Basic Training 

In the military, you begin by going through Basic Training. Basic skills are taught such as physical fitness, marching, marksmanship, rifle maintenance, and war maneuvers.  

Perhaps the greatest objective of Basic Training is to teach young recruits to fear the commands of the drill sergeant more than any other thing.  
Swift and severe punishment is given to those who would dare disobey his orders.  


This aspect of training is critical to the success of the military’s mission, for war involves great fear and danger, and if the soldier gives in to fear and disobeys an order, he threatens not only his life but the lives of countless others.

In the spiritual life, there is a corresponding objective. As we begin our journeys with The Lord, he trains us diligently to heed his words, for disobedience to his words and inner voice will result in the endangerment of everyone that is associated with us.  

It is written, “Watch your lives and doctrines carefully, for if you do so, you will save not only yourself, but everyone that hears you”.  

Our lives and doctrines must line up with the precepts of the Lord, or many others will be led astray from the devotion to Christ and the faithfulness to his words that are critical to the success of the mission of the church.

The objective of military training is to produce a military that operates as a single unit and can accomplish great objectives. The objective of spiritual disciplines is to create a church that can move and pray as one, a church that hears and responds obediently to The Master’s voice, a church that lives and breathes to bring glory to the Father and salvation to men.  

This is no small undertaking and must not be taken lightly, for Our Father is un-distractibly devoted to this objective.  

He will not be denied.  
No matter how long it takes, his will will be done; the church will be disciplined and perfected to live and move as one.  

It is to our advantage that we get onboard early and enthusiastically, for then we will avoid many un-necessary growing pains.

~ Brad Heilhecker 

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

   I am quite upset today. I had to bury my new little feathery friend. 

Let me back up and start the story from the beginning. 

We have a bird nest high up above our front door under our porch covering. It belongs to a swallow couple and their babies. Every spring the mama and daddy bird come back and build their nest or use parts of their existing nest from the year before. Sometimes the nest is gone because the power washer destroyed it. Quite honestly, the birds and the nest showed up after my dad chased them away with his pokey contraption preventing them building their yearly nest. My dad had enough of the bird poop on his front porch and front door mat. So they relocated to my house across the street. 

We were happy to greet them and watch their babies hatch every year and fly off and start their own families. This year they had trouble after trouble. First the power washer guy accidentally sprayed their nest away with their baby eggs falling and breaking on our front door mat and exposing their underdeveloped selves. That was sad to see and I was so mad at the power washer guy. He immediately told my husband he was so sorry and said he tried to avoid it and it just exploded and fell. 

My husband and I watched the bird couple remake a new nest in less than 48 hours. New eggs were laid and a new family hatched. A fresh start and a total of five baby bird heads emerged  from the tiny nest!!  While I was gone on a vacation two baby birds had fallen out and were found dead under the nest. It was sad to see them not make it. Nature is the survival of the fittest is what they say. Well, another bird fell out and this time I saw it. I immediately made a new plastic nest complete with soft paper towels. I tied it up high on the window where the mom and dad could still feed him. That worked for about half a day when “Mr. Jump out of My Nest” decided he wanted out and landed on the ground again. 

I lowered his nest to the bottom level and he still didn’t like his nest. He wanted out!!! So I put the plastic nest on the ground. For two days we watched as the mom and dad dive bombed us to protect their baby. I kept an eye on him to see if he was still strong and flappy. He was walking around chirping with his mouth wide open begging for food. I tucked him into his bed at night and he flopped down with exhaustion. He woke up this morning perched in the regular spot at the edge of the step waiting for his food to swoop down and land in his mouth. 

Little did I know his parents were not giving him much to sustain him and he went from super strong  to laying down hardly moving in a matter of an hour. My daughter and I rushed him to the animal refuge thirty minutes away. He made it to minute 15 in the car and was gone. We turned around and gave him a nice burial in my backyard complete with a scripture reading and flowers to come. 

What’s the point of this silly blog about a bird?

God cares about everything in our lives

It didn’t feel so much like it at first. I have been praying over this bird, spending time with him and caring for his every need that I could.  

All for nothing it felt like to me. I was more upset than I expected and probably surprised my daughter with my emotional response to our bird battle lost and now buried. 

As I was cleaning up the bird poop off the front porch and sat scrubbing away all the places he had perched and rested. I was telling God it’s not fair. He brought life and didn’t protect it. This is not what I asked for and this is not the result I expected.  As I was scrubbing away,  I  thought of people who are watching their children die in hospitals, hospice, unfair tragic circumstances or just the heartaches that can find their way to our doorsteps. This is just a silly bird. 

How do these people cope with such tragic loss. 
Maybe they too prayed for a miracle only to not receive one. It doesn’t make sense to us in the natural. No one can fully explain how God works or doesn’t seem to work on our behalf. 

Quite honestly, I don’t think you can be comforted until the time is right for you to clear away the grief and be willing to hear the still small voice whispering to you. 

It’s God reaching out you to comfort you. 
We live in a fallen world full of brokenness brought in by sin. This was not God’s plan when He created us and the world. 
His plan is to bring life out of death and joy out of sorrow. As I continued wiping away the bird poop, I heard the whisper in my head. 

He can now fly forever.

You showed great love.  

Love never fails. ❤️

This is a time for me to reflect and receive comfort from above that God cares about everything that I care about. 

Thank you God for caring about me and my baby bird. 

~Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofspendor.com 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 

3 To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,

3 A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,

4 A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6 A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,

7 A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,

8 A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

New Clothes, New Wineskins, New Wine

In Luke 5, Christ explains the new covenant and compares it to the old covenant.  

His purpose is to warn us about trying to mix the two covenants.  

The old covenant was to find our acceptance by keeping the law; the new covenant is to find our acceptance purely by our faith in the finished work of Christ.  
His point is clear: we should not try to mix the two covenants.

He gives three reasons for this. First, by mixing the two, you will ruin the new covenant and you will not help the old covenant either (“the new garment will be ruined, and the old garment will not be mended”). Secondly, the old covenant is not able to handle the new covenant; the “new wine” will be spilled out and wasted. Thirdly, if we try to live by the old law keeping covenant, we will despise the new covenant, saying, “the old wine is better”.

It requires much faith, but what Our Father desires of his people now is that we turn completely to Christ and let him become our new law, let him become our new life.  

It may be a little old fashioned, but let us remember the wristbands with WWJD written on them: “What would Jesus do?” 

This requires a whole new mindset and an awareness of Christ’s nearness and involvement in our daily lives.  

We must trust that he is with us, guarding and guiding our steps, and teaching us what to say, how to think, and how to pray.  

He wants to be both our security in life and our significance in life. As it is written, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”

Be still and know I am God.

I will take care of you.

Your burdens, I will carry.

My love, I’ll give unto you.

Let me know your needs.

I will see you through.

Trust in me, and you will see

The love I have for you.

Lord, grant now a restful spirit,

Full of joy and peace to share,

Born of hope, mercy, and kindness;

We are courageous, forgiving, and fair.

Bold, triumphant, we serve Christ.

We love others and ourselves the same.

Marching together, one body,

His word will be proclaimed.

 ~ Brad Heilhecker 

Whatever 

WORTHY THOUGHT: Whatever we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions.

We speak God’s word not out of artificial piety to aim to impress others nor do we cater to human respect. We are to speak truth in love that builds bridges not walls.     

We can implant good ideas and settle our differences in todays world if we fix our thoughts on what is true, good and right. 

Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. 

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable– If there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise– dwell on these things. -Philippians 4:8

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Just Breathe My Dear 


I see your smile slowly fading

And the twinkle in your eyes growing dim

You carry the weight of the world

And every one else’s burdens

While stuffing your hurts and desires 

to the bottom of the pile

Made to feel unworthy by past mistakes

That others throw in your face

How long How long you cry

Till you can be free of the angst

The sadness you push down sometimes so far 

You don’t even know what it is for anymore

You perform and perfect all that is around you 

Hoping that will make things easier to bear

Or just to be appeasing to the eyes 

or not add to the stress

The stress held down by the bites on your lips

The quiver if started may not be able to quit

The flowing of tears held back by a unbreakable dam for far too long

Breaking free like a release of pressure 

long over due is your dream 

Tears cleansing and flowing can only make 

You feel better for a moment 

Then you compose and carry on 

Keeping guard of your heart 

And continue carrying all those things you shouldn’t 

You find yourself stuck between the life you thought and the life you now live

Wondering ….
Am I worthy of being loved just the way I am

Faults and flaws all beautifully broken open 

On display without need for hiding anymore

If I am truly forgiven and free 

Why do I live like I am still imprisoned  

Your heart aching and longing 

for something more

Something easy and comfortable and not 

this egg shell walking dance you perform 

Moment after moment 

Day after day

Week after week

Month after month

Year after year

Grasping at the why’s….

Why do I allow them to make me feel less than 

That I don’t deserve respect and honor

That I am here as a stomping mat to

step all over 

Why do I stuff it all down till I blow 

Why do they fling these dings at my already worn out armor

Why do I keep these calluses formed on the edges of my heart from every hurtful word slung my way

Dreaming of wants …..

I want to look in the mirror and see joy and light 

I want a purpose and freedom

I want to see laugh lines instead of these 

tear stained crevices 

I want to feel love and care and comfort

wrapped tightly around me

I want this lonely silence to be filled with praise and thankfulness instead of dread and regret

I don’t know what or how but I need…

           Something More….

I need a move from something so much 

more powerful than I

I need a Savior that can rescue me

I need a hope and a future 

I need a peace that surpasses all understanding

I need for someone to come and speak truth to my soul to replace all these lies 

I don’t even know how to invite You in

I barely have the strength to keep breathing….
Then as His still small voice pierces my darkness and fills my lungs with air 

I hear “Just Breathe My Dear”
simply inhale 

And say 

I need ….You Jesus 

as you breathe in …. 
Then as you slowly exhale 

breathe out ….

You are Enough 

As you continue do that over and over 

Remember

                  My Beloved ….. 
I hear your cries

I hear your wants

I hear your wondering and your whys 

I hear you…..

You are 

enough 

worthy

free

forgiven

loved

redeemed

Keep breathing Me in …. 

Moment by moment 

Day by day

Week by week

Month by month 

Year by year 

I am here. I am always here. 

I am just a breath away


           Just Breathe My Dear 

         ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

          http://www.restoredministries.org

          http://www.poeticallyprophetic.com

Warrior Bride 

Our journey of love 

has brought you to this place

Where you are totally abandoned to Me

You went through fire, 

persecution and pain

Stood firm under the onslaughts of the enemy

You took your place in My kingdom

Often standing alone

Taking your place as my warrior bride

The enemy wouldn’t back off

Neither would you

For too long he stole what belong to Me

My armour your strength

The war cry on your lips, 

pulling you through

Dancing your way through 

every onslaught, coming your way

I was your safe place 

in the midst of the storm

There were day’s you wanted to run 

back to what was familiar

I wouldn’t let you

It made you strong

You clung to Me with your last breath

At times so drained, 

but you never let go of My voice

Guiding you

Strengthening you

Cheering you on

At times you felt alone in the fight

My presence felt distant, 

but you persevere

You knew you had to bring a sacrifice 

that would cost you everything

It was worth all the frustration

It was worth all the unanswered questions

My love for you, 

wouldn’t let you give up

You grew stronger day by day

Your eyes focused on the end goal

You couldn’t compromise, 

you knew that it was a kingdom fight

That had to be won

Your obedience to Me was important

You couldn’t trade it for the opinions

of men

Many giants had to fall

You had to fight and give it your all

Generations struggled enough, 

with ghosts of the past

Day by day you were battle ready

You wouldn’t go down 

The cost was too high, 

you fought with all your might

Gained ground in the kingdom

Left your mark in heaven and hell

Our journey of love test your obedience

Our journey of love exposed your heart

Limping and crawling you persevered

I can put you on display

As a vessel of honour

Displaying My heart

It’s time to take your place

My darling daughter 

To gather the spoils

The grain and the oil

To do our wedding dance

I have found you faithful

In running this race

Joy will be your portion

My presence your rest

Forever we will be inseparable

Captivated by a love that could only be found 

in a surrendered life

Totally dead to self, 

but burning bright in Me

Our journey of love was worth all the detours

The highs and the lows

You are my warrior bride

Trained to win each fight with Me by your side

~ Ebigale Wilson

This One Thing 

We’re transformed by This One Thing…
I awoke with this lyric rolling around my head from the chorus of Spirit Move by Kalley Heiligenthal of Bethel Music. 

We are fixed on this one thing

To know Your goodness and see Your glory

We’re transformed by this one thing

To know Your presence and see Your beauty

So like the rain come drench us in love


Let Your power rush in like a flood

So come and blow on through


Spirit move, we’re ready for You


To come and blow on through


Come and do what only You can do

This One Thing…

The Spirit of God…The Holy Spirit is what moves and transforms us.
        
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Promises Promises Promises

Promises, Promises, Promises!!!
He has given us great and precious promises that we might be partakers of the divine nature.”  

The world often promises things that it cannot deliver, like peace, satisfaction, and joy.  
Our Father’s promises are different; they are iron clad; you can take them to the bank; you can stake your life on them.

And he is not slow in keeping his promises; some promises are for today, some for tomorrow, and some for eternity.  

We need them all!  

Finding all of his promises in the word is like a treasure hunt; however, when you start reading, it is not long before you start to find them.  
Promises for peace, for love, for joy, for hope, for courage, for strength, and for life.  

And his promises are backed up by his precepts.  

Following his teachings inevitably results in the fulfillment of his promises.  

His promises are also guaranteed by his person. He says, “Surely, I will bless and increase you.” Also, “In Christ, all God’s promises are Amen”.

Christ expresses a deep concern in Luke 18. He says, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” This world is a test of our faith. Each of the churches in Revelation was given challenges to overcome. There were fantastic promises given to each of them if they overcame. Our Father is generous; he does not expect us to serve him for nothing. He owns everything, yet he has bequeathed it all to his Son, and his Son now shares it with us.  

“Everything is yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” It is a perfect circle.

 ~ Brad Heilhecker 

Sharing Your Faith 

 I was in Los Angeles last week looking at colleges with my daughter and some friends. California has an amazing climate surrounded by beautiful beaches and little mountains. It is always fun to meet new people in new places that you visit. 
On our last day I finally got some alone time with God by the pool. It’s a bonus when you get to have a meeting with God by the pool and it’s 70 degrees in June. No sweat, all glory!!

 I sat down and did my regular soak. BTW, this in no way involved getting wet. It involves just being still with open ears. You can start by listening to some worship music, mediating on a scripture verse and writing down any inspirational thoughts that home to mind. 
I was asking God the best way that I can make a difference in someone’s life especially the ones you just meet and you only have such a short time to make any kind of impact. 
I asked and He answered. I wrote down my thoughts as they streamed through my mind as fast as I could. 
Here is a sneak peak into what He said to me written in first person as a personal letter to me. 
Now, I don’t typically share all my soak notes with just anyone. They can get kind of personal. 

By sharing, I hope it helps you to know that you too can hear from God and He delights in chit chatting with you. 

My question: 
How do I affect people that are lost and don’t know you, God?
The more time you spend with me the more we become one Spirit. I will spill over to others through you. It’s not an attempt for you. It’s not even an action you make. It’s a dwelling that just is. 

I am that I am and you are because I am. 

You become what you are. You’re time spent with me fills you with love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, patience and self-control. 
Peace becomes your step. 

Joy becomes your song. 

Love becomes your stance. 
My delight is in you and your delight in me becomes you. 
It’s not a performance for you. 

It’s a passion in you.  
This spills over into a desire to delight in others and they SEE Me not you. 
This is how you affect others.

It’s the simple acts of kindness that turns the hearts of man to me. 

It could be your one act of kindness that helps turn the page to a new chapter for someone to discover their own Author and Creator. 

Here we are at a Starbucks in Hollywood Blvd and Highland Park with two new friends who were an honor to pray with and discuss about how amazing our God is to us all. The paradoxical thing about that night: You think you are affecting them in a positive way, but it turns out they end up blessing you in more ways than one. God meets us right where we are even if it’s smack dab in the middle of great disobedience, rebellion or disbelief. We as believers have the ability to meet others where they are and remind them they are created for so much more than they could ever imagine. 

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

Soak On, 

Kelley Allison

*for more explanation on how you too can learn how to be still and know God on a deeper level check out
http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

Go to The Soaking 101 page 

You Are Somebody 

The world clamors and climbs, searches and does not find the way to be Somebody.  

There is never enough money, pleasure, or prominence to satisfy our hungry souls.  

We are either important because God says we’re important, or we are doomed to a long, fruitless, exhausting search in the desert for a sip of cool water – that moment when we discover who we are and whose we are.  

This earth was simply not meant to provide the answer to our aching need to be important to Somebody.

That’s it. We need a Somebody to tell us we’re Something. In our desperation, we will turn to Anybody, just to feel that we are Anything.  

We are terrified that we might be Nobody to Nobody.  

What if we could hear the owner of Everything tell us that we are Everything to him? How good would that feel? Would we dare to believe it? Could we hold on to that fleeting sense of exhilaration? Could we rest there, live there, and breathe there?

Let us try, for through faith in Christ, we are now children of God, worshippers of God, disciples of Christ, loved, blessed and praised, friends of God, disciplers of men, and lovers of souls who delight in God and in whom God delights. 

This is certainly enough for one lifetime, and it is a great start to a blissful eternity!

~ Brad Heilhecker