Remembering 9/11/01 and a Call to All Christians

I published this on my personal Facebook page this morning, shared it with family and thought I would share it here as well. https://www.facebook.com/alison.h.lewis.5/

This anniversary is stranger for me because of the effects of the last 6 months. It feels like another shift in our collective experience on a deep level from all the trauma we have been through.

However, I remember the horror of that day while I was sitting in a seminary classroom and the days and weeks that followed. The eerie silence from no airplanes in the sky and then equally unsettling sound of when they slowly resumed flying in our area.

I have met so many first responders who are battling cancer and have shared stories of coworkers who have lost their battle with cancer in the years since.

One of my friends said it so well. “We will never forget but I also hope we can REMEMBER how we came TOGETHER as a country and all the patriotism we felt in the aftermath because we need that today just like we did then.” (Emphasis mine)

The opposition against our country has grown and expanded, but our war is not with flesh and blood. As a Christian, there only has been and only will be ONE ENEMY.

CHRISTIANS, it’s time to STOP fighting EACH OTHER and UNITE against the TRUE ENEMY of humanity and fight the REAL BATTLE in PRAYER and through ACTS OF GENUINE LOVE toward ALL humanity that is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Comfort and blessings on this land and all who are grieving and hurting extra on this anniversary. ❤️

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Opportunities for Growth Living in Quarantine

How are you?

Perhaps the shock of our new way of life is starting to wear off as you establish a new normal for this season.

I would encourage you to pay attention to what emotions bubbled up over the past week. It is very likely that many of us were triggered in some way by an emotional memory or traumatic event and that’s okay.

The Lord allows us to be triggered in areas where He knows we are ready for Him to bring healing. He invites us to bring those feelings to Him and dialogue about them.

Yes, I really do mean dialogue.

Expect Him to speak back as you quiet yourself and listen for His gentle impressions, still small voice or highlighted verses as you read the Bible or devotional resources.

The Holy Spirit is a real person and wants to bring you comfort and peace. There is a reason He is called the Counselor. He longs to bring truth and understanding to what is going on inside of you because He knows and cares. He loves YOU!

Since most of the world is in quarantine, we have a unique opportunity to slow down and simplify our lives to what matters most. The quarantine forces us to face ourselves and our internal reality. We have a choice: to fill our time to “just get through” or to seek to grow.

I believe many of us need to grow emotionally, spiritually, relationally or even intellectually.

I have been reviewing my journals over the past year to see what bible verses, songs or quotes have really been speaking to me. What have I heard the Lord say to me over the past year or so? What has He been teaching me?

This is important because I believe He has been uniquely preparing each of us for this time. He has equipped us with biblical truths that He wants to become a reality in our lives in a new way. This is when we go from simply mentally agreeing with biblical truth, to actually experiencing it in a way that it becomes a deep part of our life.

I have been listening to songs that have touched my heart in the last few months and asking the Lord to reveal some of the reasons He has highlighted these song to me. I then put these songs on periodically throughout the day and worship until I once again believe the truths they declare and fortify my peace.

I truly believe we have a unique opportunity for the Lord to firm up our foundations so we can truly abide in Him like never before. He wants us to be so anchored in Him that others take notice and want to know the Jesus we do.

We must choose to believe He is who He says He is and who He has demonstrated Himself to be in the Bible and in our lives up until this point.

“Jesus, the Anointed One, is always the same—yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 TPT

Our circumstances are changing, but Jesus is not. Let Him keep you anchored in this storm so that you may stand even when things are shaking all around you.

So now, beloved ones, stand firm and secure. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.   1Corinthians 15:58 The Passion Translation

I want to leave you with this powerful song by Bryan and Katie Torwalt, “Prophesy Your Promise,” to encourage you to declare the truth of who He is in the times when it may be hard to remember.

“Fear can go to hell, shame can go there too,

I know who’s I am, God I belong to you.”

What verses or songs have been strengthening you recently?

Feel free to share them in the comments as it may encourage someone else.

Blessings to you and your family for good health and peace.

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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Provision: One Day at a Time

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My grandmother

This past weekend we celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday! What a milestone! She is the mother of 4, grandmother of 9 and great-grandmother of 4. She has modeled a life of prayer and service and is deeply loved by all who know her.

Already in a reflection mode, I retrieved some scrapbooks from the attic that I had recently rediscovered.  The other night we decided to look through them as a family. It was fun sharing our baby pictures and upbringing with our kids.

In addition to the scrapbooks, I also rediscovered letters I had handwritten to my kids during their first few years of life. They were labeled by name and age and included the date they were written.

abstract black and white blur book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read out loud the first letter I had written to each of my children. It detailed my love and joy of my firstborn at 3 months old. It shared what she was able to do, what she was learning and what she was discovering. It also shared my hopes for her relationship with Jesus and the future.

After not seeing them for over 13 years, it was so amazing to go back in time and be reminded of some things we had forgotten. We laughed at the similarities that were evident at such a young age and still very true today.

We did the same for my son, although his letters started at 6 months, and were just as amazed.  Again, we laughed and marveled at the time capsule gift from what feels like ages ago. The reminders stirred up more memories and stories. Of course the kids wanted me to keep reading letters, but we decided we would only read one letter a night.

While I enjoyed the letters for all the same reasons my family did, I was even more struck by the content and how each letter highlighted areas that each child is currently struggling with. The letters repeated key themes for each child that they needed to hear and be reminded of regularly.

woman doing hand heart sign

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

I was amazed at the provision of the Lord to inspire me to write and address areas long before there were actual traumas to heal and challenges to overcome. I praised God for His care for my family! He knew we would NEED those letters on multiple levels. What I thought was just a neat idea (from somewhere) was actually His leading and showing His personal care for me and my family. While He didn’t prevent the heartaches and bad things from happening, He has walked closely with us through them and promises to continuing to do so: one day at a time.

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.  Romans 8:28 TPT

May we all have the gift to see the ways the Lord has been present and made preparations ahead of time for the hard times we have walked through or may be walking through now. He truly IS in control, and has ALWAYS been in control, working ALL things for our good.

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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When the Waters are Rough

I don’t know where the first half of January has gone, but time continues to fly!

I haven’t been able to write until now, because of a turbulent beginning to this new decade that required I focus on my family. I have spent a lot of time praying, journaling, and processing the challenges, and I have come to believe that they are a result of God moving to bring greater healing to our family.

When God moves, things change and the shaking and transformation are not often pleasant, but necessary to become more like Christ. We are being conformed into His image and likeness and that requires some pruning.

We get stretched and pressed in such a way that buried, unprocessed emotions are driven up to be experienced, processed, and released so more of the Holy Spirit can dwell and reign in us to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22–23 (The Passion Translation)

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: 

joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.” 

I need more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in my life, especially when life feels out of control and like I am getting hit, wave after wave, threatening to knock me off my feet.

I have clung to Proverbs 3:26.

“God is your confidence in times of crisis, keeping your heart at rest in every situation.”

Did you catch that? Not in some situations, but in every situation my heart can be kept at rest if my confidence is in God!

I am so thankful that I am regaining my peace much quicker. It used to take me weeks or months to regain it. Now my heart often needs only a few days to regain my footing in Christ and be at rest and peace to hear what He is saying about my situation.

The quicker I get His perspective, the deeper my rest and often the quicker I can get on the prayer offensive, if that is how He is leading me. Otherwise, I am learning to wait on Him and enjoy His Presence with me, loving those around me until I have been given another way to respond. I repeat this process as many times as necessary to overcome the challenge.

I don’t know how your start to 2020 has been, but I am praying we will all remain at rest, knowing He really is in control and working for our good in every situation, no matter what the facts may say. The truth is: nothing is impossible with God!

Love and blessings to you (and your family) to know, like never before, that His goodness and love are pursuing you!

 

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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The Song That Became My Lifeline

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, I wasn’t feeling very well emotionally and it became very clear that something was seriously wrong. My husband and I were scared, so I asked him to put on the Sunday evening service at Bethel Church that was just beginning.

I let the music wash over me in an attempt to calm my fear. The worship leader, Jonathan Helser, announced they had a new song to share that they had just finished writing. I listened to the story and the words and they touched me deeply. I didn’t understand why, but I knew this was MY song and that God was speaking to me.

“When the pressure is real, Your Presence is greater, greater, greater.”

That phrase was planted deep within me and would become a lifeline as I walked through the horror of those initial months. I reminded myself over and over that His Presence was greater than what I was facing no matter how great the pain and suffering.

“When the pressure is real, Your Presence is greater, greater, greater.”

The suffering and pressure I encountered was VERY REAL, yet I had to believe that His Presence was GREATER and would overcome any diagnosis, no matter how severe.

Then as the song was ending, Jonathan said the following:

“This is holy ground. This is holy ground. Just declare it over your life. It’s holy ground. Declare it over your trials. Declare it over your circumstance. It’s holy ground. What the enemy meant for evil the Goodness has overcome.”

AMEN! The blood of Jesus has overcome any evil facing you or your family and you will watch the victory unfold in His way and timing.

The link below should take you to the complete Sunday evening worship set. It will start with an ad and you can place your cursor on the white dot and slide to minute 56 where “Fourth Man” begins. You many also have to turn on the sound by clicking on the “speaker” icon if there is an “X” by it and the sound will turn on. I hope it works, because as far as I know, this song hasn’t been released yet and this is the only place to find it. 🙂

Click to watch “Fourth Man” performed at 56:00-1:07:00

Have a blessed weekend and receive all He has for you!