Fervently 

WORTHY THOUGHT: God’s people should continue to pray fervently in times of conflict and destruction. 

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard, and I have come in because of your prayers. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come. ”-Daniel 10:12-14

The Book of Daniel in chapter 10 teaches us that God immediately sent his angelic messenger to Daniel because He had heard Daniels prayers, But, the messenger was detained in battle for 21 days by satan’s emissaries to prevent the angelic messenger going to Daniel until Micheal the chief angelic prince came and helped in the battle. Finally, the messenger reached Daniel to answer his prayer.

When you pray you become part of a spiritual warfare, so don’t take lightly your times of prayer. Our prayers may be challenged by evil forces, so we must pray fervently and pray earnestly and expect God to answer in his good timing.

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Roadside Testimony  

For March Restoration Stories we have a special treat for you. 

The Delusion ladies headed out and had some car trouble. A nice man pulled them over to help and Laura Gallier captured his testimony on the video below.

Meet Kevin:

“It became more than roadside assistance. It was a divine appointment we didn’t expect on our way to our destination.” 

“Sometimes disappointments can be made into appointments.” 

Kelley Allison 

bowlofsplendor.com 

You can check out the Delusion by Laura Gallier and the project we are working on HERE

Coming soon to a bookstore and coming sometime not as soon to a theater near you

Lead image is us hanging with next new friend Tommy Brasher at Brasher Motor Company of Weimar, TX

He helped us get the job done faster and we got to our destination just a little past check in time.

Restoration Stories – Constance Carter 

Mom says I was singing before I was talking. I don’t remember it, but I don’t doubt it.

More than 50 years ago I was born three months early in a small town where I was stuck in an incubator for a month with no human touch. I had to fight just to breath. Only God knew how He would use this test. Though my parents were given no hope for me, God had a plan.

 
I lived, yes I did, and I grew up in church. 

 I remember the devil being after me. One time when I was five he was standing in my doorway and wouldn’t let me out. I screamed but nothing came out. Angels later ministered to me. That’s the last time I remember seeing angels but I don’t doubt they exist.
 

When I was 12 a “friend” got me to puff on a cigarette and drink some wine. Not a good idea at all. Why did I do it? Why? Just prior to that I was singing in church and putting tracks in people’s mailboxes. I was knocking on doors telling neighbors about Jesus. I heard the whole world had to know before He would come back. I wanted to do my part.

  

Then I backslid for way too long. 

 I never ever felt right about it either. I ran away from home at 14 years old. Really I thought I knew everything and really I knew much of nothing. I had to find out the hard way.
 

Finally, when I was 27 years old a man professing to be a satanist began talking to me about the book of Revelation. I knew I had a Bible that my praying Grandma had given me. I got up, found the Bible, and locked myself in the back room. I read the entire book and it felt like The Light was shining just on me. It was New Year’s eve 1987. I began my journey back. 

 
After nine miscarriages and a seriously failed relationship, I began a new life. I saw an ad at a local music shop. “Christian band looking for a singer”….. I answered the ad. God knows what He’s doing. I was hooked. I went back to church and started serving. I was later recruited into Bible School. Yes, that’s what I said. I didn’t want to do it at first because I was in a band and we were playing gigs. I had written a jingle for Altoids and they were paying us to play the jingle at each gig. Wow that was fun. I was even on the radio, and was known as the Altoids lady for a minute. God had a different plan. 

 
 

While in Bible school a friend got a job at a prison and asked if I would like to bring my pastor and come minister. That was the beginning of this long chapter in my life. Since 1994 to the present, I‘ve been a servant in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice System, and the State of Louisiana prison system. After being licensed and ordained in 1999, I became a volunteer chaplain at a men’s maximum security prison where I served for seven years. I formed a non-profit organization, Lionzbride Ministry, and the rest is history in the making.

 
The next chapter is not known, thank God, or I might mess it up. God plants seeds inside of us even before we are born. He does have a plan and we don’t have to know it all, but it really helps to know Him. His sheep hear His voice and come running.

 
No matter how far we go in the wrong direction, while there’s still breath, there’s still time to turn around and run in the right direction. God never tires. His arms are wide open. His love is better than life itself. Hold on to Jesus.

 

 

Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.~ 1 Peter 5:9 TLB 

 
 

              ~ Constance Carter 

              http://lionzbride.com

Hold On Loosely 

  
Have you ever felt like you have been in a very dark valley? Boy, I have! I recently experienced an extended season of trials that started in the end of 2014. In this dark valley it has felt like shifting sand falling through my fingers. 

 You see, I was being forced to hold on loosely to everything and everyone so I could learn to hold on firmly to Christ.  

 
I felt like God was doing a major sifting and many things were shifted around, but ultimately I have been lifted. I was lifted to a higher playing field with God.

 

Oh, it was not fun getting to this current place. No, it has not really been fun at all, and sometimes I am still being sifted and shifted, but I trust firmly and completely in the One that is guiding me.

 

 

You have heard me say, “Not everyone can go where God is calling you.” That is so very true.
God really showed me some things this last year and a half through many of my dark valley moments.

 

God was showing me that not everyone stays on your team, remains in your corner, and has your back or your best interest at heart. People disappoint us; God never does. Hold on loosely, to everyone and everything ….But God!

 

God will sift alright!

The first sifting came when someone that I thought was in my “top 5”actually was not in my corner at all. They were there simply by default through a mutual friend we both shared. They had a perceived notion that something happened that didn’t and in their words of anger God revealed that this was not what was best for me. I was a little bewildered by it all at first, but I also knew that when I pray “God reveal to me who my true friends are” God is always faithful to answer my prayer.

 
The second sifting came when I felt the Lord wanting me to use my words. I am a stuffer of my emotions and feelings. Over the years I have been learning to express my feelings and not stuff my face. I also didn’t want any weirdness with holding onto the hurt feelings I felt. I resisted at first but then I chose to be obedient to the Lord, knowing full well this would go over like “a turd in the punchbowl.” And Boy did it ever! They lashed back more fierce and vile than I could have possibly even imagined but God said, “Trust Me, they are hurting so they just want to hurt others. Perception is Full of Deception. Take what you need to own and let Me sift the rest.”
I learned that Rejection is God’s ultimate protection. I have been completely guarded and protected through it all. God will restore this relationship in His perfect timing and I trust Him completely.

 
The third sifting came and it had me Offended…. at first. 

 I hate offense too! When I feel it I take it immediately to God. I remind myself that Jesus was not offended that Judas would betray Him. He washed his feet and even kissed Judas, knowing full well Judas was about to sell Jesus out. This sifting was more about sifting my emotions and reactions. Those closest to me were constantly unavailable when I felt I really needed them. I was frustrated at what I perceived was one lame excuse after another. I knew they were rearranging things that they viewed important but felt offended that they were not willing to arrange things for me. Again, perception-is always full of deception. I realized in this sifting that the Harvest is plenty, but the workers are few

 But I also knew and trusted that God would continue to provide those Aaron’s and Hur’s for me to hold up my hands when I needed it most. So I have learned to “Hold on loosely to everyone and everything….But God!” I also let others do the same and don’t feel offended when they can’t make room for me.

 

The forth sifting came and it had me feeling excluded, or “kicked to the curb”. A group I was a part of for several years, I felt God asking me to step away to focus on some other things and in my stepping away I felt that I was being excluded or forgotten more and more. I had been removed from all communications and did not even get invited to a birthday celebration of what I thought was a very close friend and had to find out by another friend. God had other plans for me that day, and I still trust Him that no matter how hard I try or my emotions miss or want to rejoin the group, God keeps shutting the door to those invitations even with non-invitations. 

I am learning to hold on loosely to everyone and everything….But God! 

Many will jump on the bandwagon, very few are willing to stay on it. Many want to ride the waves, but few are willing to paddle out to catch the waves with you. It is all about the sifting, the shifting, and the lifting. “Not Everyone Can Go Where God is Calling You.”

 

You won’t reach that “lifted up” space or higher playing field if you remain afraid to let go or speak up when God asks you to sift and shift some things.  He can force the sifting and shifting too! – remember …Hold on loosely….

Death of any kind, whether actual death or the death of a relationship, or the shifting of friends, can be terrible, but not to the sheep (or peeps) of Christ. It is God’s way of separating the wheat from the chaff. Celebrate rejection as God’s ultimate protection. 

 

Valleys are often fruitful! I would not have learned to “Hold on loosely” to everyone and everything but Christ. I would not have continued to seek God and His will or even choose the uncomfortable obedience over the opinions of others, or perceived opinions of others, or even over my fleshly emotions.

 
The Lord can make any situation pleasant if we stay plugged in to Him. We just take our hurt, our warped perceptions, our hurt emotions, and offended spirits to God. Release it all to God to be restored!

 

 

I have found that even in the darkest, lonely and most trying hours -God is near. 

 
I also know God sends Angels right when we need them. He has sent many to me. I have grown much closer with people that I have never actually met in person. Some of those connections online have reached out and given me encouragement, advice, prayers and some amazing prophetic words when I needed them most. I have also had reconnections with others and some pretty amazing opportunities through Divinely Placed people that have become some of the most amazing Divine Connections now too. I know God can even use Google to have Angels and even your Aaron’s and Hur’s to find you too. 

 

 

Hold on loosely to everyone and everything… But God! 

                  ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,

    I am not overcome by fear.

Because You are with me in those dark moments,

    near with Your protection and guidance,

    I am comforted. ~Psalm 23:4 The VOICE

Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way. ~ Psalm 23:4 TLB

Calling All Angels 

  
“I need a sign to let me know You’re here….. 

All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere”

Remember the old Train song- 

Calling All Angels

When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head

When you feel the world shake from the words that are said”

When I read today’s verse I instantly thought of that song. I admit I had to look up the lyrics since it had been awhile:

I need a sign to let me know You’re here

‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear

I want a reason for the way things have to be

I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me…”
When children have to play inside so they don’t disappear

While private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don’t talk for years

And football teams are kissing Queens

and losing sight of having dreams

In a world that what we want is only what we want until it’s ours”

Wow- those are some great lyrics!  No wonder that song was so popular. 

  I can see when people are consumed with the news media and hearing the world telling them all sorts of bad stuff that it would be hard to have hope. 

The TV set just keeps it all from being clear

But what is clear?….
God and His Word! 

Countless times we read stories in the Bible where people cried out to the Lord and He rescued them. God has armies of Angels all ready for their next assignments. Our simple cry to God, sets that assignment into motion.  

In Numbers it shows that when they cried out to the Lord, he heard them and sent an Angel who brought them out of Egypt.   

His promises are still true today. Cry out to God for what ever your need is. He has His angels always on call and ready to go.  

                    ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
But when we cried to the Lord he heard us and sent an Angel who brought us out of Egypt, and now we are here at Kadesh, encamped on the borders of your land. ~Numbers 20:16 TLB 

Friend & Savior 

  

Shelter them tonight
May provision be hearty
Send angels to guard them
Assisting their way
Those boys are Yours Lord…
May no evil befall them 
Let them feel Your presence
Every single day
This time
This journey
Changing their hearts
Positioning their future
In order for Your will
To be done in and through
Their precious lives
Be the mother and father
They long for
Be the friend
The Savior
That You are

Amen.

❤️Krystal Lynne 

There Are Angels Among Us 



ANGELS
 
Define
Angels can be defined as a spiritual being superior to humans in power and intelligence, an attendant spirit or guardian, a messenger or a harbinger. 
 
Affirm:  
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
 
Recall:  
This week, I felt burdened by the growth that is taking place in my life.   Growth is uncomfortable because you are often required to move into a place you have never been.   I really needed God to send me a comforting word and he did.  This week God sent me two angels with two profound messages.  
 
If I asked you to describe an angel, most of you would describe the angel as having these attributes: peaceful voice, wings, white robe, and beautiful.
 
Well the angels I met were old, dirty, and smelled like alcohol.   Quite frankly they were both homeless men and I would consider them strangers; not friends. Needless to say they both had a powerful message for me.
 
Angel#1
I pulled up to the corner store after work to get something sweet to snack on and he asked about Lereine (my daughter).  I shared with him that she was at school.  He then began saying to me.  Your only worry in life is her! Your only worry in life is her! Your only worry in life is her!  This got my attention considering my petition to God revolves around being in bondage with things that are not relevant to growth in my life.   I have been working on breaking free from generational chains that have cursed my family and I want the cycle to end with me.   
 
His next statement was profound- You are my today, She’s my tomorrow, and yesterday is gone!   
 
At that moment, I knew that God was telling me to put the past behind me and to move into the future with boldness.  He basically confirmed that I no longer need to feel confined by the chains of the past. 
 
 
Angel #2
I pulled up to another corner store the next day to pump gas.  Of course, my guard was up because this time my daughter was in my car and it was dark outside.  The angel slowly approached my car and yes I thought (without saying it). I don’t have anything for you.  Well God had a different plan.  He said let me share something with you, God wants me to give you this message. Of course, initially I was thinking yeah right and I instantly began judging this man based on his outside appearance, until he opened his mouth!  
 
This is what he said….
Life and death could never coexist?
Life is eternal and death is the final destination?
If life were to make love to death would death feel love?
Would love for death cause life to die?
Would life impregnate death with the will to live?
 
What a message.  God is again telling me to choose life!  Okay God I hear you!  I am choosing life, and I am walking into a life free from chains and the bondage of my past.  
 
God sent a stranger in the form of a homeless person to get my attention.  I entertained a homeless person to only learn that he was my angel.  I am so thankful that my heart was willing!  I am so thankful for my angels.
 
Just a thought!  Has God been trying to give you a message?  Have you been unkind to those that are not within your pedigree?  Are you judging someone because they appear to be ungodly?  If you have been, I challenge you to reconsider how you view strangers.  That stranger might be your angel and he or she might have a message that will change your life!
 
Expression:
Dear GOD,
 
Thank your willingness to always surround me with you love. Thank you for encouraging me to entertain those that do not fit my criteria.  Thank you for helping me see that all people can be used as a vessel to show your mercy on us all.   Thank you for putting angels in my life to be your messengers, when I subtly need to hear from you.  
 
Commit to the challenge.
  I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik 

#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #LiveRestored 
 
 
 


Big Sam

IMG_0339.JPG

About 5 years ago, I was introduced to a dirty, furry angel. He showed up one day at our back door, wearing only a collar that said “Sam”. He was huge and looked a little scruffy around the edges for such a beautiful Golden Retriever, definitely not what one would expect when thinking of the breed standard. He stood by the back door, pawing it firmly and panting, all while wearing a goofy doggy smile. This gentle giant walked right into our hearts that day. He was looking for treats and love. I think I would be hard-pressed to decide which one he wanted more.

The first time Big Sam showed up, I decided just to pet him, as he seemed very friendly. Whew! Was he ever stinky! Seems his owners had a different view of a dog’s care than the rest of our neighbors did. They had acreage and let their animals be 100% outside “ranch dogs”, roaming free, hunting, chasing whatever moved and bathing in the ditch water. Not a bad way to go if you’re a dog, but hard to invite into your well-groomed human existence. My husband, children and I started “visiting” with Big Sam outside on the patio. I got the sense that, at some point, Sam must have been an “only” dog, living his life inside with the company of children and beloved by all. His life seemed to have taken a turn somewhere though. At some point, he was put outside and told to fend for himself with little outside intervention. As time progressed, he seemed dirtier, hungrier and more and more in need of someone to love on him. So we did. And not just us. As the other neighborhood moms and I talked at the bus stop, we began to realize that he had a circuit of homes in our neighborhood he would visit on Saturday mornings. Food and love? Check. Next house: food and love? Check. And so it went…

We soon discovered there were more Goldens on the neighbor’s property than just Big Sam. Maybe word got out when he started coming back standing a little taller, looking flush from his time cleaning out all our refrigerators. The next time he showed up, he brought along a beautiful female, Shelby. At least that is what her collar said. A sweeter dog you will never meet. She and Sam would both close their eyes in ecstasy when you would pet their heads. They made a great team, each taking turns for petting and eating and charming us. Then came Maxie. A slender female, who though very skittish and certainly none too bright, was very sweet in her own way. We are forever grateful that we met Big Sam, because through a series of God-inspired events, my neighbor and I each ended up with one of Big Sam’s puppies.

We named ours “Lulu”. If you had walked through the first few years of her life with me, you would not judge me for her name. Yes, you guessed it. My puppy was Maxie’s daughter. Those times when I would get so exasperated with her, she would sense that she had better turn on the charm…quickly…and would flash me that “Big Sam” smile and snuggle in my neck. I would immediately soften and forgive her for her latest (hourly) offense. Running away chasing squirrels instead of coming to me when I gave her the “come” training command? Yup. Sitting down and refusing to move when she was asked to walk beside me like she had been taught? Yup. I was only wanting to take her down the street on an excursion to see her friends, the other neighborhood dogs, and chase the ducks at the pond, for Pete’s sake! And I was giving her treats along the way! Would she even pretend to cooperate? Nope. There were many days I did the “walk of shame” where I took this dog for a walk and ended up having to carry her home because she staged a sit-in, from fear (school buses are scary), stubbornness or exhaustion. It seemed to be intentionally timed to happen at the most inconvenient time or place, with the biggest audience for maximum impact. I won’t forget that one neighbor’s droll comments as I walked down the street with her in my arms: “Nice to see you out walking the dog.” Or “How’s that training class working out?” Sigh! The days when she chased down the squirrels? Of course, she came back so black with mud, you could usually only see her eyes.

Sorry if this makes you bristle at the elementary comparison, but when I took the time to ponder this whole Big Sam / Lulu life-lesson I was given, though, I was kind of amazed. Think about it with me: Time after time, I act like Lulu. God is trying to get me trained. I need to know and understand the authority of His voice. It is for my own good and safety that I understand His commands are for my good and they are laced with fun times and treats to encourage me in obedience. The squirrels I choose to chase, well those are just what they sound like. Distractions that lead me away from the best that my Master has for me. Fun? Sometimes, but the consequences of having to apologize, repent and be restored again, not so much. As for that walking business: You see, Jesus has perfectly planned and timed my walk with Him. On the days I am fearful of things I encounter in my daily walk, Jesus reaches out to calm and reassure me that He is walking next to me and that He will let nothing truly harm me. He may use situations to teach me. Much like I did when I made Lulu assume a sit/stay pose at the end of our driveway while the school bus drove past her down the street. I was trying to make her realize that there was nothing to fear and while she obeyed me, nothing could harm her. The days I am too stubborn, He gently encourages me through His character of patience. He soothes and distracts me from my bad, non-cooperative mood by sending a friend to speak kindly and give me that undeserved pat on the back of encouragement. The best part is that when I find myself too exhausted from chasing all those squirrels, He lovingly picks me up and walks with me in His arms the rest of the way home, to a place He has prepared for my rest.

The best part of meeting Big Sam? His legacy. We were never sure what happened to him. One day, he just stopped coming as frequently, then never came back. We moved shortly thereafter. We sure do miss him, but every now and then, Lulu will cock her head just so and smile at us…just like Big Sam. Or close her eyes in adoration when we pet her…just like Big Sam. Those times melt my heart because I love to see Big Sam in Lulu. I love it when her actions mimic the gentleness he displayed. I love it when I see that same goofy doggy smile looking back at me. I even love it when she is having so much fun that she gets a little muddy and I have to clean up her paws. (Shhh! Don’t tell my kids!) It always involves me having to dry her off with a towel, which ends up with me hugging her.

I have to think that the full circle of this lesson is that in the same way I love to see Big Sam in Lulu, God loves it when He catches a glimpse of Jesus in us. How thrilling for God to see His adopted children displaying the same characteristics as His firstborn! How wonderful for Him to see the kindness and gentleness radiating from us, as we grow into the character of His son. How satisfying for Him to see that the fruit of His training has been worth it as we walk in obedience beside Him, sensitive to His desires and commands for us. At the center of His heart is the desire for our good. And He doesn’t even mind cleaning us up. His clean-up always involves a hug, too. He is a good Master. Let us not forget where we came from, how much He loves and cares for our needs and that His instructions are GOOD!

Sit. Stay. Wait…Leave it! Go! Get ‘em! Come here. Go home.

Psalm 95:6-8

Come, let us bow down and worship him! Let us kneel before the Lord who made us. He is our God, and we are the people he cares for, his sheep that walk by his side. Listen to his voice today: Don’t be stubborn…

1 John 4:18

Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is his punishment that makes a person fear. So his love is not made perfect in the one who has fear.
Isaiah 64:6 a

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a filthy rag;

1 John 1:7

We should live in the light, where God is. If we live in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood sacrifice of Jesus, God’s Son, washes away every sin and makes us clean.

Genesis 22:18

Every nation on the earth will be blessed through your descendants. I will do this because you obeyed me.”