Wounded One

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While journaling the other day as me and my Bible Study ladies were praying for each other and interceding for a friend’s husband and his health we decided to do an impromptu partaking of Communion. As we soaked in some songs while reflecting on Communion I wrote:

His body broken=me made Whole
His blood poured out and shed=I am covered and my sins are cleansed.

Today while praying and listening to music I wrote:
His wounded and broken body restored and made mine whole.

Then this song came on and it resonated with me so I knew it was this weeks #SongSunday .

Wounded One by Davy Flowers

http://youtu.be/5HKfN4_Oe94

Lyrics:
VERSE 1
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
The One who broke down the great wall of enmity, and gave me His name
How gracious is My redeemer, King Jesus, the Son of the Highest
What could I possibly give to You, but the fragrance of my

PRE-CHORUS 1
Hallelu—jah, Hallelu—jah
Hallelu—jah, Hallelu—jah

VERSE 2
Holy is the Man of Sorrows
Destroying the works of the evil one, all with Your own blood
And mercies before and behind You, such beauty all around You
And how could I ever repay You, but with the fragrance of my

PRE-CHORUS 2
Hallelu—jah, Hallelu—jah
Hallelu—jah, Hallelu—jah

CHORUS
Praise be to the Wounded One
Glory and honor to the Son
We ascribe worth and give love to You Lord
Let the fragrance of our love go forth

BRIDGE
We lift our gaze, we lift our gaze
We lift our gaze, we lift our gaze (repeat)
You are higher

CHORUS
Praise be to the Wounded One
Glory and honor to the Son
We ascribe worth and give love to You Lord
Let the fragrance of our love go forth

CHORUS 2
We pour our love on You
In the middle of the night (repeat)

I love the verses in the song that say- “And how could I ever repay You, but with the fragrance of my Hallelujah” and
“Let the fragrance of our love go forth.”

What fragrances are you emitting for the Lord ? After all that He has done for us it doesn’t seem right to offer Him imitation or cheap knock off’s. I want to always be pouring out the “good stuff” on Him -regardless the costs. He did not count the costs for me.

I want my Hallelujah’s and fragrances to reflect my appreciation for His great sacrifice.
He was wounded so we can be whole and restored. ~XXOO Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

Materialism Run Amuck

I normally try to avoid the mall at all costs, but recently I had to venture out into the “Prime Shopping Madness” to make some returns. It was a few weeks before Christmas, but already I could feel the “Greedy Grasping Empty Materialism” in the air of the department stores as I entered.

I looked around at all the people buying and buying and searching and searching. So many people trying to fill a void with a bunch of stuff. I was guilty myself because there I was returning things that I had compulsively bought online weeks prior.

When they came in they had already lost their sparkle that caught my eye in the first place.

I love that I can recognize when I am being compulsive in my shopping now. I did not always recognize it or think I had an issue, and sometimes still, I can just be disobedient and do it anyway. I still try to fill a void with stuff sometimes instead of allowing God to fill me when I am feeling a little low.

As I continued to reflect on my Mall Madness experience, I was reminded of it over and over and even started to notice the same atmosphere at Costco, and Walmart, and even the Dollar Store this week. Carts so full of stuff, but the look on people’s faces were not full of happiness at all. All I saw was stress, and fear, and guilt, and pressure, and rushing. I started to wonder, where are all the happy and joyful people?

Are these people trying to fill a void? Do their spouses or families have too high of expectations for Christmas? Are their children so full of entitlement that they have to have more and more to be happy? Are they trying to impress the Jones’? Are they addicted or compulsive too? Why do so many people have to make Christmas about having more? More presents, More lights, More food, More parties, More rushing, More stressing, More More More.
Has materialism run amuck?

Just watch the news coverage on Black Friday shopping and for the riots over the Michael Jordan shoes coming out…. Yep, Materialism has run amuck!

Look at the definitions of the words:

Materialism-a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.

Amuck-wildly out of control.

Yep! When people are knocking down grannies to get their shop on-Houston we got a problem- Materialism has run amuck indeed! It is wildly out of control and spiritual values are hard to find with all the stuff filling up the baskets and drowning out lives.

This verse caught my attention as I was pondering and praying for all those unhappy people I encountered these past few weeks.

“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.” ~ 1 John 2:15-17 The Message MSG

Love of the world does squeeze out love for God and love for others too!

What if we all celebrated differently this Christmas?

What if Christmas was not about all the “stuff” and presents, but about slowing down to rest in His Presence and with those we love?

What if instead of exchanging gifts, we share the Greatest Gift, Jesus, with a lonely, hurting, basket stuffing, mad, angry world?

~ XXOO, Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

Jennifer Renee Watson #FeatureFriday

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A few years ago I stumbled across a blog that just really spoke to me. Every word I read seemed to be something I had walked through or could relate to. Jennifer’s gift of words have really blessed me and I know they will bless you all too. I am so happy to share with you Jennifer Renee Watson as the #FeatureFriday this week.

Jennifer Watson is a pastor’s wife, mother of two miracle babies, writer, blogger, and speaker. Jennifer learned how to unpack her emotional baggage in the spotlight of leadership and has a passion to see women set free from their past. She co-founded Broken Girl Ministries in 2011 and loves to speak at different events for women’s ministries.

To Connect with Jennifer check out her website www.jenniferreneewatson.com

On Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/jenniferreneewatsonwriter

On Twitter: @JreneeWatson

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Do Not Waver

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“But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” ~ James 1:6 NLT

Waver: to go back and forth between choices or opinions: to be uncertain about what you think about something or someone: to move back and forth in an unsteady way: to become unsteady because of weakness, emotion, tiredness, etc

Oh my! God has just read my mail!

Sometimes I am guilty of wavering.

I can flip flop with my emotions going back and forth from…
Faith to fear
Happy to sad
Calm to angry
Peacefilled to stressed out
Content to longing
Joy to worry

When I think of it in terms of being unsettled like a wave tossed and blown about by the wind, that does not sound like much fun to me.

I don’t want to be tossed or unsettled and have divided loyalties.

An unsettled person is an easy target for the enemy. The enemy is uncomfortable around a stable and joyful person so that is what I want to be!

Let us be encouraged to stand firm on God and His word and not let anyone or anything cause us to waver.

-XXOO Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

Shine Bright

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Some days my light feels kind of dim. I can have days when I struggle not to murmur and complain and grumble and find faults and of course not to mention not to offend or to be offended.
I don’t always wake up feeling all warm and fuzzy. We all can have bad days.

I read this promise recently and I was
determined to be a better beacon of Christ’s Light for others. I am also glad I have the Holy Spirit’s help to keep my Light shining bright and to be fresh air to others in a polluted society.
We must hold firmly and stay filled up with Words of Life so we can give those Words of Life to others.

Today’s #WordOfGodWednesday is:

“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the “light-giving” Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.~ Philippians 2:14-16 The Message

“Do your duty without murmuring’s. Do it, and do not find fault with it. Mind your work, and do not quarrel with it. By peaceableness; give no just occasion of offense. The children of God should differ from the sons of men. The more perverse others are, the more careful we should be to keep ourselves blameless and harmless. The doctrine and example of consistent believers will enlighten others, and direct their way to Christ and holiness, even as the lighthouse warns Mariners to avoid rocks, and directs their course into the harbor. Let us try thus to shine. The gospel is the word of life, it makes known to us eternal life through Jesus Christ.”
– Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

As Matthew Henry said- let us try thus to shine!

Heavenly Father, help us Shine Bright with Your Love to point people to You.

How can you Shine Bright and thus be a beacon of Light or that fresh air for others? ~XXOO Michelle Bollom

© RestoredMinistries

image is courtesy of my late father Charles “Popo” Cosby from his 2003 painting “The Lighthouses of Texas”

The Experiment

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I am starting an experiment this week using the 5 steps of the scientific method.

The 5 Steps
1. Make an Observation
2. Develop a Hypothesis
3. Make an Experiment
4. Carry out the Experiment and Analyze results
5. Draw Conclusions

(I had to look them up!! I never taught science and personally thought it was meant to be used when you dissect cats in biology) POS
Personal Opinion Stated ❤️

Observation:
Typically in my church life I have participated in Communion during a quarterly session. (four times a year)
One church we attended had Communion weekly.
Since I’m not into religion but rather relationship. I will not focus on man’s opinion but rather God’s and choose to be still and listen to see how the Holy Spirit directs me in the Word and through the process.

What if??
What if daily I had my own Communion at home?
Would it draw me closer to God?
I thought I would develop a hypotheses and ask the question.

Hypothesis:

A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work.
Most of the time a hypothesis is written like this: “If _____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ will happen.” (Fill in the blanks with the appropriate information from your own experiment.)

Here it goes….my testable hypothesis……. Drum roll… please…..

If I daily take communion at home,
then my relationship with Jesus will
draw me closer to God.

That’s my testable hypothesis and I will see over the course of my 1 week experiment if that is proven to be true for me.

Notice I am capitalizing Communion!
It’s set as important and proper these weeks as I seek out answers to my questions.

Experiment

Materials: grape juice, Matzo crackers, shot glass (no judgements)

Procedure:
1)Each morning take the juice and cracker with reflection on the sacrifice that was made by our Savior on the cross
Focus on His blood shed
and His body broken for me
This do in remembrance of Him
2)Journal any thoughts or reflections
3)Look up Bible verses on subject

I will start with a praise and worship song as I take the elements and reflect on the things above.

Will check back with you on my findings!!

Let’s break Bread together!!
You can join me and see what happens along this journey of getting to know God in a more intimate way.

Cheers,
Kelley Allison

© RestoredMinistries

Compassion

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Compassion

Define:
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Affirm:
Mark 6:34
“When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.”

Recall:
In 2008, I was visiting a women’s shelter in Sacramento, CA and I was in awe…I could not believe how many mothers with children lived in a shelter! Most importantly I could not believe how many women were turned away.

The same day that I visited the shelter, one woman received what I thought was very sad news. The shelter could not house her, so she was turned away. That woman tried her best to explain her plight. She tried her best to get a warm place to sleep. She tried, and failed. I could not believe what was going on…with my very own eyes- I thought what if I was her. So in response to what I saw I wrote this…

What if I was her?

I heard the meek voice of a twenty something year old woman and it said
I am homeless and I have no bed
I thought what if I was her?

My parents died when I was only age nine- I have nowhere to go-but outside
I thought what if I was her?

My husband raped me, cheated on me, and then he left me…oh I forgot to mention he put his hands on me
I thought what if I was her?

I recently got laid off, living paycheck to paycheck and I have not saved enough- and my bills, I cannot afford the cost
I thought what if I was her?

I am out in the cold, nowhere to go-no job- for money my body I have sold
I thought what if I was her?

CPS just took my son, I have lost my child and to talk to you …I have walked 20 miles
I thought what if I was her?

I have contracted a disease, one that will not leave me
I thought what if I was her?

I heard this woman go on and on about her situation, she was very persistent; yet this woman was ignored as if she was not in existence.
I thought what if I was her?

Finally, I looked up
I made eye contact with that women, I vividly remember the day
However the person she spoke to had no room for her and had to turn her away

I thought what if I was her?

As I re-read the piece that I wrote. I am saddened by how I felt that day. A tear drops down my cheek because this woman desperately needed help, she needed love, she needed shelter, she needed…she needed..she needed. That day I decided that I had to somehow add value to the lives of the women in the shelter…I didn’t thoroughly think through what needed to be done- I reacted. I had a strong desire to alleviate someone’s suffering.

The best way for me to help was to leverage the resources that were within my reach. I was connected to many females based organizations. I decided I would:
Host Sacramento’s Little Black Dress Event- “a clothing drive for professional attire to get the women prepared for the workforce”
Renovate “THE BOUTIQUE” By partnering with local stores that would donate the materials to upgrade the space.
Market the Shelter: It was necessary to connect with the community and local media to help bring awareness of the need to support women that often fall victim to life’s situations.

I leveraged my membership with the junior league and turned vision into action. A section from the article I wrote is below:

“The theme of this event was Celebrate! The event was a women empowering women celebration to dress for a cause in wearing little black dresses. We encouraged women to “Celebrate Life, Style, Purpose, and The Spirit of Giving” by donating wearable professional clothing to The Depot Boutique. Guest speakers addressed each individual theme and the night ended in a fabulous fall fashion show.
In three weeks of planning, we connected with other female based groups, sold over 180 tickets, 10 display tables, and scheduled several radio segments. Most importantly, we received over 200 professional outfit donations, and 2 grants from local corporations!”
I inspired about 10 women to join my planning team. And we successfully reached more than 200 people in three weeks, and awesomely touched thousands. At the time our task was ambitious; but we genuinely wanted to help and we did.
I think back to that situation which examples how GOD shows amazing compassion for the sick, lost, helpless….He shows true compassion for all. Although I like to think that I displayed a great deal of compassion by helping the woman/women at the shelter…My compassion is conditional it often occurs on “my terms.” Honestly I feel compassionate sometimes and other times I don’t. Compassion is an area in which I am weak and I am trying to grow strong. Join me in gaining strength in this area.

Exercise:
What is one area in your life that you know you need to exercise more compassion?___________
What will you do daily to make that change?_________________________________

Read this daily.
God I need to show compassion in this area __________________________ area of my life and I commit to ______________________________________________________________________.

Commit to the change. I DARE you.

~ Lereca Monik

Welcome Home

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I recently had a conversation with someone that was talking about how they felt they were distant and not really walking with the Lord right now. They felt that they were not as close as they once were because they have been living in known sin so they felt like they were not in a position or even worthy enough to have a relationship with God because of that sin.
That made me think of an encouraging word a friend spoke into my life while in Israel this Summer. He said that God loves me even when I am seeking and struggling in various areas and not to be so hard on myself.

I decided to speak those same life words into my new friends life and I want to speak them to you.

God does not have a sin scale where He grades our sins. They are all the same in His eyes, but no matter what, He still loves us.
He doesn’t leave us or love us less when we struggle.

I wrote this in my journal last week. I hope it encourages you.

“Love the you now and the you that is coming-God loves both of them the same so you should too.”

And then I heard the words of this song…”No, Mercy doesn’t care what you’ve done”.

We are all searching and struggling and looking in all the wrong places instead of looking to God. We think we have way too much baggage to come back home, but He wants to be our baggage handler and help us unpack.

Can you just picture Him saying ” its time to Come Home My child, Father is here. I am always eagerly awaiting to embrace you. Drop that heavy luggage and stop running. You can’t outrun grace anyway. No, mercy doesn’t care what you’ve done, Just Come Home.”

When you do He will take those heavy bags and simply say “Welcome Home My Child.” ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

Song Sunday this week is
Come Home by Luminate

http://youtu.be/Ep-8-uPT6kU

Lyrics:
Verse 1

You’re best friends with the word regret

You’re afraid that your life’s been wasted

So why hope if it’s only gonna let you down?

You don’t think people really change

You’re a mess and you’ll always be the same

And you doubt if you’ll ever get it turned around

Chorus

So you’ve been running, searching for something

But you’re looking in a place you don’t belong

It’s never too late, you can’t outrun grace

No, Mercy doesn’t care what you’ve done

Come Home

(Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh oh)

Come Home

(Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh)

Verse 2

You can try to fix your broken empire

Put bricks on a cracked foundation

But you’ll be building castles on the sand

There’s power in the blood of Jesus

Your father’s screaming “Just Come Home!”

He’s reaching out His hands

Chorus

I know you’ve been running, searching for something

But you’re looking in a place you don’t belong

But it’s never too late, you can’t outrun grace

No, Mercy doesn’t care what you’ve done

Come Home

(Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh oh)

Come Home

(Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh)

Bridge

From the shadows, From the wrong roads

From the darkness, From the unknown

To redemption, Something beautiful

To a new love, to a new home

Chorus

I know you’ve been running, searching for something

But you’re looking in a place you don’t belong

But it’s never too late, you can’t outrun grace

No, Mercy doesn’t care what you’ve done

Come Home

(Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh oh)

Come Home

(Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh)

The Bright Light Of Hope

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Arise, Jerusalem, and shine like the sun; The glory of the Lord is shining on you! Isaiah 60:1 (GNT)

The Israelites had a rich history with the concept of God’s presence being synonymous with light. During creation, ‘God said “Let there be light”; and there was light’. (Genesis 1:3) Later, they lived it first hand during the plagues brought upon Egypt by God. At God’s instruction, one of the plagues Moses called for was complete darkness for three days…but there was light in all the places where the Israelites lived. (Exodus 10:23) Later, when the Israelites left Egypt, God led them with a great cloud during the day and a pillar of fire to light their way at night. Pharaoh pursued them with his great army. When the Israelites began to panic at the thought of being hunted down and taken back, God then moved His great, tall cloud to the rear of their group. In this way, the cloud stood between the Egyptians and the Israelites. There was darkness for the Egyptians, but there was light for the Israelites. (Exodus 14:20)
So, in Isaiah’s day, God gave him a message of incredible hope for his fellow Israelites. They had returned to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon and were now under Persian rule. Things looked pretty bleak. Jerusalem was a shell of its former glory. The people were wondering if, as we tend to do today, God was alive and still cared about them and if He was still with them as their God. They wondered if miracles were a thing of the past. Then, as now, God still answers even the questions we dare only speak aloud in our hearts. It’s as if He is reassuring them and us: “Yes, Beloved, I’m here. See? My light is shining upon you and this generation. It’s now your time to be confident and shine in the glory of My love and my presence. Your particular history with Me awaits.”*
For us today, the message of hope is even more incredible! We have experienced what the Israelites of the past only dreamed of. The reality of Christ, the Messiah and Promised One, living inside us. If we believe in Him, we receive His light and His spirit to permanently dwell within us, not to keep to ourselves- but to share with the world. Jesus always says it best:
Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark.” John 8:12 (GNT)
“The people who live in spiritual darkness have seen a great light. The light has shined for those who live in the land that is as dark as a grave.” Matthew 4:16 (ERV)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not defeated it. John 1:5 (ERV)

~Debbie Bouckley

*The Voice translation commentary used as reference

Compassion #FeatureFriday

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Compassion- noun. concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

Today is #FeatureFriday and I want to share a great organization with everyone. For a very small monthly amount you can adopt a child from Compassion International. My children decided to do this almost 8 years ago. They used their own money for the initial payment. We picked to sponsor Claudia. We write her letters and she writes back. She tells us how much she loves learning about Jesus and wants to know what we like. We keep her picture on our fireplace mantle and remember her daily in our prayers. You can make a huge difference in a child’s life for a very small monthly investment.

Share some compassion today!

Check them out at:

http://www.compassion.com
XXOO Michelle Bollom