Storm

  

 

Define: 

Storm can be defined as a serious disturbance of any element of nature. 

 

Affirm:  

Luke 8:24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

 

Recall:  

It has been known for April to bring about spring showers.  This past week, in addition to the rain, we have experienced thunderstorms- flash flood warnings- severe storm alerts- signals that there is a major disturbance of nature.  If you are like me, thunderstorms can be quite unsettling.  Thunderstorms often mean high waters, heavy rain, a longer commute to work, and car accidents on every major freeway.  I would rather not travel or leave the house in the midst of the storm.  But you know just as I know that life does not stop because there is a storm- business must still be conducted, children must still go to school, and employees will still be called to work.

 

Just like nature will deliver us thunderstorms, life will also bring us storms- some form of serious disturbance; but we must continue on.  

 

This brings to mind a conversation that I had with a cancer survivor several months ago.  She shared her journey with me.  Her journey was not fun as she lost her job, her husband, and her savings all while her health was declining.  For some reason however; this woman was such a ray of light!  It was placed on my heart to minister to her by first asking her how her life had changed.  Initially she was confused by the question- I reworded the question by saying “what was your blessing?” She then began to share how cancer brought her closer to GOD and she began opening up about her journey with him.  

 

That is when our conversation got real!  

 

It was so clear to me that often GOD will do whatever he needs to do to get your attention.  Sometimes god will allow the storm to scare you to death- literally and figuratively.  Just like the disciples on the boat, you will be forced to call on the name of Jesus!  Jesus will quickly show you in the mist of the storm that he has the power to ask the storm to be still!  

 

After the storm, have you noticed how beautifully the sun shines?  That’s exactly it! Many of us want the storm to pass over- we want the storm to be still.  The STORM is your STORY.  Sometimes GOD has to allow you to experience the STORM so that you can SHINE.    As you grow closer to GOD while in your storm, you will radiate with his light.  Light will always penetrate through darkness.  Be the light!  Your light after the storm will give others the courage and the strength to have faith in GOD.  So instead of asking for fewer STORMS, commit yourself to being in GOD’s presence and when you weather the storm choose to lift others up with your STORY!  

 

Exercise:

Will you call on GOD while in your storm?

Will you let your story give others strength?

Will you allow yourself to shine after the storm?

 

Just something to think about!  Commit to the challenge.  I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik 


The Power Of Music 

  

Music holds us together when it seems like the world is trying to break us.  ~Unknown

  

             When words fail- Music speaks  

We would love to hear what songs are speaking to you- leave us your favorites in the comments below. 

XXOO Michelle Bollom 

A Great Incentive 

  

“The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”
              -John 14:21 MSG


I read this verse this morning and the last part jumped off the screen at me…
“I will make myself plain to him.” 
I was like YES!! 

That’s a great incentive to know and keep His commandments! 

I know we are supposed to search after Him with everything that we have.
I have to admit sometimes, though, it is a tiring game of hide and seek trying to wade through the muck that I am sure I put there that shades Him from my view. 

It’s nice to know He promises to show us Himself in whatever way we look for him. He’s not picky. 

The promises that He gives us for keeping His commandments are pretty cool…

*long life
*a good life
*answered prayers
*protection from our enemies
*hearing us when we pray…and
*He makes Himself PLAIN to us!

Thanks for this today, Jesus. 
You’re amazing!
~Megan Enis 


Roots Come First 

 

Have you ever compared yourself to a tree? Most will answer, “no” unless they do a comparison on a much deeper level.


They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:8 

A tree isn’t a tree without roots. Our spiritual roots keep us grounded when we are grounded by God and His word. A tree’s root is stability and steadiness like God’s word is for guidance and strength. A tree’s root seeks water to survive just as we search and reach for God’s word. When we live our lives dependent upon God’s word and guidance, our leaves will always be green. If we will stumble, just as drought comes to a tree and its roots, we should seek the help from God just as that tree reaches out for water. 

So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Matthew 7:15-20

Christians are fruit bearing trees that flourish when we build and expand His Kingdom. God’s word challenges and charges us to bring others to know Him. It’s difficult to convince someone to join you to be a Christian if you bear no fruit. It’s important to bear fruit of the spiritual kind.  We should strive to bear the beautiful fruits of the spirit that God so desires in us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.  Galatians 5:22

People sometimes come to me for prayer, counseling and just a shoulder to lean on and I am certainly not perfect.  But I want my “spiritual fruit”, my life witness, and the very essence of who I am to shine God’s love on others.  We may be the only taste of Jesus, the love of God that someone feels that day.  A willing vessel is one that bears good fruit.

The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life.  Psalm 121:7

Spring is here and as we all love looking at the beautiful blooms and flowers that God created, we should be reminded that they require water and nurturing to survive. Just like we need God’s word to keep our own roots saturated with His guidance to flourish with His love.  Remember, you can’t be a tree without roots!

Blessings,

Sabrina

Sabrina Nelson is a loving wife who is blessed beyond measure.  A servant’s heart is woven into her being and her focus is giving to others and leading them to know Jesus on an intimate level.  She is the Alabama area coordinator for Compassion That Compels; a ministry and non-profit organization that reaches women battling cancer with Compassion Bags. Sabrina is married to her best friend JP.  She has an amazing mom, two incredible step-daughters, and one precious granddaughter. Follow Sabrina onFacebook,  Twitter@sabrinamnelson or Instagram sabrina.mixson.nelson

 

 

 

Camouflage 

 

Presenting ourselves 
Framed and flowery
Living our lives…
Concealing reality
Disguising the truth
We play our roles
Smiling
Instead of releasing the tears
Hidden behind
Our pompous mask
We camouflage 
We make believe 
We camouflage 
Remain deceived 
Covering up
The flaws we loathe 
Painting over
The scars and holes
In our minds
And in our souls 
We camouflage 
Our hearts and hopes
Existence in pretense
Land of denial
Betraying ourselves
Refusing to acknowledge 
Deception disabling
Our very portrayal
Our reflection unable
To mirror
Any image to exemplify
Therefore, we camouflage 
Salvaging the pain
We try to exclude
Ourselves from any truth
The vulnerability 
We entertain
Decorating and adorning
Ourselves
Instead of offering
The beating heart
We hide within
The camouflage 
Just who we are
With human frailties 
Committing sin
Against ourselves
By always
Pretending 
To be someone else.

❤️Krystal Lynne 
7*30*96

 

21 / 21 Vision 

  

I am going after some 21/21 vision these days. 

Matthew 21:21

We have to back up a bit and see what’s going on ahead of our 21/21 vision. 

Matthew 21:18-22
The Withered Fig Tree
18-20 Early the next morning Jesus was returning to the city. He was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree alongside the road, he approached it anticipating a breakfast of figs. When he got to the tree, there was nothing but fig leaves. He said, “No more figs from this tree—ever!” The fig tree withered on the spot, a dry stick. The disciples saw it happen. They rubbed their eyes, saying, “Did we really see this? A leafy tree one minute, a dry stick the next?”

21-22 But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.”

Matthew 21:21 basically says 
If you have faith and do not doubt you too can move mountains and wither fig trees. Jesus reminded the disciples and now us the importance of our words. I would suggest our thoughts contribute to our vision of what we believe of things to come. 
They all work together to create sight beyond our natural eyesight. 

Do you want to see beyond what you can see with your eyeballs?

Me!! Me!! Raising my hand high up in the air,  jumping up and down. 

I need to see past the circumstances of what I see with my natural eyesight. 

A fig tree may not be involved. 
It could be something else going on in your life. It’s possible things don’t look so promising for you. You didn’t hear the best news about one of your children or yourself.  You keep asking God for answers to why bad things keep happening. 
You’re wondering how long your prayers are going to be stuck to the ceiling in your bedroom. 
Keep speaking to that mountain. 
Don’t give up!!
Take your doubt and exchange it for trust. Turn in your frustration and pick up some faith.  It only has to be as small as a mustard seed to get started. 

Matthew 17:20 
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Listen to this song and ask God to give you new vision of your circumstances and take a chance on Him to hold you tight through the storm!! 

It is Well by Bethel Music 

Verse 1
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

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

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

Verse 2
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

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

Bridge x3
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name(repeat last line during 3rd run)

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
repeat 3x(increasing in strength and volume)

It is well it is well with my soul x3
ahhhhhhh (softly)

Chorus x2-3 (softly slowly)
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.


Mountain Move!!!

    Kelley Allison
     John1:4-5


Video of song:

Glimmer Of Hope 

  

Glimmer -to shine in a weak, faint, or unsteady way.
Wow!  What a definition!  I would definitely have to say I have glimmered instead of shined lately.  
What kicked of our New Year was a series of events and appointments that ended the first quarter of the year with some disturbing and life changing news for my family.  It then culminated into a huge blow the first day of the second quarter.  Ironically it was also April Fools Day, and I was really hoping someone was going to tell us that was what it was, just a great big ole joke or trick, but it wasn’t.  As we struggled to just make short term plans and live in the day to day to get through Easter we were suddenly and abruptly shifted into a very long and emotional and grueling week.
Today I woke up exhausted but I felt like I could finally see the light at the end of this immediate tunnel.  Not all the way around the bend and into the future tunnels, but the light at the end of this crazy ride.  I could actually see some light and that was enough till we either continued to coast through or climbed our next incline.  
 I thought of the word “glimmer” and the saying “glimmer of hope”.  I was thinking a glimmer is just a little bit, so it would mean like a pocket flashlight compared to a flood light.  Or I think of the disco balls with all the little pieces of mirror working together to release the glimmering glow of light.  So I looked up the word curious to see what it actually meant-and this is what it said… “to shine in a weak, faint or unsteady way.”   
Wow.   I sat speechless.  (Which is very hard for me to do)  Maybe that is exactly what God is trying to show me.  No, I was not always shining brightly throughout all of this; I was just trying to survive.  Sure I made some mistakes, I sinned, I got cross, I slung a few curse words, I complained, I stress ate some junk, I griped, I cried, but I never ever questioned God.
  I was not shining as brightly as I maybe could have, but I was holding on to hope, even if only by a glimmer.  I may be weak, faint and at times unsteady; But God never is
As I sat here this morning in my glimmered state recalling God’s amazing hand working through all of this.  I clearly see that through some of the worst of things He also brought the biggest of blessings.
When life kicks us in the gut and we double over with pain and try to catch our breath…. Guess what? God is still there…If you invite Him to be.  When we rush around in our hurried and busy state and worry and reason and even go into “Fix It” mode or “pull the covers up and hide” mode or “too freaking stressed to deal” mode; we have not invited Him in to help us.   When we worry we doubt God.  Instead of trusting Him and surrendering our concerns to Him, we are saying, You are not enough, You are not capable, You don’t understand.  You can’t fix this.  Worry won’t ever change our circumstances, only God can.  He does not ask us to understand it all.  We are to trust and bear witness to this world that “My God is a Mighty God, He will carry me through this.”   

Sometimes in our Faith we have to do it in “glimmer” increments.  (Weak, faint, and unsteady) until we are strengthened by God to shine brightly again with an unshakeable faith. 
Our Faith does not always have to look squeaky clean.  We are human and not perfect.  Sometimes life happens and what interrupts our normalcy is Poop!  You know the old saying….Yes- Poop still happens! 
Things can change in a heartbeat, in a flash of a second, it is not convenient, we don’t know which way is up, we want to lay down and give up, but we just hold on to that glimmer of hope.  We cling to Jesus.  We just glimmer until we can shine.  Invite God to do the heavy lifting.  Ask Him to guide and direct and give you wisdom for just the next moment.  He is faithful.  He is there waiting. Invite Him in …stop worrying…. and Glimmer on!        

XXOO, Michelle Bollom


Charity

  

 

Define: 

Charity can be defined as generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering and/or aid given to those in need.  

 

Affirm:  

Matthew 25:40 Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.

 

Recall:  

As a fundraising professional, I have worked for many charity organizations in helping organizations offer relief to those in need. If you are like me, when you think of charity work- you will often think of the abused woman, the elderly that needs some form of assistance, the cancer patient needing financial support, the at risk student, the family that lost everything in a disaster, the individual suffering from mental illness, or even the homeless person in need of a meal.   The people I just described often appear as those they are in desperate need or help.  

 

What about those that do not look like they are in desperate need?

 

As I grow closer to GOD, I am learning that people in need of charity do not look a certain way.  To be honest with you, I too have experienced moments in which I needed food, financial support, a helping hand, and/or someone to talk to. Sadly most of the time when I have needed; because I don’t look a certain way- I have experienced very few people who have exercised charity to support my immediate needs.    

 

Honestly, I have heard many times, well sister I will pray for you.  I wonder to myself, if I am in need, why don’t you just help me.  Prayers are good; but sometimes people need more than a prayer.  They might need assistance with a light bill, a few groceries, or help with paying their rent. I am sure there are other people that look like they have it all together but don’t.  Many of which are going to sleep at night wishing that someone would be charitable to help meet their needs.  

 

I often fear that many times we are so wrapped up in gaining more for ourselves; that we truly become blinded to seeing the people close to us that are in desperate need.   When we do help, we often want a receipt in return.  

 

Have you ever given up your coat to comfort someone else? Take a moment to ponder on this:  “THE COAT- A Story of Charity.” 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp3IH8ZNviQ

 

After viewing this video, I hope you see that GOD allows us to experience opportunities on a daily basis to give up something so that others might have.   Trust me there is someone within reach that can use our warmth and comfort.   True charity is giving up your coat so that someone else will experience warmth.  

 

I challenge you to take the blinders off so that you can help someone today- there’s no need to go looking, the person is very near.  This person could be a friend, a family member, or a co-worker.   GOD shares with us that when we truly help others, we are also helping him!  Go be charitable today!

 

Exercise:

 

Dear GOD,

 

Please show me who I can help today.  GOD give me the insight to see when my brother or sister needs my comfort or help.  Give me the courage to be selfless and to act upon their needs.  GOD for I know when I am helping them, I am displaying your undying love.  GOD thank you for helping me exercise charity.  

 

Commit to the challenge.  I DARE you. 

~Lereca Monik 


Real Love 

  

I saw Derek Johnson with Jesus Culture in Houston, Tx at the Reinhard Bonnke Crusade earlier this year.  He just released his solo album Real Love.  It is a great album!  I am still discovering it, so expect more upcoming blogs to come from it. 
Head out to ITunes and download a copy. 
  
Enjoy! 
XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Nothing New Under the Sun

  

Awko Taco it seems everywhere I turn I am reminded to take a peek into Ecclesiastes. That’s the book of the Bible right after Proverbs.  It’s written by King David’s son Solomon. 
The richest and wisest man to ever live they say. His mama was Bathsheba and it is said that Solomon had over 300 concubines. Not sure that is too wise of a choice or choices for one lone man!! 

Anyways, my simple message I am taking away from this book of wisdom in the Bible is basically 

Chill ax!!

Don’t get caught up too much in the things of this world. Don’t stress over tomorrow or what happened yesterday.  Basically, there is nothing new under the sun. Everything is created with cycles in minds. The seasons, flowers, moon phases, animal kingdom and even us!!

Everything ends up cycling back!! 


Just look at the fashions trends. Ladies, watch out I do believe those bright floral pants are making there way back from the 8o’s. 

You may want to grab a pair while they last. Looks as though the high waist came with them too.  No more crack attack!!

  


Let’s just look at one chapter in Ecclesiastes.  

Chapter 3 

There’s a Right Time for Everything
(The Message) 

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

14 I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

15 Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
God’s Testing Us
16-18 I took another good look at what’s going on: The very place of judgment—corrupt! The place of righteousness—corrupt! I said to myself, “God will judge righteous and wicked.” There’s a right time for every thing, every deed—and there’s no getting around it. I said to myself regarding the human race, “God’s testing the lot of us, showing us up as nothing but animals.”

19-22 Humans and animals come to the same end—humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there’s really no advantage in being human. None. Everything’s smoke. We all end up in the same place—we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. So I made up my mind that there’s nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do—that’s our lot. Who knows if there’s anything else to life?

So today is my present that I am unwrapping and enjoying now. It’s a gift and I am thankful. 

Thanks God for giving me today. 
I shall enjoy it!😜

Flower Power, 
  Kelley Allison
   John1:4-5