Friday, August 31, 2007

Demolishing Strongholds

Have you ever had one of those moments, spiritually, when you realize that a corner has been turned, that you have reached a place of 'no going back'? Conversely, have you ever felt that you were banging your head against a wall, so caught in the same cycle of sin that you just can't get past? I have never experienced another situation as freeing and exciting as the former or as crushing and debilitating as the latter. This past Winter, after praying for a breakthrough in certain patterns of my same sinful reactions, and crying out for deliverance from what I thought was myself, the Father answered in (as usual) an unexpected way. I found later that Mr. Visionary had been doing his own business with Father, and was looking for the same answers I had been.

Remember the New Year's flu at our house? (If you were here, you would never be able to forget it. *grin*) During that season, Father was doing a deep work in our family. As Mr. Visionary laid together on the floor in the family room, we couldn't move, but we could listen to audio files from the computer. Would we have found this if we were not laid out with illness? I cannot say. But I know this ~ that Father used this time to minister much to us. I can only say that the teaching we found (an the application thereof) was nothing less than life changing (and I truly do not use that term frivolously). If you have ever been frustrated with your own sin, or been in a place where someone you love is frustrated with your sin (especially if you just do not "see" the sin of it), trust me when I tell you that you would be blessed by this teaching. This is not a teaching that will beat you up and rub sin in your face and sentences you to a life of navel-gazing (I have had enough of that, thank-you-very-much), but it actually gives you tools ~ practical help ~ to combat it. Never have Mr. Visionary and I been so much on the same page as we have since completing this study. Never.

Mike and Sue Dowgiewicz, the teachers we found, are a couple who each have the gift of teaching. They live by donations alone, and do not charge for any of their material ~ you can't use that as an excuse. :) (I do not know this family personally, and have no vested interest in their receiving finances or attention in any way. ) We originally found them as we were searching for information about church structure, as our church is in the middle of restructuring now. Their teaching called Restoring The Early Church is rich, and also changed our personal life (it has more than just church structure), but the one that I want you to start with is called Demolishing Strongholds.

Demolishing Strongholds
~ on video files ~ this is best tried only if you have high-speed internet access

Demolishing Strongholds
~ audio files ~ Click on MP3 Audio Files to just listen to them online, or to save, and listen from your own computer files

Demolishing Strongholds ~ PDF file workbook ~ with word-for-word teaching from the video and audio files. (You will need to print some of pages 36-65 from this anyway, even if you just watch or listen. I know it is a lot to print, but it is worth it. You could also just buy the workbook from them for $7.)

Whatever you do, don't just read this and walk away! How do you know that your reading this post is not a divine appointment, that this is exactly the thing Father has for you? You cannot say for sure, so pray, and be led by His Spirit. Husbands (because I know many wives grab their husbands and say, "You have to read this", sometimes. I'm that woman, too), if your wife is asking you about doing this, please humor her. Even if reading or doing something spiritual with your wife is a foreign idea to you, please consider going through this teaching together. Mr. Visionary respects Mike Dowgiewicz tremendously, and highly recommends his teaching. We truly believe you would respect him as well.

Now, a large disclaimer: I do not ever, ever want you to take some teacher's word for something. Always be a Berean ~ always do your homework! Always take Scripture in the context of the whole Bible ~ verses yanked out of their normal context are always wrong. Get out your Bible, a notebook, and study this teaching. Scrutinize it under the light of HIS WORD, not man's teaching, not emotions, etc. Check out what they say, don't just believe what they say. Own what you believe ~ don't just believe what you're told. We each will stand alone before the Father, with no man-made doctrines to stand on.

I would be interested in chatting with anyone who goes through this teaching and actually finishes it. Let me know, OK?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

She Comes Back

Well, the break was refreshing. I was sorely disappointed, however, to find that being away from the computer didn't free up gobs of time for me. My two well-worn excuses for never having enough time have failed me.

I always thought that if we kept a tighter schedule, with every moment planned, and the day running like a well-oiled machine that I could be Mrs. Efficiency and my To-Do list would melt away into checked-off items, leisurely evenings and early bedtimes for all. I also believed that if only I cut out everything above and beyond the absolute basics of life (i.e. no computer time) that it would free me to get all that I desired to accomplish completed with ease.


Let the record show that another of my big ideas has bitten the dust. After 30 days away from the computer, and with our new school schedule running amazingly well, I still didn't recoup the amount of time I had expected. Life goes on ~ and things come up. We had a monstrous tree fall across the driveway and pasture fence that took a few days work, several trips to Washington D.C. to get Mr. Visionary's passport, the cows needed to be bred, the garden needed attention, pickles and salsa to make, new curriculum to get used to, bla, bla, bla. There is always something.

It has been such a lesson for me in fighting for the important things in life, and making time for them. The World crowds it's way in, and to maintain any sense of margin and balance, we have to be aggressively guarding our time and energy. We are given the same amount of time at the beginning of each day, and the same assignments: to love, serve, pray, worship and obey. I am reminded that it is not as important to get more things done, but to get the right things done.

It has been a good month, and a good season to remember this lesson: When life's pace pushes you, push back.

I'm looking forward to blogging again ~ thanks to all who have prayed.