Criticism can’t change it.
Failing can’t shake it.
List can’t determine it.
When your identity is in the Rock, your identity is rock-solid. ~ Ann Voskamp
One of my favorite quotes! ~XXOO Michelle
One of my favorites is 1 Peter 5:10 in the Amplified Translation.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who imparts His blessing and favor, who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you making you what you ought to be.
Rioters, let us not assume that any choice was easy for Robert E. Lee, or that he had our benefit of history on which to reflect. He did not like slavery, if you’ll read the account of his life, but said, “I will not draw my sword against Virginia.” He was a man torn by the choice he had to make.
No one I know loves the pain in our country’s past. Maybe we should redefine what statues are for, to remind us of how far we have come as a people, and to see it as a scar on the skin of our history.
Let’s heal the wound and leave the scar, to remind us of the pain, and to commit ourselves to healing. Just as edges of a wound bind one to the other, let’s see ourselves as humans first, and reach across the wound and grab those on the other side.
If in death we would accept the donated heart of another race to save our own life, let us accept it while it still beats in our neighbor.
Stop hating. Start healing.
~ Alane Bertrand-Roberts
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Thank you all for your support!
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
I am a storyteller so I like to give every detail to really paint the picture for everyone. Many don’t appreciate that and will lovingly tell me- get to the point Michelle…. but sometimes the details have to be laid out for you to get the real picture and moral of the story….
So I will try not to write a really long book here……but want to share some really cool stuff that happened recently.
We were planning a short trip to getaway- God opened the way to extend those few days and to also have my twin sister’s schedule free up to also join us on our family #RoadTrippen2017
We planned Hot Springs Arkansas.
We got a crazy cheap deal for the Waters Hotel right on Main Street in the heart of Hot Springs.
Found out hotel also owned the Spa and bathhouse and we’re offering 15% discounts already on top of a ridiculous spa package deal for 2. It was the week of my twin and my 47th Birthday so we decided a spa day for us would be amazing. It was! Crazy Favor!
My family while we were gone got us cards and we had an impromptu Birthday celebration with Fat Bottom Girls Cupcakes in the lobby amongst strangers. They are super yummy and worth every calorie! Definitely one of the most wonderful and memorable birthdays ever.
Before the trip my sister was hearing Eureka Springs was nice so if we extended our trip a few days we could drive up there. We agreed and were all set. Found another great deal on a hotel in Eureka for a few days.
So many people I spoke to the week before we left were telling me they did not like Eureka Springs. Many told me stories of haunted hotels and a large Wiccan population there.
So I kept asking everyone I saw about Eureka Springs….. everyone that is, but God.
One Store owner in Hot Springs said it was a hippie community with people smoking blunts and a bunch of gays and weirdos…they also said lots of witches and Wiccans.
Now, I normally don’t go off the opinions of others but I was really starting to think….
uhm.. maybe we shouldn’t go to Eureka,
But never stopped and asked God.
Then one day in my quiet time; wee hours of the morning as I lay awake in Hot Springs when our AC had gone out, ( that’s a whole other story of Favor and moving rooms and getting $ taken off for that)
I decided to ask God why I had fear and a weirdness to go up to Eureka Springs. Why is it a place with a huge Christ statue like they have in Brazil and would now be a huge Wiccan community? I also said…. Lord, Blunt’s don’t scare me…. I used to be a puffer at one time…. weirdos don’t rattle me- heck, I am a weirdo too at times I am sure. I love gay people because I know You love gay people and many have been judged and blasted by Christians enough already. Witches and warlocks don’t have any power over me if I am suited up in my Armor of God …so why am I having this dread and foreboding of us going to Eureka?
I quickly felt the Lord speak to my heart…
Darkness and fear are everywhere…
but My perfect Love casts out all fear ….
(I actually laughed and said… oh I should pull out my book #YourRxfofFear huh? And reread it!)
He then whispered to my heart…
Michelle, you carry My Light; you know of the evil that people refuse to believe in and you don’t go around as Ghost Busters looking for it, but you know how to shift and cleanse an atmosphere in My name and also how to protect yourself from anything that would try to bind to you. You have no reason to fear. Listen and pay attention to me and not the voice of others.
So I awoke that day and told the hubs – I think Eureka is going to be good- let’s keep the plans to head up there.
I did ask God to give me the mercy of confirmation that I was hearing from Him that we should go.
So at our big spa day later that day I asked the girl tending to me and my sister between our spa services. I asked her about Eureka Springs and she said she loved it. I thought – Yes! Mercy of confirmation Lord is about to show me why we should go…..
So I begin to tell her all I had heard from others and she stopped me dead in my tracks and abruptly said: who told you all that crap? A bunch of Christians? ….
I gulped hard and ain’t gonna lie-I actually was speechless and felt the Lord tell me you don’t try and defend anything-and I found myself saying …
Sadly yes, you are correct, most of those with the negative comments were in fact all Christians.
So that was a moment God reminded me of my most favorite quote by Ghandi…..
“I love your Jesus, it’s your Christians I have the problem with. They are so unlike your Christ.”
I sat there repenting for following along in unfair judgements and fear and not being willing to be a true Christ representative because of fear of those different from me or because opinions were trying to overshadow my obedience to God.
So …. please stay with me….
The first day in Eureka my daughter and my twin sister and I take the Trolley to check out the town. While on the trolley this old man starts talking about the haunted Crescent Hotel, which my friend had told me about it already too and I had read lots of stuff on it.
He was poo pooing that notion that there are evil spirits or ghosts today and said his wife loves all those things. I could so relate because years ago I was enamored with Haunted Ghost stories and those types of things too.
A couple from Brazil were listening as the old guy talked and the trolley driver was trying to stay tuned too and my sister and daughter probably checked out when I started to share that I have a ministry and one thing we do is Atmosphere Adjustments aka Janitors for Jesus, if you will- because that stuff does really exist and so much more but we should not be seeking or entertaining those things. Nor should we be afraid of them. That Light exposes darkness and we just carry and usher in the Light of Christ wherever we go.
The old funny guy laughed and said he didn’t believe but the Brazil couple listened intently and the woman agreed she does not like that sort of stuff. My sister and daughter were probably just wanting me to shut up already.
As we exited the Trolley at our stop the trolley driver whispered to me-
Hey, did I hear you say Jesus? I am a believer too. We smiled and had a little fist bump moment and I thought- wow, what have I gotten myself into. It was just hours into our arrival and this dude is whispering like us Jesus folks got to be on the Down Low around here.
Hang in folks … it gets even better…..
Next day – sister and I decided on a shopping day while the others were going to scout out the fishing scene. We get downtown and one of the first shops we go into is some sort of healing magnetic jewelry stuff. The owner chats us up and is a little pushy to demonstrate that by putting on a ring or bracelet will strengthen and stabilize and heal all sort of ailments. He does the demonstrations and I am kind of thinking wow – this works!
The price of his stuff was outrageous and the whole while I am buying into it until…
the Holy Spirit stops me in my track…. I quickly sense Him say….
Really girl, you really fell for that?
My sister and I conversed as we exit to the next shop and she said she also sensed that God was saying not to buy anything and to exit as we did.
I am inside so excited that my twin was hearing from God too and we were on same page so I said a quick prayer to God.
“Lord, please help us to hear you clearly today on everything we encounter. Put people in our paths lined up by you and let me be bold to share Jesus with others. Protect us from anything that would try to come against us”
The very next stop was a stop for coffee.
The beautiful lady was just opening up and she was clearly in some sort of pain. I asked her what’s wrong? she said she lifted a heavy box of sugar and hurt her back that she has always had problems with for years. I saw her wearing one of those magnetic energy healing bracelets from the first shop we visited and as soon as I saw it the Holy Spirit said-
Here ya go girl- here is your opportunity to pray for this woman.
Ok- so I am going to be 💯 percent honest. Sometimes I will not be obedient when God asks me to do something and sometimes I do. This time I knew God was needing to use me. So I ask her right there in the street in front of her coffee stand-
May I pray for you and ask God to heal your back?
She hesitated for a brief moment and then quickly changes her voice and tells me- Yes!
So I pray and finish and she gets emotional and hugs me and begins to tell us a story about her son that was in a motorcycle accident years ago and that she had an encounter with God and that he told her to get off the floor from crying and that her son would live and he really did. She then reached into her shop and pulls out a wooden sign and displays it proudly –
For me and my house we serve the Lord. –
She said that she needed to be reminded of who she served and not be afraid anymore.
Check- I still need to do the same everyday too.
It opened up a beautiful conversation and I was able to share my books with her and my Ministry and she just beamed and smiled and kept hugging me.
I walked away thinking – Wow God! Thanks for letting me be Your hands and feet today to touch this woman. May I not ever be afraid to display and demonstrate that I serve and represent You.
We kept shopping and came upon the little place we wanted to eat at. It was every bit worth the reviews and the most beautiful couple owned it and the waiter kept us laughing the whole time.
They also happened to be gay.
I was able to hear their stories and just express gratitude and love without any judgement or weirdness – which I never have a problem with any way because I have friends and some family that have chosen that lifestyle- and although I can disagree with someone’s choices – I can still choose to love them and pray for them and not force more judgement or hate towards them, since they have probably experienced enough of that already. Especially by so called Christians.
So while eating – there were some art pieces on the wall that were creepy to me. I just couldn’t shake it… so I asked the Lord, why are these pieces creeping me out?
He said… Michelle, you are prejudging … you need to look deeper.
I said- Lord, I am trying but all I see is creepy photos of misplaced dolls and mannequins and it just seems creepy. I don’t see Art.
Well, not even within the next 10 minutes we walked into a Art Gallery. A man was rearranging the art pieces and apologized for the mess and my sister and I explained –
Been there done that, my sister owned and operated the art gallery and frame show for my daddy for years and it was quite all right if he kept working while we browsed the art.
I got to the back room and there was the “creepy art” from lunch.
The Holy Spirit instantly told me- the man in the next room working is the artist so now you can ask him all about his “Creepy” Art.
I seriously was like- Huh, ? Oh, You funny God- but I knew He was serious –
so I say loudly- from the back room –
so, tell me, aren’t you the artist of this creepy art here-tell me about it?
He laughed and said why yes I am.
I explained we had seen it at lunch.
As I read and viewed more pieces I actually began to understand them and made my way to where the guy was so I could converse face to face.
Not only did I tell him that I had unfairly judged it from lunch, but actually wanted to know more, that I saw some very “Spiritual” undertones in many of his pieces and wanted to know more.
He began to share a story of a piece called the Light Within – that he did after 3 friends were diagnosed with Breast Cancer and 2 died and one didn’t and he felt that the light within is what made the difference. He even called the Light within A Divine Light.
I was just about wrecked when he poured out his heart behind that piece. I told him that I loved it and got his art now and that the Divine Light for me represents Jesus Christ and that I saw that he must know who The Divine was too from his pieces and he forced a smile but had a little sad look on his face and quietly said- as he nodded his head, I struggle to.
and I said, sometimes we all do, but He is always available if we invite Him in.
He just nodded again and I knew we didn’t need to say anything else.
I was able to encourage him and give him some info on how he could self publish his books of his photography cheaper and that I would buy it and the piece I wanted he was sold out but said once back in stock I could order it.
We exchanged info, hugged, and he even let me use his restroom (which no one lets you use their restroom there and it’s tough when you had 27 glasses of water at lunch to find available restrooms without walking a mile)
I just was so moved and wrecked and thanking God for every minute of this day …
and for helping to weed out the judgements and junk in my heart and to simply listen more for Him and His guiding and to simply love people right where they are.
We shopped – had great deals and met some really unique and fun people and decided we best grab the trolley back before they close because there is no cell coverage and we have not been able to spot the hubs for pick up so we get a One ride ticket and the trolley pulls up to take us back to the hotel- a different color route Trolley than we had taken the day before-they have a color coded Trolley system.
We step in and it’s the guy from the day before that I had the fist bump Jesus – me too moment with … is the driver. He remembers us and as he says, wow they changed my route today and here we are again, and as he takes us to our hotel, I think, Ok God – you are up to something – this guy is a Divine Appointment -so please show me what You got for us.
The man asks me about being an ordained minister and my Ministry Restored Ministries that I had all shared briefly the day before on his other Trolley with all the other folks and so I give him a card and tell him all about what we do and our daily blog and he is so excited and happy and then asks me if I could please pray for him and also his daughter that is in a very bad relationship and being abused. I say absolutely! I would love to!
so I pray for him right there and also for his daughter and tell him I will continue to intercede for her.
He grabs my hand and the look in his eyes was just so amazing-I can’t even describe the feeling.
I exited the Trolley and caught up with my sister and told her what just happened and I said-
God was all over this day and this trip and I am so glad we didn’t miss it and came to Eureka Springs.
So if you have stayed with me on my long winded – painting every little detail for you – recap of our trip and the many God moments of Divine Encounters and God Winks story ….
here is what God has showed me this week.
We miss a lot of things when we let the opinions of others cloud our judgement and make decisions for us.
Obedience to God must trump opinions.
Be Christ Like- Not a religious spirited Christian.
Always Look deeper.
Love unconditionally …regardless of witches, weirdos, gays, puffers, and even religious spirited people, God loves them all.
Pray for others and keep shining your Light into dark places and dark hearts and confused hearts and angry hearts.
Share my restoring and transforming power with others.
And … Above all- keep checking your heart Michelle to make sure that you are doing all that and more so you are not missing ALL
that I have for you.
Yes Lord! I gotcha!
Thank You far beyond words for showing me where I come up short and for the mercy of another day to get things right.
Thanks for sticking with me and my long story.
I hope it has encouraged you.
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
And this lead image was a Tshirt I saw in Eureka Springs …..
Come And Hear, all who fear God,
And I will tell what He has done for my soul.
There are junk heaps and garbage dumps filled with many irreparable things deemed beyond restoration; but there are no irreparable pasts or people in God’s eyes.
He sets all things right.
He is the Great Restorer!
He thinks you’re Flawsome.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken. ~ Isaiah 62:12 ESV
“Listen to me, all you who are serious about right living and committed to seeking God. Ponder the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were dug. Yes, ponder Abraham, your father, and Sarah, who bore you. Think of it! One solitary man when I called him, but once I blessed him, he multiplied. Likewise I, God, will comfort Zion, comfort all her mounds of ruins. I’ll transform her dead ground into Eden, her moonscape into the garden of God, A place filled with exuberance and laughter, thankful voices and melodic songs. “Pay attention, my people. Listen to me, nations. Revelation flows from me. My decisions light up the world. My deliverance arrives on the run, my salvation right on time. I’ll bring justice to the peoples. Even faraway islands will look to me and take hope in my saving power. Look up at the skies, ponder the earth under your feet. The skies will fade out like smoke, the earth will wear out like work pants, and the people will die off like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my setting-things-right will never be obsolete. ~ Isaiah 51:1-6 MSG