All posts by Shannon

I am a sinner that spent years of my life putting other people in God's place. Through some very painful life changes, God used those moments to refine me into the person I am today. This blog is my personal testimony, my story and the truths I learned along the way and continue to learn as a follower of Christ.

All In God’s Time

God continues to remind me that he is in control. Today I made a choice to let go and let God repay what was stolen, knowing he will do so in only ways that he can. Then I get a phone call from a friend giving me something of great monetary value that will open the door to an increase in income. But God didn’t stop there. Then I received this promise:
“I Am Releasing You From the Hardships that You Have Encountered”

The Lord says, “The time of weeping is coming to an end, and a time of rejoicing will begin. For those of you who have been burdened for so long, your mouths will surely be filled with laughter, and your tongues with songs of joy. I am about to release you from the weights and the cares that have been weighing you down.

“I am releasing you from the hardships that you have encountered. You will learn how to make the adversity drive you deeper into your purpose and destiny rather than bring you into despair. Don’t allow discouraging thoughts to imprison you any longer, but allow Me to turn everything around for good. You have not been created to carry burdens but I have created you to be a carrier of My glory.

“I am rebuilding the walls that have been torn down by the enemy. Those things that have been demolished in your life will be rebuilt and restored. I will remove the heavy burdens and break the shackles that have held you captive. The strongholds that have held you prisoner are coming off. I am releasing the prisoners of war, and returning them home once again. I will heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free.

“As you continue to press in and stand on My Word even through difficult times, you will soon encounter this time of rejoicing. I will release you from the hurtful memories from the past that brought pain and sorrow. I will set you free from the things that war against your soul that brought fear and confusion. This is a time of refreshing to those of you who have been weary.

“Don’t allow anything to restrain you from this joy set before you. Don’t allow anything to hinder you from receiving all that is available to you. Allow Me to fill you with this joy and peace and bring comfort to your soul. I will give you beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning so that you will begin to walk in victory,” says the Lord.

Psalm 30:11-12, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

Never underestimate the power of God. He can do anything and everything!!! His love never fails!

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After the Abuse

https://afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com/darkness/what-does-the-bible-say-about-narcissistic-behavior/
This is the most detailed, thorough explanation of the emotional abuse one suffers at the hands of a narcissist. If you are suffering from this type of abuse, please listen: Their is nothing you can do to help this type of person. Stop putting yourself in danger by trying. Your good intentions will only backfire and you will be the one left more confused, more hurt, and more damaged. Protect yourself. No contact is the only way. 

The bible is clear on this. It doesn’t say to help them or to go to them in an attempt to heal the relationship. It says not to have anything to do with them. 

If after reading this article you find that you have been abused by a narcissist, let me know so I can pray for you. I have lived my entire life under this type of abuse and finding true, soul deep healing requires plugging in to the only one who can repair the damage that has been done: Jesus Christ. 

I want to close by praying for you. 

Sweet Jesus, please wrap your arms around your precious son or daughter that is reading this realizing maybe for the first time that they have been damaged at the hands of a narcissist. Please open their eyes to truth so that you can heal what only you can heal. Protect them from further abuse by equipping them with your armor, your shield of protection. In you precious and holy name, Amen!

No Quick Fix

Today it has been brought to my attention that we live in a day and age where people want a quick fix for everything. If we are unhealthy financially, we turn to credit cards to bail us out. If we find ourselves unhealthy physically, we look for the newest miracle pill to get us back on track and expect the weight to fall off within days with no effort on our part. If we are spiritually unhealthy, we go to church and expect someone to greet us at the door, take us in and provide what we so desperately are longing for. 
Their are no quick fixes. Getting healthy in every area of life takes persistence, setting goals, changing our way of thinking and doing things that produce results. 
If you are struggling financially, start by assessing where you are right now. How much is coming in and how much is going out? If there is more going out than in, figure out where you can cut back to avoid drowning in debt. We live in America and we all can scale down tremendously if we really wanted to. 

If your struggle is physical, figure out what your goals are. If it is to lose weight, look at what you are eating. A simple change in your diet and a simple exercise regimen may be all you need to change your life. If it is to start developing healthier eating habits, start by determining what you need to say no to and get those foods out of the house! 

If you are searching for something deeper in your spiritual life go straight to the source of life, God’s Word. Church is an amazing place to hear His word but you have to get plugged in. You can’t go once a week for one hour and expect to walk away renewed until the following Sunday. A simple way to start is by listening to Christian music every time you are in your car. You will be amazed at how God uses music to feed our souls. Another way is to reach out to someone who is further along in their walk with Christ than you. Ask questions. Seek Godly counsel. And most importantly, start praying. Prayer is the most valuable tool Christians have and many don’t realize that all it takes is a few moments to cry out to God to start seeing Him move. 

Life is a journey and growth in every area takes effort. Without it, we are destined to remain stuck and will never reach our goals or live our lives to our full potential.

Comparison: The Joy Thief

 It has been brought to my attention that there is someone following me obsessively on Facebook. Some would say this is your standard form of stalking, which is defined as a pathological anonymous follower and tab-keeper of another person. I mention this for one reason only: To help those who suffer from the desire to compare. Keeping tabs on another person, regardless of the reason, only hurts the person that feels the need to know the details of someone else’s life. 

God created each of us in His perfect image. We are uniquely different and when we compare our lives, our looks, our jobs, our kids, our parenting styles, our houses, our cars, etc., we are ultimately revealing to God that we aren’t happy or grateful for what He has so generously blessed us with. And when and if we spend our time focusing on what we don’t have or the blessings others are receiving, we tend to lose sight of what God is doing in our own lives. God loves all of us equally. His blessings overflow but in order to recognize them, we must pay very close attention to our own lives and stop comparing. 
I am far from perfect, but I am made perfect in Christ. Without Him I am nothing and my fate is death. Thanks to Jesus, His mercies are new everyday and I can choose to wake up and live in regret or live focused on the amazing gifts my Heavenly Father is waiting patiently to give to me. 

So next time we (yes we…I too have been guilty of Facebook stalking) find Satan tempting us to see with his eyes, remember that he is the father of lies and his only desire is to steal, kill, and destroy. 
Dear God,

Give us a sense of peace. An understanding that surpasses everything we see from a human perspective, allowing us to see through your eyes. Reveal the unique blessings you have specifically chosen just for us, even though we didn’t deserve them. Heal our hearts so that the next time we decide to fall into Satan’s trap, we no longer feel the pains of envy or jealousy but instead, we feel a sincere joy for the blessings you provide to every brother and sister in Christ. 

After sharing this, I feel the need to close with this: If you just read this and have never accepted Christ into your heart or need to reignite your relationship with Jesus, please contact me. I want to pray that prayer with you. I can be reached via phone at 214-876-7539, by email at vautbunch@yahoo.com, or via messenger. God never meant for us to attempt to live this life alone. We all need Godly men and women surrounding us, giving us guidance and wisdom in areas where we struggle. We will have days of weakness and that is when we need our Christian friends and mentors the most.

  

The Liar & The Coward

 

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Most of my life I have been surrounded by individuals that lie. It started when I was a child. I grew up watching people I loved lie in order to get what they wanted. Every time I witnessed someone lying, I knew I never wanted to be one of those people because they were constantly hurting others.

I wasn’t perfect and I can remember very clearly the times I lied to avoid the consequences of my own choices. In the moment it seemed like a good idea but the Holy Spirit would quickly remind me that it was wrong and needed to be made right.

Now, as I reflect on my past, I realize that a long time ago I made the conscious effort to be an honest person. I always felt this was an honorable trait until it dawned on me that I had become a coward.

A few months ago as I was studying God’s word and trying to heal from some of the damages done to my soul by the liars in my life, God revealed to me that when you find a liar you will find someone close to them that is a coward.

Having no clue what he was trying to teach me, I started digging a little deeper. I discovered that a coward is defined as one who is too afraid to do what is right or expected: one who is not brave: one who fears many things. I then went straight to scripture to see what the Bible has to say about cowards.

From the moment I was saved, I knew it was a sin to lie but until God shared this revelation with me, it never dawned on me that being afraid was seen in the same light. Revelation 21:7-8 says, “He who overcomes the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior will inherit these things, and I will be His God and he will by My son. But as for the cowards and unbelieving and abominable who are devoid of character and personal integrity and practice or tolerate immorality, and murderers, and sorcerers with intoxicating drugs, and idolaters and occultists who practice and teach false religions, and all the liars who knowingly deceive and twist truth, their part will be in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” As a coward, my fate was the same fate as the liars whom I had spent my life trying to run away from and disassociate myself with.

It then became crystal clear that I spent a huge portion of my life being a coward. I hid behind the lies and deceit, afraid of so many things. What would the liar do to me if I confronted them? Would they convince others that I was actually the one lying in order to take the focus off of themselves? Would they make up lies about me to look superior by comparison? The answer was yes but God says it doesn’t matter. My trust in Him is not based on the actions of others. I trust because He is faithful and He will protect me.

We live in a day and age where the enemy is convincing the multitudes that there is no such thing as absolute truth. It is watered down and leading many down a path of destruction. As Christ followers we are called to speak the truth in love and if we sit back afraid to do so, we are no better than the liars.

God is preparing us for a battle. A battle that can only be won through faith, without fear, and based on truth that can only be found in His word. We can either choose to put on His armor and be brave warriors or sit on the sidelines as a cowards.

Dear God,

Thank you for your wisdom. Please give those of us that struggle with fear the courage to step out in faith, ready to fight the good fight. Give us a sense of peace and lead us to the battlefield if the is your will.

In Your Sweet & Precious Name,

Amen!

 

Budget Wise

Save

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to start living on a budget, save money and spend less? Here are a few things you can do/stop doing to ensure success.

1. Stop window shopping! This includes opening emails from retailers that fill your inbox every day. UNSUBSCRIBE!!! Their is nothing more damaging to a budget than spending money on things we never needed until we saw they were on sale. We aren’t really saving if we are still spending!

2. Make a list before going to the store and stick to it. I am horrible at this when I step into Target. I can go in for three items and leave spending over $75 every single time. Not wise! Making a list will help you stay focused on what you need so you can get in and get out without getting sidetracked.

3. Cook meals at home versus eating out. Eating out will kill a budget! If you do eat out, order water and split a meal. Most restaurants have portions large enough to share!

4. Use coupons! If you don’t have a coupon, retailers are always offering deals to get customers in the door, so ask what they have available. You would be shocked at how many times you can get up to 25% off just by asking!

5. Shop around and compare prices. Just last Christmas, I was shopping for a specific video game for one of my sons. At one store it was $59.99 and out of stock, so I went online. They were selling the same exact game for $39.99 with free shipping and their big competitor had it on sale for $39.97. Had I not compared, I would have spent $20 more than necessary. Most stores will also price match if you find it cheaper somewhere else within 30 days of receipt of purchase.

6. Never buy at full retail price. Everything goes on sale at some point, you just might have to wait a little longer. But waiting a week to save money is always wise!

7. When it come to shopping for groceries and household items, I have found that buying store brands vs. name brands can save me hundreds of dollars each month. Did you know that name brand companies often repackage the same exact product for specific stores, just changing the labels? Look at the ingredients. More often than not, they are the exact same. So why pay several dollars more for a flashy version when the content is the same?

8. Shop around for insurance rate comparisons at least twice a year. I use to think that staying with the same company for years would ensure that I had the best rate because of my loyalty. Wrong! And you don’t have to wait until your policy is up. Companies like you to think you are locked in for 6-12 months because it ensures that they keep your business for that period of time. That is not always true. Shop around!

9. Same goes for rates with electric companies, compare!

10. Contact companies you do business with and request cheaper rates. This includes your cable/satellite provider, cell phone provider, home phone provider, internet provider, etc. You can simply ask if they have any specials going on that you can take advantage of for being a loyal customer. If they say they don’t have anything, mention that you saw an ad or commercial for a promotion they had going on and ask what the details are. They will most likely honor that promo or give you free services such as three months of free movie channels. All you have to do is ask!

11. And last, but certainly not least. This may be the most important tip. Never, never, never go into debt to buy something you haven’t saved for. I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and I have learned that debt is the dumbest things we do as Americans. Debt has become the norm, but it is not wise. If there is something you want, safe up for it until you can pay cash. Don’t use someone else’s money. You can’t be money wise if you are willing to pay a creditor a ridiculous amount of interest just so you can have what you want when you want it.

Voices

Throughout my life, I have struggled with being torn. Torn between the life God calls me to and the life everyone else wants me to live. Until recently, I never realized that when God speaks to my heart about something, Satan will also start sharing his ideas for my life.

Here is how it goes. God provides clarity and satan quickly swoops in creating confusion.

The following is an example of the dialog I hear:

God-My precious daughter, you are in a season of rearing your children. During this phase, I want you to stay at home and tend to the needs of your family which include cooking, cleaning, supporting your husband, being home when the kids get out of school, etc. I also want you to focus this time on teaching the children the wisdom I have given you through the trials I have walked you through. Nothing is more important than this, so trust me with your finances and every other need. I promise I will not let you down.

Satan-Shannon, you are smart. You deserve to be out in the world using your God given talents, wisdom, and knowledge to make money to support your family of eight. Don’t you realize that? Staying at home is not a job. Anyone can stay at home, but you are not just anyone. God made you unique. I know you see other women who aren’t nearly as smart or as gifted as you making large sums of money and buying the things I know you would love to have. Things your husband and your children would love. You could make everyone so much happier.

God-Satan is right about one thing, I did create a uniqueness in you. You are smart and wise but putting your trust in money and things of this world will never allow you to leave the legacy I designed you to leave. That leads to temporary happiness and I am leading you to an eternal one, not only just for you but for your children, your children’s children, their children’s children.

Satan-(via the voice of someone else) You are such a loser. You sit at home all day doing nothing. Why don’t you stop taking hand outs from everyone else and go get a job like the rest of the world? You are so naive to think that God is okay with you staying at home. The bible clearly states that you are to work. Being a stay-at-home mom is not a real job. You are just selfish and lazy, which are both very unbiblical. And to think you call yourself a Christian.

God-Don’t listen to them. Focus on me. I am the only voice that matters. I am the one who sent my son to die on the cross so that you could have eternal life. But it is your choice and no matter what you choose, I will never love you any less.

It is so important to realize that everyone will have a plan for your life. God, satan, your mom, your dad, etc. Only one voice provides the way, the truth, and the life and that is the voice of God. So no matter what decisions you are faced with on your journey through life, always go to God’s word to see if it lines up with what you are hearing from the world.

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