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Some of you that are reading this may be able to remember the day when the internet came on the scene. AOL – You’ve Got Mail. Sound familiar? If it does then you will be able to identify with what I am about to cover.

First, let me just state that the internet is a wonderful feature if used sensibly and correctly it can really be an asset. Back in the day people did not use their real names they used screen names. They were more cautious in their online presence. They did not give their locations and share every step of every moment of their day with the world. People think because they have a private profile it is well private. When you are on the internet today nothing is private.

When social media came on to the scene this is when the world of the internet changed and it has not been for the better. What should be concerning is not. One of the most concerning is how often people share pictures of their children. They have placed an image of their child online it can never be removed even if you delete it. Once it is online it is in the open. Parents think that they are hiding behind a private profile. It can only be viewed if you are accepted into a circle or accepted as a friend etc. Bottom line is you have just exposed your child to all the dangers on the internet.

People think that sex/human trafficking is secluded to bad neighborhoods, a certain group of individuals, a certain demographic. This could not be farther from the truth. The dark web and hackers are infiltrated all throughout the internet. They look, wait, and lurk. They watch peoples habits where they go, how many are in the family mostly how many are children. They can weave in and out of where ever they want and never leave a digital footprint. All these social media sites you are entrusting with not just your online presence but your entire private life right down to your children. Someone told me the other day that people talk about how sacred their privacy is how the Govt is invading that privacy then they turn around and expose their lives to social media. So, I thought about it...I will do some research. I thought let me see how long it can take for me to get to know a stranger without ever meeting them.

Yesterday I did a random on Facebook just browsed. As I browsed it was not that hard to find someone that has given an in-depth of their life in 48 hours. One woman could not sleep even her Ambien was not working. While her friend chimed in and stated how this drug she took also gave her hallucinations. All through her feed, she posted several pictures of herself and her child. One post she was at a mother/ daughter luncheon at school and she took a picture of one with the teacher. With only a couple of scrolls down I knew this woman had a sleeping disorder, her full name, her husband’s full name, where he and she worked and where her daughter went to elementary school. I could tell you when she had her last cold, how frustrated she was at work. What her community neighborhood looked like. If I was really paying attention I would even know when she was not home. Posting pics of you and your husband having drinks at 11 pm is the first indication you are not home. Here I am in Israel halfway across the world a complete utter stranger and I know all about this person and her family. It was that quick and that easy.

My point in this? Social Media if it is not used correctly is a haven for predators. As I stated at the beginning back in the mid 90’s people were not so quick to share so much of themselves online. They were cautious and rightly so. But now your life not from just a computer anymore but directly from a phone/tablet can be available in a split second. Everything about you is readily available to the world even your children. The problem? People have become too comfortable with places that are not safe. As the world becomes eviler. So many have become numb and oblivious to it. This is the norm so many think and the reality is no, it is not.

Evil is everywhere it is up to us, however, to know where we can tread cautiously and where we need not tread. If you are not grounded in the Word and know the true Word of God. You will be deceived. Satan and these demons are masked with a false illusion of who they really are.

As we start our Demon series we will cover things of this nature. The least likely is where Satan preys. People think that these spiritual beings only haunt objects and houses. They are confined to Ouija boards, witches, and Satanists. How can that be when the Bible plainly states.

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14

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Overcome Anxiety With Truth

The first step is reading God's Word knowing the truth about God and what he has stated about you. Faith in God is your first and foremost step. Holding on to the old you and the new you at the same time will not work. In the end, one of the two will defeat the other. When you are born again you make a choice and that is to get rid of the person you use to be. You allow Jesus to change you the Spirit that dwells in you to weed out all the bad and allow the new to grow. Just like in anything else it takes time and it takes dedication for you to not allow previous sins to overtake what Jesus is taking out.

God is not a dictator, therefore, the work is all up to you. One thing I can say and it is from experience when you make the choice for Jesus to be Lord over your life. The battle is over but the war is hard and it is tough because Satan comes at you with every single thing he has. Sometimes you will be up against things that you have no idea how in the world you are going to defeat it, get past it. Then out of NOWHERE literally, God intervenes He fights when you can not fight. He takes care of you when you can no longer take care of yourself. You are NEVER alone He is there always. 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Overcoming anxiety in a given moment means facing fear with truth, especially when we admit ultimate truths and pray for help to go from there. Pray for truth to rule your life in the name of Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy because we live in a world of lies.

Most of us don’t know what to do with the situations we find ourselves in. We get stressed, and the truth gets fuzzy.

This is a great translation of James 1:5-8:

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

Putting total faith in God requires us to let go of what we think we know and let him handle it. Once we desire a spirit of truth, we trust that he will steer us in the right direction according to his will. In faith, we know that God’s will is the best way for us, even when we do not understand it.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all of our anxieties upon the Lord because he cares for us.

It requires faith to take a situation to God in all its ugliness and darkness and lay it at the foot of the cross, trusting fully that he will work to heal the situation.

And in these moments, our faith can grow. It’s not comfortable, but transformation takes place. James 1:2-8 tells us:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

We turn to Him and say, “I need you Lord” He is there, holding us as we manage to put one foot in front of the other and make it through another day. True peace, true courage and true love comes from God. The Lord Jesus Christ died for us so that we would be set free from the evil of the world. Nothing can win against the one who conquered death. 

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Where to Begin

That was my first thought when I decided to start this series. Where to begin in understanding people that it is almost impossible to wrap your mind around. A type of behavior that makes no sense. God states in the Bible that whatever you pretty much dish out you get back in 10-fold. So, when you are treated a certain way you think to yourself “OK what did I do to deserve this and did I do something to warrant this type of behavior from someone”? I learned over a 20-year span the answer is no, sometimes you have done nothing and it is something within that person. It is dark forces at work that have been allowed access to this person way before you were in the picture.

Toxic people are everywhere it is not something we can avoid. We will run into at least a half a dozen or more in our llifetime The key is to know how to deal with these types of people or when to walk away. First, we need to know some characteristics. I am only going to list five.

  1. Deception – this is something you may notice right away or it might be later on. Deception is how they maneuver to gain your trust. We all have had deception at some point in our lives. But these type of people uses it in every aspect of their lives to get what they want. They will use past relationships: a divorce, a break-up, a friend mistreated them, parents were horrible to them, a boss does not like them, a co-worker makes their life a nightmare. The list goes on. It makes no difference to them how long ago it was it can be only yesterday to 50 years ago.  If they can gain sympathy from one incident in their lives they will keep using it. When you grow tired of hearing it they will move on to the next. Toxic people feed off negativity without it, they cannot function. Just think of a vampire that is exactly how these people are. They need to feed to exist. They will latch on to anyone that will accommodate them. 
  2. They are ALWAYS the victim – This continues from number 1. In order to be the victim, they need to deceive others about the situation they are claiming to be a victim of. They will even go as far as being completely clueless and act utterly naive to whatever situation they created. They caused the situation they are in and when confronted they will be the victim. 
  3. They are too eager – Always going out of their way to help. Trust me there is a difference in someone wanting to help and someone being obsessive about it.  Relationships take time to build and an emotionally healthy person recognizes that you need space. They are not over bearing and always seeking you out and hounding you about helping. When you do not oblige them they become agitated. Not understanding or appreciating others feelings and their needs is a huge red flag. Someone like this is going above and beyond to prove they are a good person to show you and others how dedicated and sincere that are. But they are selfish and desire nothing than to place themselves above others. This is not only a selfish person but possibly could be a narcissist. 
  4. They DO NOT let go – Some of us on some sort of level have a hard time letting go of things. But there is a certain level that is just unhealthy. When someone has been divorced for 30 or 50 years and they still are surrounding themselves with ex-in-laws at family holidays this is when it becomes far more than unhealthy it becomes down right disturbing.  Bad things happen to all of us and we all question with the why’s. We go through the normal process of these emotions and move on. Toxic people do not do this they thrive on the drama, negativity, discourse and the division they cause. They relish on the attention they get from it. They complain, rail and moan about their troubles how life has just been so unfair to them. Deep down they love it, and need it. This is the only way they know how to function they manipulate and maneuver their way through life. So why would they want to even learn how to let go of bad things when it is those things that enable them? If they do they have nothing to manipulate others with. They want others to always feel sorry for them this is the only way they think they can get attention or certain things out of people. They choose to be this way.
  5. They’re evasive – Normal people are straight forward most are anyway. When asked a direct question they give a direct answer. Not a toxic person. They have so much they are hiding and harboring they do not even know what the truth is anymore. They have so many things they want to remain hidden they remain evasive or act completely clueless. They will happily lie at will and never bat an eye in the process. Whatever they can do to keep what they are doing hidden they will do it. They want to destabilize you get you from level ground. This gives them the advantage. They tilt, twist, and muddle the truth until no one is sure what is going on. This is how they control the situation. This is to keep you from figuring out the wrong in which they have done or are still doing. This is their way of manipulating situations and they will sabotage anyone that gets in their way. They have no regard for anything when they feel that they are going to be exposed. Evasiveness is just the tip of the iceberg they will go much further and it will get far dirtier. If someone is not being direct with you 9 times out of 10 they are hiding something.

When I started writing these devotionals I did not realize how far I was going to have to go. My husband and I dealt with a toxic person for 20 years. 16 of those 20 years they lived with us. These devotionals will at times become very personal and they will become very in-depth. It will not be a short write up every day. It is imperative and important to me to write these. Because the instant that I discovered I had a problem in my home. I scoured the internet read – reread on the problems I was having with my mother-in-law. Even paid for and sent her to see a therapist. Nothing got better and in time it only got worse. A lot of prayers, and having the foundation of Jesus Christ is the only thing that got my husband and me through. I want all that read these devotionals to know only “ONE” thing you are NOT ALONE. I asked at the beginning where do I begin? How about I rephrase that. Where do “WE” begin? First things first the one thing that was never told to me. You are not alone…

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Our next series of devotionals in August will be on removing toxic people out of your life. As Christians, it is imperative that we show compassion and help others. However, it is not OK to allow toxic people into your life or try to control and manipulate you. 

Join us as we cover this crucial life lesson.