinful lifestyle among other believers, possibly becoming a stumbling block for them. This person that needs to be removed has no intention of following God’s plan for holiness and consecration. It is possible that the person has already been confronted (in love) about their sin and they have no desire to change. At this point it makes no sense to keep fellowship with someone who has clearly shown that they are not in agreement. The point of that scripture is to

cut ties with an unrepentant sinner. While the scripture does say that, it also says that before taking such measures that the person in question should first be lovingly confronted privately by a church leader, giving that person an opportunity to acknowledge, explain, and repent for any transgression. 

Matthew 18:15-18

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector

This is an important step because depending on where that person is in there relationship with Christ they may not know that what they have done or are doing is sinful, they may know they are wrong but need support to change, or they may have already repented and had no idea that their past sin was publicly being held against them. It would also show that person that they are cared for beyond their performance as Christian in that fellowship. This approach seems like it is rarely done, although it is entirely scriptural. The same ministers who do not feel comfortable confronting someone about their “personal business” are often the same ones who will publicly “dog whistle” to shame, blame, and put pressure on a person without having to name them. Doing things like that is an occult practice. Occult in the most basic definition means hidden. It is not OK to not be willing to directly address a person about something that pertains to them, and yet publicly speak on that issue – covertly referring to that person specifically, all under the guise of warning, teaching, or any other virtuous cause. Matthew 18:15-18 says that only after the person has been privately confronted, then addressing them with a few witnesses, after that then publicly – again with the intent to lead the person to repentance and ultimately reconciliation. If that person publicly refuses to repent, only then are they supposed to be asked not to participate any more, until they are ready to repent. Even if things were to get to this point, there is nowhere mentioned at all that shaming, and mistreating that person out of judgement would be OK for church leadership or the other congregation members to do. More likely the congregation would be spurred on by their leaders to intercede for their lost member and to prepare a warm welcome for that person’s return. 

Why would this be the model that the church is supposed to follow? It is because none of us, despite our best effort, is infallible. It is primary that the love of Christ is clearly shown and known by all involved. It is to defeat Satan’s attempt to cause one of God’s chosen to be led out of the Body of Christ and into his camp. All people have certain vices and temptations that cause them to fall, people also have varying tolerance of rejection and rebuke. Many of the people who get treated with shame and rejection at church not only leave that particular church, but may also end up leaving Christianity as well. In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul advises that a father should not provoke his child to sin/wrath. 

Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

This is such an interesting statement because most of western culture highlights submission and respect to authority figures and leaders but neglect to teach leaders to care for and deal justly with their subordinates. This requires an amount of mercy that most of us are not used to see being expressed between father and son, or leader and subordinate.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Refusing to welcome in a “known” sinner into the fellowship as a spiritual warfare tactic?

There are people who are dangerous and there are people who are scared. There are people who are not easily read, and people who do not like uncertainty. There are people who are “wild cards” and people who play it safe. What usually happens is that a person who is cautious and sticks to what historically has worked in the past is promoted to a place of influence. Their reputation for consistency and keeping traditions attributes to that person wisdom and discernment, when actually they are only working at keeping things the same with little to no growth.This trusted leader now is threatened by anyone who makes waves, desires change, or is flowing with vibrancy and freshness. Instead of trying something new, the tradition is exalted and made an idol – daring anyone to defy it, Or the change is half-heartedly attempted, sabotaged, and caused to miserably fail, only to have everyone agree that the old way is better.

Anyone who is different, expresses desire to improve or change things, or has an untested approach is now a target, an enemy, someone not to be trusted in the leaderships’ eyes. Most people are not finding anything wrong with that person and are finding the new ideas refreshing. So now the “target / enemy” must be exposed as someone not to trust. This strategy keeps the current leadership looking flawless and infallible in their subordinates eyes, while doing irreparable damage to the target’s reputation, credibility, trustworthiness, and public acceptance. No one wants to listen to a sinner’s ideas about holiness, ministry, following Christ, etc.. How dare they… this sinner who did (whatever sin that is being held against them – actual, perceived, or accused) have the nerve to try to tell me how to follow Jesus…. etc. After this strategy is employed the previous strategy of rejection and shaming can ensue further ending the chance of that person’s ideas for change, growth, revival, etc. to ever see the light of day. 

How does Jesus engage with “known” sinners? When Jesus encountered Zacheus, a tax collector who was reviled by his local community because of his cheating, stealing,and immoral financial dealings, He called out to him and asked to come to his house (Luke 19). Zacheus had over taxed the people to boost his income and build his own wealth at the expense of people who were already financially oppressed. The people had a good reason for not liking or trusting Zacheus, his bad character and unscrupulous dealings were known. Yet when Jesus saw him up in the tree, He called out to him to host Him at his home. Out of all of the people who were present, most of whom were not as poorly regarded as Zacheus, Jesus invited Himself to a known sinner’s house for dinner. Jesus did not go to Zacheus’ house with intent to spy and gather damning information about him to present to the people that already despised him. Jesus did not get to Zacheus house and start lecturing him on what he needed to change and why he wasn’t measuring up. Jesus did not seek to capitalize off of Zacheus’ wealth and indulge by taking all of the luxurious goods He and the disciples could carry. No, He went so that he could get to know Zacheus, and more importantly Zacheus could know Him. Jesus chose to intimately fellowship with someone that no one wanted associations with. As a result, Zacheus, under no pressure or obligation from Jesus, repented and changed his whole life. He gave away his expensive possessions, and gave money back to those he overcharged. He did this all in response to the love that Jesus showed him. It made the old way he was living not worth it anymore. The void that he attempted to fill with ill gotten possessions and wealth was now filled with the love of God. 

When Jesus encountered a person who’s faith believed that a miracle could be achieved in a way that Jesus had not operated before, He was amazed! In Luke 7:1-9, an account of a Centurion who sought Jesus to heal his servant is told. Jesus and the disciples began to make the journey to the Centurion’s home, however they were stopped by the Centurion because he did not feel that his home was worthy for Jesus to enter. Instead, he asked Jesus to try something new and instead of going in person to heal the servant, but instead to simply speak a word concerning healing the servant and it would be done. Jesus did not challenge the man by asking him how he was sure it would work. He did not warn the Centurion that doing something different would be a great risk. Jesus did not even mention that going in person was the way that He usually healed people. Jesus’ response was amazement. He marveled at the man’s faith, trust, and respect in His ability to heal. The Centurion also revealed that his military training gave him insight to the way that the spiritual realm operates as well. Not only was Jesus blown away by this man’s idea, He not only liked it, He executed it immediately! In the Modern Church it could be a bit unrealistic to use this scripture as a comparison, however it still provides the model of how Jesus did not let tradition or comfort zones cause him to miss out on an opportunity to heal a person by doing something that He had not done before. Jesus was open to fresh, new, and slightly challenging ideas. He was not threatened by another person’s suggestion on how He conducted ministry. This story is a great example of true freedom in trying something new. There is absolutely no fear or anxiety expressed in this story at all, apart from the Centurion’ humility towards Jesus.

Photo by fillvlad on Pexels.com

Humiliation and Embarrassment as a Spiritual Warfare tactic?

If it hasn’t happened to you so far you are blessed, but if you live long enough it will happen, there will be something that you did, experienced, or was a part of your life that will embarrass you. It could be a funny picture from your childhood or a story of an experience that would love to forget ever happened, etc. In many cases, regardless of the way it makes us feel, it’s pretty harmless, right? You know that whoever is bringing up those embarrassing moments is just playfully teasing, not intending to harm you right?…Or are they? What if someone who opposes you decided to silence you through humiliation and embarrassment? Regardless of the severity of the embarrassment, the effect is always the same. People draw back, do not want to be publically humiliated, become withdrawn, and in many cases feel attacked. Even if it is a playful gesture, the pressure of it all seems surreal in that moment. Depending on what it is, some people can laugh it off, make an explanation for it, or shrug it off, downplaying it like it is no big deal. Amongst family and friends, these are the types of responses that would be expected. However if the campaign to embarrass you comes from someone you formerly trusted, confided in, or has shown themselves to be an enemy, it is no laughing matter.

Why do people share embarrassing things about other people? It could just be immaturity and lack of discretion. It could be for shock value, to gain popularity by doing or sharing something that breaks the boundaries of all that is decent. It could be that the person sharing just thinks it is funny and wants others to be in on the joke (at your expense). Or the worst possible scenario, that person is desiring to destroy the reputation, credibility, access to opportunity, and any chance of success for that person,

In some families, friendships, and even cultures privacy is not a thing. Everybody knows everybody’s business and that is how they like it. The open and transparent policy may work for some, but will probably not work for most, even those who say they agree with it, It is not abnormal to have parts of your life that is not for public access, however with increased technology to spy, gather information, monitor, and track people without their consent or knowledge it is very difficult to maintain privacy nowadays. Socially the attitude towards privacy has shifted and people now feel that they have the right to know about the private life of leaders, entertainers, and basically anyone who does anything publicly. Smear campaigns used to be only reserved for high profile politicians and entertainment elite, now it could happen to anyone. On the flip side, what is equally disturbing is the people who will only show and acknowledge  the positive attributes and qualities of the person they are loyal to. This has to be mentioned because this extreme may actually be more dangerous than smearing a person who is disliked. Ignoring the character flaws while only acknowledging positive traits of leadership is part of the failure that led to the Insurrection of January 6th. 

Let’s be honest – humor, even the type that humiliates people, is something that most of us indulge in from time to time. There is communication of other ideas and relevant points that remind us of what we believe in, even as we laugh. There are whole comedy shows that consistently challenge the social and political justice issues of our time and I do not believe that these are inherently evil. However when the strategy is to “make an open show of’ someone to prove a point – Jesus is not in any of that. The Bible says that Jesus made an open show of Satan and his legions – not a human person. This “open show” took place in the spiritual realm and was expressed to us to be a testimony of the glory and power of Jesus Christ. It was not a scripture that gave permission for us to mistreat, abuse, or actively humiliate another human being – even one we don’t like or perceived as evil. Yes, Jesus did this to Satan, however He did not – despite all of the opportunities He had – ever do this to a fellow human being. 

When the Pharisees brought a woman who was caught in the act of adultery to Jesus (John 8:1-11) – in a place publicly before a group where Jesus was teaching. They not only exposed her sinful act, they more than likely exposed her nakedness as well because she was “caught in the act”, and made a death threat over her life in an attempt to expose Jesus as not following the ten commandments. This group of men were spiritual and community leaders who set themselves before the people as examples of holiness and godliness. Yet when Jesus made His response: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” not one of those men had a rock or even a pebble to throw.

How did Jesus respond to the woman that the Pharisees used to humiliate, embarrass, accuse, and “make an open show” of? He gently addressed the woman and admonished her to essentially repent – to not sin anymore. Jesus’ response was so simple, so pure, and so full of love. Even this woman who was caught in a sinful covenant breaking sexual sin was not treated harshly by Jesus. He not only cared for her, He cared for her soul and offered her the opportunity to repent and reclaim her right standing with God. The Pharisees attempted to make her sin and the law the issue, however if sin was truly the focus of this scripture wouldn’t the writer have given us a follow up on whether or not the lady stopped sinning? The focus of the passage is the Christ-like way to respond to those who have fallen and to acknowledge that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If you think about it, even Jesus’ response to the Pharisees was loving. He didn’t drag all of their skeletons out of their closets and publicly humiliate them, the way that they desired to harm that woman. He could have cut each one down to size and been completely justified to do so, but He chose love and to have each Pharisee measure their own godliness by the same standard that they placed on the adultress. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and the examples He gave to us are what we should follow. It is easy to get caught up in Groupthink, or following secular approaches, however, the Proverbs 14:12 says that there is a path that seems right but ends in destruction (death). I don;t know about you, but I pray to God in Jesus name that I do not find myself in hell after following a path labeled righteousness. Yes, we are supposed to hate what God hates, and love what God loves, however that is not with exclusivity to a certain group or ideology, This means that even when we believe that we are hating what God hates, we may find opposing arguments that believe the same – they are hating what God hates. We can not use that argument to mistreat, abuse, hate, or hold the opposers in contempt. We are to follow Jesus’ example and if there is no specific scenario in the Bible that addresses what we are facing, we seek the Lord for direction, not assuming that what was historically done in the past is the correct recourse. For every situation Jesus is always going to choose love, acceptance (of people to give the opportunity to repent), and reconciliation. This is the reason that He gave His life, to bring us all into right standing with God hoping that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9).

Thank you for reading to this point. If you still have doubts about being led into occultism – ungodly hidden agendas, when you are actually seeking righteousness and holiness, take some time to study what Jesus is like from the accounts of His works in the New Testament. There are other resources that teach about Jesus and Christian principles as well, however keep the Bible as your foundational reference and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the heart of Father God and the ways of Jesus Christ.

P.S.- A former sinner who repented and was saved by Jesus’ grace wrote this.

Blessings with Love,

Dionne Renae

Sources

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Excommunication https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/1-Corinthians/5/13

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Excommunication

The Holy Bible

Jezebel & The Big Lie

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Ecclesiastes 1:8-10

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

8 All things are weary with toil and all words are feeble; man cannot utter it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 The thing that has been—it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has already been, in the vast ages of time [recorded or unrecorded] which were before us.

There is nothing new under the sun… this is usually said concerning the irony of a circumstance or cynically as a reminder of an ongoing and continuous situation that has not been resolved yet. So many examples of strategic political maneuvers that seem shockingly new to many of us are usually just a reverberation that echoes the actions of political leaders of the past. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun… 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A while back I wrote a blog post that encouraged all who read it to “Take a Moment” to reflect upon the goodness of the Lord working in our lives that can be overshadowed by the persistent and problemsome challenges that we may be currently facing. This is to acknowledge the goodness of God and to express our gratefulness and thanks to Him. This is also to fulfill the biblical mandate to acknowledge Him in all our ways. Putting to practice the example that Joshua set by keeping the Lord in our remembrance, not forgetting the previous times of rescue and deliverance, blessing and provision, and His presence that never leaves nor forsakes us. Historically, keeping in mind the significant things that occurred in our lifetime and generations before will help us learn and grow from those lessons. This is not the same as harassing and shaming a person, people group, or even those in influential positions to enact a false justice and punishment scenario, this is to empower those who have access to power and influence to make righteous and Godly decisions that will bless all and give room for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. 2 Corinthians 4:18 (AMP) states: Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

This requires us to keep our gaze upon the Heavenly Father and be attentive to what He is doing more than focusing on the evil and wickedness that seems to be taking center stage lately.

What does any of this have to do with “The Big Lie”? As mentioned earlier in this post, there truly is nothing new under the sun. For anyone who has somehow avoided watching the news or are not familiar with current US politics, The Big Lie refers to the ongoing attempt to reinstate the former US president back into office under the false pretense that election fraud, ultimately a cheating scheme, has occured to cause him to lose the last US Presidential election. This lie has wasted taxpayers money on unnecessary investigations, election audits and recounts, and baseless lawsuits tying up the time, energy, resources and attention away from critical issues that need to be addressed like helping the country overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment, the housing crisis, climate change, and decaying infrastructure that is vital for so many systems that we depend on to work. One thing that has been abused and manipulated during the fall out of The Big Lie is our attention, aka media coverage. Have you ever watched a news clip or read a news article and feel like you were assaulted or attacked? Not because the content was in opposition to what you believe or stand for, but because of the graphic and explicit images or descriptions of what was being covered? This is not a complaint about modern journalism per se, it is more of a diagnosis of underlying issues that arise from it. The main issue – especially in the context of The Big Lie- is the strategy of misdirection. 

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

Misdirection is sometimes defined “as the intentional deflection of attention for the purpose of disguise” (Sharpe, 1988, p. … 6), More precisely, successful misdirection might manipulate not only people’s perceptions, but their memory for what happened, or their reasoning about how the effect was done. Dec 9, 2014 from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01392/full

Just to clarify, misdirection like many strategic maneuvers is not inherently evil or wrong to use, there are times when even misdirection can be helpful or useful in a positive way. For example, distracting a child with a favorite toy or funny song when he/she is getting a shot at a doctor’s office, or taking a friend out to a comedy show to help him/her cope with a breakup or some other crisis… Nothing is wrong with that, because the intent is to benefit the person who is being misdirected. In most cases, however, the use of misdirection is not quite as innocent and well meaning. It actually is one of core practices in magic, the occult, witchcraft, cheating, pick pocketing/theft, etc. so I am by no means saying that misdirection should be practiced by Christians, or anyone really, but rather explaining that misdirection in itself is not explicitly good or evil, it is the intent of the person/organization/political party who is using it that determines its ethical and moral value in that application. In regards to The Big Lie, misdirection was at play, especially after the election and during the very publicized election recounts that delayed President Biden from accepting his win of the 2020 US Presidential Election and transitioning into his presidential duties in a timely and orderly manner. In fact, one could argue that the misdirection was the main factor that allowed the organizers of the January 6th 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol Building to be organized and executed covertly in the weeks that led up to that horrible event. Misdirection, regardless of the intent driving it, is an act of manipulation, control, and deception. The person misdirecting is influencing and affecting the outcome of a situation for their own purposes, thus creating an unfair advantage over those being misdirected. This is because those being misdirected, in most cases – think the child at the doctor’s office, do not seem to be aware that they are being misdirected or distracted away from anything at all. The person who was pickpocketed, usually doesn’t realize until much later, at an especially inconvenient time, that the item they are looking for has been stolen from them. In movies, a person realizes right away and screams and points after the thief, sometimes actually recovering their stolen wallet, money, cell phone, etc.. In real life it usually does not happen that way, that person may not even realize that their item was stolen. They might think that they misplaced it or that it is in a different location. And of course the thief gets away with it… Even if someone realizes the moment and even narrows down the suspects to the person who did it, it is very difficult to track down the person and recover the item. Indeed, misdirection is dangerous.

What does The Big Lie have to do with the evil queen Jezebel from the Bible? With all of the teachings and materials written about Jezebel, the evil queen married to ancient Israel’s king Ahab, and the corresponding “spirit of Jezebel”, recognizing when and who this spirit is working through still seems to be a problem for many people. Many teachings characterize the spirit of Jezebel as a spirit that manifests through women. While it is true that the person Jezebel was a woman, the suite of spirits attributed to her have no gender preference. They seek people of influence and power (to use them – not attack them), therefore many people can come under the manipulation of this evil spirit. The other issue is that while some ministers love to teach and preach on Jezebel, they rarely or briefly mention Ahab. Without Ahab, Jezebel would have never gotten to the height of power that she reached. Ahab is characterized as an enabler to Jezebel, however he was very much the king of Israel and was wicked regardless of being married to the idol worshipping priestess Jezebel. More biblical accounts in 1 Kings mention Ahab rather than Jezebel, however she is the one that seems to be focused on the most because of her encounter with the Prophet Elijah. Spiritually Jezebel and Ahab could be spirits working independently of each other in separate people, or both can use one person at the same time, which makes this so diabolical in regards to The Big Lie.

The whole 21st chapter of 1 Kings (for those who like prophetic numbers note the 21st chapter and 2021 the year of The Big Lie) recounts a story involving none other than Ahab and Jezebel misbehaving. It all starts with Ahab noticing a vineyard that belongs to Naboth the Jezreelite that he desires to use as a garden. This desire that Ahab has to obtain to create a garden is not evil, it is actually interesting that he was even wanting to do something like that (in my opinion). However Naboth really was not interested in turning the land over to Ahab at any price because the land had been in his family for generations and therefore it was priceless to his family and future generations. Ahab drove a hard bargain, he offered Naboth a higher price or even a different piece of land, but Naboth would not sell out. Leaving this situation without getting what he wanted, Ahab returns home deflated and sullen. When his wife Jezebel notices how Ahab is not in a happy mood, she inquires about what is bringing him down. When she learns of Naboth refusing to sell his vineyard to Ahab, she devises a plan to get the vineyard for her husband. She calls for a fast and advises the elders to bring Naboth before the people. She also hires two “Sons of Belial,” – satan worshippers, to publicly accuse Naboth of the crime of cursing and renouncing God and the king of Israel (Ahab). When all of the people fast, and gather with the elders bringing Naboth before them (a false trial), the two hired by Jezebel raise up accusations against Naboth. The charges brought against Naboth carried the penalty of death. The people/mob decided that Naboth was guilty and they swiftly carried him out of the city limits and stoned him to death. When the word came back to Jezebel that the “deed” was done, she told Ahab and he quickly went to claim the vineyard. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Kings%2021&version=KJV,AMPC

Photo by Brooke Lewis on Pexels.com
SimilaritiesJezebel and Ahab 1 Kings 21The Big Lie 2021
Conspiracy to obtain what was not lawfully theirsNaboth’s VineyardUS Presidency – political power
False TrialThe elders gathered the people for a fastMultiple false trials to attempt to overturn the election results
Hired criminals to obstruct justiceTwo sons of BelialMultiple firings of high government officials replaced with hirlings in agreement with the conspiracy
Inciting violenceThe false trial caused the nation to sin by stoning innocent Naboth to deathJanuary 6th Insurrection & attacks on state capitals
Misdirection to cover true intentions to steal what they wantCalled for an unnecessary trial & raised accusations against someone they did not likeMocking and accusing any potential threat or person who publicly opposes The Big Lie
Causing the death of innocent personNabothThe officers that died or were injured protecting the US Capital
Using the faithfulness of the people to carry out evil plansThe elders and the people of Israel were incited to become a mob that killed NabothCalling out national extremist groups with “dog whistles” and direct calls for action
Being ok with taking something that is not rightfully theirsAhab rushing to claim Naboth’s family vineyardContinuous claims that the former president actually won the election and calls for reinstatement.
Similarities between Jezebel & The Big Lie

Obviously, this table could go on and on with similarities between what is occurring in our lifetime in US politics versus the ancient reign of Ahab and Jezebel. This table was created to clearly correlate how the spirits of Jezebel and Ahab work in real life. So many times these spirits are referenced to mock, shame, and belittle people that do not actually exhibit the characteristics or manifest the workings of these spirits. Of course the main reason is to help us all be aware of the evil operating in the highest political positions of power in our nation. Intercessors, this can be used as a supplement to your prayer list also prophets and apostles, this can be used to inform the people of God and to train and equip leaders. 

As I conclude this post, I realized that regardless of how clearly this information was presented there are going to be people who do not agree or question my intent for posting it. Let me be crystal clear: I have absolutely nothing to gain by posting this other than sharing a prophetic perspective on The Big Lie. I am not getting any money or compensation from this, and no one put me up to writing this. Posting this in many ways might not help me personally at all, yet it needs to be shared. AND if no one at all reads it, I am satisfied with expressing the perspective on this topic and that will be enough for me.

If you did actually read to this point in the post, please pray as led by the Lord concerning this and share it with those who would be interested in this perspective. Thank you for reading, praying & sharing!

Blessings Always ♥♥♥,

Dionne Renae

Such a Time as This

We now live in a time where it is becoming legal for oppression of African Americans, and really all people of color, in the United States of America. The hate and vitriol behind this political movement has been brewing and fermenting in the darkness of the right wing political ideology for decades, but is now frantically making power plays in the wake of recent political defeat. When laws are changed to disadvantage and criminalize a group of people based on racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural differences, it becomes clear that equality in justice and liberty does not appeal to those making the laws. Laws that make it more difficult to vote, laws that make protesting a criminal offense, and laws that target minority groups who are underrepresented and underserved are desperate attempts for elitists and white supremacists to cling to or (in their minds) possibly increase their power and privilege in the USA. 

This tactic to create laws that make it possible to disadvantage minority groups and even legalize causing them harm is not new at all. In fact it is one of the most ancient forms of oppression that has ever existed. Even the Holy Bible has examples of this  being done against the Children of Promise, the nation of Israel. In the book of Esther, a plot to wipe out all Israelites out of the Persian Empire was signed into law by King Ahasuerus at the conniving of one of his most trusted servants Haman. Haman decided that he did not like Israelites because Modecai, who worked for the king as well, did not bow to him or feed into his illusions of grandeur. Mordecai placed his God as the highest authority and did not become intimidated by self important Haman. Mordecai must not have been the only Isarelite practicing their faith, because the Israelites were distinguish throughout the Persian empire for a similar level of devotion to God.This irritated Haman to the point of devising a murderous scheme to rid himself of this consecrated remnant once and for all. This is similar to what is happening today not just in the USA, but all over the world. Haman is rising – showing his true agenda to keep privilege and power above those he sees as less than. He holds this as more important than honor, truth, love, and democracy. He believes in freedom of speech, for those that express his views and sentiments only. He believes that freedom should be for his kind, and is not worried about people who are not like him. In fact, he actually hates those “others” and is not shying away anymore from saying and showing so. Haman is a racist. Haman is a hater. And if allowed Haman would have been a Murderer. In fact, according to Jesus’ teaching Haman had already committed murder in his heart by even wanting to see another human suffer and die. 

One thing that was never made clear in the Book of Esther is why King Ahasuerus had not realized what a creep Haman was before he was exposed by Queen Esther. This always was bothersome, knowing that someone that spineless was thriving in a position of power next to the king.Unfortunately, a lot of people who say that they are “down with the King” don’t seem to recognize Haman’s work and influence. They actually tend to sympathize with him and offer to share his burden. It is possible that they can not recognize Haman as an enemy, because Haman is “one of the boys” – just like them. How many politicians’ and law enforcement officers’ true colors are being revealed in this day and time? How many more are hiding out behind their titles and duties, before coming forward with a power play of destruction against the very people that they are in office to serve? When will Mordecai stop being targeted? When will Queen Esther take her place for such a time as this? The question of who Queen Esther really is in our day and time needs to be asked. It seems obvious to me that the Bride of Christ, the Church should represent the character of Queen Esther in our time. She was cautious yet courageous, tactful yet truthful, venerable yet virtuous, meek yet mighty – this is what the Body of Christ should be! Unfortunately, some from Haman’s camp have intermingled with the Bride and have corrupted and defiled her with the illusion of prestige and entitlement. 

A look to the past- Before slavery was abolished in the United States, there was a great controversy amongst free white men. At the time they were the only ones granted the right to vote and organize government (which explains a lot of things). Most of these men proclaimed to be Christian in faith, yet a majority of them were also slave holders. A Christian denomination called the Quakers (who believed in adhering to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus), began to examine slavery in light of what the Christian Bible teaches. What they found, was that slavery did not hold up as a Christian practice and the brutality of how it was conducted in America was in no way justified by what the Bible teaches. These Quakers, both men and women, decided to denounce slavery, repent, and began assisting slaves and even free African Americans leave the slavery of the south and start new lives in the Northern states and eventually Canada as well. The Quakers, like Queen Esther, realized that they were in a “such a time as this” moment and took action. They did not make excuses, cling to privilege, wealth, or advantage/protection under the law to give themselves a reason to not do anything. They were not satisfied with having all that they needed and wanted, while knowing that another HUMAN BEING was being oppressed, mistreated, regarded as less, and in some cases mutilated, tortured, and lynched. They did not hide away, ignoring what was happening and just praising God for “me and mine.” They made a difference in the lives of those who escaped and those who attempted to escape, sometimes paying for it with their own safety and reputation. This is not to diminish the awesome and inspiring impossible feats that were accomplished by African Americans of that time who also played key roles in liberating the enslaved. The point is that regardless of skin color, privilege, and power the Bride of Christ does not tolerate Haman’s manipulation of justice and liberty. The Bride does not sit around complaining about the disturbance that is caused by protest, and speaking out against injustice. The Bride of Christ, like Queen Esther, does not have to threaten, intimidate, wield weapons, scheme or conive to accomplish her goal to protect and liberate her people. 

Happy Ending? Spoiler Alert: The conclusion of the Book of Esther describes how the tables were turned and that wicked Haman was hanged on the very gallows he prepared for Mordecai. The Israelites were able to defend themselves, and began to prosper in the Persian Empire. Queen Esther no longer had to hide her faith in God from the king, and for the most part they lived happily ever after. How is it going to end for Haman in the USA? In North Korea? In Belarus? In the Republic of China? How is Haman going to be overthrown in Africa, Brazil, India and Australia? Where is the Bride? Is she too consumed with looking the part for the Groom King Jesus or is she really ready to be His eternal partner? Is the Bride of Christ out shopping for a wedding gown instead of recognizing that she is in a “such a time as this moment”? Has the Bride become smitten with Haman and is having an affair with him? What’s up with the Global Church? Of course COVID 19 is still a distraction, and some of the interpretations of what was going to happen ;last political season has gotten her off her game, but come on now… Hopefully, better yet, Prayerfully she will not miss her moment to take down Haman and all of his wicked murderous schemes. 

I decided not to make a historical list of people who acted in a similar fashion as Haman from the Book of Esther, that would be distracting from the main point of this blog post.The point is that there is a way to execute justice as Christians without misrepresenting the God we serve and the principles that we believe in. This also is to show that a person with a title is not running the show. No matter what laws are signed in or manipulative measures to obstruct equality and justice for all are put in place, as long Esther recognizes that she needs to take action, Haman will always be overthrown! Esther received wise counsel from Mordecai, prayed/ interceded for the nation, fasted, and courageously approached the king knowing it may cost her life. What passion and humility she displayed. My prayer is that we will show up the same way and recognise these times for what they are, take action as led by God, and not become Haman’s victims this time around.

Blessings Always,

Dionne Renae

Prophets Called to Kings

One theme that I notice in the old testament that continues through the New Testament, and even into current times is the prophetic message of truth to kings, rulers, and those in positions of leadership. Often times the prophetic word that is released has the potential to turn a nation towards God and / or prevent calamity and destruction of a nation/kingdom. Some of my favorite examples are:

Continue reading “Prophets Called to Kings”

Too Cute!

Too Cute!

For those of us who enjoy basking in the Presence of the Lord, especially accompanied with high praise and worship,  having to leave that special moment is usually something that we don’t want to do.  It’s amazing how some of the greatest encounters with God are followed by such intense spiritual warfare. Defending our faith,  resisting the enemy,  and simultaneously attempting to apply the Word to our lives is taxing. It’s in those weak vulnerabilities that underlying issues and wounds try to surface.  One specific area to surrender to God during conflict (natural or spiritual) is anger. If you are like me, you probably do not seek out confrontation. In fact you probably avoid it for as long as possible. What I am finding is that this avoidance of confrontation is very deceptive when viewed as a viable solution or strategy to persistent problems. It has the appearance of being the Godly approach,  but is often a veil for fear, doubt, and procrastination – none of which are Godly. 

The Bible says,  “Be angry and do not sin.” So, without proper understanding of how to apply this principle, we do nothing….but be angry. Being inactive and angry doesn’t help the situation, yourself, or anyone else. This stance actually leaves you vulnerable to the whims and manipulation of the enemy. There is no example of Jesus behaving this way. He confronted the money changers with a whip! He called out and openly rebuked Pharisees. Most notably, He put demons and infirmity on the run. But what about,  “turning the other cheek”? Turning the other cheek actually refers to extending grace and  compassion towards those who momentarily express their weakness through anger. It does not mean that we are called to be doormats subjected to abuse and mean spirited behavior towards us. It also means to surrender the response of retaliation to provocation. Let’s face it, if the enemy cannot control us directly by enticing us to sin, then he will work through people around us to attempt to steal our joy, peace,  faith, and  anything else he can get access to.  This is why we are admonished to “guard our hearts,” and  to, “having done all to stand, stand therefore.” Our position as believers is to uphold and apply our Christian values at every turn, not giving opportunity to the flesh or the evil one. Is this easy to do? Not at first, it takes practice and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit within us to live this way. 

Watching this cute baby panda video I had a revelation of the Father’s perception of us. I was having a particularly grumpy day because things didn’t go the way I expected. I was trying to be Godly in my response to the day’s challenges,  but at the core I was annoyed and felt like things were unfair. I tried to acknowledge the good things that God was doing, but the irritation kept trying to creep in. Spoiler Alert: When I saw how cute the baby panda reaction was to the toys being taken away,  it was hilarious and adorable to see, even though the panda didn’t feel that way. All the while,  there I was reacting the same way because of a minor challenge that God already had the solution for. I  was so serious , even in my attempt to surrender my feelings to Him, but He probably thought it was hilarious.! He was probably saying,  “Awww, look at My child flipping out, she has no idea that I have already taken care of this issue. She is going to be amazed at the peace that I give her!” His love surpasses knowledge,  that I know right well… that is the sentiment of the psalmist and now I am starting to understand what this means. God created everything and called it good. This is something to remind ourselves even when we don’t particularly feel like we are reflecting His goodness. This doesn’t mean that He enjoys sinful actions or attitudes,  but when we surrender it to Him,  even in our struggles and battles He views us with love and compassion,  as our Heavenly Father watches His adorable child “flip out” like the baby panda in the video. God gets the warm and fuzzies when we invite Him into our issues and struggles. He is not standing by judging our every move, but rather available to help and comfort, helping us to endure the difficulties of life that seems inevitable. 

The point of this baby panda analogy is to always try to surrender those “grumpy ” thoughts and feelings to God. He won’t call you a failure or reject you for expressing emotions that He created us to have. We just need to give it to Him and not use it as an excuse to be abusive and disrespectful to others. Also,  let it out! Give it to Father God! Do not sit around festering in anger,  resentment,  or any other ungodly attitudes. This is just a best practice, because you can’t express faith, hope,  and trust when you are wallowing in anger, self pity  and fear. There have been times in my life where I had more grumpy than grateful days. And for a while I was ashamed that I couldn’t pull myself out of it at the time. If you feel/felt like that please don’t waste any more time beating yourself up about it. Forgive yourself, and receive grace for it. We can not change the past and truth be told if anyone else faced the same challenges, they may not fare any better than you did. We are not called to be perfect in our own strength, but we are being perfected through our relationship with God and surrender to apply His word to our lives. Jesus paid our death penalty with His life and we honor His sacrifice by graciously receiving salvation and righteousness in Him. For many of us this has been a tough year,  receive the grace and comfort that was granted to you and pass it on to others!

As always, thank you for reading and please share with others if this has been a blessing to you!

Blessings Always,

Dionne Renae 💖💓💗

What Would You Do?

What if you had the opportunity to take action against a viscous enemy, someone who takes every opportunity to harm, obstruct, sabotage, exploit weaknesses and damage your reputation, would you take action or try to find another way to handle the situation? What if the action that you take, which is completely justified and provable, could possibly take away that person’s freedom, opportunity for future employment, and/or causing devastating ripple effects for them and their families, would you still want to take action? Besides the weight of the decision to take action against this enemy, what if you also had to consider the possibility of backlash, retaliation, and/or fallout? The scenario that was just described is what many people in abusive relationships have to deal with when they pursue their healing, freedom, and well-being. While the Bible has many scriptures on love, being neighborly, and how to participate in society, the issue of abuse is not as frequently addressed. This is because if each person is following the Bible’s teachings and guidelines for lovingly interacting with each other there would not be any abusive patterns and relationships to address. 

Is it God’s will for a person to stay in an abusive situation, whether it is a  romantic relationship, friendship, employment position, or even church relationship? Is God going to step in and rescue someone who is suffering in an abusive situation? Is it ok for society to judge the victim’s flaws and shortcomings as conditions for whether or not they receive help? These are questions that as followers of Jesus that we should answer individually and corporately. There are too many people who are silently suffering in domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, neglect and toxic codependent relationships among family, friends, at their place of employment and even at church. The Lord gave us discernment not to go around being suspicious (I had to learn this also), not to make damning accusations, or as justification for not agreeing with the truth. Discernment is a gift because we can bless people by being sensitive to their pain, struggles, and hindrances and then help them apply the Blood of Jesus so they can receive the healing and deliverance that they need. Discernment can reveal if they are ready for change or if they need additional Intercession, encouragement, or something that God has to reveal. This message is to sound the alarm for Intercession and Spiritual Warfare to ramp up against abuse in every form, especially against those who are most vulnerable: the poor, women and children. There are people who have found themselves in awful situations since being quarantined and shutdown because of COVID-19 began, could you imagine being constantly in close quarters with an abusive person and cannot leave? 

Let’s not focus only on our present needs, or what is bombarding us through the media, instead let’s interceed for those who may suffering and cannot speak out or call for help. Let’s stay sensitive to the needs of others as we pray and also physically intervene when directed to do so. In addition to praying that abusers be removed from the suffering, let’s pray that safe Godly people will fill those voids as they lead them closer to God. Pray that healing for all, not just COVID-19 be released and that the relentless love of God overtake these precious ones. Let’s value what God values and like Jesus do what Father is doing. Also, I know that many Intercessors have  specific prayers assignments, however there are those suffering in oppressive abusive situations all over the world, so please pray for as many people as possible concerning this. 

Let’s tear down the lies, abusers act as if they have complete control and cannot be stopped, this is a lie because true power is in the love of God and to seek Him is the beginning of wisdom. Victims of abuse often feel like there is no way out or no one can help them, this is a lie because whether or not a physical person steps in to help- God always steps in right on time. Present in our culture is the belief that minding our business and not getting involved when we detect abuse will somehow help the victims from being further harmed. I am not suggesting that anyone attempt to be a hero or place themselves in harms way, but we can report to authorities, pray, and offer resources that can help. Let’s also continue to pray for those who are overcoming past abuse and are still dealing with the trauma and ill effects.

Thank you for reading and please share with other prayer warriors who love seeing people set free.

Blessings Always, 

Dionne Renae 

Whose Report…

Whose report will you believe is a question that is as relevant now as it was when it was posed to the Israelites in the wilderness under Moses leadership. There is so much information available in this technological age that we are living in that it can be overwhelming to distinguish the truth from factual manipulation or misinformation. Having the unadulterated truth is always essential to have especially when decisions need to be made regarding the future and the wellbeing of self and others. How then can we determine if the information that we take in is true, accurate  and giving us the details we need to use for deciding how to apply that information? Asking critical questions and examining trusted sources is always a great strategy, add to this weighing the information against the Word of God and the truth should become clearer. Self awareness is also key, do you really want to know the truth or do you want to confirm your opinion or suspicion regarding a particular topic? When you get to a place where you really want to know the truth, regardless of whether it supports your ideals or not, then you are ready to receive the truth in its purest form. Another question to consider is: What will you do with the truth once you find it? We unfortunately live in a time where the truth is disregarded willingly under the precept that one has a right to believe what they want, whether it is true or not. The truth becomes subjected to personal acceptance rather than upheld as the standard for all to reference unanimously as a reliable measure of reason.

The Israelites were faced with what should have been an easy transition from the wilderness into the Promised Land and yet because of their acceptance of an evil report, generations that were delivered from the bondage of Egypt were not permitted to enter the Promised Land. They sent 12 spies into Canaan for 40 days, to check out the land (what it had to offer) and to form a battle plan that would help them to conquer the land. All of the spies came back with great excitement about the beauty and abundance in Canaan, but 10 of them discouraged the people telling them that they could never take the land because giants occupied the land. This bad report is a classic mistake that even modern believers still make: considering present circumstances above the promises of God. From the outcome of the account of the Israelites, it is clear that God really wants us to know that this response of trusting our natural senses instead of clinging to His promises as absolute truth is not the way to go. God is faithful and He did keep His promises,  however the fulfillment took an additional 40 years to come to pass. This delay did not have to occur at all, if they had just believed God. Believing a bad report is what God Eve and Adam into trouble in the Garden of Eden, and that same test gets presented to us as well. 

Micaiah is a prophet that is not often mentioned because it involves the possibility of a supernatural agent at work that is not largely understood. King Ahab despised Micaiah because he never received “good” prophecies from him. Ahab was the type of leader that only would accept what he wanted to hear regardless of the ineffectiveness of his decisions that ultimately resulted from this practice. He was constantly surrounded by false prophets that always told him good things were coming and never held him accountable to the standards that his position was supposed to uphold. While during peaceful times these false predictions didn’t mean much, but when Ahab was deciding whether or not to go to war it proved to be a faulty system. Ahab was told by 400 people that if he went to war that God would help them to win. You know that saying, “well they can’t all be lying…,” well in this case, and many others through out history, they were all lying. The prophet Micaiah revealed to Ahab that all of his advisors had a lying spirit at a very critical point, right before they were supposed to head out for war. Instead of receiving the hard truth and making a better decision, Ahab locked Micaiah up in prison and proceed on with his war plans. Ahab lost his life in that war and put his kingdom at risk. God is not mocked, He honors His Word above His name and is not impressed with human power and influence. God values the truth because He is the truth, so to disregard the truth is to disregard God’s invitation to us to align ourselves with His plans. 

What if the misinformation is coming from leadership? Well the Bible can give guidance on this as well. King Jeroboam was the first king of Northern Israel after they split from the tribe of Judah. Out of his fear that if the people went back to Jerusalem to observe high holy days and feasts that they would reunite with Judah and overthrow his monarchy, Jeroboam built temples to Baal and told the people that they were worshipping the true god and that Judah was not. He discouraged them from going to Jerusalem to worship and offered his temples to Baal instead.  This deceptive act from the king of Northern Israel caused a great apostasy and was regarded as sin against God. This king led the people who had placed him as leader over them in to a vulnerable place where they were raided by neighboring kingdoms and eventually captured by the Assyrians. The people who accepted Baal worship did not keep the Levitical law and intermarriage with non Jewish people and later were not identified with Israelites at all, they became the Samaritans. Misinformation from one fearful king did irreparable damage to his generation and every generation that followed. 

While writing this post, I have to consider the information that I take in, how to respond to it, and what it means in regards to what the Bible says. God still speaks, but our hearing has to be “tuned” to receive truth in order to hear and understand what He is saying. It is undeniably human to want to believe good and hope for the best, God is not against this at all. In Phillipians 4 we are admonished to think on what is true, lovely, and of a good report. However, this does not mean that we ignore the truth and passively respond with inaction. It means that even in challenging circumstances we apply the truth that God is good, He never fails, He works all things together for our good, and that He will never leave or forsake us. Even when we miss it and fall we can hold to the fact that He is a forgiving God who sacrificed His own Son so that He could have a closer relationship with us. We can place our fears, concerns, and plans for the future amidst uncertainty in the hands of the One who wrote the future!

So now it is time for us to decide: Whose report will we believe? My response is like Joshua and Caleb, I will believe the report of the Lord! Just remember those who neglect to decide will have someone else decide for them. God fashioned us with minds so that we could think and reason, to not use this precious gift would be falling short of His loving intent for our lives. 

Thank you for reading! As always please share with anyone who may benefit from this message. Also I didn’t include scripture references,  so if you have questions about what I wrote feel free to fact check this against the Bible during your personal time of study and reflection. 

Blessings Always, 

Dionne Renae 

Why Am I A Christian?

Why am I a Christian? Why do I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer? Honestly,  sometimes I really wonder why I should continue to practice my faith as a Christian when for many other people who say that they are following Christ do not. The mainstream representation of what Christianity is about does not truly reflect my views and practice. While I have certainly not been a perfect Christian,  which other people like to remind me and everyone else of this, I don’t believe some of the popular ideas circulating are based in biblical truth. In today’s society spying on anyone who is determined suspicious in order to expose them is considered a wise and acceptable course of action, regardless of the ramifications. The question of right or wrong is ignored and if damning information is uncovered the ends justify the means. The problem with this strategy is that there is no biblical basis for this type of strategy to be used amongst and toward fellow Christians.  The only time spying is used as  instruction from God is when the Israelites spied to see the abundance of the promised land. In the New Testament the Pharisees spied to catch a woman committing adultery. For some reason they caught her in the act, which clearly indicates that they spied on her and that she was possibly set up by the man she was with,  because no charges were  brought against him, although he was equally involved in committing the adulterous act. When they brought her to Jesus, to test Him on Mosaic law that would require Him to command that she be stoned to death, He calmy rebuked them. He responded famously by saying, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” This is why I love Jesus and choose to follow Him. I see myself in the Bible: the adulterous woman, the woman with an issue for 12 years,  the woman delivered of torment that became a devoted follower. The woman at the well who, was so transformed after meeting Jesus that she evangelize her whole town is who I want to be like. 

Regardless of mainstream Christianity that fights for the unborn (which I happen to agree with to some degree, I also believe that women should have rights), I  don’t understand why hundreds of thousands of people dead from COVID-19 and deaths of unarmed African Americans from excessive force by police is not stirring up the same passion and conviction. I hear the media decribe all Christians as believing ignorantly, while not following the actual teachings and principles of the Bible. The media show Christianity as people agreeing with corruption, cheating, lying, and abuse of power. Regardless of my past broken Christianity, I am disturbed to see those who say that they are fellow Christians depicted this way. I have no right to tell anyone how to practice their faith, as my personal experience is lacking.  However, my prayer is that Jesus  be lifted high and known in this generation and beyond. As for me, I repented for my sins and believe that Jesus forgives me, in His example I extend forgiveness as well. I hope Christianity in the USA will truly reflect the love, honor, and integrity of our Beloved Savior again. Let abuse, defilement, denigrating, and anti-Christ rhetoric be removed from the Bride forever, Amen.

As always thank you for reading. I just wanted to weigh in on what is going on in the United States. I pray that all Christians, including myself rise to the occasion and let His love be known.

Blessings Always,

Dionne Renae

Sacrifice for the Day of Trouble

Why don’t you bring me the sacrifices I desire?

Bring me your true and sincere thanks, and show your gratitude by keeping your promises to me, the Most High.

Honor me by trusting in me in your day of trouble.

Cry aloud to me, and I will be there to rescue you.

The life that pleases me is a life lived in the gratitude of grace, always choosing to walk with me in what is right.

This is the sacrifice I desire from you. If you do this, more of my salvation will unfold for you. -Psalm 50:14-15, 23 (TPT)

The year 2020 has been quite a year, and now as we enter into the last quarter of it, the weight and reality of what has already occurred, not to mention issues that were present prior to this year as well, can be really overwhelming and discouraging. While it is definitely a good strategy to not focus on the past and to keep moving forward, sometimes the frustration of not seeing a solution in sight or the stagnancy of whatever ordeal we are facing can feel like being trapped in quicksand. Doing everything that you know to do to maintain peace and hope during the storm seems difficult to maintain, so what are we to do? In the previous blog post, I shared about, “When the Way Out is In,” which covered

Continue reading “Sacrifice for the Day of Trouble”