Fix Your Eyes 

Just as Jesus mirrored His Father by doing only what He said and speaking only what He spoke; we also should do the same. 

 In the beginning God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female. You were made in His likeness, that is your identity. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a horrible sinner, He sees His most beloved creation. We were born into sin because of Adam, but because of Jesus we can be born again into sonship. 

He did not die because we were sinners, He came to rid us of sin so we can come back to our created value and walk in our true identity as sons and daughters. 

Some say that God moves in mysterious ways, but the mystery has already been revealed; it’s Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

Do not look in the mirror anymore in self consciousness, in self doubt, in hatred, or in despair, but look in the mirror and see Christ in you, see a child of God who is full of hope, who is so loved and righteous in the sight of your Father. 

When your eyes are fixed on the light, your whole body is full of light. Jesus said you are the light of the world, So fix your eyes on Him and let your light so shine!

~ Thomas Joel Trevino 

Bring It On

God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

Where there was death, You brought life, Lord

Where there was fear, You brought courage

When I was afraid, You were with me
And You lifted me up, and You lifted me up

Oh I am loving this song!


Be encouraged that whatever it is coming against you- God is with us- God is for us! 

              

                     So, Bring it on!
With God nothing can come against us. 

Remember ….

Where there was death He brought life

Where there was fear He brought courage! 

             ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

God With Us – Brian & Katie Torwalt
You are matchless in grace and mercy

There is nowhere we can hide from Your love

You are steadfast, never failing, You are faithful

All creation is in awe of who You are

You’re the healer of the sick and the broken

You are comfort for every heart in loss

Our King and our Savior forever

For eternity we will sing of all You’vedone

For eternity we will sing of all You’ve done

We sing

[Chorus]

God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

Your heart, it moves with compassion

There is life, there is healing in Your love

You’re the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit

For eternity we will sing of all You’ve done

We sing

God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

Where there was death, You brought life, Lord

Where there was fear, You brought courage

When I was afraid, You were with me

And You lifted me up, and You lifted me up

And You lifted me up, and You lifted me up!

And You lifted me up, and You lifted me up!

We sing
God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

God with us, God for us

Nothing can come against

No one can stand between us

The Only Judge 

There is no one on earth who can raise up another to grant honor, not from the east or the west, not from the desert. There is no one. God is the only One. God is the only Judge. He is the only One who can ruin or redeem a man. Psalm 75:6-7 The VOICE 

For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one and deposes (remove from office suddenly and forcefully) another. ~ Psalm 75:6 TLB 

Lord, forgive me for putting myself into the position of judge by judging others. You are the only One that holds that position. Help me to understand that no one can ruin or redeem but You. Help me to stay on my side of the street and work on my own self and shortcomings. Help me not to force my ways or opinions on others when they may not do things the way I would. Thank you for Your abundant mercy and grace. Amen. 

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Lift Up Your Eyeglasses 


It’s been a bumpy ride this past week in America. We have a new president elect and immediately protests and in some cases riots break out across this nation. I use the term riots because there have been many reports of arrests, violence and vandalism. Even as I write this short blog. Don’t worry I will keep it short. I am thinking I have to choose my words carefully not to offend someone or say something that could be misconstrued. This is where many have found themselves at the end of the year 2016.

 

Offended in the Unrest of the Future

What if we could take out the worry of being politically incorrect, offending others, saying something that could be misunderstood and just focused on NOT offending God. Not everyone has a relationship with God that would motivate them to take this challenge. So we just have to leave those folks alone. 

They won’t participate. 

Do you want to participate?

 I do!!
Before I open my mouth I must ask??

Does this sentence give glory to God?

Do my actions or words offend God?
In case you need clarity on the word offend. 

Let’s look up the meaning. 
of·fend

əˈfend/

verb

1. 

cause to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful.

“viewers said they had been offended by bad language”

synonyms: hurt someone’s feelings, give offense to, affront, displease, upset, distress, hurt, wound; More

2. 

commit an illegal act.

“a small hard core of young criminals who offend again and again”

synonyms: break the law, commit a crime, do wrong, sin, go astray, transgress; archaictrespass

“criminals who offend again and again”

Just think about if everything we said or did we were more concerned about how God would feel about our words than what others think. I find freedom in knowing I don’t have to please anyone with my words but God. It’s actually a breath of fresh air knowing I’m not chained to pleasing others, and worrying about offending others. I just fix my eyes on Him and choose to do everything with that perspective in mind. A shift then occurs and He gives me insight into what’s really going on and I am able to see situations through His eyes. I receive clarity and I am able to pray for those who have not yet received the 411 on God’s love and grace. Does it make sin and wrongdoings justified? No way!!! It allows me to move out of the way to pray and be an example of God’s love and light. 

Light overcomes the darkness.

Love never fails !

I find that when I please God with my words others tend to be soothed and there is little room for an altercation to occur. When I decide I don’t want to offend God others will show respect even if they don’t agree with me.  

Why? 

God is Love. 

It’s a great experiment to try. I practice when I am around people who are polar opposite of my beliefs. This is where the love never fails comes to your rescue. If you find yourself having a hard time loving someone who is so different. Ask God to help you. He is the only One who can help you with that challenge. 

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I Corinthians 10:31

Lift up your “eyeglasses” (get it?)
Cheers to Pleasing God,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

Every Laugh Matters 

I wanted to share today about the importance of laughter. 

Laughter is mentioned in the Bible. 

In Job 8:21 it says, “He will yet fill our mouths with laughter [Job] and your lips with joyful shouting.”
 In Psalm 126:2 it says, ” Then were our mouths filled with laughter, and our tongues with singing. Then they said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them.”

God desires for His children to be happy. The scriptures above prove it! 

God has even shown me things in the Spirit Realm that has caused me to laugh! (Like where our enemy is headed in the end.)

Laughter is good for our minds and bodies. 

Here are a few things that I have found regarding laughter and our bodies and minds:
Laughter relaxes the whole body. It relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes later.
Laughter boosts the immune system.
Laughter protects the heart. It improves the function of blood flow, helps protect against heart attacks.
Laughter burns calories. Laughing for 10-15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories.

I want to encourage you to laugh more!


I have made a new goal to try to laugh at least once a day, EVERYDAY for the rest of my life! 

Listen to funny stories, watch news bloopers, laugh at yourself if you must, but just laugh! I know from experience that you will feel better.

          In God’s Love,

           Tracy Mason

Storms

Worthy Thought: The secret to faith is going through a storm.

Faith is a mindset that expects God to act. 

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat and started across sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they rowed about three to four miles they saw Jesus walking on sea and coming near the boat. And they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him to the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.  

-John 6:16-20

Jesus was teaching that such storms are part of life and can be frightening. We often face spiritual and emotional storms and feel tossed about like a small boat on a big lake. In spite of the terrifying circumstances if we allow Christ Jesus to take control in our lives, he can give us peace in the midst of any storm.   

The disciples were frightened when they saw Jesus walking on water because they were not expecting Jesus to come to them like that or prepared for his help. 

However, the disciples welcomed Jesus into their boat then immediately the storm was over and they were at the shore. 

If we allow Christ to take control in our lives, he can give us peace in the midst of storms.

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

He Knows The End 


I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10 NIV

When I reflect back into my past, when I share my testimony, it’s hard to believe that I lived in such darkness. Moreover, it’s incomprehensible sometimes to think that God preserved something in me, creating a resilience that I never understood was there.

In various trials and in my greatest losses, I felt alone. I was abandoned in wonder, while questioning so many things.

For me, much of life never made sense. I existed in an environment that left me feeling empty and covered in shame. I was lost in desperation, continually searching for something that I couldn’t describe to anyone, let alone to myself.

I’ve learned that I was never alone. 
Everyone. Has. A. Story.
Even. Jesus. Had. A. Story.

The pain that He suffered for my sin still doesn’t make any sense to me. The fact that he chose me and loves me enough for a price such as life? How could that be?!

But [God] in [completeness], created a perfect way through the life of his only begotten son. In humble adoration, I can’t help but to honour him for finding value in me, especially when I still do not deserve such a gift.

There is no way for me to comprehend this kind of love. In efforts, I am incapable.

Yet, I have come to accept that some things are beyond my power and control, no matter my state of understanding.

Some. Things. Just. Don’t. Make. Sense. 

Yet, God knows….He created the end from the beginning. For he has a purpose for you and for me. And someday, we will all meet him face to face. He will reveal exactly what will be.

Lord, we come to you in a reverent love, finding peace in knowing that you know how our circumstances end. You know what our life looks like in eternity. Bless ALL who call upon the name of Jesus and who selflessly surrender to your will.

In your precious name, Amen.

Baring His Beauty,

Tiffany Thomas 

3 Keys To Humility 

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So, it behooves us to be humble before Our Maker and one another. It is written that we should honor one another above ourselves. Another translation says “outdo one another in showing honor.” 

 Wouldn’t life be sweet if the only competition between us was the competition to see who could bestow the most honor on the others. There is a quote that says, “a man is never honored by what he received in life, but by what he gave in life.”

There are at least three New Testament imperatives, if we are to walk humbly before God and one another. The first imperative is humility regarding our view of ourselves. The second is humility regarding our view of others. The third is humility regarding our relationship with Our Father.

The first, humility regarding our view of ourselves, is addressed in Romans 12, where we are told not to think more highly of ourselves than we should, that we should think of ourselves with sober judgement according to the measure of faith that we have been given. Worldly pride comes into play when we measure ourselves by our worldly possessions or position. If instead we will examine our hearts and see how dependent we are on the measure of faith that we have been given, it will sober us up very quickly. In I Corinthians 4, Paul writes that if everything that we have is a gift, why should we boast as if we had something to do with it?

In that same passage, he asks, “what makes us any different from anyone else?” Which brings us to our second imperative, humility regarding our view of others. We are told in Philippians 2 that we should consider others better than ourselves. We might wonder why it doesn’t say that we should consider ourselves equal to others. The problem is that this aim still keeps us in a comparison mode, which eventually lead us to feel better or worse than others, both equally fatal conclusions. If we will humbly obey Our Father and view all others as better than ourselves, we will drive a dagger into the heart of self centered pride once and for all.

Having said that, there are scriptural allowances for feeling a sense of “humble pride” in our Godly leaders and even in ourselves when we are bearing one another’s burdens and fulfilling the law of Christ. It goes on to say that this sense of personal fulfillment makes no comparison between ourselves and others.

The third imperative, if we are to live in humility, is humility before Our Creator. Peter tells us to “humble ourselves before God, that he may exalt us in due time, casting all of our cares upon him, for he cares for us.” We are to live in humble submission to Our Father and Our Lord Jesus, which means that we are to come to him humbly with all of our needs, trusting that he will take care of us. Trying to take care of our own needs can be a sign of self sufficient pride. Humility before God also means that we are concerned that he be glorified; we cease to be concerned about our own glory or greatness, even as we make his glory, his kingdom, and his pleasure our goal in life.

So, we think of ourselves with sober judgement according to the measure of faith that we have been given; we consider others better than ourselves, and we humbly submit our lives and cares to Our Most Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father. Surely, this is the pathway to peace with God and man.

               ~ Brad Heilhecker 

Dear Younger Me 

Dear younger me

It’s not your fault

You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross



You are holy

You are righteous

You are one of the redeemed

Set apart a brand new heart

You are free indeed…….

I just love this song! Enjoy! 

    ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Also a big shout out to my long time girlie Stephanie Anders-Garcia on her Birthday today. A Beautiful Friendship that has lasted over 30 years!  

Happy Birthday Steph! Love you girl. 

“Dear Younger Me” by Mercy Me 

Dear younger me

Where do I start

If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far

Then you could be

One step ahead

Of all the painful memories still running thru my head

I wonder how much different things would be

Dear younger me, dear younger me
Dear younger me

I cannot decide

Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life

Or do I go deep

And try to change

The choices that you’ll make cuz they’re choices that made me

Even though I love this crazy life

Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride

Dear younger me, dear younger me
If I knew then what I know now

Condemnation would’ve had no power

My joy my pain would’ve never been my worth

If I knew then what I know now

Would’ve not been hard to figure out

What I would’ve changed if I had heard
Dear younger me

It’s not your fault

You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross

Dear younger me
You are holy

You are righteous

You are one of the redeemed

Set apart a brand new heart

You are free indeed
Every mountain every valley

Thru each heartache you will see

Every moment brings you closer

To who you were meant to be

Dear younger me, dear younger me
You are holy

You are righteous

You are one of the redeemed

Set apart a brand new heart

You are free indeed [x3]

Restoration Stories – Jules M 

Divorce was one of those things that was never going to happen to me…like NEVER in a million years. And if someone had told me that I would be on my own as a single mum for 10 years, I would have said…no way, not a chance, not going to happen!

This was not meant to be my story.

I met my husband when I was 22 while we were both working for the same church. I had purposefully not dated and had “waited for the right one”, played by the rules and ticked all the boxes, naively thinking that this would somehow guarantee me a blessed, happy, life-long marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I in no way regret any of the choices I made, but my faith was in my own goodness (which was actually self-righteousness!) not in God’s goodness…which I was soon to experience in so many ways.

After six years of marriage and two beautiful boys, my husband had met someone else and would ultimately leave me for her. When it all came to light, our marriage was over almost immediately. In the months leading up to this, there were signs. I knew deep down something was very wrong and that our marriage was in grave trouble. I didn’t know what was happening but I just remember desperately praying, “GOD YOU HAVE TO FIX THIS!!” I never would have imagined He would instead allow it to finish.

I remember sitting in church alone, feeling heartbroken and confused, and felt God tell me that our marriage would soon be over…NO.GOD.NO!!! My heart knew it to be true but my head couldn’t accept or even imagine it. I was filled with shame and fear…a failed marriage…how could I face people?! The thought of our beautiful children, only 2 years and 6 months old, not growing up in a whole family, not having their dad walk through the door at night or being there for every milestone was the most devastating part of all. Every ideal about marriage and family I’d held so dearly was crumbling away.

It was just a few weeks later I found “that text” and our marriage was suddenly over. Yet through all the pain, hurt and confusion was an underlying peace and calm I could not explain. What at first seemed like my worst nightmare come true became the beginning of a journey from brokenness to wholeness and in trusting God like I’d never had to before.
 
A Path of Peace…
When my marriage ended, I felt like my world had been turned upside down. Everything was so uncertain, emotions were incredibly raw, and insecurities were at an all-time high…it was a little fight or flight…and it could have gone either way. Yet, in those early moments and days, amongst the shock and devastation, I felt a definite sense that God was calling me to walk the narrow path…a path of peace…which meant taking the high road and doing the right thing before God, even when I didn’t want to.

By choosing to obey and walk that path of peace, I saw God do incredible things for me and my boys and bring the best out of a not so good situation. I was able to navigate a peaceful and amicable relationship with my ex-husband which we still have today and I’m so grateful for. If I’d gone up against him, wanting to make him pay and get my vengeance, it could have been a very different story and very ugly for all involved. God’s ways are so much higher and better than ours!

Keep your Heart Right…

I also knew that, regardless of what had happened, I needed to keep my heart right. I had to fully forgive my husband. As a Christian who’d grown up in a loving home and in church my whole life hearing many a word about forgiveness…I couldn’t really pretend I didn’t know any better! As much as I would have liked to have justified and indulged myself in feeling angry and vindictive out of my pain and brokenness, here’s what I quickly realised – if I was going to call myself a Christian…I had to act like one! If I wanted God to make me whole and bless my life, then I had no choice but to forgive.

When we intentionally forgive the person who hurt us, we’re allowing God to bring the best out in us and keep our hearts and lives flowing with goodness, grace and blessing. Likewise, when we don’t forgive, we will find bitterness, resentment and vengefulness taking hold of our heart and then flowing into and toxifying our lives.

Through my divorce and the years to follow I would pray and bless my ex-husband and his partner. It’s actually really hard to hold a grudge against people that you’re praying for and asking God to bless because God literally changes your heart towards them. Trust me, there were some days I may have prayed a blessing through gritted teeth haha! But seriously, doing this totally kept my heart on track.

It’s been quite a journey and through it all I’ve seen the goodness, faithful, kindness, protection, provision and favour of God over myself and my boys time and time again. Yes, there’s been plenty of hard times but through it all God has always been with us. I am now re-married after 10 years on my own and have been blessed with a loving (gorgeous!), godly husband and 3 more amazing kids. But the journey doesn’t end there as happily ever after…re-marriage and blending a family is a whole new level of trials and navigating through challenges – fun and games!

I pray you’ll be encouraged by my story and know that in God there is ALWAYS hope, no matter what comes our way. God promises us Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a future and a hope for us…and He is always true to His Word.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 

              ~ Psalm 40:1-3 

Be blessed!
Jules M

Jewels & Pearls

 

You can read more of my story at jewelsandpearls.org and follow Jewels and Pearls on Instagram @jewels_and_pearls for little quotes of godly wisdom, encouragement and hope.