What Kind Of Friends Do You Have?

What kind of friends do you have?

Are they people who complain or criticize a lot?

Are they people who make fun of laugh at us, gossip or put others down?

Are they flaky or are they faithful?

Are they people that live with no boundaries or moral codes and tempt you to constantly compromise? Or become a lower version of yourself? Or make you feel bad about yourself?

The kind of people we want to be will decide what kind of friends we have.

You are who you hang out with.

My daddy had a crude but true saying: “You can’t hang around 💩 poop and not expect to start smelling.”

If we want to feel sorry for ourselves, we will choose friends who will tell us how right we are and let us complain and stay stuck in self-pity or a victim mentality.

If we want to think we’re better than others, we will hang around people who laugh at and judge or gossip about others’ and think they are entitled and always justified in doing so.

If we want to be validated or feel better in our sins and shortcomings we will surround ourselves with people that have no boundaries or problem entertaining that which cheapens them.

But if we want to be the best we can be, we will pick friends who see the good in life and the good in all people. Those who will pray and encourage us to be uniquely ourselves and who will help us try harder at things that are difficult for us. Those who sharpen us on those days we are getting dull and falling short of God’s glorious standards or best for us.

Those people that don’t compete or envy and speak truth in love when we are buying lies. They don’t talk behind our backs, share our confidences with others, and always want the best for us even when we don’t see the best for ourselves in the moment.

I want to be that kind of friend.

I want to have those types of friends.

“Divine Connections”

Divinely Connected by God.

Keeping Christ first and center always. Setting each other up for success. Celebrating each other.

Crying with each other.

Holding hands up when they can’t lift them for themselves.

No pretense – no envy – no junk or gunk. No exclusion or cliques or fake and phony stuff.

Those to call me out and those that are willing to hear the hard stuff too so we can snatch others and ourselves out of isolation and darkness and bondage when we need to.

How about you?

Take an inventory of the 5 closest people in your life. What are their strengths and weaknesses.

What do you think of the moment you think of them?

Do you feel at peace and uplifted and encouraged and don’t think of having to change how you look or act before you see them?

Or are you having to feel like you must alter your authentic self in certain ways before you can be around them and have to weigh every word?

Somethings to think on today …

~ XXOO Michelle

Restored Ministries

Your Healing Hour

Divine Departures

Worthy Thought:Rejection – it doesn’t feel good. But what if it’s really God’s protection for you?

Sometimes we must trust the Divine Departures and Gifts Of Goodbye.

Not everyone can go where God is taking us.

Seasons change and friends can come and go.

But only One remains!

Trust God with the sifting of the wheat from the chaff. He knows what and who you need to do His will.

Some friendships don’t last for long, but there is one loving friend who is joined to your heart closer than any other! Proverbs 18:24 TPT

~ XXOO Michelle

A Heart Of Gold 

What is God looking for as he searches our hearts and minds? 
What do we look for as we involve ourselves with others? 
May I suggest that one thing that we have in common with God is that we are all looking for a heart that cares, a heart of gold.

There are many things that find their way into the hearts of men, some good and some bad.  
I would suggest that what is most precious in the eyes of God and even in our sight is when we discover someone that is genuinely interested in us, someone that is willing to share our pain and our joys. Such a person does not come along every day, and we should cherish them when we find them. Even more should our hearts be knit together with Our Father and Our Lord as we learn just how deeply they care about us.

The heart of God, which he is so willing to share with us, rejoices in good men and women and children. His heart is extremely gentle and kind toward those that love him and fear him. And he rejoices in every baby step of ours, every sign of life, every whisper of goodness that begins to grow in our hearts.  

We might mistakenly believe that he only rejoices in our major victories and grand accomplishments, when in reality he delights in every sign of progress that he sees in us. Sometimes we are not moved until we see perfection in another. Our Father values growth and every indication of a maturing heart and mind; he is pleased that we have heeded his call and have begun to grow up into Christlike men, women, and children.

In heaven, we will all be perfectly glorified and conformed to the image of Christ. While we are here, we are always growing and learning new lessons about life, love, and Our Heavenly Father, who is the source of our life and love. Let us celebrate the journey, even as we keep our eyes on the prize, which is Christ Jesus himself!

~ Brad Heilhecker 

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

A Great Question To Ponder 

  

My dear friend writes this blog and I just love her style.  I also love her really honest truth she shared about what is my response? 

What is our response in these situations? 

Are we watering down God and the Gospel when we aren’t lovingly speaking the hard truths and realities to those we love? 

God calls us to Holy- Not Happy

And as this dear friend also says: “that right there will sing!”
A great question to ponder…..
Read more Here and be sure to follow her. 

            ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
https://musicalclaypot.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/what-is-my-response/

The Darling 

  
Everyone seethes

The darling

Oh it seems

To be favor

It seems a

Sweet kiss

But the favor

Is fiendish

The worship

A leash

Keeping her

Sedated by

The applause

Sleepiness

Poppies before Oz

The cheap replica

For the presence

Of God

He loves the

Darling

He knows her heart

He longs to

Hold her

Keeping her

Set apart

They use

The darling

Prostituting 

Her charm

She knows

Her father

Will rescue

Her from harm

Tick~Tock

For such a

Time as this

Fear Not

Darling

It.Is.Finished.

❤️

~Krystal Lynne 

Under Pressure

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Recently I had multiple health issues going on at once. The doctors lowered and adjusted some medications I am on, and with the lack of medication, the lessening of another medication, a biopsy, some stitches, a viral infection attacking my thyroid, waiting for the results to come back, and well, all this had me feeling a little (Queue one of my favorite Queen songs here) yep, you guessed it….Under Pressure….

I kept putting off a certain checkup because I knew there was a problem. I was in a sort of denial or just did not want to deal with it all, so I kept putting things off. Thankfully after some lovingly spoken hard words from an awesome friend and more of my awesome friends praying and encouraging me I started the process that took the better part of this last month. I believe that all their prayers and those of my family are what got me through all of the tests and doctor visits.
As I waited, I can’t describe how the pressure changed to supernatural peace. I just knew that if God needed this to be added to my testimony then He would see me through it. I got through the first two weeks great. Then one morning while reading I stumbled across this gem. Of course it was no accident. I believe in only Godcident’s. God would have me find it because that particular day my emotions were thinly hanging on. I was weepy and sad and of course did not feel very good, when there it was- right in my bible-

Faith Under Pressure
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
5-8 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
9-11 When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.
12 Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. ~James 1:2-12 The Message (MSG)

Wow! God is so faithful! God knows what we need exactly when we need it. Like my Godly Girlies that prayed over me and gave me a blue bandana to keep my mind free from fear and sent me funny songs and rhymes to make me laugh and take my mind off my troubles. God is so faithful to fill me with His supernatural peace. Praise God, after three really long weeks the results all came back good.

So I looked at the very last verse again and I smiled and nodded as I repeated aloud– “I am loyally in love with My God! He has and will reward me with life and more life.”

Post this Gem of a Promise up somewhere to encourage yourself through whatever it is you may be facing right now or use it to encourage someone else today.

Always Be Blessed! ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
© RestoredMinistries