Filled Then Empowered

Many times, we want to be “used by God” without the necessary prep time; we want to preach, speak in tongues, teach, help, or evangelize without first being filled up with God.  The result is frustration—trying to do God’s will in our own strength.  Psalm 51 lays out a good blueprint for ministry; it says: “Cleanse me from my sin, then I will teach transgressors thy ways.”  This is a hard lesson for us to learn sometimes, for God can only work through us to others what he has first worked in us.

Luke 4 talks about a similar principle in the parable about the growth and harvest of a seed of grain.   Christ talks about the stages of the seed’s life and then concludes that the farmer harvests the grain only after it has been fully formed.  This requires patience on the part of the farmer and on our part—since we are the grain, the fruit of his work.  This requires us to wait patiently while the Lord “grows us up” and then employs us in his work of ministry of bringing salvation to the world.  And we have to be patient with our own growth as well as the growth of others.

And being filled with his Spirit is a two fold process of first being drained of our own selfishness so that we will have room inside for his Spirit to move in and do his good work.  And that requires humility, meekness, and courage on our part as we learn to face our own failures, to hear His voice, and to conquer the enemy’s schemes in our own lives.  For, make no mistake, our battle with ourselves and in our ministries is a spiritual battle as we learn to come face to face with Satan and his demons as they oppose the work of Christ.  

The battle may wax and wane, but it never completely ceases, so we must be prepared always to fend off his schemes and to help others as they learn to walk in the Spirit and defeat the enemy’s schemes in their lives.

— Brad Heilhecker

Prepare Your Heart

As for me, brothers, when I arrived among you, it was not with surpassing eloquence or wisdom that I came announcing to you the previously concealed truth about God; 2 for I had decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Yeshua the Messiah, and even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal. 3 Also I myself was with you as somebody weak, nervous and shaking all over from fear; 4 and neither the delivery nor the content of my message relied on compelling words of “wisdom” but on a demonstration of the power of the Spirit, 5 so that your trust might not rest on human wisdom but on God’s power. I Corinthians 2:1-5 (CJB)

My brothers and sisters, when I first came to proclaim to you the secrets of God, I refused to come as an expert, trying to impress you with my eloquent speech and lofty wisdom. 2 For while I was with you I was determined to be consumed with one topic—Jesus, the crucified Messiah. 3 I stood before you feeling inadequate, filled with reverence for God, and trembling under the sense of the importance of my words. 4 The message I preached and how I preached it was not an attempt to sway you with persuasive arguments but to prove to you the almighty power of God’s Holy Spirit. 5 For God intended that your faith not be established on man’s wisdom but by trusting in his almighty power. (TPT)

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (ESV)

A friend shared this passage (I Corinthians 2:1-5) with me today. Please, read this and hold it in your hearts. I have shared it in several translations so you can ponder and pray over it.

Paul speaks as a humble servant of the Most High God. He wants no one to rest on his human power, but only on God’s power. He wants the message to be Christ and Christ alone.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how we should prepare our homes. Today, I encourage you to PREPARE YOUR HEART. God wants to give you NEW thoughts that are from Him, and Him alone. He wants to take you to NEW places that can only come from Him.

When your heart is prepared and ready for HIM, you will see His power, not human wisdom.

Society has turned to trust in human wisdom. Too many are trusting prophets for “words from God.” Too many are trusting teachers for “new ideas.”

Not enough people are turning to the actual Word of God.

Governments will fail us. Pastors and teachers will miss the mark. There will be false prophets. ONLY His Words will remain forever. Only HIS Words hold the Truth.

If we are not grounded in the Word of God, we will struggle. If we are not daily reading what His Truths are, we will find ourselves wandering. His Words need to be the lamp to our feet and light to our path.

He is taking your faith to a new level, but it is a TRUST in Him and not the wisdom of man.

Sometimes we learn the best from the quiet and meek. Sometimes we hear His Truth from those who are sitting next to us when we are in need. Often it is the “still small voice” and we can’t hear it in the clatter of speech usually happening around us.

Take time to be still and quiet. Look for HIS POWER in that moment. It will prepare your heart for ALL that is to come.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Photo by Ronak Valobobhai on Unsplash

No Treadmills

Oftentimes religion can be a treadmill—repeatedly getting us all dressed up and fully informed but giving us nothing to actually do or say to work out our faith.  Just more church, more study, more learning.

That is not the way of Christ.  He speaks a word to our spirits and then immediately goes to work showing us how to work the word out, turning it into action.

In actuality, there is much to be done on behalf of Christ and his kingdom, some of it to be done by us as individuals and some of it to be done by the church collectively.

Happy is the man who learns the difference, for we can play our parts immediately and always, but we have to be very patient while waiting for the church to learn to work together synergistically.

Not surprisingly, we will only see what the Lord wants to do with the church collectively after we have personally submitted our lives to his will individually.  “His secrets are with those who fear him.”  Those on the outside will only see chaos and confusion.  God’s friends will see him working—slowly, mightily, and consistently—to bring people together in unity of spirit and gracious love to do great things for the kingdom.  

The church is not unlike human families where the husband and wife learn to live and work together as they slowly incorporate the children into the family structure.

From the outside, it may look like chaos, but in the best of families there is always a plan and a conscious effort to work out that plan.

— Brad Heilhecker



We all carry it…

oh, it doesn’t have to be those unsightly expanding fat cells that make it obvious we are carrying more weight…

We can carry the weight of so many things and we don’t even realize the depth, destruction, or heaviness of it all until we start to let it go.

This lead image has always spoke to me…

I don’t know the original author – it’s circulated for years around the net.

But it inspires me… it brings me hope… that we can chisel our way out of those weights (seen and unseen) that we carry.

Many of those unseen weights can lead to extra weight on our frames that are visible.

What are some weights that we carry?

The weight of…














Unkind words






It could go on and on …..

But guess what …

As much as you try to use the extra weight as a shield or wall to protect yourself from others or keep stuffing those emotional weights down they will just keep weighing you down emotionally and physically and can ultimately destroy you.

You see, they aren’t ever truly hidden.

There is a God who sees and knows every void you try to stuff.

There is a God who sees every counterfeit comfort you use to soothe your wounds.

There is a God who sees through the tough facade that pushes back the tears.

There is a God who sees every man or woman that is desperately wanting to chisel their way out of the heaviness of all the weight/s they carry.

There is a God who sees and is waiting for you to ask Him for help.

It takes time – it takes effort – and it is absolutely worth it!

Are you ready to start chiseling off those weights today?

God is near.

God sees you.

Ask Him to help.

“You Are The God Who Sees Me.”

— Genesis 16:13

— XXOO Michelle Cosby Bollom

Two Keys

Two Keys – Devotion to Christ and Devotion to Christian Unity…

This walk of faith on which we have embarked is a winding, twisting trail, with many obstacles to overcome and hills to climb before we finally reach home.  However, there are at least two main keys that will keep us on the main trail and save us from ending up on rabbit trails.  

These are our devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3) and devotion to Christian unity (John 17).  In fact, you can’t have one without the other, for Christ’s prayer was that we would become united in heart and mind and spirit.

How to achieve Christian unity is probably the least understood facet of our faith.  Maybe that is because we all struggle so mightily with our absolute devotion to Christ, and without this prerequisite accomplished, the ideal of Christian unity will remain a distant and even unimaginable goal.  

Scripture is real clear on how we can and should interact with each other as Christians and how we should relate to Christ, but it is also clear from scripture that most individuals will remain committed to their own welfare above that of the church and of its Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  

So, in the final analysis, our sin is the culprit, not God and not the church.  When we master ourselves, then we can begin to work with Christ on the monumental task or restoring the church to wholeness.

And even then, we must constantly be on guard and watchful of our own hearts to make sure that we are indeed doing God’s will, God’s way, and doing it in God’s time.

— Brad Heilhecker

My Pen’s Pondering

Poets pen words all the time ….
Songwriters sing songs all the time …

Spinning words of hope and change
Reflecting and reaching
Dangling and daring

I am sort of sick of words …
I am sick of dashing dreams and Unending speeches …

We can write and sing and read and speak …but what changes? Really?

I want to see movement… action… momentum…

I want to see real truth prevail over evil and hellbent empty promises

Hell, I don’t even know what I want anymore…
What is the point of this pens pondering?

If I am just one pebble thrown in a sea of endless possibilities … does my ripple make an impact ?

Will it force a chain reaction or just go so long and fizzle out …

I am tired of quitters and empty promises … even the ones I make to myself

I am tired of the toil and no harvest?
Or is there…Really, no harvest? Could it be simply because the workers are so few?

We all reap what we sow!

So, what will we sow?
More Poems? Speeches? Songs?
Empty promises?

Those temporary platitudes to cover and soothe our emotions but in reality it’s like we keep putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound ….

Unity … it feels so far
Is it ever really reached?
With just me?
Or We ? Or Us? Or Them?

Hate seems to rule — to blind the masses…
Fear is the food they keep cramming down our throats.

It’s always a challenge to understand sufferings from a ground-level perspective…

Do we keep picking up our toys and stomping out of the sandbox…
Canceling culture, ideas, and voices of anyone that hurts our feelings or doesn’t agree with the controlled narratives of a misguided few…

I am pondering and penning and so far from singing …

Kumbaya…What does it mean?
It feels like it just falls on deaf ears… Maybe it’s nothing more than a silly campfire song and it’s just left in the burn pile of ashes ….

How do we take these words of poets and writers and make them realities?

“Imagine” if you will …

Have them stir more than our emotions and look great on paper for the world to keep reading and sharing but not really ever doing more….

How do we do MORE and keep going and moving and effecting real change in our own hearts and our homes …in our cities and communities… our churches and countries….

I feel like Jacob, wresting with God for answers and blessings but my hip is so sore and I am tired of limping along …

What really constitutes blessings?
What really is the answer to all that we seek?

Can we keep standing and praying and believing that God has not forsaken us? ….

I read the many Promises of God – Oh, I have seen them …tasted them…known them … and still don’t always understand them…

What I do know is …
He is the only Promise Maker that is also A Promise Keeper.

So, I will keep pondering and pursuing the Promises of God…

And use my pen to ponder and process all the pains of life and keep encouraging others

But for now …

I stand
I wait
I pray

I do what I can do to affect change in me so that it ripples outward … to be the change for others around me.

Let’s focus on God’s Promises.
There is a Promise to every problem.

And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. ~ 2 Peter 1:4 NLT

—XXOO Michelle Cosby Bollom

My Pen’s Pondering

Restored Ministries

The Perfect Gift

Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who made the heavenly lights; with him there is neither variation nor darkness caused by turning. — James 1:17

Tonight as I sat asking Holy Spirit what I should write, this verse came to my mind. I admit to not remembering where verses are found, so I looked it up. It shocked me when I saw it was from James chapter 1.

This is how James begins:

“Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations;”

Joy in trials. It really isn’t as easy as it sounds. And yet, we are to give thanks in ALL situations and circumstances.

Reading on verse 12 says:

“How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him.”

And by the time we get to verse 17 we see that EVERY good act of giving and EVERY PERFECT gift is from above.

Friends, God really does care about EVERY need we have. HE is in control even when we cannot understand what is happening. I have to remind myself of this TRUTH EVERY single day.

The world is groaning and shaking. Countries everywhere are going through transitions and changes. Covid continues to shake and divide so many situations.

And yet, GOD is still on HIS throne and knows ALL things that are going to happen.

Why does God allow bad things to happen? My son reminded me the other day in a conversation we had that, “Without bad things happening, we wouldn’t appreciate the good as much.”

It is time for us to WRITE something we are thankful for EVERY night. Our Father created the whole world, and yet takes time to give us HIS LOVE and attention, if we just STOP to receive it. He won’t turn from us.

Be proactive today to reflect on all HE has done for you and be thankful for that “perfect gift.”

Shabbat Shalom, Rose Horton

Photo by Lumitar on Unsplash