Brenda's Blog

  • Learning to Laugh at the Enemy

    You know those times when the enemy just seems to be having playtime with you?  Well, he thinks it is playtime, but for us it is just a big ol' pain... a huge annoyance, and sometimes it can even be a little scary.  Hard times are never fun, but we must have the mindset that theses tough times, are the special moments where we can draw closer to Jesus. 

    Recently here at YWAM,  I fell into a weird vibe.  For a couple of weeks I was just feeling heavy.  Anxiety was starting to take my joy.  I couldn't fully understand it or why.   I missed my friends and family, I was having a hard time adjusting to not having my own space, things were weird at my work duty (at the coffee shop), I felt super alone.  I hated it. I actually had thoughts of wanting to go home. For a second I was doubting this journey.

    So I went to my mentors (2 very strong amazing women here at YWAM) I am so grateful for them.. THANK YOU JESUS for surrounding me with these 2 strong women of God!  I was able to process with them.  They taught me what it means to "be covered." To have people surround me with love, watch over me, and pray.  

    I learned something about me...I was becoming religious.  I was expecting perfection instead of celebrating grace.  My mentors reminded me to love like God does, to love others like He loves me no matter what; and you know how freakin' hard that can be sometimes! But I had to trust in Him, and hold on to the truth that He is my strength.

    Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
        Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
        I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. 

    (Isaiah 41:10)

    Then, things got really fun...

    This pretty awesome Pastor, Pastor J.R. of The Rock, lead a lecture series here about the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is very charismatic, has the power to break off the chains of negative spirits and heal.  

    Of course, the first day, he tells me he sees a darkness over me... AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Ok, so I could've freaked out even more, but I was like "YESSS!!! I KNOW!! GET IT OFF ME!!!!!"  LOL!!!!!!!  So he did... POWERFUL STUFF!! Whoa.  Instantly I felt a huge weight off me.  For the rest of the week I soaked in the spirit, prayed my face off, and focused on God's powerful love.  What a week! 

    Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

    ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

    I was reminded again, how much Jesus truly loves us and wants to have relationship with us.  The hard times are when we can call on the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us, to heal us. This is when we can learn to depend on only Jesus, and only HIS POWER TO LOVE US, TO RESTORE US, TO BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO US.

    These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

    ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

    It doesn't matter how close we are to Jesus, how strong our relationship is with Him, we still are going to experience moments that can knock us down.  Times when things just don't feel right and all we want to do is curl up into a ball and hide.

    But these are the times that we have to learn to LAUGH at the stupid lies the enemy tries to tell us.  AHHH!! The STUPID LIES!!!  These are the times we laugh at the enemy and call on the Holy Spirit to give us power and hope to recharge!!

    And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

    Romans‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭

    ANYTIME you have negative thoughts or start to believe things that bring you down.. LAUGH!!! LAUGH at the enemy!! Spend time with Jesus, call on His awesome power to love on you and restore your peace!   I am actually grateful for my hard week, it made me stronger.  The enemy is not the authority of our lives... JESUS IS!!! The enemy cannot steal my joy any more! Heck no!! 

     So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time.

    (James 4:7 MSG)

     

  • Where Do You Go For Comfort?

    Where Do You Go For Comfort?

    Tonight I released any hurt in my heart and declared GOD AS MY CONSTANT COMFORT...nothing else can ever take that away ever again!! Thank You Jesus for being so freakin' full of mercy and love... You rock!

    Forgiveness is not always easy and sometimes we have to go places or revisit hurts And that can be scary.  A big pain in the Bootie to be honest. But once we get through the stubbornness of it all and get with God on that journey, the outcome is quite freeing. Take the time to dig deep and declare love in your life. Make Jesus the authority not the lies and hurts of your past. 

    I realized that I was still getting some of my identity from the wrong places. I don't think it matters how mature you are in your relationship with God, there is always something that could use a reboot and a deep cleanse. 

    I rekindled my relationship with HIM tonight, and I feel pretty awesome! I love knowing that He is my constant comforter, my loving dad, and my best friend...

  • "I can't breathe!" A Journey to Forgiveness and Freedom

    Ever wonder what your purpose in life is?  What your calling may be?  Ever get confused about what it is God has planned for you or what He wants you to do with your life?  

    Ever wonder what your gift may be, or better yet, think you know what your gift is only to have it blow up in your face?

    Don't give up!!

    God is trying to reach you!  

    Maybe He has been for a while now you just don't know how to tune into it. "Huh?" you say..  What the hay are you talking about Miss Brenda?!?

    This may sound silly to you or maybe you this is right up your alley, but here at YWAM, it is all about knowing God and making Him known.  Hearing the Voice of God is a huge foundation value here and my first week of lecture was all about tuning into that.  

    God just knocked me over when I finally heard His call to me!

    As some of you may know, I have been a tv/radio broadcaster for almost 15 years now. I recently had a job that I thought I was going to be at my whole life... I loved it with all my heart and soul. It was fun and I got to Glorify God! Getting paid and sharing His love and doing what I love and have fun! What?!?!?!?!  

    Then it all came crashing down...

    I was let go.  

    God is awesome though, He brought me here to YWAM and I am so grateful, but I was convinced that I was no longer going to do media, no way! I was done with it and tired of getting hurt and making mistakes. DONE.

    Oh, but God was not!!!!!!!!  

    Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

    Here is how I heard Him SO CLEARLY: 

    I was confused about what direction He wanted me to go in.  I was all about doing the Oudoor Adventure track here, (lots of hiking in the Colorado mountains) but felt a tugging to be in the media track, but remember, I told myself a while ago, NO MORE MEDIA. 

    The teacher read this verse:

    But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”

    “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.

    “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand. ~Exodus 4:1-4

    But ok, what was I do to with this verse that totally wrecked me??

    At YWAM, I learned some steps to meditate on hearing from God, and let me tell you something.. it is MIND BLOWING!! God is real! HE IS PRESENT and POWERFUL! 

    1.Find your special quiet place, where you can be alone with God

    2. PRAY

    3. Thank God for all He has done and all He is about to do

    4. Ask Him to search your heart, clear your thoughts, and then show you any anxiety ormuck that is in you (watch out cuz He DOES!!)

    5. Ask for firgiveness, ask Him to help you forgive

    6. REPENT

    7. Be Still 

    IT CHANGED MY LIFE...

    I sat and prayed and asked God "What do you want from me?? Please Jesus I am so confused .. what is it?" I knew there was pain still not dealt with losing my job.  Then it came to me, God spoke to me.  

    He said "Why do you think you can't breathe??"  That was the answer.  

    Earlier this year, I started to have trouble breathing as I went on hikes.  In the gym I could kick butt! Do bootcamp and yoga in a 100 degree humid gym.. atleast 3-4 times a week.. no problem! But for some reason on the trails, I could not breathe.  My Dr. did not even really understand, she just thought maybe it was allergies. 

    Now you understand why I was floored when God spoke to me about my breathing. But, I still did not fully trust it. So, then He told me go out and pray in the hall.. I was like NO!! But I obeyed.  Then He told me to sit on this bench in the open hallway and pray... again, I was like "NO! How embarassing God, I am crying, people will see me!" He said SIT!! So I did. And then guess who came walking by me... the staff member in the MEDIA TRACK! SHe prayed with me and said the most awesome thing to me.. "Maybe going into the media track is God's way of redemming you for waht happened that hurt you"  Again, the hot mess I am I started balling like a baby.  THEN.. guess who walks by next?!?! One fo my friends here who has been encouraging me to get back into media. Again, the hot mess I am cried even more!

    I knew God was telling me my "staff" (Exodus 4:1-4) was MEDIA.  I needed HIM and only HIM to tell me to pick it back up. 

    Needelss to say, I am now in the media track.  And I just found out one of the missions overseas I will be in, is with a Pastor who  does.... YES! You guessed it MEDIA.

    WHAT?!?!  MIND BLOWING FREEDOM!

    I have such a sense of freedom and I feel a ton of weight and muck off my back.  I feel free to use my gifts again and not feel the pain of losing my job and feeling like a failure. FREEDOM. Thank you Jesus!

    But in all this I had to repent and forgive.   I had to ask God to help me forgive and I had to write forgiveness letters.  I had to offer it and ask for it.  This forgiveness led me to FREEDOM.  

      
    Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
        I have called you by name; you are mine.
     When you go through deep waters,
        I will be with you.
    When you go through rivers of difficulty,
        you will not drown.
    When you walk through the fire of oppression,
        you will not be burned up;
        the flames will not consume you.
    For I am the Lord, your God, Do Not be afraid, for I am with you (
    Isaiah 43:1-3/5)

    My encouragement to you:

    Don't ever give up! Search your heart and see if you have unforgiveness in your soul.  Ask God to guide you.  Ask Him to help you forgive.  It will help you let go of the junk from your past, it will release you to move forward and live the life God has planned for you! It will set you free!

    Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us (Hebrew 12:1)

  • Stand Firm and Strong When The Obstacle Arrives!

    Do you know that when you are feeling super strong and are having awesome breakthroughs with God that that thorn in our side, the enemy, thinks it is play time? I hope you know that you are stronger than the enemy and Jesus always wins!!!!  We have to stand strong and firm in the promise and fact that Jesus LOVES US LIKE CRAZY! ❤️

    I woke up this morning feeling like the enemy wants to invade my amazing relationship that has been stronger than ever with Jesus. So I prayed and talked to Jesus as I was making coffee. 

    I sat down to read a Joyce Meyer devo and this is what God showed me today....

    "To endure temptation means to go through trials without giving up, to outlast the devil. Enduring also means going through a time of temptation without letting it change your attitude or commitment. Jesus never treated people differently when He was being tempted, and when we have Christian maturity, we can follow His example. Jesus understands exactly what we're facing with temptation. Sometimes He allows us to face temptations so He can bring attention to areas of weakness in our lives and help us overcome them. The only way you can have all that Jesus wants you to have is to be what He wants you to be. And that maturity comes through trials. "

    “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” ‭‭James‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 

    Isn't HE awesome!! Love you God!! Thank you for always being on time!!! ❤️

  • 9-29-2015: Jesus Has Your Back!

    9-29-2015: Jesus Has Your Back!

    Believe this... TRUST this, rely on this, apply this.... it's in HIS WORD!! HE DOESN'T LIE to us.. He loves us!

    Being here at YWAM DTS we are faced with challenges.  Self challenges and attacks from the enemy just to name a few.  But I truly believe these challenges are just going to make us stronger... why??  Because we have relationship with Jesus!!!

    I am learning daily to constantly be in prayer to ask Him to walk with me.  Even if its just as I am walking down the hall and I have a fear in me, or an insecure moment.  I just talk to Him and ask Him for help and guidance. It's pretty powerful! I encourage you to try it!

    Jesus never promises us that life will be perfect, He never says we won't feel pain, but He does LOVE us and He does promise us that He will walk with us and hold us up through any obstacles in life.  Let Him help you walk through whatever it is you are facing in life. And then... share the testimony and help others be strong too... it'snot for us to hold on to.

    "Even though we'll face challenging and stressful situations that won't always be easy to handle, Jesus assures us that nothing can defeat us if we handle things the right way, His way! Use the authority you have in Christ and overcome your obstacles!" Joyce Meyer 

  • 9/26/2015 YWAM DTS : Blowdryers, Flat Irons, and Jesus!

    "You can not love your brother across the world if you do not love your neighbor across the street" ~YWAM Leadership

    Isn't that an awesome quote??? It is so true. What a lesson it will be here at YWAM DTS!!!!

    It is Day 3 here at my new journey at YWAM Colorado Springs.  WOW!!  Seriously.. WOW!!!! 

    Imagine every person you meet has a story to share about how Jesus is moving in their lives. Imagine everyone you talk to has a story of how God brought them to where they are today .. step by step. Imagine every person you meet filled with joy and excitement about JESUS! It's CRAZY AWESOMENESS!!!!! Powerful crazy.. good crazy.. lol!! 

    I have 5 roommates... yes! 5!!!!!!  They are all much younger than me.. but each have thier own amazing fabulous qualities.  I am super excited to get to know them and to see what God will do with us!  We have plenty of blow-dryers and flat irons in our room for a small village!  One of the girls in my room LOVES coffee like me ,so we will get along just fine! LOL!!  As a matter of fact 4 of us got assigned work duties for the quarter in the KAIROS Coffee shop here on campus.. AWESOME!!!!!  

    Words can't really describe how excited/nervous/thrilled I am to be here.  Being surrounded by people who just want to be used by Jesus is MIND BLOWING!!!!  And everyone is so nice... I can't believe it!  There seems to be like 200-300 people here!  There are a few different schools going on, people and families from all over the world, a range different ages!  Lots of kids....I love how they call them "Wee-WAMers" TOO CUTE!

    "EVERYTHING.. EVERYTHING We do is Lead by the Lordship of Christ" -YWAM Leadership

    It's pretty amazing to be in a community where it is all about community and serving.  This is how funny Jesus is...my friends know me as someone who LOVES to volunteer and serve, but I am also the person who will come in to an event or party, say Hello, and then be the very first to leave. In and out like the wind! I always loved coming home and being by myself.  I am great at being loud and fun, but I am even better at leaving the party early to get away!  Well .. it won't be like that for the next  6 months!!! LOL!!!  

    God is funny like that.. you never know what lesson He has for you, you can think His purpose is one thing, then you turn the corner and He is like ...  "Hey, I need you to work on this first...."  Gotta love our fun, loving, amazing, powerful, all mighty GOD!!!!!!  He has a sense of humor doesn't He? But you know what?  WHen you know it is HIM that is leading you, even if it is out of your comfort zone, it somehow beautifully becomes exciting....

    The leaders here are so supportive and encouraging. One of them shared this with us yesterday:

    So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

    We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. (Colossians 1:9-12)

  • 9/24/2015 Road Trip: YWAM Colorado Springs!!!!

    I don't know what it is about this road trip, but God sure is speaking to me through the skies!! LOVE IT!!!

    If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
        If I go underground, you’re there!
    If I flew on morning’s wings
        to the far western horizon,
    You’d find me in a minute—
        you’re already there waiting! (Psalm 139:8-12)

    I have been on the road for about 3 weeks now, and yesterday I finally arrived at my destination... Colorado Springs for YWAM! After 6 hours of beautiful flat land in the plains, I  came over a hill on HWY 24, and saw this amazing sight!! Ok, so my iPhone 5 does it NO justice, but I cried! The whole way into Colorado Springs from this point I just cried and smiled ... I instantly felt GOD say to me "Welcome my sweet sweet daughter, you made it, I have prepared the way..."

    Then as I got closer to the mountians in Colorado Springs, I was listening to Jack Graham, and I will never forget the power in his voice over the radio:

    Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38)

    I love mountains and hiking, that is how I connect with God. To arrive here in Colorado Springs to start my YWAM DTS training and see this majestic line of mountains, I could not stop smiling, thanking Jesus over and over again! Makes me know this is exactly where GOD needs me to be, and you know what?  It feels freakin' AMAZING!!!!!!!!! 

    Psalm 139

    Lord, you have examined my heart
        and know everything about me.
    You know when I sit down or stand up.
        You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
    You see me when I travel
        and when I rest at home.
        You know everything I do.
    You know what I am going to say
        even before I say it, Lord.
    You go before me and follow me.
        You place your hand of blessing on my head.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
        too great for me to understand!

    My encouragement to you:

    Never give up.. no matter how hard the road may seem, no matter how much pain and fear you may have, it is only a season, and maybe God needs you in that season to humble and prepare you for SOMETHING FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!!!!

  • "When you wake up in the morning, no matter how you feel or what things look like, instead of using your words to describe your situation, use your words to change your situation. Make a declaration of faith by saying, 'This is going to be a great day. I have God’s favor. He’s directing my steps.'”

    Joel Osteen
  • 9/22/15 Road Trip: Strength Training

    Ever just feel like blown away.. at what God is doing in your life, or what He is having you do?

    God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love HIM and are called according to His purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)

    As I sit at a Starbucks on the final leg of my crazy road trip to YWAM DTS in Colorado Springs, I am thinking just that... completely blown away at what God has me doing in this season! I am heading to YWAM's Disciple Training School?huh? Then a 3 month mission trip? WHAT?!?! LOL!!!

    The closer I get to campus the more nervous excitement grows in my veins!  Or maybe its just all the pumpkin spice latte's I am drinking.. LOL!!!! (Shout out to muy sister-in-law for the gift card!!)  Anyways, I heard this and wanted to share with you:

    "God chose to use the the very thing that the enemy has used to defeat me, to teach me.." Beth More

    So, please allow me to add:

    "........He did/can do the same for you! To make you a better person, to make you a stronger person, an even awesomer child of God! (is "awesomer" a word? LOL) To give you the most awesome story to share with the world that glorifies God in every single possible way!!!"  ~me

    A few months ago I lost my job, and ever since then God has me STRENGTH TRAINING.  I was devistated, confused, weak....what was I going to do?!?!  this was not planned and I certainly did not want to start over again! But it's not what I want is it? It's about what HE has already planned and how He is going to get me HUMBLED for it! I am sure you have experienced this in life, we all have! And probably will again.  But you know what... GOD stuck by me and coached me back to faith and hope. It wasn't easy; lots of cardio, sweat, and tears, but so worth it!

    God doesn't leave us .. EVER.  When life throws a curve ball at us, He wants to build us back up.  We can get in the gym of FAITH and start STRENGTH TRAINING! IT's a free membership!  

    "Faith is like a muscle, we have to excercise it to make it stronger" ~not sure? ;)

    I am so freakin' grateful I did not give up on ministry. I had to go through a lot of hurt and excuse my french.. BS, but it was all worth it!  Sometimes God has to put us through a difficult season to get us HUMBLY where he wants us!  It took me a few months of different workouts including: searching, growing, being humbled, learning about humility, reading the WORD, trying to understand the WORD, asking tons of questions, and praying my face off.  Pain, happiness, laughter, tears, sweat, never giving up. But God showed me that all of it, every second of it was part of His plan, to build my strength back up... to get me closer to Him.  Closer to Him than I have ever been!  STRENGTH TRAINING.

    I want to encourage you never to give up on following Jesus even when life throws a curve ball at you. God loves you so much, especially when you don't feel like it.  We can overcome anything WITH GOD as our coach! Keep searching for Him, ask questions, build community, pray, read, most importantly .. give yourself time to build back up.  Give yourself mercy and patience to get back on the path He has ready for you.  It is not far way, the road He needs you on is closer than you think.. and HE WILL GUIDE YOU BACK to it. He will make you strong again.  STRENGTH TRAINING.

    God’s Message:

    “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.

        I’ve called your name. You’re mine.

    When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.

        When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.

    When you’re between a rock and a hard place,

        it won’t be a dead end—

    Because I am God, your personal God,

        The Holy of Israel, your Savior.

    I paid a huge price for you:

        all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!

    That’s how much you mean to me!

        That’s how much I love you!

    I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,

        trade the creation just for you.

    So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.

    Isaiah 43:1-7 The Message (MSG)

  • We All Have "Stuff"

    "We all have our stuff, but when God works through our stuff and makes it better, He doesn't want us to hang on to it, He wants us to pass it on to help others with it" ~Beth Moore "Breaking Free"

    Our "stuff" is not always easy to handle. But wouldn't it be nice to use your "stuff" for good?? YOU CAN!!! And the bible says we SHOULD!!!

    Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
          Let the whole world know what he has done. (1 Chronicles 16:8)

    My brother and I have been asked to share our testimonies with his church's youth group, and as I write mine, I had to share with you the importance of sharing how God has changed your life.

    It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. (Daniel 4:2)

    As I write, I ask God to speak through me, to send the Hoy Spirit to give me the words He has for someone who is listening to my testimony, whoever it may be, only God knows, but that is the coolest thing ever!!! To know in your heart that God is using your mess to help someon else! 

    I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. (2 Cor 2:3)

    WOW! RIGHT?!?!?!  That is "Paul's Message of Wisom" Isn't it crazy powerful?!?!  

    You never know who needs to hear your story.  Don't be ashamed of your past and hold it in.  God has given you another chance so YOU can share HIS POWER OF TRANSFORAMTION!! So that you can show the world that HE LOVES US so much, that He can restore us!

    I was a crazy party addict who lived in and for the world and then He gave me a second chance! WHAAAATTT?  lol!  Now I use my gifts and talents FOR JESUS in this crazy media biz.  I still make mistakes and I still mess up, but you know what?  Nothing can stop me WITH JESUS AS MY ROCK, and the same goes for you!!

    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)

    Take your stuff and share it! Let Him make your MESS into HIS MESSAGE!  You never know who's life YOU can help becasue of HIS LOVE.  YOU and your mess will be used by GOD to help others.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT???!! The enemy WILL NOT WIN... EVER!  Don't let that enemy take away God's glory from your life...don't pack up and hide your "stuff"... once God makes it better.... SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD!!

    Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)