Level Places 


Don’t worry about what seems to be looming over your head right now.  

Declare this promise over whatever it is you are facing today. 

 “God will go before me and level the exalted places.” ~ Isaiah 45:2 ESV 

God is going before you and leveling things out! 

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

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Shifting Point – My Moment Of Truth 


Recently when moving a dog food bag of about 50 pounds I was struck by how heavy it was, and that for me I was carrying around about this much of extra weight each and every day on my body. 

I know it is not healthy and have tried countless ways to jumpstart this process but I am usually quite discouraged by how slow the scale moves and allow the busyness of life to take over and then the days blend together and I seem to blink and another year has flown by. 

      The same 40/50 pounds still here.

I decided that I could no longer just go about it like it was a minor thing and needed to get intentional about doing something. 

My twins just turned 18 and graduated – so the baby weight is no longer a valid excuse. 
          I reached my shifting point! 

I researched about Intermittent Fasting and found a program I liked. 
I did my before pics and took all my measurements and jumped on the scale …determined! 
WOW – I started thinking back and counted the years since I held a consistent workout routine and ate really clean.  
      Shocking it had been over 3 years! 

I have done fasts like the one I blogged about almost 2 years ago and lost 25 pounds and have done other challenges and have exercised a bit here and there but the paper staring back at me and the pictures were shocking that I could no longer ignore or deny or put it on the back burner for any longer. 

I didn’t get discouraged. I took it all like a big girl and pulled up my big girl panties and said….

I may have a lot medically working against me, but I too can be the biggest hinderance to me…

    But greater is He that is in me! 

     With You Lord- I can do this! 



I went to bed with great anticipation and then I was suddenly awakened at 4:44 am.

Somehow I knew it had a deeper meaning so I wrote it down. 
When I had time, I looked up the number 4.

4= Dalet / Hebrew 

Meaning:

A tent door

Pathway

Entrance to Promise Land

Material creation

Number of the Kingdom

Enter into your physical deliverance 

BOOM! I like that Lord! I am READY!

Weeks ago when the Lord first spoke Shifting Point to me I wrote down these tidbits…

Combat always comes before victory. 

Believing is the condition for receiving. 

God’s truth does not change with my moods. 
        

           So here’s to my Shifting Point
      I will keep you posted on how it goes. 

For grins I checked out the definitions……


shift·ing

ˈSHiftiNG/

adjective

changing

Point 

\ˈpȯint\

noun 

a particular instant of time
a critical position in a course of affairs

a decisive state of circumstances

the important or essential thing

Synonyms: juncture, moment of truth

        What is your moment of truth? 
    Where do you need a Shifting Point?
 

         ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Count 

WORTHY THOUGHT: Count Your Blessings 

It is impossible to be thankful and at the same time be grumpy.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. -James 1:7

If the birds only burst into a song once a year, we’d all pay attention. But because they sing every morning we scarcely bother to listen.  

We tend to exhibit a degree of thanksgiving in reverse proportion to the amount of blessing’s we receive.
When we are discouraged thinking all is lost count your blessings name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. -Johnson Oatman Jr. (Hymnal)

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

How Fleeting My Life Is 

Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. (Psalm 39:4-5 NIV)

Do you ever get busy or take for granted how precious the very breath of life is? 

I still get consumed in the awe of life. Yet, at times, I find myself living as if I have forgotten that I am not guaranteed tomorrow. Being present, in each moment, can be difficult . . . even with the greatest intention. 

Deadlines, chores, kids, running to this and that, daydreaming about the next chapter in my life, you name it, I forget that my time is as quick as the next breath I take in. 

I get busy and complacent and there are many things I don’t do that I should. Even so, God, here with his merciful heart, reminding me just how fast my life has been. He has a way of showing me how important it is to stop, look around, observe, and take it in. 

Lord, you are the author and the maker of life. You have given it through your mouth and also by your son. Forgive me when I am not mindful of the greatest gift and gently pull me closer to where it was designed. I am thankful for every day and every breath that is yours. In your precious Holy name, Amen.

~ Baring His Beauty,

   Tiffany Thomas 

A New Beginning

Gather my daughters

Call them by name

Let them come from afar

Shake the dust of the wilderness off

Let them run from their caves for their time of reward is near

I have invaded your life for a reason

There was seed in your pain

The illness, the job loss, the wayward child

The loneliness, the divorce, the struggles unending

When you were at your lowest

You found I was your greatest gain

Tell them their pain was not in vain

They went through trials, tests, and much warfare

Thought that they would never make it

When the pain and darkness became unbearable

They clung to Me with so much tenacity

They knew that if they hadn’t had Me

Life would be meaningless

Because of our covenant they could face every onslaught coming their way

Clinging to Me

Trusting in Me

Never doubting Me

Covenant does what no man can see

Now you’re on the threshold of a new beginning

You have ran this race faithfully

Laid out before the foundations of the earth

Though it looked messy at times

With no light in sight

You held on to My words spoken over You

You like a bride waiting on your Bridegroom 

to sweep you away

You know you have paid the price

Brought the sacrifices I have asked of you

With tearstained eyes

Wedding gown way too big

Your hair a mess

Falling over your two feet

We started this journey of exploring My heart

You have found your place right in the middle somewhere

Discovered how precious and 

loved you are

When you came to the end of yourself and let Me reign free

You discovered how beautiful

surrendering can be

Your face radiant with joy

Your dress fits like a glove

No trace of the past

My love covering you like a veil

You are ready to take your place 

by My side

Looking back you know the processes were necessary

For in the wilderness your desperation drew you closer to Me

Your first love

I needed you to go on this journey

Unsure, scared, alone

Yet you never gave up

You had to experience My heart

and deep love for you

Now you can go out and represent

My heart

To a lost and dying world

Who needs an explosion of My love

It was worth all the pain 

For now you have gained

Wholeness in Me

You know Me in ways

You never thought exist

All because you died and found

Me to be true to My word

I see you running and dancing 

and leaping with joy

Shouting out a victory cry

I have resurrected every dead place in your life

You discovered My waters of rest

Do what I have called you to do

A new beginning awaits you

         ~ Ebigale Wilson 

         A New Beginning

               #TheJourney 

    http://www.restoredministries.org

Image by Nina Brown 

Let It Come 

I stumbled across a new album recently by Iron Bell Music.
  The album is God that Saves.

This weeks song Your Love is a Fortress is one of my favorites.  

Click the video- turn up the volume and read the lyrics as they display on the video. 

      Be Fearless! ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Basic Training 

In the military, you begin by going through Basic Training. Basic skills are taught such as physical fitness, marching, marksmanship, rifle maintenance, and war maneuvers.  

Perhaps the greatest objective of Basic Training is to teach young recruits to fear the commands of the drill sergeant more than any other thing.  
Swift and severe punishment is given to those who would dare disobey his orders.  


This aspect of training is critical to the success of the military’s mission, for war involves great fear and danger, and if the soldier gives in to fear and disobeys an order, he threatens not only his life but the lives of countless others.

In the spiritual life, there is a corresponding objective. As we begin our journeys with The Lord, he trains us diligently to heed his words, for disobedience to his words and inner voice will result in the endangerment of everyone that is associated with us.  

It is written, “Watch your lives and doctrines carefully, for if you do so, you will save not only yourself, but everyone that hears you”.  

Our lives and doctrines must line up with the precepts of the Lord, or many others will be led astray from the devotion to Christ and the faithfulness to his words that are critical to the success of the mission of the church.

The objective of military training is to produce a military that operates as a single unit and can accomplish great objectives. The objective of spiritual disciplines is to create a church that can move and pray as one, a church that hears and responds obediently to The Master’s voice, a church that lives and breathes to bring glory to the Father and salvation to men.  

This is no small undertaking and must not be taken lightly, for Our Father is un-distractibly devoted to this objective.  

He will not be denied.  
No matter how long it takes, his will will be done; the church will be disciplined and perfected to live and move as one.  

It is to our advantage that we get onboard early and enthusiastically, for then we will avoid many un-necessary growing pains.

~ Brad Heilhecker 

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

   I am quite upset today. I had to bury my new little feathery friend. 

Let me back up and start the story from the beginning. 

We have a bird nest high up above our front door under our porch covering. It belongs to a swallow couple and their babies. Every spring the mama and daddy bird come back and build their nest or use parts of their existing nest from the year before. Sometimes the nest is gone because the power washer destroyed it. Quite honestly, the birds and the nest showed up after my dad chased them away with his pokey contraption preventing them building their yearly nest. My dad had enough of the bird poop on his front porch and front door mat. So they relocated to my house across the street. 

We were happy to greet them and watch their babies hatch every year and fly off and start their own families. This year they had trouble after trouble. First the power washer guy accidentally sprayed their nest away with their baby eggs falling and breaking on our front door mat and exposing their underdeveloped selves. That was sad to see and I was so mad at the power washer guy. He immediately told my husband he was so sorry and said he tried to avoid it and it just exploded and fell. 

My husband and I watched the bird couple remake a new nest in less than 48 hours. New eggs were laid and a new family hatched. A fresh start and a total of five baby bird heads emerged  from the tiny nest!!  While I was gone on a vacation two baby birds had fallen out and were found dead under the nest. It was sad to see them not make it. Nature is the survival of the fittest is what they say. Well, another bird fell out and this time I saw it. I immediately made a new plastic nest complete with soft paper towels. I tied it up high on the window where the mom and dad could still feed him. That worked for about half a day when “Mr. Jump out of My Nest” decided he wanted out and landed on the ground again. 

I lowered his nest to the bottom level and he still didn’t like his nest. He wanted out!!! So I put the plastic nest on the ground. For two days we watched as the mom and dad dive bombed us to protect their baby. I kept an eye on him to see if he was still strong and flappy. He was walking around chirping with his mouth wide open begging for food. I tucked him into his bed at night and he flopped down with exhaustion. He woke up this morning perched in the regular spot at the edge of the step waiting for his food to swoop down and land in his mouth. 

Little did I know his parents were not giving him much to sustain him and he went from super strong  to laying down hardly moving in a matter of an hour. My daughter and I rushed him to the animal refuge thirty minutes away. He made it to minute 15 in the car and was gone. We turned around and gave him a nice burial in my backyard complete with a scripture reading and flowers to come. 

What’s the point of this silly blog about a bird?

God cares about everything in our lives

It didn’t feel so much like it at first. I have been praying over this bird, spending time with him and caring for his every need that I could.  

All for nothing it felt like to me. I was more upset than I expected and probably surprised my daughter with my emotional response to our bird battle lost and now buried. 

As I was cleaning up the bird poop off the front porch and sat scrubbing away all the places he had perched and rested. I was telling God it’s not fair. He brought life and didn’t protect it. This is not what I asked for and this is not the result I expected.  As I was scrubbing away,  I  thought of people who are watching their children die in hospitals, hospice, unfair tragic circumstances or just the heartaches that can find their way to our doorsteps. This is just a silly bird. 

How do these people cope with such tragic loss. 
Maybe they too prayed for a miracle only to not receive one. It doesn’t make sense to us in the natural. No one can fully explain how God works or doesn’t seem to work on our behalf. 

Quite honestly, I don’t think you can be comforted until the time is right for you to clear away the grief and be willing to hear the still small voice whispering to you. 

It’s God reaching out you to comfort you. 
We live in a fallen world full of brokenness brought in by sin. This was not God’s plan when He created us and the world. 
His plan is to bring life out of death and joy out of sorrow. As I continued wiping away the bird poop, I heard the whisper in my head. 

He can now fly forever.

You showed great love.  

Love never fails. ❤️

This is a time for me to reflect and receive comfort from above that God cares about everything that I care about. 

Thank you God for caring about me and my baby bird. 

~Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofspendor.com 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 

3 To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,

3 A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,

4 A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6 A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,

7 A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,

8 A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

New Clothes, New Wineskins, New Wine

In Luke 5, Christ explains the new covenant and compares it to the old covenant.  

His purpose is to warn us about trying to mix the two covenants.  

The old covenant was to find our acceptance by keeping the law; the new covenant is to find our acceptance purely by our faith in the finished work of Christ.  
His point is clear: we should not try to mix the two covenants.

He gives three reasons for this. First, by mixing the two, you will ruin the new covenant and you will not help the old covenant either (“the new garment will be ruined, and the old garment will not be mended”). Secondly, the old covenant is not able to handle the new covenant; the “new wine” will be spilled out and wasted. Thirdly, if we try to live by the old law keeping covenant, we will despise the new covenant, saying, “the old wine is better”.

It requires much faith, but what Our Father desires of his people now is that we turn completely to Christ and let him become our new law, let him become our new life.  

It may be a little old fashioned, but let us remember the wristbands with WWJD written on them: “What would Jesus do?” 

This requires a whole new mindset and an awareness of Christ’s nearness and involvement in our daily lives.  

We must trust that he is with us, guarding and guiding our steps, and teaching us what to say, how to think, and how to pray.  

He wants to be both our security in life and our significance in life. As it is written, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”

Be still and know I am God.

I will take care of you.

Your burdens, I will carry.

My love, I’ll give unto you.

Let me know your needs.

I will see you through.

Trust in me, and you will see

The love I have for you.

Lord, grant now a restful spirit,

Full of joy and peace to share,

Born of hope, mercy, and kindness;

We are courageous, forgiving, and fair.

Bold, triumphant, we serve Christ.

We love others and ourselves the same.

Marching together, one body,

His word will be proclaimed.

 ~ Brad Heilhecker 

Whatever 

WORTHY THOUGHT: Whatever we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions.

We speak God’s word not out of artificial piety to aim to impress others nor do we cater to human respect. We are to speak truth in love that builds bridges not walls.     

We can implant good ideas and settle our differences in todays world if we fix our thoughts on what is true, good and right. 

Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. 

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable– If there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise– dwell on these things. -Philippians 4:8

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill