Some Unpleasant Things 

  
Those of you following my fasting experience, I am excited to say that God is 6 for 6! 

This unpacking revelations is so much fun! 

Today’s unpacking has a little bit of a back story.   
Yesterday I woke up again feeling horrible. Huge dips in my blood sugar and well some unpleasant things for sure!  Let’s just say there was a lack of downloads in a certain department and coupled with feeling crummy I was ready to call it all quits. 

My friend arrived and noticed something wrong, she prayed over me and I started to feel better… I soon had a download in that other department too! God was moving quick answering our prayers.  
We then proceeded to “pray it down” for several other people and situations. I headed out to run errands after our three hours of a divine delay and awesome prayer time. I could not stop praying in my car and under my breath everywhere I went. So My next stop was to drop off something for my friend and instead of just sitting it on her porch I waited. When she opened the door I saw so much angst and sadness and instantly knew something was up. She barely got words out when I just grabbed her and started to pray. That turned out to be another two plus hour Divine delay.  

At one point she said she felt like she can’t hear God’s direction or answers on certain situations she has been praying for and showed me the Bible verse she read that morning. 

Here is a picture of it below-

  

The Verse is in Psalm 119

In the picture you can see the underlined sections she showed me-

My mind was stirred remembering that there was a Living Bible in a supply box at my Thursday night support group. It being Thursday I would look for it when I got there to take and read more of her verse.  
As I rushed now from the store and home to make dinner and eat and head back out the door to get to my class and look for the bible, I was so excited when my ministry partner and friend found it and said I could have it. So that is how today’s unpacking all got pre-unpacked. 

Those Divine Encounters and Divine Delays were all a bigger part by God so I could not only obtain this bible and use it to unpack today’s revelation…. but God also used them for some mighty powerful prayers, revelations, and unpleasant truths for all of us.  

So last night my waking time was 1:19 am- the verse that correlated with was Jeremiah 27:22.  

They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them back and RESTORE them to this place.'”~ Jeremiah 27:22 NIV 

I unpacked it in Bible Hub on my phone and the very first listed translation was NIV – and as you all can guess, the word that jumped out and confirmed I was on my way to my next download was- yep- RESTORE

Then the commentary had another favorite word- gracious promise

Jeremiah assures them that the brazen vessels should go after the golden ones. All shall be carried to Babylon. But he concludes with a gracious promise, that the time would come when they should be brought back. ~Matthew Henry Commentary 

So I finally was led to open the new to me Living Bible and wham! This is what the notes on that verse and passage of scriptures is telling us.

The people of Judah chose to listen to the pleasant messages of the false prophets, but this only blinded them to their sins and its inevitable consequences. All of us are impressionable, and even more so when we are young or going through difficult times. It is important that we build our life on a foundation of truth rather than on convenient or pleasant messages. God calls us to do some unpleasant things. He requires that we take an honest look at our life, admit our sin, and humbly seek to make amends for those we have hurt. Recovery is never easy; it is always painful. We would be wise to face the truth. The road of pleasant experiences will only lead to denial and destruction. ~ The Life Recovery Bible. 

Wow! God is so awesome! 

We can be so impressionable. We can allow other people or situations to influence us in either good or bad behaviors. We can be quick to swallow sometimes any ole thing someone is trying to force feed us. Whether that be a false prophet or the enemies lies. It’s also much easier to lose our resolve when things are difficult too. 
God does call us to do some unpleasant and inconvenient and out of our comfort zone things. 
(I can vouch for that – today is day 6 of my fast! This is a double Amen Brother Ben and a Glory and Hallelujah all said together now on that statement!) 

He also requires us to take an honest look at our lives and admit our sins, make amends, and also to release those secrets, sins, and struggles to Him. He is the only One that restores. He is the only One that delivers us. The road of pleasant experiences will only lead to more denial and destruction. So keep doing the unpleasant things- they will all pay off in the end. 

 Embrace the Divine Delays too because they can bring about a ton of great things.  

Until our next unpacking- travel light! 
                     ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Toxic

  
She stares and her glare cuts deep
Draining the ocean
Within her victim’s corpse
To dispose all inner constellations
Formed there
Standing once in confidence
‘Til faced with toxic
Fumes 
Bleeding through her skin
Wanting her victims
To suffer as she did
Covering up her pain
Made in past memories
Surfaced
Now in reality’s midst 
Causing chaos within
The already distorted mind
And relying on death’s kiss
To reap affect inside
The effects of war
She erases all the evidence
Hoping to start over
Forgetting the once believed lies
Tracing back her steps
She tries to believe 
Nothing is correct
Just as she’s seen before
Her very eyes
The battles fought and lost
Her corners cut off
By standers observing
From a safe distance
Not caring enough
To get involved
With mingling pain and thoughts
Now
As a slave to the night
She clothes herself
In her own flesh
Bone keeping
Everything hanging
In place
As she attempts 
Masking her face
Behind past nightmares
Wanting to appear
Like she’s living a dream
But really
Only beginning
The past to devour
Each and every moment.

   

                             ~Bethany Anne 

Learning To Be Led

  
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

All life comes from God. God keeps faith with the birds of the air and the grass of the fields.  Jesus even asked us if God will do so much for a simple bird or wildflowers, how much more will He do for us (Matthew 6:25,26). And then Paul even tells us in (Philippians 4:19) my God shall supply all your needs.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

Did you know that back in the days the shepherd would start the sheep grazing about 4 o’clock in the morning and the sheep walked steadily as they would graze? 

They are never still. But around 10 o’clock when the sun begins to beat down the sheep are becoming tired, hungry and thirsty. The good shepherd knew that the sheep must not drink when it was hot because their stomach was filled with undigested grass. So the shepherd would make the sheep lie down in green pastures; a cool soft spot. The sheep would not eat lying down so they would chew their cud. Nature’s way of digestion.

He leadeth me beside still waters

Sheep are very timid creatures. They are expecially afraid of swift moving waters. For them it would be like a man trying to swim with his overcoat on. The water soaks into the sheeps coat and pulls them down. Sheep will not drink from moving waters. They will only drink from still water.

He restores my soul

I have read that throughout the day each sheep would individually go up to the shepherd. The shepherd would rub their nose and lightly scratch their ears and whispered in their ears reassuring them and encouraging the sheeps to take their place. I believe that David remembered how close he once was to God and how God protected him as he went to meet the giant Goliath. But then David got busy. And he was able to look after himself therefore he felt no more need of God. So therefore he lost his nearness to God. He did wrong. He also became unhappy. His burdens of guilt became so heavy that he could not bear them. So what did he do? He repented and God heard him, forgave him and restored him. David became a new man.

He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His namesake

Sheep have no sense of direction. Horses dogs and cats can usually find their way back. Not so with sheep. Sheep have very poor eyes. They cannot see 10 or 15 yards away. Back then hills were covered with narrow paths over which the shepherds led their sheep to pasture. Some sheep might even fall to their death.

Yea though I walk through the valley of shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me

The shepherd describes an actual valley of the shadow of death in Palestine. It leads from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and is a very narrow and dangerous pathway through the mountain range. The Path is rough and there is danger that the sheep could at any moment fall to its death. It was a Forbidden Journey that one would dread to take but the sheep are not afraid because they knew the shepherd was with them.

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

Back then sheep were helpless animals that had no weapon which to fight with. They were easy prey to any wild beasts of the field. But the shepherd carried a rod and a staff. A rod which is a heavy club 2 to 3 feet long in (1st Samuel 17) Davis tells how he slew a lion and a bear protecting his sheep. The staff was about 8 feet long and the end of the staff turned into a crook. Many paths in Palestine are along the side of a mountain. The sheep would lose their footing and slip down hanging helplessly from the steep mountain and with his staff the shepherd could reach down and place the cook over the small chest of the sheep and lift them back onto the pathways to safety. The sheep are comforted by the use of the Shepherd’s rod and staff. It is comforted knowing that the shepherd will be able to meet any emergency.

Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

Pastures at the Holy Land were full of poisonous plants that were fatal to the sheep if they ate it. There are also plants with sharp thorns that would penetrate their soft little noses and cause ugly sores. So each spring the shepherd would first have to go dig out the enemies for the sheep, pile them up and burn them so that the pastures would be safe and prepared for the sheep to graze. It is as if a table was prepared in the presence of their enemies.

He anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over

There were times that the sheep would cut its head by the sharp edges of a stone buried in the grass. He would check them one by one as they came in from their graze. If one was injured he would apply soothing and healing oil so instead of becoming infected, the hurt would heal quickly.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life

We see so much wickedness and evil of men and destruction of this world. Bombs which can destroy cities with one blast. We tremble at the sound of the vengeful judgment of God. But if you can fill your mind with the picture of the loving Shepherd leading His sheep then we too can feel confident that God will lead us through the dark valleys.

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

These verses alone give me much comfort, but knowing that The Great Shepherd is always looking out for me guiding, protecting, and leading me is even better.    
I am so glad that I am learning to be led, and that I too have a Great Shepherd who cares so much about me, His sheep.  

                Lead me Lord,

                  -Michelle Smith 

Unfazed And No Longer Confused 

  
This morning I woke up to day five of my fasting experience and although I am so thankful that God has been faithful on the revelations and encouragement I was wavering a bit in my resolve. 

I was tired and feeling horrible and second guessing my ability to do this. My blood sugar had been very low and this morning I just could not focus. I was rushing God through on my quiet time and when He led me to the verse I knew was my download, I was like – bingo! Wow, now we are 5 for 5! Yeah! 

You see, I recognized the verse Romans 8:37 so I thought I already knew what God wanted me to share since that is the verse for Conquering Overeating – my local emotional eating support ministry that meets every Thursday night.  

But God was saying- nope, you don’t know it all missy -read it in another translation- get to unpacking it.

So I head to the Message translation and there it was.  

Two things jumped out immediately 

hunger – because I had started to dream of carbs and sugar items and was tired and did not sleep well since my blood sugar had been dropping too low etc, and then the second thing was this phrase 
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us

Did God just try to put the ole kabash on my pity party? 

I knew God was downloading something on fazed so I thought, Alright Alright Alright –

  
God you don’t want me to be fazed – that is like not bothered by, so is that what the message is today, don’t be bothered, stop complaining and get on about Your business? 

Where exactly are we going on this, my brain is mush right now from lack of sleep and the lack of a sugar stimulant or caffeine since I am also fasting dairy, so I am Really CONFUSED! 

So I kept unpacking. In the dictionary this is what I found…..

faze

fāz/

verb informal

1. disturb or disconcert (someone).     
Ok God so none of that should faze me because Jesus loves me……

So I am to be unfazed …. Ok I sorta get it but a little confused still, so I looked up what unfazed would be … 
un·fazed

ˌənˈfāzd/

adjective

1. not disconcerted or perturbed.
not fazed :undaunted
BOOM there it was! In the definition of unfazed ……. Undaunted! That is where God is going with this…..

So I looked up undaunted and this is what it said:
undaunted

uhn-dawn-tid/-dahn-

1. undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort: 

2. undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear; intrepid

I am not to get dismayed over the daunting task of preparing fresh veggies, fruit and lean proteins. I am not to get discouraged that my family is still eating yummy foods. I am not to be forced by the enemy to give up and abandon the purpose of all of this fast or the efforts made so far. I got You lord, loud and clear! And then He brought it all home for me with …
Do not give into fear! 

So I re read the verse again and thought about the phrase 

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us

As I read it through, yet again, I finally began to start to feel unfazed and no longer confused.  

Thank you God for bringing it all into a clearer view!

                     ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Read the rest of the whole awesome promise here:

 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:  They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. 

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. ~ Romans 8:31-39 MSG 

Mirror 

  

 

Define

A mirror can be defined as something regarded as accurately representing something else.

 

Affirm

James 1:23-25 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

 

Recall

Every morning, I use my mirror to prep myself for a day of work. The mirror to me is a reflection of what others see. About a week ago, I stopped for a minute and thought about what my reflection represents. I took another look into the mirror and looked deeper into my soul. In a moment of deep reflection, I asked myself:

1. What do I really see in this mirror?

2. Do I see myself as GOD sees me?

3. Am I reflecting a godly like image to others?

 
At that moment, I asked GOD to humbly come into my heart. I immediately started praying for myself and praying for others. It was such an Ah-ha moment. Here’s what I learned at that moment.

1. Many of us avoid mirrors because we are afraid of what we will see.

2. Many of us have a distorted view of what we see.

3. Many of us ignore what we see.

 
I learned that when we look in the mirror, some of us are crippled by fear, judgement, shame, guilt, worry, and stress. Often when we see these ailments, we ignore them and we operate through with a crippled state of mind. We become functionally mentally ill and sadly accept our lives as normal. I also learned that many times we avoid mirrors because we know that our baggage will be revealed and we feel so overwhelmed by the thought of letting go of the baggage, we tell ourselves it is easier to simply cope with it.

 
The reflection of what we see in the physical mirror is closely related to the reflection of what is seen through our spiritual mirror. When we open our hearts to GOD, we are forced to be honest with ourselves. God will show us the areas of life that we need to change. The word tells us to not only be hearers of the word; but doers of his word. When we adopt the practice of being doers, not just hearers, our reflections will change. Will we mirror a more Christ like life.
 

Decide who and what you want to accurately represent and watch GOD work!

I challenged you to move from a crippled state of mind and use GOD’s remedy, the word of GOD to help you use the mirror to:

1. Assess yourself spiritually

2. Align yourself with the word of god by doing.

3. Affirm the word and work of GOD by speaking life into your current image.

4. Choose to see yourself how God sees you.

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you for helping me to live out your word. Thank you so much for helping align myself with your word so that what others see is a reflection of you. Thank you for allowing me to see you as you see me.    
                    ~Lereca Monik 

 

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

Beautiful Things 

  
As long as we are self-assured and carefully restrained we aren’t fully open or true to others or to God. When we are tired of acting like we have it all together, and begin to admit that we sometimes feel desperate, broken, and crushed, when we can finally start to be open, to get honest and are eager for God to work in us, is when our lives can start to change. 

Our own willfulness and pride keeps us imprisoned. Embracing His perfect will over our own and humbly admitting our short comings can transform our brokenness to empowerment. 

Let go of all the fractured and broken pieces and hand them and your control over to God. He is the Maker of all beautiful things.      
                         ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Gungor – Beautiful Things 

Lyrics:
All this pain

I wonder if I’ll ever find my way

I wonder if my life could really change at all

All this earth

Could all that is lost ever be found

Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us
All around

Hope is springing up from this old ground

Out of chaos life is being found in You
You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us
You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us
You make me new, You are making me new

You make me new, You are making me new
You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us

Mine Eye 

  
Eye see one half of the earth 

One half of the pain

One half of your heart

One tear on your face

Yet when Eye 

  
Close mine Eye 

Eye can see forever there

Being led by my Father’s Eye

Everything’s within my site

Further than mortal man can see

When Eye trust in thee Oh Lord

This single visioned man

Can see all things very clear

Eye see less of me 

Now

Literally

Light my path so

Eye won’t stumble

Hold my hand so

Eye won’t fall

Lead me Lord 

And Eye will follow

Speak my name

Eye’ll heed Your call

Eye hath not seen

Nor ear heard

But Eye will Lord

Looking to Your Word.

               ~Krystal Lynne 

Intimate And Organic 

  
When I started this fast on 10/4, I asked the Lord to download deeper truths and show me each day some encouragement to carry me along. 
God has been so faithful, He is 4 for 4- 

4 days -4 revelations/encouragements so far.

How do I know these revelations and “downloads” are from God?
I added almost two years ago these two practices to my morning quiet time routine. 
From my dreams, I write down all the people in my dreams. I then use The Name Book by Dorothy Astoria. It lists a bible verse for each name. 

The 2nd place I go to is Waking Words of Ancient Wisdom by Barbie Breathitt. It lists correlating Bible versus to times. 

When I awake during the night, I jot down the times and look them up the next day. Sometimes it is nothing more than that person on my mind or something too spicy for dinner or just having to get up and pee. But usually 99.99% of the time, it is God having me unpack something He is trying to teach me.   

So by now I recognize when a download is coming on, kinda like needing to go potty. I can feel it rumbling and stirring and there is no stopping it. (my son will be so proud I used a little bathroom analogy and humor today) 

So back to today …
God took me to this verse:

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” ~ John 15:5 MSG 

Afterwards God usually sends me to the dictionary and/or bible commentary.  

The two words that stood out were:
in·ti·mate

ˈin(t)əmət/

Closely acquainted; familiar, close. 

n. A very close friend


Or-gan·ic

\ȯr-ˈga-nik\

Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms

Right then I knew that God was downloading to me. As He also lovingly whispered to my soul:

It may get rough some days, it may make you want to give up Michelle, but cling to Me. Keep your relationship with Me and with food, intimate and organic. Keep it simple. Keep it Pure. Rest in Me. My burden is easy and light. The harvest is sure to be abundant if you stay linked up and aquainted with Me. When you separate from Me, you won’t produce a thing. You can’t do it without Me. I got this girlie! I got you in the palm of My hand. I am the true living God. All things are possible with Me. 

Yes! I am sticking close. I am clinging Lord! Today I am pressing on and thanking God for His Word and His downloads and for a light and easy burden. Instead of food being my Best Friend, God, You are my new BFF.  
I am believing with joyous hope that all things are possible and that soon I will also be lighter too.
                 XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Discarded 

  
 Many butts have

Graced your bosom

Smoke hovering your rims

Swirling slowly

Gently seeping 

Deeply into your bed

Of cold

Cut green glass

Many lives

Many cigarettes

Turning of tables

Loud music and dance

Nonchalant and elegant

Sitting back

Waiting patiently

For the last drag

Ashes

Like warm covers

Tossed aside

After love made

People

Just passers by

In this ashtrays

Masquerade. 

               ~Krystal Lynne