Cosmetic Christianity 


See, the days of Cosmetic Christianity are over. 

It’s time for us to show people that God has walked us through. 

Let’s stop showing our ‘there’, let’s talk about our ‘here’ where God found us. 

What we need to do is talk about where the blood found us and how the blood walked us from a place of brokenness, from a place of rebellion, into a place of obedience, into a place of worship, into a place of service, into a place of generosity. 

We need to be more like Christ when it comes to ministering to people. 

We need to become relational, relatable, and relevant.

~ Thomas Joel Trevino 

Catch And Release 

How many times a day or week do we face a fear?
Sometimes they are big fear thoughts and other times they are just annoyances and little life disruptions. 
Will my children be safe today driving to school? 

Is this storm going blow my house up up and away this morning? 

What kind of choices will my son make at college next year? 

Will I be able to pack only 40 lbs for my flight? 

         (the final weigh in is at 40.5 lbs)

These were just a few thoughts I had this week. 

You really would not want to have ALL my unedited thoughts of possible catastrophes and fears of the unknown this past week. 
The point is this is normal for us all to process through these everyday situations. 
The secret sauce is knowing how to take captive each and every thought as it beams across your prefrontal cortex.

 (just looked that up)

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Here is the trick. As soon as you have the negative thought or the fear..
False 

Evidence 

Appearing 

Real 

you make the choice to take CAPTIVE that crazy thought

1) snatch it up 

2) keep within bounds or under control (trap it)

3) make it obedient to Christ 

4) replace it with a new thought 

In other words what does Jesus say about the matter? 
Go look in the Bible and you can exchange your fear for faith in God and see what He says to do with your fears and burdens. 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” ~1 Peter 5:7

Catch and release all of them to God!!

That’s just one verse. There are plenty more of those little helping hope Scriptures. 
This is the deal. 

When the big stuff hits us like life threatening diseases, losing jobs, family members dying or big bad life changing situations we are ready to do the GREAT EXCHANGE. 

Exchange your fears and tears for faith and triumph. 

You are victorious in Christ. 

I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:13 

You are not in this alone. If God is for you, who can be against? 

For Example: 
Capture the thought that could lead you into fear…….
I’m scared when my kids drive on the freeway. 
(Dang, I’m scared when I drive on the narrow lane next to the barrier on HWY 290 in Houston.)
Release your new thought infused in scripture. 
 “I will Trust in the LORD with all my heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all my ways I submit to him, and he will make my path and my kids path straight and safe on the highway.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6 

Now you try it!!!

Catch and release, 

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

Can You Handle The Truth

If the truth sets you free then why do people get upset when the truth is told?

I have been reading in Jeremiah 42 and how the people begged and asked for a message from the Lord and they still chose not to obey it when they received it.

In Jeremiah 44 God is asking them- Why are you hurting yourselves continuing to worship idols- why do people make Me angry by making idols?  

So as I was thinking on the above question regarding truth, here are my thoughts:

Maybe it’s because people want their own wills and ways. They would rather remain in bondage instead of choosing to be free.  

Some get addicted to the attention of pity and a victim mentality so they will keep asking for truth from idols (other people) instead of seeking God. 

They have no real intention of ever following it. 

When people seek other people’s opinions or views as truth they get varying responses. Usually a watered down version that still feeds their egos and they like that and want more of that because it feeds into their neediness. 
But when people do get an in your face obvious truth they will reject it and swallow the bait of offense instead.

They don’t like what they hear.  

They can’t really handle the truth.

When we seek God and His truth- we only get One Truth- not one that feeds our egos.

The real truth is what people don’t like so much because they will have to act on it and make a choice to change their actions and behaviors.

Like picking up our own mat and get to steppin.

Before picking up that mat it first requires us to make a choice. 
Will we leave our pity, victim mentality, egos and warped perceptions in order to pick up that mat? 

I believe people reject the truth, get upset and instead seek their idols and remain in bondage because they aren’t willing to make the choice to change. 

When you hear the truth you must act on it. 
We are only as bound as we choose to be. 

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” ~ John 5:8 

                  ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Temptation 

WORTHY THOUGHT: When you flee from temptation be sure not to leave a forwarding address. -Unknown

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.~James 4:7 ESV 

The enemy wants nothing better than to upset you and get you on the road to self-destruction. 

Continue to walk in the Lord and serve Him. God will vindicate you in His time and His way. 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV 

Temptation is something we face each and every day. It is possible to have victory over temptation. Jesus shows us how.

 

      ~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Tearing Down The Wall 

I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord.~ Ezekiel 13:14 

I heard a great message today about the walls that are created in relationships and within ourselves. I was reminded that even the veil that separated God’s presence from his people, in the temple, was torn in two at the moment of Jesus’s death. 

I couldn’t help but to think about the walls that I have built over the years. Barriers had kept me separated from my heavenly father and from the people in my life. I used the empty space as a shield before me, around me, and in between my heart and God’s. At times, I did this unknowingly and other times it was intentional. I was afraid and needed to keep people from getting too close. 

I knew about relationships; they hurt! It was easier to keep people at a distance than to let them in to access the sacred places of my heart.

However, one thing I didn’t know was that God is the maker of all relationships. 

He wanted a relationship with me. 

He wanted me to have one with those around me. 

He wanted me exposed, bare and open, leveled, so that I could experience the greatest relationship. 

As I surrendered to the fear and pain, the Lord began to teach me the importance of having relationships and taught me the value in becoming vulnerable. 

I’ve discovered who God is. I’ve learned about others. And I have discovered things about myself, while tending to the wounded places in my heart. One of the most powerful lessons so far has been finding out that we all, deep down, desire to experience relationship.

~ Baring His Beauty,

    Tiffany Thomas 

His Beloved One 

She is a laid down lover

Overthrown and overtaken by her Lord alone

She went through fire, persecution and pain

Stands alone in the midst of many storms

His presence her armour

His voice her compass

Her ear always close to His heart

She discovered her strength on the battleground

When the enemy used to rage at 

her front door

Papa shaped her through the painful times

So that she would go lower, and die to self

Nothing of her flesh had to survive

She was handpicked and trained by the King Himself

She won many battles with Papa 

by her side

He became her everything

Her last breath

Her safe place

His love compelled her to 

be tenacious

The word “afraid” is not known to her

She is His battle axe and His 

weapon of war

She loves on all she comes into contact with

Her brokenness produced a fragrance that can’t be resisted

She rebuilds ruins long forgotten

She is His eyes and His ears

And goes wherever He leads her

No assignment from her King 

she denies.

The pain, betrayal and persecution was not in vain

It was part of His plan all along

To turn her into His warrior princess His daughter of Zion

His beloved one

She is totally dead to self, completely under His control

Their heart’s beat as One

Under the African sun

As she emerges from the wilderness

Leaning on her Beloved

Forever He is

Her One true Love

~Ebigale Wilson 

ebigale@thejourney
Image – Pinterest 

Red Sea Road 


We will never walk alone…. or drive alone…. down a Red Sea Road! 

He made a dry road through the sea for them. They went across on foot. What excitement and joy there was that day! ~ Psalm 66:6 TLB 


God is always faithful to provide A Red Sea Road for wherever He leads us to go! 

          ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Enjoy this weeks great song, Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb
Image from Pinterest showing a modern day Red Sea Road. 

Restoration Stories – Audrey Lee 


There were times I would feel so unsure about my life, and I would often question God. I would ask God time and time again “why me?Why were all of these things happening in my life? 
It seemed like every time I turned around something bad kept happening. 

I often remember thinking to myself, all I wanted was to have the typical life: the American dream. Get married, have children, a beautiful home, a nice car, and a decent job. 
I really felt like I wasn’t asking for too much. 
It seemed like I started out going in that direction and then suddenly there was a change in plans.

I remember asking God to use me to be a blessing to His people and His Kingdom. 

I didn’t realize what was going to transpire in my life, in order for God to do what I had asked Him to do. 

I’ve always had a heart for families and marriages. I never liked hearing about divorce and families being broken up. I told God how tired I was of seeing the devil destroy marriages and families.  

With that being said the devil launched a serious attack on my marriage and my family.

I experienced so much pain and hurt in my marriage. I’ve had to deal with infidelity, trust being broken, having un-forgiveness, and communication being totally shut down. 
I’ve also experienced several deaths back to back. 
One of the hardest deaths I’ve had to overcome was the death of the man who was my spiritual leader, my mentor, my confidant, and my uncle, we shared a bond like no other. 

For the first time in my life I felt my heart truly break. I just couldn’t seem to recover. It took me a long time to bounce back spiritually because I leaned and depended on him so much spiritually.

 
I tried so hard to work on my marriage, fix my husband, and recover from a devastating loss all at the same time. It seemed like the more I tried, the more I failed at it. I felt like all the fight had just been completely drained out of me. 
Notice I said “I”, I had to finally come to the realization that it was going to take God to change the situation not me. 
I also had to come to the painful reality that I went about everything completely wrong. 

I did not do any of it the right way which is God’s way. 

I remember being filled with so much hurt, pain, anger, regret, guilt, and shame. I felt like such a failure in life because my American Dream had turned into what seemed to me a nightmare, I felt so helpless and defeated. I remember my grandmother telling me “you’re not going through all of this for you, you’re going through all of this to help someone else.” 
Then she gave me the scripture Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

I remember asking my grandmother and God, “How could anything good come out of all of this? How am I going to be able to help someone?”

In the midst of all that was going on I can remember hearing a small still voice saying “I’ve called you to greatness”. I was so confused, (because again looking at my circumstances) I just couldn’t see how that would be possible. I’m so grateful to God for His love, His grace, His mercy, and His strength. I had no idea of what God was about to do in my life!

The first change that began to happen in my life was my relationship with God, it got personal. Through the death of my uncle I began to realize I had completely relied on his relationship with God and did not have one of my own. The same relationship I had with my uncle, was the type of relationship that I needed to have with God for myself. 

So I started to learn about God and His ways for myself. I also found out my true identity in God and I began to get a deeper revelation about God’s word and His promises. 

Then I came to the realization that my circumstances did not determine my destiny, they just played a role in me moving towards my destiny in which I’ll get into later.

I also realized, that had it not been for everything that I was going through I wouldn’t know God like I know Him now, which is definitely a beauty!

    
After the shift in my relationship with God, I was truly a changed woman. I was so broken, but God stepped in and started putting my broken pieces back together again. I no longer felt weak and defeated, I began to feel whole and complete. This time God was responsible for it, not my husband or my uncle

Now I realized my uncle’s death or my husband’s actions could not change or alter who I am in God, and that it is God who keeps me together in times of tragedy or adversity. 

Now I was able to deal with trials and tribulations in much better way than I had before.
Next, God started dealing with me about love, His unconditional love! This is what caused me to really want to forgive my husband. You see everything that was being done to me in the natural was exactly what I was doing to God in the spiritual realm. This painful realization had given me a completely different outlook on my relationship with God, my husband, and my children.

   

There Was Beauty Birthed Out Of My Pain.

One day I was sitting in my Bishop’s office sharing with him what I had spoke on at a women’s conference I had attended the week before. Bishop Miles said “Sister Lee people need to hear this, will you teach Marriage N More on Friday?” I said “sure Bishop!” I taught it about two more times after that when Bishop Miles came to me and said “Sister Lee I’ve prayed about it and God told me to place you over the Marriage N More Ministry.” All I could say was “wow” I went home that night and I prayed about it and that’s when God brought it all back to me.

It was that night everything that I had gone through, my grandmother’s words, the scripture Roman’s 8:28, and the still small voice calling me to greatness all came flooding back to my mind. I began to just cry and thank God. 

I didn’t understand it then, but now it had become crystal clear. I had finally gotten the answer to my “why”. I had finally realized why my “American Dream” had gotten interrupted, because it did not line up with God’s plan for my life. 

It was clear that God had a greater plan and purpose for my life, than my “American Dream.” 

I then realized when God calls you to greatness there’s a lot that comes with the call. 

That’s when God gave me a scripture Isaiah 61:3, To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. 

It’s the pain of those trials and tribulations that fuels my passion for the Marriage N More ministry.

I’m so humbled that God has given me the awesome privilege of being a vessel for Him to use to equip His people with the tools they need to build healthy successful relationships with Him, spouses, children, co-workers, extended family, and friends.

                          ~ Audrey Lee

Connect with Audrey and Marriage N More on Facebook
Instagram 
Tune into her radio show each Thursday at 7:30 pm CST  on Blog Talk Radio

Lighthouse For Students 

Stephen Covey’s book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ starts off with Habit Number One: Be Proactive

Well ironically that’s exactly how Lighthouse for Students got its start. 
One person saw a need and decided not to wait around for someone else to do something. 
A suburban homeschool mom named Kelly Martens took up the challenge and made the choice to say, “I CAN!” and she did. 

Kelly gathered up a volunteer team and appointed board members to establish the nonprofit organization called Lighthouse for Students. 

This had to be done speedily as a Houston ISD school was brought to her attention after hearing this high school football team had lost to a nearby high scoring football team. 

A Facebook post showed an article where a Worthing football coach was interviewed and discussed the dangers of working at Worthing High School. You can read the article below. 
http://vype.com/houston/2014/09/12/worthing-coach-mentoring-in-line-of-fire/

After contacting the administration and meeting with them, a plan was set in motion. Lighthouse for Students brings in speakers once a month for assemblies. 

These speaker bring uplifting and encouraging messages to the students. Lighthouse meets twice a month for student leadership classes to encourage the students how to incorporate the teen’s version of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits. 

The students are invited after the last assembly to stay after school for pizza and prayer time. 

Looking back, I don’t think Kelly realized she had started using Covey’s Number One Habit: Be Proactive to get this program up and running at Worthing High School. 

Today in our student leadership class we touched on the Number Two Habit: Begin with the End in Mind. 

I got to thinking the end picture for Worthing is plain and simple. 
LOVE ❤
Our goal is to make sure they know they matter, they are not forgotten, they are seen, they are valued and most of all we that we love them. 

Lighthouse for Students strives to help lead the students into seeing their full potential and expand their vision to all the possibilities available for them. 

The end in mind for them is set. 

Love never fails. 

Light On Lighthouse, 

Kelley Allison 

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com 

If you want to learn more and donate to this awesome adventure you can check out their website below:

http://www.lighthouseforstudents.org 

A short video of Kelly Marten’s explaining Lighthouse for Students:

Chicanery Exposed

chi·can·er·y

SHəˈkān(ə)rē/

noun

1. the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose.”an underhanded person who schemes corruption.

2. synonyms: trickery, deception, deceit, deceitfulness, duplicity, dishonesty, deviousness, unscrupulousness, underhandedness, subterfuge, fraud, fraudulence, swindling, cheating, duping, hoodwinking; 

Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture, He exposes the chicanery of the chic. The Master sees through the smoke screens of the know-it-alls. ~1 Corinthians 3:18 MSG 

God always exposes the chicanery of the chic! 

Lord, reveal anything hidden and expose all chicanery. Clear the smoke screens and bring everything into Your perfect and glorious light of truth. Amen. 

               ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom