There is Courage in our Yes and in our No…

The story of Esther in the Bible shows us what a powerful “Yes” it was for Esther to courageously accept the assignment to save her people and a nation.

Her “Yes” opened up doors of favor for her with the King, exposed Haman’s plot, and saved many people.

Her “Yes” was risky – but worth it!

But not so fast …

We seem to skim right over Queen Vashti who was just as courageous in her “No” that ultimately cost her everything.

She didn’t want to be paraded around for her beauty to her husband and his drunken friends anymore. She didn’t want to just be seen as a “pretty face” or an “object of desire” anymore. She would rather be driven out because she refused to display her lovely face and figure before the lustful eyes of drunken men.

She was willing to give up everything in her “No” to not feel cheapened and unworthy anymore.

Her defiance in her “No” cost her the crown, but she didn’t cater to the vanity and sensuality of drunkards.

She courageously sacrificed a kingdom.

Rather than lower her values of modesty and worth she courageously accepted disgrace and dismissal.

Ultimately she won in her “No” as she sat in that drunken court that day and remain seated and refused to dance-even at the King’s command.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. –Winston Churchill

We all have #DivineCourage

We all can answer #ACallToValor

Grab my book “Divine Courage” available now on Amazon Divine Courage: A Call To Valor: Michelle Bollom: 9781098746636: Amazon.com: Books

Image from Instagram by Power Words

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Voluntary Simplicity

I started practicing Voluntary Simplicity years ago. At first if felt horrible – actually it was a bit brutal in fact, but really, it is so freeing living with less.

Going fewer places and engagements allowed me to really savor the season or moments we are currently in.

I am an identical twin that had twins and everything was always around schedules and routines. Even our religion we practiced years ago was all about rituals and routines.

The accumulation of “More” kept my ears blocked from hearing God. The clutter from so much material things kept my eyes blind too. You can’t focus on what you need to when you are surrounded by “stuff.”

I find the Holy Spirit moves much more freely when I don’t keep Him confined to a ritualistic religion. I instead am in awe of the many ways He operates that I didn’t know before.

Clean out the clutter, whether that is your calendar, your closet, or your choices …

You really will have and experience so much more when you start living with less.

~ XXOO Michelle Cosby Bollom

Restored Ministries

Your Healing Hour

RestoredMinistries.org

Silence Is Always Full Of Answers

Silence Is Always Full Of Answers!

I think of this phrase 2 ways –

First; we have to tune out the noise of the world and others in order to hear what we need to from God. Get alone with Him – be still and know…

Second; when someone is going silent or “ghosting” you, look closer – look deeper, pay attention to the silence they are relaying because there could be some answers waiting for you there too.

For God alone, O my soul, waits in silence, for my hope is from Him.

~ Psalm 62:5

~XXOO Michelle Cosby Bollom

Restored Ministries

Your Healing Hour

Superlatives

It is written that “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness.”  However, there are some scriptures that are especially pithy in revealing the heart of God. They might be labeled Superlative Scriptures:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son – Love, Jesus

He is able to make all grace abound to you that you always having all sufficiency in everything may have an abundance for every good work – Love, Paul

May you be strengthened with power in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may comprehend with all the saints what is the length and breadth and depth and height of the love of Christ and to know this love which surpasses understanding that you may be filled with all the fullness of God – Letter to the church at Ephesus.

There are many others and everyone has their favorite scriptures, but love and grace are themes that are continually emphasized in God’s word.  

He desperately desires that we reach out and apprehend these super important realities, for without them we are left desperately searching for love and woefully wondering where grace is to be found.  

May God direct our hearts to Christ!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Imitate Me

Paul wrote: “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”  The writer of Hebrews advises us to “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you, consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”  We might be tempted to think that we can forge our own paths and follow Christ based on our own intuition, but there is a reason that we have parents and pastors; it is a great source of strength to observe someone who is living uprightly and then to imitate their practices.  

Do we then improvise a little and personalize their example to fit our personality and calling?  

Absolutely, but that does not negate the necessity of having Godly examples in our life.

There was a reason that Jesus spent three years with his disciples.  Some lessons take time to learn. We can’t always come up with a scripture or a prayer to see us through a tough spot, but we can still determine to live up to the Godly examples in our life until the light of inspiration again shines down on our paths.  

Peter wrote: “Add to your faith virtue, knowledge, self control, perseverance, Godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.”  Sometimes we need to see what these things look and feel like.  

What is virtue?  How do we acquire knowledge?  How do we control ourselves and persevere?  Exactly what is Godliness?  And how do we show brotherly kindness and love?

All of us are called to be examples to the world.  Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses.”  Witnessing is not necessarily something that we do.  Rather, it is something that we are.  Good witnesses or bad witnesses, those of us in Christ are still witnesses to the world of what God’s love looks and feels like.  

It is a high and holy calling, and many crumble under the weight until they learn the secrets of abiding in the vine.  Self effort avails nothing.  Only by patiently waiting on and listening for the Lord are we empowered to press forward on our pilgrimages to the Holy Land.  So, come Lord Jesus and guide us home!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Harboring Hate

If we are hard-wired for love and connection; then why do we have so much hate?

I laid in bed thinking of a time when my mouth spewed a nasty hateful comment revealing a hardened and unhappy heart.

I thought of my comments often over the years – not so much horrified by them – but really wondering why bad things happen to good people? Why does it appear that vile people seem to go unpunished and prosper while good people suffer and even die.

You see, my brother died – his body dumped – heroin took his life. I was angry and mad and wanting to blame the world but I chose to blame someone who had hurt our family for years. My words were exactly; “Why the He-Double hockey sticks can’t XXX be dead? That SOB deserves to be dead.”

And if blaming that person wasn’t enough … I also blamed the person that sold my brother the heroin and dumped his body in a parking lot to die instead of getting him help as he was overdosing. I would sit awake for hours smoking cigs wanting to have this person I didn’t even know be held accountable and suffer greatly.

Rage consumed me.

I even blamed my husband for not going to pick up my brother like he said he would that day. I told him so. I told him I couldn’t trust him to do what he says he would do. He was a promise breaker and for that my brother was dead because of it. I was ready to leave him, my kids, everything and everyone behind and sulk in my intense rage and hate.

Oh, I am pretty familiar with harboring hate.

I know how it will consume and take you out if you let it. I know how it taints everyone and everything around you.

But God…

Thankfully after I stopped blaming and raging at Him … He stepped in…

He restored my hard hardened heart. He peeled away the calluses. He gave me an empathy and compassion for others. I didn’t want to continue drinking the poison of unforgiveness. I cried out to God and He was faithful to answer my cries. He enlarged my heart for a greater capacity to love.

Now when I see a horrific news story I don’t wish ill will to the person; I actually pray for God to intervene for them and help restore them. I pray for both parties involved on both sides – even when I don’t quite understand how or why someone could be consumed with evil to do certain things.

I am learning to see both sides in all things these days. I have forgiven myself and others I blamed for things that were not their fault.

I have also learned that if we don’t examine the hate we have in our hearts and we let it fester or keep fueling it we will never ever get back to the side of love. We must stop harboring hate.

Whether that be because of a failed relationship, the political divide in our country, or the countless acts of violence instead of kindness reported on the nightly news from all around the world.

It doesn’t happen overnight – I can’t even tell you the time frame or moment that I awoke and the pain and hate was gone. But it is gone.

I pray that what ever hate that has you consumed that you too will find a way back to love.

We can’t harbor hate and love well.

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Complaining or Praying

Are you complaining or praying?

When you get sideways, crossways, agitated, irritated, or aggravated do you grab your phone or the closest ear and fill it full of gripes and gritches? Or if no one is around do you just fling it all out into the atmosphere?

Or

Do you take whatever it is instantly to God in prayer?

Simply Ask God…

Lord, what has me feeling like a burrs in my saddle today? Why does so and so or ABC XYZ rub me the wrong way? Remove the callus on my heart, restore my peace. Help me love them like You do. Help me overlook the offenses. Bind my tongue from spewing negativity into the atmosphere. Let me take it to the throne and not the phone. If I complain I simply remain – so I choose to take it to You first instead and be raised by my praise. Work it all out for my good! I trust You over my crazy emotions. In Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.

Now, don’t you feel better?

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom