Open Doors

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Lately, I’ve been reminded of a question I asked my Catechism teacher when I was VERY young. She was telling us to listen for God’s voice and to follow it only and not to listen to the voice of the enemy. I asked how we would know the difference, and she said that we would just know. I left feeling scared, confused, and dissatisfied, for in my small mind I was thinking of the simple task of whether or not to open a door!
Her answer did not help me…at the time.

Now, at the age of 43, I realize the importance of that question…and the answer. How will we know the difference?
I’ve found that the only way to have the answer in truth is to STAY IN THE WORD.

The truth is that the only door we even have the opportunity to open is the door to our very own heart, allowing The Lord to come in.
Once that’s done, there are no more doors left for US to open…No…From that point on, He is the Door Opener…if you ask Him to be.

Allowing His Living Word to resonate within you truly gives you the ears to hear Him…drowning out the distracting voice of the enemy.

Doors are opening. Are you ready to listen only to Him? Are you ready for His Holy Spirit to lead you through each door and beyond?

There’s no need to grab for the handle. Jesus already did that.
I hear you, Father, and I thank You for Your beckoning call.

~S. Gable

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Brave to Braver

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I am so excited to introduce to you my friend and this weeks #FeatureFriday; Donna Reiners.

Donna Reiners is a writer, speaker, ordained minister and encourager in Houston Texas, who has a heart to see women have strong relationships with God and one another. She is an avid weekly blogger who tells on herself more often than not and includes stories from present day as well as past long gone.

You can find her through the following:

Follow her Blog – http://www.bravetobraver.com

Visit her website – http://www.loveisthenewgreen.com
Check out her videos – http://youtu.be/X7br1RS-KJM

Read her books – http://www.amazon.com/Donna-Reiners/e/B00BDOJ3RI.

Facebook/Twitter – Donna Reiners/ Love is the New Green
https://www.facebook.com/Loveisthenewgreen

-XXOO Michelle Bollom

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Leave It All in His Hands

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I’ve been struggling with itchy skin this past week and it’s amazing what it’s brought me…closer to my daughter, closer to God, heartfelt time in the Word and a new found hope, trust and power in Christ.

I don’t want to boggle you with the health details, but I can tell you I have been putting off changing my diet and instead using medication to relieve chronic hives and swelling for years now. I just wanted things to look good and be tolerable and feel good without getting to the root of the problem, which I’m in the process of doing and it may take some major time!

BUT I insert a big ole’ BUT here… I have an incredible hope, desire and power! This is how I came upon it and why this is so worth pushing and pressing through.

I started taking Holy Communion in my home approximately two weeks ago as a challenge from my friends from Restored Ministries. I grew up Catholic so once my gals set the challenge I delved into some personal research as to why, how, and when should I be taking Communion. I went straight to scripture and then did some online research. I visited LifeWay, purchased a helpful book and supplies and began! Of course God’s timing is perfect because I had been feeling a strong desire to talk to my daughter, Sophia, about Communion as she is around the age that you receive Holy Communion through the Catholic Church. So, I taught her from the Bible about the meaning and purpose of Communion, and she began taking Communion during quiet time in her room.

Fast forward a week and one of my ministry partners and I shared a teaching and video on Communion at a brunch. It was amazing, and we shared Communion together as a small group. During that particular prayer time, I saw a vision of myself being surrounded by strong wind and debris flying all around me. My hair was flying all around me and my hands were out, but I was untouched and unharmed. It was chaos. Then, I started using my hands to calm the wind and it was working. I was speaking to it and standing strong. I opened my eyes and looked around to everyone sitting peacefully and praying. I was like, holy cow, that wind was strong and I thought it might blow me off the couch. It was the coolest thing, and I don’t normally experience that much clarity in visions while I pray.

Well, later that week is when the health stuff blew up. It started with having to be taken off my antihistamine for a full week to get skin testing. I also had to complete blood work. Holy cow! I had forgotten how bad my hives could really be without taking a pill or more everyday! I started a steroid but it just wasn’t enough. I can’t even tell you how bad the itching was…so unbearable. I cried and cried which I’m sure was only making it worse. I took oatmeal baths. I had to stop feeling bad and start doing something different. I had already been gathering information on starting an Autoimmune Paleo Diet or the Whole30, but I had been praying over the last few weeks for my “want to.” Well, I got it! More like “have to, you-better, are-you-nuts-it’s-time!”

By Sunday night, I was finding relief with the dosages of steroid I guess building in my system. I dug into God’ Word and he spoke so clearly to me. It was amazing! He had my full attention. He knows I will need him as I embark on trying to make some major changes on my eating habits.
I’m ready though. He’s told me I can trust Him. He’s assured me that His power lives in me. He lives in you,too!

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.” Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭1-2‬ MSG

He also reminded me of one of the most powerful ways to push through and in turn help others.

I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the LORD, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing. (‭Psalms‬ ‭34‬:‭1-10‬ NLT)

A friend sent me this line in a text,
“giving your whole heart to God like pieces of a puzzle…so indistinguishable but God is putting your heart together piece by yielded piece and then He creates the whole masterpiece!!! Just remember you can TRUST Him!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”.

I am choosing to leave it all in His capable hands. Piece by yielded piece.

~ Stephanie Wanic
God’s Beauty Secrets

The Right Energy

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The atmosphere around us is our energy field. What is released out into our surroundings can either positively or negatively affect us.
I tell my children that when they listen to a song that has bad lyrics or a bad television show or movie they are affecting not just themselves but also the atmosphere of our home. I recently tested this when I felt that I could watch a scary movie on television. It was far from the other movies I used to watch, it was not even that bad in comparison to some, but afterwards I could not shake that movie. It only confirmed that I, like David want to not look with approval on anything that is vile. I want nothing to do with evil. I don’t want any crazy plots stuck in my mind or head for days. I believe those types of things can not only release stuff into our atmosphere but they can also be a foothold for the enemy to develop a stronghold in people’s lives.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts on this? What are ways that you protect your mind and atmosphere?

I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
3 I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
~Psalm 101:1-4 NIV

~XXOO Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

A Willing Vessel

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When I’m presented with opportunities to use what I know are God-given talents, I experience utter joy and fulfillment beyond words.
With this, though, I sometimes find myself asking why I didn’t have these experiences earlier in my life and begin to think of all the “what ifs…”

Fortunately, when this happens, I am quickly reminded through the quickening of my Spirit – His Spirit – that to everything a season, and I was born for such a time as THIS – no sooner, no later.
Who am I to question any of it? It’s not about me, it never was, and it never will be.

Though I am simply a wave tossed in the ocean, I am, in that fleeting moment of air, a willing vessel, thankful for being allowed any moment of sail.

To Him be all the glory, honor, and praise.

Amen.

~S.Gable

© RestoredMinistries

Happy Birthday Mom!

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Today, I am going off script to personally thank my mother for her life and death. I lost my mother when I was 18 years old. I loved my mother— I truly believe her life was sacrificed so that I could be freed. Strangely, I don’t remember spending many days with her because she suffered from drug addictions and criminal behaviors.

My mother was a writer, like I am. I wish she was afforded the opportunity to share her work with thousands of people. She wrote about very real things. Although she was unable to, often the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…. God gifted my mother, and because of her I am now able to freely share my stories, thoughts, and experiences. Her life blessed my life, and my loss inspired me to share this….

She died so I could be free.

Why God?
Why her?
Why my mom, my mother, my first home?
Why did she have to go, why did she have to leave?
Is it that she died so that I could be freed?

A woman of extreme intelligence, a woman of beauty.
A woman so mentally gifted, a woman that loved family.
Why did she have to go, why did she have to leave?
Is it that she died so that I could be freed?

A struggling single parent with two daughters
Psychotic-mental-anguish fighting life’s battles
Crack, heroin, alcohol addictions-lies and deceit
A jail bird, a thief -the street taught her these

In and out of prison why did she-
Have so many obstacles
Why did she have to go, why did she have to leave?
Is it that she died so that I could be freed?

Countless poems, words of encouragement, people remember her presence, her smiles, and her laughs.
Encountering so many roadblocks, she sacrificially displayed GOD’s gift, seasons have come, and seasons have gone and her walk on this earth has passed.

Her words were truth.
Here words were sweet.
Face to face people will never meet. Ms. Lady Lorraine of the euphoric olive tree.
She unknowingly left behind a legacy.
So when I ask why did she have to go, and why did she have to leave?

She died for others to believe, so that I could be freed.

Please appreciate every person that crosses your path. You never know how each experience will help you grow. My mother will never know how my life has been blessed because of her. Her life -the good- the bad- the ugly- and the great—planted the necessary seeds for me to share my truths. Low and behold she started a legacy. I am so grateful for her. My mom- Lorraine Marie of the Olive Tree.

~Lereca Monik

Nowhere to Run…Nowhere to Hide

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“There is nowhere you can run that He won’t chase you.
There is nowhere you can hide that He won’t find you.

He holds you and knows you from the inside out!”

When things are ever changing in this world; there is only one Constant One.

#SongSundays this week is
Constant One by Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger.

http://youtu.be/LyRZ95bCyBM
Lyrics:
In the moment I am hiding
Your love, it seeks me out
You hold me and You know me
From the inside out
From the inside out
Constant One
Endless is Your love
Like a river can’t be stopped
You’re faithful
Constant One
Who is like You, God?
Your mercy’s like the sun
Always rising
Over us
It’s amazing
How You take me just for who I am
In the valleys and in the mountains
I’m always in Your hands
I’m always in Your hands
Constant One
Endless is Your love
Like a river can’t be stopped
You’re faithful
Constant One
Who is like You, God?
Your mercy’s like the sun
Always rising
Over us
There is no place that I could run
That You won’t chase me down
You won’t chase me down
There is no place that I could hide
That I will not be found
I will not be found
Constant One
Endless is Your love
Like a river can’t be stopped
You’re faithful
Constant One
Who is like You, God?
Your mercy’s like the sun
Always rising
Over us>

Like the little boy in the image, we think we have found a good hiding spot, but God and His love always seeks us out!

His love is endless.
He is Faithful.
He is the Constant One.

~XXOO Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

How To Pray

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pray\ˈprā\
verb
: to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for something
: to hope or wish very much for something to happen
: to seriously ask (someone) to do something

When I was little I prayed every night for a dollhouse. I never did get the dollhouse of my dreams, but I did get a dollhouse eventually. I always think of those childish prayers.
For years I did not know how to pray. I was also afraid to pray out loud or in front of others. I was repetitive in my prayers and I really sounded life I was begging. If I tried to pray out loud I got tongue tied trying to copy someone else’s words I had heard. I read a few books on prayer and tried a few prayer formulas, but none really seemed to stick.

I believe practice and the Holy Spirit are what have developed my prayer style.

I can pray in my car, as I am walking around, while cooking, cleaning, and even sometimes I wake myself up in the middle of the night praying. It comes easy and naturally to me now. I don’t use fancy words at all. I just speak from my heart and sometimes when words won’t do or fail, I pray from my spirit.

I wrote this out in my journal the other day as a way to help my children began to develop a practice on how to pray:

PRAY

P-Praise
R-Repent
A- Ask for other’s needs / Ask for your needs
Y- Yield (Be Still & Listen)

I start my prayers with Praise. Thanking God for who He is, for the sacrifice He made, for what He has done, is doing, and has yet to do. I praise Him for answered prayers, as well as, the unanswered prayers.

I then Repent. I ask God to forgive me of all my sins and shortcomings. To search my heart for anything that grieves Him. I ask Him to reveal to me areas I may not even be aware of where I did not bring Him glory.

I then move into Asking. I ask for the needs of my friends and family or whomever God places on my heart. Sometimes it is strangers on the news or someone I may have come in contact with, or something I saw or read or people that have asked for me to pray for them.
I then ask for my own needs and desires. I ask for God’s direction and God’s desires to be made known to me.

Lastly, I Yield. I pause and wait to see what God speaks to my heart or where He leads me. I have learned to get comfortable with the silence. That is what brings me the peace and knowing in my knower what and how I should pray. Many times I just begin to pray in my spirit God’s perfect prayers. I also review the following list to make sure nothing is hindering my prayers.

*Here are some things that can hinder our prayers according to thebestlife.net :

– – – –

1) Unforgiveness
If we do not forgive others, our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. (Matthew 6:15)

2) An Unthankful Heart
Give God thanks in all things, because in all trials, painful situations, He is always with us. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

3) Unbelief
Pray with confidence, believing God to do what He said He will do. James 1:6-7 says “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”

4) Selfishness
Ask for the things in God’s will, the outcome of which is to honour and glorify God. James 4:3 says “You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

5) Failure to ask God to supply our needs
James 4:2 says “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”

6) Disobedience
Pray and ask God with confidence, obeying His commandments. 1 John 3:22 says “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.”

7) Praying Alone
Pray with others and agree in faith. Matthew 18:19 says “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

8) Disharmony in family or with others
Be at peace with one another. 1 Peter 3:7 says “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”

9) Idols
– Not putting God first in our lives. Ezekiel 14:2-5 says “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of by them? Therefore speak to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols. ‘”

10 Forgetting the Poor
– Ignoring and not having compassion. Proverbs 21:13 says “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.”

11) Lack of reconciliation
– Bearing malice, hate, grudge etc. Matthew 5:23,24 says “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

12) Not wanting to wait on God
Matthew 7:7,8 says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

The Blessed Holy Spirit can lead us, teach us and guide us to overcome these hindrances, if we ask Him to help us in our daily Christian walk with Jesus Christ.

You can also do an Internet search for many more resources on prayer.

If you seek God with your whole heart, He will reveal to you what you need to know.
All people of all ages can pray.
It is never too late or too early to develop your own style or practice of praying.

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries

Rise Up

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Recently I went on a van tour around my community in the Northwest suburbs of Houston, TX. The tour was by Cypress Rising, an affiliate of Elijah Rising. I was not really familiar will the entire story of Elijah Rising before the tour. What I discovered and learned was beyond shocking.

Elijah Rising’ started with a small prayer group founded almost five years ago by Cat French. Today, the group and its mission to end human trafficking in Houston, has grown.

The Founder of Elijah Rising,
Catherine “Cat” French is a modern-day abolitionist who is passionate about seeing the end of human trafficking in Houston and around the world. She is a former sociology professor and researcher in the social sciences, with an extensive background in outreach and ministry to prostituted women and children. She currently leads Elijah Rising. Cat has developed curriculum designed to train and deploy leaders who will combat modern-day slavery through systematic, fearless, informed prayer and outreach.

#FeatureFriday this week is Elijah & Cypress Rising.

You can find out more here :

http://www.elijahrising.org

The link to the Facebook page on Cypress Rising and their van tours is here:

https://www.facebook.com/cypressrising2014

We need to all Rise Up together and be educated on this epidemic. It is happening right in our own backyards. There are so many ways to get involved to make a difference in this movement to end modern day slavery.

~XXOO Michelle Bollom

FAITH

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That moment when you realize no matter how much you pour into something, no matter how much control you’ve deceived yourself into believing you have, all you truly have is a small window of opportunity to do the very best you can. The rest, well, the rest is to be given completely back to where it’s always been – to Him.

FAITH.
Having FAITH that His promises stand true, and that He remains on the throne.
FAITH in knowing that what He started, He will finish…even amidst our stupidity.
How nonbelievers get through the valleys of life, I’ll never know or even begin to imagine, nor do I want to.

I’m thankful that while in what seems to be agony and despair, I can recall the words my God spoke so clearly to me at the altar all those years ago, “Stand up and REJOICE! My hand is upon you!
The work is already being done!”

As I fall from the mountaintop into the shallows of the valley, I cry out, and He hears me and rescues me … every … single … time.

~ S. Gable

© RestoredMinistries