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

Mistreatment

Our family was reading our Daily Torah Portion this morning, and the verses from the New Testament portion were from the book of Hebrews. A few words stuck out to me and I had to stop and think about them.

Hebrews 11:25-26 He chose being mistreated along with God’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward.

These verses are speaking about Moses. The couple verses before this show us that Moses chose to remove himself from the courts of Pharaoh and live with his people, the Hebrews.

The words that stood out to me were, “He chose being mistreated.”

I don’t know about you, but mistreatment is not fun. Mistreatment is actually quite hurtful and frustrating. I would never want to place myself in a position where I would be mistreated. Let’s just say, it would not be high on my list to walk into a “den of lions.”

And yet, that is exactly what Moses did in this situation. He trusted God enough that he left the “treasures of Egypt” and fixed his eyes on the ONE Who would take care of him. He “kept his eyes fixed on the reward.”

These verses made me stop and think, am I willing to stand up for HIS WORD in such a way that I will be mistreated? Am I willing to LISTEN and follow what HE wants me to do even if it means suffering “abuse?” Do I really BELIEVE that HE will reward me in the end?

We know that the Word tells us that we will face suffering. We know that the Word tells us our rewards are not here on earth. So, why do we question so much when suffering happens? Why do we seek rewards here on earth?

These are all thoughts I am pondering. I had a conversation with someone while in Israel and when I mentioned that I did not fit anywhere, his response was that we are not to fit. He reminded me that when you are truly following Adonai, you won’t “fit” in this world. And when you don’t “fit” there is mistreatment.

My prayer now is, “Lord, give me the strength to walk out what YOU ask me to do. If I am mistreated, help me know how to respond. Father, give me the wisdom to be ALL you want me to be, no matter what others around me say. Keep me focused on YOU instead of what is happening around me. YOU will always give me the strength to run the race.”

I pray that as the world becomes darker, and the pleasures of the world look more enticing, that we would all be prepared for whatever gets thrown our way. I might not want to place myself in a position where I will be mistreated, but it will happen. As long as I keep my eyes focused on my Creator, He will give me strength to stay on His path. I pray you can do the same.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Photo by Philipp Wüthrich on Unsplash

 

King Of The Fire

Where I live in the Southern Hemisphere, the heat has been difficult to bear at times.  I’m not yet acclimatized to it, and it’s actually been affecting my body and my health.  Of course, it may not take much time and I’ll soon be adjusted, but it hasn’t been the easiest in the waiting.

I was walking to the car a few days ago after another HOT day, and I felt such a cool breeze on my face that my hair blew past my lips.  I could almost taste the current (and very missed) Autumn weather in America!  It was such a nice breeze that it took me by surprise for a moment, but I felt the Lord’s Presence in it.

He reminded me of Genesis 3:8:  They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  

What came to mind was that God walked through the garden in the cool of the day.  I felt so strongly that He was in that cool breeze, and that I could either brush it off as a nice bit of reprieve and brush Him off, OR I could accept the invitation to go deeper in worship to Him for being in the cool of the breeze!

While pondering these thoughts, He also reminded me that Hebrews 12:29 also calls Him a consuming fire.  God is indeed in the loveliness of the cool breeze, but He is also an all-consuming fire and not to be messed with.

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. ~Isaiah 43:1-2

I felt the Lord say that whether you are walking in the fire or in the cool of the day, God will walk through the garden with you.  He’s always with you – nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38).  

He was in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3), and He promises that the fires will not burn you.  And when the waters seem like they will overtake you, He is with you and you will NOT drown!

If you’re walking through fire or facing nothing but sweet, cool breezes – just know that as you keep your heart pure before Him, you will see Him (Matthew 5:8).  He is in the breeze just as much as He is in the fire.  He is the Lord of both.  He is the King of everything.  And the King never abandons His children!

 

~ Mandy Woodhouse

King Of The Fire

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

Surrender And Multiply

As I write this I am sitting in a kibbutz in Northern Israel. When you read this I will be celebrating Shabbat with my friends. I will admit that right now it is cold and rainy and not very exciting, but I have no “agenda” and looking forward to simply enjoying some down time and the ability to LISTEN to what HE wants me to do. 

Today I was listening to music. Something I rarely get to do anymore. A Facebook friend put up a song from a group I had never heard before so I started listening to their songs. There was one called, “Multiplied” that I enjoyed. The words made me realize that I needed to completely surrender to HIM in order to multiply. 

As I looked for verses about surrender, the words that came up were, “submit,” “give me your heart,” and “present your bodies.” So many different ones. 

Jeremiah 10:23 Adonai, I know that the way of humans is not in their control, humans are not able to direct their steps as they walk.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me your heart; let your eyes observe my ways.

Romans 12:1 I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you.

All three of these verses show a surrender to God. We need to understand that we are set apart and need to be ready to be LIVING for Him. I am relearning this myself. 

Proverbs tell us that we are supposed to “give HIM your heart.” Listen to WISDOM. When we surrender to HIM and let HIM direct our steps, I truly believe that we will see things multiply.

I have attached the link to the song. LISTEN to the Words. Here is one stanza:

God of mercy sweet love of mine, I have surrendered to Your design,May this offering stretch across the skies And these Halleluiahs be multiplied!

As you enter 2020, SURRENDER to HIS DESIGN. Then give a Hallelujah to HIM and let them be multiplied! 

Stand encouraged and with HIM. Watch HIM multiply…

⁃Rose Horton

Image – UnSplash by Slava B

How’s Your Hope?

Happy 2020!  

Have you been on Facebook lately?

The start of a new year is always a fun time to have a little Facebook newsfeed scroll.  I usually get inspired by my friends and everyone’s new year’s goals, game plans, dreams and personal mission statements for the next 12 months.  I love to pray for each person’s post that I read, that they’d truly fulfill everything that is in their heart for the coming year.  

While some people are dreaming bigger, going back to the gym and making faith-driven decisions, others are digging around in themselves trying to figure out what went wrong the previous year and how they can make deep, heart changes for the new year.

Personally, I felt years ago to not start the new year looking at what needs a tune up in my insides, but to focus on Jesus and everything that He has done in and through me the previous year.  I love to make declarations about what the next 12 months will bring, and begin to dream with God about what He desires for me in the coming weeks.

If something comes up I just repent and move on, knowing that there is now therefore no condemnation for me in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and that in His Presence I am fully loved back into inner health.

I won’t lie though…I am definitely going back to the gym as well! Bring on the physical health!

This week, however, I did feel a special challenge from Holy Spirit to reevaluate and readjust myself in the area of HOPE.  Holy Spirit never points out what’s “wrong” with us (the accuser does a good job of that already); He always reminds us of what we were created for and how we can smash the lies that are holding us back from that place.

This year, it seems that my area of lie-smashing was in the area of hope, and as He began to speak to me about this area I felt my heart come alive again as I felt Him wash over and over me with fresh perspective from Heaven.

Now I realize that what I deal with and the lies that I believe may not be what you face.  But I also know that HOPE is a weapon, and one that is constantly stolen and bashed around by the enemy.  The Bible says that hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5), so my goal is to help expose and crush any disappointment from you that may be at the door of your soul!

I Googled the definition of “hope,” and I didn’t really like what I found.  Everything seemed so…disappointing.  The best definition I found was from Wikipedia, which says of hope:  As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”  I think I like what the Bible says better:

• This hope we have as an anchor of the soul… – Hebrews 6:19a

• Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. – Zechariah 9:12

• Then you would trust, because there is hope; And you would look around and rest securely. – Job 11:18

• But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.- Romans 8:25

• But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. – Micah 7:7

• Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

The first scripture listed, from Hebrews, has become one of my favorites in the context of HOPE.  Hope is actually an ANCHOR for our souls!  The Greek word for anchor here is the word agkyra (ἄγκυρα) which represents the same kind of iron anchor that we always see in the cute little paintings on Pinterest from Hebrews 6:19.  It holds us down, keeps us from blowing off with the winds of adversity, and it also in Greek represents a “safeguard.”  

Hope is our safeguard from going off into an emotional mess whenever we start to feel the tension in the wait.  It keeps us ANCHORED to Jesus and to promise.  Hope doesn’t disappoint, it’s a stronghold and we are captured by it, and we can abound in it by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Friends, God’s word is TRUE.  We can trust Him.  We can have a confident expectation of God coming through, regardless of the circumstances.  If the enemy has come to lie to you, ask Holy Spirit to fill you again with HOPE.  Become a prisoner of hope!  Allow it to anchor your soul and keep you full of joy and peace in believing. Do you need to reevaluate and readjust like me?

Allow the Father to be your guide as you walk together through His truth.  He has a plan for you and wants to give you HOPE and a prosperous future (Jeremiah 29:11).  And as we know, God’s Word never fails!

~ Mandy Woodhouse

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