Hardened To Difficulties 


Don’t you just love it when you are reading the Bible and a scripture jumps out at you? 

I ran across this scripture the other day and it blessed me so much, I just have to share it! 

When I read it I thought, “Lord this is what you’ve done with me!”

 The scripture is Isaiah 41:10 (Amp. version)-

 “Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.”

 I can look back on my life and clearly see that God has strengthened and hardened me to difficulties. Every time that something bad has happened to me, I have ALWAYS thought, “I know that someone else is going through something worse.”

I know in my heart that God put that capability in me.

 It doesn’t matter what you may be going through, God wants to help you! He WILL help you IF you let Him. Go to Him, talk to Him like you would talk to your best friend. (He likes that!) 

Just pour your heart out to Him and allow Him to heal you with His love and tender mercies! 

In God’s love,

Tracy Mason 

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Stop Doubting And Start Believing 


God told me not too long ago whenever me and my girlfriend were praying over our relationship “Stay under My Will and I Will.” My first reaction was to ask “will what?” But I soon realized if God wanted me to know, then He would have told me. 

We have to come to a place in our lives where we just trust the will of our Father. We have to know that whatever is attached to the end of “and I will” is going to be more than we can imagine. 

For everything good and perfect comes from our Father. Everything to build us up to look just like Jesus and to edify our hearts to be yielded and love as He loves.
 Speaking of love, if we can get real for a second, His love is more than enough to where we can stop asking Him for anything. What He did on the cross while He hung naked with His arms stretched wide taking on the very sin in which He never committed, is the greatest thing that could be done. But our Father is so good that He doesn’t want to stop there. He wants to give us life and life more abundantly. 

He doesn’t want us to live like hell until His arrival. But rather, He wants to put heaven in us through His Holy Spirit and every good fruit that comes along with Him. He just wants us to let go of our lives and give it to Him. He wants us to seek first the kingdom and its righteousness and all things will be given to us. What is all things? It is everything that you need to live out the life that He predestined you to live and have. 

What He wants to tell you today is to stop doubting and start believing that He is good and for you to have peace and know in your heart that everything has been taken care of.  


He wants you to stay under His will and know that HE will and to know that HE has.

                  ~ Thomas Joel Trevino 

Joshua 

WORTHY THOUGHT:  Great leaders are often rare. To be strong leaders we must be ready to listen and move when God instructs us. 

After the death of Moses, the Lord’s disciple, God spoke to Moses’ assistant, who’s name is Joshua (The son of Nun) and said to him, now that my disciple is dead, (you are the new leader of Israel). Lead my people across the Jordan River into the promised land. -Joshua 1:1-2

In The book of Joshua we see he succeeds Moses as Israel’s leader. Joshua was Moses’ assistant for 40 years, whether he was prepared or not Joshua must thought to himself those are big shoes to fill in to be a great leader like Moses. 

But the Bible is clear that God was not asking Joshua to follow in the same shoes as his previous leader Moses. 

No two leaders are the same.

Joshua knew to succeed as a leader was to be lead by God, obey scriptures of God’s law, be strong and brave because the task ahead is not easy, and to constantly lead God’s people in the Word. 

Faith and obedience to God brings victory.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made, no two people are alike or created the same. 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10

Joshua’s new job faced many challenges. One of them consisted of leading more than a million people to a strange new land and conquering it. Without God this could be dangerous and frightening. However with God we are assured just like He assured Joshua that He is with us. We face many challenges but God also promises He would never abandon or leave us. 

Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.-Joshua 1:9 

We may not conquer nations but we do face many difficulties. By asking God to direct us we will conquer many of life’s challenges.

        ~Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

A Life Of Love 

In the kingdom, there is abundant love available. Our Father longs to lavish his love on us and to show us how to lavish love on each other. The first priority in the kingdom is for us to come to the Father to get all of our needs met; this is God’s strategic initiative, where he builds us up for our kingdom work. The second priority in the kingdom is for us to go out into the world and into the church and bear good fruit for him by loving others; this is God’s tactical initiative, the out working of his grace in our lives.

God’s strategic initiative, our A.I.R. Exercises – Our Father’s Approbation, Inspiration, and Restoration. If we are to live well the life that Our Father has granted us, we will need to take time each day to allow him to build us up in our spirits and in our souls. He longs to praise us, bless us, and affirm his love for us. We may come to him often and expectantly for him to pour out his love and grace into our hearts, minds, and lives.

God’s tactical initiative, our L.A.N.D. Exercises – Loving, Accepting, Nurturing, and Discipling – the life of Christ flowing through us to others. First, we love – we value highly each and every soul; we are patient and kind to all. Secondly, we accept each person at whatever stage of life they may be in; we love unconditionally. Thirdly, we nurture the life of God in each heart; we try to find out what each one needs in order to flourish. Finally, we disciple others; we find ways of bringing them along in the kingdom.

                      Perfect love casts out fear. 

  The more committed we are to living a life of love, by the mercy and grace of our loving Heavenly Father, the more he can replace our fears and our worries with love and faith and hope. We have only to come to him in our moments of need and he will exchange our weakness with his strength, our blindness with his sight, our fears with his faith and love.

                ~Brad Heilhecker

The Hard Way 

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matt.7.14.ESV

For many years, I lived limited in my surroundings. As I considered and lived out who I thought I was, I found myself feeling unworthy and without purpose or direction.

Traveling on roads that are covered with debris and obstacles, can cause one of two things. Either you look at what is there and decide it’s not worth moving and then head back, or you start moving the debris and obstacles out of the way, clearing a path so that you can continue on.

I admit, that I have turned back several times. Low confidence resulted in missed opportunities, undeveloped personal growth, missed relationships, and reaching others. I didn’t understand who I was, or the light that shined inside of me.
I couldn’t accept that God created me for him.

But thankfully, about five years ago, God met me in the dark. He replaced the enemy’s lies with his own truth, and a stagnant placement with a passion for innovation.

He told me who I was in him and then guided me to where I was able to learn it for myself. He led me to the narrow road.
He said, “I delegated you for my people, and the only way to press forward is by getting up.”

“You have to be standing before you can move.”

God, allow us to experience your gate which is narrow. Remind us that living the hard way leads to life which is in you.

May we find life abundantly today.

Baring His Beauty,

Tiffany Thomas

Through The Eyes Of Love 


Take a pair of sunglasses and put them on and look at everything you do through the eyes of love. ~Emery Horvath                                                                      

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. ~1 Peter 4:8 

It’s hard to see hate when looking through love

It’s hard to see bad when looking through love

It’s hard to see lack when looking through love

It’s hard to see resentments when looking through love

It’s hard to see unforgiveness when looking through love 

It’s hard to see offense when looking through love 

         

Lord, may we start to clearly see love in everything and everyone instead of the smudges of our hurts, problems, emotions, opinions, offenses and flesh; which only divide us and distort our views. 

           ~XXOO Michelle Bollom

In Spite Of The Ache 

You’re broken down and tired

Of living life on a merry-go-round

And you can’t find the fighter

But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out

And move mountains

We gonna walk it out

And move mountains

And I’ll rise up

I’ll rise like the day

I’ll rise up

I’ll rise unafraid

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

And I’ll rise up

High like the waves

I’ll rise up

In spite of the ache

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

I love this song! But today I really heard the amazing lyrics clearly.  

Rise up- even if you are afraid- Rise up in spite of the ache! 
You may have felt like you have lost the fight- but I see that fighter and warrior in you! 

Let’s walk it out and move some mountains.

Keep going! Rise Up! 

              ~XXOO Michelle Bollom


“Rise Up” by Andra Day 
You’re broken down and tired

Of living life on a merry-go-round

And you can’t find the fighter

But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out

And move mountains

We gonna walk it out

And move mountains

And I’ll rise up

I’ll rise like the day

I’ll rise up

I’ll rise unafraid

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

And I’ll rise up

High like the waves

I’ll rise up

In spite of the ache

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

For you [4x]
When the silence isn’t quiet

And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe

And I know you feel like dying

But I promise we’ll take the world to it’s feet

And move mountains

Bring it to it’s feet

And move mountains

And I’ll rise up

I’ll rise like the day

I’ll rise up

I’ll rise unafraid

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

For you [4x]
All we need, all we need is hope

And for that we have each other

And for that we have each other

We will rise

We will rise

We’ll rise, oh oh

We’ll rise
I’ll rise up

Rise like the day

I’ll rise up

In spite of the ache

I will rise a thousand times again

And we’ll rise up

High like the waves

We’ll rise up

In spite of the ache

We’ll rise up

And we’ll do it a thousand times again

For you oh oh oh oh oh [3x]

Keep Digging Your Well

We want instant water.  No work involved.   

We want drive through breakthroughs. Instant weight loss. Instant satisfaction. Instant success. Instant gratification. Instant growth and maturity.
      We want it all-

           Now Now Now!

But just like in the old days – to get to that refreshing, cleansing, healing water you had to have a reliable container free from holes and defects. You needed a strong sturdy rope without any worn or frayed spots. You needed to lower the bucket and rope down into the deep well and fetch that water and pull it back up with strong and steady arms.

Then and only then was the water retrieved and able to be received.

You may have had to spend years digging the well and laying every brick yourself, before you could taste that very first drink.

That first taste will be a little more refreshing, sweeter, and colder because you did the preparations first. You did all the ground work. You were faithful to inspect and correct the little things that would aid in being successful in fetching that water. Your sweat and tears dug every shovel full of dry hard dirt and laid every brick.

Why did you do it?

 

So not only you could have access to the Water
you so desperately needed to quench your thirst; but so that many many more can come drink from the well you built.  

Don’t despise the work needed to be done or the time it may take to finally be able to fetch the water that will quench your thirst.  

 Keep digging, keep laying, keep preparing.

                        Others need you!
They need the Living Water that only your well can provide.

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

 

The Heart Of The Matter 


Why do we struggle to spend time in the Word as Christians at times? Why does it feel like a chore or a thing we have to check off our to do list?? How do you get to where you desire to spend time with God? What draws us to a space where we you can sit and be in His presence to hear a word from Him? We could compare it to eating a meal. You can’t wait to sit down and consume the amazing delicacies set before you. It satisfies your hunger, leaving you content and full. What stops us? 

The obvious is distractions, busy lifestyles, lack of priority and no desire to hear from Him. We find ourselves seeking Him diligently when a crisis arrives. When we are desperate for an immediate answer or direction them we cry out to Him. All of a sudden He becomes a priority and we finally go to Him for help. 

So here I go….
I sat down one morning determined to see what was keeping me from digging into His Word daily. I DO NOT want it to be a daily ” have to” or obligation. I desired to wake up with a STRONG inclination to spend time with Him. 
The verse Psalm 119:10 popped immediately in my head. So I looked it up to see if it had anything to do with my recent question. 

What do you really want from me God? 
Psalm 119:9-16 (MSG)

9-16 How can a young person live a clean life?

 By carefully reading the map of your Word.

I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;

 don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.

I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.

Be blessed, God; train me in your ways of wise living. I’ll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth; I delight far more in what you tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches. I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.

This first part of these verses seem to indicate to me that reading God’s Word keeps our hearts pure and sin bankrupt. 

Let’s get to the heart of the matter….

The Heart 
Let me back up and say I started off my conversation with God asking him to wash over me and cleanse me from any sins. I asked Him to bring to my attention anything that hurt His heart and mine. He responded and I repented. 

My heart procedure:
1) I did a heart check and cleansing before I started reading His Word. I asked the Heart Surgeon for an examination of where I had sinned against Him. I started off with repenting and asking Him to cut out old diseased tissue or sin and replace it with new “truth” tissue. After my surgery, my heart becomes restored and my sins are forgiven. I no longer believe the lies, but rather the truth based on what the promises of God say about me. 

Just like what it says at the end of the passages in Psalm 119:9-16. 
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,

    I attentively watch how you’ve done it.

I relish everything you’ve told me of life,

    I won’t forget a word of it.

2) I read His Word. I have to do this to know what He says about me. What is the truth and what is not the truth. This is where I find His promises and choose to believe them. 

Most of us are familiar with the Beatitudes or the Sermon on the Mount. Let’s look at one verse. 

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

3) I am given an opportunity to “see” or sense God. My heart is unblocked from any sins, lies or impurities that would stop the flow of hearing and receiving the truth to my heart. My heart can represent my spirit or understanding of spiritual matters. 

Ephesians 1:8 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,”

4) I receive a strong desire to seek Him when my heart is pure and I’m not ashamed to come before Him and examine my life according to His Word. 

The enemy wants to keep us from being in His Word. Our power and strength come from daily heart stretches. Stretching our cleansed hearts to receive the truth about who we are and what we are created to do. Stop him in his tracks. Don’t even entertain the thought that you have blown it for the day with your choices and you are not worthy of to spend time with God in His Word. 
Start off with the heart check and just ask him to forgive you. He is waiting and willing to do so. After all that is why Jesus died on the cross. So we didn’t have to carry around our sins. Don’t make His sacrifice not good enough. It’s more than enough to set you free. It was good enough for the thief on the cross next to Jesus on the cross. He just said remember me in paradise. Jesus said, “Okay”.

Okay, your sins are forgiven. Turn away from them, pick up your cross and follow me today. 


If you are into comparing sins. Which Jesus never did. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God 

More than likely your sins are not as wicked as Mr. Thief on the cross. No sin is too big for the blood of Jesus to cover completely. 

❤️Start off with a heart check. 

❤️ Repent and unblock the blockage. 

❤️Open up the arteries to receive Truth flow

❤️Watch your heart DESIRE more of Him

❤️Start to SEE and SENSE God 

Run the race long with a heart that’s strong. 

Get to the heart of the matter,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

Thickness Of Life 

If someone were to ask me how things have been and I were to give an honest answer I would probably say things have been tough. 

Being in a transition stage of my life and trying to survive in this economy is a battle on its own. But, when you lean into your Father for strength and seek Him in His word diligently and passionately, you will be surprised. He gives you such a peace and a raging fire inside to where you don’t know whether or not you want to roar like a lion or humble yourself in tears from His overwhelming mercy and tenderness. 

His joy IS our strength and His word IS our weapon and comfort. If you find yourself in the thickness of life, just run to your Father. Seek Him in His word and trust Him with every fiber of your being. Delight in Him and He will delight in you. He IS good and His mercies are from everlasting to everlasting.  

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!”     Psalms 103:1-22 NKJV

                ~ Thomas Joel Trevino