Pasteurized Pastures


Journey With The Shepherd Part 2

Baaa!! I can’t seem to escape the pasture. I have been trying to break loose and climb out and over to the other side of the green hillside.
Just to take a peek!!

Psalm 23:1-2

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.
He MAKETH me to lie down in green pastures.

Last week I told you I was camping out there for a spell. I am setting up my tent and a folding chair. Well, here I sit!! Honestly, I kinda am ready to move on to other passages or pastures with some new adventures in the Bible.
But God is making me stay here for awhile.

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.

It took me a couple days to get the first point in the first verse.

I shall not want!!

If I truly believe The Lord is my shepherd then I really don’t have need of anything.

What does that look like?

When I don’t know what to do next, I ask Him.

When I desire more, He is enough for me.

When I’m not feeling strong, He is my strength.

When I’m being tossed to and fro, He is my anchor.

No matter what kind of day I have in or out of the pasture I CHOOSE if He is all I really need.

That is a revelation all by itself.

Do I believe He is who He says He is to me?

He is my Shepherd.
He takes care of all my needs just as a shepherd would for his flock.

So onto the next verse.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

Now why would He have to make or force us to lay down in a comfy plush pasture with soft grass. I’m envisioning the sun is out and it’s perfect weather with a slight breeze.

Rest Rest Rest

How many of us don’t stop and sniff the flowers? Or at least look and see if they need watered.

God tells us to rest on the 7th day which is the Sabbath.

Exodus 34:21

Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.”

He is our Creator so He knows that we need rest to be healthy, alert and productive.

You will see in the next passage He doesn’t keep us there forever.
Some of us could hang there indefinitely if we had our way.
Hang Ten ✊

So I asked Him the question. What am I doing in this green pasture and how long am I here?
If you ask a question, you should expect an answer.

So I got the answer today when I thought I better update you guys on

The Journey with the Shepherd.

Has anyone else out there been reading Psalm 23 and taking a journey with the Shepherd?

I thought to myself, “What should I title the blog that I’m going to write?”.
Pasteurized Pastures
came immediately to my head.

So I looked up the definition of pasteurize.

verb (used with object), pasteurized, pasteurizing.
to expose (a food, as milk, cheese, yogurt, beer, or wine) to an elevated temperature for a period of time sufficient to destroy certain microorganisms, as those that can produce disease or cause spoilage or undesirable fermentation of food, without radically altering taste or quality.

Follow me closely here….

I feel like the Lord is whispering to me, “I want to turn the fire up and expose the things in your soul that are causing you to be spoiled and diseased. Allow me to turn on the heat to burn off the microorganisms that don’t belong in you. I don’t want you to be fermented but cemented in Me.”

Set a fire in me Lord to radically alter my tastes and desires.

Hebrews 12:29

For our God is a consuming fire.”

Fire me up!! I’m ready to get rid of any dross dragging me down.

Proverbs 25:4

Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel;”

Baaa!! I’m Burning!!!!

Light On,
Kelley Allison



A secret can be defined as something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.

“Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” Luke 12:2-3.

Shhhhh! Don’t say anything; please don’t tell them. If I tell you-you didn’t hear it from me. No one will find out, I guess I can do it this time, this will not hurt anyone.

Have you consciously or subconsciously said these words? I have. Have you ever told a secret? I have. Have you ever tried to hide something? I have. Have you ever felt burdened by your skeletons in the closet? I have. Have your skeletons ever left your closet and sat on your living room sofa with you? Mine has. Have you hurt someone by your secret? I have. Have you hurt yourself by keeping the “it” a secret? I have.

Here is the point, we have all told a secret and we have also all kept a secret. Let me example how secrets can destroy our lives.

While many of us were preparing for Valentine’s Day last week, I know someone; we will call him Sam who was dealing with his “secrets.”

Sam is a 38 year old married man. He’s been married for 15 years. He and his wife have 3 children. The family lives in a very nice community. Unfortunately, Sam has kept secrets from his wife for several years and the secrets have caught up with him this past month. See, Sam travels for work from city to city. He is rarely at home with his family and spends very little time with his wife when he is at home. Sam for years have been missing daily affection from his wife, so during business travels, he’s been in search for a concubine to replace his desires. Two weeks ago, during his lunch break, Sam’s goal was to hook up with another woman. Instead of hooking up, Sam was beaten up! He was robbed by three women. These ladies took his wallet, his electronics- including his mobile phone, and his wedding ring. (fast-forward) Later that same evening, Sam’s wife called his mobile phone as she would every night to say good night, only to learn about what occurred earlier that day. The conversation opened up a can of worms. Sam’s wife eventually wanted to know about all his encounters for the past 5 years. He was not ready to tell her the truth. Sam’s wife demanded a lie detector. Sam declined.

In a nutshell, Sam’s life spiraled down from there. Because of the stress he encountered after his secrets were revealed, his work performance was affected. His HR department encouraged him to take a leave of absence. Because his wife did not believe him, and she was fed-up with his actions, she moved out of their home. He returned home to an empty house. All areas of Sam’s life have been affected by his secrets.

In reflecting on Sam’s story, his story truly examples how secrets will be revealed in due time, how most of us are never proud of the secrets we’ve kept and how secrets affect everyone around you. Sam, thank you for your story. Your story gives me the fuel to claim the blood of Jesus over my life, my thoughts, my actions, my words, my secrets…I know that getting back on track will not be easy; but I know God has the answers. I encourage you to seek him.

To this week’s readers, there are three things you should know about secrets :
Whatever you do in the dark, will come to the light.
• It is impossible to keep a secret from God.
• God is ready and willing to forgive us.

Like Sam, I have told many secrets. I have kept many secrets. I have done many things that I would consider a secret. Unfortunately, many people have been hurt by my secrets. Some of my secrets have been revealed to others, and all of them have been revealed to God. If you think about it, secrets aren’t really secrets. God knows everything, which negates our actions as being secrets. I am so thankful to know that I/we can go to God and ask him for forgiveness. We no longer have to waddle in doubt, fear, shame, or burden because of our secrets. Let it Go and go to God.

Dear GOD,

You know about everything I do. I want to walk from a place of darkness to a place that is filled with light. Give me the courage to ask for forgiveness for all my secrets. Please reveal the secrets that I have allowed to weigh me down or burden me. I am ready to experience your blessings. Thank you for your readiness and willingness to forgive me. I am so grateful that you’ve been patiently waiting. Here I am God.

If you are holding onto secrets or burdens, please go to God. He is ready, willing, and waiting to forgive you. YOU ARE FORGIVEN.

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik
#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange#anewyou #LiveRestored

He Holds The Key


I have a very dear friend that has been going through storm after storm lately and she is fighting to not let the enemy win.
I was praying for her on a specific event and we were conversing by text on how God had worked it all out. As I hit reply to my text this song shuffled and although I had heard it before, it was the words in that moment that pierced my heart this day and really wrecked me in a good kind of way.
I began to release so many tears and went into a full on squalling bawling doubled over deep grieving kind of hot mess crying… But strangely also a great praising God moment at the same time for the answered prayers in my friends life, for the miracles, for the hard, for the hope of her future, for her health, for her peace and comfort. As I cried I just praised God for the life lessons, for our friendship, and for hours of intense prayer interceding for her.

The words of the song became almost a prayer for not only my friend; but for several more friends and family I had been praying and interceding for, and also for myself.

Read the words as you listen to the song…. Let it fill you with hope and encourage you not to quit!
You may have been on lockdown -but He Holds The Key!
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Out Of Hiding by Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger


Come out of hiding you’re safe here with me
No need to cover what I already see
You’ve got your reasons and I hold your peace
You’ve been on lock down but I hold the key

And I loved you before you knew what was love
And I saw it all still I choose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking off
When I rose from the grave
Now rid of the shackles, my victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home

I’ll be the lighthouse when you’re lost at sea
And I will illuminate everything
No need to be frightened by intimacy
Just throw off your fear and come running to me


And Oh as you run what hindered love
Will only become part of the story

Baby you’re almost home now
Please don’t quit now

How’s Your Heart?


Worthy thought:
We should always be aware of our heart attitude when God speaks to us.

According to the Gospel of Luke Chapter 1:5-38
The angel of The Lord, Gabriel, sent by God appeared twice and spoke to two would-be parents.

In the first appearance, Gabriel visits Zachariah, a very important Priest. In fact, was chosen to be the High Priest for the Jewish people. Zachariah is married to a righteous woman named Elizabeth, who is descended from the daughters of Aaron, the Israelite tribe who were to be trained as priests for the temple. This extraordinary couple had known many years of faith and law and had prayed for a son, because Elizabeth could not conceive. The Angel, Gabriel, visits Zachariah and tells him that his miraculous prayers have been answered: Elizabeth will conceive a son and his name will be John. However, Zachariah’s heart then doubted God’s Word. He says “How is it possible? I am an old man and my wife is beyond her years.” (v.18)

The consequence for Zachariah’s unbelief:

Zachariah was silenced and unable to speak until the day all of these miraculous things take place. (v.20)

Even though he should have been held up as a lasting example of God’s partnering with those who follow His laws because of his training and heritage of Biblical knowledge and familiarity with the Lord, his response was the cause of his family’s lineage dying with his only son. Zachariah’s first reaction to a messenger directly from God was disbelief and scorn.

Six months later, the angel of the Lord appears to a young virgin girl named Mary. The same messenger, Gabriel, tells Mary she is favored by God and will conceive and give birth to the son of the Most High and his name will be Jesus. Mary’s first reaction was telling and her heart didn’t doubt God’s word. She merely asked a question for explanation of the mechanics of how it would work, since she had never been with a man. Gabriel tells her the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her. Mary’s response is complete submission and says” I am the Lord’s slave. May it be done according to your Word. “ (v. 38)

It is an interesting paradox. Here are two examples of righteous, godly people. The one who had the most training in God’s word, yet doubted, was Zachariah, a longtime righteous God-fearing Priest, married, and praying for a son. He was settled and had waited long enough to begin to question God’s timing. He was the very one who knew the Word and the Law inside and out. He would have been familiar with the story of God providing this exact thing for His chosen friend, Abraham. Zachariah would not only have known the story, but would have by this time taught it to his flock at the temple many, many times.

The one who should have doubted God‘s Word but believed was Mary, a virgin peasant girl, who had no religious position or training, was already engaged, and had everything to lose. She took into account the potential loss of her fiancée and social standing. She would have been facing potential death or at the very least a future with no prospects, no protection and no means to support herself. Here is a person who would only have known about God from a second-hand report. At that time, only males were taught the Torah, which was the first stories of the Bible and God’s laws. It was taught at the temple, but she had to remain in the Women’s Courtyard. She would have only known about God by what she was told. Her sense of expectancy that God could be personally speaking to her was incredible. There must have been a yearning in her heart towards more of God and for an encounter with Him. Obedience and trust are a powerful combination when placed before the Lord.

Consequence of Mary’s Belief:

Mary had the unique privilege of being the mother to the God’s son. In that time period, it was every Israeli woman’s dream to be the mother of the Messiah. She was present at his birth and at His death. She saw him arrive as a helpless baby and watch him die as her Savior. No other woman in history was afforded this physical closeness to the Messiah.

Mary’s obedience cemented her legacy. Today her name, faithful trust and obedience are still being applauded in the modern-day church. Her right reactions to God’s voice have stood the test of time. She is spoken about more than any woman in the gospels or religious people of her time.

Flip through both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and you will see many contrasting responses to God’s plan and instructions for our lives. Our response to God‘s demands should not be laughter or doubt in God’s ability to carry out His plan, but instead obedience with a willing submissive heart. We must always be on guard against the sin of unbelief.

So the question is: Has there ever been a time you doubted God‘s word like Zachariah or do you have a right, submissive heart like Mary?

When God speaks to our heart and demands something from us, our heart attitude should be like Mary’s “Yes, Lord!” Otherwise, like Zachariah, there could be a consequence of our actions of saying ” Yes but…”

~Angela Lipe-Pattengill / Ordained Minister

Never Give Up Hope


When I was just five years old, I was kidnapped and forced to live a life burdened with cruel and bizarre physical and emotional abuse. My will to survive, inspired by an invisible hope, helped me fight the demons and stay alive as I endured haunting experiences. Mine is a story of forbidden secrets driven by darkness and deception. First birthed into a marriage of teenage parents and their destructive relationship, I was later kidnapped, given away, and ultimately raised by strangers who tortured me.
At the age of thirteen, I was rescued by my father. This resulted in his relief and triumph. However, this wasn’t the “happily ever after” I expected. What appeared to be the light at the end of the tunnel only proved to be another pit of pain. I was passed on from the strangers in my life into my destructive father’s hands.
I finally broke free from the physical abuse when I was seventeen years old. God provided help and support in my best friend and her family when they took me into their home. Although I was physically free, I remained living with post-traumatic stress disorder. I have survived poverty, 26 years of eating disorders, marital demise, relational travesties, watched my mom try to commit suicide as a child and much torment.
BUT, I have come through it all because God has saved my life. He has renewed me with strength, dignity and power; He has transformed me into a successful woman.

I write with a transparent, vulnerable intensity touching the spirit and soul with truth. It is my passion to empower others to keep going no matter what and to keep their focus and faith in God.
Where and what I’ve come through is profound and clearly the work of God, His grace, mercy and power. The one lesson I want others to learn from my story is, “never give up hope”. Our lives are too precious and our calling too high to ever settle for less than what God has for us. There is no life without trials and suffering, it is imminent.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“Raised by Strangers” is available on and Barnes and
Please visit my website at:


Brooke Lynn is a writer and a speaker who passionately lives — reaching others with God’s word and love. She is a survivor of abuse, sharing her past pain and recovery to encourage others with hope. Brooke resides in the Washington D.C. area, has been married for nineteen years, has two children and loves dogs.


Unravel Me


Unravel-(ŭn-răv′əl) verb
To separate or disentangle the threads of;
To free from complications; make plain or clear; solve:
To take apart; undo; destroy (a plan, agreement, or arrangement)

That word “Unravel”, we normally think of it being used negatively, like clothes that have started to wear out or something good being ruined. But recently I heard it used in a song lyric. I watched the Bethel Live Worship Experience of “We Will Not Be Shaken.” I have been a Jonathan and Melissa Helser fan for quite some time so I was excited that they have joined Bethel. On this worship event they sang the song, “No Longer A Slave.” In the song, he sings …”You unravel me with a melody; You surround me with a song, of deliverance from my enemies, till all my fears are calm.”

That line in the song, like an electric shock jolt, has Unraveled me in the best kind of way.

God speaks to me a lot through music. I can even hear a secular song and turn it into a worship song to the Lord. I am a huge music fan and although I love many genres, this season of my life I limit my secular music, so 99% of my music now is Christian worship music. I believe the things we sing about have power, so if we are singing about drinking and cheating and pining after an old lover, that is where our mind goes and where our mind goes, our heart and body are soon to follow. So vice versa, if we are singing of freedom, deliverance, filling us up with more of God, forgiveness, …. Our mind, our heart, and our actions will reflect it.
I use music also as a background or prompt for praying. I love to play a song over and over as you know, and those usually become a Song Sundays post. But, God is not limited to speaking to us through songs just on Sunday, and I have found lately, the songs I have been sharing with you all on the blog have been some of the most powerful songs as the backdrop to some of the most powerful intercession of prayer, not only in my life, but in the lives of many people I know. They have also ushered in some mighty big revelations from God. So, as the definition of unravel above states, “to free from complications; make plain or clear; solve.” That is exactly what God has been doing as I have been praying for Him to “Unravel Me Lord.” Not just unravel me with a song, but with Your word, and Your Spirit.

My new friend and an upcoming blog post feature said;” every great story has a backstory.”
So here is my little backstory…

I was a child gripped by debilitating fear for most of my life. Strangely, most of my friends think I am bold and fearless. While, there are many areas, and also a video to prove, where I am bold and fearless, there are areas in my life where I am still gripped by debilitating fear just as that little child was. I grew up in a dysfunctional family. It is no secret, nor does it define me or make my family any less worthy or loved. When you have an unstable childhood you learn to fear and worry. I won’t go into all the details in this post, but, I learned fear and worry at a very early age. I have vivid memories of my grandmothers worry stone that she would rub. I would sneak off myself sometimes asking the worry stone, to remove the worry and fear I was feeling. I know now that only the Great Cornerstone is capable of taking our fear and worry away; not a grandmother’s worry stone.

I also dipped my hands into more scary stuff as a child and young adult. Things like séances, Ouija boards, raise the table, bloody Mary, not to mention countless scary movies. I also dabbled with horoscopes, non-biblical dream interpretations, tarot cards, mediums, and psychics. All of this, and the worry stone, can create strongholds in our life and we have to pray and ask for forgiveness and make sure to cut those sins and the practices of those things off of us. We need to seek God and God alone for direction and answers.

I recently wrote this in my journal:
When we are seeking answers, go to the ultimate Source of Divine Revelation. God holds all the answers you seek.

When I renounced all that behavior and fully repented that it was wrong, that I was wrong, I felt many areas of bondage begin to leave me.
I had just begun recognizing that my health is a huge area the enemy likes to keep me bound in fear with. I came across that revelation recently after I had a season of fear waiting for some test results for health stuff going on and felt like I had conquered that fear with God and the help and prayers of my friends. I had felt very much at peace and God delivered me and all was well… for a time.
So why now was fear shooting up again in my life in my health and other areas?
Recently I read that Fear is one of the most common sins of our spirit that can be hard to recognize as sin. I knew that already on some level, but it was not at a deep heart level knowledge until that statement sort of jumped off the page and hit me right between the eyes.
Then I started to unpack, unravel if you will, some more threads from the Lord. Unlike unraveling threads in a garment that can render it unacceptable or useless. Unraveling the threads of revelation from the Lord are a very good thing and make us much more useful and valuable.
I started to ponder, had I fully repented to God for letting Fear take over my Faith? Or had I just trimmed it back enough, but failed to stop watering it with my unbelief? That is why it kept returning. Fear will always grow when we keep watering it with unbelief. Fear is a sin and that sin can be deeply rooted. Aha! that is why it keeps shooting back up.
Then I started thinking….
Was I sorry that my sin was blocking God’s power to fully work in my life or am I truly sorry that I hurt Christ with my sin?
There is a difference. Faith unlocks the door to God’s power, but it is honest and true repentance that opens it.
That revelation, well, you guessed it- It unraveled me!
We sometimes think, oh everyone struggles with fear or the fear of something, so we make light of it. There are so many lists of phobias out there that some can even get comical. But when you really unravel them, they are all fear, and fear is sin.
As my family and I have taken the Communion Experience challenge and started to do communion each day, God has been working some stuff out, so again you could say, He is unraveling a few things – so as I begin to acknowledge Him, He is directing my paths and showing me lots of direction in many areas.
Then when I felt like He was somewhat done on the subject I got yet another huge revelation:

When the impasse to God is at last removed; by our sincere repentance, our health, both physically and spiritually will be restored.

What impasse have you allowed to come between you and God?

That impasse (sin) that had so easily entangled me, was Fear. Fear and unbelief.
I had a double whammy right there blocking me. I was continuing to water fear with unbelief and no matter how far I thought I had cut it down it kept shooting up because I needed to take it out at the root!

I have prayed Lord; I believe help my unbelief, but I had not ever repented for my unbelief or for fear. I had doubted God and His promises so no wonder I was still a wave being tossed about in this whole fear thing. The enemy was having a field day in my mind and it was time he got to packing and moving out- for good!

And this word Unravel and the song…the one that unraveled and wrecked me in a good kind of way, has now become my declaration and prayer.

God continue to Unravel me! Unravel us all from whatever is keeping us bound. Remove all the strongholds that are keeping us in bondage. Let there be no sin or impasse keeping us from being whole and restored. Let us repent fully and completely of our sins and for anything and everything that does not bring You glory. Let us get this revelation that we are no longer a slave to fear. Remove these rooted lies of the enemy. Burn away that which is not of You with Your Holy consuming fire. We are a child of God!, the Most High God, that split the sea so we could walk right through it! Drown all our fears in Your Perfect Love!

The song sings:

You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God!

Our courage can only be determined by the extent to which we will dare to claim and declare all of Christ’s promises as true and available to us.

Claim, Grab, Don’t let go of God and His promises; that is where we find the courage to overcome- not only fear, -but everything!

There is NOTHING that by the Promise of His Word and the Power of His Spirit we won’t overcome.

There is a spontaneous worship moment in the song that captures my heart and makes me think of Restored Ministries Purpose and Mission.

“I am surrounded by the arms of the Father
I am surrounded by songs of deliverance
We’ve been liberated
From Our Bondage
We’re Son’s and Daughter’s
Let us sing of our Freedom! “

I can hear all the clinking of the chains being broken off of many many many people. Can you hear it? The more you sing and share of your freedom; the more you consume and share His promises with others; the more we are liberated in all areas of bondage to fully #LiveRestored.
XXOO, Michelle Bollom

Hear this amazing song here

and then get on out to Itunes and buy it!

Start declaring your freedom.

The Climb


Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul

Whatever that mountain looks like just let God help you overcome it. Let Him help you move it, climb it, not fear it; but enjoy the journey over, around and through.

I’m reaching that point of letting my soul let go and completely trust in Him.

I have been letting this song wash over me for a couple of weeks. (See SongSundays from earlier this month for the video of the song here:

The timing of finding it couldn’t be more perfect for me as I am in the midst of radically changing my eating habits to restore my immune system, help control food allergies, chronic hives and angioedema.
Well, this craziness has had me reaching; literally crying out to God, to strengthen me as I embark on more life change. He’s already walked me through numerous trials and triumphs, addiction, sorrow, lack of inner peace, desiring love and attention from everyone and everything but Him, and a rocky marriage. He’s walked me through, and clear to the other side in many ways enjoying places of peace, rest, restoration and hope that I am always desiring to share with others. So I had to ask myself once again. Do you trust Him, fully trust Him? Do you believe what His Word says when He says He lives in You? His Power dwells within you?
I finally got my revelation Sunday night as I combed through and studied His Word and journaled pages and pages of His love for me.

I’ve decided, “It is well with my soul.” Let’s dig in God. I desire to trust you with all of me. One of the missing links was making the decision to accept I needed to change this area. Then I reached out to God, crying out, willing to surrender. Seeking Him at every turn. Being vulnerable and getting prayer and encouragement from family and friends.

I’m ready God. Let’s go. I am ready to climb this mountain.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” ~James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-6‬ NIV

– Stephanie Wanic
God’s Beauty Secrets

Bare It All


We should all learn to bare it all” – uncover and expose everything not worthy or bringing God Glory. Handing it ALL, the good the bad the ugly, our secrets, sins, and struggles, over to God for Him to restore and redeem.

We need to stop trying to “bear it all”hold, support or endure everything we were not meant to carry.
Take a load off – Stop carrying those burdens and fully surrender everyone and everything over to God. #LiveRestored

~XXOO Michelle Bollom



Love can be defined as strong affection for another; attraction based on strong desire; or affection based on admiration.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, some of us are excited as we prepare for our date night, some of us are saddened because we don’t want to go on a date; but we feel obliged to; some of us feel irritable because we will not have a date; some of us are planning an evening with our closest friends; and quite frankly some of us just don’t care.

Whether you are married, dating, single, divorced, separated, or widowed–one thing we have in common is the understanding that this week’s theme is LOVE. This is the time of year in which many stores are decorated with the color red, we see heart shaped candies, card isle adorned with I LOVE YOU’s and stuffed animals with red hearts attached to them. Most of us begin to think about LOVE- what it means to us, who we love, and how to express it. It is also probably safe to say that everyone reading the blog today has experienced love- given it,received it, felt victimized by misuse of it, used it to be manipulative, needed it, and/or felt abandoned by the lack of it. It’s also easy for many of us to point to others when they don’t express it well.

For today’s post, as we explore love, I want us to be introspective and dissect 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 line by line by turning each phrase into a statement.

Make a list of 3-5 people that are the closest to you, go through the series of questions below, and place their name in the blank.
1. I am patient with _____________.
2. I am kind to ________________.
3. I am sincere about _____________’s successes.
4. I don’t brag to ____________ about life.
5. I am respectful towards ______________ and I do not use he/she as my stepping stone.
6. I am polite towards _________________.
7. I am compromising with _____________.
8. I don’t allow myself to get annoyed with ______________ easily.
9. I don’t remind ___________ of what they have done wrong.
10. I don’t laugh or chuckle when __________ experiences misfortune.
11. I am truthful to ________________.
12. I am not critical or judging towards _______________.
13. I believe in _____________.
14. I expect the best for ______________.
15. I will never give up on ______________.

Now go back and replace the blank with others and my/myself.

After going through this exercise it is quite evident that I need to work on my love for others and myself. Hopefully what you’ve learned is what I learned LOVE is an action and not merely an emotion; although it can feel emotional.

At the conclusion of this post, GOD suggested that I place you/your in each blank, as if he was talking directly to me. As I read through each line as if GOD was talking to me, I felt this overwhelming sense of comfort. My goodness- GOD never fails us. His love is so unconditional. This week as you are preparing for Valentine’s day, I challenge you to think about who you love and how you are loving them. If there are areas that you can change immediately, make the changes- you will feel better in doing so.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dear GOD,

Thank you so much for expressing unconditional love to me. Thank you for showing me how to love and thank you for giving me the tools I need to become more loving. When I am falling short of loving others, please humble me so that I can immediately correct my behavior. I want to love others, myself, and you more. Please show me how.

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik

#mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored #itstimeforachange#anewyou



Freedom!; Take a hold of my heart.

Spirit of God come fill this place…

Oh that line in this song really gets me charged up!

Recently, I had several friends all going through some things and I was praying for them and felt the need to play music softly while I prayed.

This song shuffled and somehow hit me somewhere in my spirit because I had to set the song to repeat over and over as I pressed in and continued to pray for them. The lyrics are amazing!

He brings peace in every storm…
A hope that’s deep within my soul…
Oh, the strengths of Your love…
Tear down walls… Tear down strongholds…

Enjoy this weeks #SongSundays

Shores- Bryan & Katie Torwalt

Oh depression wash away
On the shores of your great love
And let addiction and all shame
Be laid down at your feet
Come awake, awake my soul
I feel justice rising
Breathe new life into these bones
I can feel your heartbeat
Freedom, take hold of my heart
Spirit of God, come fill this place
Jesus, You’re all that I want
Have your way
And you bring peace in every storm
‘Cause you are my anchor
A hope that’s deep within my soul
Oh, the strengths of Your love
Tears down walls, it tears down strongholds
That keep me back from You
Perfect love that’s never ending
It leads me toward You
All creation knows that
You alone are God
As we sing Your praises
God, let our hearts respond

~XXOO,Michelle Bollom