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Book Review: Remnants by Lisa Bergren

Remnants book cover

I just finished reading a 3-book supernatural fiction series by Lisa Bergren called Remnants. It is VERY good. I recommend it.

Book description: Our coming was foretold by the elders— Those who would change the future, just as the planet teetered on the edge of darkness. Born on the prophesied day with birthmarks in the form of a crescent moon, they knew us immediately. Swaddled and screaming, we were spirited away by those who hid us, trained us, and kept us safe until our time came. They poured their lives into us. Some died to save us.

And now we, the Remnants, protected by Knights of the Last Order, have gathered. Called until we breathe our last … to save the world. Amazon link


Although it is written for a young adult audience, the story, characters and plot line are much better than a lot of YA fiction I’ve seen. This has depth and some really good illustrations about the supernatural world that are worth reading.

I’ve been looking for this kind of fiction for the last twenty years – ever since I read Frank Peretti’s, This Present Darkness about angels and demons battling it out over the human affairs of life.

Remnants gives you an insider’s view of what it is like to discover you have supernatural gifts – particularly some of the gifts we talk about on this blog. Like being able to sense spirits – good ones or bad ones. Being able to sense another person’s soul or emotions. It also has a LOT of battle scenes between good and evil, using both natural elements like sword fighting as well as supernatural elements like prayer.

The story develops and unfolds over three books and it’s definitely worth reading. In fact, I appreciated that this was not a “preachy” Christian book. It dealt with some hard subjects like family conflict, reconciliation, betrayal, forgiveness, guarding your thoughts against negativity and avoiding sexual immorality. The main characters grew in their faith and in their gifting as they encountered and overcame many different kinds of obstacles to their mission. They also learn the power of being part of the community of faith and learning to follow the advice of their elders. It never mentions Jesus but instead refers to God as “Maker”. I think the author probably used that as a means to reach an audience that may or may not be Christians. I think it is very effective. The main theme is trusting God no matter what the circumstances look like – a good reminder to us all!

The author was asked about the spiritual aspect of the book – she replied:

Lisa: I believe there is an unseen realm that we humans spend little time considering, but should. Once you begin walking the road of faith, it’s like you put on glasses that allow you to see more and more of it. But I don’t get hung up on angels and demons, because my soul has already been won, and there’s enough to deal with here in our physical world. But are there battles? Yes. Every day, every hour. Given that the Remnants are all about fighting off the dark and leading others toward the light, angels and demons will logically take a bit more stage time with each book. But our human characters will remain the focus.

I could relate to the characters and their struggles – it made me stop and think a few times. It’s rare when a fiction book is that deep and carries such truth. Kudos to the author, Lisa Bergren! 🙂

(You can read more about the spiritual aspect of this series in the author’s online interview here, if you’re interested.)

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Emergency Maneuvers in the Spirit

The other day around 5am, I woke up coughing. I realized I could hardly breathe – my chest was very “tight” and my nose was stuffed. I was surprised because I don’t have asthma or allergies and I didn’t have a cold. I had been deeply asleep when I suddenly sat up and started coughing. As I was struggling to clear my airways, I became aware that I was not alone in the room.

Freaky, right?

I could sense a presence next to me – as though someone (or something) was sitting on the bed next to me. I was focused on trying to clear my lungs but I kept glancing over, feeling very uncomfortable. I wasn’t afraid – just disturbed, like you would be if you woke up and a stranger was sitting on your bed.

I started praying and asking the Lord what was going on. The only impression I got was the Spirit of Death. But it was a faint impression – like an outline of a shadow. I tried to see if any legal ground for the Spirit of Death came to mind. Nothing.

I kept praying, trying to “clear the air”: First, I came out of agreement with the Spirit of Death. Then I commanded any spirit not sent there by Jesus to leave NOW. I closed any open doors to the enemy’s realm and sealed them with the blood of Jesus.

It felt a little “lighter” in my room, but that “thing” was still there. I didn’t feel threatened – it wasn’t that strong. I was just annoyed and wanted to go back to sleep.

Related image

I remembered some “emergency maneuvers” I had learned and implemented them. Finally, the air cleared completely! Whew! Thank goodness for my earlier training in spiritual warfare. I certainly didn’t want to go back to sleep with that spirit next to me in bed. Creepy!

As I was settling down to fall asleep, I thought, “I should share these Emergency Maneuvers on this blog in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation”. If you pray and rebuke and command and everything else you can think of and things aren’t shifting, then try some of these:

  1. Start talking about the Blood of Jesus. The enemy hates the blood of Jesus. Start thanking God for the blood OUT LOUD. Sing songs about the blood of Jesus. Read or quote scriptures about the blood out loud. Focus on it for a while & things will shift.
  2. Pray in tongues. This is always a good strategy – when you don’t know what else to do and you have no direction from the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues can do wonders. An elderly Sunday School teacher once told me, “Ask the Holy Spirit to pray through you the perfect prayer that is needed for the situation and then pray in tongues.” I always keep this one in mind if I ever feel too foggy mentally – sometimes you just can’t even think straight to pray.
  3. Worship and sing. Worship can be in spoken words or in song – it doesn’t matter. Singing songs can be comforting to your heart and mind, reminding you of God’s power and might. But in my experience, it also specifically increases my awareness of the presence of God. In other words, more of God’s presence fills the room, pushing out any other presence that doesn’t belong there.

I put some Vicks on my chest and was able to fall back to sleep, thankfully. That afternoon on my way home from an appointment, I saw a vehicle that made me stop and stare. Ahead of me in traffic was a white boxy sedan with a white casket attached to the top. The casket was decorated with plastic skulls. The back window said in large letters: DEATH. There was a statue attached to the casket that looked right down at you when you pulled up behind the vehicle – it was the spirit of death (a black hooded cape with no face and no hands – like an invisible being). I was shocked! I almost took a photo of it to post here, but then I thought, “That is so creepy – I don’t want to pass this on to anyone who views the photo!” Here’s an example – a black hood and cape. Imagine the arms stretched to either side in a menacing stance. That’s a pretty good depiction of that spirit (kind of like the grim reaper).

Image result for black cape hood blank face

When my husband got home that night I told him about both events to see if he got any insight from the Lord as to why this was happening. He said he got two words “despair” and “suicide”. Since neither one of us felt that, I asked the Lord to show me who was feeling that way. That evening I baked some sweet bread and took a few slices to my neighbor. She answered the door in her robe and said, “Please pray for me – the depression is really bad right now.” I knew she had been suffering with a lot of pain and was counting down the days until she could have a procedure done that might bring relief.

I asked if I could pray for her right then; I took her hand when she said yes. I prayed against the depression, heaviness and any thoughts of despair or suicide. She agreed with me by saying, Amen.

As I walked back home, the Lord reminded me that about 2 weeks ago she had mentioned to me that she was in so much pain, she had considered ending her life. We talked about it and she made jokes about her husband looking good in all black – he happened to be walking behind us dressed in all black. I told her I would pray for her and I had. Later I looked up the condition she had and an article said it was called “the suicide disease” because so many people find the pain so unbearable that it drives them to consider suicide.

Wow, thank God He gave me a warning to be on the look out for this spirit of death. I’ve been checking on her every day since then – her procedure is in 3 days. Would you mind saying a prayer for her that she finds relief from the pain?

Let me know if you have any emergency maneuvers that you use when nothing else seems to work. Comment below – I’d love to hear them!

By the way, you see why I write this blog – you can’t make this stuff up! It’s just too unusual.

Physical Symptoms of Discernment

Sometimes you can experience physical sensations in your body that tell you something is going on in the unseen realm. Has this ever happened to you?

A reader of the blog sent me this question:
“I sometime will feel the sensation of worms or ants crawling under my skin. Sometimes it will be all over my body, other times just on my head or back of shoulders. I know I’m sensing something demonic and it partly has to do with the enemy speaking lies and trying to manipulate. Why do I feel it in different places and what is the Lord trying to tell me?”

Good question! I had never experienced this before so I sent this question to a few friends who are gifted with discernment and have been walking with the Lord for a long time. Three people told me they had experienced it before. Two people said it was related to witchcraft. Witchcraft is a form of manipulation.

Regarding why it is felt in different places – one person replied that the location on the body didn’t make any difference to him. It was just God’s way of getting his attention that something wasn’t right and he needed to pay attention. Another person responded that the different locations are likely tied into the type of witchcraft – perhaps one is atmospheric witchcraft (on the head) whereas the one on the back is a specific person manipulating you.

Very interesting responses – I like that each person had their own experience of this and was able to provide some insight. We see in part and know in part (I Cor 13:9-12). This is why I started this blog – to open the conversation regarding this topic because none of us has it all together!

This question made me start thinking of other physical symptoms of discernment – what I mean is you have a physical sensation in your body and this tells you something spiritual or unseen may be happening. Often you also get a certain kind of “knowing” that it’s not just a physical sensation, especially if it happens suddenly. There are no “rules” that say, “This symptom always correlates to this particular spirit”. I know that makes it hard for those who are just starting out. The key is to never assume. Just ask the Holy Spirit – He will tell you what you need to know. If you don’t get an answer, maybe you don’t need to know. Or sometimes you might be asking the wrong question.

Why aren’t there “rules”? Because spiritual gifts are meant to draw you closer to Jesus. You become more dependent on Him as you seek Him for understanding. If there was a simple chart or book that explained it all, then why would you need to depend on Him? You could just lean on your own understanding – not a good idea, when it comes to spiritual warfare and discerning what it happening in the unseen realm.

That being said, here are some symptoms that people have experienced in relation to specific spiritual influences. This might help you as you ask the Lord what is happening – if nothing else, it might make you feel better that you’re not crazy and you’re not alone. (One of the main reasons this blog exists, by the way!)

Witchcraft:
Sudden sharp headache – might feel like an ice pick in one side of the head
Ringing in the ears, also means something is shifting in the spirit realm (usually not good)
Sudden Nausea
Painful pressure on the chest

Fear:

Butterflies or knots in the stomach
Tension on the back of the neck, tingling up the spine

Eyes twitching/burning – May be blocked from seeing in the spirit

Ears irritated/plugged – May be blocked from hearing from the Lord

Feeling of being squeezed – Python/Divination

Pain in the lungs when breathing – Needs filling with the Holy Spirit, related to Python perhaps?
Sharp pain in lower left stomach – Rejection

Heaviness on the shoulders – Carrying a heavy burden that was not meant for them
Sudden drowsiness – Leviathan, a spirit that comes against leaders & their followers

Sometimes when you experience one of these symptoms, the discernment is for YOU. To warn you to pay attention and pray for more clarity. Sometimes you are discerning something for another person. It’s very important that when physical symptoms suddenly come that you ask the Lord to help you figure out whether it is for you or for someone else. Also use some common sense and determine whether your body is responding to something in the natural realm. Don’t ignore physical symptoms. But also be careful not to over-spiritualize them. If they are part of the gift of discernment, then the Lord will give you clarity as to what to do with them. Once you take the action He tells you (pray, decree, bind, loose or whatever), the symptom will disappear. If it doesn’t, it might just be a headache. Rest, drink water and it will go away. 🙂

Was this post helpful? Please leave a comment below. If you’ve experienced a physical sensation related to discernment, please let us know.

What is Respondability?

Rating: Inspirational

I am making up a new word: Respondability

Let me explain.

God keeps showing me, impressing on my thoughts, this idea that we need to pay attention to how we respond when He tries to get our attention. Are we responding?

If you want to develop a relationship with someone, then when they call you, you want to take their call. You respond to their desire to connect with you.

In the same way, God reaches out to us every day. You feel a nudge in your heart. Or your eyes are drawn to something specific that makes you smile (or causes you concern). You feel this tug of love toward someone or you spontaneously feel like smiling at a neighbor who is walking by. These are examples of His desire to connect with us. Sometimes He draws you to spend time in prayer or worship or meditation on His beautiful creation. Sometimes you feel the nudge to just sit still and BE. There’s so many ways He reaches out to us.

Some might refer to this as intuition and that would be right, but it is much more personal than just intuition. At least, it is for me. It is God inviting me into relationship with Him.

He has been encouraging me that when we respond to His nudges, His direction, His drawing, then He will take care of what we generally consider our “responsibilities”. We can rest in Him. Just like a little child with a good, caring father. We don’t have to have it all figured out. We can ask for help and He will respond and help us. For more on this, read this post about asking for help.

He keeps telling me, impressing on my mind and heart, that life is more about our “respondability” than our “responsibility”. Our ability to respond to Him, no matter what. That takes time and cultivation. If you are not used to recognizing His nudges and direction, you need to take time to learn to perceive them. Once you begin to perceive them, you need to respond to them. Follow them and see where they go. At some point, you need to transfer your trust from your own “common sense” to following His direction effortlessly. Stop second guessing yourself and just go with His flow. It never ceases to amaze me how things work out so much better when I do this.

We focus so much on our “responsibilities” as adults. There’s so much we have to keep track of – doctors appointments, car tune ups, household chores, career development, parenting, marriage issues, friendships, etc. It boggles the mind. And overwhelms us … and causes us stress.

However, if we will let go of our sense of “responsibilities” and instead choose to develop our “respondability”, He can guide us moment-by-moment, day-by-day. All our responsibilities will get taken care of as we respond to Him and His guidance.

Pretty “out-there”, huh?

It takes a lot of practice – this “following” thing. We are so hard-headed and stubborn and unwilling to trust someone we cannot see. But as we choose to deny ourselves and actually FOLLOW Him, it works. It really does. And it’s a lot less stressful than the other option.

So, what do you think? Should I submit this word to Merriam-Webster? Maybe create a YouTube video about it, make it go viral and then everyone will start using this word? 🙂

The concept behind it is definitely worth sharing. Try it out and let me know how it works for you. I think you’ll be glad you did!

Divine Communion

A. W. Tozer was a man who perceived God in the unseen realm. The words he used to express his relationship with God have often resonated with me. On some deep level, I “get” it. Here are some of my favorite lines from Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God.

“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love …”

“In God we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.”

Take me_chibiey

“God formed us for His pleasure, and so formed us that we, as well as He, can, in divine communion, enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile.”

heavens embrace

“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.”

Doesn’t this resonate with you? Doesn’t something within tell you that there’s MORE than you are currently experiencing with your 5 senses?  These words of Tozer have inspired me for years.

In the beginning of his book, it says this:

“Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.”

candle & girl

Thank you, A.W., for lighting my candle. I hope I can do the same for others. God is real – I love experiencing His presence and His nearness. Don’t you?

Angel experience? Fear, bright lights and ??

Rating: Strange, inspirational

This has got to be one of the strangest experiences I have had with the unseen realm. It happened in Garden Valley, Texas. When I was in college, my boyfriend attended a school that was held at Last Days Ministries, started by Keith and Melody Green. This experience happened about 1989.

I had driven over from Louisiana to Texas to visit my boyfriend. There were girls’ dorms and boys’ dorms. It was during Spring break so most people were gone. There were only a few girls left in the dorms. My boyfriend had one of the girls show me to an empty room where I could stay for the night. There were 4 bunk beds in the room and a few dressers. The room looked crowded with the four bunk beds – each one had 3 beds (vertically). It was quite a sight. I could not imagine what it must have been like for those girls to share a room with 12 women. I was thankful I would be the only one there that night.

I got ready for bed and turned out the light. Boy, was it dark! Even when my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I couldn’t see the room or the other beds around mine. I had elected to stay in the middle bunk of the 3 vertical beds. It was easier to get in and out of – the top one was too high and the bottom one was almost on the floor.

I fell asleep and suddenly woke up very afraid. I lay perfectly still, straining my ears and eyes to figure out what was making me so afraid. I didn’t hear anything and I couldn’t see anything in the darkened room. For some reason, I was terrified. I did not have a nightmare. I woke up to a presence in the room that made me very scared.

I desperately wanted to leave the bedroom, but it was so dark and I was so frightened that I was afraid to leave the bed. I didn’t know what to do. I closed my eyes and tried to block out the fear. I thought maybe if I just laid there quietly, I would fall asleep or the fear would go away. It didn’t work. I opened my eyes again. The fear was with me as palpable as if someone was in the room ready to kill me. My anxiety was mounting. I really wanted to leave the room now, but it was so dark I was petrified to do so. I could not see the door to the room and I felt disoriented – I remembered that there was a lot of furniture in the room, but I couldn’t make out where it was and I didn’t want to try and run across the room and fall on something.

I closed my eyes and prayed, “Jesus, please help me!” I opened my eyes again and suddenly the room was filled with light! I stared at the room, looking around quickly. Then it went dark again. Still feeling deeply afraid, I thought, “I’ve got to go NOW!” I jumped out of the bed and dashed to the door. Once I got out in the hallway, I saw light coming from under a door nearby. I pushed gently on the door and discovered it was a large bathroom with several sinks and stalls. There was a woman there. She introduced herself as Ana. She took one look at me and asked if I was okay.

I told her I was afraid. That something made me uncomfortable in the room. She walked with me to the main gathering room where there were couches. We sat and talked. I told her what happened. I normally didn’t talk about these things back then because people didn’t understand when I did. But somehow I knew she would listen and not judge me or think I was crazy. When I asked what time it was, she said it was a little after midnight. So I’d only been asleep maybe an hour or so.

As we sat there talking, another woman came in the front door. She spoke to us briefly and then went to her room. I asked Ana if there was a reason my room was suddenly filled with light. When I saw the girl come in, I thought to myself, “Oh, maybe a car pulled up and dropped her off. That would explain the bright lights shining in my room.” Ana walked with me back to the room. I pointed out which way I had been laying in the bed and where the light was coming from. There was a window on that wall. I started to assume the natural explanation to my weird experience and said so to Ana.

She shook her head and said, “Come here.” She opened the blinds and had me look out the window. She said, “Look, your room is on the back of this building. The parking lot is in the front. No cars drive back here. Look for yourself.” I stepped closer to the window and looked around. Sure enough, there was a large empty field back there. No street lights, no place for a car to drive, nothing. It was like undeveloped land – just open empty space. There wasn’t even a dirt path for walking. [The next day I went outside during the daytime and confirmed this.]

I walked away and shook my head. Both Ana and I puzzled about it and could not come up with any natural way that bright lights could have shone into my room. The only explanation I have come up with is that when I asked Jesus for help, He sent a couple of angels to bring light to my darkness so I could escape my fear.

She and I prayed together. I went back to bed and slept until morning with no other weird experiences.

So, was it angels? I have always thought so. Part of what convinced me was the timing. Total blackness and fear in the room. I asked Jesus for help, opened my eyes and the room was filled with light. Then after I got a chance to look around and get my bearings, it went dark again. Completely dark. What are the odds of it happening that way by chance?

Many people experience light in the presence of angels. Usually a comforting light. Even the show, Touched by an Angel, used a light halo to cause angel Monica to glow whenever she revealed her true identity.

Have you ever experienced supernatural light when you really needed it? Feel free to share below! Tell me I’m not alone please. 🙂

Spiritual Senses – Which one is your strongest?

Rating: Educational

When I began to perceive the spiritual realm, I wasn’t really sure how I “knew” the things I knew. Part of me was convinced that when I sensed something that it was really there and part of me tried to rationalize away the feeling and just dismiss it. We have all probably experienced that.

I learned from Arthur Burk in his series, Nurturing the Spirit, that our soul tends to rationalize away the impressions we get in our spirit because they don’t necessarily make logical sense. For instance, when I was a child and I sensed that there was something scary lurking at the end of the hall or under my bed, my natural eyes could turn on the light and see that there’s nothing there in the visible realm. “See, you’re just making things up!” my mind would tell me. Or as most children are told by adults, “There’s no boogey-man under the bed or in the closet. See?” They open the closet and look under the bed just to convince you. But as soon as they leave, what do you believe if you can still “feel” them in the room? Does it mean you are crazy?

Anyway, during my studies of trying to figure out how this “sensing” the unseen realm stuff works, I came across a book. I can’t recall the title, but the concept has stayed with me. The author suggested that since we have 5 senses in our physical body, perhaps we have 5 senses in our spiritual body. Since that time, I have met people who have experienced the unseen realm through their spiritual senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste. Then there’s that “sixth sense” where you just have an inner knowing, but you can’t exactly explain why. Either your senses are picking something up and your brain comes to a conclusion so quickly that you are not conscious of it or perhaps the Holy Spirit gives you the information through a word of knowledge. Somehow you just know.

Some people who “see” in the spirit say they can see the unseen realm with their natural eyes just like they would look at you or me. Blake Healy in his book, The Veil, describes his sight that way. For me, I “see” things in my mind while my natural eyes are looking at the location where I sense a presence. It’s like I’m seeing in my mind the exact same picture I see with my natural eyes except there is an added element there, such as an angel. I learned this (or was strengthened in it) through Gary Oates’ teaching called “Open My Eyes, Lord”. Both of these materials are listed on the Resources tab above. In Blake’s book, he says he encourages people to increase their perception through whatever way they normally use to “hear” from God. Is it through pictures in their mind or a feeling or hearing words in their thoughts? Whichever way God speaks to them is a sense they have learned to trust, so he says that’s a good place to start when learning to sense the unseen realm. His book has exercises to help you “practice”.

I don’t often hear things, but I have met people who do. Touch is the one I guess I relate to the most – I “feel” things often, everywhere I go. I am also very sensitive to the presence of the Lord and often “feel” His presence. Taste and smell are the most unusual ones – not too many people mention these. I have smelled anointing oil in a service that was thick with the Presence of the Holy Spirit. I have read of people who get a bad “taste” in their mouth when certain demonic spirits are nearby. I’ve never experienced that one, have you?

One other thing I realized recently – I think we sense things differently in our spirit versus in our soul. For instance, my soul can easily detect anything that is evil or unclean. And it usually freaks me out – my soul doesn’t know what to do with the information. However, my spirit does know what to do – so I have to remember to consciously choose to connect with my spirit and then use my authority to remove anything evil that’s bothering me (in my home or near me in a public place).

I also have very sensitive discernment when it comes to dealing with people. That’s a gift in my spirit. When I look in someone’s eyes, 9 times out of 10 I can see their soul. My gift is emotional healing so I see clearly their soul wounds. I can often also see their gifting or original design from the Father. Sometimes I can also discern if there are evil spirits oppressing the person. As you can imagine, I have to be very cautious not to reveal all this information on my face when I’m introduced to someone I’ve never met. I get it all pretty quickly. Being in a party full of people can sometimes be pretty overwhelming to my senses, receiving all this information at once.

So, how do you sense the unseen realm? As I shared on another post, what helped me was finding someone who sensed things using a different method than I did. We would go places and share what we were each aware of. By comparing notes, we grew exponentially both in confidence and in accuracy in being able to identify what we were experiencing. So if you naturally “see” in the unseen realm, go find someone who “feels” and vice versa. You’ll be glad you did.