Friend & Savior 

  

Shelter them tonight
May provision be hearty
Send angels to guard them
Assisting their way
Those boys are Yours Lord…
May no evil befall them 
Let them feel Your presence
Every single day
This time
This journey
Changing their hearts
Positioning their future
In order for Your will
To be done in and through
Their precious lives
Be the mother and father
They long for
Be the friend
The Savior
That You are

Amen.

❤️Krystal Lynne 
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Before Baltimore 

  

I am like you. 

I am horrified.

I am watching images on the screen, shaking my head and murmuring, “tsk tsk tsk” and offering opinions about what I think of this horrendous show of violence on the streets of Baltimore.  Not unlike scenes in midwestern towns in months past, this outward display of atrocities against humankind as protest of perceived injustice.

And so it comes to this.  I am tempted to say, “Look how low we have sunk!”  I’m tempted to rail against whatever I think is to blame – government policies I abhor, political persuasions with which I disagree, ignorance and selfishness and entitlement and plain ol’ stupidity.

But it really isn’t anything new, now is it?

Historically, riots and rages and wars and crusades have always been the way of man, waging one kind of war or another against governments, religions, ideologies and perceptions that we as humans don’t like.  Many were honorable conquests, rising from defense of the weaker people, or defending the noble and lofty calling of freedom and democracy.  But many are like the streets of Baltimore this morning.  Senseless, warped, barbaric and maddening.

I’m sitting here in my office, coffee in hand, safely ensconced in the heart of suburbia, clicking my tongue and calling them stupid.

And then it hits me.

I’ve waged senseless wars, too.

No, I haven’t rioted in the streets of Tomball, starting fires at Daily Donuts on the corner because I vehemently disgree with our school district’s absentee policy.  I come from the deep South, and had a gentle Southern upbringing, and I’ve never thrown a brick through a window.  I’ve been blessed enough with heritage and hopefulness that I’m able to control such urges.

But I have created my own kind of war waging.  I’ve been hard, judmental, unfeeling and unapologetic.  I’ve defended my position without thought for the feelings of the other.  I’ve lied to myself about my own culpability in the failure of my marriage, the struggles of my son, and the financial difficulties that have plagued me in the past.

I lived in a glass house.  And I’ve thrown stones.

You would have loved my glass house.  It was  beautiful.  It looked just like I created it – with lofty ceilings of my own overstatements, grand sweeping staircases of pretense about how small and afraid I really felt.  Luxurious draperies of insecurity and glamourous furnishings of defensiveness – ahhh, yes, it was a glorious disguise.

And as time and turmoil and the blessed truth would have it, the glass house has been demolished.  Somebody finally threw a stone back. 

Oh, it made me mad.  I was furious that someone dared doubt my story – my elegant facade, my pretty phrases and awkward pretense.  But somebody did, bless them, and I’ll be forever grateful.

God in His all-knowing and unfathomable love knew that what I am in Him is more than enough.  Gently, tenderly, but firmly, he continued the work of the rock-thrower, and decimated all my decorations.  I am stil learning, but I can now see that I have been the rioter in my heart – raging and furious inside against circumstances, disastrous results of things I have done, things that have been done to me.  I’ve been trying to show up and smile and pretend it wasn’t there – the hurt, the disappointment, the wrong, the mistakes.

Putting the lovely phrases aside – I was putting lipstick on a pig.

Funny thing about that glass house – most people can see right through it anyway.  And the ones that love you can see you through your own smoke and mirrors, and they throw the rock to break away the barrier, because on the other side of the pain of the breaking is beautiful and blessed promise.

God is the ultimate peace – the peace maker, the peace seeker, the peace giver – but not peace at any price.  Peace that comes with truth.  The truest peace comes when the anger and the protest is all gone – and we surrender. 

There isn’t much that I can do about the streets of Baltimore this morning.  I can’t bring calm and soothe the fevered masses. 

But I can tell the truth about myself again today – and offer myself humbly to the Father in His mercy, who gives me a fresh batch of them every single morning.  Bless Him.  Many days I’m out of fresh mercies by 9:00 a.m.

I can live surrendered.  I can be here if you need me.  I can help you with that glass house you’ve got, if you want.   I’ve got some leftover stones.

~Alane Roberts 


Worth The Wait 

  

Are you waiting for your Red Sea to part?
Do you feel like the Israelites, trapped by the powerful Egyptian army on one side and a fierce raging sea on the other? Stop panicking, plotting, worrying and stressing over it.  God always intervenes and always provides a way out. His way is always worth the wait. 

We place our confidence and trust completely in Him and we simply just need to be still and wait it out. 
#LiveRestored

~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still. ~Exodus 14:14

No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 

Gifts

  

 

Define: 

A gift can be defined as something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient.

 

Affirm:  

1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

 

Recall:  

I love gifts.  I love gift giving.   I love shopping for gifts.  I love sharing gifts.  Most importantly, I LOVE to receive gifts.  I love receiving gifts that are wrapped nicely in a box—like the little blue box with the white ribbon!  Gifts make me so happy!  I love the art of seeing the box, anticipating the gift inside the box, opening the box, and making good use of the gift received.  

 

There have been occasions however, in which I didn’t like the gift, I felt like the gift was not a thoughtful gift or I have damaged the gift. So often, I have taken someone’s act of kindness for granted!   I need to improve in that area…

 

Earlier last week I was thinking about gifts and then GOD whispered in my spirit- I have given all of my children gifts and some of you (including you Lereca) are taking MY gifts for granted.  I pondered on the idea.  I don’t know about you; but the thought of taking GODs gift for granted makes me feel uneasy.  

 

I started thinking deeply about my gifts and the gifts of other people.  While being very excited because gifts build personal excitement, a feeling of despair entered my heart.  I discovered that we treat our gifts from GOD the same way we treat gifts we’ve received from others.  

 

This is what I learned about how we treat GOD’s gifts.

1. We appreciate them 
2. We give them away
3. We forget about them
4. We misuse them
5. We lose them
6. We put them in the trash
7. We never open them

 

How are you treating the gift(s) that GOD gave you?  Review the list above.  If you relate closely to numbers 2-7 with your gifts, it is time to have a conversation with GOD.  

 

I know what you are saying (I am guilty too)- I am not special, right now is not the right time, people will not understand, and/or there is someone else out there better than me.  Stop allowing the devil to cloud your thinking.   If you are not clear about your gifts- ask GOD to show you, he will.  Be prepared for what he shares.  

 

I have been writing since childhood; but I never considered myself a writer.  Secretly I’ve written short stories, poems, skeletons for booksworkbooks, programs, etc.  When I asked God for help, he placed the right people in my life to remind me of my gifts.  Repeatedly people would thank me for my words or my insight.  

 

Here I am today –writing.  I feel so blessed and thankful that I made one step towards being a good steward!  GOD will do thsame for you!

 

I encourage each of you to ask GOD to reveal your gift.  More than likely you are aware of your gift(s) from GOD.  When you are intentionally using your gifts to bless others you will feel good and you will attract more good into your life.  Trust me.  

 

I found a quick assessment that might help you learn more about your spiritual gifts– this is just a start.  After you take the assessment, I challenge you to begin using your gifts to build GOD’s people and GOD’s kingdom.   When you do- your life will never be the same!

 

 

Exercise:

Take the assessment below.  What are your top three?  How does this make you feel?  Do you feel better equipped?  (please respond through social media-we want to hear from you)

 

 Spiritual Gift Test

 

GO AND BUILD GOD’S KINGDOM.  He wants you to enrich somebody’s life today!

 

Commit to the challenge.  

I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik


#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange#anewyou #LiveRestored 

Joy Is A Choice 

   

Good news!  We, here at Restored Ministries are lowering the disco ball for today’s Song Sunday!  

 

My current song obsession is Lincoln Brewster’s Live to Praise You


Take a quick dance break and then read my song story…

 

Recently, I attended a women’s conference held by my church.  Having worked as a volunteer earlier that afternoon, I knew already that I was already assigned to Table 11.  So that evening at the designated time, I went to, well, Table 11 and sat by a new friend I had been wanting to get to know better.  Awesome!  But, then, after looking at the table list, I realized that, since that afternoon, my name had been marked off of the roster for Table 11.  It was done in ink pen, so you know it was final.  Weirdly though, within a minute, I happened to see another good friend of mine walking by, so I said hi to her.  She looked in confusion at me and asked why I was sitting there – she was a table leader and said I was supposed to be at her table.  Sure enough, my name had been written on her roster in ink, so you know it was final.  Instead of getting flustered and wondering what happened, I had the immediate thought wondering if God was up to something.  I was intrigued by what the weekend would hold.  When things “happen to” change at the last minute, you really should start looking around for Him.  

 

Among a lot of great women at my new table, I met a new friend, Chris.  Part of our table discussion Friday night involved ‘morning people’ and ‘night owls’ and the plight of the young mommies in our group who were just hanging on for dear life for whenever they could find sleep – morning or night!  Chris indicated that she was a morning person and felt that her cup got filled up during the night.  Yes – definitely a morning person.

 

Fast forward about twelve hours:  Saturday morning rolled around way too early and I went in search of coffee.  My roommate and I had stayed up way too late (early) talking, so at this point, I think I must have looked like Frankenstein – imagine arms extended forward, making unintelligible moaning sounds as I drug my heavy feet towards the dining hall.  I just “happened to” meet Chris on the way in.  Y’ALL!  She had sooo many words!  So many.  So early.  I made the grouchy joking comment that she reminded me of that bird that sings outside your window in the morning…you know the one…who starts his crazy, joyful song about 10 minutes before your alarm is supposed to go off.  My comment didn’t even faze her a bit.  She giggled and took it as a compliment.  That girl was JOYFUL!  I promised her I’d be closer to her cheeriness once I’d had my coffee, too.  She laughed and said she hadn’t had any yet and bounced on off leaving my mouth hanging open.  Her response to being out of her element and among unfamiliar people? To mornings? Exultant joy.

 

It got me thinking:  As Christians, what should our responses be to…?

 

• Illness
• Inconvenience
• Traffic
• Dead end jobs
• Screaming toddlers
• Less than ideal relationships
• Rejections
• Loss
• Situations that don’t change no matter how much we pray

 

All of a sudden, I was filled with these questions:

 

• Illness – What if God is using illness to bring us to a place of rest and reliance upon Him that we would never get to in good health?
• Inconvenience – What if we were about to miss something BIG that God wanted to show us, so He had to temporarily change our direction for the day?  
• Traffic –What if your morning commute is a gift of time meant for us to use, spent in prayer for our day or praise and worship to God to remind us of how good He is and how much He loves us?  What if we looked at it as “I get an hour with God every morning on the way to work.”? How would that change our day’s perspective?
• Dead-end job – What if God is allowing your dissatisfaction in your current job because He has prepared a better one for you – one in which you could actually use the giftings He has given you?  What if He built in a lesson that you need to learn there before you are ready for the new position He is preparing?  What if there is a person at your job you are supposed to witness to?  Would that put a little more intrigue into your ho-hum job environment – the search for God at work in your place of business?  What if someone was actually noticing your “as unto the Lord attitude” and was wondering what was different about you?
• Screaming toddlers – God knows that your life is not your own when you have small children.  What if a temper tantrum in the grocery store (I hope we are talking about the child’s, not yours) is an indicator that maybe you are trying to fit too much into this day?  What if putting them and yourself down for a nap or putting them in the stroller and going for a walk outside to calm them down is what He is prescribing for your mental and physical health, as well? 
• Less than ideal relationships – (Disclaimer: I will try to tread lightly here because there are so many situations that require more than a generalization, for sure.  Let’s also be clear that this is not in any way directed at the subject of a marriage relationship.) What if that betrayal was allowed because of God’s dissatisfaction with the relationship?  Not in an “I’m mad at you” kind of dissatisfaction, but an “I want better for you” kind of dissatisfaction?  What if there was something (on yours or the other person’s part) in the relationship that is not God-honoring?  God always goes after that part first.  What if God has other, more beneficial relationships in which He wants you to place your time, energy and affection?  
• Rejections  What if this rejection is a visible sign of God’s protection of you?  What if that place you want to put yourself in so badly or that relationship to which you want to cling so tightly is not of God’s choosing?  What if He wants you to place the whole thing on His altar?  What would happen if we actually believe that God is outside of time and can already see the consequences of that path we think we want?  Is it wrong for a Father to want better for His children?
• Loss – What if? Why? Why me?  None of us have the answers this side of heaven as to why God allows what He does.  But, after the loss and devastation occurs, the pain subsides a little and the feelings, previously numb, start coming back to life, we can begin to ask different questions.  God, what purpose, what plan did this accomplish?  Will You show me the good I should be looking for in what happened here?  Is there someone who was helped by the way I responded to You in the midst of this terrible pain?  The act of Jesus leaving the ninety-nine sheep is painful if you are one of the 99.  But would you fault Him for that if that one, lost sheep was yours?  There are people who repeatedly push aside and run away from any and every thought of God’s love until they are face-to-face with death and loss.  Sometimes, they will come by no other means, than pain.  What if that lost sheep was yours? 
• Situations that don’t change no matter how much we pray– What if God deals with us in much the same way we lovingly parent our children?  There are so many times we, as parents, tell our children “No”, “Not yet” “Wait” and “Soon”.  The smaller the child, the less understanding he or she has when told “Not yet”.  Maybe a temper tantrum will ensue, but we can see a little farther down the road of choices and consequences than they can, so we keep them in a holding pattern, of sorts, until that just right time comes.  So why then, do we fault God’s loving intentions when He does, basically, the same thing with us and our requests?  Why do we doubt that He is anything other than loving in all His actions toward us?  Is it because we are not getting our way?

 

Back to my friend Chris and why this is important.  Chris’ reaction to my grouchiness and my song Sunday choice both bring me back to one thing.  JOY IS A CHOICE.  Just like the birds whose joy can be too much for those living without it, just like Chris’ response to morning, just like our response to what life throws at us…Joy is a choice.  Always.  What if every single action God took toward you was out of goodness?  What if only goodness flowed from Him toward you?  Would it shock you to know that it does?  With mercy and grace thrown in for good measure!  Now, let’s all check for what our correct response should be and, like the birds, like this song, respond with JOY!

     ~Debbie Bouckley 

 

Live to Praise You

Day after day You never change
Ever the same, there is hope in Your name
You are the fire that’s burning bright
Ever You reign so we’re lifting You high

Everybody
Everybody
Come on somebody
1, 2, 3, hey!

Everybody shout, make it loud
All of heaven sing, hear the sound
Let the praises ring, Your renown
Everyday we live
Everyday we live to praise You
Everyday we live to praise You

Breath after breath we’re so alive
Ever we’re changed ‘cause You rescued our lives
The First and the Last, no one in between
Ever the King, You’re the song that we sing

The joy of the Lord is our strength!
The joy of the Lord is our strength!
The joy of the Lord is our strength!
The joy of the Lord is our strength!

 

Nehemiah 8:20 (B)  “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

 

Galatians 5:22-23  The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this.

 

Luke 15:4  What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?


Batter Batter Swing! 

  

It echoed more like Battah Battah Sweeeng– in my head as I was awoken with that saying this morning.  I am not even a big sports fan. So I thought, why do I have this phrase stuck in my head? 
I also thought of the crazy baseball taunts like:
We need a pitcher not a belly itcher”
Or my favorite -“We need a hitter not a booger flicker”
I imagined the taunts being the enemy. They usually are not as gentle or funny as the ones I listed.  The enemy lives and loves to taunt us and he wants nothing more than to yell STRIKE! when we fail.  He wants us to give up and feel defeated.
Those times when we are trying to change a situation or to do something and we slip or fail it is easy to think-  3rd strike I am out- time to throw the bat and sit back down.   
We can be so quick to give up sometimes.  
Thankfully God is not like baseball strikes when He deals with us.  We don’t get just 3 chances, we get to keep swinging! As many times as we want.  God is not wanting us to give up.  Don’t throw that bat down in frustration.  Even if you spin completely around because you have swung so hard and missed- it is still ok.  Keep getting back up to bat, keep swinging!  There are no strike outs with God. 
Stay Focused on whatever it is you are striving towards!  Don’t listen to the taunters.  Listen to God and His Promises! 
#LiveRestored
XXOO Michelle Bollom 


I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.- Philippians 3:12-14 MSG 


30 Everything God does is perfect;
    the promise of the Eternal rings true;
    He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him.-Psalm 18:30 VOICE 


I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.-Philippians 4:13 CEB 

  

Bound 

 

But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. ~ Romans 7:6 AMP 

Hallelujah! 
Christ frees us from the law to which we were bound, but not to do as we please. We’re freed from the law so that we can now be bound to God in the newness of the Spirit. 

 #LiveRestored

XXOO, Michelle Bollom 

 

Homeless

  

Betty…
Incessant chattering
Everything she sees 
Is an update…
Yet she’s looking
Outside of herself
Watching 
For a need
Not missing a lick
In her neon
I see kindness
A genuine concern
Willingness to learn
Generosity unheard of
For the homeless
She brings out
The bitch in me
That stray dog
Lurking within
Hidden
Until
Goodness 
Like a bone
Threatens
The flesh
She’s grown
On me
Seeing her best
Recognizing Christ
In this
And knowing
How He
Uses us to
Sharpen one another 
Ridding our hearts
Of hesitation 
To love
And be loved
Unleashing love
Lavishing His love
On us
Because we are
Homeless
Without
Him.

❤️ Krystal Lynne 


  

Celebrate Earth Day 

  

Wherever you are you can spread some love and bless someone today.   Share your pictures or stories on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) using the # (hashtag) #BringHeaven2EarthDay2015.  

Please Reblog & Share to get the word out and join us!

  XXOO Michelle Bollom 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testimony 

  


Once upon a time 
Years ago and waiting
Prayers went forth …
Seeds sown
Water sprinkled
Weeds pulled
Love protected 
Sun and Moon
Faith tended
The Father’s Will
Being done
Not my will Lord 
But thine be done
Years pass
You see nothing 
You lose hope
You see your
Dream dying
But God….
You see He
Is the gardener
Who tends
Who gives Life 
He brings it to pass
He watches us wait
And is pleased with our waiting
He.Will.Do.It.
Finishing what He Begins
Our part is Trust 
In Him
All things become New
Only Believe
I am seeing 
Salvation
He is
Setting the captives free
Even me
His Kingdom
Living in us
Like a garden
When He is
Lord 
It thrives and is lush
That is His Way
Eternity
Reaching us
Heaven
Not only coming down
But living inside
Yay!!!!
🎆🎇

    ❤️ Krystal Lynne