Incomplete Stories

I just caught this #TedTalk and it was so good!

“Good and Bad are incomplete stories we tell ourselves” by Heather Lanier.

May this change your perspective on many many things in your life. Be encouraged!

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

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Can You Handle The Truth

If the truth sets you free then why do people get upset when the truth is told?

I have been reading in Jeremiah 42 and how the people begged and asked for a message from the Lord and they still chose not to obey it when they received it.

In Jeremiah 44 God is asking them- Why are you hurting yourselves continuing to worship idols- why do people make Me angry by making idols?  

So as I was thinking on the above question regarding truth, here are my thoughts:

Maybe it’s because people want their own wills and ways. They would rather remain in bondage instead of choosing to be free.  

Some get addicted to the attention of pity and a victim mentality so they will keep asking for truth from idols (other people) instead of seeking God. 

They have no real intention of ever following it. 

When people seek other people’s opinions or views as truth they get varying responses. Usually a watered down version that still feeds their egos and they like that and want more of that because it feeds into their neediness. 
But when people do get an in your face obvious truth they will reject it and swallow the bait of offense instead.

They don’t like what they hear.  

They can’t really handle the truth.

When we seek God and His truth- we only get One Truth- not one that feeds our egos.

The real truth is what people don’t like so much because they will have to act on it and make a choice to change their actions and behaviors.

Like picking up our own mat and get to steppin.

Before picking up that mat it first requires us to make a choice. 
Will we leave our pity, victim mentality, egos and warped perceptions in order to pick up that mat? 

I believe people reject the truth, get upset and instead seek their idols and remain in bondage because they aren’t willing to make the choice to change. 

When you hear the truth you must act on it. 
We are only as bound as we choose to be. 

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” ~ John 5:8 

                  ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Start Moving 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you still crying to me? Tell the Israelites to start moving.  Exodus.14.15.ERV

I have to admit, over the last couple of months, I have felt like one of the Israelites. A purposeful call and new employment situation has led me into a system that doesn’t view God’s plan as I know it to be.

The change has been challenging. I have found myself stirred up by the noise of the battle, the energy of the disgruntled, and the compromise in my own confidence.

Isn’t it easy to question oneself in the midst of a storm?

In the uncertain?

On the daunting journey ahead?

It’s been tough and I have wondered whether or not I shouldn’t have stayed where it was safer, where I didn’t have to extend myself out of “my comfort zone.”

Today, I find myself being reminded about the Israelites. What I love about God is that he doesn’t tell us to stay where it is easy. He wants us to grow.

God told the Israelites to start moving.

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  Exodus 14.13.NIV

Moses told them to stand firm because he trusted God’s plan. Not only was the Lord preparing a way to cross the sea, he also wanted the Israelites to find the strength that was in them to persevere and to be delivered.

So often, we look at difficult situations with an impossible lens. We tend to forget about the power within us, through Christ, and the purpose of his plan.

We take on the need to fight God’s battles, instead of remembering to stand firm, while he does the fighting. He already knows how it all turns out. Everything we complete in faith is for His glory. Today, let us be reminded to be rooted in Jesus.

Lord, we just come to you today with a thankful heart, knowing that no matter what we are facing, or what lies ahead, you are with us. You are for us. Without you, there is no reason to keep moving. We praise you for what you have established in this day and in all things to come.

In Jesus name, Amen 

Baring His Beauty,

Tiffany Thomas 

Thickness Of Life 

If someone were to ask me how things have been and I were to give an honest answer I would probably say things have been tough. 

Being in a transition stage of my life and trying to survive in this economy is a battle on its own. But, when you lean into your Father for strength and seek Him in His word diligently and passionately, you will be surprised. He gives you such a peace and a raging fire inside to where you don’t know whether or not you want to roar like a lion or humble yourself in tears from His overwhelming mercy and tenderness. 

His joy IS our strength and His word IS our weapon and comfort. If you find yourself in the thickness of life, just run to your Father. Seek Him in His word and trust Him with every fiber of your being. Delight in Him and He will delight in you. He IS good and His mercies are from everlasting to everlasting.  

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!”     Psalms 103:1-22 NKJV

                ~ Thomas Joel Trevino 

Redemption Rain 



Redemption

noun:  re·demp·tion \ri-ˈdem(p)-shən\

The act of making something better or more acceptable.  

Redeem

verb

Definition: recover possession; to make something or someone seem less bad.

Synonyms: buy back, buy off, call in, cash, cash in, change, cover, defray, discharge, exchange, get back, make good, pay off, purchase, ransom, recapture, reclaim, recoup, regain, reinstate, repay, replevin, replevy, repossess, repurchase, restore, retrieve, settle, take in, trade in, win back


Antonyms: forfeit, lose

for·feit

ˈfôrfət/

verb

lose or be deprived of (property or a right or privilege) as a penalty for wrongdoing.



Lately my heart has been heavy due to many many things.  

I have been reflecting a lot on life and loss.  

A song shuffled on my phone that had me looking at redemption and redeem and the opposite; lose or forfeit.
I started thinking about these words and definitions and how life is ever changing…

Some things in my life I never thought would change, suddenly have. Some have been months and years in the changing and evolving. My children have changed into adults before my eyes. People I love have passed away. Some are suffering horrible life changing events that will soon change them drastically physically, financially, and emotionally. Friendships have changed. Some have been lost; while some feel forfeited. Some friendships I never thought would be restored again, suddenly have. 

I was feeling quite emotional and praying to God …

Lord, I am one that has always liked change but right now I don’t like it. It feels too heavy and just too much all at once. I don’t like having to hold on loosely to everyone and everything. I love you and trust you Lord but I don’t want to feel this hurt, this rejection, this change of seasons, the shifting of shadows. Why show and give me things I don’t understand that can drive wedges between or build up walls? I don’t do fake and catty or let’s see who can hurt the other one more with meaningless words. Why is it so hard to simply have things fall in line or simply find the time? You know I struggle with wanting to just cut ties and build walls when I feel hurt and rejected. Help me! I need your strength Lord because I feel lost and weak. I feel angry and sad and a little mad right now. 

That is when God led me to many little notes of encouragement and things people have given me that I have collected over the years.  
Some still very much active in my life and some that are not. 


Suddenly these words to this song poured out through the speaker…..

oh] love be in my bones

Love shake down my walls

Love be in my bones

Love shake down my walls

[repeat]
Love be in my bones [shake down my walls]

Love shake down my walls

Love be in my bones [love be, love be in my walls]

Love shake down my walls

God already knew how I was feeling. He already knew my heart was battered and bruised. He already knew that I was weak and sad and frustrated in need of some encouragement to uplift me and my weary soul. He already knows me really well and needed to get my attention before I built a wall of hurt and anger and unforgiveness and bitterness or slumped into the bondage of buying the enemies lies.  

I had myself a real good cry- which I had not had one of those in awhile.  


I imagined God’s Redemption Rain pouring down on me washing away the sadness and tears.

Redemption rain is falling

Down, down, down

Redemption’s love is pouring

Out, out, out



Redemption is different in each situation.

The act of making something better or more acceptable is always in God’s hands. 

We must trust He knows what is best for us and our ultimate good.  
Even when it doesn’t appear good, God is still good. 

We just keep loving as God says to love and trust He knows best. 

Lord, I surrender to Your Redemption Rain- how ever you need to make things better – have Your way Lord. Shake down my walls. Love be in my bones. Help me to trust even when I don’t understand how you redeem and restore things. Thank you for always being faithful. Thank you that sometimes when it feels like we are standing all alone, we aren’t. We have You right there beside us to guide us. Help me love like You. Help me be ok if redemption doesn’t look like how I want it to. 

          ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Redemption Rain

By Melissa Helser, Joel Case, Justina Brinkley
Lyrics: 

Won’t you come up here, come up high

Won’t you sing His praise, let it rise

Up from the ashes and all your pain

Won’t you come and dance in redemption’s rain

Come up here

[repeat]
[music]
Redemption rain is falling

Down, down, down

Redemption’s love is pouring

Out, out, out

Redemption’s song is singing

La, la, la
We singing la, la, la

We singing la, la, la
Won’t you come up here, come up now

Won’t you leave your worries below the clouds

[and] let His beauty fill your lungs

The heavenly chorus has begun

Come up here
[music]
Redemption rain is falling

Down, down, down

Redemption’s love is pouring

Out, out, out

Redemption’s song is singing

La, la, la
We singing la, la, la

We singing la, la, la
[oh] love be in my bones

Love shake down my walls

Love be in my bones

Love shake down my walls

[repeat]
Love be in my bones [shake down my walls]

Love shake down my walls

Love be in my bones [love be, love be in my walls]

Love shake down my walls

[repeat]
[music]

[outro]


Highway To Holiness 

  
The enemy desires to twist every step we take. Satan wants to stop us from receiving God’s Spirit and Glory. He blinds our eyes so that we are unable to see the truth and plugs up our ears so we cannot hear the truth. 

We need to be cautious not to carry a “religious spirit” because a religious spirit attempts to hinder the release of signs, wonders, and miracles. It can twist the truth concerning present day revelation and the different ministries of the Holy Spirit that cause many people to cling onto old doctrine remaining in their religious “Comfort Zones“, rejecting all the present truth concerning God’s divine moment and movement upon the Earth right now. Let us not be deceived by a religious spirit. 

Many are pursuing God’s presence and His glory everyday trying our best to not allow the religious spirit to trap us. Tossing tradition aside and moving beyond man’s mindset and seeking the fullness of God’s Spirit.

God has been reconstructing my life for as long as I can remember and yet He has remained faithful to lead me on His path of holiness that releases increase and knowledge. I am in the process of learning to celebrate the changes God requires of me. With each change I am learning to depend upon the Holy Spirit more and more as I grow stronger and stronger with each new change. As I continue to move forward I am walking into my destinies and possessing my promises. The Highway of Holiness is a road of abundance and healing. God will protect us with a vengeance as we travel on His Highway of Holiness. 
We will have open eyes to see and ears to hear Him by His Spirit. We can go forth with joy, singing and Thanksgiving!

Lord, I pray that as I travel along Your Highway of Holiness that I am confident that You Lord, have prepared this highway of life for me and even though at times I feel lonely and weak, You have promised to strengthen me. When I am weak You are strong. You always come in with a mighty vengeance to save me from my enemies. Even when I know I’m experiencing a wilderness season, I also now know the roses will still bloom. You, Lord will place joy in my heart because You love me with Your everlasting love. Purify my thoughts, my deeds and my actions. Lord, I am thankful for the blood that cleanses me. I plead the blood of Jesus over my life and home. I am so thankful for Your perfect direction.
Amen.

❤️Michelle Smith 

My pieces For His Peace 

  
After all the kids were dropped off at school this morning, I walked in the door and plopped my rear on the couch, hoping it would take me to Nowhereville. I was already feeling exhausted and it was only 8:30 a.m.. All morning I had had a knot in my chest. You know that feeling when you’ve been suppressing anxiety, sadness, and anger? It’s that moment when you are at risk of cascading a waterfall of tears with just one kind word from a stranger.

 
                I knew God was knocking on my door. As I fell into the safe haven of the sofa, I sarcastically asked, “OK, what is it now, God?” I wanted to be sure He understood I had plenty on my plate already. Didn’t He know how hard I was trying? Didn’t He understand the discipline I was exercising by being patient in letting Him call the shots, when part of me was reining back the human instinct to take the bull by the horns? I pointed out, this was an instinct HE gave me, (by the way)! Yep, I was pretty much feeling sorry for myself when I answered His call to prayer.

 

                As I heaved a sigh, I asked Him, “What do you want me to do?” He gently, and ever so patiently replied, “Nothing. Let it go. Talk to Me, I’m listening. Let Me give you a hug.” There was that one word of kindness that released the flood gates, but it didn’t come from a stranger. It came from the One who knows me best.

 

                To say the past few months have been challenging is a gross understatement. From losing my home, my dogs, my mountain, my marriage, to releasing my son out into the world for the first time, and staring an uncertain future in the eye, there have been times when it’s been overwhelming. The one kindness our unkind predicament has bestowed is that it has come in doses. Not everything has happened all at once, but in phases. Those phases have occurred at a rapid pace, one right after another, but God has walked both Sam and I through each one before we were hit with the next. It has been amazing to experience the expedition of healing and grace.

 

                There is no denying that God has had His hand on us. I have seen Him work so mightily these past few months. I sincerely give HIM all the glory and praise for provision, favor, opening (and closing) doors, and even the unbounding grace He has shown us. Allowing Him to do that hasn’t always been easy. It gets easier, the longer you walk in faith, but God isn’t one to sit back and let you idly remain dormant. He’s going to stretch you. He’s going to call you up higher. He’s going to push you to depend on Him more and more. However, He doesn’t require we do it alone. He’s always there to lend a hand …. or give a hug.

 

                I have noticed an emotional pattern develop within me. Dealing with separation and divorce, losing everything, not knowing what the future holds (do any of us know anyway?), these things have been relatively easy for me to handle. It has come to my attention that my emotions get stoved up and knots form in my chest when Sam is being affected by the situation. For the most part, he has been a trooper! God has worked in him just as much as He has in me. But when I see Sam struggle, that which has lain quietly, camouflaged beneath the gentleness of a Godly woman, suddenly lunges forth as the lioness of motherhood. You can strip me of everything I own, you can blame me, hurt my feelings, call me names, but you do not, under ANY circumstances, mess with my boy.

 

                Now I’m not saying there has been direct affliction on Sam. I’m speaking indirectly. When I see him face difficult situations that he wouldn’t otherwise be experiencing, it makes me angry. I want to blame, blame, blame! I want to lash out and rip the face off the one who brought us here. Instead, I stuff it down. I encourage Sam, I stand tall and strong for Sam. Eventually however, I must face the demons of my inner thoughts. They have to be dealt with, lest they lead to bitterness and unforgiveness.

 

                This is what God and I talked about this morning. He asked, so I spilled it.

                This is how He replied.

 

                Be angry but do not sin. He told me there is no one to blame. He reminded me I have depended on HIM to lead and I am here in obedience and by choice. He prompted me to release bitterness and unforgiveness because ‘that other guy’ is also His child. He told me to protect, but there would be no “ripping off of faces,” except the face of unrighteousness and unholiness which is masked in the deceit of justification. He encouraged me and showed me how far He has brought me. He showed me how He has my son in the palm of His hand, with mercy, grace, wisdom and strength round about him. Then He gave me a daddy hug, patted me on the back, and sent me back out here to do His will.

 

                As I pondered all that He had said, I realized that He was telling me I had a right to be angry, but when I hold on to it and let it turn into bitterness and unforgiveness, this is where I sin. Just because I am justified in how I feel, doesn’t mean I am justified in denying forgiveness.

 

                It became clear to me that many in my situation would be falling apart, aimlessly wandering, clinging to bitterness, and maybe even hopelessness. It is by His direction and grace that the whole of my life I have dwelled in His peace. Because of that, right now, my life is not in pieces. He is the author and finisher of my faith.

                        ~Sandra K. Yates

The Climb

IMG_1005

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul

Whatever that mountain looks like just let God help you overcome it. Let Him help you move it, climb it, not fear it; but enjoy the journey over, around and through.

I’m reaching that point of letting my soul let go and completely trust in Him.

I have been letting this song wash over me for a couple of weeks. (See SongSundays from earlier this month for the video of the song here: https://restoredministriesblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/all-is-well/

The timing of finding it couldn’t be more perfect for me as I am in the midst of radically changing my eating habits to restore my immune system, help control food allergies, chronic hives and angioedema.
Well, this craziness has had me reaching; literally crying out to God, to strengthen me as I embark on more life change. He’s already walked me through numerous trials and triumphs, addiction, sorrow, lack of inner peace, desiring love and attention from everyone and everything but Him, and a rocky marriage. He’s walked me through, and clear to the other side in many ways enjoying places of peace, rest, restoration and hope that I am always desiring to share with others. So I had to ask myself once again. Do you trust Him, fully trust Him? Do you believe what His Word says when He says He lives in You? His Power dwells within you?
I finally got my revelation Sunday night as I combed through and studied His Word and journaled pages and pages of His love for me.

I’ve decided, “It is well with my soul.” Let’s dig in God. I desire to trust you with all of me. One of the missing links was making the decision to accept I needed to change this area. Then I reached out to God, crying out, willing to surrender. Seeking Him at every turn. Being vulnerable and getting prayer and encouragement from family and friends.

I’m ready God. Let’s go. I am ready to climb this mountain.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” ~James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-6‬ NIV

– Stephanie Wanic
God’s Beauty Secrets

Friday Night Lights-Turned Off

IMG_1299.JPG

Well I can’t believe I would ever be getting myself all up in a dither about high school football!!! Well it’s actually over! Houston we have a problem. What do I do with myself on Friday nights now?
A twist and a turn in the midst of our winning streak season led our team down the path to the losing side.
We started with a winning streak that caused us to believe we were a shoe in for the playoffs and possibly even finishing it off for the finals in the Cowboy Stadium in Dallas!! We shoot for big stars here in Texas!!
Our Bobcats did work their way back and hit the ground running
into the third round of the playoffs!!
Then it was “stick a fork in us” we are done.
Game over!

Getting to the playoffs was an accomplishment and the boys had much to be proud of this 2014 season of high school football.

I was pondering all these thoughts this morning as I dropped off my son and his two friends at school. Sophomores can’t park on campus until next semester. So they are stuck for now with their moms driving them. I thought about these boys who worked so hard to play and start their first year on high school varsity.
I am so proud of not only their accomplishments as athletes but more importantly their Christ like character of excellence.
I thought of the seniors who really have played well and are now left with only the recent memories of their football games and experiences. Some will go on and play in college. Others will not.
It’s like anything and everything in life. There’s a time to play and time to not.
It brings me to the age old famous lines of Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1-15 in the Bible.
(Of course, I have the Message version below for you to read.)

There’s a Right Time for Everything
3 There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

14 I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

15 Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
God’s Testing Us

There is a season for everything. Obviously we see it in nature with Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.

We sometimes don’t like change and
resist the new unknowns ahead with each passing season.

It’s kind of refreshing to see it’s normal and natural for things to be stretching, growing, dying and constantly changing in our lives.

So rather than looking back and missing all your comfortable yesterday’s…..ask God to help you welcome the new days ahead and all it brings.
Starting with today.
I’m thankful for all the seasons of my life and look forward to all the new times ahead.

A time to move on…..
No more football but it will resurface in 9 months and bring new memories
and maybe even take us further to the ultimate prize of Texas High School Football Champions of Everything for all Seasons!! Ha!

What is it that you are holding on to and don’t want to let it go?
Don’t look back and be sad.
Step into your fresh new day.
Move into your next season with great expectation and wonder.

Light On,
Kelley Allison
John1:4-5

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