Don’t Just Break Through, BREAK FREE! Updated Edition

Wow! What an amazing finish to this year! God so blessed me to finish “His” book: Don’t just breakthrough, BREAK FREE! I say His book because I had totally different intentions when I started writing the tome. But beloved, God had to bring me through various trials and deliver me from some things in order for me to understand the gist of what I was writing about! Including: stubborness, unforgiveness, pride, homelessness, joblessness and debilitating sickness. I payed the price with blood, sweat and tears! It took me nearly 7 years to finish this book!

I now realize if it had been published when I first started writing it, it would have been verbiage and not experience. It would have been words but no substance. It reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. God had to allow me to be thrown into the fiery furnace to test this word that I was proclaiming; He had to test my faith by fire! Luke 22:31-32 says, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail! So like clay, instead of being burned up, my faith has been refined into a beautiful vessel! Hallelujah! A vessel for salvation, a vessel of hope, a vessel of light to the lost, depressed, and those that are struggling to live another day!

Many of you may know I’ve recently lost a dear loved one. You never really realize the magnitude of death until it knocks on your door. When I was writing this book, for some reason God put on my heart to write: “From time to time, God will send you a travel companion to help you along your way [on life’s journey]. Although you may be tempted to get upset when they leave, don’t!” Page 237. I could not understand at the time why I had written that as I never really lost anyone close to me to death. While editing the final chapters of the book, when I reread that sentence, I wept. Beloved, God knows the trials we will endure before we can ever conceive of them. Surely, we can never understand why God allows good people to die violently, but oh how He loves us and protects and keeps us in the midst of life’s storms. I love you and God bless you!

Amazon link:

http://amazon.com/author/puahneiel

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If you don’t know who you are the devil will steal your identity! 

When we think of temptation we may relate to the anecdote of satan, a physical presence in the form of a snake, tempting Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. Eve is enticed and tempted by the captivating fruit that she desires, but in which God told her was forbidden.

I want to talk to you today about a not so obvious temptation; one that is hidden but its bite is as viscous as a snake’s. It’s very subtle, often times catching you off guard and causing you to act out of character.What I’m talking about is emotional temptation. It’s a type of temptation that the devil uses to break your peace. It is when he assigns demons, thru people, to harass and entice you to react negatively or cause you to lose control.

Satan knows your weaknesses. Most temptations are physical: lust, adultery, stealing, alcohol, drugs. e.t.c. But what I’m speaking about in this text are inward temptations: fear, doubt, anger, rage, vanity — to name a few. Temptation that deals with your emotions. Satan often sends his messengers through people to break your confidence, question your looks or abilities, aggravate you, get you flustered and frustrated; which causes you to deflect. By theory you’re a nice person but you have been so severely tormented and harassed by satan’s tempters, it causes you to forget who you are. It causes you to forget your inner beauty, good manners, compassion and dignity.

Some of you don’t even know who you are anymore. You’ve been hijacked by the devil! You used to be loving, kind, and gentle, but because of the circumstances of this life, you’ve turned inward: feeling victimized, feeling sorry for yourself, and letting bitterness take hold, in which you then give back to the world.

If you don’t know who you are the devil will steal your identity! Emotional temptation by the enemy causes you to momentarily be used by the devil by losing your temper, retaliating, and seeking vengeance. After the damage has been done the end result is embarrassment and degradation, then satan leaves just as quickly as he came and you’re left wondering what just happened. You were a pawn to do satan’s work. If you are not wise you will fall into his trap every time, causing destruction upon yourself. If this is your weakness you must be very mindful and prayerful regarding this area of your spiritual walk. Ask God to give you discernment and give you wisdom every time you’re provoked emotionally, not to let satan use you.

Beloved, we have to use common sense as well. If it doesn’t look right, sound right or true, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s sent from the enemy! Walk away! Or if you are in an environment where you can’t walk away, remain silent or try to ignore the offense. Resist the urge to respond, argue, fight. If God leads you to speak on the situation, do so tactfully and kindly then leave the rest to God. Resist the urge to retaliate or seek vengeance. Vengeance is the Lord’s.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19

He will take care of the person. You may feel violated, taken advantage of or victimized. Resist the urge to defend yourself from emotional temptation, otherwise you’re walking into the fire. It will take disciplining and training yourself in order to not be provoked by condemning or confronting situations.

Through subjective life experiences, you have learned to respond to situations a certain way; whether good or bad. Pray that God breaks the bad habits. Further develop your good habits.

Signs you’re dealing with emotional temptation:

-Easily agitated

-Defensive

-Always angry, upset

-Holding a grudge

-Closed off from people

-Withholding love

-Used to give freely now holding back

Ask God to remind you who you are, then ask Him to remind you of your first love: Him! If you don’t have a personal relationship with God ask Him to show you how to love like Him; if you do, ask God to help you fall in love with Him again, only then can you love people despite the devil working through them. We must be reminded how the Bible says we should love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Print this out! Hang it on your mirror, refrigerator, dresser. Get these verses into your spirit, Beloved. Live it, don’t just simply read it! Only then will you be able to look contempt in its face, walk away with peace in your heart and let God fight your battles.

-Puah Neiel

Your Worship Determines Your Victory

O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

2 Chronicles 20:12

This was the cry of the people of Judah who soon learned that they would be attacked by an alliance of the Ammonites, Moabites, and Menuites. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, out of great fear, sought the Lord for help and proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah.Beloved, though this story happened in Biblical times, it still rings true to what the people of God are experiencing today.

Those spiritually attuned can sense a more diabolical presence of evil in these last days. Sometimes it may feel as if you are being smothered by spiritual attacks on all sides: in relationships, on the job, commuting, and even in your own home; like the land of Judah, in 2 Chronicles 20:1, when word went out that Judah was under attack by surrounding neighbors.

Sometimes the warfare can seem so intense that the first thing we do when we face an attack is reach out to a spouse, relative or friend first. And, most of the time you go away just as you came: still distressed, frazzled, and confused. Most people will listen but aren’t really qualified to help you. Why is God always our last resort? Because we want immediate answers. We want to be soothed and comforted in that moment. We want a word now! More, oftentimes in these situations God seems silent and we need immediate answers.

In 2 Chronicles 20:3, the Bible says the first thing Jehoshaphat did was SEEK THE LORD and proclaim a fast. How often do we forget simply to seek God first and not let emotions get the best of us. The second thing we do is seek spiritual guidance or desperately try to get answers from a person whom we may feel hears from the Lord. Saints if you are to ever grow spiritually and eat the solid food of Christianity as Paul says in Corinthians, you must learn to seek God’s face yourself. Wait to hear His voice, wait for His leading, wait until you get direction from Him before you move. Wait before consulting others. Many people put their faith in other people as opposed to God, or worst they put more faith in the problem than in God. More, you don’t trust God but you trust others’ fallible opinion. No, you must believe that you too can hear from God. That’s the only way you will mature in spiritual warfare. You must learn to fight your own battles. We must have faith in God and stand firm on His word as the people of Judah:

‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 

2 Chronicles 20:9

Most of you are running around in panic and sheer terror regarding this evil trial that is facing you. You are stressing yourself out when God is simply telling you to give it to Him. This battle really is between evil and righteousness. Darkness and light. Demonic forces are sent out to try to frustrate God’s plans for your life. But what God has written in stone shall be fulfilled no matter what forces try to oppose it. 

Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’ 

2 Chronicles 20:15

But here’s where you drop the ball. In the midst of the trial, what are you thinking? Are you thinking defeated thoughts? You are believing the enemy’s lies that you aren’t gonna get through this situation; to give up; there’s no hope. So you neglect to read your Bible, neglect to fast and hope the situation will just go away. You’ve given up on the inside. Therefore, you are already defeated. If you can just muster up a mustard seed of faith and open your mouth and believe. That’s all it takes, and proclaim the goodness and mercy of God over your situation and it WILL change! PRAISE HIM! Beloved, your worship determines your victory! 

And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.

2 Chronicles 20:22

Beloved, sometimes you just have to praise your way out of persecution, trials, attacks. God goes to war to the command of praise! 

My Fair Lady In London

I’ll admit, upon making plans to go to London, I didn’t know what to expect of the city, or the people for that matter. I wondered would they be stiff-necked, haughty, curt, or snobby towards Americans. But after meeting up with old and new friends, those suspicions were quickly put to rest! My friends made sure we had everything we needed, took us around town and would not let us pay for anything! We were indeed treated like one of their own. Often pleasantly saluted as Madame, I felt like royalty, high-society; like a queen!

In retrospect, this seemed to be the theme from the very beginning of the trip, having been upgraded to first class and pampered thoroughly throughout our 6 hour Delta Airlines flight. The attendants were very gracious and above outstanding! It was as if God were saying, I got you! It was one of those times in life when it feels like Heaven’s window opens up and favor pours down on you! Sometimes life can be difficult, so when you are blessed unexpectedly you appreciate it all the more! So, I humbly sat on my throne and allowed myself to be pampered like the queen I am!

I love London! It is meticiously clean, picturesque, and quite idyllic! The backdrop is a mixture of 17th century Georgian architecture and 21st century cosmopolitan flair; with its Stucco art work, cobblestone streets, antiquated cab cars to its diversity, hip coffee houses, and high-end stores that line Oxford Street. The people are very stylish in more of a modern, romantic way. The women dress very feminine, while some gents remind me of old Hollywood: dapper with suit, tie and brimmed hats. The culture as a whole however, is a melange of old class meets new contemporary.

Another queen was also in town: Alexander McQueen! The exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum, archives McQueen’s 18 year contribution to fashion. The exhibit showcased in New York at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011 to rave reviews, but I wasn’t able to see it then. It was rumored McQueen was an atheist, I wanted to see the exhibit to really delve the person behind the art. I love studying and examining humanity, researching the history of and delving the soul behind the exterior; how did one become the person he or she is, is very intriguing to me. I had seen some of McQueen’s fashion, but not in its entirety. McQueen’s work is a mash up of period pieces, avant-garde, couture, patriotism and goth. McQueen is of Scottish descent, but was born in London. He often used his art as a political platform; with collections aptly titled Highland Rape (autumn/winter 1995–96) and Widows of Culloden (autumn/winter 2006–07). Both explore Scotland’s turbulent political history. Highland Rape was based on the 18th century Jacobite Risings and the 19th century Highland Clearances. It was the first collection to introduce McQueen tartan, which are designs that pay homage to his native Scotland. The dichotomy of light and dark in his work is surprising at best; designs ranging from skulls and bones, to his juxtaposition of religious imagery. What I do love about McQueen is that his work is a very honest representation of humanity as it explores the duality of the frail human soul. He said it best when he said: “I oscillate between life and death, happiness and sadness, good and evil.” I am most attracted to his feminine designs, particularly his period pieces; capturing a time when women’s fashion was most elegant, feminine, and dainty; with cinched waists and chiffon skirts. I also like his dried flower dresses, and androgynous tailored pieces. I am not a fan of McQueen’s darker side of his work: head masks, goth designs, leather and chains. I admit, it is a bit much for me being a Christian.

“People find my things sometimes aggressive. But I don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing with a dark side of personality.”

—Alexander McQueen

Nonetheless, I really admire McQueen’s artistry: from the cut of his designs to his over-the-top runway shows to his extreme range as a designer. The conflicted human nature that we all struggle with within ourselves, tells its story of the precarious dance between light and darkness through his work. McQueen was a dark soul, I’ve come to learn, through seeing the extent of his body of work at the exhibition. It’s quite intriguing that a mind can conceive such feminine and elegant pieces such as those designed for Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, then go to the opposite extreme with very dark, torture chamber, insane asylum designs as those that were on display at the exhibit. There was a war raging in him between good and evil; and sadly evil won when McQueen took his own life in 2010. To be highly esteemed in his career, an indomitable artist, and an icon in the fashion community–McQueen won 4 British designer of the year awards and international designer of the year award 2003–and to end his life is such a travesty. The mind can’t logically understand it, but the spirit realm can: it takes no prisoners! Either you’re on God’s side or on the side of darkness; you can’t serve both! Beloved that’s why I write this blog to emphasize having a personal relationship with God and putting Him first in your life. You can attain fame, fortune, and material things, but without God it is meaningless. The human soul was created to serve God. Period. He is the only thing that will satisfy the lustful cravings of the flesh. But humans go from one pursuit to another trying to fill a void in their soul that only God can.

In continuation, no royalty goes about their day without proper tea time! I always knew there was an inner Brit in me, I love my tea time and High Tea at The Wallace Collection Museum was just what I needed after an early start! My childhood imaginary friends and tea time dates came to life as I sat at a table with friends; each with individual tea pots, enjoying crumpets at early noon! The Wallace Collection Museum is a five-star museum, that also houses a restaurant with reservation seating.

More, we visited River Thames, the Serpentine River and Gallery, Princess Diana’s memorial site, Hyde Park; which is considered one of London’s Royal Parks, the City of Westminster, South Kensington and the Victoria area. And, quite fitting for a queen, we visited Buckingham Palace. We didn’t go in, as we were told it wasn’t open for visiting this time of year, but I admired its royalty from afar! I love London’s architecture, it has an old Europe feel. The Georgian buildings derive from the Georgian era when the buildings of that period were named after specific kings who reigned at the time: George I, George II, George, III, and George IV. The Prince Albert Monument has quite an astonishing view; with its high pointed structure and gold statues. Its grandeur is reminiscent of a mini castle! Prince Albert married Queen Victoria, his first cousin, in 1840 and was a staunch proponent of the abolition of slavery. The Victorian era is a period that derived from Queen Victoria’s namesake during her reign from 1837-1901.

Later in the evening we strolled down to Chelsea and Soho, which are parts of town that are synonymous in New York and London. London’s Soho is a replica of New York’s Times Square with its high energy, bright lights, tourists, restaurants and bars, and souvenir stores like Hershey’s M&M’s store.

Continuing, a trip to the UK without church or London theater would not be proper would it! We attended Sunday services at the beautifully Byzantine designed Westminster Cathedral. Its breathtaking architecture was replete with Jesus fixtures, stunning religious artwork, and literature of the church’s long history in the UK. Although I was not born when the Beatles were at their peak, I got to live vicariously through the live stage version of Let It Be at the Garrett theatre. I admit, I am a reformed hippie, and just vibing along with “all we need is love, let it be, come together, imagine, and I wanna hold your hand,” was just the antidote I needed to go back out into the world and spread peace and love!

I also learned some of the King’s speech while I was there! The Brit’s call their underground subway the tube; in which a lovely British speaker reminds you to: mind the gap, before stepping onto or off a train. Their elevator is called a lift. And men are informally referred to as Blokes.

In conclusion, I really like London! The city is very cosmopolitan, it’s easy to get around on foot without having to pay for cabs, and the people are very welcoming and friendly; each time we asked for directions, strangers were more than gracious in helping us. This queen will definitely be going back to London to hob nob among royalty!

Check back soon… pics to come!

Instagram: healingbalmcafepics

 

 

Prayer: Your Spiritual Sword

The fighting is intense. Warfare is heavy on both sides. In the midst of battle you gaze around only to see your allies succumbing to their injuries. The enemy is relentless, taking no prisoners. You struggle to maintain your defense as your adversary encroaches your territory. Suddenly you are standing face to face with your foe. You study each other meticulously, your eyes are intently gazed on your opponent; you wait for a slight move to go in for the kill. Methodically, you reach down to pull out your sword. Your hand settles upon an empty holster and you realize it’s not there, in panic you struggle to find a displaced weapon. The enemy, seeing your vulnerability smirks at your unpreparedness and pushes his dagger through your heart, rendering you spiritually dead.

Though the aforementioned seems to tell of a gruesome scene from a Hollywood movie, unfortunately it is the fate we suffer when we don’t arm ourselves with prayer. The devil rages a formidable battle against us when we don’t go to God and allow Him to defend us against the pestilence that walks in darkness. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” As Christians, prayer is our weapon of artillery against the powers of darkness. In Romans 8:36, Paul admonishes, “…For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Beloved, when we don’t spend the necessary time in prayer, we are blindly walking into defeat, persecution, and spiritual attacks unequipped.

There is a war raging around us everyday in the spirit realm and we must go to the battlefield suited up. Ephesians 6:11-18 tells us to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”

Furthermore, when we accepted Jesus Christ as our savior, we entered into a covenant relationship with Him. A relationship requires effective communication from both parties in order to grow and become a successful, healthy union. A relationship with God can be thought of as a relationship with a spouse or significant other. When you are in love, you are concerned about the welfare of the person, you think about them every minute. You want to talk to them everyday and can’t wait to see them. Our relationship with Christ should be the same way. We say we love God, but yet most Christians go days, weeks some even months without humbling themselves on their knees and reverencing God as the Lord of their life. God desires to commune with us; He desires us to come to him with our cares, concerns and the matters of our heart. Unfortunately, many Christians neglect this most important part of their Christian walk, delegating it only to a tragedy or personal loss. Many flock to church Sunday after Sunday awaiting a word regarding God’s direction for their lives. They then return back to the monotony of a prayer less, defeated life, acceding to attacks, torment, and mental bondage. While God does speak through pastors, He desires a personal relationship with us. The only way you will ever know God’s will and desire for your life is to get to know him intimately. How do you do that? Pray. We must get into the habit of praying daily, disciplining ourselves to set a time everyday to communicate with God. Beloved, if we are to be victorious as Christians we have to get our prayer life in order. If we are to conquer the demons of depression, stress, anxiety and worry we must take a stand this day and commit to prayer. It is a sacrifice. Many have families, children, work, and/or school responsibilities that may impede their time. It will require diligence in getting up earlier or staying up later to pray; it’s ideal to wake up early in the morning before everyone awakes or late at night while everyone is sleeping so there will be no interruption. More so, other areas of your lives may have to be compromised i.e. sleeping less, or less time at the gym, or hanging out with friends. In my personal experience when I seek the Lord before I start my day, I am able to handle stressful situations more readily, I’m not as easily agitated, and there’s a lasting peace that resides in my soul when I come out of the prayer closet. It’s only a joy that God can give you! On the contrary when I don’t cover my day with prayer I’m easily agitated, feel exposed, and quite simply, just don’t have the same measure of contentment. Communing with God in the morning is the best time to pray because it sets the tone for the day.

As Christians it should be our desire to want to know the heart of God and to be able to discern His voice when He speaks to us. Beloved, if we are to train our ear to become sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we must establish a consistent prayer life.

Moreover, when you pray you are standing in proxy for your sisters and brothers around the world. This is not only our personal battle; it’s a Holy war! When we pray we are stopping the hand of murder, violence, war, preventing an unforeseen accident, sending aide to the less fortunate, and saving the lives of our brethren that are being persecuted for the Gospel’s sake. I implore you, pick up your sword, bend your knee and let’s get ready to battle!

By Puja Nagual