Dragon Slayer

She waited in the tower overlooking the beautiful landscape. She could see a beautiful straight paved road with a large lake on one side and a beautiful green, but dark forest on the other. All three led straight to the tower, but everyone who made the attempt was either too tired to make the climb or was too tired to help her down once they made it up.

She lived with her Father and enjoyed her home, but often imagined being outside of the tower; desiring to enjoy the outdoors. On many occasions, she tried to get down herself, but it was so exhausting, she would climb back up again; she knew she would need help getting down.

Since she was so high up, she could clearly see they all led straight to her and couldn’t imagine why helping her down was so difficult. It seemed every time someone would walk the road, by the time they reached the tower they were too tired to climb it and they would turn back. Or if someone crossed the lake, they would have the strength to climb tower, but not enough to safely guide her down. The forest was a lost hope…every time someone walked into the forest, they never seemed to come out. She wondered if she would ever get to experience the beautiful outdoors up close.

One day, she asked her Father, “Daddy, you designed our beautiful land and tower. Why would you make it so difficult for me to get down? Don’t You want me to enjoy all of our land?” Her Father sat her down and explained, “You are so  precious to Me. I want to be sure you are safe once you make it out of the tower, so I created 3 paths:

“The first is the beautiful straight paved road. It may be the easiest of the 3, but those who choose it, will not have the strength to climb the tower. And honestly, if they don’t have the strength to climb up, I wouldn’t feel safe you being with them.

“The second is the lake. You know that if someone crosses the lake, they have the strength to climb up, but are not strong enough to help you down. I know that is frustrating to you, but the ones who make the effort to cross the lake and come visit you, are the ones who have become your greatest friends. Those you cherish.”

“Finally,” He said, “I grew a forest. What you don’t see about the forest is that there are 3 dragons in it. Each one larger and more dangerous than the last.” She listened intently to her Father still wondering why He had made it so difficult. “You see, I know once you leave the tower, you will not want to return. It is just that beautiful. However, I also know it can be dangerous. So, if you are to leave the tower, I could only trust you with the one who could slay all 3 dragons, climb the tower and still have the strength to carry you down. He would prove himself to, not only know how amazing you are to want to make the journey, but know how to cherish you because of the lengths he went through to reach you.”

As she listened to her Father, she imagined all of those who had gone into the forest, but never came out. “But what about all those who never came out of the forest?” “They were brave enough for the attempt, but unfortunately, were not well equipped for the task at hand.” He replied.

She was beginning to understand that although it was taking much longer than she anticipated, she knew that her Father loved and had her best interest at heart. So, instead of waiting on someone to finally slay the dragons and make it through the forest, she decided to enjoy the time she had with her Father and those friends who made it across the lake and up the tower to see her. Knowing one day, she would be able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors…not having to worry about any threat that may come, because she would have her own personal dragon slayer!

This Means War!

Have you ever been so consumed with despair, fear, doubt, sadness that you couldn’t sit up? You wanted to hide under a rock and just simply disappear? My last post talked about how real Satan is and how he  is OUT FOR OUR HEARTS!! Well, the last 2 days, I FELT IT!!

I am not going to lie and say this has been an easy week for me. It, for lack of a better term, sucked!! A new phase in the war for my heart has begun. I have discovered my desire to get remarried and have more children has increasingly become a greater idol in my life. However, my God, whom I have grown deeper in love with, is a jealous God and He is NOT putting up with it!!

Thursday night, I was heading to Bible Study and I felt an overwhelming sadness. I called my dear friend and just bawled! I was lost, confused. I was so disillusioned…Last night, I was at the Mandisa Girls Night Live concert with about 14 others. As we waited for the show to begin, I sank lower in my chair. I had this overwhelming feeling to just leave, but there was no way anyone would let me leave. When the music began, I didn’t sing. I didn’t dance, I didn’t even stand up! (Now, if you know me that is just not normal!)

To make a long story short, at one point I was praying. I suddenly had a tidal wave of lies flush into my head. PURE LIES!! So, I began rebuking the enemy! In the name of Jesus, straight up REBUKING!! I was shaking, it was so powerful! What happened next was amazing…Laura Story was on stage and she began signing Blessings. I started sobbing! And my girls all came around me, laid hands on me, prayed for me and sang for me!

It took a bit for me to compose myself, but by the time Mandisa came on, the Lord gave me the strength to sing  and present to Him my Broken Hallelujah because when my offering is only a shattered praise, still a song of adoration will rise up from these ruins and I will worship and give You thanks!

Oh Father, You have given much more than I deserve and I have felt Your hand of blessing  on me at every turn. How could I doubt Your goodness, Your wisdom, Your grace? Oh Lord hear my heart in this painful place. I lift my voice. Your Spirit move. I raise my hands. I reach for You. Hallelujah!

Yes, I have had a bad week and humans have been the ones delivering the blows, but I do not fault them, because as I sank lower into my chair I started believing the same lies they told, but fortunately (yes, fortunately), I have had PLENTY of battles with this enemy so I can recognize the schemes and oh man…does this mean war!! Because when you knock me down, Satan, it’s only easier for me to get on my knees!!

Hopelessly Devoted

This morning I woke thinking of the same thing that I have been thinking about as of late. I quickly thought to myself, why isn’t the Lord the first thing on my mind when I wake up? It made me think, where does my heart rest? Coincidentally (not really!) my “Jesus time” this morning was about our devotion and where it lies.

We are constantly being lied to. Constantly! And if you don’t believe that, let me tell you, that’s a lie all in itself. As often as the Lord speaks, the enemy speaks even more…with more volume, persistence and desperation. He is desperate for us to believe his lies. To distract us from our devotion to the One we were betrothed to because when our devotion lessens our attention can be easily shifted and manipulated. And when our attention is shifted, we easily lose sight of where the Lord is leading, eventually losing sight of Him.

So be aware…

1. We have an enemy. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

2. His greatest tool is deception. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

3. His favorite tactic is causing us to question God’s instruction. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ” Genesis 3:1

4. He always challenges God’s character. “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. Genesis 3:4

5. His ultimate goal is broken relationships with God and others. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6

Therefore…Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23) and where your devotion lies!

Work in Progress

“The original was splendid. But the miracle of restoration enhances the beauty. Knowing the drama of the whole story, one can only gaze in wonder.” – Quote from True Woman 101: Divine Design in reference to the restoration of the Madonna del Cardellino painting.

The painting was destroyed in an earthquake in 1548. Many tried to piece it back together, but with each attempt to hide the cracks, the painting lost its original luster…until a groups of experts took on the painstaking task of properly restoring it. It was long process, but the journey only made the reveal of the restoration even more grandiose.

Similarly, we have been destroyed by 1 or 2 (or even 10) earthquakes and we continue to try to patch ourselves up. We fool ourselves into believing that we can hide the cracks. We sometimes do a pretty good job, but if we have no clue of what we were originally intended to look like, how can we know what needs patching up? This is when the experts come in…well, in our case, just One Expert; The Original Artist.

Once we allow Him to begin the work of restoration, we struggle and hesitation sets in because…well, it just plain hurts. The pain and work required from us is more than we bargained for. We pray the “work” we have already done is good enough. But, again, we don’t know what the original masterpiece was to look like, so He has to start from scratch, often destroying all “work” we have done…:'( Ouch!

It may be painful and we may never even see the full restoration until we are reunited with The Artist, but isn’t it amazing that even though He isn’t finished, we can still gaze in wonder at His work in progress???

*With every great struggle, an even GREATER VICTORY is to follow!! *


A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room
filled with light, and God appeared.
The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a
large rock in front of his cabin.
The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with
all his might.

So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from
sunup to sundown, his shoulders set squarely against the cold,
massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might!
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling
that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan)
decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary
mind. (He will do it every time!)
“You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn’t
moved.” Thus, he gave the man the  impression that the task was
impossible and that he was a failure.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
Satan said, “Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving
just the minimum effort, and that will be good enough.”
That’s what the weary man planned to do but decided to make it a
matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
“Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in Your service, putting
all my strength to do that which you have asked.
Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a
millimeter.  What is wrong?  Why am I failing?”
The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you
to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push
against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done.
Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it.
Your  task was to push.
And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you
have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself.
Your arms are strong and muscled, your back shiny and brown;
Your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become
massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your
abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven’t
moved the rock.
But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your
faith and trust in My wisdom.
That you have done.  Now I, my friend, will move the rock..”
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own
intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants
is just simple obedience and faith in Him.
By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that
it is still God who moves the mountains.

When everything  seems to go wrong……….Just P.U.S.H.
When the job gets you down……………Just P.U.S.H.

When people don’t do as you think they should…………….Just P.U.S.H.
When your money is “gone” and the bills are due………….Just P.U.S.H.

When people just don’t understand you………………..Just P.U.S.H.
P = Pray
U = Until
S = Something
H = Happens

Not this time…

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

When the enemy attacks, he takes great pleasure in using those closest to us. Those we trust, those we love. Not saying that they are evil, but the moment we are not watching and guarding our hearts, he will take the opportunity to use it to his advantage. Hear me when I say, the enemy isn’t always at  fault, sometimes the Lord allows certain situations to make us stronger. However, the very thing that can build us up, can knock us down if we are not being vigilant! We can find ourselves spiraling down into a pit of guilt and shame, when that very thing was sent by God to build and glorify…Him!

Look back at the last time you found yourself in a pit, not knowing how in the world you got there. Although it feels like you accidentally stumbled and fell into this pit, it doesn’t always happen that way. Can you trace it back to a small feeling or thought that grew into fear, fueled by something and/or someone around you, ending by you doing something stupid?

That’s how it usually happens to me…I feel insecure or have a fear about something, someone says something or I experience something that would never had bothered me in the past, (but since I already had my initial insecurity or fear) I heard or saw something that wasn’t there. Which leads to more insecurities, doubt and quite often, regret!

How do we (I) avoid being used by the enemy? Stand firm in Christ, hold His Word near and do not give up!! Even when you fall, the Lord can quickly pick you up and place your feet on solid ground! Just because it is a delayed victory doesn’t make it less of a victory…especially, as you watch the enemy whimper away!!

And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Romans 16:20

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble…

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

As we draw closer to the Lord, we allow Him to search us and expose things that are not of Him. As with everyone, this is an ongoing process with me and the past week has been no exception…Jake is 13. For those of you have teenagers, I don’t need to say anything else; others may have an idea of what I going though. Having said that, this post is probably more of a venting and cry for everyone’s intercession instead of some en-lighting, encouraging word.

Let me first say, my kid is a GREAT kid!! He really is! For example, last Sunday at Brian’s birthday party, Jake was the only kid (besides the cutest little 4 month old in the world) there. As soon as the trash would fill up, he would take it out and place in the outside garbage cans outside. He also cleaned the mess on the table that was left by the ice cream cake and helped clean up after the party…should I mention, NO ONE asked him to do any of that! He did it on his own accord.

Side note: I call Jake a cat because he will only come and get cuddles when he wants to know and practically hisses at me if I try to get cuddles from him when he isn’t in the mood. At the party, after I stopped holding the cutest 4 month old in the world, Jake sat on my lap and wanted “lubbin” (as we call it), but as soon as I started to enjoy the lubbins, he jumped off! Goes to show teenagers still do cuddle, but are cats about it!

Anyway, it could be hormones, or my relationship with Brian or the trip to Guatemala, or all of the above, but my child (mostly when it is just he and I) seems to be possessed. His attitude is horrible, he disrespects me and, to top it off, his grades are super low. (After having a parent-student-teacher conference) he admitted he’s lazy and just doesn’t care. Did I raise this child? Is this what I have instilled in him?

As the Lord continues to work on me, He has revealed that I have not been a good steward of the gift He has given me in my boy. I have allowed unGodly behavior by not putting a stop to them when they first began. Whether my excuse for not addressing them was because of guilt or laziness on my behalf, I was not teaching him in the ways of the Lord…so the battle begins…

First and current battle: Grades/Schoolwork. His grades have consistently gone down this year and the number of missing assignments have gone up. So, we are trying to change the work habits. Currently, there is a book project due soon and my boy has not been reading his book. I have been on him to read and when he doesn’t or conveniently leaves his book at school a punishment follows. This weekend we are sequestered in our apartment (with a small break in order for him to clean the refrigerator and freezer for having a snotty attitude) with the intent for him to..finish…the…book. *Can you hear my desperation in that?*

The Lord is showing me that although the job of parenting was meant for 2 and I have not consulted Him in regards to raising Jake, it is never too late and I don’t have to do it alone! Yes, this could’ve been addressed at an earlier age and it might have been easier, but I refuse to dwell on that. I am looking at today and thanking God for the chance to restore any damage I have done before the ages of 15 or 16 when things tend to get really ugly!

I am not an expert at parenting a teenager (he is my first after all), but I praise God for the Grace He gives to learn as I go! It sometimes is an all out war and other times it is simply a stand-off, but, no matter what, it is always a Blessing because I know the battles I fight (and prayerfully win) today, will help Jake fight and win battles later!

Thanks to everyone who continues to encourage me! It honestly does take a village and I praise God you are all in mine!

“I Will Wait…for You” — Janette Ikz

So it seemed, that it was cool, for everyone to be in a relationship but me..

So I took matters into my own hands… and ended up with him

Him who displayed the characteristics of a CHEATER, a LIAR, an ABUSER, & a THIEF

So.. why was I surprised when he broke into my heart?

I called 911, but I was cardiac arrested for aiding and abetting,

Cause it was ME who let him in…

Claiming we were “just friends”..

It was already decided for me by the first date, that even if he wasn’t!

I was gonna make him ‘The One’..

You know… I was tired of being alone,

And I simply made up in my mind, that it was about that time so I decided to drag him along for the ride,

Cause I was always the bridesmaid & never the bride..

A virgin in the physical, but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat!

Who was tired of the wait!

So I was gonna make him ‘The One’.

He had a… form of Godliness… but not much..

But hey, hey I can change him! So (honey) I’ll TAKE him, I mean he’s close… enough

Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter, not knowing the value of its use to me

Arteries so clogged with MY will, it blocked HIS Will from flowing through me

So, I thank Christ that His blood pressure gave this heart an attack,

That flatlined my obscured vision, put me flat on my back

Through my ignorance He sawed,

Through my sternum He sawed & cracked open my chest

TO transplant Psalm 51:10

A new heart & a renewed right spirit within!

So now I fully understand,

Better yet I thoroughly comprehend,

How much I NEED to wait… for You.

See, the bad thing is that I knew he wasn’t you from the beginning..

Cause in the beginning was the Word

And he didn’t even sound or shine like Your Son

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,

And all he could whisper was sweet, empty nothings –

Which meant NOTHING.

He couldn’t even pray when I NEEDED him to

Asking him to fast would be absurd!

So forget about being cleansed & washed with water through the Word…

But I know You.. ♥

You were already praying for me

Even never having met me

Let me assure you, I will wait for you.

I will no longer date, socialize or communicate with carbon copies of you

To appease my boredom or to quench my thirstiness I have for attention

And short-lived compliments from ‘sorta kindas’.

You know…. He ‘sort kinda’ right, but ‘sorta kinda’ wrong?

His first name LUKE,

His last name WARM.

I, I won’t settle for false companionship

I won’t lay in the embrace of his arms,

Attempting to find some closeness,

But never feeling so far apart cause, I just wanna be held

Cause ♫”all I gotta do is Say” No!

NO more ‘almost sessions’ of ‘almost coming close’

Passing winks & buying drinks,

I’ma, I’ma, I’ma flirt!♫

Who flirts with the ideology of,

‘Can you just tell me how much I can get away with & still be saved?’

NO more.

I’ll stay in my bed… alone, and write poems, about how I will wait for you

He won’t even come close,

Our fingers won’t even interlock

We won’t even exchange breath

Cause I have thoughts that I’ve ‘saved as’ in a file that God has only equipped you to open.

I will no longer get weighted down,

From so-called friends & family talks,

About the concern for my biological clock

When I serve the Author of Time.

Who is NOT subject to time,

But I’M subject to Him,

He has the ability to STOP, FAST FORWARD, PAUSE, or REWIND at any given time…

So if we could role play,

You would be Abraham & I would be Sara

Or you can be Isaac & I can be Rebecca – a servant’s answered prayer

I am bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh,

Made up of your rib Adam!

And once we meet, like electrons

I will be bound to your nucleus, completely indivisible atom.

We even speak the same math: 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, which really equals 1 if you add Him.

We were all created in His image,

But you have the ability to reflect, project & even detect the Son.

If I were to explain what you looked like,

You would have to look like a star,

A son of the Son..

I would gain energy simply from the light on me.

I would need you , in order to complete my photosynthesis

I await your revelation, but once again from the genesis, I will wait for you ♥

And I will know you… because when you speak I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,

Your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,

Your faith will remind me of Abraham,

Your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,

Your inspiration will remind me of Paul,

Your heart for God will remind me of David,

Your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,

Your integrity will remind me of Joseph,

And your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,

But Your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.

But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews or any special Marks,

Cause His word will be tatted all over your heart.

And you will know me, and you will find me,

Where… the boldness of Esther meets the warm closeness of Ruth.

Where the hospitality of Lydia is aligned with the submission of Mary,

Which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hanna.

I will be the one, drenched in Proverbs 31… waiting for you.

But to my Father, my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth

Only if you should see fit…

I desire Your will above mine,

So even if you call me to a life of singleness,

My heart is content with YOU – the One who was sent.

YOU are the greatest love story ever told,

The greatest story ever known

You are forever my judge & I’m forever Your witness

And I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business

Oh, I will always be Yours!

And I will always wait for You Lord, more than the watchmen wait for the morning…

More than the watchmen wait for the morning… I WILL WAIT ♥

“I Will Wait…for You” — Janette Ikz

Hug me at your own risk…

The change of weather from Boston to Tampa has finally caught up with me. I felt a sore throat coming on the last couple of days while in Boston, but it did not become a full-fledged cold until Saturday. I went to see October Baby (A MUST SEE!!) that morning and by that evening I was on the couch begging Jake to make me some tea. Yeah, I’m a bit of a baby when I’m sick!

On Sunday, I was feeling better and was able to attend an amazing Easter service at church, had lunch with Brian and his family and then enjoyed the rest of the day with Brian which also happened to be his birthday. I don’t think I even sniffled all day. It was like the Lord gave me a day off from my cold to rejoice in celebrating His Resurrection!

I say day off because Monday at work, I was sneezing and sniffling all day!! I was having the worst time breathing. I made it through the day, but when I woke up this morning, I felt horrible. I had to call in sick from work. There was no way I could even make it to take Jake to school. Luckily, he was able to get a ride to school.

The whole point of me telling you how sick I was/am is to help you understand how terrible I must’ve looked when I walked into church tonight to drop off tickets for a concert on Friday night. (I had no intention of going to church tonight and I didn’t even stay long, but I thought it would be nice for people to have their tickets before the event.)

Anyway, even though I looked and felt horrible, no one backed off! Everyone still hugged me! My honey even kissed me!!  I was shocked at the care I received…not because my friends are mean, but because usually when someone is sick, you stay away!! Goes to show my church family is pretty AMAZING and would even risk their own health to make me feel better!! That’s what real friendship is all about!!

If you are not part of a church family, come and join mine!! For more information on Merge Tuesday nights, click here. We also meet on Sunday mornings at 11am in the Choir Room at Calvary Baptist Church, located at 110 North McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, FL 33759.

True Love Waits

When I was 15, I made a commitment I wasn’t able to keep. I (along with a few friends)  stood in front of my church family and made a commitment to remain abstinent until my wedding day. The commitment I made was real and I had every intention of keeping it, but less than 6 years later, I fell short of that commitment…Jake was 8 months old when I married his dad. Just a couple of years after that, I was divorced and continued living the life of a broken commitment.

Looking back now, I know how God has used all of my choices (even the poor ones) to further His Kingdom, but I can’t help but wonder how wonderful it would’ve been to have saved myself until the “one” came along. How different would my life have been? The baggage load would have definitely been lighter, that’s for sure!

I can sit and wallow in the shoulda, coulda of my life, but I know better than that! I do want to encourage those who have committed to abstinence to hold strong, hold fast and be confident that Blessing the Lord will give you for your obedience will be far better than anything you could ever imagine!

Each time we allow ourselves to be in a relationship not ordained by God, we break off a piece of our heart. So, the more we give ourselves to another (not only physically, but also emotionally), the more we rob the one who the Lord intended specifically for us. I am not completely against dating, but I am against given our heart away to anyone who shows a bit of interest.

I once heard we are to keep our heart in a jar in the very top shelf so it isn’t easily accessible to any bargain shopper. There might be a few who will make the attempt, but only one will actually be able to safely reach it! So, wait, Dear one! Wait!!!

If you are interested in the True Love Waits commitment, please click here for more details.